A Final Plea for a more Robust & Intelligent Server List

I’ve been playing Garry’s Mod for 9 years, I’ve been a developer, mapper, small community leader, and a player.
My nostalgia for this game is unparalleled, having been involved in NoxNet, Gmod Tower, Sassilization, Puslar Effect, Darkland, TacoNBanana,
LmaoLlama (My own community and the original Basewars), and an extra in the War of the Servers machinima.
I’ve been a member of Facepunch since 2008 (https://facepunch.com/member.php?u=158607).

That being said, I don’t play that much anymore but whenever I am feeling nostalgic and hop on I remember why I quit:
The ultimate lack of diversity in game mode choices which once existed in Garry’s Mod before the server list was replaced.

Before the current server list, the legacy server list was a meritocracy
I.E. the servers with the most fun/original content were at the top of the server list.
This meant that no matter the gamemode, any singular gamemode that was popular gained more visibility
but with the current server list duplicates and clones of gamemodes with the exact gamemode name are grouped together and dominate at the top of the server list
while original gamemodes which may only have one full server are pushed to the bottom of the server list

this creates a feedback loop where content that is copied is favored by the system and gains more visibility while original content gets less and less visibility.

To the current dev team, please modify the current server list to resemble the meritocracy of the legacy server list.

TL;DR Communities with original gamemodes cannot compete for visibility with mainstream gamemodes and eventually die within the system created by the current server list.

If you agree please comment to keep this post visible.

There is literally no [developer] that likes the new server browser.

I doubt it will be changed though

I really just don’t understand why not, it would take like 1-3 hours to recode.

I’m working on my own custom gamemode and what really demotivates me is that I would most likely have to pay for advertisment on the top servers in order to get constant inflow of new players.

The new list sucks.

I forgot what the issue was.

Probably that awesomium is outdated

I remember seeing a ton of posts where people have already recoded the server browser, it wouldn’t even take any effort to implement
Here’s a few

It is an absolute deterrent for me, I’ve always wanted to recode Basewars (Link) but I’ve talked with so many community leaders
who have to shutdown their communities because they aren’t hosting any of the mainstream gamemodes.

:snip: automerge

The problem wouldn’t be solved if I alone downloaded an alternative; the alternative would need to be mainstream in order for the issue to be resolved.

I’m fairly sure that if a gamemode like gmod tower was made and hosted with 0 players today, It would stay dead

It hasn’t been changed because no one’s actually offered a decent solution that wouldn’t piss off one or more groups of the gmod community.

A legacy browser clone: Would cause massive bitching from players and help the large 100+ player servers like mine further monopolize since most sort by player count.

Gamemode categories: High potential for abuse

What happens if you do find a solution and start killing off DarkRP servers? You will get massive backlash from what is without a doubt the biggest part of the garrysmod community. There is no good solution right now.

A gamemode categories system is worse than a legacy browser system for one basic fact:

An empty DarkRP server has more visibility (in theory) than a gamemode with one full server. Also it’s fallacious to assume their would be backlash.

A fair compromise would be a system where there are two tabs and by default the first tab is the legacy browser and the second tab is a sorted gamemodes list.

Except it doesn’t because this server browser is even worse.
It has a ~500 server limit (I think), So empty servers don’t even have a chance to show up

That’s even worse; if a gamemode is getting so over saturated that some servers aren’t even showing up then that’s a critical error.

There isn’t one, ultimate, flawless solution - but a combination of few small tweaks could work wonders.

Adding options such as:

  • quick play (find random server with random gamemode, prioritizing the ones hosted near you, prioritizing the ones that aren’t full but have enough players to play the gamemode).
  • highlight of the day (showing a fully random gamemode and servers hosted on it, based on nothing - as long as there’s atleast 1 server hosting it, there’s a chance for it to be shown in the highlight)
  • ‘You should also try…’ - suggested servers, based on previous gamemodes played - showing 3-6 different servers with different specifications: 1-2 empty, new; 1-2 half-empty, new, 1-2 almost full old.

Feel free to discuss my opinions, I wrote them in a hurry - but my general conclusion is that we could either have the engine direct players to less popular servers from time to time via quick play or we could give them a random highlight.

I too am working on a new gamemode and trying to get a decent player count on to test it is likely to never happen.

But I know if renamed so it showed up in the DarkRP category id get a million players.

The current browser sucks and I don’t see any of the current devs changing it any time soon.

The only way these days to get your gamemodes noticed is if a famous YouTuber plays it.

Edit: here is another reason why the current browser is terrible.

Yeah the server browser is shit… I might play gmod ‘just’ since the last few weeks of GM12(where the beta of 13 was out, still played 12 though), but I hate this server browser, the only way to make your community survive is to host one of the ‘main’ gamemodes, like DarkRP or TTT, and I myself, hate DarkRP, atleast the ‘new generation’ of players, I miss the old times with ‘Old-School’ communities like NGM & Plex.

I feel like a few YouTubers that play new game modes every video would really help things get noticed. Then again we shouldn’t be relying on them for success.

I’m considering starting a darkrp, prophunt, and ttt server off my home network that just redirects players to my gamemode.

Really though, I think a lot of new gamemodes can’t compete with already-popularized gamemodes just based on the amount of content they have, few players means devs are less motivated, and the gamemode never gets to a point where it is polished enough to compete with TTT or DarkRP.

I kinda blame us as developers too, the workshop is a poor substitution for a proper package manager. (I just want dependency resolution to be automatic instead of “go download these things and come back”; and lib support, everyone seems to package GLON or vON with their scripts). I’ve recently downloaded 3 maps that use almost all the same props, materials, and textures, but each map packages the props with the map, and massive downloads means most player’s don’t care enough to try out new stuff.

That happened to both of my original gamemodes (Cops and Runners, You Touched it Last) and they have pretty much died again. It’s in almost all cases only temporary boosts you gain from that.