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- What is ABKcaster?
- ABKcaster is a port of the Caster netplay program originally developed for Immaterial and Missing Power, customized for Akatsuki Blitzkampf. It features connection quality superior to the built-in netplay and even the nethack. If you are familiar with Caster then it is utilized exactly the same way. If not, read on for details.
- Where do I get it?
- What do I need to do to get it to run?
- Download it, put it in the same folder as the game, and set up your config_caster.ini. You no longer have to unlock stages and characters; Caster will do this automatically for you. However, these unlocks will not carry over to the game offline.
- How do I set up ABKcaster options? What options do I have?
- Open the config_caster.ini file and read it. It's very self-explanatory. NOTE: Not all of the features have not been properly implemented yet. Give it time.
- What about options for the game, not Caster?
- Use the config.exe normally, or if you can't read it or don't want to use the English in-game configuration, use the English config.exe.
- What features don't work yet?
- Custom colors and window resizing, mostly.
- Step-by-step guide to making Caster work.
- 1. Update Blitzkampf to version 18.104.22.168 SP1. This only works with the full version, not the demo.
- 2. Unlock the extra characters: Adler, Blitztank, and Murakumo. This is done by beating the game twice. You can use the easiest difficulty to do this. NOTE: This is now optional for netplay, but is still highly recommended.
- 3. Download the most recent ABKcaster and copy the contents of its exe folder directly to the Blitzkampf directory. (akatsukibk.exe and config_caster.ini should be in the same folder.)
- 5. Make sure Blitzkampf is not running. Additionally, stop anything that is running GameGuard or similar anti-hacking tools, as Caster is basically hacking netplay into the game.
- 6. Run the Caster executable and select option 9: debug. If all is well, you will be brought to the character selection screen and Caster is fully functional.
- It didn't work.
- I got a charInit() error when it started up.
- There is a problem with your pad configuration and Caster is not recognizing it. This is sometimes caused by USB connections, make sure that the pad you are using is not configured incorrectly. If all else fails, use joy2key.
- I run 95/98/ME and Caster doesn't work.
- And it never will! Caster does not support archaic operating systems.
- Something else broke.
- If you followed the above guide, and Caster is still not working, you probably did something wrong.
- Stop by the IRC channel to ask for help. #poverty @ irc.mizuumi.net
- What are all these options on Caster's menu?
- 0: Exit. Pretty self-explanatory.
- 1: Wait for access. Sets you up to host games.
- 2: Try access. Attempts to connect to another host on port 7500.
- 3: Spectate. Spectates a game in progress.
- 4: Broadcast. Sets up a local two player match that people can connect to and spectate.
- 5: Get Information. This will show you the status of a host, whether they are in a game or not and who's being used.
- 6: Try access ( Tough ). This option will repeatedly try the specified IP until it connects.
- 7: Standby. This option allows two parties to connect to each other via a neutral third party, thus bypassing problems with routers and port forwarding.
- 8: Test myPort. This option will test a specific port on a specific IP to see if it's forwarded properly.
- 9: debug (127.0.0.1). This option tests to see if your netplay is working properly. If everything is okay, you should be brought directly to the character select screen; if not, you will see the introductory movie.
- How do I host a game?
- Make sure you have the selected port (usually port 7500/UDP) open and accessible. This requires port forwarding if a router is involved, and also depends on if your ISP allows incoming connections or not. If you are not sure what any of this means, have the other side host instead if possible. Visit www.portforward.com for details.
- Once you've got that done, use option 1 in Caster and tell your opponent your IP address. You can use www.whatismyip.org to get it quickly.
- How can I tell if I can host?
- Use option 8 in Caster and tell it to connect to 22.214.171.124 on port 7500. It will either report "Port: OK", which means you can host, or "Port: BAD", which means your ports are not forwarded and you currently cannot host.
- Neither of us can host/have access to the router. How can we play?
- There are a few options.
- The easiest option is to use the Caster relay hosted on Mizuumi itself. In order to use this, have both parties use option 7 to connect to mizuumi.net (126.96.36.199) on port 7500. If everything is set up properly, then Caster will initiate the game. This is a direct connection to the other player and will not add any lag. No further software is required. This is the simplest and recommended way to connect if neither party can host.
- The second, harder option is to use Hamachi, a program that emulates LANs over the Internet. This will allow you to connect to people using virtual network IPs without any need for port forwarding. This option is obsolete and is only recommended for use when nothing else works.
- How do I connect to other people? Do I need to have any ports open?
- No. Connecting to other people doesn't require any open ports forwarded, but your firewall should not have 7500/UDP blocked if it prevents outgoing connections.
- Can I spectate other games?
- Yes. Use option 3 to connect to a game after both parties have already started. This will automatically wait until the game has started before trying to connect and will never snipe a game.
- You can spectate any Caster client that is running a game, even ones that are currently spectating other players.
- If Caster responds with 'Status: BAD' then that player is blocking his game from being spectated.
- Can more than one person spectate?
- Yes. This does not cause lag for the players. If there is more than one person spectating, any after the first are rerouted through the other spectators. If the first spectator disconnects, any that are watching will also disconnect along with him, and must reconnect in order to continue watching.
- Why is the match going so fast?
- You're behind where the match is actually "happening". Caster will force Blitzkampf to run at an accelerated rate (up to 300 fps on older versions, roughly 120 on the current version; this can be disabled) to catch up until you are at the point where the players currently are. On newer ABKcaster versions, you can press the backspace key while in a match to make it playback at a normal rate. (NOTE: THIS DOES NOT CURRENTLY APPLY AND IS A PLACEHOLDER QUESTION.)
- What is this buffer thing?
- The buffer is what you set to control how many milliseconds the input will be lagged in order to buffer your commands across the internet. It will automatically recommend a delay to you and you can just press enter to accept it.
- If you want to enter it yourself, though... First, refer to the ping you see (an average connection from the West to East coast should be about 80-100 ms), and enter the buffer rate. Three is adequate for most games ranging from 50-75 ms. For people very close to each other with 30-40 ms, 2 is better. For people farther away up to 100 ms, use 4; up to 150, use 5. Anything higher and your input will be noticeably delayed on your side.
- You can enter 0 delay to make it refresh the latency value it reports, in case the value seems high due to temporary connection issues, such as forgetting to turn off torrents or whatever.
- These are some values that should work provided there is a stable connection. You may actually exceed the upper bounds of the given ms value by 16ms and still have the given delay value work, but it will be prone to spiking because the Internet is not perfect. It's generally better to experiment with lower delay settings first, then bump the delay up while in-game if the framerate is choppy or low.
- Can I change the buffer without restarting?
- Yes. Press 1-9 or 0 (not on the numpad) after a match has started. You will see a debug message stating that the delay has been changed. This will change the input delay for that player only, and the input delay of the other player will be unaffected.
- I didn't see that prompt at all. It just says 'Now waiting.'
- That means that you are player 2. Only player 1 can set the buffer. It is randomly determined who gets which side normally. The playerSide option in config_caster.ini can be set to prefer either player 1 or player 2, but if both players choose the same setting it will be randomly determined anyway.
- What is it?
- The Netplay Hack for version 188.8.131.52 SP1 was developed by mauve in response to the noticeably unfavorable quality of netplay (for the US community) caused by the netcode in the original game. The nethack improves the netplay overall and makes "coast to coast" play more viable compared to the original netcode. This only works for the 184.108.40.206 SP1 version of the game, and has now been deprecated by the superior ABKcaster hack.
- How do I use it?
- 1. Download the zip file and extract the contents of the archive. Offsite link
- 2. Copy akatsuki-nethack.exe to your Akatsuki directory.
- 3. Run akatsuki-nethack.exe and connect as you would with the original game.
- How do I host a game?
- 1. Forward the proper port on your router, if you have one. The port itself doesn't matter, as long as it's forwarded. Use both TCP and UDP since we're not too sure which protocol Blitzkampf utilizes.
- 2. Go to Online and select Make Host. That's it! Keep in mind that the host will be in control of the settings, such as character selection, input delay, and detail levels. If someone doesn't have all characters unlocked it is recommended to let the other side host instead.
- Games can be found on IRC at irc.mizuumi.net in the #akatsuki channel. Feel free to ask people and don't be discouraged if the response isn't immediate.
- What delay do I set?
- General rule of thumb: 1 delay for same cost, 2 delay for anything out of state, and 3 delay coast to coast. Adjust up to 4 as necessary for overseas games.
- It's still laggy!
- The Blitzkampf nethack is not as smooth as Caster. For maximum performance, make sure both sides are on as solid of a connection as possible: no torrents, no downloads, and wired connections instead of wireless. Also, keep in mind that the nethack's model only facilitates the original netplay, so there are still some issues; the primary one is that when packets are dropped, the game "accumulates" the lag until it is forced to resync by slowing the game down. This can happen at different times depending on how bad it gets. On better connections it can take anywhere from 15 to 20 games before a lagspike kicks in. On worse connections it can happen within the first few games.
- Can I enter any of the information manually instead of going through the slow menus?
- Yes. Use the config.exe program.
- What if I can't port forward?
- You can use a workaround with UPnP if your router supports it. Open a program which enables UPnP, such as UTorrent. Enable UPnP, select the port you want it to work on. As long as that program is open and your router supports UPnP, you can "host" on that port. Otherwise, have the other side host for you.
- Anything else I should know?
- The current nethack will only work for 220.127.116.11 SP1 and only with people that are also using the nethack.
Setting Up the Matchmaker Service
- 1. Open your config.exe. If config.exe doesn't open, set it to Windows 2000 compatibility mode.
- 2. Go to the top right tab. On this tab you will see a field with a very long code in it that has numbers and letters.
- 3. Click on the button to the left of the code. This will open a dialogue box with settings you need to change.
- 4. Enter your IP in the first field. The second field is your port (you must have this forwarded to work). Don't touch the third field (it defaults to 8515).
- 5. Hit OK, then your matchmaker code will be in the field. The line below is used to add codes; press the left button to add, and use the right button to delete someone.
- (Note: Most people who still play Blitzkampf direct connect now, as it is far easier and faster than setting up matchmaking. Use this website to get help with port forwarding.)