Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice – DLC for L4D and L4D2

Valve will release new down-loadable content (DLC) called “The Sacrifice” for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 on October 5th. This DLC will be free for PC gamers!

“The Sacrifice” is a prequel to “The Passing” and includes the original Left 4 Dead survivors as they fight their way south. The Sacrifice campaign will be playable in Campaign, Versus, and Survival modes. There will also be a new finale where players have to decide who will sacrifice themselves so that the other survivors may live.

Left 4 Dead 2 players will get to play The Sacrifice with L4D2 Special Infected and weapons, as well as being able to play in Scavange mode. L4D2 players will also get the “No Mercy” campaign from L4D1 which, again, will be played with the L4d1 survivors.

The Sacrifice also boasts five new achievements.

Personally, I am really looking forward to playing “No Mercy” on L4D2!

Left 4 Dead: SourceMod – Linux Installation

Why would you want SourceMod on your Left 4 Dead server?

Well it can help you administer your server in game and you can also install additional plugins with it. This is what it looks like in game …

Installation consists of copying files to your server so you will need ftp or SSH access to your server. Before you do this you will need to confirm your Steam ID for use later – simply join a server and then open the console and then type the following and hit enter:

status

The result will give you your Steam ID. Copy and paste it from the console and save it for later.

Next download Metamod to your computer and extract the files. Copy the addons folder to your left4dead folder on your server. On my server this is /home/user/hlds/l4d/left4dead.

Now you need to generate a vdf file – choose Left4Dead as the game type and leave the gamefolder blank to download the correct file (click Generate Metamod VDF). Upload this file to the addons folder on your server. On my server this is /home/user/hlds/l4d/left4dead/addons.

Next download SourceMod and extract the files. Copy the contents of your addons folder to the addons folder on the server. On my server this is /home/user/hlds/l4d/left4dead/addons. Copy the contents of the cfg folder to the cfg folder on the server. On my server this is /home/sxl4d/user/l4d/left4dead/cfg.

Now we just need to grant ourselves some admin rights by editing the addons/sourcemod/configs/admins_simple.ini file. On my server this is /home/user/hlds/l4d/left4dead/addons/sourcemod/configs/admins_simple.ini.

At the bottom of the file just add the following line where the Steam ID is the one you saved earlier:

"Steam ID" "bcdefghijklmn"

The Steam ID specifies a player and the next field specifies permissions as per the following table:

Simply reboot the server and you are good to go – connect to your server, open the console and type the following to view the in-game admin menu:

sm_admin
Thanks to KingJulian on this thread for many of these details …

Left 4 Dead: Connect to Private Dedicated Server through a Lobby

Well I have tried to do this on and off for a little while now and found a post by MaxRabbit that works for me.

My server config is pretty bare at this point:

server.cfg:

hostname “l4d”
rcon_password “*************”
mp_disable_autokick 1
sv_voiceenable 1
sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 1
sv_region 1
log on
sv_clearhinthistory 0

Server start script:

./srcds_run l4d -secure -maxplayers 4 +hostport 27015 +map l4d_hospital01_apartment +exec server.cfg +sv_lan 0

To connect from a Lobby this is what you do …

First launch L4D and open up the console and type:

sv_cheats 1
ms_force_dedicated_server x:y

Here x is your WAN IP address and y is the game port (i use 27015).

Close the console and then set your lobby options as normal and the lobby will connect directly to your server!

I am not sure why the sv_search_key way of achieving the same end is not working for me but this will do just fine …

Left 4 Dead – Remote Rcon with HLSW

Need to rcon your Left 4 Dead server remotely? Half Life Server Watch (HLSW) is just what you need …

The current version of HLSW is v1.3.0.6b and it runs on Windows 2000 and XP (see HLSW system requirements).

Once it is installed you will need to register an email address and password.

Once HLSW is running simply enter the IP of your server with the port:

Type in the Rcon password and click Test. You should see Status: OK.

Click the Console tab and then type in your Rcon command in the field above and then click Send.

And there you have it! A really nice way to administer your server without having to connect a game client to it … as you can see (below) HLSW also gives you a nice summary of your server details too:

Left 4 Dead – Steam Group Server Settings

Aside from setting a password with the sv_password cvar in your server.cfg there is another way to make your server private, and that is to associate it with a “steam group”.

The advantage of this method is that you can invite players to your steam group and only those players will be able to play on the server – they will also see steam group servers when the game loads (so your server should be easy to join).

So the first step is to create a steam group. Once this is created the group admin (the person who created the group) will need to click on Admin Options and then Edit group profile to get the steam group ID.

Once you have the steam group ID you can edit you server.cfg as follows, (where ###### is your steam group ID):

sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0sv_steamgroup ######sv_steamgroup_exclusive 1

Then just invite your friends to the steam group and everyone should see your server listed in-game just like this:

Left 4 Dead: MOTD Banners

Wanna customize your Message of the Day (MOTD) and Host Banners in Left4Dead? Well, here’s how to do it …

Originally I followed this guide but I ran into issues with the host banner which displayed html code rather than the image that it pointed to.

In the above screen you can see my customized host and MOTD banners along with the names of the files that control which images you see – host.txt for the host banner and motd.txt for the MOTD banner. These files are located in the /hlds/l4d/left4dead directory on your server.

Now the images that you select will be resized depending on the screen resolution of the players connecting to your server. So I made my images the following sizes (which should support a resolution of 1920 x 1080:

host banner – 605 x 121

MOTD banner – 1076 x 538

So I created both of my banners as .jpg files and uploaded them to photobucket.

Next we need to look at the html template that we need that will point to the images that we uploaded.

<html>
<head><title>Left 4 Dead 411</title></head>
<body style=”margin:0px;padding:1px;background:#000000;”>
<img src=”URL for host or banner image” style=”width:100%;height:100%;” />
</body>
</html>

Copy and paste this into two new files named host.html and motd.html – just make sure that you change the “URL for host or banner image” part according to your URLs for the host or banner images on photobucket.

Upload host.html and motd.html to some webspace that allows public access – I used Sitesled to host mine for free!

On the server you just need to edit host.txt to contain the URL to your hosted host.html file and then edit motd.txt to point to your motd.html URL.

Now in theory you should be able to put the contents of the .html files that we created directly into the host.txt and motd.txt files on your server and have it work – but I found that (for whatever reason) the host banner simply would not work – it displayed html code instead of the banner image. That is why I hosted mine as .html files – and once I did that everything worked.

The only additional issue that I had is that the motd image seems to be resized smaller and then streched slightly (rather than being viewed at its native size) at higher reolsutions – so my advice (if you experience this issue) is to keep your text fairly large so that your MOTD does not look bad.

So here you can see what the host banner looks like in game by pressing the Tab key.

Left 4 Dead: Stuttering Gameplay on AMD Dual Core Systems

I just built a new PC for Left4DEad with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ processor. I loaded XP Pro SP2 and immediately encountered a severe stuttering problem playing L4D.

L4D was completely unplayable …

So I installed the AMD Dual Core Optimizer and hoped that this would fix the issue – but alas it did not.

The solution that I found was to disable Multicore Rendering in the Video Options as follows:

Let’s hope that there is a permanent fix from Valve soon!