Server Status
Patch Server is ONLINE.
0 hunters connected

Login Server is ONLINE.
0 hunters connected

Active Ships:
Iselia
    0 hunters online
    0 teams active
Vega
    2 hunters online
    0 teams active
Altimira
    0 hunters online
    0 teams active
Palmacosta
    0 hunters online
    0 teams active

Total Hunters Online: 2
 
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Archive for the ‘Server News’ Category

It’s been a while…

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

… since the last time I posted, so I figured I’d make a post.

Not much has changed around here in the past few months, at least not until the other day when someone started trying to use the Sylverant DNS server (along with a few other PSO-related DNS servers out there) in another DNS amplification attack. If you were following along on my Twitter (or on Facebook), you might have noticed a few messages to that effect about a week ago. You also might have noticed that I’ve written a new DNS server to use here that should be a bit more resistant to such attacks in the future. I guess we shall see.

One nice thing about this new DNS server is that I designed it to be possible to use for pretty much anyone hosting a DNS server for PSO. It’s easily configurable, and should run just fine on pretty much anything (*BSD, Linux, OS X, Solaris, … and Windows without needing anything like Cygwin). You could probably run it just fine on a Dreamcast, if you really wanted to. :P Hopefully some of the other servers out there might be able to make use of it in preventing attacks in the future. :)

EDIT: Just because I can, I just confirmed that the DNS server does actually run properly on a Dreamcast. :P

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Much Dogecoin. Such donate. Wow.

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

I’ve been asked many times since I started Sylverant how to donate to support Sylverant or to show appreciation to me for writing/maintaining it. My answer has always been the same: I don’t want donations that aren’t actually needed for keeping things going. As Sylverant has been graciously hosted for free since I first set up the server back in 2009, there has never been any point to me accepting donations. That still hasn’t changed to this day, and hopefully won’t change any time soon.

That said, I thought it might be fun to allow people to donate with the idea that donations would go into a pool that would be used on the server in some way. I’ve toyed with a few ideas in my head such as special events rewarding hunters for killing certain enemies in-game (yes, Sylverant can actually track and store that data, although it doesn’t at this time). So, I think I’ve come up with a good way to make that happen in the future without having to deal with any real money.

Starting today (well, last night really, but I doubt anyone noticed it), I’m accepting donations in the form of Dogecoins. Dogecoins are a crypto-currency, much like Bitcoin or Litecoin (it is actually derived from Litecoin). They are commonly used for tipping people on Reddit these days, so this seemed like a logical choice. It doesn’t cost anything to get started with Dogecoin other than potentially a bit of your time (you can even find sites that give away free Dogecoins), and it is all open-source too. So, to that end, there’s a new donation button on the site underneath the .beat time widget. Once we get a bit of a stash built up, I’ll start thinking of how to actually put them to use — after all, it doesn’t do me much good to spend time working on a feature that people aren’t going to use. ;-)

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New account management pages are now live

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

So, some of you might know how much I’ve complained in the past about PHP and the account management (key registration, etc) stuff that I wrote in it for the Sylverant website. A while back, you might remember that I switched the ship status display over to being done in Python rather than in PHP. Well, when I started that little project, I also decided to rewrite all the rest of the account management stuff in Python as well. Now, several months later, I’ve finally gotten around to finishing all that up and pushing it out live to the website.

The new URL for the account management stuff is http://wsgi.sylverant.net/account.py, rather than the old http://sylverant.net/account/ . For the time being, both will be available, but at some point in the fairly near future, the old account management page will be taken down entirely. If you have any links/bookmarks on websites pointing to the old pages, please update them (I think I got all the links on this site, so if you see one that’s still pointing to the old stuff, let me know). Also, if you find any problems in the new account system, let me know.

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To the idiots…

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.

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Sylverant PSO Patcher 2.0 Released!

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).

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words?

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Well, that’s what they say anyway (who are “they” anyway?)… If you’ve been following along on the forums or on twitter, you might know what this is about. Otherwise, this might involve a bit of head-scratching… Anyway, I’m just going to leave this here for now.

Screenshot of the Lobby

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Testing, testing, 1… 2… 3…

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

I’m doing a small test of some new functionality on Iselia. If you notice anything odd (specifically being disconnected when hitting/killing an enemy), please let me know. You can do so by commenting on this post with your guildcard number and the time you got disconnected (please either put the time as UTC or note your timezone in your post).

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted, eh?

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).

(more…)

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Sylverant PSO Server Global Rules

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Due to various situations that have arisen, the administrators of the Three Ships of the Sylverant system have decided on a set of global rules across all Ships. Please read the rules at the forums. Your continued use of the Sylverant PSO Server indicates your acceptance of these rules.

I’ll post them on this site as well at some point, but its rather late for me right now to do it. ;-)

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Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

To anyone who celebrates it, Happy Easter. To anyone else Happy Zombie Jesus day? :P

Anyway, here’s a brief “monthly” update, since I haven’t done a real one in a while. I’ve still not had a whole lot of time to work on Sylverant lately, but there have been a few revisions along the way since the last sorta-update. Here’s what’s changed since the last real monthly update, way back in January:

  • Allow the ship configuration XML to specify the ship’s address and the shipgate’s address by a FQDN instead of an IP address.
  • Add some configuration parameters to the ship configuration for Blue Burst parameter and map enemy data.
  • Checked in a few changes to the PSO Patcher that for some reason slipped through the cracks (stuff that’s actually completely unrelated to PSO).
  • Added parsing/use of the Blue Burst map enemy data, which makes killing enemies actually give experience. No drops are done yet.
  • Fix an issue with the Word Select parsing when dealing with messages about Meseta and item quantities.
  • Send blank C-Rank data about V1 and BB clients to V2/PC/GC, which fixes the odd issue with V1 players appearing to have a really high C-Rank.
  • Fix an issue with the experience calculation on Blue Burst for players who hit an enemy, but don’t kill it.
  • Fix an issue with the enemy hit subcommand on Blue Burst not being sent along to clients.
  • Fix an issue with joining a game on Blue Burst.
  • Cleaned up some issues reported by Valgrind’s memcheck tool.
  • Fix the play timer on Blue Burst.

As you can see, its mostly a bunch of small things (and a few big things) regarding Blue Burst. This is kinda forcing me to actually implement some backend stuff for some of the features for other versions that I’d like to do at some point, so its definitely not a bad thing for everyone who can play on Sylverant. Hopefully, we’ll start seeing the fruits of some of that for V1/V2/PC sometime soon. :)

Oh, and before anyone asks, no, I’m not giving instructions on how to play Blue Burst on Sylverant just yet. Its still not really all that useful, since there’s still a LOT missing (enemy/box drops, rare enemies, quests, team support, etc), so I’d rather not open up that can of worms yet. I may look for some people to help test at some point (there have been a few people who have offered already), but right now I think I’m fine with what I have.

 
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