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What makes you join public servers?

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I've been milling around public servers for a while, and I wondered why i click on some servers more than others. I also wonder what you guys do and think as well. So, here is a list of things that I personally look for when looking to join a game. As a discussion, please add if you only play privately or what you look for yourselves.


Ping: Biggest factor in if I can join a game or not. Lagging constantly during a game can kill you off quickly, or even lower your efficiency because you have to spend more time gathering materials and making sure your actions register.


Region: If it says Australia or AU anywhere, this can be substituted for good ping. I get ??? Ping for 70% of the servers on the list, though not sure if that is just me or other people as well. At any rate, I would like for Klei to add a region/country tag to servers. On the other side, I will usually avoid servers that claim to be located at distant locations, or speak a language other than english.


Establishment: I like to build towards an establishment rather than have one already built for me, so I am more likely to join servers with 5 or less days clocked in the world. On another note, I regularly join servers with more than 3 people or a full list, as I may not be able to log on if I choose to stay with it.


Difficulty: Games that have options that make games easier (such as more berry bushes or less monsters) are more likely to put me off, as it detracts from my achievements. I also avoid hardcore servers, as I am somewhat inexperienced in DS.


Type: I also avoid Endless servers and servers with mods that remove resurrection penalty, as DS is about trying, dying and trying again. Wilderness I can deal with, but survival is best.


Mods: [Edit: I avoid] any character mods, including RoG. I have had bad experiences with RoG more characters mod, where it crashes the game and kicks me from the server.

Any mods that add convenience to the game I may be fine with, as long as they do not retract from the gameplay or make things too easy.


PvP: Generally if this is on, I avoid it. I plan on playing DST to survive together, rather than vs others (maybe in the future). This compounded with ping can cause frustrating situations.




So, what do you guys look for when planning to join a pub game? Do you even join pub games or stick to password-protected servers? Want to meet people who join pubs and go around trolling everyone? Discuss below.




Edit (10/01/15): Going to put some stuff from below here.

From what I have read, this is what people want to see in public servers:


- Enabling Pinging and stating your region/country and/or language will help draw players in. Doing both may be unnecessary, but still do it anyway.

- Unless the world is meant to accommodate many members, you are making a server catering to new people, or it is some sort of variation in pvp, upping resources in worlds turns people off. Turning hostile mobs off/less seems to also do this, so leave it as is (default) or increase it for a harder server.

- Mods:

   - Character mods 'may' turn people off while pulling others in. No conclusive evidence here.

   - Convenience mods such as PickyPicky and SmarterCrockPot are okay for most people.

   - Mods that decrease difficulty may put people off.

   - Too many mods turn a lot of people away, so try to pick the essential ones. No-one wants to wait 10 minutes downloading mods to play and crashing afterwards.

- Unless PvP has a purpose, turn it off. PvP is not balanced at the current time, and generally is looked down upon due to latency and ping issues. It also conflicts Survival mode.

- Survival seems to be the most popular, but with experienced/sub-experienced members. For new people, endless fits best. Wilderness seems to be the least popular.

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I've stopped playing privately since Klei set up their own Dedicated Servers. I've also stopped hosting servers of my own since then. Listed below are my criteria based on your list.

Ping: The highest ping that I've experienced and can actually deal with is around 350. As long as the host is always a good host, and it can keep up with the player count without turning into Bad Host. I would definitely stay. Unless its always rubberbanding, then I'm out.
Region: I'm not picky, but I prefer english speaking servers. It's difficult to get a conversation going if there is a language barrier. I'll still try any server though.
Establishment: I'm versatile. If there is already a big enough base in the server, I help out and fill in the blanks. If the server is new, I get started with what I can gathering materials but I aim to discover Chester first, to give Chester to the host if it's player-hosted. The earlier Chester is discovered, the better. So then after that I recon the map as much as I can and give everyone details on specific stuff.( Beefalos, Rabbits, Pig Town, Pig King, Walrus Camp, Graveyard, Rock Field etc.)
Difficulty: Like you, I avoid clumped up servers with Lots on every preset for resources.


Type: I'm less likely to play on a survival public server since all my effort will be dependent on how long the player host is willing to play. As for survival dedicated, I avoid those too since most of the time its filled with unruly players who don't want to play along and just ruin the experience for everyone else. So I always lurk in the Wilderness Dedicated Servers. At least there, no player ghosts, and any form of griefing is expected and can be dealt with by killing the griefer.
Mods: I shy away from any form of character mod. I stick with the base characters. But I do use utility mods a lot. Namely Quick Emotes, Geometric Placement, and Status Announcement. Modded servers aren't my thing though.
PvP: I'm all for PvP on Endless and Wilderness Servers. But I'm not the KoS type.  I think having that back-and-forth conversation if you should trust somebody adds to the DST experience. On the other hand, I dislike PvP on Survival Servers (dedicated/player-hosted). It just adds difficulty to dealing with griefers especially on dedicated servers since there would be no way to kick/ban the griefer.


Hope that fills out a bit of your query on someone else's preferences when playing DST. Lastly, If you actually wanted a discussion about it I think the better place for this topic is in DST's General Discussion not the Server Bulletin. But that's just me thinking...


Anyways, Cheers.

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Eh well, this is talk about servers (choosing them anyway, I don't plan on making one myself) and/or finding other players who pub jump regularly.

Personally I like playing with people I know irl, but there are times where I am the only one on and I have an urge to kill some spiders.

I have made 2 friends so far through Public games, one of which I had an amusing conversation about music with.

But as you say, this would also fit into GD, so if there are any mods/admins out there who believe so, feel free to move this topic.

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I usually jump in public servers if my friends aren't around or are otherwise occupied. I've had some luck hosting them as well, but just haven't felt like doing it for a while now. I tend to look for "welcome newcomers!" types because I want to help people who are new to the game get a solid setup. Y'know, ease some of the burden for them =)


Ping: my #1 factor as well. Lots of improvements have come through in the past few months, but I still stick to 150 or less. I prefer 50 or less though... luckily, there are more of those popping up for me now that the game is in early access. "Region" is a pretty big factor in ping as well - the more distant the host, the worse my ping will be.


Oh, BTW, seeing ??? isn't you, it's the host's router settings. Here's what MarkL says the host needs to do to correct it.


Establishment: Either way. I don't mind building towards a base, or jumping in after it's already built and pitching in. I don't like joining in between days 10-20 though, it tends to feel a little hectic and rushed because the base-building decision is usually in the works right then. Are we building? Are we exploring? What do we need, hurry hurry, winter is coming!


Difficulty: I also avoid worlds where the options have been changed to make the game easier. I don't mind harder, if I'm in the mood for it, but I don't want or need it any easier. That said, if I ever host a public/newcomers world myself, I tend to increase a couple resources here and there to make an easier go of it for people who are unfamiliar with the game and trying to ease into it. One thing I don't ever do though is change the day/night cycle, or turn winter off.


Type: I don't generally join Wilderness Mode. Tthe random spawn point thing is fun, but for overall gameplay, it feels like the mode is lacking a purpose (see PvP below). I don't mind Endless Mode at all. In fact, if the server is claiming to be welcoming to newcomers, I won't join it unless it IS Endless. I want to play together, not spend all my time managing sanity and resurrecting ghosts. Likewise, Survival is fine and is what I prefer in general, but I'll bail pretty quickly if it appears the other players aren't very experienced.


Mods: Convenience mods are fine, character mods are fine. Game-changing mods that make things easier (like the one that removes the revival health penalty, for example) are a no-no for me. I also avoid the mods that force-drop your inventory when you leave. I'm a charitable player and will leave stuff for the group when I go... but if I want to join back in again later, I still need some stuff on me. I mean, what if you made me drop my food, torches, and warm clothing, and when I join back in, it's the middle of a winter night?


Also, something that stands out for me is if someone has TONS of mods going on their server, regardless of what they are. I tend to shy away from those because that many mods could cause a conflict eventually, and then a crash. Nothing worse than getting into your groove, then being DCed.


PvP: that's a big NOPE for me. I like to watch others play that way on streams and such, but I'm not that kind of person at all.


PvP and Wilderness Mode go hand-in-hand though. It's a perfect environment for rogue battles, raid teams, etc. Klei has been making changes here and there to various functionality that, while it's now better for co-op gameplay, used to work really-really well for PvP gameplay. PvP is becoming a little stale, and is beginning to feel like a pointless option to have. I'm hoping to see them bring some of the quirks back for PvP-enabled servers, and perhaps combine PvP and Wilderness into their own special game mode. That's a topic for another thread though =)


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Before getting a bit sick of Public servers, I now have limited time to play and can't do it playing the first 10 days over and over because people can't make a torch. I would mainly look for;


Ping: I would agree i start looking at the ping, and if I see one with UK in the title i am more likely to join in the hope of a smoother game.

Establishment: I would agree with you on like to help build rather then just turning up. When you turn up to one already built i always felt a bit like stealing if i took anything :S


Difficulty: I like it to be harder then normal but not too hard when playing public. Very much dislike the ones were you literally would struggle to starve because there is so much food. When playing with people i know we play really hard (in my opinion) but public servers at an extra challenge without cracking up the settings. 

Type: Survival only really.

Mods: I only like servers were the mod is a mod and not really just a cheat in disguise. Mainly things like the mini map and the grid and the RoG characters.


PvP: Want to try it but never got round to it

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Ping must be low

Pvp must be off.

mods are preferred, except any mods that makes things super easy, like map reveals

I look for new world, but that's just a guessing game.

less people are preferred

server with friends are also highly preferred. 


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Low ping, I get to be picky because I'm west coast US and there's a lot of low pings, so I go for under 100. 

Survival mode only, no modes, no pvp. Pvp plus survival just seems dumb. The survival penalties for all players when someone is dead just does not compute with pvp. I wish survival survers with pvp would not make ghosts cause people to lose sanity, but eh..

Endless is too easy, wilderness is kinda interesting, but it isn't worth it to me to make a big base and play mostly alone for a while just to have the host decide to stop. Survival, at least I feel more like I did something.

At least 3 players total. More than 1 person on. I have severe social anxiety and being alone with exactly one person that I don't know weirds me out. 

New world, as new as possible. I like to help build the base, and coddle some of the new people, and that's best done on day 1-3.

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  For me just about anything works. Though I do prefer these things. 


Ping: As with ryouryoun, I live in the US, but anything under 120 and I'm fine/


I like Endless beacase it lets you explore and see new things and the Spawn Portal is a nice thing. I LOVE PVP. PVP makes everything more intense and makes weapons more useful than a wolf attack every nine days. Though the sanity drain on PVP servers is a bit annoying

 Mods for me adds more diversity to the game, mods let you do practically anything so  as long as they don't make things easier like the Health Penalty Remover they are fine.

Servers with a bunch of people are nice. It's better than seeing only being with 3 guys at a time until they log out. Plus I love meeting new people. Bigger servers also mean more people to fight!

New and Old are the same things to me. I don't care if the world is 10000 days.




BTW in Steam, all you have to do is click and choose which mods you want enabled. Takes like a second to get one mod. Multiple mods take time, but it's worth it.


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