One of the best advancements to come to QuakeWorld in modern times, which no one seems to know how to use, is ezQuake+qwfwd's best-route functionality. In the last month I have had to explain to about 10 people how to use it and it seems that many people don't use it or don't know how to use it which needs to change as its potential is endless even for Europeans connecting to European servers. Everyone should be using this when connecting to every server.
It has been well known for a very long time, since Qizmo's heyday, that connecting via a proxy to a server can lower your ping if that particular proxy has a better route to the server you are trying to connect to. Now in modern times we have qwfwd's which peform the same function of changing your route but typically people are still doing this manually which you don't need to. The best-route functionality of ezQuake+qwfwd will actually connect you to a server, automatically, through (i've seen) up to 4 qwfwd's back to back to lower your ping... you just need to know how.
Read the full article below!
How does it work?
Once you have everything enabled, ezQuake's server browser will refresh all of the servers on the internet and give you your ping for each server. In the background it will also query each of the qwfwd's to see what their ping to each server is and what each qwfwd's ping is to other qwfwd's which essentially creates a 'ping tree'. When you then connect to a server via the server browser, or by using the /connectbr command (instead of /connect) it will connect you via the best path. Even if you are in Sweden and connecting to a server in Sweden, the best route may be via a qwfwd. The more qwfwd's around the world, the more refined your pings can be. How much will it help?
From the Netherlands when I want to connect to servers in Miami, my ping (in-game) is 140ms however if I play via the quakeworld.co.uk qwfwd it is lower AND if I connect to quakeworld.co.uk:30000 qwfwd via nl.besmella.com:30000 qwfwd it is even lower. With best-route functionality enabled ezQuake will automatically connect to the proxies back-to-back for me giving me the best possible route. It does this for every server I play on, all automatically. Here is how my ping is improved over a few locations. All pings are in-game pings:
Direct > miami.usa.besmella.com:28501 = 142ms
Best-route > via 3 qwfwd > miami.usa.besmella.com:28501 = 116ms
Direct > qw.quakephil.com:28002 = 115ms
Best-route > via 2 qwfwd > qw.quakephil.com:28002 = 90ms
Direct > qw.foppa.dk:27501 = 38ms
Best-route > via 1 qwfwd > qw.foppa.dk:27501 = 28ms
Direct > playground.ru:27502 = 66ms
Best-route > via 3 qwfwd > playground.ru:27502 = 52ms
Some servers I will get 40ms improvement, some I will get 4ms improvement and others it will simply connect me directly because that is the best way to connect to that server. Either way there is no downside. Last night while testing this with
carapace, he saw a 50ms improvement to one server he tested.Ok Ok we get it, we've been stupid and need to start using this now!What do you need?
How to make it work?
- ezQuake 2.2 Stable or newer
- Updated ezQuake Master Server sources.txt (which should contain the following, but I only use QuakeServers and FodQuake):
url "QuakeServers URL" http://www.quakeservers.net/lists/servers/global.txt
master "QuakeServers" master.quakeservers.net:27000
master "FodQuake" qwmaster.fodquake.net:27000
master "Ocrana" qwmaster.ocrana.de:27000
- A few additional commands in your ezQuake CFG
sb_findroutes 1 //Enable best-route lookup via server browser
sb_listcache 1 //Save ping tree to disk
sb_sourcemark "QuakeServers" //Use this Master Server
sb_sourcemark "FodQuake" //Use this Master Server
- Other commands you need to know and start using
sb_refresh //this refreshes the ping tree. do this at least once per day.
connectbr //use this instead of connect from now on
cl_proxyaddr "" //clear qwfwd you currently have set to use
- First make sure your ezQuake server browser has updated the master servers and has a full server list of servers. Go in to the Server Browser, go to the SOURCES tab and make sure you have at least the QuakeServers and FodQuake sources selected and now press SPACE which will refresh the server list.
- Now go to SERVERS tab. You should have around 240 servers listed. Press SPACE to refresh the server status.
- Go back to the console and type /sb_refresh to refresh your ping tree (wait until it says it is complete).
- Connect to a few servers using the server browser or manually using /connectbr <serverip> and watch the console which should say something like "Connecting using 2 proxies with best ping of 44ms" or something similar.
- You are done!
- Q - I am not getting a full server list or best route isn't working like normal?
A - Close ezQuake and reopen it fresh and run /sb_refresh and wait for it to complete before refreshing your server browser. This seems to happen from time to time with ezQuake
- Q - Sometimes the routing helps and sometimes it doesn't... what gives?
A - Pingtimes between you and servers/qwfwd can often fluctuate and even a few milliseconds difference can make the difference between a new route being taken or not. Refreshing the server browser and ping tree often can help this. It also seems that the ping tree is per server and not per IP Address so it is possible during times of congestion (like on my cable at home) that one port gives me a better route on a server and another doesn't so this is a good time to refresh.