Welcome to jdrgaming.com
Friday, February 23 2018 @ 08:44 AM -08

Finding TPU after IP changes

At some point in the near future, I intend to change my Internet service to one with a fixed IP address. When that happens, the IP for TPU and everything else on the JRC/JDRGaming server will change.

The last couple of times TPU's IP address changed, I noticed a drop-off in the number of players. Assuming that the two things were actually connected, this implies that some people were unable to find TPU after the IP change.

There are four possible explanations, for affected players:

  • they still aren't using the new master browser, master.bf1942.sk;
  • they forgot to click the Update button in the BF1942 server browser;
  • they are relying on a BF1942 Windows shortcut to the old IP address; or
  • they are relying on an existing Favorites entry in the BF1942 server browser.

Switch to the new master browser

If you're not using the master.bf1942.sk server browser, you should be. Without it, you won't see any servers listed in the BF1942 server browser. You can still connect to any server directly via its IP address, but IP addresses change, and you'll have to find servers some other way. There are instructions for switching to the master.bf1942.sk server browser elsewhere on this site.

Click that Update button

Assuming that you're using the master.bf1942.sk master browser, if you are suddenly unable to connect to TPU, try clicking the Update button on the BF1942 server browser list. This will pull a new server list from master.bf1942.sk, which will include TPU's current IP address.

Update your Windows shortcut for TPU

If you use a Windows shortcut to run BF1942 and auto-connect to TPU, and it stops working, go to jdrgaming.com and check the red notification area at the top. The current IP address will be shown there. Change your shortcut to point to the new IP address.

Update your Favorite

If you have TPU flagged as a Favorite in the BF1942 server browser, and TPU's IP address changes, your Favorite entry will not be updated automatically. Even if you are using master.bf1942.sk, and you click the Update button, if the Favorites filter is enabled, TPU will show with its old IP address, and the PING value will be 9999.

To fix this, disable the Favorite filter, click Update, find TPU in the server list, and mark it as a Favorite.

The screenshot above (click it for a larger version) shows how TPU looks in the normal Internet server list in BF1942. Note that the IP address is current, and the Ping value is low.

The screenshot above (click it for a larger version) shows how TPU looks as a Favorite in the server list in BF1942. Note that the IP address is out of date, and the Ping value is 9999. That's because I haven't recreated the Favorite recently.

TPU stats reset for 2018

Happy New Year, folks!

I've just archived 2017's TPU stats and made them available from the TPU stats archive page. The current stats have been reset to zero.

The top player in 2017 was Johnny James. Congratulations! Johnny walked away with all the badges except for the healing badge, which went to B. Keeney.

This is a good opportunity to review the points formula for TPU stats. The current formula is below. If you'd like to see a change, let me know (see the About/Contact link at the top right of the site).

(((attacks*1)-tks+(heals/10)+(otherrepairs/100))/rounds_played)+kdrate
Available variables:
 
score Total Score
tks Total TKs
kills Total Kills
deaths Total Deaths
captures Total Captures
attacks Total Attacks
objectives Total achieved Objectives
heals Total Number of Heals
selfheals Total Number of Self-Heals
repairs Total Number of Repairs
otherrepairs Total Number of Repairs to others
rounds_played Total Number of Rounds-played
kdrate The Kill/Death Rate
first Total Number of being first in Battlefield End-Of-Game-Ranking
second Total Number of being second in Battlefield End-Of-Game-Ranking
third Total Number of being third in Battlefield End-Of-Game-Ranking

Revive Network shuts down after warning from EA

This is somewhat old news, as it was first reported in October 2017. However, I just found out about it, and it affects my plans for a JDRGaming modern combat server.

Up until a few days ago, I had planned to start running a modern combat server, using the ReviveBF2 client/launcher/server. The idea was to run the server on a trial basis and hopefully attract some interest from fans of my other servers.

Then I learned the Revive Network folks had received a warning letter from EA, which owns the rights to the Battlefield games. EA's main complaint was that Revive Network was distributing Battlefield game client software to anyone who cared to download it.

Background: when Gamespy shuttered in 2015, playing Battlefield 2 online with the official client software became effectively impossible. Enterprising folks found ways to modify the client (and server) software to use new, unofficial master server browsers, and once again online play was possible. Three basic approaches were used to accomplish this: create a new client based on the original (e.g. Forgotten Hope 2); develop patches that modify Battlefield client software (e.g. BF2Hub); or modify the original client and make that available to users. Revive Network chose the latter approach, and that's what earned them EA's letter.

Leaving aside any arguments about rights associated with abandoned software like Battlefield 2, it seems to me that Revive Network could have resolved this issue by simply doing what EA asked: stop making Battlefield game client software available from their site. They could have just switched to the patching approach, so that people with Battlefield clients could modify them to work with the new unofficial master servers. Instead, Revive Network chose to shut down.

With ReviveBF2 and the associated master server no longer available, I started looking for alternatives, and found BF2Hub. It's a free launcher for BF2 that works with most available mods, and automates the process of patching your BF2 client to work with BF2Hub's master server.

My tests with BF2Hub were a complete success. As a result, BF2Hub is now the launcher of choice for all JDRGaming BF2 servers except for Forgotten Hope 2, which has its own launcher. The two launchers don't interfere with each other at all. I've posted the BF2Hub launcher on the JDRGaming Files page.

I am currently testing the Hard Justice BF2 mod for use with BF2Hub. You may notice HJ running on the BF2 server occasionally over the coming weeks. Forgotten Hope 2 is still the default mod for the JDRGaming BF2 server, but I'm considering designating one day per week for modern combat, and Hard Justice is looking like the best option available.

See you on the battlefield!

Gaming news update

Nintendo can't make their retro gaming consoles fast enough to meet demand, thereby disproving (unintentionally of course) the myth that people pirate games simply because they 'want stuff for free'. All of those old console games are widely available as ROM downloads that run in console emulation software on PCs. If playing for free was the issue, surely those consoles wouldn't be flying off the shelves.

Game developers are slowly but surely coming to understand that having their games available for free is not the disaster anti-piracy crusaders would have us believe. Jacob Janerka discovered his game Paradigm on torrent sites, but instead of going legal and trying to get the torrents removed or hosting sites shut down, he decided to embrace what is essentially free promotion and distribution for the game. He reached out to thousands of potential customers in the comments for the game's torrent on The Pirate Bay, saying:

"Hey everyone, Iím Jacob the creator of Paradigm. I know some of you legitimately canít afford the game and Iím glad you get to still play it :D If you like the game, please tell your friends and maybe even consider buying it later."

Some developers are even making free torrents of their games available themselves. Acid Wizard Studio recently did this for their popular horror title Darkwood. From the notes accompanying the torrent:

This is the latest version of Darkwood... Completely DRM-free. There's no catch, no added pirate hats for characters or anything like that. We have just one request: if you like Darkwood and want us to continue making games, consider buying it in the future, maybe on a sale, through Steam, GOG or Humble Store. But please, please, don't buy it through any key reselling site. By doing that, you're just feeding the cancer that is leeching off this industry.

Other game developers are rediscovering one of the earliest computer game sales strategies: give away the first few hours of gameplay. A related strategy is to make early versions of a game available for free, and that's what Indiegala has done with their new game Die Young.

Of course it's the bigger studios -- the ones with high-paid executives and teams of lawyers eager to prove their worth -- who insist on direct compensation for their productions. Studios like Capcom, which recently issued a takedown request for a series of playthrough videos for the Capcom game Dai Gyakuten Saiban. The game is a spinoff of Ace Attorney, and only released in Japan. All language in the game is Japanese, but English subtitles were added to the posted videos. It's difficult to imagine how something like this could be a threat to Capcom, and yet they insisted the videos be removed from Youtube.

Copy protection (aka DRM) software Denuvo suffered perhaps its most devastating setback when the game Total War: Warhammer 2, 'protected' by Denuvo, was recently cracked within hours of its release. When Resident Evil 7 was cracked earlier this year, Denuvo Marketing Director Thomas Goebl stated that "some protection was better than nothing." I wonder what he'll say now. And I wonder why anyone still bothers to waste money on copy protection, especially Denuvo.

JDRGaming site and TPU stats now on Cloudflare

The Internet caching service Cloudflare allows web sites to remain accessible even when the servers hosting those sites are down. It also provides protection against DDoS and related attacks. Cloudflare's basic web site protection service is free. In September, Cloudflare announced that DDoS protection would be extended to free accounts.

The jdrgaming.com web site, TPU stats, BF1942 server, BF2 server, and numerous other sites and services are all hosted on a single server. Clearly, it would be helpful to users if the jdrgaming.com site remained accessible during server outages, and had some protection against DDoS attacks. As of September 26, jdrgaming.com and tpu.jdrgaming.com are protected by Cloudflare.

If you notice any problems with the site or TPU stats, please let me know (About/Contact in the top menu).

JDRGaming site and game servers: planned outage Aug 30

Due to circumstances beyond my control, all of the JDRGaming game servers will be unavailable on August 30.

A planned local power outage is expected to last from 8:30am to 6:30 pm on August 30. The outage will also affect this web site (jdrgaming.com).

I will post updates on the @JDRGamingStatus Twitter account as events unfold tomorrow.

UPDATE: As of 12:50pm PST, power has been restored and the server is back up. All game servers are back online.

Take-Two Interactive kills decade-old GTA4 modding tool

Some game companies understand that modding extends the life of a game, and embrace the idea. Others are somewhat less enlightened.

Take-Two Interactive, makers of the Grand Theft Auto series, recently sent a threat letter to the developers of a popular GTA4 modding tool called OpenIV. Lacking the resources to fight the threat, the OpenIV folks stopped distribution of the tool. Fans of the tool -- and the game -- are furious.

Dear idiots at Take-Two: this was a stupid move. You're going to lose far more business and consumer goodwill than you could ever hope to (somehow?) save by shutting down this tool. Here's a suggestion: stop letting your lawyers guide your business decisions.

GameTracker banners intermittently disappear

You may have noticed that the GameTracker server banners at the top of the home page are only appearing sporadically in the last few days. This is apparently happening because GameTracker is currently the subject of a DDoS attack. Hopefully this will blow over within a few days.

You can temporarily fix the problem by navigating to the GameTracker web site.