I'm thinking about hosting a dedicated server...

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Foil
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I'm thinking about hosting a dedicated server...

Post by Foil » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:59 am

Hey, all.

At least a few of you may know me, since I've been playing multiplayer for a few months now.

I recently got a new machine and upgraded my broadband connection, so I'm thinking about hosting a dedicated D3 server. It's the least I can do to give a little back to the community.

I just have a few questions (forgive me if I'm a bit n00bish about server operation), but first here are my specs:

Location - Central US (Oklahoma)
Connection - Cox cable (4Mbps down / 512Kbps up)
Machine - P4 2.8GHz, 512MB RAM, running XP SP2
No hardware firewall yet (though I do have the XP firewall up for now)

So:

- Should I use Hunter's server tool, since I'd be pretty new to this? If so, where can I get the most current version?

- What about "free-CPU-cycles" apps like Folding@Home and GIMPS? Do they tend to interfere with the server performance?

- As to level and game settings, I'd like to find a "niche", if there is a particular gametype or level that players would like to see more of. Any suggestions?

- Oh, and what about playing on the same machine? If I play on the same machine I'm hosting the game on, does that tend to cause problems (besides loss of machine performance)?

Let me know what you all think - even if it's to tell me I'm an idiot. :P
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Re: I'm thinking about hosting a dedicated server...

Post by Grendel » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:53 pm

Foil wrote:- Should I use Hunter's server tool, since I'd be pretty new to this? If so, where can I get the most current version?
Yes, most easy to use. http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~baedeker/
Foil wrote:- What about "free-CPU-cycles" apps like Folding@Home and GIMPS? Do they tend to interfere with the server performance?
Works w/o problems on my servers, no interference w/ folding at least.
Foil wrote:- Oh, and what about playing on the same machine? If I play on the same machine I'm hosting the game on, does that tend to cause problems (besides loss of machine performance)?
Never tried to launch the game for playing while the dedis run in the background.. Not sure that'll work.

More links for you:

http://www.descentforum.net/ServerOps/
http://www.vonclan.net/Games/D3AntiCheat.asp
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Re: I'm thinking about hosting a dedicated server...

Post by Richard Cranium » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:08 pm

Grendel wrote:
Foil wrote:- Oh, and what about playing on the same machine? If I play on the same machine I'm hosting the game on, does that tend to cause problems (besides loss of machine performance)?
Never tried to launch the game for playing while the dedis run in the background.. Not sure that'll work.
I think Sheep does this all the time for testing. I guess as long as your machine has enough horse power it would work.

RC
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Post by WarAdvocat » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:32 am

Allow me to suggest 5 player SKYBOX
Respawn: LOW (30-60s)
Disallow : omega
Allow: All ships
Goal: 50-75
Difficulty: Insane

I'd play more skybox but the only US server usually available is a Hoard and nobody seems to want to play more than a round or so :( It's too stressful I guess. I know I'm worn out after a couple rounds...
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Post by CDN_Merlin » Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:27 am

Each player takes aout 40KB of bandwidth IIRC. Thats bytes not bit. Your 512Kbits connect won't be able to handle many people.

I'm not 100% sure but I think I'm correct.
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Post by Foil » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:50 am

Thanks for the feedback, guys. (And thanks for the links, Gren.)

I'm thinking about initially setting it for just around four to six players, to avoid any bandwidth issues.

The Skybox suggestion sounds intriguing - any other suggestions on what level(s)/gametype(s) the community might enjoy?
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Post by Grendel » Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:55 am

512kb up handles 6 players fine at 9pps, no rotational velocity, and no accurate collision. 7 still works but there will be spikes (esp. if someone on that connect surfs), 8 is even tighter w/ lots of lag, 9 a no-go.
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Post by Stryker » Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:08 pm

Some off-the-wall levels or gametypes like Assault or the level Monsterball Reloaded might provide a nice change from the ordinary.
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Post by CDN_Merlin » Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:53 pm

Yeah, stay away fromt he same boring levels that have been played to death.

Skybox, stadium, VV, Subway Dancer, Indika.

These are boring. Try new levels and don't get upset if it takes a few days for people to start playing in them.
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Post by Behemoth » Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:19 pm

Im also considering buying a couple machines to run servers down here.
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Post by Money! » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:48 pm

Sadly, these days people still only play the popular levels. I doubt anyone would play a different new level, because they are fine with the old ones. We usually have about 70 extra servers running those cool, good games... and they're empty.

I'm with WarAdvocat. Skybox and Indika seem less played nowadays than those other three, and there aren't any good Skybox levels up (but I do like Hoard). I'd love some simple 5 player skybox, I'd be in there alot.
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Post by Foil » Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:38 am

I'll probably rotate the levels periodically, but Skybox sounds like a good place to start.

I probably won't get a chance to set it up until later this weekend. Hopefully I can also get it in the trackers.
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Post by Behemoth » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:19 pm

i would like to get at least 3 machines, one running a 1on1 server with the levels rotating on that every week, #2 being a anarchy with rotation also and for now the third being something like halogen entropy or something like that.

thats till i can get more i would really like to have people on these servers if i get the go-ahead so suggestions would be nice :)
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Post by Grendel » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:33 pm

You only need one machine, you can have multiple servers running simultanousely. A D3 server on a 2.8GHz P4 running at 100Hz w/ 8 people in it eats maybe 15% CPU time (if at all).
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Post by Money! » Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:52 pm

Behemoth wrote:i would like to get at least 3 machines, one running a 1on1 server with the levels rotating on that every week, #2 being a anarchy with rotation also and for now the third being something like halogen entropy or something like that.

thats till i can get more i would really like to have people on these servers if i get the go-ahead so suggestions would be nice :)
I really wanna play you in a 1v1 lol and get wooped. That would be the funn(i?)est thing ever.

Good luck to you both on your servers.
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Post by Behemoth » Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:59 am

Money! wrote:
Behemoth wrote:i would like to get at least 3 machines, one running a 1on1 server with the levels rotating on that every week, #2 being a anarchy with rotation also and for now the third being something like halogen entropy or something like that.

thats till i can get more i would really like to have people on these servers if i get the go-ahead so suggestions would be nice :)
I really wanna play you in a 1v1 lol and get wooped. That would be the funn(i?)est thing ever.

Good luck to you both on your servers.
And possible southeast lan(s) :)
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Post by Nosferatu » Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:39 am

If you like Skybox and want to rotate now and again, puuuuuleeeeeeaaaase consider Skybox Evolution now and again :P

Dissallow: Omega/Blackshark/All counter measures.
Low refresh: 20/30 secs
Allow: all ships.

EDIT: as a matter of fact Ive been running Moles a long time on Crypt, and it might be time for a change. I just might run Skybox Ev for a while.
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Post by Foil » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:07 am

Grendel wrote:You only need one machine, you can have multiple servers running simultanousely. A D3 server on a 2.8GHz P4 running at 100Hz w/ 8 people in it eats maybe 15% CPU time (if at all).
Wow, I didn't know that! :o I'll see how much bandwidth and processor time one server takes up, and I'll add more servers if I can.
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Post by Nosferatu » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:20 am

Grendel is right. You, do have to change -useport -tempdir and -gamespyport for each server. Also the -tempdir and the -useport that you use for the servers can not be the same ones the game uses. Set all those parameters up and there is no conflicts between any of the servers and the game on one machine.

You might want to consider upping the framecap on the servers a bit. It defaults to 50. At 50 it tends to cause slightly wierd things happening with megas and such. But upping it begins to eat up more of your CPU power. You can play with it a bit to find out how much computer power you want to eatup.

They just gave you the genralities of the PPS. For everyone reading tune out now if you dont want to read long boring math. :P

PPS is packets per second. A net packet is described as 576 bytes. This includes some header/control bytes. So if you take the example of 40,000 bits per second per player: 40000/576/8bits per byte = PPS 9.9

Round that up to 10. You could get away with 9 but I have gotten "skippyness" complaints when Ive used 9.

If your using cable, default upload speed is about 360,000bits per second. If you use 10PPS then:

360000/576/8/10 PPS = 7.8 players.

Round that down since you cant have .8 players and you need a little overhead anyway and thats 7 players on cable.
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Post by Grendel » Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:48 pm

Nosferatu wrote:You, do have to change -useport -tempdir and -gamespyport for each server. Also the -tempdir and the -useport that you use for the servers can not be the same ones the game uses. Set all those parameters up and there is no conflicts between any of the servers and the game on one machine.
The D3 Server Tool takes care of that -- provides you w/ a nice configuration menu, no need to twiddle around w/ command lines.

I'd recommend going w/ the pps/ppl values I posted above, I'm sure 7.8 ppl on a 368k up w/ 10 pps won't work at all :P You'll be lucky to handle 5.
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Post by Behemoth » Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:21 pm

set it to 9 7 is bs
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Post by Foil » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:42 pm

Okay... it seems I'm a n00b at this, since I'm apparently having some firewall/router issues.

To start, I launched a small Skybox server with Hunter's D3Server tool, and made sure I had all the right entries (as far as I know) in the .cfg files.

Here's the thing: my game shows up on the PlanetDescent tracker, but none of the other trackers. I also can't seem to join it from anywhere. :?

I'm on broadband, with a cable modem going into my Linksys wireless router (I know, I know... I got it because I couldn't afford anything else), which has just the one desktop connected.

I have the XP firewall up, but I opened ports 2092-2094, as well as 27900, 22999, and 20143 for the trackers.

NAT is enabled on the router so I can use my laptop around the house, but there's no firewall settings on the router that I can see, and I've got the router firmware up-to-date.

Here's the thing: D3Server (and ipconfig) shows my ip as 192.168.1.100 instead of my true outside ip (obtained from whatismyip.com). I'm assuming this is because of the router, so I set the alternate ip in D3Server to my outside ip.

TechPro gave me some advice about the NAT and setting port forwarding, but I'm pretty new to this, so I haven't found anything that works (yet).

Do any of you run a server behind a wireless router and firewall like this? And if so... help? :)

Thanks!

P.S. The server name is "Central Skybox" for now, and my outside ip is 68.225.161.122 .
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Post by Nosferatu » Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:18 pm

They were right about port forwards. You need to port forward all the ports that you opened up at the firewall so that everyone from the outside can see your server. Check the router manual for port forwards. I would think even a wireless router would have this. But I dont have that much experience with wireless routers.

When someone uses your outside address, it stops at your router. If you tell the router to "port forward" the individual ports to the machine running your server (usually by its internal IP address) then the router automatically routes the traffic for that port to your server machine.
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Post by Richard Cranium » Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:17 am

On the newer Linksys port forwarding is done under Applications & Gaming

Image

Check to see what IP address range the thing is issuing from DHCP and select some address outside that range to set your 'server' with so it a static IP address. Then point the forwarded ports to that address (192.168.200.10 in my example).
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Post by WarAdvocat » Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:03 pm

Nice server thanks.

I'd honestly prefer 5-6 player max personally... and a slower respawn but whatever makes people happy!
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Post by Money! » Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:18 pm

Nice server Foil, thank you for it! Glad you took WarA's suggestion. Real good to have skybox back.

I'd have to agree with him too though, I got disconnected and there were some huge spikes after the count hit 7-8 people. I'm fine with the respawn time though, War just likes it because he never dies and gets to keep his triple barney. :P I, on the other hand, have to refind it every few seconds...
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Post by Foil » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:48 am

Thanks, guys! (Especially to RC and everybody who gave me useful tech advice.) :D

As some of you found, I've got the server up and running (actually, I've got two up right now)... feel free to jump on and give me any feedback.

Mostly, I'm just playing with the PPS and max players settings, to see what my connection can handle.

So far, it looks like I may be able to run two simultaneous 6-player games... from my calculations, that should require a little less bandwidth than a single 8-player, right?

Anyway, I'm still open for level suggestions - the Skybox server was popular for a couple of hours yesterday, but I still want to rotate a couple of levels in the other one. (I currently have it running Damage, one of my favorites... but that should change this evening.)

Again, thanks, guys!
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