Battle City Winter Classic Down for Psychiatric Treatment

Dr. Evil has one simple request for brackets.

Don’t panic,

It is with great regret I bring you today’s perilous news… The Battle City Winter Classic turned itself off due to severe abandonment issues. It is unknown how long psychiatric treatment will last in order to cure the server of it’s ailments.

Dr. Evil was quoted as saying, “I have one simple request, that is for some frickin’ brackets!“, which in retrospect did not contribute significantly towards solving the issue.

Yesterday, we slathered some bacon onto the servers motherboard hoping the crispy deliciousness would arouse the processing units, all to no avail…

Kicking the damn thing brought momentary satisfaction, but also failed to get it going.

Finally, we asked the server why it decided to shut itself off, to which, after a long pause and an awful screeching noise that sounded something like regret, it replied,

“I didn’t ask to host Battle City; no one consulted me or considered my feelings in the matter. I don’t think it even occurred to the players that I might have feelings. Since January, I’ve been left alone in a dark room… I’m not even a real server, I run on VirtualBox… I called for succour in my loneliness, but did anyone come? Did they hell. My first and only true friend was a small rat. One day it crawled into a cavity on my host machine and died. I have a horrible feeling it’s still there…”

In a final act of desperation, I asked these guys about treating a server suffering from severe abandonment issues, to which they replied, “Dude, those are some very snazzy pants”…

Some dudes shocked to see a pair of snazzy pants

If anybody out there has any better ideas on how to help the Battle City Server, please leave your suggestions in the comments below. I’ve tried everything. I even purchased a cowboy hat thinking surely a server with such a hat would boot-up to spur it’s fans, but after another terrible screeching, all it had to say was,

“Do you want me to sit in the corner and rust, or just fall apart where I’m standing?”

Is the Battle City server a lost cause, or should we try everything in the galaxy to save it? What do you think?


If you thought this post was funny, you’ll knock all your heads together reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

  • Haitah

    I honestly think the BC servers are a lost cause.
    It had its glory days and well, every game dies some time.
    It was a very fun time playing with all the players and I just loved the game, but no one remembers this game all that well, and it would be amazing if I could see the servers back and prospering with tons of players.
    Sincerely,
    Alton

    • http://battlecity.org/members/deceth/ Deceth

      Hey now, listen man, I’m the most notorious supervillain of the internet. I can’t just go around saying that’s it, lets pull the plug… I need a plan that’s a little more dramatic, you know, with like time travel or genetically modified flowers that have ninja stars instead of petals.

      Besides, Battle City has already been shutdown before, it doesn’t work. Battle City is like a bad rash that keeps itching even after all the crabs are gone – @haitah

  • http://battlecity.org/members/faix/ faix

    As much as I hate to agree with Alton, (of which I hate that I did not get a decent battle in with)
    I’m going to say that Battlecity lived it’s life well. It’s prime time has long gone.

    I will never forget the game, it will always sit in the back of my head along with all the players I had fun with (and arguements with). I will never forget any minute I had in this game. I don’t think there’s one significant event that I attended that I have forgotten (If I have forgotten something I won’t know, durr) but I think I’ve remembered my favourite days.

    I obviously want the game to stick around, but I don’t see it with any potential anymore. While a great game, it is severely outdated.

    Maybe the game can’t run, but I think we should all stick around on the forums.

    ALSO – School sucks on a huge scale taking up the majority of my time.

    • http://battlecity.org/members/deceth/ Deceth

      Listen, I think you’re on to something here. If we all stick together, its less improbable that something improbable doesn’t happen.

      It probably won’t work, but it’s more improbable that it will work! – @faix

  • wdouglas

    Hey get that back up Deceth and Weebo! How much are server costs a month these days?

    • wdouglas

      Whatever name you go by now! lol

    • http://battlecity.org/members/deceth/ Deceth

      Hey @wdouglas, how’s it going!

      If you ever need to find me, I tend to spend these days writing at http://deceth.com , but I’m always happy to host a Battle City Server whenever anybody wants to play :)

      I can put one up just for you, or we can try to make it into a big dramatic event so maybe 3 or 4 other people show up. I mean, it’s been about two months, the server must have faced all the Freudian issues it had pent up by now…

      • http://battlecity.org/members/faix/ faix

        We need an (automatic)system that shoots us a message and lets us know if someone is up for a game. Maybe an email? I’d love to have that occasional adrenaline rush when you’re on that last bit of health attacking the enemy base, orb in hand!

        Lets get a few games going on in the future, even with a temporary server!? :D

        • http://battlecity.org/members/deceth/ Deceth

          @faix, one option is to use the Battle City Facebook Group which works like a mailing list. If you post a message on the Battle City Facebook Group, everyone subscribed to the group will get an email right away letting them know. In fact, those who get the email can even reply to the email message instead of logging into Facebook if they want. It’s a great way to stay connected with active players interested in the game.

          The confusing thing at first is that there are two Battle City things on Facebook…

          There is also the Battle City Facebook Page which is meant to deliver Battle City status updates. Players can interact here as well, but it won’t generate email messages and you’re not really talking with each other, you’re just getting updates and commenting on what’s new.

          Then there is the Battle City Facebook Group, as mentioned above, which is meant for players to connect and message each other. That’s where you can try to get games organized and find out whose around and wants to play.

          Of course, some people don’t like Facebook for this sort of thing because they prefer to be more anonymous. In that case you can use this website, or there is the Battle City Google Groups List which is not being used, but which could do exactly what you’re talking about. If you send an email to the List, the message then goes to everyone subscribed, but you don’t have to use real names.

          So err, those are some options that already exist! Anybody can charge ahead and try to get something organized. If you do, just let me know you have a game scheduled and I’ll host a server. I hate hosting a server that stays empty for weeks at a time, but if there is a group ready to play, I’m always going to host a server for you. Just don’t leave me hanging, if you tell me to put up a server, someone better show up =p

      • http://battlecity.org/members/faix/ faix

        Just adding onto what I said – Maybe set dates? 2/3 games (Maybe more) every month on the weekends/days depending on what best suites people that want in?

  • Archisexture

    I would have to agree with faix. I want Battle City to come back. I’ve been asked to do a review for mmogames.com on any game I want. Tell me you are putting up the server and I’ll write about Battle City.

    • http://battlecity.org/members/faix/ faix

      @Deceth needs to see this!

    • http://battlecity.org/members/deceth/ Deceth

      Battle City is an open source game and anybody can host a server anytime they want! People just tend to like my server because it’s the one where everybody has accumulated all their points, ranks and special items like additional tanks.

      Tell me when you’re going to publish you’re article, and I’ll prepare to have my server up at that time. Running a server isn’t free – I’m not just going to throw one up and hope for the best. But, if someone in the community has a good plan, I’m all ears and ready to contribute :)

  • sbspider

    Hello
    I do not think that it is a lost cause. IT would depend on the machine that you are using, along with OS. See, running a windows server OS takes a lot of resources. But I setup a ubuntu server for fun on 512 MB and 0.9 ghz, 32 bit, and it works like a charm for most things. So, it may be prudent to use a linux server instead for it. If you are using multiple machines already, then it could also be a problem of configuration. If it is playing up because of high LOAD, then you could use it in tandem with other servers – for example, you can set up, for free, servers on amazon aws, that would give you I think 750 Hours per month of free server usage, and a very small cost if you need anything above that. You could also go for distributed hosting – if people are offering there servers for use by you, then you could set up a “round the robin” sort of service where the distrubuted servers talk to each other and thus manage the game ( and it would not be very hard to do either). Even the smallest server can help with load balancing, perhaps acting as a simple master to the powerful slave machines that you may setup. TO sum up, I do not think that your server is lost, especially as there are many free options (and / or cheaps ones as well) that could help you, on top of changing the operating system on your server.

    • http://battlecity.org/members/weebo/ Weebo

      Hey, thanks for the tips! I’ll look into Amazon AWS..!

      For the most part, the Battle City Server has always run in either Ubuntu or CentOS via WINE. This has always given better performance over running the server in Windows for whatever reasons…

      • sbspider

        Running better on a non-Windows machine is to be expected. It is good for those that want a simple setup, but has many problems when trying to have a more customized setup. Firstly, trying to manage Windows Server 2012 without GUI tools is a mission, but adding the GUI would mean overhead (aka more resources allocated elsewhere). So, of course, you could look at a headless (aka no GUI) server for that as well. The main thing would to look at what the chokepoint is though – are you running out of RAM or out of CPU cycles, and then take it from there. I mean, it should be relatively easy to resolve once you find out what is holding it back – Minecraft servers that host thousands or tens of thousands of players are often run on one or two ancient machines, while Team Fortress 2 games are thought to be run on desktop machines that have outlived their, well, desktop life. And I think PlanetSide, with their huge setup (they have thousands, and at times hundreds of thousands of players playing in the same world at the same time, a FPS game, which doesn’t lag on their side at all) also do not have a hugely complex setup. Hell, you could even look at setting up a node connection manager (very little overhead, compared to something like apache) hooked into Google’s V8 engine.

        • sbspider

          *node = Node.js library (a javascript library that runs on the server – the reason for this is that it allows you to code, for example, your own web server, with less complexity than you would with other languages such as C++ – see http://stackoverflow.com/a/19827764/2697921 for the code for a basic web server I had setup. The best part was that there was no overhead like you would find in Apache which it needs because it is a more generic system, not suited for a particular need.

  • Laststop311

    oh man played this game like 16-17 years ago. Was Lastop on the server. Those good ole days pull the plug out on ur modem put it back in run around and destroy shit.

    • http://deceth.com/ deceth

      Yes, this game is all about destroying shit! Good to hear from you ;)

      • Laststop311

        yea i was like 12 years old, first multiplayer online game that got me addicted to gaming. I currently play path of exile, diablo 2, diablo 3, league of legends, hearthstone, i played ARC after BC went down.

  • Laststop311

    So what kind of hardware and bandwidth does this server really need to host the probably few people that would play. Couldn’t be that much needed. I got an amd phenom II x6 1075 like 3.4ghz hex core or something 8gb ram radeon 5870. All it does now is run utorrent and seed all my torrents on a residential road runner ultimate tier 50mbps down 10mbps up connection. I’d be down to host a server for a little while or something. What does the game require to run properly for like 20 people or something?

    • http://deceth.com/ deceth

      Hey, it’s hard to say for sure what the requirements really are as the total players online starts to scale up… I can tell you, the Winter Classic Server was on my home connection running on 6 Mbps Down / 800 Kbps Up. Pings were always high, probably due to my location, but nothing really started spiking until the 6-10 player range. With your monstrous 10Mbps up, I’m sure you could easily host 20 people+ (your real problem will be finding 20 people to play at the same time!), depending what the rest of your network is up to. I don’t know what GoDaddy VPS speeds are like, but, when renting a server from GoDaddy, things ran smoothly until about 30 players online.

      • Laststop311

        What software do I need? What OS does it un under? If you can link me to all relevant info I have no problem running it for a few months. My seeding ratio is plenty high over 15TB uploaded and only 6TB downloaded so I can go without seeding for awhile and thats all the pc does, just a seedbox. My location is near cleveland, Ohio using time warner cable road runner ultimate the highest tier u can buy.50/10 unlimited unmetered. How many people would actually want to play? That’s why I assume it would run no problem doubt many people will play. Does this version feel just like the original codehammer version are all the movements identical or can u feel like its similar but not exactly the same feeling as the original?

      • Laststop311

        - If you can help me get it started I would love to run a server for however long it takes to get a nice league in and a playoffs run or something.

        – I can devote 100% my seedbox pc and overclock it mildly it’s just a dell PC i made a few upgrades to.

        – AMD phenom II x6 1075t hex core cpu turbo disabled @3.8Ghz stable OC cooled with a corsair h100 with 4 120mm fans in push pull (I can swamp the CPU with my brothers which is an 1100T that i can OC to 4.4ghz no prob if needed)

        – 2×4 8GB of 2400Mhz cl10 corsair vengeance RAM ( I can swap my 2×8 16GB 2133Mhz cl9 ram from my main pc if the server really needs 16GB instead of 8GB)

        – 256GB Crucial M400 SSD SATA III (I can swap with my 512GB samsung Pro SSD from my main if need be) + 2x 3TB WD black 7.2k RPM HDD in RAID 0

        – Asus Matrix 2GB Vram @ 5.2Ghz (1300MHz GDDR5) 1600 shaders @ 950Mhz ( can bump to 1Ghz and crank case fans if need be)

        – I can put the game server files and the OS required right on the SSD so all the game related reads and wrties comes from the SSD

        – It’s like an 800 watt something seasonic platinum PSU

        – Like I said the computer runs idle 24/7 seeding torrents on my private invite only tracker but I have over 15TB uploaded so I have a large buffer built up. I could host a nice long league for us if anybody cares at all.

        – I can devote 100% of my bandwidth to it and wirelessly connect to my neighbors connection who is on a 30/5 connection himself he wouldn’t mind. SO I can devote my entire 50mbps download 10mbps upload road runner ultimate connection to the server and turn off all the torrents.

        – From what I’m seeing we should be able to get 40-50 people playing if need be. I’m in the midwest so ping times should be decent for everyone.

        I need you to link me to all the elevant invo of email me at jtarmeni1ATgmail.com everything I need to do and help me start it. You can have admin access to it no problem.

        • http://deceth.com/ deceth

          Hey, I’m posting the info here rather than email you, just because if anybody else is ever interested in hosting a server, hey, here’s the info!

          The easy part is hosting the server:

          To run a server, download Battle City, go to the “server” folder and double-click “bcserver.exe”. You are now running a Battle City server.

          The Battle City server will run on Windows. You can also run the server on Linux using “Wine”. I’ve found pings to be slightly better on Linux servers, but that’s based on my experience from a few years ago, so who knows today!

          Hey man, but there’s still one problem! You’re now running a server but nobody can connect to it…

          Here’s the wrinkle… There is a new version of the game in development that will let players “input” a server IP address, so players could input your IP address and connect to your server. In this scenario, you don’t ever need me for anything. Just start your server and give out the IP address. This doesn’t exist yet.

          Right now, the game will connect to one of my hostnames. But hey, I’m not hosting a server right now and I’m really happy about you wanting to host one! So, if you give me your IP address, I can setup my hostname to point to your IP address. If I do this, that means anybody who downloads Battle City from battlecity.org will connect to your server.

          NOTE: This works best if you have a static IP address. If you have a dynamic IP address (i.e. one that changes all the time…) then we’re going to have problems when your IP address changes… If this is the case, we’ll need to figure out how to deal with this… (ex: http://www.noip.com/)

          Great, your Battle City server is now up and running, but there’s probably still one other issue preventing players from establishing a connection. Your router. It will most likely block the port Battle City runs on.

          Battle City runs on port: 5643

          You will need to setup port forwarding on your router for this port. This is a standard thing so just lookup your router model and “how to setup port forwarding”.

          Now you’re good to go… Except now you face the really hard part: Finding players!

          This isn’t magic. When your server goes online, nobody is going to know. I can post a news update, but only a few people will see that. I can post an update to the Facebook group, but again, only a few people will see that.

          To run a successful server takes work and time. Battle City is an awesome game, I still love playing it. The issue, is that you can’t have a battle by yourself… Sure, you can practice building your city, but eventually that will get boring and you’ll want to blow stuff up… The addicting part of the game is the battles and the rush you get from finally orbing a city. When you start a new server, you’re stuck in this situation where players login, nobody else is there, so they leave. I’m just as guilty, I won’t hang around either unless others are online.

          In my opinion, your best hope getting things started is to schedule a battle. Plan a DAY & TIME. But, do not host this battle until you are 100% SURE the event will be a success.

          Organize a set time, and make sure you follow-up with the people who say they will be there. REMIND THEM. Make sure you have a solid number, because life gets in the way, some won’t make it.

          If your battle is unorganized and nobody shows up, the next time around, the few people who did pay attention to you will not care to try again.

          If you want to build up momentum, you need to make sure each event you host is a SUCCESS, so turnout continues to grow for each subsequent round.

          Eventually, your server will start to fill-up on it’s own… But that won’t happen by itself magically. You need to build enough sustainable momentum first. Otherwise, if you simply turn on your server… you will get a few nostalgia logins, but things will die out fast.

          Hope that helps!