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Archive for the ‘Server News’ Category

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Just a quick shout out to wish everyone a safe and happy 2012. I look forward to another year of trying to find the time to actually work on the code to Sylverant, and I’ve resolved to try to actually get a chance to play every once in a while, beyond that.

As a quick note, the 21st Century/New Year’s event is active on Iselia right now. Not quite sure how long I’ll leave it up for. Oh yeah, and I’d appreciate it if you could try to play on Iselia a bit, as I’m testing a new locking scheme on it before pushing the code to the repository.

EDIT: New locking code is committed. Still, if you notice anything not working right that worked before, let me know.

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Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

To everyone that celebrates it, a Merry Christmas to all! If you happen to see me on the server today, don’t hesitate to say hello, I may just have a gift for you. 😛

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A quick heads up

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Just a quick heads up that I’ve decided to transfer my domain name registrar for sylverant.net to Namecheap (instead of Go Daddy). While I don’t suspect this will cause any issues, I just wanted to make people aware in case there is any downtime because of it. I believe I’ve taken all appropriate precautions to prevent any downtime, but I obviously cannot guarantee it. If anyone cares to know my reasoning, feel free to read the rest of the post after the fold.
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Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

It may be a bit early, but I wanted to wish everyone in the Sylverant community a happy and safe holiday season. Both Iselia and Altimira have been running the holiday-themed event on the ships for a little bit now (since the beginning of the month), and Vega will be following suit soon, I think.

Anyway, I guess I can take this space to also make the monthly status update post. I haven’t had much time to work on things this past month, but I did get at least one new feature implemented in that time. Here’s what little has changed:

  • Compress stored character data when saved with /save.
  • Fix a silly mistake with the word select translation.
  • Prioritize /qlang over the language code set in the character data. Also, fallback on English if a quest can’t be found in a desired language.
  • Add support for automatic character data backups, for those that have logged in (with their Sylverant account) and opted-in with the appropriate commands.

That brings us up to r576 of the SVN repository.

Of all these updates, only the last one really needs any explanation… Basically, I figured it would be a nice feature if the server could back up your character data on a regular basis, in case anything were to happen and your file were to get corrupted. Basically think of it as the server doing /save on a regular basis for your character automatically (right before you join a game). If you opt-in to the automatic character backup, the server will store one backup copy of each of your characters (where a unique character is determined by the combination of a guildcard number and its name). This backup will be overwritten on the server each time you join a game. You can restore your backup by using the new /restorebk command.

In order to use the automatic character backup feature, you must have registered for an account on the server, and registered your guildcard with that account. If you are using PSO for PC or PSO for Gamecube, you already have to have registered (PSO for Dreamcast users don’t have to register to play, but if they want to use the character backup feature they do). Once you have an account and have linked your guildcard to it, log on in game, and type
“/login username password” filling in username and password with the username and password you registered for your account with. To opt-in to the automatic character backups feature, type “/enablebk” once you’re logged in. To opt-out at a later time, type “/disablebk”. Once you’ve done that, you don’t need to be logged in in order to have your data backed up or even to restore it (you only need to be logged in to enable or disable it).

Note that this feature is still in testing and shouldn’t be counted on as the sole way to protect your character data. Also note that just like /save, this will NOT backup your bank data. Let me know if you run into any issues with the new feature. Finally, PSO for Dreamcast users must have a unique serial number/access key in order to register for an account. You are not allowed to use a shared-serial in order to register for an account, and if you do try it is grounds for being banned from the server.

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Doing a bit of testing…

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

So, I’m testing out the newer quest handling code on Iselia for a bit. This should enable multi-lingual quests for all the ones that I actually have the various languages for. Note that there are quests that are missing (and a bunch that will end up defaulting to English), so keep that in mind.

Anyway, if any problems creep up with quests, comment on this article so that I can take a look. Note that I’m only testing this on Iselia at the moment. No other ships will be running this for a while yet, most likely.

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Yet another monthly post?!

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Wow. I managed to remember to do this exactly a month after the last one… Anyway, not much has changed in the past month, as I’ve been extremely busy with “real life”. Here’s the rather short list:

  • Removed compatibility code from the shipgate. All ships must now use TLS to connect (and be using protocol v10+).
  • Removed the shipkey_gen program from shipgate. Its not used anymore.
  • Require a valid DTD for patch_server’s configuration.
  • Fixed a possible issue in the shipgate that would cause phantom ship entries on ships.
  • Fixed a crash in shipgate if someone tried to use /login but didn’t have an account.
  • Added the /maps and /showmaps commands (/maps being GM only, /showmaps is able to be used by anyone).
  • Set timeouts on select() calls in ship_server to 30 seconds.
  • Modified how ships ping out so that they don’t ping out if they haven’t had at least one ping packet sent to them.
  • Updated some documentation along the way.

That brings us to r565 of the SVN repository. Expect the next month to be equally slow as the semester finishes up for me.

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A monthly post?!

Friday, October 14th, 2011

So, I haven’t really done one of these monthly post deals for a few months now… I guess its time to knock it out for this month. So, here’s what’s been done since the last “monthly” post, which was all the way back in July…

  • Make it so you can disable IPv6 on ship servers, if you want to.
  • Add a /restart command for root users.
  • Create iconv contexts at startup rather than when they’re used.
  • Make PSOPC patch welcome messages have the correct line endings.
  • Give the language set with /qlang priority.
  • Add a /search command.
  • Add an “Information Desk” feature for PSOGC on the login server.
  • Fix password-protected games (was broken in r500).
  • Make PSO Episode I & II Plus (Japanese) work properly for connecting.
  • Add functionality to the GM menu on the login server.
  • Fix team names to be UTF-8 everywhere.
  • Fix the iconv()ing of guild replies from the shipgate.
  • Conditionally apply patches on patch server.
  • Add functionality to define a calendar of events on the ship server.
  • Various code cleanups.
  • Segfault fix (if someone tries to join a ship while its shutting down).
  • Fix the current progress box on challenge mode games with PC and DC clients in them.
  • Add a GM menu to the ship.
  • Add support for PSOv1 Japanese (which has its own odd set of quirks/bugs).
  • Allow infodesk entries to be limited to a set of languages.
  • Add MOTD on PSO Episodes I & II and Episode III (on the login server, rather than ship servers).
  • Fix downloading quests on Episode I & II.
  • Make /override work on game creation.
  • Add in Sylverant PSO Patcher (to allow all Dreamcast versions of PSO online again), and fix various bugs in it.
  • Make it so that quest NPCs using items online won’t disconnect you.
  • Fix the broken lobby issue if someone disconnects while bursting (hopefully).
  • Allow Ship server to shipgate connections over TLS.

With that, we’re up to r552 in the SVN. Things have slowed down a little bit, mainly because I’ve been so busy. Don’t expect anything to majorly pick up before Christmas time…

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It’s that time of the year again…

Friday, September 9th, 2011

So, today marks the 2nd anniversary of the public announcement of the Sylverant project. It certainly doesn’t feel like I’ve been working on it for more than two years, but that’s the way it is. It’s times like this that I like to look back and see how things have changed over time.

This time, two years ago, we were at revision 3 of the SVN repository for the server. I had basically just hacked in support for PSOv2 PAL, and that wasn’t even done yet (there was no way to have v2-only quests, for instance). I made some silly suggestion that I was almost ready to open the server up to the general public (which of course didn’t happen for quite some time after that). Basically, at that point, I had what was the bare minimum to even possibly play the game. It was buggy, and a lot of things either didn’t work at all, or didn’t work right (and possibly would cause you to FSOD or things like that).

One year ago today was the day that I finally opened up the server to the general public. We were up to r200 of the SVN repository, and all of the versions up to PSO Episodes I & II for Gamecube at least had some support in the server. PSOv1 and PSOv2 (USv1, EUv1, and EUv2) support was in a state where it mostly worked, and I was fairly happy with how things were looking. The initial public opening of the server only supported PSO for Dreamcast, but that was mostly due to the website backend code (not the server itself — All other versions of the game required then (and still do require) that you register on the website).

Then we come to today… We’re currently up to r546 of the SVN repository. All of the versions of PSO up through Blue Burst have at least some support (with the exception of PSO for Xbox). In addition, in the past few months I’ve made the breakthrough of finally defeating the HL check, so all of the versions of PSO encumbered by it (JPv1, JPv2, and USv2) can play online by using either Codebreaker codes or the Sylverant PSO Loader. In addition, at the beginning of this year, the PSO communities from Dreamcast-Talk and PSO Palace joined up with me here at Sylverant to build up the community that we have now.

All in all, this has been a wild ride for me since I started the project over two years ago. It has been one of the most interesting programming experiences I’ve ever been a part of, and I thank everyone for their support all this time. I want to take this time to especially thank those of you who play here at Sylverant. You are what makes this place what it is. Without people playing on Sylverant, I certainly wouldn’t have kept up with this project all this time! Thanks also to Impulse and Aleron Ives for their support through everything that the server has been through, and for deciding to bring their respective communities into the Sylverant family.

I hope to have many more years of celebrating the anniversary of Sylverant with everyone here!

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An Announcement (take 2)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

So, Sylverant PSO Patcher 1.0 was quite buggy, apparently. I apologize for not noticing the issues. I was under a bit of pressure to try to get it out before Hurricane Irene, so it wasn’t tested quite as much as I would have liked. Anyway, in order to remedy the issue I’m releasing version 1.1 today. We’ve done a bit more testing, and none of the random in-game issues that were reported with v1.0 seem to be occurring with v1.1, thankfully!

Please let me know any issues that you may discover with this version!

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An Announcement

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

*Temporary edit by Aleron Ives*

Since BlueCrab seems to be dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane, I sadly must make this edit for him instead. A serious bug has been discovered in the loader disc which causes problems like those associated with the Utopia boot disc. You can’t target enemies with Rafoie, you can’t use Shifta and Deband on other players, and other things. Please don’t try to download it until a solution is devised. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news…

*The original post follows*

So, I had posted on my Twitter a few weeks back about a big announcement coming up with regard to PSO, and I’m finally ready to make that announcement. I probably would have waited a bit, since I really wanted to have the news available in Japanese as well, but various circumstances happened, and I’d rather get this out now than wait any more.

As you probably know (if you play PSO on the Dreamcast), several versions of the game (USv2, JPv1, and JPv2) are reliant on a specific Sega server that no longer exists called the Hunter’s License server. Well, long story short, with a lot of research and studying, I was finally able to defeat that check to get those versions back online. I’ll go further into details on this a bit later in the post, but there is more to the announcement before that.

You may have noticed (if you play PSO on the PC as well) that Sylverant’s patch server has been sending out updated versions of the PSO binaries that have a fix for some maps in Ultimate mode integrated. This fix, which enables a few maps in Ultimate mode that Sega seems to have forgotten in v2, was up until this point only available for PSO for PC. Well, now I can say that it is also available for the Dreamcast versions of PSOv2 as well (US, Japanese, and European), thanks again to Aleron Ives’ work (and some of my own).

Both of these patches, as well as a patch to force PSO to connect to sylverant.net directly (so you don’t need to use the DNS trick with a BBA or a nasty Codebreaker code with dialup) have been integrated into a program that I’ve written for the Dreamcast that I’m calling Sylverant PSO Patcher. Sylverant PSO Patcher effectively acts as a boot-disc for PSO (legitimate GD-ROMs only — it does not and will not ever work with CD-R copies), that will automatically patch the game and launch it.

The Connecting to Sylverant page (the “Connect” link in the menu) has been updated to reflect how to connect to the server with the newly supported versions, both using Codebreaker and using Sylverant PSO Patcher.

More details are available if you wish to continue reading…
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