FirePowered Seeding Guidelines
Creating and Managing Seed Events
Seeding our servers is one of the most important activities at FirePowered. Filling our servers is what creates opportunities for new players and regulars to experience our great community. While we can't seed every server every day, we do try to fill as many servers as we can as often as we can. For lower ranked servers, even filling them for an hour a day will increase their server rank, and make it easier to seed them next time. The most important part of seed events is working as a team. A single person trying to seed a server will almost always fail.
Several important seeding guidelines follow from these fundamental ideas:
- The most basic part of seeding is to prioritize the low hanging fruit. You might spend over an hour trying to seed our lower ranked servers, while Dustbowl East might seed in ten minutes or less. Familiarize yourself with the general trend of our server ranks, and as you become experienced in seeding, you will get a better feel for the easiest servers to seed.
- The current population of a server is a larger factor in the difficulty of seeding than server rank is. If even our lowest ranked servers have 6-8 people on them, it's usually worth trying to seed them first.
- Seed events should never compete with each other. Starting a seed event when another is in progress is one of the most damaging things you can do to our seeding efforts. It is for this reason that we require you to be a part of the FirePowered Events Steam Group if you wish to create seed events. If you are ever unsure of the current status of seed events, take the time to check the events tab in the Steam Group.
- Inviting your friends individually is a good supplement to seed events. Consider adding a "#seeding" tag to your name, so they know what they're being invited to.
- Seeding is a good time to play less-seriously or use classes you're not familiar with. Try to avoid playing your main. If you find that your team is steamrolling, consider switching teams or initiating a votescramble.
- Be welcoming to players. You can discuss some of the things we do, such as free weekly key raffles, etc.
- Avoid spawn camping. This is a surefire way to make people leave.
- If possible, avoid using annoying weapons. Mini Sentry is one of them, but it is not the only one.
- Invite people you know into the servers if they're available and you think they would be willing. This is also a good chance to introduce them to FirePowered and direct them to our Forums.
- Try to keep the teams balanced both in skill and in player counts. If players drop from the other team then hop over. If this is not possible, issue a !votescramble into the chat area.
- If the server is made up of 50% or more FirePowered Members you should attempt to leave by trickling out of the server one by one. When one Member leaves, wait for a player to join the server to replace them before you leave. This is especially important since the changes to Quickplay. Even 3-4 players leaving the server in rapid succession can crush a recently seeded server. If necessary, issue a second seed event to bring the automatic seeders back if the population dips below 16. It's important to securely seed a server before moving on to the next one.
The ability to create seed events is a privilege granted to staff and Senior Members only. Creating competing seed events, spamming seed invites, or poor management of seed events may result in removal of your ability to create seed events or more serious consequences. If you aren't sure whether you should create an event, it's never a bad idea to ask someone else for input.
Automatic Seed Accounts
To assist in seeding, three seeding accounts are set to automatically respond to seed events that are sent out. Additionally, anyone can set up automatic seeding in the same way as these seeding accounts are set up, and they too will automatically join seed events. These accounts may initially be assigned to a team, but, since they are uncontrolled, they will be quickly assigned to Spectator, where they will remain until the server fills.
It is important to never refer to these seeders as "bots" in public. Other communities have created systems where actual TF2 bots are disguised as real players. We would never do this, but you can see how the terminology might confuse an outsider. It's best to just not acknowledge the large amount of spectators on a seeding server, but if necessary, you should can explain them as players who are idling to help seed the server.