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Left 4 Dead Rage-Quitters

April 17th, 2010 10 comments

I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead 2 in the past few weeks more often and one thing annoys me most:

  • People who disconnect on versus if they can’t play infected
  • People who disconnect if they lose
  • People who disconnect in a lobby after 2 seconds

These rage-quits are annoying: You can’t get a game running with those guys. Most of the time, you start a new game just to wait for players who anyway disconnect after the first 10 seconds. Just because they suck at playing the game Frown

My current tactic so far was, choosing infected in the lobby first. This will reduce the chance in the lobby to get full but it allows you playing at least 1-2 rounds: First you play infected. Then the other teams gets infected and if you were good, they other team will be infected on the other round (makes them infected most of the time).

But there are still the rage-quits when you are infected on the second round: VALVE should really implement a way of someone being unable to join another game after he quit a previous for 1-3 minutes. This could reduce rage-quitters by 70% (none wants to wait 3 minutes until he can play again – so he “stays”Wink.

But there should be done something about the lobbies too: People tend to join and disconnect if they cant be infected or if the map is something different than “Dead Center” or “The Parish”. It’s annoying – really.

Anyway, L4D2 is fun. I like to play it but it annoys me that it takes so much more time to find players to play a complete campaign than the campaign is long.

Mouse input in games – and why so much developers bork it

March 4th, 2010 14 comments

I lately bought Battlefield – Bad Company 2 and I really dislike how they implemented mouse input control. The game doesn’t feel like the majority of the games I own, and here is the reason why:

Instead of using mouse input directly from Windows (including every feature it has on the desktop such as acceleration etc), they read out the mouse movement from the hardware instead, so they can fuck around with it. This is a really bad idea because it will make every game doing the same feel differently due to different implementations. That’s stupid. The right way would be just taking the mouse input of windows and multiplying it by a sensitivity multiplication for the game (and adding a checkbox which temporarily turns off Window’s mouse acceleration for those who need it).

This brings me to Mouse Acceleration: Many gamers like to say “disable it“, where I like to have it enabled: This allows me using a small sensitivity for precise accuracy while a fast movement maneuver gives me the ability turning around by 180° without moving the mouse 5 times over the pad. Sadly some games force acceleration off with no option to turn it back on.

Here is a small list of games which do it right:

  • hl2_ctf Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 1/2 and every Source Engine bases game
  • 1_Squad_COD4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • 57_CrysisWarhead Crysis
  • c0f66756fed26578036c9277786449c238302769_medium Killing Floor

And these are now some of the black sheep:

    Battlefield-Bad-Company-2-2-icon Battle Field – Bad Company 2

    You can at least turn on mouse acceleration and adjust the acceleration parameters. But you can neither modify the acceleration threshold nor switch back to “Windows”-like input. So any settings you do here in order to make it feel like in other games are condemned to fail or take ages until you found the one you need.
    Unreal-Tournament-III-2-icon Unreal Tournament 3

    Here you even can’t enable mouse acceleration at all. You can only try messing around with a config-file but this hasn’t revealed any settings for me yet which allowes me making it feel like e.g. Half-Life 2 (which uses Windows mouse input).
Categories: Bullshit, Computer, Games Tags:

gm_mount2 – Use any source-engine content in GMod

February 19th, 2010 120 comments

Description
This addon allows you mounting any source-engine games in Garry’s Mod including default VALVE games, Steamworks content like D.I.P.R.I.P, Left 4 Dead and every installed SourceMod.

Prerequisites
You need to have MSVC 2010 Redistributable x86 installed, or it will not work.

Download

The full version includes spawnicons for some models (several MB). The light version doesn’t, so it is much smaller. But you have to generate the icons yourself.

SVN-Repository

Url: http://svn.daggeringcats.com/mount2
User: anon
Password: anon

Annotations for Left 4 Dead 1/2:
Left 4 Dead maps are not compatible with Garry’s Mod. Don’t try loading them – This will only cause GMod to crash.

Why another mounting addon?
You may know the orginal mounting addon and it’s extension for sourcemods. They work well but I wasn’t really satisfied with the way they work and I disliked their messy sourcecode so I wrote up my own from scratch.
My addon directly integrates into GMod and works on dedicated servers which is not possible without many modifications of the old gm_mount addon.
It also can mount Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 which is the main purpose of this addon, which took me over 3 weeks, around 2000 lines of C++ code and much coffee to figure that out.

gm_mount2 – Mount everything in GMod – Current state

February 5th, 2010 23 comments

In the past two weeks, I have been working on gm_mount2, an adaption but also totally rewrite from scratch of this addon for GMod.

My intention first was making it mount games automatically if you install it serverside (the way it is in that link needs heavy modifications to make it run) and an easy integration into GMod’s default mounting-menu.

This was done really easily and I started thinking about “why can’t garry make GMod mount L4D?”. I took some more deeper research into it and found out, that L4D and L4D2 don’t use GCF-files to store their models, sounds and everything in – They use VPK files which are unsupported for mounting in the OrangeBox version of the Source-Engine where GMod runs on.

Luckily it rushed into my mind that Nemesis, the coder of GCFScape, has a library called HLLib which allows reading from VPK containers. It took me around 2 hours to figure out how HLLib works and I made my first successful attempt in reading from VPKs.

But now the torture began: How shall I tell GMod to read from VPKs? My idea was overriding default FileIO functions of Source which are stored in the interface IFileSystem and IBaseFileSystem. My idea was using MS Detours which is known to be detectable by VAC so I searched different ways for about 3 days before I got told “VAC in GMod is active but does not ban” (yet).

So the plan was clear: Detouring the methods of the interface and intercept if a file within a VPK is requested. It was all so clear and easy in my head but I got beaten down by reality really fast again. The methods of the interface I have to hook/overwrite are virtual, which makes them a pain in the ass to hook. It took me 2 days with the help of mainly Jinto before I was able to hook those. If any developer is interested in, you can find my VDETOUR script here.

Hooking now worked but I first had to figure our a fast and efficient way of tracing opened files so I can tell it’s either a file within a VPK or a “normal file”. This took me 3 more days.

Yes, I suck at ragdoll-posing - In the console you see what the filesystem has done etc and in the background you see Francis

Today I had my first successful attempt reading a file from within a VPK in GMod with GMod’s lua function file.Read but it just read about 500 letters at max – how silly.

Recapitulation: It was a pain in the ass to implement. Especially because my lack of knowledge of GMod’s internals. It could have been so much easier to implement if I’d be the mod-coder.

Update:

Today I made the successful attempt in loading a model of L4D in GMod using my module. It works flawless! No crashes etc. Now I only have to implement some minor stuff like file-searching and the lua-interface. Maybe one ore two more days and I can release it!

Categories: Blog, C++, Computer, Games, Garry's Mod, Modules Tags: , ,

One more rant about GTA IV

January 17th, 2010 20 comments

Savegames! They are stored in C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames and not how you could guess in the games-folder or (what is also just dumb) in your My Documents-Folder.

Seriously: Why do game-developers make so shitty shit? I have my PC configured to have 3 Partitions: System (C:\), Data/Programs/Games (D:\) and Media (E:\). I do not install any app to C:\ nor do I use My Documents. I put all my data to D:\ and Media such as MP3s,eBooks and Videos to E:\. The best way for the developers putting savegames is in the game-folder directly! This will give users the chance to backup their games including all savegames at once.

Now I had to reinstall my Windows (putting back a TrueImage backup) and now my savegames are gone – Even with a full backup of my “My Documents”-Folder where you have a “RockStar/GTAIV” folder in (which I suspected to be my savegames).

I will now stop playing GTA IV. I can’t be arsed to play every fucking mission I did before again (I had about 30-40%), except someone gives me a savegame which I can use (Right after your original house got burned down my Dimitri and his guys).

Edit:

I just found a website, where you can download savegames. But sadly, GTA IV disallows loading savegames not made with your own Games for Windows – Live account. Seriously, what the fuck?

Now I will use a program called “XLiveLess” which removes the Games for Windows – Live and Rockstar Social Club bindings out of GTA IV. This is some sort of a crack. But hey: If they are so stupid disallowing adding savegames, put savegames to arbitrary folders which are getting easily lost after a Windows reinstallation and add copy-protection like SecuRom,Games for Windows – Live and Rockstar Social Club to the game – what do you expect?

Unluckily, XLiveLess disallows me using the Multiplayer mode (the coder intentionally added it to disallow cheating). But I can get around this. I simply have to remove one file out of my GTA IV folder to make it able to play online again (but which will block loading my savegames).

tl;dr Version:

Just a big fuck you at Microsoft and RockStar Games for their inability to make games easy and not full of nagging copy-protection shit which only annoys legit buyers.

Categories: Computer, Games Tags:

HAX – obviously

September 30th, 2009 10 comments
Steam: Verify E-Mail

Steam: Verify E-Mail

Today, during a party of L4D‘s new campaign “Crash Course” my pal Stealthrider suddenly disconnected. Well, I thought he just doesn’t want to play anymore but: It was worse. Some idiot hacked his steam-account. They switched his password and E-Mail. He now has to contact VALVE fixing it. Another strange thing was Zidane’s account just got hacked ten minutes after Stealthrider’s. And the frightening part now is: We all three played on the same server at the same time when all this happened. I suspect this server to cause havoc with our clients and read out the PW somehow (e.g. by downloading the ClientRegistry.blob, which stores all account relevant data such as autologin signatures)

After both got their accounts hacked (Zidane got his back, because he acted fast before the hackers could change the E-Mail. This made him able to reset the changed PW), I switched my login password and made my account verified. This seems to be a new feature of VALVE/Steam to verify an E-Mail address. After you did that, your account is bound to that Mail and if someone (or yourself) tries to change the Password,Mail or Security-Question, a Mail is first sent to your address. In it, you’ll find a link you have to click before the actions take place. This is a very good security feature in my opinion. So you all better do this soon! Right click on the Steam-Try-Icon and go to Settings/Account/Verify email address. This should keep the idiotic crackers out.

Categories: Computer, Games, Steam, Unreal Tournament 3 Tags:

New PC set up – But having problems now (solved)

September 26th, 2009 5 comments

GFX-Card_Crash_IngameI lately wrote about me destroying my old PC’s motherboard. So I have bought a completely new PC. It’s really cool and fast. (Asus P7P55D Pro, Intel Core i5-750, Muskin 2×2048 MB DDR3, 1 TB Seagate Harddisk, HD4890 overclocked).

How it looks like, my graphic card has been overclocked a bit too harsh. I bought it at www.edel-grafikkarten.de, who generally tune cards and add additional fans. I bought this one, because it has a super silent fan and also is overlocked. But sadly, the overclocking now forbids me playing any games. After a short period of time, the game simply stops and windows tells me about a recovered graphic device. I checked the temperature of both CPU and GPU, but this doesn’t seem to be the cause. All around 40° C. So it has to be the harsh overclocking.

I think, I have to send the card back and order another one. Luckily edel-grafikkarten grants warranty on their models.

Inside of my new PC - Look at these coolers! Keeping the shit below 50°C on heavy load!

Inside of my new PC - Look at these coolers! Keeping the shit below 50°C on heavy load!

Edit:

I slightly took the overclocking of the card back. Instead of hilarious 950 MHz compared to the default 875 MHz, I have set it to 925. So far, it is stable. The ram is not OCed anymore. I fear damages on it. And 975 to 1000 ist not that much or worth for overclocking video-ram.

Rusty Bullet hole

August 29th, 2009 7 comments

The secret phrase, it is!

Categories: Games, Garry's Mod Tags:

New exploit in GMod

July 19th, 2009 6 comments

Lately, people managed to exploit a “feature” in the SQLite module of GMod (gm_sqlite.dll) to write data anywhere on your harddisk.

They use the ATTACH command of SQLite3 which works the following: It attaches a new database to the current default one. If that file you specified does not exist, it will be created. This is where they managed to exploit it: They attache a new database into your autorun-folder and call it something like “name.bat”. Then they add BATCH code to that database which is saved in plaintext in that file. Now if you reboot your system, windows executes this batchfile. The filecontents then look like this.

This is a dangerous exploit and just garry can fix it.

Edit:

Garry fixed it the yesterday’s update.

Categories: Computer, Exploit, Garry's Mod, Lua Tags:

A new server

March 26th, 2009 8 comments

The main hosters of YaS, including Flamehaze,Neic0, W0rf0x and me are thinking about to get a new server.

We aren’t sure yet which, but we thought about at least of getting a root-server with 4GB ram and a Core 2 Duo or a 8GB ram with a Xeon CPU. The prices are quite high but with 4 people paying for it, it’s cheaper than any virtual server you could otherwise get (which has a much worse performance).

Example: My server costs around 30€ a month and it’s a virtual server. Sharing the best root server we think about to get would only cost 25 € a month for each of us – while having a around 10 times better performance than my server has.

The idea is, to run a linux host system on it with the virtualistion Xen and then install (at least) one Windows Server via Xen. The pros for this are we don’t need to pay the monthly higher fee due to the Windows license general server-hosters take. We can use our own license. And luckily I have one laying unused around here at home Smile

Edit:

We deiced to buy this baby here. Intel Xeon Dual 2x 3.00+ GHz, 8 GB DDR2, 2x 750 GB.

Edit:

The new server is now available but still needs to be configured.

Categories: Garry's Mod, Lua, Steam Tags: