Developer: Gas Powered Games
GPGnet is the multiplayer client used to play Supreme Commander. This section outlines basic instructions on how to use this application for all your Supreme Commander multiplayer needs. This information is current as of GPGnet version 126.96.36.199
This is the sign in screen for GPGnet. There are fields to enter your username and password. The important thing to remember here is that only one username may be associated a copy of Supreme Commander. This is why smurfing happens. A smurf is a user, usually a good player, who has a second copy of Supreme Commander. This smurf account can be used to join games or play on the ranked ladder. This is why a newb, who has only played a few games, may sometimes seem really good. No, it's not your mind playing tricks on you. If you're a smurf, it is considered good mannered to announce to the community who you really are. Whether smurfing is good or bad, it is clear that it exists so it's best to just get over it.
Even though you can only create one name, it doesn't mean your username is stuck forever. Whenever you get bored of your current username, there is an option available to easily change your username to something else. GPGnet will do all the dirty work for you: updating your name on your friends list, your ladder ranking, and your webstats. Haven't played in awhile? If you forgot your username or password (or both), GPGnet can refresh your memory.
The GPG Multiplayer Client
This is the home page of the GPGnet main client. There is a basic toolbar on the top left corner of the client as well as a myriad of icons on the bottom of the client. Online statistics are shown on the right as well as other useful news events and online rankings.
The bottom toolbar is the most convenient for navigation so I've created brief descriptions of each button.
GPGnet Icon Descriptions
Halcyon - The Chat Room
Getting to chat is quick and easy. Just press the chat button on the bottom toolbar or click Join Chat on the home page. The chat room is divided into the chat box itself on the left and the user list on the right. The list has several color coded categories such as Administrators, Chat Moderators, Friends, Clan Members, and Online. If this is your first time in chat, you will be under the Online section. If you can't see your name, scroll down and you'll be able to find it in the list. After a certain period of time, you will become idle in chat, which is denoted by your name being colored gray instead of white. A few minutes after that, you will be automatically kicked out of chat due to inactivity.
If your friends are present in the chat room, they will show up at the top of the chat user list.
Clans are groups of players that regularly play each other in Supreme Commander. GPGnet has taken this one step further and organized official Clan Wars where clans are pitted against one another. Though the sizes of clans range from small to large, the most important part of a clan is member activity. If you're a part of an active clan, then you'll always have someone to join you in game. Clan abbreviations are shown in reddish pink immediately to the right of your name.
In the chat room, this is you. However, in this case, you is me. You may not look like me now, but in time, you'll be able to replace your Default Avatar with a much cooler avatar, and maybe get a few awards along the way.
The current version of GPGnet sports an awards system. Awards are the icons that appears farthest to the left of your name. There are three slots for awards, and you can choose the order in which your awards appear. There are 4 classes of awards: Ranked Game Awards, Custom Game Awards, Faction Awards, and Tournament Awards. Each class has its own subdivision of individual awards. There are some awards that require some skill to get such as the rating (the star), ranking (the crown), and tournament win award (trophy with star). However, most of the other awards just come to you as you continue to play more and more games and tournaments.
Your avatar is located immediately left of your name. When first starting out on GPGnet, the avatar is some generic gray figure person. However, there are plenty of ways to change that. One way is to start entering tournaments. Winning a tournament gets you a nice avatar, as well as finishing first in some of the bracketed rating tournaments. Another way to get avatars is to volunteer with GPG as a chat moderator, as a map author, or as a tournament director. If those don't work out for you, Gnug215 runs multiple programs, such as the Mentor program, where you can sign up, perform your duties, and get an avatar. If that doesn't work out for you either, you can apply for a job at GPG or THQ.
What is a Tournament?
A Tournament is a group of games (usually 3 or 4) that is set up by a Tournament Director. Most Tournaments that are run on GPGnet are Swiss Style. This means that all players play all rounds. In addition, tournaments are ranked, so the results show up on your record.
Personally, I'm a very big fan of tournaments. They are an excellent way to get some quality ranked games in. Since tournaments are swiss style, your opponents get tougher as you win as easier as you lose. In addition, playing in tournaments allow you to play against opponents who you wouldn't normally face. In tournaments, I have had the privilege of playing against top players such as Sir_Loui, FunkOff, GreyStreet (and AntsMarching), SchloobeR, and Cauldr0n to name a few. When I play in tournaments, not only do I end up with more ranked games than when I started, but I also usually gain a few rating points. Also, some tournaments list the map rotation, so you know what map is coming next. This is a nice feature since sometimes you just aren't in the mood to risk playing on Seraphim Glaciers or Roanoake Abyss. Tournaments last for about 2-3 hours.
Where can I find the Tournament Schedule?
All tournaments are listed in the tournament calendar, which may be found on the top left of the main page. Select Game --> Tournament Schedule and the calendar will pop up.
How do I sign up?
Signing up for a tournament is simple. Select the day of the tournament you want to join and click Register. That's all. Make sure you are free for 3 hours or more after the start time of the tournament. If for some reason, you can't make it to the tournament, you can unregister just as easily. Click Unregister, and you're no longer obligated to be in the tournament. If you need to leave during a tournament, you will lose honor points.
The system used to keep players throughout the whole tournament involves Honor Points. Basically, you start with 10 honor points and as soon as you reach 0, you will be unable to participate in Tournaments until you gain more honor points. Leaving in the middle of a tournament costs you honor points as well as being AFK when a round starts. The complete honor points system is described here.
What do I do when the Tournament starts?
Before the start of the tournament, you should be waiting in Halcyon, the main GPGnet chat room. The Tournament Director will announce the time remaining until the tournaments starts. When time is up, a magic teleporter will transport you and your fellow competitors from Halcyon to a designated tournament chat room. From there, it's a simple step-by-step process. The Tournament Director will announce the tournament style, basic rules, the seeding, the match-ups, and then get you started.