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RozekPoland

End of GameSpy

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Acccording to Maruk's post GameSpy is going to end its support for all its games on May 31th. This is an unprecedented event since OFP was released. How do you feel about it? Any idea how can we alter/substitute GameSpy's monitoring server by our own community-made one? Share your opinion.

In my opinion this will made the Die-Hard OFP community even more hardcore but the outcome definitely won't be positive. It will simply alienate the community.

At this moment the only solution I see is the integration with Steam but following Maruk's words it is highly doubtful that Bohemia would provide some kind of patch or re-release (like Company of Heroes) of the game on Steam.

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OFP Monitor should work given it worked when GameSpy main server was down. If not there's also "OFP Statistics Server" and direct connect.

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You are wrong. OFP Monitor and the rest of the multiplayer application for OFP are based on the GameSpy monitoring server. There is no other source of such data. Direct connect doesn't sound interesting while you have no idea which servers are working and you won't get to know their IPs just from thin air.

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You are wrong. OFP Monitor and the rest of the multiplayer application for OFP are based on the GameSpy monitoring server. There is no other source of such data. Direct connect doesn't sound interesting while you have no idea which servers are working and you won't get to know their IPs just from thin air.

Well let's hope the guys behind OFP Monitor/OFP Watch come up with something new and non-GameSpy dependant then. Just don't ask me to do it. :p

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After Gamespy ended for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, a few websites popped up that were created to keep the multiplayer community alive. Seems to work very well.

FS Open

FS Open - Sessions

FSX Beyond Gamespy

FSX Beyond Gamespy - Sessions

I can see something like this for Operation Flashpoint. Imagine OFP Beyond Gamespy

I have read the technical solution of FSX Beyond Gamespy and it seems that they engineered a bot which connects to an added server and it transfers the data about the server. I have no idea if its possible for OFP but there definately must be some programming with php and mysql magic behind it. Hope some OFP gods will come up with something. Certa, Poweruser?

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I have already programmed a prototype alternative master server for Operation Flashpoint: Resistance / ArmA: Cold War Assault. More details to follow in the upcoming days. :dance1:

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I have already programmed a prototype alternative master server for Operation Flashpoint: Resistance / ArmA: Cold War Assault. More details to follow in the upcoming days. :dance1:

And this is the news! :)

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I recall from the past at times Gamespy was not working. There was a way around it by creating a file called "hosts.txt" in your OFP directory that listed the server IP and Ports.

sample of old file:

hosts.txt

109.173.5.123:2302

87.242.115.242:2302

212.33.237.66:2305

91.196.253.200:2302

79.142.107.11:2302

82.148.22.142:2302

212.33.237.66:2302

78.142.142.7:2320

85.131.243.120:2302

80.90.229.30:2302

78.142.142.6:2501

193.26.24.42:2312

87.118.124.115:2402

89.176.225.94:2032

77.93.208.5:2302

www.nakedsquid.com

85.10.201.22:2302

hawknam.selfip.net:23002

72.222.138.148:2302

z0s.no-ip.org:2302

91.143.102.89:2302

64.201.105.130:2302

80.90.229.80:2302

200.68.80.197:2302

99.35.162.230:2302

61.154.14.206:12302

91.121.201.90:2302

78.142.142.6:2304

85.21.246.248:2302

85.214.47.176:2312

78.142.142.7:2312

208.100.34.90:2302

193.64.221.30:2302

87.118.124.115:2402

109.173.12.199:2302

85.10.201.22:2302

187.16.249.45:2302

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Hi there,

Putting the software of the master server of our own together isn't the difficulty. qbt is already on it, and out of curiosity I started a little project with that goal as well.

But a few additional things need to be done as well:

- Someone credible and longtime available needs to be found, who wants to host this. And the domain of this service needs to be decided.

- The game server operators need to be informed, that they should change the "reportingIP" setting in the servers config to the new domain, if they want to take part in this and be found in the future.

Side note:

The OFP:R server doesn't just send heartbeats to gamespy, but to master.udpsoft.com, as well. That was the domain of the "All seeing eye"'s master server, but it is not operated anymore. Maybe someone can get a hold of it? :cool:

@qbt

Are you doing a clone of the gs-ms with the exact behaviour, including encryption/compression of the queried server list? Or a protocol of your own?

I don't think that encryption is necessary in our case, as only a handful of players are going to use this, and the produced traffic is nowhere near what gamespy's master-server has to withstand. Maybe just gzip-ing it would be enough. In any case, let me know about that, as the client side counter part (of the implementation that is going to make it) is going to be added to OFPMonitor.

And if you need something gamespy protocol related, check http://aluigi.altervista.org/papers.htm#distrust.

Apart from that, OFPMonitor will get an update anyway, to primarily use domain names, if available, instead of IPs.

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Hi there,

Putting the software of the master server of our own together isn't the difficulty. qbt is already on it, and out of curiosity I started a little project with that goal as well.

But a few additional things need to be done as well:

- Someone credible and longtime available needs to be found, who wants to host this. And the domain of this service needs to be decided.

- The game server operators need to be informed, that they should change the "reportingIP" setting in the servers config to the new domain, if they want to take part in this and be found in the future.

Side note:

The OFP:R server doesn't just send heartbeats to gamespy, but to master.udpsoft.com, as well. That was the domain of the "All seeing eye"'s master server, but it is not operated anymore. Maybe someone can get a hold of it? :cool:

@qbt

Are you doing a clone of the gs-ms with the exact behaviour, including encryption/compression of the queried server list? Or a protocol of your own?

I don't think that encryption is necessary in our case, as only a handful of players are going to use this, and the produced traffic is nowhere near what gamespy's master-server has to withstand. Maybe just gzip-ing it would be enough. In any case, let me know about that, as the client side counter part (of the implementation that is going to make it) is going to be added to OFPMonitor.

And if you need something gamespy protocol related, check http://aluigi.altervista.org/papers.htm#distrust.

Apart from that, OFPMonitor will get an update anyway, to primarily use domain names, if available, instead of IPs.

Hi,

I can help you !

Just send me a email what you need.

I can supply bandwidth,servers,financial support etc...

As a old flashpoint player my heart would bleed to not be able to play online !!

We must keep it alive !!

Email : Ellen.joeri@gmail.com

Please email me !

thanks

ps : My old name was Frontier ( Frontix = Modern name ) :p

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Good progress here :)

@Poweruser

Ad 1. To learn a lession from GameSpy story I have been thinking about making a number of mirrors of our new community-based monitoring server. I think each organized clan, group or community would be able to host such a server. What for? I am afraid that leaving the responsibility of hosting the new monitoring server for just one person may be risky. It would be good to have some backup-based servers (in case of a failure of the main one). I can speak for Polish Flashpoint Community as we are able to host such a server.

Ad 2. That reportingIP thing is obviously necessary to make any other step forward. Curious what will happen with current master.gamespy.com as it can be available to buy one day.

I didn't know about that master.udpsoft.com so it's also an option (seems to be owned by Yahoo). Owning one of these domains would be a really enormous but absolutely powerfull thing to do :D

Thanks for confirming that OFP Monitor issue :)

What is this Luigi Auriemma protocol? How can we use it? Is it like non-Steam?

Edited by Rożek

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In my opinion, the solution for the OFP client-side can be achieved quite soon, since the OFPMonitor by Poweruser just needs a modification: have a configurable array of hosts gamespy alike; the result would be a merged and duplicate-free servers list.

In this way also mirroring would be considered (@Rożek: <<..I have been thinking about making a number of mirrors of our new community-based monitoring server..>>).

To complete the opera and save the ingame browsing, I confirm that the file hosts.txt -placed in the installation folder- is parsed under Address:LAN and reloaded everytime the user switch from Address:INTERNET or does any other action firing up the refresh.

From OFP server-side point of view, the setting ReportingIP already does the necessary trick.

Last but the most important two aspects:

1) creation of hosts gamespy alike (does someone know a program that implement the protocol?);

2) location where to find a startup list of hosts gamespy alike.

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In my opinion, the solution for the OFP client-side can be achieved quite soon, since the OFPMonitor by Poweruser just needs a modification: have a configurable array of hosts gamespy alike; the result would be a merged and duplicate-free servers list.

In this way also mirroring would be considered (@Rożek: <<..I have been thinking about making a number of mirrors of our new community-based monitoring server..>>).

To complete the opera and save the ingame browsing, I confirm that the file hosts.txt -placed in the installation folder- is parsed under Address:LAN and reloaded everytime the user switch from Address:INTERNET or does any other action firing up the refresh.

From OFP server-side point of view, the setting ReportingIP already does the necessary trick.

Last but the most important two aspects:

1) creation of hosts gamespy alike (does someone know a program that implement the protocol?);

2) location where to find a startup list of hosts gamespy alike.

Hi,

I agree that 1 person responsible is a bad idea.

Thats why we need financial help to get the servers up,And several people dedicated to the cause

Maybe we can put this to a higher level that flashpoint never got.

Am up to support with anything you need.

email me and il sort it out

thx

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Note: previous 2 posts were added while writing this one

Ad 1. To learn a lession from GameSpy story I have been thinking about making a number of mirrors of our new community-based monitoring server. I think each organized clan, group or community would be able to host such a server. What for? I am afraid that leaving the responsibility of hosting the new monitoring server for just one person may be risky. It would be good to have some backup-based servers (in case of a failure of the main one).

Hmm, two ideas:

1) Having multiple master servers to avoid the "single point of failure" is possible too, but requires a bit of effort from everybody involved:

OFP_MultipleMS_Suggestion.png

The master server software could/should be able to store all server events in a specified database, so somebody could build a website on top of that.

2) The domain of the master server that is chosen, should be easily reconfigurable. Meaning, when the current MS ceases operation, it gives up the domain and somebody else can pick it up to continue the service. That would be most convenient for the server operators

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That's just an astonishing piece of art you've showed here Poweruser :D That intermediate local program seems a smart solution. Absolutely agree with you, it will require more participation of admin servers in maintaining the server but there also would be some advantages like more possibilities like properly working web-based statistic database of OFP Servers (like SWEC years ago) and stronger community bounds and integration.

At this moment it looks understandable and achievable. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for qbt's work on a software of the alternative master server.

Thank you guys for your support and participation. It's really marvellous. Hopefully we will overcome it and keep OFP alive (OFP never dies!) :)

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Its a relief to see you guys rushing to aid an old comrade (OFP), thumbs up!

Some questions regarding the hosting space for your mentioned solutions:

-How much bandwith would it require per x period of time?

-How much maintenance would it require per x period of time?

-Is it possible to have multiple urls/ftps hosting the same stuff (backups)?

-Will it come with unwanted security risks attached?

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How much bandwith would it require per x period of time?

Almost nothing, compared to the traffic that OFPMonitor is already producing.

In detail:

For every game state change (and maybe a few more times in between), each game server sends a heartbeat:

INCOMING

\heartbeat\2303\gamename\opflashr\

The master server sends back a status query then:

OUTGOING

\status\

And the game server replies with a query answer that represents its current state:

INCOMING

\gamename\opflashr\gamever\1.96\groupid\261\hostname\[i]server_name[/i]\hostport\[i]2302[/i]\mapname\[i]island_name[/i]\gametype\[i]mission_name[/i]\numplayers\[i]0[/i]\maxplayers\[i]20[/i]\gamemode\openplaying\timeleft\[i]15[/i]\param1\0\param2\0\actver\196\reqver\196\mod\[i]RES[/i]\equalModRequired\0\password\0\gstate\[i]2[/i]\impl\sockets\platform\[i]win[/i]\final\\queryid\[i]2[/i].1

Each of these messages are sent in plain text in a single udp packet.

The client acquires the server list from the master server via a tcp connection. The outgoing amount of data depends on the number of listed server.

But this event should not happen as frequent as with the ingame browser anymore (a new list is requested there, everytime you go to the browser or clicked Refresh).

How much maintenance would it require per x period of time?

That depends on what we decide to do. In case of my suggestion with the multiple master servers, every time a new one is set up, the list(s) of master servers needs to be updated. When one goes offline, its not really required as long as the software properly handles a not-responding master server. But cleaning out dead entries once in a while wouldn't hurt.

Is it possible to have multiple urls/ftps hosting the same stuff (backups)?

Yes, see post #21. but with downsides, see post #16. Or what "stuff" do you excactly mean?

Will it come with unwanted security risks attached?

The same risks that every server application comes with. Specifically the master server operates a UDP port (for heartbeats and status queries) and TCP one (for providing the server list to clients). The software must of course comply to the security standards and check/verify all incoming data before processing it and reject it, if it does not match the stipulated protocol. Ontop of that, the software should have a temporary ban system, that ignores sources that query the server list, or send heartbeats too frequently.

Edited by dengibtsschon
updated a link

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Yes, but with downsides, see post #16. Or what "stuff" do you excactly mean?

The diagram explains it well. I should´ve watched closer.

So essentially some arma community pages could just host a few files with little bandwith usage and everything might be good to go, with X alternative query hosts ready in case one drops out, sounds good!

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Revision of idea 1 from post #16:

Having an extra program on each server that broadcasts to multiple master server is just terrible, the master servers can do that among themselves.

The only thing that the game server admins have to do then, is to set one of the available master servers, which one that is doesn't matter.

OFP_MultipleMS_Suggestion_RevisionB.png

That requires a little addition to the heartbeat protocol. The game servers continue to send heartbeats as before:

\heartbeat\[i]GAMESERVERQUERYPORT[/i]\gamename\opflashr\

But the broadcasts from the master servers, must be different. Something like this:

\heartbeatbroadcast\[i]GAMESERVERQUERYPORT[/i]\host\[i]GAMESERVERIP[/i]\gamename\opflashr\

Only one broadcast per heartbeat and heartbeat-broadcasts are not rebroadcasted.

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Thank you guys for keeping this game alive ! I stay tune on this project . !:yay:

By the way if at one moment you need some Ps 3Ds or Ai element . I'm kind of pro on those softs ...

But I don't think it's usefull for a masterserver building .

Anyway my brain is yours.

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If anyone wants to help me, getting this done, my project is at:

https://github.com/Poweruser/PowerServer

I'm currently in the middle of designing it, so there's nothing usable yet.

I hope you don't mind, that I chose Java. And excuse its name, I couldn't think of anything better. If someone got a better suggestion, let me know.

Edited by dengibtsschon

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How do you change it? By hex editing the exe file, or writing into the game's memory at runtime?

And wouldn't that trigger the "modified exe file" detection of the server?

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