SUPPORT: Solving Connectivity Problems

Tips and Tricks

By on April 6, 2009 2:58:10 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1491

Most PC games are client/server. That is, someone creates a game and others join that game. The data then goes from you to the host (the server) and then back to the other players.  Sins of a Solar Empire is client/server.

In Demigod, it is peer-to-peer. This was necessary because it needed to have the least amount of latency possible since your moves are directly sent to the other players rather than to a server first.  Because the action in Demigod focuses a great deal on Melee in the third person (i.e. players can see their hits) a lot of traditional methods to mask latency aren't possible. Peer-to-peer reduces the problem of "lag".

The downside of peer-to-peer is that everyone has to be able to connect to each other. In a client server game, many people have heard someone say "I can join games but I can't host them."  In a peer-to-peer game, everyone is technically a host thus greatly increasing the challenge of connecting players.

The solution developed is known as CVP NAT, a new feature of Stardock's Impulse Reactor development library.

So what problems can people have?  Below are the most common issues:

 

  1. Windows may fail to create a local socket. There's a million reasons for this unfortunately and your options are to try to rejoin a game or try hosting the game instead. It's not terribly common but feels very common when it happens to you. It will be more common if you have an older router as we have learned that older consumer routers are more likely to be problematic when opening sockets.
     
  2. Your ISP is sending your messages with different IP addresses. This is common in Europe where people have DSL lines that have multiple IP and the router picks and chooses which IP to send things.  It can also happen for people who have multiple Internet connections going.  For instance, I have a Verizon 3G Internet connectiont that's always on. I also have a Comcast line on.  If I'm trying to play a game, turning one of these connections off will likely help.  At Stardock, we have a thornier issue -- we have 2 comcast lines in which our router picks the one with the most available bandwidth to send out a particular packet.  CVP NAT has been designed to deal with a lot of oddball issues like this but it's not infallible.
     
  3. Firewall. If youre firewall is blocking TCP or UDP packets, you won't be able to connect.
     
  4. Windows failed to configure a local socket.  This is another one of those annoying issues that can come up. It's similar to item #1.  The best way to reduce these kinds of problems is to use Skirmish or the Pantheon.  The "Custom Game" setup in Demigod is the most likely case this will come up since it requires multiple sockets to properly connect players.
TIP:
If you know what you're doing (and only if you know what you're doing) you can load a program that's in the bin directory of Demigod called ImpulseReactorOptions, set up the options there and then seperately go to your router and make sure those ports are port forwarding to the right machine.

To learn how to port forward, see this website: http://www.portforward.com/

To learn more about what ports to open see this document provided by the Monk (THANKS MONK!)

http://themonk.ca/Monk/Networking_and_DEMIGOD.pdf

 

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April 15, 2009 8:06:57 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I reply to bsport.  If you're connecting to everyone, and everyone's connecting to you, you are fine.  The reason you're still in the "connecting" stage is because not everyone is connected to each other (ie they're screwed up, not you. Or it's the game's fault, who knows I don't wanna rule it out so early in its release) 

 

If you want, try looking for Monk's server, uusally he has it named "Testing connection" on his hosted server, so you can spot it. If you can connect to him it usually takes you to the game lobby, which means you're dandy, everyone else is broken =X

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April 15, 2009 9:42:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Nah it has to be problems on my end since the test on the port checker is a negative

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April 15, 2009 9:51:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Well, I'm passing the portchecker tests and still unable to join games--either Pantheon or Skirmish/Custom.  Not sure what else to do at this point so I guess I'll wait for further information/patches.

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April 15, 2009 10:35:46 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

This is pretty terrible - I've only been able to connect to two games since I got this on Monday.  I'm assuming that these basic problems would have been addressed in the beta, so I'm hoping it is just a server load issue.

 

And yes, I followed all instructions, even though I think its a little odd to suggest that everyone who purchased the game needs to configure port forwarding on their routers.

 

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April 16, 2009 2:51:43 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

So I followed all the instructions, opened those ports on my router, and the PortChecker still says they are closed. I'm led to believe one of a few things:

 

1. My router just will never work with this

2. My modem is possibly to blame, or my ISP

 

In either case, for myself, and alot of people, looks like playing is not an option right now, or possibly forseeable future.

 

 

Edit:

 

Here is a link, I took a Screen Capture of my Router settings, as far as I can tell from instructions this is how it should be correct?

 

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b242/SpawnTheEternal/PortForward1.jpg

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April 16, 2009 3:33:29 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I can pass the port checker test, so I know that the required UDP ports are being forwarded correctly. However, when trying to join a custom game I get either 'Cannot connect' or ' Connecting to other players' ad infinitum.

I've also noticed that when joining skirmish matches, the connection info reports that I have connected to several of the players waiting to start.

Is the problem at my end or is it with the game?

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April 16, 2009 3:54:55 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Edit:



Here is a link, I took a Screen Capture of my Router settings, as far as I can tell from instructions this is how it should be correct?



http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b242/SpawnTheEternal/PortForward1.jpg

 

Cmo4ever,

Yep that looks correct.  Any firewalls and/or NAT-filtering settings configurable on that router?  If not then yes I'd look at the next nearest UPSTREAM device (ie. modem) next.

 

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April 16, 2009 4:10:04 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Here is my current setup Monk, and it's what I'm trying to figure out, there are so many variables it's hard to understand whats going wrong where:

 

 

My Computer

 

Router 1  - Linksys NA041

|

Router 2  - Belkin F5D7230-4 Wireless G

|

Modem  

 

 

My problem is I've tried to follow PortForwards instrucitons on Forwarding through 2 routers. Apparently I Forward Router 2 to Router 1s IP, then Router 1st IP to my Computers IP, opening the ports and forwarding them that way. However the Belkin has alot of roadbloaks, and I'm trying to work through those.

 

Does not help that every time I try something new I end up knockin 2-3 people offline who then get rather pissed off at me.

I do know I wont be buying any routers if none of this ends up working. It's a great game and all, but I can't justify buying new hardware when my current stuff runs every other game I want. For instance I don't mind upgrading a graphics card if thats the problem, because other games need it, but this is the only game where I've had to consider upgrading my router, and I wont do it for one game. 

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April 16, 2009 5:01:39 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

 

Cmo4ever,

Assuming your modem isn't set to perfom NAT of any kind....

1.  Put the WAN IP of the Linksys into the DMZ of the Belkin  (that eliminates the issue of dealing with the Belkin any further)

2.  Then foward the specified ports from the Linksys to the IP of your PC as well as disable any SPI-type firewalls and RELAX any additional NAT-filtering that may be being performed on the Linksys (ie.  some routers call it "gaming mode"......enable it!....on others it'll be called NAT endpoint filtering as described in my guide.)

 

That's how I would deal with a double-NAT scenario (as mentioned in my guide) such as yours.

 

the Monk

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April 16, 2009 5:46:43 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Did all that, so I'm guessing the problem is probably in my modem / ISP, and I don't think that can be altered.

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April 16, 2009 7:15:11 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

The easiest way to test if your router port forwarding is working as it should is to download any Bittorent client. 

 

1) Install the client.

2) Run the client and wait a minute or 2. At the bottom of the client, there is usually an indicator telling you whether you are firewalled or not.

3) It should say "Firewalled" or "DHT Unreachable"

4) In the settings menu, set the port to say  for example 37044. And forward that port in your router's firewall.

5) Run the client again, wait a minute or 2 and at the bottom, it should say "DHT OK". This means that your router has successfully performed the port forwarding.

 

If it does, that means your router is perfectly fine. It's the game's connection code problem. 

 

So far, I have had no need to set any port forwarding for any game I have played and I don't believe it's a problem on my system.

 

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April 16, 2009 8:07:43 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I think this is for me way to complicat it was much easier in other games like wc3 for example.

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April 16, 2009 8:26:53 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

@the_Monk

Read your guide. EXCELLENT!

Question for anyone: UPnP better than manually opening and pointing ports?

I have two Demigod clients behind my Buffalo Airstation router (which is running Tomato firmware v1.23).  I have used the tweaking tool in the BIN directory of Demigod to specify different port ranges for each machine, and forwarded the appropriate ranges for UDP packets to each respective PC.

Last night we were each able to connect to games (my first Pantheon match since release (whoot) and my son got in on a Custom Game).  But we weren't able to host a game and connect together.

In other words, I wanted to host a Custom Game and have my son join so we could play together.

Any suggestions would be tremendously appreciated!

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April 16, 2009 9:57:50 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

This is rediculous.  Do you have to be a nerd trained in all sorts of network protocols in order to play this game online?  I spent money on this game I expect to atleast be able to play it.  I even forwarded the stupid ports and it didnt change a damn thing.  What a waste of time and money.

If I wanted play singleplayer all night I would have downloaded the torrent.

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April 16, 2009 10:06:18 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Serathar i coudn't agree more. I havent been able to play one single multiplayer match. yesterday ive entered DMZ modes, tested the ports with the portchecker and they were open. All oh them. I have no firewalls active, i have disabled them, both windows and mcfee. What can i do? Monk? Help here, pls.

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April 16, 2009 11:14:13 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

My own IP router is a fairly old 3Com OfficeConnect one, and I was also having trouble connecting to other people, even with port forwarded. After read Monk's guide, I found two points which enabled me to complete a connection after fixed them:

1. I'm using Windows 7 (it'd be the same in Vista), and I have to run Demigod with administrator once to let it set Windows firewall rules.

2. I have to disable SPI functions on my IP router.

I also have some suggestions to GPG/Stardock regarding to net connection issues:

1. I think it would be helpful if when someone is hosting a game, a server from Stardock/GPG can "probe" the host first to make sure that it is properly configured. This can save a lot time of others to try connecting to a bad configured host.

2. It'd be nice if the custom game list can show a ping value to the host. It's a bit annoying to see a high ping value after waiting for a long time to join a game.

3. For skirmish and Pantheon I think it'd be very helpful if a server from Stardock/GPG can probe everyone to make sure they are properly configured when they login. Many times from the connection info, only one player is not properly configured and everyone is forced to wait.

4. I don't know if it's possible but I think it would be greatly improve the situation if only one player is required to be configured correctly. In theory, if one player is configured correctly, other players can connect to it passively so even incorrectly configured players can play as long as at least one player in the game is properly configured.

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April 16, 2009 12:59:08 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ignore, I've maybe got something sorted

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April 16, 2009 1:35:29 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting chaos40,
@the_Monk

Read your guide. EXCELLENT!

Question for anyone: UPnP better than manually opening and pointing ports?

I have two Demigod clients behind my Buffalo Airstation router (which is running Tomato firmware v1.23).  I have used the tweaking tool in the BIN directory of Demigod to specify different port ranges for each machine, and forwarded the appropriate ranges for UDP packets to each respective PC.

Last night we were each able to connect to games (my first Pantheon match since release (whoot) and my son got in on a Custom Game).  But we weren't able to host a game and connect together.

In other words, I wanted to host a Custom Game and have my son join so we could play together.

Any suggestions would be tremendously appreciated!

 

chaos40,

..short answer...

No UPnP is not better than proper port-forwarding.  UPnP relies on the fact that something internal will tell the router which incoming-port to allow (dynamic) traffic in on and this may or may not work.  Forward the port correctly and it'll always forward the specified traffic on.

For you and your son to play together (I'm assuming you're both behind the same router in your home??) you'll need to run the "ImpulseReactorOptions.exe" file in the BIN folder and choose a different range of ports for your son's PC and then setup forwarding for those in your router as well.

the Monk

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April 16, 2009 1:36:34 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Guys, I was fiddling around with this port forwarding stuff and it didn't work.

What did work for me was that I managed to play with people who were in the same city/region (Singapore). It appears that the closer the other person is to you, the higher chance that both of u can connect. From what I'm seeing, people in the US have no problems connecting to each other. It's the people outside the states (Asia/EU) trying to connect to US and Asia people trying to connect to US/EU that's giving all these problems.

So I just played 2 custom games with 2 people who were 90ms ping away and they were awesome. They also told me that it was their first game so my suspicions about different regions connecting appear to be justified.

It also means that Pantheon and Skirmish will not work because the system does not know where you're from.

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April 16, 2009 1:38:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Serathar,
This is rediculous.  Do you have to be a nerd trained in all sorts of network protocols in order to play this game online?  I spent money on this game I expect to atleast be able to play it.  I even forwarded the stupid ports and it didnt change a damn thing.  What a waste of time and money.

If I wanted play singleplayer all night I would have downloaded the torrent.

 

Serathar,

If you were a little more inclined to WANT help, I'd be a little more inclined to provide it.  If all you came here to do is bitch then pardon me while I pick someone else to help!  

If you change your mind about WANTING help, please provide me with a "network map" (as described in my guide) of your setup and I'll be able to help you further....

...until then, have a nice day!  

the Monk 

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April 16, 2009 1:42:19 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting salleco,
Serathar i coudn't agree more. I havent been able to play one single multiplayer match. yesterday ive entered DMZ modes, tested the ports with the portchecker and they were open. All oh them. I have no firewalls active, i have disabled them, both windows and mcfee. What can i do? Monk? Help here, pls.

 

salleco,

If everything is showing as "open" (ie. available to be "forwarded") and it's still not working for you, it could be that too many of the others you're trying to connect to have incorrect setups.

I will be online in a bit...and for the last few days (when I'm not playing) I host a game called "Monk-TESTING CONNECTION ONLY!" for people to test their "joining capabilities" to.  

I'll be glad to help you test this further....

 

thanks,

the Monk

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April 16, 2009 1:50:49 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Monk, thanks for the networking guide, look me up for a game of demigod sometime!

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April 16, 2009 1:55:37 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ok Monk, thanks for that. Ill be logging on later, cause im at work. Ill keep an eye open for your test game. One more thing. With my ports open i should be able to play pantheon right? yesterday i tryed but the message "is trying to set up a match but is not complete yet" was on for a long time and i gave up. Ill try again tonight.

Thanks, Monk.

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April 16, 2009 1:59:18 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting salleco,
Ok Monk, thanks for that. Ill be logging on later, cause im at work. Ill keep an eye open for your test game. One more thing. With my ports open i should be able to play pantheon right? yesterday i tryed but the message "is trying to set up a match but is not complete yet" was on for a long time and i gave up. Ill try again tonight.

Thanks, Monk.

 

salleco,

The message you're describing does stay around for quite some time even when it is working (and since SD was making server changes etc. it could have been taking extra long last night) primarily because the system is attempting to find people with working setups to hook-up.  

I will be around later though (after working hours..hehe) and will keep an eye out for you (feel free to add me to your friends list in-game if you want).

 

the Monk

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April 16, 2009 2:02:06 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting lordkosc,
Monk, thanks for the networking guide, look me up for a game of demigod sometime!

 

You're welcome man.... and I have to warn you.... I'm a TOTAL NOOB and have lost almost every game I've played so far!  

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