FAQ

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Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Obviously, this is what people ask us the most. Before asking a question, you should give this list a good read. If your question isn't answered here, then by all means come to irc or the forums or something and ask it. However, if your question is answered here, don't be surprised if you get an abrupt or downright rude response.

While we try to give the best answers to the questions asked regardless of pretty much anything else, however there are some general guidelines to follow when asking questions not on this list:

  • Don't ask stupidly. Ex: Why can't I get color on my walls? (Good example: How do I have a cycle and wall color that are different from each other?)
  • Provide as much information as you have that's relevant to the question. Ex: Why doesn't my server work? (Good example: My server starts, then stops. Here's the errors from the console. Any idea why it's shutting down right away?)

For a more detailed discussion, check this page, with two important points. First, the page linked is not in any way affiliated with Armagetron Advanced and therefore they can't answer your question. Second, the article is probably a bit more negative than it actually works around here. For the most part, if you can't ask the question in the smartest possible way, we'd rather you ask the best way that you can than live in the dark and suffer. Even if you're an idiot, we still want you to be a comfortable idiot.

Finally, this FAQ, like all FAQs, is a work in progress. If it's not as big as you're used to seeing, it's because it's probably a younger FAQ than what you're used to seeing. That's ok. We'll add to it over time, and it'll get bigger and bigger until the server explodes with so many frequently asked questions that all of the developers decide to pitch in and buy a Caribbean island. Mmm, coconuts.

Terminology

What is a client? What is a server? What's the difference?

Simply put, the game client is the program you run on your computer. The game server runs on somebody else's computer. The difference between the two is like the difference between, say, a lawyer and his client. The lawyer would be the server, the one who knows all about law and stuff. So the difference is just like in real life where the terms come from. The client requests a service from someone who serves. In our case, that service is a game that is served from a machine running a program called a "server", but if you requested the same service from a person in a casino, you'd still be running a game client.

My client can be a server, though, it says so right here.

That's not a question. In any case, the game client can act as a server if you press "Host Game" from the Internet Game menu. So technically the client is a client/server hybrid, but let's not get too technical.

So are all game servers just clients where people pressed "Host Game"?

No. This is where people get really confused, even to the point where they complain to server operators for doing exactly this thing. No, most, if not all, game servers available through the master server run a special version of the program that has no graphical display, and no player can play on directly. That is the server, commonly called the "dedicated server". You can run it too, if you'd like. Server operators chose to run this instead of the regular game client because it has a number of modifications that make it work better as a regular server, just like a mail server or a web server. It is more convenient and makes for a more reliable game server to do so.

Playing the Game

TODO

Running a Server

Which should I run? The client in hosting mode, or the dedicated server?

Generally this depends on how long you want the server to run at a time. If you just want it running when you're playing, run the client in hosting mode, it's easier to deal with. If you're running at a LAN party, you might also want to run the client in hosting mode. But if you want to run a server that operates on the internet, reports to the master server, and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (8 days in a leap week), then you should run the dedicated server.

I've started the dedicated server, but I don't see it listed in the master server. What's wrong?

Usually accompanied by:

I see my server in the master server browser, but it says "Unreachable" and nobody can connect to it. What's wrong?

These two questions are inherently related.