[bf1942] Another angle

Forrest Thiessen thiessen at alum.mit.edu
Thu Jun 16 16:07:32 EDT 2005

I've been thinking about taking that route: writing a simple proxy that
would sit between the server and the outside world, that would intercept
GameSpy status queries to the server and report back that unlocks are
off on the server, even if they are on (the time limit issue goes away
next week with the full server, I'm assuming).  That way GameSpy, EA, et
al would have no idea that the server had been, uh, "configured in a
manner not approved by the manufacturer".

I spent several hours playing the demo yesterday, though, and came to
the conclusion that the unlocked weapons are real yawners--I wasn't
doing any scientific experiments on them, but I really couldn't tell the
difference, or see any special advantage in them.  And things are
generally moving fast enough in the game that people don't have time to
stop and say "wow, what a cool looking weapon that guy has". . . so, I'm
not sure that I see going through the trouble of writing such a proxy to
be worth it.

The rankings, though, are a different manner.  I own a cybercafe where
our most popular game for the last two years has been Desert Combat; the
only other game that's come close has been Counter-Strike.  Most of the
reason for the popularity has been the game itself, but part of it has
been the availability of a local rankings system.  People really want to
be able to show off how good they are to their friends, and people will
play for hours to vie for top spots in the rankings.  I think people
will like the EA ranking system, but I think they would like a local
ranking system even more--in my experience, most people want to know
where they stand compared to people they know, not people on the other
side of the planet (or even the other side of the city) that they've
never met.

Given that, I'm sure it's possible to create a local ranking system that
meets this need (although it might be necessary to re-invent several
wheels first: see parallel discussion on this list about "BF2 Event
Logging"; is the apparent absence of an out-of-the-box logging facility
another plank in what appears to be an EA strategy to keep EA the only
ranking system available?) but if someone figures out how to "wire" such
a system into the game itself, a proxy like I described might still come
in handy.

Hmmm. . . (sound of thinking). . .


Joe wrote:

>And I forgot to add - All someone has to do is wrap the binary to provide a
>fake gamespy auth or whatever I'd bet..I'm far from a programmer, and have
>no desire to host a server if I have to go to that length, but I'm sure it's
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Joe [mailto:sechon at blackmud.com]
>Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 2:40 PM
>To: bf1942 at icculus.org
>Subject: OT: RE: [bf1942] Another angle
>Yeah it's called take the drive out, and use some tools in linux (some win32
>available) to extract the data. I'm not 100% on that make, but my DishDVR
>contains a standard IDE drive that you can connect to a PC. It's got three
>partitions, the third containing recorded shows. Voids the warrenty though
>by opening it, obviously.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Lee Latham [mailto:leeprivate at cgmlarson.com]
>Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 2:17 PM
>To: bf1942 at icculus.org
>Subject: Re: [bf1942] Another angle
>Actually I would respectfully disagree, and assert that they could indeed
>force you to use gamespy only.  If you look at the current crop of cable
>boxes that, to my knowledge, have not yet been "hacked" despite being out
>for several years, you might agree.  When you can have a sort of rotating
>hash system the only way to really hack it is to break the encryption,
>which is not that easy to do.
>In fact, it really annoys me that I can't copy recorded shows from my
>Scientific Atlanta PVR, so if anyone knows of a hack to do it, I'd really
>love a private email!
>But my point is only that it could be made very, very hard if the binary
>will accept only a verified gamespy query to start the client.
>At 08:31 PM 6/15/2005, you wrote:
>>You hardly need to hack the game to create a separate master server
>>system. Just wrap the server binary in a script that pings your new master
>>on entry and pings it again on exit. The master then periodically issues a
>>regular qstat status query to your server to fill in the details. You
>>could probably implement the ping with an IRC bot so that the master can
>>be distributed over several IRC servers. This eliminates single point of
>>failure and allows volunteers to contribute servers from all over the

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