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Today I tested Red Alert 3 Broadcast Forwarder version 0.04 with somebody who had Windows Vista, Windows XP and a NAT router (3Com Office Connect Wireless ADSL 11G).Egyptian dude, muslim, says he is cisco student ;) didn't know this router, it's friends router... he borrowing internet... because so expensive.We can play pretty decently over hamachi.However when trying my quickly made tool we ran into all kinds of problems:1. The supplied drivers didn't seem to work on his Vista... it complained about access denied, invalid service name, and finally nothing showed up in the public adapters list... tried downloading the latest windows drivers kit... 2008 build him a new driver for vista... but still nothing prottest.exe crashed too... weird.However I think one other person did get the drivers working not sure though...2. Vista failing "we" switched to xp. The original/older drivers were working just fine there.So far everything was working and setup was ok... we could see each other in lobby and chat, and create and join game.However one of us could not talk in the game lobby... the one behind NAT.He was behind NAT... I could not see his chat... he would also get kicked out and we can not start the game.3. Finally analyzing captured wireshark and ethereal logs strange things are happening to the ip/udp packets:The game listens and sends from port 8086.All packets should look like:ip.udp.source port: 8086ip.udp.dest port: 8086At least that's what I believe...But for some reason his computer is suddenly changing these packets to for example:ip.udp.source port: 8085ip.udp.dest port: 8095Very strange.At this point it could be anything:1. Normal game operation.2. Malfunction in game network code, there are many so wouldn't be to surprising.3. Malfunction in tool or driver... seems unlikely since it's happening to non-intercepted packets as well, unlessmaybe driver mess with normal packets too ?! seems very unlikely but ok...4. Router might have something to do with it... first I believe this was the case but now I am not so sure any more... since this was a direct capture from the PC itself.5. His older computer was a pentium 4 I think... he also had a newer core duo... since game was running on older computer this could rule out any multi threading/multi core related issue's ?...6. Maybe his cpu/hardware/network card just damaged ?7. Maybe infected with something nasty... seems unlikely...8. Maybe virus scanner is messing with the ports.9. Maybe windows bug.Further investigation is needed on none-nat-systems.Most likely cause is bad game-network-code or bad pc or bad nat router/technology in general.Further thoughts:10. My tool could correct all these weird port problems and simply modify the packets so they always use port 8086. This assumes the game only needs port 8086. Not yet sure if that's valid assumption.Further problem is ndisprot probably not suited for modifieing incoming packets... so that the game will finally receive them since the game is listen on port 8086 and will only respond to anything that comes into port 8086.One possibility might be to use pass-thru driver... to fix these kind of problems.The dude was very helpfull... the cracks are all fakes... they all use 1.00 probably...Anybody trying to get their nat routers to work correctly with this game and version 1.00... is probably wasting their time ! ;)Another remarkable discovery:For some reason hamachi is working correctly so this makes it even more mystifieing.Why is hamachi working ?We didn't actually test hamachi on his old computer.So we should do this as well to test if hamachi will fail on his older computer as well..It should fail... if it doesn't... then that makes it even more mystifieing.I used 1.03 but was in reality 1.00 and he used 1.00 all compatibility... so I do not believe that has anything to do with it.He also tried to "open" port 8086 on this 3com router... I do not know what "open" means in this context... it helped little...We are looking into documentation for this router to see if it's maybe a router problem... but to me it didn't seem like that... when I look at the logs...Maybe the logs are just wrong that's another possibility... but I don't think so... because I was using ethereal and he wireshark... unless winpcap has weird bug... but why would that show up now ? doesn't seem to make much sense..I did notice some drops in packets because of alt-tabbing or so... this resulted into icmp's...Maybe the game reacts to icmp's and switches to different port ? but then it never switches back again or too anything else...Also he could launch... somehow... he shouldn't have been able to launch... but I dropped anyway.All in all pretty weird stuff.Most likely reason:Buggy buggy buggy game network code.However if this is really true... then why is it working over hamachi ?This contradicts each other so it can't be true... very very very strange.This would mean some kind of pc problem or router problem ?!But why would that show up in his direct pc log ?Maybe plug and play is communicating with router and thus changing the game ports ?Very weird...Bye, Skybuck.
NAT is retarded... if everybody has NAT then everybody is retarded... and nobody can recgonize the retards any more.Normal internet is needed to tell if something is badly working or not.Well today I tested on "normal" internet once again... on the local area network... without nat.Some lessons learned:1. It's not a NAT router problem.2. The game uses port 8086 for lobby communication.3. The game switches to port 8084 and 8085 when launching the game.This is as far as I got because there is another bug in the game:4. The game loading/connecting has a problem with fast vs slow systems.The fast system loads from 0 to 100% in under one second.The slow system is still switching to the load/connection screen.I think the following is happening:The fast systems sends a packet: "I am done loading, I am at 100%".But this packet never reaches the slow system... because the slow system didn't open the socket yet.So the slow system will see the fast system as still being at %0.The games will then hang/freeze.And the slow system might even crash completely... with blue screen of death and a reboot !Fixing all these problems with an external tool is gonna be nasty but it's possible.I might implement a winsock api and completely bypass winsock and simply use an ethernet driver... or maybe even a passthru driver in case I need further modifications.. though I never used passthru driver... but I did use ethernet driver...So for now I could give the ethernet driver a try.To me it's quite amazing that I was able to play this game over hamachi... because it depends on so many things going just right...For example people need to have about the same kind of performance...Super fast computers won't be able to play because they load too fast !Go figure !I also tried vice versa... the fast system hosting the game... and the slow system joining it...The same thing happens... the fast system will still send 100% done.. but slow system will never get it... so then hang again...This could even happen if the packet is lost in internet..So all very shaky... at least the 1.00 game version and fake cracks 1.00 to 1.04 which are all 1.00.Question is if 1.03 or 1.04 actually solved any of these bugs...Well's there my load for you ! :)Also... I still haven't figure out... why my system during the internet/nat test didn't go to the load screen... or why he wasn't able to communicate with me...The only possibility seems that my system bound to the wrong adapter somehow...It could send packets... but it wasn't receiving some ? or not at all ?But that seems strange...I could see him chat in the lobby... but not in the game ?What explanation is there for that ?That's very strange... since ports 8086 were still being used.My system was complaining/sending icmp's that 8086 was not reachable on my system.Maybe this was because dexplore.exe (Delphi crap) was still loaded and running in the system...Maybe this was still occupieing some port...Or maybe it was from a previous hang/crash or whatever. But I don't recall that any application crashed or whatever...Maybe I had to terminate Red Alert 3... and port 8086 was somehow still being used in the system... or the stack fucked up.Best idea for now is dump winsock, dump windows network technology and implement own stack to circumvent the crap.Bye, Skybuck =D
Use Port Listener as a free lightweight utility to listen on the specified tcp or udp port. Great for testing "port in use" issues or port testing. This simple utility runs in your system tray and can listen on the port you specify. You can run multiple instances of the application so that you can test multiple ports in use at the same time. The port data view allows you to see what data is being sent to the port. This allows you to analyze the data and see if