BNETDocs General Status Update for August
BNETDocs has been going through quite a few changes lately. I figured it was time for another status update. This is a follow-up news post to the previous status update.
A quick summary is the plot is thickening around Blizzard development and a few big milestones are soon to come for both BNETDocs and Blizzard.
As some may know, Blizzard has been visiting pretty heavily recently. After the publishing of Brood War 1.17.0 Pre-release, the post was also shared on sites like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter, and racked up around 17.5k hits and still climbing.
This of course spiked an interest from the folks who browse Reddit at Blizzard. I have strong evidence that they've been observing our documentation around game matchmaking and friends on Battle.net, even visiting BNETDocs in their browser without a referring website, multiple times per week.
Worth sharing is this YouTube video from Robert Bridenbecker on WC3 patch 1.27, where he makes note of how his new Classic Games team is working on improving matchmaking and friend integration.
Here's the volume of traffic that hit BNETDocs following the Brood War 1.17.0 Pre-release announcement:
I've separated BNETDocs Phoenix into two environments: production and dev.
I hope you find that the BNETDocs production environment will become a lot more stable as of today. Before, all development to the site was implemented and tested in production. Now, all development will happen in the dev environment and get tested there before being promoted to production.
Both environments sport CloudFlare DNS & CDN and are using the same data sources with one exception: Memcache. So there should almost always be a one-to-one clone or feel to both of them, however differing Memcache key stores means that Anti-CSRF tokens and user sessions/logins are stored independently. This means that when you login to production, you will not be logged in on dev, or vice versa, and submitting a form from one environment to the other is also prevented due to the differing Anti-CSRF tokens.
Mobile site and Markdown enhancements
At the request of a few individuals of the BNETDocs community, I have spent time polishing the mobile site for BNETDocs and the Markdown CSS code. The result is now the entire site can benefit from better Markdown, like this news post, and users on mobile will have a much cleaner experience–including a navigation menu, which was previously missing!
Speed of development
This is just a general reminder that the speed of BNETDocs development is at the pace of myself. There are some individuals watching the development of this site, but aren't actively contributing. Unfortunately, while I do love to contribute to BNETDocs, I cannot spend 100% of my time on it, since I do have a full-time job and life is going on around me. That said, I do wish to hopefully be ahead of the game before the rumored StarCraft HD update in September.
Since the last status update, the following features have been completed or partially completed:
- Comment creation and deletion for news posts
- Mobile site
- Document creating, editing, and deleting
- News post creating, editing, and deleting
- Packet searching
The following features still need to be implemented:
- Comment editing for news posts
- Comment creating, editing, and deleting for documents, packets, servers, and user profiles
- Document and packet relationships or otherwise content linking
- Document searching and popularity ranking
- Event log viewing
- Packet creating, editing, and deleting
- Packet popularity ranking
- Server creating, editing, deleting
- Server pages for each server, complete with history of uptime or other status changes
- Password recovery
- User index / list of registered users
- User profile editing
Most of the enhancements above and more are currently being tracked on GitHub.
Maelstrom CD-Key Tester 4.0
After last being updated November 1, 2012, I have finally released another update for Maelstrom CD-Key Tester on August 2, 2016. After being in development for roughly the last 2 months it has been improved in a number of ways. From a few new major additions to improvements in speed and performance.
Some of the major changes introduced in version 4.0 are:
- Added a config GUI, removing the need for several different input boxes, having a
better way of editing the config and a better solution to checking for errors
- Added CD-Key Profiles as an option
- Saves keys tested under \CD-Key Profiles\<profile name>\
- Option to add the current realm to the profile (<profile name> @ USWest for example)
- CD-Key loading changes
- Maelstrom can now load CD-Keys from any file
- Place the files in the \CD-Keys\ folder (they can be inside folders as well)
- The folders/files in this folder will be wiped after the keys are loaded except the
standard key files (STAR.txt, W2BN.txt, D2DV.txt, D2XP.txt, WAR3.txt, W3XP.txt)
Maelstrom started in August 2010 at the request of a few of my friends who wanted a better key tester than what was currently available. From there it became a popular tool of choice over the years. One such useful feature that people really like is its ability to test expansion keys.
It can be downloaded here: http://files.codespeak.org/projects/maelstrom/Maelstrom.zip
StarCraft Patch 1.17.0 Pre-Release
Blizzard has uploaded a copy of their new patch for StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War version 1.17.0. It is currently not active on Battle.net servers (connecting using 1.17.0 displays an unsupported version error message), however it can be downloaded from their FTP site. It contains the new version byte
0xD5, a bump from
0xD3 as seen on 1.16.1. The patch was first reported at tieba.baidu.com on July 22 and at teamliquid.net on July 25.
|Brood War||BW-1170.exe||BW-1170.exe (Checksums)|
Starcraft and Brood War Patch Information -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - patch 1.17.0 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Specific Changes & Improvements - Increased turn rate to lower unit response times over Battle.net gameplay - Fixed palette issues to correct "rainbow water" and other graphic artifacts - Fixed text artifacting in the Battle.net menus - First client run will migrate saves to avoid issues from Windows system admin changes Known Issues - Mac is not supported this patch, but is in progress
- The patch introduces
SystemSurvey.exeto StarCraft for the first time.
storm.dllare now digitally signed.
- The latest digital signatures were signed on July 11.
- W-Mode plugin is broken despite the author's claims that it works with any version of StarCraft.
- Alt+tabbing out causes other windows to be resized to 640x480 resolution.
new base address isbase address is no longer fixed at
0x01190000, old base address is
- Screenshotting in the Battle.net interface automatically saves to your clipboard instead of opening a dialog.
- Screenshots are now saved in PNG format instead of PCX.
- StarCraft now requires CheckRevision's .dll to be digitally signed.
Additional notes (2016-07-27):
- Storm.dll's base address is no longer fixed at [TODO: FIND OLD BASE ADDRESS]
- Storm.dll exports at least 2 additional functions:
SErrSetBlizzardErrorFunction(ordinal 132) and
SNetSetCodeSignVerifcationFunction(ordinal 148). These functions are now documented at Liquipedia.
- StarCraft now extracts CheckRevision's DLL file to
- StarCraft creates files called
%AppData%/Local/Temp/BlizzardError/year-month-day hour.minute.second/when it crashes, instead of in
- StarCraft now logs the total and monthly amount of games played on each protocol. These logs are stored in
%AppData%/Local/Blizzard Entertainment/System Survey/ProductData/SEXP/and
%AppData%/Local/Blizzard Entertainment/System Survey/ProductData/STAR/
- Example logs: https://gist.github.com/RElesgoe/fc9a9fda51d6e1b5f2f661fc621f6783
- StarCraft no longer crashes when attempting to watch a replay in which a player has chat too much while the game was paused. Replay Fix is no longer necessary.
- Blizzard seems to have modified an outdated version of StarEdit. The new
Version 1.00as its
Product Versionwhereas the
StarEdit.exethat's installed with 1.16.1 displays
Increased turn rate to lower unit response times over Battle.net gameplaymeans that the
NetworkModeDelaywhile playing on a server is now the same value as playing on LAN, which is 2. See LatencyChanger
Dumps of the game version handshake can be found on PvPGN's GitHub.
Blizzard Sues Overwatch “Cheat” Maker For Copyright Infringement
Blizzard Entertainment is suing Bossland, the maker of the popular Overwatch cheat tool "Watchover Tyrant" and several other game cheats. Among other things, the developer accuses the German company of various forms of copyright infringement and unfair competition.
Over the years video game developer Blizzard Entertainment has published many popular game titles.
Most recently the company released the new first-person shooter “Overwatch,” which became an instant bestseller. The game received rave reviews and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during its first weeks on sale.
While most Overwatch players stick to the rules, there’s also a small group that tries to game the system. By using cheats such as the Watchover Tyrant, they play with an advantage over regular users.
Blizzard is not happy with the Overwatch cheat and has filed a lawsuit against the German maker, Bossland GMBH, at a federal court in California. Bossland also sells cheats for various other titles such as World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm, which are mentioned in the complaint as well.
The game developer accuses the cheat maker of various forms of copyright infringement, unfair competition, and violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.
According to Blizzard these bots and cheats also cause millions of dollars in lost sales, as they ruin the games for many legitimate players.
“Defendants’ sale and distribution of the Bossland Hacks in the United States has caused Blizzard to lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation.”
“Moreover, by releasing ‘Overwatch Cheat’ just days after the release of ‘Overwatch,’ Defendants are attempting to destroy or irreparably harm that game before it even has had a chance to fully flourish.”
The Overwatch cheat has already become relatively popular in a short period of time. Thousands of players are reportedly using the tool, which enables them to display the locations and health status of hidden or obscured opponents.
Blizzard believes that by developing the cheats, Bossland has infringed on its copyrights in various ways. Among other things, the complaint accuses the German cheat maker of contributory copyright infringement.
“They have done so by enabling and encouraging third-party ‘freelancers’ or contractors to fraudulently obtain access to the Blizzard Games and then, having done so, to engage in unauthorized reproduction of the Blizzard Games,” the complaint reads.
“They also have done so by enabling users of the Bossland Hacks (particularly the Overwatch Cheat) to use the software to create derivative works, such as the dynamic screen overlay generated by the Overwatch Cheat,” it adds.
Blizzard notes that it has already taken action against thousands of cheaters. In response, Bossland announced that they would make their tool harder to be detected, which suggests that they intentionally violate the game’s EULA.
The game developer adds that the various cheats and bots may have generated millions in revenue for the German company, and demands compensation for its losses.
“Defendants not only know that their conduct is unlawful, but they engage in that conduct with the deliberate intent to harm Blizzard and its business. Blizzard is entitled to monetary damages, injunctive and other equitable relief, and punitive damages against Defendants,” the complaint reads.
Aside from the Overwatch cheat, the current case is very similar to one filed against a freelancer who works for Bossland. This case never really took off and was dismissed earlier this year.
TF spoke with Bossland CEO Zwetan Letschew, who informed us that his company hasn’t received the complaint at its office yet. However, they are no stranger to Blizzard’s legal actions.
“There are over 10 ongoing legal battles in Germany already,” Letschew says, noting that it’s strange that Blizzard decided to take action in the US after all these years.
“Now Blizzard wants to try it in the US too. One could ask himself, why now and not back in 2011. Why did Rod Rigole [Blizzard Deputy General Counsel] even bother to fly to Munich and drive with two other lawyers 380 km to Zwickau. Why not just sue us in the US five years ago?”
While Letschew still isn’t convinced that the lawsuit is even real, he doesn’t fear any legal action in the U.S. According to the CEO, a California court has no jurisdiction over his company, as it has no ties with the United States.
In addition, he is supported by a lawsuit his company won in Germany against Blizzard earlier this year. In that case, which dealt with the Heroes of the Storm bot, Blizzard was ordered to pay Bossland’s legal costs and attorney fees.
The full complaint filed at the Central District Court of California is available here (pdf).
You can view the original TorrentFreak article here.
BNETDocs General Status Update
Figured it was time for a general status update of BNETDocs.
- Comment viewing for documents
- Comment viewing for news posts
- Comment viewing for packets
- Desktop and mobile versions of the site
- Document viewing
- Logging of events
- News post creation
- News post deletion
- News post viewing
- Packet viewing
- Server status tracker
- User login
- User logout
- User password updating
- User permission/ACL system
- User profile viewing
- User registration
What's left to do:
- Comment creation/editing/deletion for documents, news posts, packets, servers, and user profiles
- Mobile version of the site still missing navigation
- Document creating/editing/deletion
- Document relations import from Redux
- Document searching and popularity ranking
- Event log viewing
- News post editing
- Packet creation/editing/deletion
- Packet relations import from Redux
- Packet searching and popularity ranking
- Server creation/editing/deletion
- User index (list of registered users)
- User profile editing
- Blizzard on occasion will visit this site. This is a good reason to be as welcoming and professional as possible. They've visited 6 times between April 11 and June 13 of 2016.
- So far, I've been the only one contributing to the BNETDocs source code. If we want to speed things up around here, BNETDocs could use some contributors over on GitHub.
- Worth mentioning is the bnetdocs.com domain name is being offered for around $2,000 USD. That's pretty insane. If anyone wants to buy it and transfer it over, I'd be extremely grateful. It used to be an alias for bnetdocs.org back in the day and some comments/documentation on this site still reference it.
- I've imported the comments from Redux over to here. Some are pretty rough and demeaning while others are constructive. Please understand that some of these comments are pretty old and were written at a time when the person might have been at a different maturity level than they are now. Be respectful when diving in to a comment thread.
- Also worth mentioning about these imported comments is they were written on Redux, not this new site; a lot has changed since Redux, and some comments may no longer be relevant anymore, such as one comment I found about SQL injection and
'symbols over on the Protocol Headers document. SQL injection is impossible on this new site thanks to the aid of prepared statements, proper input/output sanitation, and error handling.
- Some may have noticed that the To Do document from Redux was deleted. I did this because the purpose of that document has moved to GitHub. The original comments and content of that document are still preserved on Redux, as clicking on that link will show you.
I don't have any milestones for this site, so I can't give you a timeline of when I plan to complete features. I have a full-time job, 9-5 weekdays, plus I like to have leisure time spent playing games or hanging out with friends, rather than spending time coding. In other words, this site isn't my priority. I will always try to donate my time when I can or when I feel like it, though. I haven't abandoned this project. :-)