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Phantasy Star Online
Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category
Saturday, January 18th, 2014
To the idiots who thought it would be cute to use the Sylverant DNS resolver to launch DNS-related attacks, you really are not amusing. Thanks to you idiots, the DNS server I host is now locked to only provide the addresses for PSO-related hostnames. I’m also reconsidering whether I should host said DNS or not at this point, since it is obviously more trouble than it is worth. Not that I expect said idiots to ever read this post or anything else anyway.
To those who aren’t amongst the idiots, I guess this needs a bit of explaining… One of the options for connecting to Sylverant with certain versions of PSO for the Dreamcast (Network Trial Edition, USv1, EUv1, EUv2) and all versions of PSO for Gamecube was to use the Sylverant server as your DNS in your network configuration. This works because I host a DNS server that provides the IP addresses for certain PSO-related hostnames that the game uses to try to connect to a server. All of these addresses resolve to the same IP address as the Sylverant server itself. For convenience, the DNS server could also be used for general day-to-day use and with other online games, as it would recursively look up any hostnames it did not know about, and return the correct IP address for said servers by way of (primarily) Google’s Public DNS server. However, someone recently decided it would be a good idea to use this service that I provide (the DNS server) to launch a DNS query amplification attack (see here for more info on what that is). Thus I have had to stop allowing recursive lookups to prevent someone from performing such an attack. What that means is that the Sylverant DNS is now not usable for general day-to-day lookups (not that I expect many people were using their Dreamcasts for web browsing), nor can you use it in your network configuration for playing games like Quake 3 Arena on the Dreamcast any more (which was probably more commonly done).
I highly suggest that anyone playing PSO on the Dreamcast that does not already use the Sylverant PSO Patcher disc consider doing so in the near future. I may end up having to discontinue the DNS service if people continue to abuse it, so I’d like it if everyone was prepared for that possibility.
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
Well, another year has gone by, and Sylverant is still around. That’s good news, I suppose. 🙂
I don’t really have anything Sylverant-related to post about, but I wanted to ensure that everyone knew I was actually still around. Follow along below the fold if you care to know why things have been so quiet around here lately…
Monday, September 9th, 2013
Yes, it is September 9th once again. I’m a bit late on the post, so I’m sure it is the 10th by now for a good portion of the people around here, but it still needs to be said.
Today marks the 14th anniversary of the Dreamcast’s release in the US and the 4th anniversary of Sylverant. Hopefully we’ll see many more of these posts in the years to come. 🙂
Friday, July 26th, 2013
Now, from out in left field, a release…
Tonight, I have released version 2.0 of the Sylverant PSO Patcher. This version is almost a complete rewrite from the old version, fixes various bugs, and adds a few new features. Here’s a brief overview of what’s new:
- Added support for patching the hostname in and booting the PSO Network Trial Edition.
- Added support for patching in the music for the Palace and Spaceship stages into the main bgm table. This way, quests that use these stages in non-battle mode (Prospective Horizons on Altimira) can use the correct background music. This patch is optional. When you see the note about pressing Start for all patches or A for not patching the music, this is what is being referred to.
- Fixed booting of many import games that would not boot with the older version. This version still won’t boot Windows CE-based games, but it hopefully will work with just about any other game you throw at it, if you choose to use it as an import boot disc.
- Finally, and most importantly, this release fixes the issues with battle mode timing out immediately on all Dreamcast versions when using the patcher. No, there was never any bugs in the server with regard to this, which is why it worked for people that used PALv2 and didn’t use the patcher at all.
Due to that last fixed issue, it is recommended that all users update to the new patcher if they ever intend to play in Battle mode.
You can find the downloads on the Downloads page on the Google Code project. As with previous versions, there are downloads for the source code, plain files, and a self-booting CDI image (the CDI image was built by Aleron Ives and should be in the data/data format).
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
This is unrelated to Sylverant itself, but it might be at least somewhat relevant to some of our community (those who are interested in Dreamcast development, that is). Plus, it is one of the other projects I work on, so I feel the need to cross-post it…
Well, it has been a long time coming, but after ten years, KOS sees a new release today.
For those of you who have been following along with the source control this whole time (through CVS, SVN and now Git), you probably know that there have been all kinds of changes to KOS over the years. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention (or who have been using KOS 1.2.0 for all this time for some reason), go check it out and see all the stuff that has happened in the past 10 years.
There have been far too many changes for me to even highlight just the big ones here, so I’ll defer that to the changelog.
Head on over to https://sourceforge.net/projects/cadcdev/files/kallistios/2.0.0/ to grab the new release.
Monday, December 24th, 2012
Well, it is the end of another year already. It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth Christmas that Sylverant has been around…
There’s really no news in regard to Sylverant lately, as I’ve been quite busy with real life. There’s been a few changes in the past few months, but nothing really Earth-shattering or anything like that. Perhaps that’s a good thing — everything’s relatively stable and that is actually quite nice from an administration standpoint.
I don’t know that I’ll have much time to work on things in the next few months as well. I’ll actually be teaching the course Principles of Operating Systems at a local university this upcoming spring semester, which is quite a change compared to what I have been doing lately (I’ve been the teaching assistant for that same course for the past few semesters). In addition, I’ll be continuing work on my Master’s Degree thesis.
Well, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or just a happy holiday season in general, if you’re not into celebrating Christmas) and a Happy New Year after that.
Monday, October 29th, 2012
So, I’m sure that some people here on Sylverant have noticed the fact that I haven’t been around much lately. Well, I haven’t forgotten about Sylverant, but I have been quite busy lately with “real life”. As you may know, I am a graduate student in Computer Science, and lately things related to that have been taking up quite a bit of my time. Anyway, as was said a while back on my Twitter, I’m in a bit of a self-imposed hiatus from things to try to work more on my degree. Sylverant isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and everything seems relatively stable (which is a very good thing for when you’re on hiatus).
Also, on the note of real life happenings, right now we’re getting pretty battered here with wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy. So far everything’s mostly OK, but I figured I’d note this anyway. Wish us luck in getting through that. Oh, and before anyone worries about it, Sylverant isn’t hosted anywhere in Sandy’s path, so there shouldn’t be any interruptions here.
We made it through the storm just fine.
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Well, its that day of the year again — September the 9th. Today marks the 13th Anniversary of the Dreamcast’s release in the United States as well as the 3rd Anniversary of Sylverant (or at least its first public appearance).
I may yet get a chance to play a bit of PSO tonight, so if I do, hopefully I’ll see some people online. 😉
Friday, August 10th, 2012
It is that time of the year again. Namely, the time when I go away for my yearly vacation. Not that I think anyone should really be concerned, but I figured I’d let everyone know.
I’ll be back on the 18th.
Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Well, as you might have noticed from the Twitter feed (as well as from other places), I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus the past month and a half or so. This was due to many different situations, and was planned in advance of the drama that unfolded over the server rules (sorry to disappoint anyone who thought that the drama there scared me away or something).
Anyway, I’m still pretty much on hiatus from Sylverant, but I did decide to use a bit of my free time the past few days to work on a few things. So, I figured a status update is in order (especially since the last one was back in April). So, without further ado, here’s what’s changed since the last “monthly” update:
- Warning cleanup in the code.
- Added code for parsing the ItemPT.afs and ItemPT.gsl files for PSOv2 and the later versions (respectively). Thanks to Lee for lots of information about the format of these files!
- Fixed a few issues that could cause segfaults in the server code.
- Don’t show Blue Burst games to Gamecube clients.
- Added code for parsing the map data from PSOv2 (in addition to the Blue Burst parsing that was already in the code).
- When a client leaves a team, send them back to the lobby they came from, as long as its not full.
- Added code for parsing the ItemPMT.prs files from PSOv2 (later versions are not supported currently). Thanks to Lee for some valuable information on the subject!
- Fixed a potential crash for PSOPC clients when searching for someone by guildcard or choice search when they are in a team that has a name that is of max length.
- Made the results for guild card searches have all the same information they did on Sega’s server.
- Fixed an issue with /minlvl and /maxlvl where they were off by one.
- Added code to the random number generation stuff to support multiple streams of random numbers (one per thread).
- Added a –check-config option to ship_server to make it so you can check the validity of a configuration file without actually starting the ship server.
- Added in parsing for the ItemRT.afs file from PSOv2 (once again, later versions aren’t supported right now, although this shouldn’t be much of an issue).
- Fixed a few minor issues in the map parsing code for v2 and bb.
- Track when clients hit a monster on v2.
- Prevent a potential segfault if map enemy data is not loaded for a team.
- Added support for full server-side drops on PSOv1, PSOv2, and PSOPC (and partial support for the other versions).
- Added the /sdrops command to enable server-side drops.
Most of these are fairly boring updates, except the last two. These probably need a bit of explanation, which will come more fully later on. For a brief explanation, continue on (with the continue reading link, or if you’re already on the full story by reading below).