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Troubleshooting Connectivity

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Multiplayer & PBEM' started by Thunderfall, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Just received this message from Soren Johnson (Civ4 Lead Designer) regarding Civ4 multiplayer connectivity:

    If you are encountering problems when connecting to multiplayer games over the internet, chances are strong that you are not the cause of the problem. It is likely that players running firewall software that rejects incoming connection attempts may have already joined the game. Since these players do not have their firewall configured correctly, their computers are rejecting your attempt to connect. Therefore, it is vital that all players who wish to play multiplayer games ensure that their firewall is set up to allow Civilization IV to construct the necessary peer-to-peer network.

    If you are running firewall software, please verify that CivilizationIV.exe is listed on the "Exception List" of your firewall, and that incoming messages will be accepted for this process. If your firewall software does not offer an exception list, please open port 2056 for UDP traffic on your firewall. This will allow the required traffic through.

    Although Civilization IV contains logic to negotiate around many firewalls and NAT devices (routers), it can run into trouble under certain circumstances. The solution Civilization IV employs works with a vast majority of routers, but does not work with all brands. Very old models may have more problems than newer ones. Additionally, Civilization IV will have problems negotiating through 2 levels of network address translation (ie. a router behind a router). Also, negotiation may fail if you or an existing peer is running the game on a very large and busy LAN.
     
  2. Possibility

    Possibility Chieftain

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    "The solution Civilization IV employs works with a vast majority of routers,"

    Vast majority my ...! I have been trying to join a game for the past 1 1/2 hours, must have tried 30 times and didnt get into a single damn one!

    Yet I can play any other game just fine. Age of Empires, Half Life, Quake4, you name, every single game works except Civ4. But rarely, i will get into a Civ4 game and its great, so I really want to play Civ4...
     
  3. knupp715

    knupp715 Chieftain

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    Hmmmm. It is nice to get a response from Soren about the problem. I was (almost) starting to think the problem was being ignored. However, I thought that the source off all the difficulties (ie. waiting hours to get into a game) would be more complicated than just people having their fire wall up. I guess we will see though, if this helps the problem.

    PLEASE I hope it does.
     
  4. culdeus

    culdeus Chieftain

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    So is this it? All I have to do is forward 2056 UDP for my server? This is good news. On to testing.
     
  5. GarretSidzaka

    GarretSidzaka Chieftain

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    It's very useful to know the exact ports. Im gonna check my wireless router now and see if i can free anything else up. but im not using a firewall anymore :p

    It would be good to see a list of router models or brandnames that civ4 has been specifically tested on or coded for. Maybe firewall software too.
     
  6. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    A week or two ago I posted a news about the MP problem. I thought from the thread discussion it was a GameSpy problem? :hmm:
     
  7. drSiN

    drSiN Chieftain

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    Funny I never had a problem before the new patch , now I cant connect to anyone , ever.

    Its ruined the game for me , becuase in this version of CIV multiplayer was fantastic.So in short , ignore what he just said.
     
  8. Jafendel

    Jafendel Chieftain

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    Nearly every time I have tried to play a new game online some kind of firewall problem has shown up. Yesterday I tried a direct IP connection with a friend the first time and it took some time to make it work with all the settings. After that our session worked flawlessly. So this is nothing extraordinaly on Civ 4's behalf I'd say.

    Also notice that even after third-hand firewall software/hardware has been set to work the original windows firewall might still lurk in background if it's enabled as well.
     
  9. knupp715

    knupp715 Chieftain

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    This is what I also thought. This is why I was bewildered by Soren's message.

    When I installed the game, it asked me if I was going to allow Civ4 onto the "exception list" for my firewall and in parenthises it said (required for multiplayer). Don't you think anybody who was going to play multiplayer would allow it? This is why I'm not completely positive that this is the source of the problem. However, I have trust in Soren and his fellow Firaxians :)
     
  10. Soren Johnson

    Soren Johnson Game Designer

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    This pokes a hole in Windows default firewall (assuming people left it unchecked)... usually, it is third-party apps which are the problem (like ZoneAlarm, for example).
     
  11. salqadri

    salqadri Chieftain

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    Thanks for your message Soren, we've truly been waiting.

    However after hearing from you I am now truly concerned that the problem will not be solved in the near future, since you guys dont seem to have even identified it correctly. To help you analyze the problem in more depth, let me relate to you a) why your hypothesis is incorrect, and b) the experiences I've had that allude to some other problem (I've played 165 ladder games so far, under gamespy id salqadri).

    First of all, you claim that the problem is due to someone else not having done his firewall settings. Well, to prove that the hypothesis is incorrect, I have had many scenarios where I am unable to connect to a peer, but everyone else seems to be able to. Therefore the allusion that the guy we are connecting to has the problem is false. This implies then that the problem lies with myself. Well, again, when I am a peer in some game, many are still able to connect, but some are unable to connect just because of me (we are able to tell which peer is the problem by counting how many times the peer connection shows up; this technique has been proven to be correct as removal of that peer allows the person having the problem to connect). Thus what we see is that the problem is based on individuals being incompatible with each other, as at this point I know exactly which peers I will not be able to connect to (unless either him or I are the host). The connect-to-host problem I think is similar to the connect-to-peer problem, however it is more rare and can be completely fixed using DirectIP (but it doesnt solve peer).

    As for routers, it is true that your algorithms work well with routers, atleast mine. I have the same problems even when directly connected to my cable modem. Not using the router doesnt solve the issue. Furthurmore, turning the firewall off altogether doesnt help either. Either you will connect to someone, or u wont. Infact sometimes it seems like I get more successful connections when I have firewall and router on than when off, but this I think is an illusion.

    For me the problem has been occuring from day 1 (latest computer, original game) even before the patches, and I would always hope that the next patch would solve it. But apparently after the last patch the problem is not with me alone, which made me kinda happy hoping now u would solve it. But after this message of yours, it is clear to me you guys have no idea what the problem is, so my hope is destroyed.

    One possible cause is location of player. However, after testing with many ppl, I have found that I am often able to more easily connect to Europeans than people in my same US state (California). This means 1) distance doesnt matter and 2) Perhaps ppl in the same state connect to the same gamespy server or something along those lines. Another possible cause is my ISP (Comcast). But at the end of the day, I have successfully played 165 ladder games, though at times with great difficulty (like atm, thus the frustration).

    Multiplayer gaming has advanced greatly, with games like WoW, Guild Wars, Final Fantasy, EQ, AoE, Warcraft, Call of Duty, etc, etc, etc, and none of them face anywhere close to the problems Civ 4 faces, despite the fact that we have the same firewall and routers etc. The problem therefore lies on your side, not ours. Its the peer-to-peer programming that has bugs, and I'm sure can be fixed with proper debugging and attention. The problem may also lie with GameSpy instead of you. Its your job to figure it out, not make up invalid excuses and put the blame on us.

    Thank you for listening and interacting with the community,

    salqadri
     
  12. Soren Johnson

    Soren Johnson Game Designer

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    We have stepped through this problem with a number of users who have been tagged as "bad peers" and in every case, adding a Civ4 exception to their third-party firewall app has solved the problem. This is not to say that it will solve the problem for everyone, but it certainly is an important step for a number of people.

    We are, in fact, looking for sets of people who cannot connect with each other even though their firewall settings are correctly configured. It sounds like you know of some people who, in combination with you, qualify. If so, we'd love to step through the problem with you and the other party. If you would be willing to do this, please let us know.
     
  13. GenericKen

    GenericKen Not at all suspicious

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    Ooooo, perhaps the patch accidentally overwrote everyone's permissions?


    It's a long shot; more likley, the increased number of players for whom 1.59 made multi worth a shot increased the number of people who might ruin games. *shrug*

    Unprofessional of you to blame it on Gamespy bandwidth, though, when there were symptoms to the problem. You have to conceede that.
     
  14. salqadri

    salqadri Chieftain

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    Sure Soren, I'd be happy to help. Just let me know where to contact you, or you may contact me directly at salqadri@gmail.com.
     
  15. Wallabulla

    Wallabulla Chieftain

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    I too have problems connection, not to peers, don't get that far.
    The message I get is something like this: "Can't connect to the game server".
    I have no problems with other MP games, so there should be an solution to this problem from the developers side..
    Love the singelplayer side of the game, have been playing Civ since 1991, would have been fun to try multiplayer
     
  16. Fried-Psitalon

    Fried-Psitalon Chieftain

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    Not unprofessional at all; correct.

    Gamespy's bandwith to their NAT servers is precisely the cause. NAT servers are meant to negotiate communication routes with people who have their computers firewalled or otherwise secured.

    Basically, this information is being given out because Gamespy has failed to do their part. If Gamespy's NAT servers were getting the job done, no one would have to open ports on their firewalls. This is Firaxis extending extra effort to cover Gamespy's screwups, and being polite enough not to point out that fact.

    Quite professional indeed, I'd say.
     
  17. SlipperyJim

    SlipperyJim Chieftain

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    I'm not really into multiplayer gaming. Most of my CivIV time is spent on my laptop, riding a commuter bus to work, and disconnected from the 'net. However, I have a suggestion that someone might want to try:
    http://hamachi.cc/

    Hamachi is free if you don't need any fancy features, and it seems to work very well. I use it to allow RDP (Remote Desktop) connections to various PCs, including my home PC which sits behind a NAT router. Just a suggestion....
     
  18. Jafendel

    Jafendel Chieftain

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    The Civilization4.exe was changed in patch? It might be a whole new program in firewalls opinion then or considerer 'alien', regarding which software are being used...
     
  19. Smidlee

    Smidlee Chieftain

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    I have notice ladder games are easiler for me to join than non-ladder games.(ladder players are more likely to make sure their ports are open) So it seems most of the trouble is probably a firewall problem. It's true with every patch I have to recheck to let civ4 (or any other game) though with Zonealarm. Yet I haven't seen any problem with Zonealarm before with civ4.
     
  20. kattana

    kattana Chieftain

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    i'd like to confirm that when running the pitboss, its the sole connection point and therefore there is no need for the peer to peer type connections between the individual players, correct?

    if so, then firewall issues become moot for those that use pitboss.
     

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