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 Post subject: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3 b87]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:45 am 
As you may have found, starting a server for your friends to log on to your game has proven more difficult than it should be. I agree. I'll give you step by step instructions from a new install to starting a server and verifying it can be seen by your friends.

DOWNLOADS
    There are three downloads needed to make sure everything goes smoothly.

  • MapTools 1.3 b87 - This is the manual download and you'll have to unzip the folder when done. A common thing people do is "explore" the zip file, because it looks like a folder in windows, and tries to run it from there. You'll get a dll error because it has not been unpacked. So, upzip it to any folder first.
  • JAVA 6 Update 35 (Or latest version 6 of java) - MapTool 1.3 build 87 lacks support for JAVA 7 at this point. Since that has become the default download, there have been many more error reports with the same information and solution.
    • Download the correct 32/64bit version of Java 6.32 for your system.
    • Install on to your computer.
  • Latest video driver for your system - This is less critical, but for older machines this may be needed. I'll leave it to you find the latest and greatest driver for your video card.

PROGRAM SETUP
    There isn't too much needed to get it to run, but there are some settings to get it to run better.

  • Setting for mt.cfg - Edit the mt.cfg file located in the unzipped folder of MapTool and change the JVM line. Make sure you're using the correct drive letter and file location of your java install. These are the most common settings for a system with 2 Gigs of ram or more:
    Code:
    MAXMEM=1024
    MINMEM=64
    STACKSIZE=3
    JVM=C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\javaw
    PROMPT=false

    * - If mt.cfg is not present, you can create using a text editor with the above text or run MapToolLauncher.exe once, close MapTool and then edit.

  • Create a Shortcut - In the MapTool unzipped folder there is a file called MapToolLauncher.exe. Right-Click Drag to your desktop or quick launch bar and select Create Shortcuts Here. There are some batch files that can be run, but they lack the proper settings by default and may bog down or error out with some of the larger maps or most common frameworks in the User Creations section. With the shortcut set up, there is no reason to run these unless you're having some video driver problems and then they would need some more configuration anyway.

MAPTOOL CONFIGURATION
    Most of these settings are all optional, but I found some changes to the basic settings can avoid some small issues down the line. I've included My Default Settings file to do all these settings for you, but I recommend you review all the info here before installing it.

    Start MapTools with created shortcut and then go to the specified menu items.

  • Attachment:
    Preferences - Interactions.jpg
    Preferences - Interactions.jpg [ 101.07 KiB | Viewed 9104 times ]
    • New maps visible to players - It's easy to forget when making a new map that players can just go to it. If you forgot to set up FOW or something then the player is in store for some spoilers. I think it's just best to hide by default.
    • New map vision distance - for most campaigns the default 1000 feet is probably too long and unnecessary. Plus, with individual views on, it adds more unwanted data to the token. If you're going to have unlimited vision, just turn off vision in Map | Vision settings.
    • Insert smilies - As demonstrated here the 8 ) becomes 8) and this can be cause for some confusing chat output. This is a personal preference and I think it's best turned off.
    • Use Tooltips for Inline Rolls - As you'll discover all the rolls will have << >> around them and when using macros, this can cause some output errors or unintended output. Again, a personal preference that I think is better turned on.
    • Suppress Tooltips for Macrolinks - When you see it, you'll know why you want to turn this feature on. Also, you can use the alt attribute in the anchor tag to display an intended tooltip when building links. With this off, you can't in the chat window.
    • The other changes are also personal preferences. Feel free to experiment.
  • Attachment:
    Preferences - Application.jpg
    Preferences - Application.jpg [ 84.91 KiB | Viewed 9104 times ]
    • Campaign autosave every - Default is 5 minutes and on campaigns with large maps, many maps and large amounts of data, this is way too often for me. Plus, this may have been fixed now, but things can go wrong if you're running a macro and then it decides to save at that moment. I feel better setting this to 60 min (mine is every 4hrs and I manually save at key points during the game). This is a personal preference, so set it to what you feel most comfortable with.
    • Auto-expose fog on token movement (GM Only) - Go ahead and turn this on, otherwise you'll be cursing to yourself wondering why the FOW doesn't work.
    • Hide NPCs from players on new maps - This is an init panel setting and you can change it there as well. I like to hide my NPCs order of action from the players. This is just a default setting.
    • Give owners permission in new campaigns - The main reason to do this is so the players can hit the NEXT button to end their turn. Otherwise, the GM is stuck doing this.
    • Lock player movement in new campaigns - Leave this off. There is a bug in b87 that may cause an error when trying to move a token who doesn't have initiative.
  • Edit | Preferences | Sounds - Turn off Play System Sounds. There's only one sound and it's a beep every time someone posts a chat message.
  • Attachment:
    File - Start Server.jpg
    File - Start Server.jpg [ 44.57 KiB | Viewed 9104 times ]

      The important thing to note here is to make sure UPnP is unchecked. I'll discuss the server settings later on in this document. When installing my default settings (below) this is how the panel will look at first start up. You can change settings each time you start a server and it will keep those settings the next time you start a server. I just didn't want to specify a default server name and passwords, but you'll want to add these later.


VALIDATE JAVA AND MAPTOOL VERSION
  • Help | Gather Debug Information... - Run this to verify your MT version and the java version.
      Code:
      ==== MapTool Information ====
      MapTool Version: 1.3.b87
      MapTool Home...: D:\Documents and Settings\Chris\.maptool
      Max mem avail..: 989M
      Max mem used...: 61M

      ==== Java Information ====
      Java Vendor.: Sun Microsystems Inc.
      Java Home...: D:\Program Files\Java\jre6
      Java Version: 1.6.0_33
      ...
    Just a note, Java Version 1.6.0_33 is java version 6 update 33 (done as an auto-update).

This is everything needed on the MapTool side to make sure you won't have any problems, but now we have to make sure you can connect to the outside world with your modem/router. There is a very detailed document:


This can also be found by browsing the HOW TO section in the forums or going to File | Start Server | Networking Help.
But I will give you a general guideline of some of the basics.

READ EVERYTHING FIRST BEFORE MAKING CHANGES.

Step By Step to Port Forwarding (abbr)

    Assuming the Basics
    I'm going to assume you are connected to the internet and are reading this, so no need to troubleshoot that. Google is your friend. If you don't know what a modem, router or any other terminology I use there are far better explanations out there than I can provide, so google it.

    You may want to make sure you can read this while offline as well and save the text to a file, just in case.

    Port Forwarding
    MapTool 1.3 b87 requires you to set up port forwarding. UPnP does not work :( Port Forwarding is handled by a router and you'll need one of those. But before you go out and buy one, make sure you don't already have a built in router with your modem.

    How many routers do you have?
    There are many ways and methods to get an internet connection to your computer, but they all start with the modem. Some of these modems and most if not all the new modems have built in routing capabilities. I specifically asked my provider to not give me a modem with a router on it because I knew I wanted to use my own router. Having two routers can lead to conflicts and having ports blocked. There are ways around all that, but let's just keep focused on having one router for now. If you know you have a modem/router or a modem only with a connected router, you can skip ahead to Configure Port Forwarding section.

    Look up your modem model
    The model number will be written on the back or bottom on a label usually. It may be important to note the version or v1, v2 so write that down too. I have model DCM425C from Comcast. If you don't have the materials that came with your modem, you may have to go online to find out how you log in to your modem. A default user name and password may be required.

    Is it a router?
    My login is 192.168.100.1 and since it is just a modem, I don't get any routing options like port forwarding or need to log in to the modem with a username and password. This is what I wanted to verify. Now if yours is a router and you don't have any other routers connected to the modem, then you can jump to the Configure Port Forwarding section.

    Use only one router
    If your modem is a router and you don't "need" your other router, just disconnect it and plug your modem in to your computer.

    I have or need two routers
    Okay, you verified that your modem is a router and that you need or want to use your personal router for wireless connectivity, multiple connections or better security. You have two options. Either turn off the routing services for the modem/router or turn them off on your other router. This will essentially make that router a "switch" or "gateway". It doesn't control anything, but will direct traffic through it.

    Which one to make a gateway?
    If you can log on to your modem/router and turn off DHCP services, that will be the easiest way to handle things. Otherwise, you can turn them off on the purchased router, but you'll have to do a little reconnecting in the back. If you turn your purchased router in to a gateway, the cable going to your WAN port will now need to be plugged in to one of your LAN ports. Also, your purchased router tends to have more features than the modem/router, so I would avoid this if possible.

    One important note about choosing which router to use is if they have address reservation options. This will typically be near your DHCP services as an option. What it does is take your MAC address and each time you log on to the router it will assign the same local ip address to that computer. This makes port forwarding much easier, especially when your network has multiple devices it provides internet to. Another important note is to verify that the DHCP services are on for the router you chose to make your primary router.

    Making my router a gateway
    Each bit of hardware uses different software, but they tend to use the same terminology. After logging in to the router you're going to turn in to a gateway, look for key words like LAN and DHCP. It'll usually have associated with it a starting IP address. You'll want to disable that service. If you don't see that option, especially for modem/routers, it may use terminology like GATEWAY.

    If you're trying to change your modem/router from a provider and you can't figure it out or are afraid to make the change, contact your service provider and ask them to either make the change for you (remotely) or walk you through it. Customer service will be of little help (usually) and you'll want to speak to a Level 2 technician. Trying to disable DHCP services for a modem/router could result in a worse case scenario. Don't forget to apply the changes in the modem software. If you're connected to your modem/router directly, you'll loose internet. You should be plugged in to your router that's connected to your modem/router when changing the modem/router to a gateway. You may need to restart your modem/router and router to reconnect to internet.

    Verify you can still connect to internet
    You should now have one of the following configurations and still be able to connect to the internet.

    Code:
    Modem --> Router --> Computer
    Modem/Router --> Computer
    Modem/Router --> Router/Gateway --> Computer
    Modem/Gateway --> Router --> Computer

    If you can't connect to the internet then try restarting all the modem, routers and computers after having them powered off for 60 seconds. If you find that you're not getting a local ip address assigned to you then your router is not reaching your computer, or you have no routing devices. This shouldn't happen and you should review your steps.

    Configure Port Forwarding
    Log in to your router and look for Port Forwarding under LAN services. Each manufacturer has a different way of doing it, but they all should have the protocol setting TCP/UDP (or Both) for Service Type, starting and ending ports (default for both is 51234, but can be preferably any number above 1024 - I use 6801) and an IP address. This will be the ip of your computer. If you don't know what it is, you can run in a dos window (Windows | Run | type "cmd") and use the command "ipconfig /all" and look for "IP Address". It's usually 192.168.1.xxx. where xxx is a number from 2 to 254. Apply your changes and reset your network card. You can disable/enable or just log off and back on real quick. Many people forget this step.

    Start MapTool Server and Connect
    Open two instances of MapTool. On the first one, start a server, give it a name, verify UPnP is turned OFF, verify the port matches the one you chose for port forwarding and start. On the second instance, look for your server name and connect. You should now be connected. If not, go to server instance of MapTool and click File | Connection Information. You should have a server name, a local ip address used in your router's port forwarding, an external address that matches http://www.whatsmyip.org/ and a port address that matches the one in your router's port forwarding. If these all match, then check your windows firewall. In the control panel | security center | fire wall there should be an exceptions tab. Java SE should be in list with a checkbox checked. Also verify the location of that instance of java by hitting the edit button. It will show you the path, which should be the same as the path of your install (for example: C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe). If not checked, then check the box and restart MapTool and try again.

    What if it still doesn't work?
    Well, I'm just trying to detail the most common problems and there could be other situations not covered here that would need an expert to take a look at. Just post to this thread and if we come up with another solution to your problem I'll add it to the list. There's also something called a Hamachi Server, detailed in the FAQ doc link above that will handle all the routing through port 80. It will simulate the router and I believe both the server and clients will have to have it. Or it may go through a 3rd party that redirects routing services to the Hamachi server. I've never used it, but I'm familiar in how it would need to work. I personally would avoid a software solution, but that may be the only option for some people. Sometimes you just don't have access to the modem/router and will not be able to set up port forwarding.

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 Post subject: Re: [1.3 b87] Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Se
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:46 am 
[RESERVED - for common network issues]

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 Post subject: Re: [1.3 b87] Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Se
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:45 am 
Excellent! Was going to ask some MapTool settings questions that you use down the road for when I GMed again. Hopefully will not need too now. :D

Edit: FYI, Verizon FIOS internet does not use a modem, just a router.

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 Post subject: Re: [1.3 b87] Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Se
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:14 pm 
Well, modem is a very specific device but can be loosely defined as the device that connects you to your ISP. Sometimes the modem is in your house and sometimes it's outside the house. I'm not familiar with FIOS, but I'm sure their "router" is proprietary to their service which handles the networking to their servers. I'll take a stab in the dark and assume the router uses cellular technology to connect rather than phone lines or tv cable. But it's basically exactly the same thing as a modem/router for all intents and purposes.

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 Post subject: Re: [1.3 b87] Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Se
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:57 pm 
aliasmask wrote:
Well, modem is a very specific device but can be loosely defined as the device that connects you to your ISP. Sometimes the modem is in your house and sometimes it's outside the house. I'm not familiar with FIOS, but I'm sure their "router" is proprietary to their service which handles the networking to their servers. I'll take a stab in the dark and assume the router uses cellular technology to connect rather than phone lines or tv cable. But it's basically exactly the same thing as a modem/router for all intents and purposes.


I was just saying for the people that have Verizon FIOS, they only have to worry about a router since there is no modem like Cable service has. One less box to have worry about buying/renting or replacing when it goes down.


FYI, in case Verizon FIOS becomes available to you.

There's no modem in the FIOS system. A device called an (Fiber) Optical Network Terminal (ONT box) converts between light and electrical signals. It's a big box with a laser in it that they nail to your house.

The router is a normal router, except that it has an added feature: a MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) interface, in addition to the usual Ethernet jacks. This might make it look like a cable modem, but it's not.

The ONT has an Ethernet jack that you can connect to any router. The trick is in getting Verizon to set you up to use it. Their standard procedure nowadays is to instead run a single coax line from the ONT to a splitter, and from there to the MoCA-capable router, using that line for both TV and data. (The phone line is run separately.) They don't do this to lock you into using their router, per se, though it has that effect since it is needed for TV Guide and on-Demand. They do it to save on wiring (one less line to run), and because it makes for an easy upgrade for people with existing cable modem systems.

I have 2 FIOS lines, one for Business Internet with Static IPs and one for Home TV. On the Internet side, I use my own Wireless N Router since it is Internet only and connects via Ethernet. On the Home side, I use there router since it connects via coax and need it for the TV guide and on-demand.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:29 pm 
Drool... Nice, Fiber attached to your home. Do they actually attach 2 boxes to your home?? I wouldn't think so. Most of the bandwidth is computer control from their "huts", at least that's how At&t does it. The ONT box sounds like a bridge. So, you're right about the modem which translates analog signals to digital, the signal is already digital at the box attached to house, so that is technically your modem, but it serves a greater purpose than just plain old internet data. Light is still an analog signal but with digital data (like how they do tv now) I'm going to guess this is what my friend has too, but through At&t called U-Verse. Looks like the data wars is under way again. My area is comcast only and we spend about 200 dollars a month for internet and tv (way too much). I look forward to some competition in this area.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:37 pm 
Yep, two fiber lines to two ONT boxes. I had Comcast and will never look back. Business Internet line with Static IPs (25MB down & up) for $105. TV with 2 Standard boxes, no HD yet since I do not have a HD TV is around $60.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:38 am 
I'm not sure if I missed it, but one of the common problems I see is people having either Windows Firewall or an Antivirus (like Kaspersky, AVG, etc) that has a built-in firewall turned on that blocks the ports. Not sure if that's an advanced topic, but it's a good thing to check for problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:49 am 
Vhex wrote:
I'm not sure if I missed it, but one of the common problems I see is people having either Windows Firewall or an Antivirus (like Kaspersky, AVG, etc) that has a built-in firewall turned on that blocks the ports. Not sure if that's an advanced topic, but it's a good thing to check for problems.

Yep, I mentioned that but I didn't go in to too great a detail, but I mentioned how to deal with the windows firewall. I actually haven't read the FAQ too closely to see what's in there, but I imagine it goes over firewalls.

Above is the process I go though when trying to walk people through getting a server started. I've had to talk a couple of first time GMs through the process and it's fresh in my mind, so I decided to recreate here. I should probably make firewall it's own header though because that it definitely a common problem.

I just talked to someone who shares a wireless router with a neighbor and doesn't have easy access to router. In that case, I would suggest a software solution like Hamachi. I may one day install it just to check it out just to get a better idea of what that process entails.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:31 am 
I don't like Hamachi only because it opens you up to whatever is on anyone else's computer, but I'm a paranoid guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:59 am 
Hamachi is a virtual private network, and unless you're following some very risqué instructions about using it, it will be treated by your firewall and anti-virus programs as if you were connecting to any other ip address.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:57 am 
Not exactly true as far as the description of Hamachi goes. You are correct that it creates a VPN between the computers, but the VPN then takes your firewall and any IDP you have out of the equation. A better example than that it will be treated like any other ip address is that your computer will treat other computers connecting via Hamachi like another computer directly plugged into your network. Quite a difference as far as security goes, as many malware outbreaks will attest to.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:14 am 
A much needed guide !
Excellent work.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:35 pm 
Natha wrote:
A much needed guide !
Excellent work.


Hear, hear!! Nice work on a comprehensive, solid, plain-english guide for 'the rest of us'. Your list of good default settings really helps clear up a lot of things regarding the settings. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Users Guide for Starting your First Server [1.3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:30 pm 
Vhex wrote:
Not exactly true as far as the description of Hamachi goes. You are correct that it creates a VPN between the computers, but the VPN then takes your firewall and any IDP you have out of the equation. A better example than that it will be treated like any other ip address is that your computer will treat other computers connecting via Hamachi like another computer directly plugged into your network. Quite a difference as far as security goes, as many malware outbreaks will attest to.

Well, not exactly. A VPN does not necessarily disable a firewall. The firewall rules can simply say, "Anything from 127.x.x.x should be allowed both in and out. Anything else should be filtered and here's how to filter it..."

Given those rules, anything from the VPN will be filtered just like anything else.

Where viruses break in is in the implementation of the VPN software itself. A buffer overflow or a missing bounds check on an array and a packet can corrupt memory. Corrupting it in exactly the right way can lead to an exploit. But the problem is not the VPN itself nor the lack of a firewall.

(It's possible that a given VPN package on Windows can bypass the firewall but that would be a very bad design and I can't believe anyone would actually do such a thing. But it IS Windows after all, so who knows?)


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