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lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:11 pm
quote : #1
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Posts: 2792
Type: NTSC-U/C
You can read the full story here in the news:

http://playstation2.onlineconsoles.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3054

Give DreamcastTM (aka PlaystationTM here at the PS2 site) a huge thanks for his efforts in programming a new Master List for Tribes Aerial Assault. My only involvement with the project was sending him some packet logs and giving him the innitial nudge to persue researching this around last thursday. I was so busy with trying to get some research done on Dreamcast Online before google's 2001 search index was taken offline that I couldn't devote much time to this at all. Plus, we were wrapping up PSO Halloween over at the GameCube site.

Luckily the network packets I sent to gave him what I call the "programmer's itch". Usually if you give someone like this a puzzle to solve, with a realistic possibility for success, they will take on the project with their own level of motivation. Amazingly he didn't even own TAA yet, and managed to track down a copy, and grab any addition network packets needed to create a working TAA master list. I was suprised to hear the other day that he had it working, and we ran a variety of tests to ensure it was functioning properly.

Note that other than that I discussed with him last week, I had barely talked to him over the weekend. He could have very easily slacked and simply ignored TAA. However his efforts here really paid off and now we have a working TAA master list that secures the full functionality of TribesAA, rather than having to tunnel the game over XLink.

Last edited by lordnikon on Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:50 am; edited 2 times in total
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:15 pm
quote : #2
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Posts: 499
Type: NTSC-U/C
What exactly is a master list? I am a bit confused. Like is it the same thing as a server?
  _________________
blog - game collection - youtube Xlink Nick = lazyhobobum Tim and Eric must die!
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:29 pm
quote : #3
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Posts: 2792
Type: NTSC-U/C
A master list is like a middle man for online play. It doesn't handle the bandwidth for online matches. All it does is list hosted servers, and information such as player counts, map being played, and title in the games server browser. Once you click on a hosted game in the list, then all network traffic is transferred between the game host, you, and other players on that hosted game server.

So all the master list does is cache the necessary server information for all hosted games, and provide that in a list where you can host your own or connect to an existing game.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:53 pm
quote : #4
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Posts: 499
Type: NTSC-U/C
ok so its basically like a menu that connects servers with players? and so does this mean that other servers besides oc servers would be listed if they are made?
  _________________
blog - game collection - youtube Xlink Nick = lazyhobobum Tim and Eric must die!
Dreamcast
rank 3
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:06 pm
quote : #5
profile : pm
Posts: 10
Yes. The master list server compiles / manages a list of actual server addresses sent to it by either dedicated servers or in Tribes: AA's case, the PS2's hosting system. It makes a list of the server addresses and then sends that to the client (in this case, the PS2 when you go to play an online match) which outputs it in the "join game" section. The master list is also responsible for removing servers that don't give it an update that they're still online (commonly referred to as the "heartbeat" signal.).

OC isn't hosting the actual game server, but rather, the master list server. But, yes, if you make a game in Tribes: AA and your connection settings point to the master list (using the DNS address Nikon supplied in the main article), then it will show up on other player's PS2s when they check to see what games are available to join.
 
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:21 pm
quote : #6
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Posts: 499
Type: NTSC-U/C
ok, so where is the game server hosted then
  _________________
blog - game collection - youtube Xlink Nick = lazyhobobum Tim and Eric must die!
Dreamcast
rank 3
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:35 pm
quote : #7
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Posts: 10
In this case, one single player's PS2 hosts the game (it will be referred to as the "server"). Here is a simple diagram I put together explaining where a master list fits into the server equation:



The double headed arrows pointing from the servers to the master list indicate bi-directional communication. The servers send the master list a message telling it that they either want to be added to the list or that they are reminding the master list that they're still running and they should be kept on the list.

The client, in this case, is a gamer on a PS2 wanting to see how many servers are available to join. So when he / she hits "refresh" to get an updated list of servers, a request is sent to the master list for an updated list of available servers. The master list then compiles the list (unless it's precompiled) and then sends it to the client.

What's not shown is that after the list of server addresses is received by the client, the client then contacts each of the servers for additional information such as the game name, total players, etc.
 
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:26 pm
quote : #8
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Posts: 499
Type: NTSC-U/C
ok , think I understand now , thanks for explaining it
  _________________
blog - game collection - youtube Xlink Nick = lazyhobobum Tim and Eric must die!
Blacksmith
rank 2
Posted:
Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:39 pm
quote : #9
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Posts: 6
Type: NTSC-U/C
Okay, there's one thing I'm not sure about. About the local servers/LAN, does that mean I could only play games with people within my area of the country? I'm concerned because...well...a lot of TAA players live in practically every spot in the US and even Canada, so if this whole thing only accounts to "local servers" of various areas, that makes it impossible to play with those individuals.

To put it in simple terms, does this thing just connect to local areas or is it interconnected to anyone who's connected to a PS2 and the game?
 
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:22 am
quote : #10
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Posts: 2792
Type: NTSC-U/C
LAN is an acronym that stands for Local Area Network. When a game has LAN capabilities, you can have a PS2 in one room of your house, and a PS2 in another room of your house, networked together in your own house using a hub or router. Every PS2 game that supports LAN, has a specific menu option for this in the game.

Tribes Aerial Assault does have LAN support, but instead of having to access it in a seperate menu option, it simply displays any Locally hosted servers found on your LAN in the games server browser.

To grab hosted online games from players across the country, Tribes Aerial Assault connected to a Master List application run by the game's publisher "Sierra". Tribes Aerial Assault will make the leap to the server browser screen in the game, regardless of whether it accesses this Master List at Sierra or not, and will display any LAN servers it finds if connected to a local network. This means that TAA can be taken online via Tunneling. Tunneling is the process of using software on your PC running on the same network as your PS2, to connect to other players, and essentially trick the PS2 into thinking it is playing on a LAN.

At the start of November, Sierra terminated a series of Master Lists they were hosting, which included TribesAA for the PS2. The Master List that TAA connects to by default is now gone forever. Instead of having to tunnel the game, we put up a "new" Master List for TribesAA. Using our new Master List you can easily play online with any TAA player across the Internet, regardless of their regional location.

To play the game online, you need to setup a seperate config option for TAA (a PS2 netfile on your memory card can hold up to 4). Details on how to do this are explained in the news thread here. Once you set this up, you will be able to play the game online just as you would before when Sierra hosted the Master List. Your PS2 will connect to our DNS server, and resolve the domain name TAA accesses to our new Master List instead. Your PS2 will show any games hosted by other users if they are playing, and any game you host from your PS2 will be listed for others to potentially join.

Just be aware anyone you want to play TribesAA with online, needs to setup a new config as outlined above. As with most games, hopping online to play TAA and finding randoms is unlikely. The number of people who know of our new Master List is rather small, so playing online requires coordination to communicate with other TAA players via tools such as our Game Organization area.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
Blacksmith
rank 2
Posted:
Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:34 am
quote : #11
profile : pm
Posts: 6
Type: NTSC-U/C
Ugh, I'm having some problems now with TAA. I did what the news article told me to do about the DNS stuff and, well, whenever I'd go to look for servers, none came up. It just kept saying "Working..." over and over and while it SEEMED to be working, it didn't reveal any servers of any kind. Not only that, but my game has been freezing. One time I just let it sit idle when looking for servers and it eventually froze. Not too long ago I then hosted my own game from the PS2 and after 5-10 minutes or so, it froze in the middle of it. It could be my own disc causing the problems, but it isn't that badly scratched. It's also the first time this has happened me to over the last year I've had the copy of this game (my second bought copy ><).

Is there something wrong with the new master list or is it my ps2/taa disc?
 
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:45 am
quote : #12
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Posts: 2792
Type: NTSC-U/C
There are no servers that are up all of the time. If you set it up properly, the list should be working. If you want 100% confirmation you are reaching the list, host a server with the name "Blacksmith" from your PS2, and I will check the logs in the next few days to confirm your server was being shown in the list.

As I stated above, the player population for TAA simply isn't large enough to where you will be able to go online and hit refresh until you see people playing. We play TAA here at OC quite a bit, but we also play MANY other games, and there are people who play games at all areas of OC. So sometimes people are playing Quake 3 on Dreamcast, and other times some are on PSO for GameCube. This is never going to change. Setting up online games requires some determination as well as willingness to reach out to other players to setup a game session. One great tool for getting games going is the Game Organization area.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
kennethffx2
rank 2
Posted:
Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:24 am
quote : #13
profile : pm
Posts: 8
Type: NTSC-U
Hey could you check to see if my server showed up?
It was called "Yay4MasterSvr".
 
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:26 am
quote : #14
profile : pm
Posts: 2792
Type: NTSC-U/C
Yep I checked the logs and your server showed up just fine Wink So others should be able to see it.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
kennethffx2
rank 2
Posted:
Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:13 am
quote : #15
profile : pm
Posts: 8
Type: NTSC-U
Awesome, so I did port forward correctly. The port for TAA is 28000 - 28008.
 
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