Downloaded Missions
#1
Hello everyone,
Newest of all noobies here and have just discovered Dxx-rebirth and think it's absolutely fantastic.  Big Grin

I've also found the mission database and have downloaded a mission that looks good, but it comes in the form of a zip file which contains two files: a .hog file and a .mn2 file.
How do I use these files to run the mission in Descent 2 please.?

I apologise in advance for the much eyebrow raising and tutting.
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#2
Unzip the downloaded file into your missions subdirectory, so that the mn2 and hog files are visible in Windows Explorer (or Finder, if you're on Mac; or CLI / Nautilus / Dolphin, if you are on Linux), then start the game and choose New Game.

If your missions directory does not exist, create it first. It should be at the same level as where the game writes descent.cfg (among other files). If you don't know where that is, your operating system's Find File capability should lead you to it.
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#3
(02-06-2019, 02:34 AM)Kp Wrote: Unzip the downloaded file into your missions subdirectory, so that the mn2 and hog files are visible in Windows Explorer (or Finder, if you're on Mac; or CLI / Nautilus / Dolphin, if you are on Linux), then start the game and choose New Game.

If your missions directory does not exist, create it first.  It should be at the same level as where the game writes descent.cfg (among other files).  If you don't know where that is, your operating system's Find File capability should lead you to it.

Many thanx Kp. Followed your instructions and the new mission is listed and works well.
Looking forward to many hours of Descent play, but while I have the attention of an expert, there is one other thing I don't understand.

I am trying to play multiplayer with a friend over the internet. (I'm on windows 7 Pro - 64 bit by the way and so is she) At first it seemed that multiplayer wasn't working as we couldn't see each others hosted games on the multiplayer screen. After a little searching around for answers it seems that we have to do port forwarding on our routers to open port 42424 - is that correct - but what is this game tracking option in the multiplayer options screen, (what's a game tracker) This is all very confusing - we just want to play descent over the internet. Could you shed some light on all this please - we'd be much obliged.
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#4
Ignore the tracker. The person hosting it seems to have taken it offline. When it was up, it provided a way to find people offering games.

Yes, forward udp/42424 on the router of the game's host to the Windows computer on which that host will play. The guests usually do not require any router configuration. Some very strict firewalls might require special work for the guests, but you typically only see those in managed networks run by employers, not in home networks. Be attentive when preparing the forwarding. Good routers can forward TCP or UDP independently. You need UDP forwarded. You do not need TCP forwarded. Forwarding TCP will not help you. I have sometimes dealt with people who forwarded only TCP, then wondered why their game still did not work.

Additionally, the host may need an exception to the Windows firewall so that once the host's router forwards the traffic to the host's Windows computer, that Windows computer then permits the game to receive the traffic. If you have a second computer locally, I suggest you get to the point that the local computers can play together, then move to making yourself able to host Internet games. (You don't need a second person to fly with you or be even passable as a Descent pilot. You just want to see that the local guest can join the game and see messages sent. For this purpose, it's fine to borrow a computer from a sibling/friend/spouse etc., as long as it runs a compatible OS where you can install the game.)
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#5
(02-07-2019, 02:30 AM)Kp Wrote: Ignore the tracker.  The person hosting it seems to have taken it offline.  When it was up, it provided a way to find people offering games.

Yes, forward udp/42424 on the router of the game's host to the Windows computer on which that host will play.  The guests usually do not require any router configuration.  Some very strict firewalls might require special work for the guests, but you typically only see those in managed networks run by employers, not in home networks.  Be attentive when preparing the forwarding.  Good routers can forward TCP or UDP independently.  You need UDP forwarded.  You do not need TCP forwarded.  Forwarding TCP will not help you.  I have sometimes dealt with people who forwarded only TCP, then wondered why their game still did not work.

Additionally, the host may need an exception to the Windows firewall so that once the host's router forwards the traffic to the host's Windows computer, that Windows computer then permits the game to receive the traffic.  If you have a second computer locally, I suggest you get to the point that the local computers can play together, then move to making yourself able to host Internet games.  (You don't need a second person to fly with you or be even passable as a Descent pilot.  You just want to see that the local guest can join the game and see messages sent.  For this purpose, it's fine to borrow a computer from a sibling/friend/spouse etc., as long as it runs a compatible OS where you can install the game.)

Hi Kp - once again many thanks for your reply and your patience.
 
OK - I've ignored the tracker and I've tried to do what you advised. This is where I'm at right now.
 
I've carried out UDP forwarding on my router for port 42424 (successfully I think) and added the new rules for inbound and outbound traffic. I've also ensured that my windows firewall allows access to descent rebirth.
 
I also happen to have an old XP laptop which runs Decent rebirth. I hosted a game on my Win7 machine and the XP laptop was able to see and join the game.
 
However, I'm not sure that this tests if my port forwarding is successful because the two machines are on the same home network, so isn't that just a normal LAN game rather than an external connection from the internet?
 
So the proof of the pudding of course will be when I can eventually get my descent buddy to try and connect up. (washing her hair or something - more eyebrow raising and tutting)
 
Anyway, do you think it might work so far? I'm interested in you saying that the guest computer doesn't have to do port forwarding. I mean if port 42424 is not open on her machine how can the data flow between machines through those ports? Please excuse my ignorance about networks.
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#6
Yes, borrowing the XP laptop only confirms that LAN works for you. It does not test your router configuration. However, if LAN play did not work (such as if you had not properly configured the Windows firewall), then Internet play would also not work. Testing LAN is easier since you have all the pieces in one place and fewer requirements to satisfy. Now that you have proved you can host on the LAN, there are fewer things to doubt if your first attempt at Internet hosting fails. From your description, you are ready to try hosting an Internet game. Assuming that your router is configured the way you think it is, I expect the game to work. (I'm reserving the possibility that the configuration interface is confusing, or the router is buggy and does not obey your changes, etc.)

To be pedantic, I said the guest does not require router configuration, and meant that rather literally. The guest needs port forwarding, but it is not the responsibility of you or your friend to provide the forwarding. Rather, it is traditional for routers to automatically establish a return path for outgoing requests. If they did not do this, you would need to do substantial configuration to enable your LAN-side computers to use any Internet services (web, mail, DNS, etc.) because you would need to explicitly approve receiving the answers to the requests your computer sent out. This is generally seen as unnecessary tedium; why would you send a request and not want to hear the response? Instead, routers remember that you sent a request, assume that you want to hear the response when it arrives, and create narrowly scoped temporary forwardings to make that happen. Since your friend will be sending a game join request to you, her router will assume (correctly) that she wants to hear your response describing the game. Her router will not allow her to receive unsolicited inbound traffic from other computers, but will allow return traffic from your computer for a few minutes after her last message to you. (Exact lifetimes vary, but 2-4 minutes is a fairly popular grace period.) During gameplay, you will be exchanging many messages per minute, and each will refresh the lifetime of the temporary forwarding, so the forwarding will remain open for as long as you play.
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#7
(02-08-2019, 03:06 AM)Kp Wrote: Yes, borrowing the XP laptop only confirms that LAN works for you.  It does not test your router configuration.  However, if LAN play did not work (such as if you had not properly configured the Windows firewall), then Internet play would also not work.  Testing LAN is easier since you have all the pieces in one place and fewer requirements to satisfy.  Now that you have proved you can host on the LAN, there are fewer things to doubt if your first attempt at Internet hosting fails.  From your description, you are ready to try hosting an Internet game.  Assuming that your router is configured the way you think it is, I expect the game to work.  (I'm reserving the possibility that the configuration interface is confusing, or the router is buggy and does not obey your changes, etc.)

To be pedantic, I said the guest does not require router configuration, and meant that rather literally.  The guest needs port forwarding, but it is not the responsibility of you or your friend to provide the forwarding.  Rather, it is traditional for routers to automatically establish a return path for outgoing requests.  If they did not do this, you would need to do substantial configuration to enable your LAN-side computers to use any Internet services (web, mail, DNS, etc.) because you would need to explicitly approve receiving the answers to the requests your computer sent out.  This is generally seen as unnecessary tedium; why would you send a request and not want to hear the response?  Instead, routers remember that you sent a request, assume that you want to hear the response when it arrives, and create narrowly scoped temporary forwardings to make that happen.  Since your friend will be sending a game join request to you, her router will assume (correctly) that she wants to hear your response describing the game.  Her router will not allow her to receive unsolicited inbound traffic from other computers, but will allow return traffic from your computer for a few minutes after her last message to you.  (Exact lifetimes vary, but 2-4 minutes is a fairly popular grace period.)  During gameplay, you will be exchanging many messages per minute, and each will refresh the lifetime of the temporary forwarding, so the forwarding will remain open for as long as you play.

Hi Kp,
 
Again I must thank you for your swift reply, and commend you on a most comprehensive piece of information.
 
I understand what you say, and don't see any reason why a multiplayer game over the internet would not work now.
 
Would you like me to drop a line on this thread to say whether we succeeded or not?
(assuming I can persuade madam to get a grip of course)
 
Anyway once a again many thanx Kp - great forum - and great member of.
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#8
Yes, please. I'm always happy to see confirmation the project works well for other people.

As a minor caution, unlike more modern games, Descent saves only when you tell it to save. There is no timed autosave, nor automatic save for reaching specific milestones in game. If you have any concerns about the stability of your computer (e.g. if you live in an area with unreliable power, or you're playing from battery, etc.), remember to save periodically. Guests who drop out can rejoin without issue, but if the host drops due to computer failure (or program bug), the game state will be lost. The guest cannot transparently become a new host.
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#9
(02-09-2019, 01:55 AM)Kp Wrote: Yes, please.  I'm always happy to see confirmation the project works well for other people.

As a minor caution, unlike more modern games, Descent saves only when you tell it to save.  There is no timed autosave, nor automatic save for reaching specific milestones in game.  If you have any concerns about the stability of your computer (e.g. if you live in an area with unreliable power, or you're playing from battery, etc.), remember to save periodically.  Guests who drop out can rejoin without issue, but if the host drops due to computer failure (or program bug), the game state will be lost.  The guest cannot transparently become a new host.

So, I'd like to report a successful internet hook-up and multiplayer game.
 
I hosted the game and madam was able to join and play without issue. (now all I have to do is get better than her, as my butt gets kicked every time)
 
So thank you Kp, your information was much appreciated.
 
Just as an aside, for what it's worth there seems to be a game tracker website that's still in operation at the following link.
 
https://dxxtracker.reenigne.net/
 
Whenever I host a game it appears on this website with all the game details on it.
 
So there you are - a successful project thanx to you. Nice one
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