Is there such a thing as too much BZFlag?

BZTips #5 – Commands for admins (or players!) – Part 3

by blast on 2009-07-05, 2 comments

In BZTip #4 – Commands for admins – Part 2, we covered how to ban users. In this third (and last?) section, we will cover some more of the commonly used commands. Some of these are even useful for normal users. Only /sendhelp is typically restricted to admins or cops.


The highlight command can be quite useful. I personally use this to track wall-walkers (people that exploit a certain bug to enable them to move through walls). I send this command:

/highlight pause

And then whenever a message in the chat box contains that word, it will be highlighted based on my client settings. You can also pass multiple things to look for, as it uses regular expressions. So let’s say you wanted to watch for people grabbing certain flags. You could do this:

/highlight (genocide|guided missile|laser)

The pipe (|) separates what to look for. I’m not going to provide a tutorial on regular expressions, so if you want to go more advanced, do a Google search.


The idlestats command will show how long a player has been idle. “Idle” is defined as being dead or paused. It will specifically show if someone is paused, and how long they have been paused.

[SERVER->] blast : 0s
[SERVER->] Argooon : 16s
[SERVER->] Bob : 13s paused 13s


The lagstats command is similar to idlestats. It shows a line for each player, followed by two or three sets of numbers.

[SERVER->] [ 0] Argooon : 131ms
[SERVER->] [ 1] blast : 78 +- 6ms
[SERVER->] [ 2] Bob : 61 +- 22ms 5% lost/ooo

The values are lag (also known as latency), jitter, and packet loss. Packet loss will only show up if the user has any. Lag is the network delay between the client and the server.

Jitter is a variation in this lag time. If someone has jitter, their movement will appear less smooth. Jitter is commonly caused by running other software in the background (such as browsers, downloads, etc) that suck up CPU time. It can also be caused by their Internet connection itself, and WiFi is more prone to have jitter.

Packet loss may exhibit similar issues to jitter (tank movement will not be as smooth) but it usually has fewer but larger “jumps” in the movement. This is almost always caused by a poor Internet connection, and can again be more common with WiFi.

I’ve had some people play using a cellular/3G broadband modem or over satellite Internet. These kinds of connections are not suitable for playing real-time games as they will have a large amount of lag. A typical lag time for a satellite will be one to four seconds.


The sendhelp command will allow you to send a help topic to a specific user. It will show up in their chat box. I use this to remind users of the rules, or to give them information about how to fix lag/jitter/packet loss. This command requires that the server owner has set up help files. You can see what help pages are available by running the /help command. For example, if you ran this:

/sendhelp someplayer rules

You would see:

[Admin] SERVER: Help topic rules was sent to someplayer by blast.

And someplayer would see:

[SERVER->] Help: Rules
[SERVER->] ---
[SERVER->] Please be nice to everyone. Do not swear, cheat, or
kill teammates.
[SERVER->] The admins have the right to mute, kick and ban
anyone for any reason.

Or whatever was contained in that help topic.


This command allows you to see what permissions are available to you. You may also be able to use this on other users to see what their permissions are.

[SERVER->] Permissions for: blast
[SERVER->] actionMessage
[SERVER->] adminMessageReceive
[SERVER->] adminMessageSend
[SERVER->] antiban
[SERVER->] antideregister
[SERVER->] antikick
[SERVER->] antikill
[SERVER->] antipoll
[SERVER->] antipollban
... (you get the idea...)

2 thoughts on “BZTips #5 – Commands for admins (or players!) – Part 3

Comments are closed.