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Topic: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

I've been working on a D2 mod for quite some time now, and was thinking about starting a PVPGN for it when the time comes for it's release.

But, there are a few things that concern me, specifically when I read about attacks.

What have your experiences hosting a PVPGN been like? Is it something that is constantly ripe with issues?

I was reading about 'Tesseract', and tried hosting through GecKoTDF's proxy, and while it works, I'm wondering if it's 100% necessary and if it actually gets rid of all the issues.

2 (edited by Feofilaktt 17.10.2017 13:44)

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

It is something that varies constantly.. My example, when I had PvPGN in Windows I never had internal problems with PvPGN or D2GS, but with attacks on D2GS. Windows does not have good security (firewall).

When I migrated to Linux, I had to acquire a lot of knowledge in Linux commands and operation, Client <> Server packages, HEX code editing in Diablo 2  and other things to ensure that PvPGN tools are blocked for attacks and well-functioning, there are several ways to crash the D2GS.

And even after migrating to Linux, I still encounter some difficulties, but I can solve it quickly because of the knowledge I have acquired.

What our friend "GecKoTDF" has developed helped me a lot and I'm sure it will help many others, but it will not work if you just copy and paste it into your server. Each server will have to conform to its rules. I even tested the "Proxy" with GecKoTDF and I have the authenticity to speak.

So it's something that you need to dedicate time and patience, but it has a good result smile

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3

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

I finally managed to get it working with a custom patch.mpq (figuring out how to share into a VM was fun), and I'm happy to report it does indeed block overhead text, so hopefully the takes redvex out of the equation.

What is left that requires specific configuration? Will the base security features (blocked overhead text), and what I'm assuming is hex packet filtering, be enough for a small community?

4

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

EzRemake wrote:

I finally managed to get it working with a custom patch.mpq (figuring out how to share into a VM was fun), and I'm happy to report it does indeed block overhead text, so hopefully the takes redvex out of the equation.

What is left that requires specific configuration? Will the base security features (blocked overhead text), and what I'm assuming is hex packet filtering, be enough for a small community?

The problem is that other packages use the same HEX code and are sent to the client in other ways, for example when you talk to some of the NPC's.

As you can see, the overhead text HEX code is this:

14 Overhead message
Syntax: 14 00 00 [* char message] 00 00 00
Length: Varies (6 + message characters)

https://forums.pvpgn.pro/uploads/images/2017/10/18/aa.jpg

You could test and tell us how your server reacted to the rules ..

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5

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

If you have a small comunity and you are not a server from Argentina no one will pick on you so don't worry too much about that. You can see those who are problems are normally from argentina and that is because the owner of a realm called infinitum (also from argentina) is a slicky bastard who used to cause all this shit, cyborgplay and me can confirm this (Feofilaktt I'm sure you know too). Code blocking too much is a bad idea idea too as that code interact more in game too, besides there are a lot more exploits in this game that I will not name here, the hex code is only one made public long time ago but there are atleast three more much worse than that and hope will never be public.

6

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

kXander wrote:

If you have a small comunity and you are not a server from Argentina no one will pick on you so don't worry too much about that. You can see those who are problems are normally from argentina and that is because the owner of a realm called infinitum (also from argentina) is a slicky bastard who used to cause all this shit, cyborgplay and me can confirm this (Feofilaktt I'm sure you know too). Code blocking too much is a bad idea idea too as that code interact more in game too, besides there are a lot more exploits in this game that I will not name here, the hex code is only one made public long time ago but there are atleast three more much worse than that and hope will never be public.

Exactly! Unfortunately no one cares about helping the Diablo 2 community. I even saw some servers with the solutions, editing the D2GS source code or blocking the exploit with "warn" without interfering with the game.

But all this was done by them, do not think anything ready to download sad

They do not share with us and in return they are immune to the most common attacks.. but not at all.

As I said, there are several ways to topple the D2GS process, either by flooding or packet switching. Our beloved marsgod stopped supporting the D2GS tool and we were without adequate security for the process.

Our friend Tesseract has, in theory, developed the perfect tool for attack problems, but so far no one has succeeded or made the solution available to make it work.

As you said, everyone already knows the great villain of this story.. if all server owners are aware that players for all servers, we would not have problems like this.

Added: 18.10.2017 11:57

Note: I have also received many attacks from Bulgarian.

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7

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

The guy is targeting close to home in order to root out 'competition'? Some people, I guess...

It's too bad that some of the more advanced D2GS rewrites haven't been shared. Though I suppose I don't really blame them, as that increases the odds of reverse engineering their fixes. Still, seeing what Path of Diablo has accomplished, with being able to select your D2GS by entering a certain description for your game, would be reallllly nice to have.

Either way, I'll be doing some private testing coming up this week and I'll see how my server reacts with the proxy. If I can at the very least avoid redvex, that will be enough for now. I like to think most people don't have the knowledge for packet injecting, so at least getting rid of the script kiddies will be enough, I'm hoping.

8

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

EzRemake wrote:

The guy is targeting close to home in order to root out 'competition'? Some people, I guess...

It's too bad that some of the more advanced D2GS rewrites haven't been shared. Though I suppose I don't really blame them, as that increases the odds of reverse engineering their fixes. Still, seeing what Path of Diablo has accomplished, with being able to select your D2GS by entering a certain description for your game, would be reallllly nice to have.

Either way, I'll be doing some private testing coming up this week and I'll see how my server reacts with the proxy. If I can at the very least avoid redvex, that will be enough for now. I like to think most people don't have the knowledge for packet injecting, so at least getting rid of the script kiddies will be enough, I'm hoping.

Too bad that nobody wants to deal with diablo in the community we really need good web portal system and modified D2GS..

9

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

hehpe wrote:

Too bad that nobody wants to deal with diablo in the community we really need good web portal system and modified D2GS..

We already have this community, what HarpyWar did for the PvPGN servers is incredible!

Now we need to help ourselves, with experiences and knowledge, because no one will do this besides us hmm

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10

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Absolutely fine.

Sure, running a server for a nearly 2-decade old game can sure come with its quirks but it is probably the most fullfilling thing I could have taken on. I took over Slash Diablo when it was 3 years old and I've been running it for 2 years now and it is a lot of fun.

I'd recommend finding someone who is really good at coding to help you with the server as it really helps to have someone that can build toolsets and such for PvPGN and D2GS - like our Moderation website or our Armory!

As for issues, not really, no. You can get an issue which is hard to diagnose and it can drive you a bit crazy but always remember that this forum is here and people are always around to help on Discord etc. Slash starting being attacked last year and I got really fed up trying to figure out what it was... turning to this forum and asking a few questions, I found a few servers with the exact same problem and now we all have a couple of great solutions to prevent this.

And as others have said - if you are a sub-500 player community, it will be very unlikely that you will be targeted.

In short - do it, ask for help when you need, that is why we're here.

Owner of Slash Diablo & Diablo2.org (coming soon).

Also check out Slash's Character Armory!

11

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

I've managed to crop up a modified 1.13c D2Game.dll that completely blocks out the use of all overhead text messages.

This should completely eliminate the threat for scriptkiddy crap like Redzex.

This only needs to be installed on the serverside. If you encounter any issues, let me know!


Overhead Text Blocking - 1.13c Only

1.13c_-_overhead_blocking_dll.rar  435.4 Kb  (63)

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Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Nice, EZRemake.

I'll give this a go on my test server tonight and report back.

Owner of Slash Diablo & Diablo2.org (coming soon).

Also check out Slash's Character Armory!

13

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Just a heads up with the overhead blocking dll, we started experiencing some D2GS crashes when exploring the Bloody Foothills in Hell difficulty. These issues seem to have cleared up when we reverted back to the original d2game.dll

I'm not exactly sure why this would be the case, considering everything works fine up until that point (and has for 2 weeks now), but ehhhhhhh welcome to stack editing.

Let me know if you guys have similar issues.

14

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

I'll test to confirm the bug for you..

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15

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Feofilaktt wrote:

I'll test to confirm the bug for you..

I've tested this on server with 100+ users it D2GS crashes once per day as for the client crash I haven't checked that out ..

16 (edited by EzRemake 04.12.2017 08:04)

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

After quite a bit of testing, I've concluded my crashes in act 5 are not from the .dll, as I'm getting them even with the default .dlls

Seems like there is a problem with my custom d2_patch that I'll have to go on a witch hunt for.

*Edit*: Turns out the catapultchargedball missile does not like to spawn more than 7 bolts. Level 109 catapults were my problem evidently.

17

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

My D2GS crashed once, did not generate any log, only the players did not create games, D2GS.exe was running, but crashed

I'll continue the tests to find out more about the problem..

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18

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Feofilaktt wrote:

My D2GS crashed once, did not generate any log, only the players did not create games, D2GS.exe was running, but crashed

I'll continue the tests to find out more about the problem..

d2game.dll is only loaded into memory when a game actually exists, so there's no way it would have caused that. It was a pretty big stretch for me to assume it was the .dll in the first place - everything should work completely fine.

19

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Hey guys I was wondering is it possible to block autoTP hack with iptables and hex string?

20

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Are you referring to just a standard bot that teleports and farms, or a hack that auto opens a town portal and uses it really fast (hardcore abuse)?

Either way, it's hard to do anything since they both use legitimate in game functions. To block them, would be to block all other uses of them.

If you want to make your server more farm bot proof, you can do some simple things like edit your town maps and move NPCs around, move town WP locations, change potions to a different NPC vendor, etc.

Of course, you could outright remove teleport from Enigma, or from the game entirely - but I'm sure a lot of people would hate that.

21 (edited by hehpe 19.12.2017 12:59)

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

EzRemake wrote:

Are you referring to just a standard bot that teleports and farms, or a hack that auto opens a town portal and uses it really fast (hardcore abuse)?

Either way, it's hard to do anything since they both use legitimate in game functions. To block them, would be to block all other uses of them.

If you want to make your server more farm bot proof, you can do some simple things like edit your town maps and move NPCs around, move town WP locations, change potions to a different NPC vendor, etc.

Of course, you could outright remove teleport from Enigma, or from the game entirely - but I'm sure a lot of people would hate that.

I'm currently making custom mod  I already have different towns and a lot of things that would make boting difficult. I meant this hack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWW02jMJyn4

22

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

As @EzRemake said, if you try to block the packages that contain this function, it can probably affect the whole game and your players can kick out the game unexpectedly..

I recommend these alternatives:

- Select GMs to track down booters and other harmful hackers within the game.

- Use versions of Patch 1.14+ that there are few versions of exploit

- Use a Patch with modifications that prevent programming Boot Scripts, such as changing WP, NPCs, locations.

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23

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Something like that is just a really really light bot, almost bordering just being a macro. There's no way for d2 to differentiate commands coming from something like that vs. a real player.

All you can really do is be creative and keep your admins on the look out. Perhaps maybe adding a small cool down to teleport? It still lets it be effective for dodging mobility/travel, without it being a "skip the entire area without getting hit once" type of skill.

24 (edited by GecKoTDF 13.01.2018 00:52)

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

EZRemake - Can't exist the disable of the Overhead chat for 1.14b ? - Because if we use 1.14b and disable the overhead chat, my virtual machine to avoid the Hex Hack, its posible to solve most of the problems.-

Added: 13.01.2018 12:03

At the moment I can confirmate no problem with the D2Game.dll mod by EZRemake in the 1.14b
Disable OK the Overhead chat

My server at this moment it's running.-

Server 1.14b with 1.13c D2Game.dll
My DieTesseract block the D2GS Crash Hex code only.-
Clients using 1.14b

Nothing modded all original, only the D2Game.dll in the server side.-

25

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

I would be careful with that Gecko.

You would be much better replicating the change to a 1.14 version of D2Game.dll

No doubt there will be bugs hiding by using an older D2Game.

Coming Soon...
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26

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Good - I don't know if EzRemake can made it for 1.14b - That can be amazing - Because 1.14b are less exploits

27

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Hi guys, I compare the 1.13c D2GAME.dll original with the 1.14b original and are the same, so the mod version of 1.13c its full compatible with 1.14b.
I check using FlexHEX software, to see any differences in Binary or HEX Code.

28

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

GecKoTDF wrote:

Hi guys, I compare the 1.13c D2GAME.dll original with the 1.14b original and are the same, so the mod version of 1.13c its full compatible with 1.14b.
I check using FlexHEX software, to see any differences in Binary or HEX Code.

Hello Mate,

They might appear the same but if I recall 1.14b runs directly from game.exe and all of the dlls are packed here rather than standalone.

I had played around a little with 1.14b a few days ago to see.

If required I'll have a look again at this check for you and I'll post a modified game.exe with the change.

Unless you are happy with the way you have it now.

Kier

Coming Soon...
Project 09

29

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

Kieran wrote:
GecKoTDF wrote:

Hi guys, I compare the 1.13c D2GAME.dll original with the 1.14b original and are the same, so the mod version of 1.13c its full compatible with 1.14b.
I check using FlexHEX software, to see any differences in Binary or HEX Code.

Hello Mate,

They might appear the same but if I recall 1.14b runs directly from game.exe and all of the dlls are packed here rather than standalone.

I had played around a little with 1.14b a few days ago to see.

If required I'll have a look again at this check for you and I'll post a modified game.exe with the change.

Unless you are happy with the way you have it now.

Kier

I see, well I don't know about that - So, in the 1.14b the "D2Game.dll" it's inside the game.exe file - Until you put a external d2game.dll and start to give it priority and load from there (external dll)?
Because if you put the mod "D2Game.dll" file, take the mod.-

I believe it's going to be a very good idea disable the overhead chat native in 1.14b using their files - Because it's a very stable version, with less exploits and bots.-

If you understand more better how 1.14b and it's not a big deal for you, I will really apreciate that efford.-

Thank you Kier for your time.-

30

Re: What's your experiences hosting a PVPGN?

If you've checked both .dlls and found them to be the same - then they are. If you've found no adverse affects using the d2game.dll for 1.13c, it should be fine.

I haven't tried it myself so I cannot say for certain, but if they layouts of the .dlls are exactly the same, it should be ok. Use ollydbg to double check if you're not sure.

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