I recently decided to organize a small LAN party despite my complete ignorance of networking basics because I grow tired of endless Super Smash and Mario Kart rounds monopolizing our gaming gatherings. I’ll be starting the experiment with a small group (5-7 people) to see how it goes, and when the semester starts I may expand the activity to my whole major, which translates to around 15 more participants.
The hardest part by far is setting up the required hardware. From what I understand after some scouting across various forums on the subject, one may use a switch, a router, a hub or a combination of these. I plan to play exclusively offline, a choice which I hope will reduce the complexity of the whole operation. The consensus seems to be that a switch is the superior option, and I tend to agree. If I do choose that route, I would have to buy this, than plug every machine with a straight Ethernet cable and… ? I read somewhere that the lack of DHCP means that I must assign static IPs to every machine for a 3 days lease (what?). Does that still hold true? If so, I should figure out how to do it. On the other hand, I could connect two routers together with a crossover cable --is it really necessary? Still a much more affordable option, since we do possess said routers. The DHCP on the first router will handle the IPs while I must disable that option on the second router, is that correct? I honestly don't even know where the hell the user interface for a router is. Anyway boom, Ethernet cables everywhere and we’re set. Experienced lanners, which option is the best in your opinion? You could say that reading related threads should have given me a good idea, but my complete ignorance prohibits me from adapting these examples to my particular situation. Thus this thread came to be.
When it comes to games, I decided to pick a few old classics because some of my broke buddies have fairly old machines. My list so far consists of:
- Warcraft 3
- Age of Empires 2
- Battlefield 1942
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
I own disc based versions for all of these. Are some of them known to be hard to play locally? Everyone will have to install them on the spot in a rotation, which should take around an hour. The patches worry me though, could I download them all myself and distribute the exes through file sharing afterwards? Last question: since we’ll be offline, I guess I’ll be hosting the game, does that mean my i7 equipped laptop will be the ‘’server’’? I have the most powerful machine of the group, but will I still be able to play like the rest of them without lag?
I know I'm asking a lot, and I somewhat expect a few of you to suggest using two 360s for some basic Halo 3 instead, but hey, I really love my strategy games.