Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Sylverant is a homebrew open source server for Phantasy Star Online. Dreamcast users still play PSO online with this server even today! This is the official forum for both the online game server as well as the open source project itself. Feel free to post and get a gathering started online! We can also show you how to get connected!

Moderators: BlueCrab, Aleron Ives

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Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:05 pm

Hey Sylverant,

I've been casually playing PSOGC lately, using the Dolphin emulator, and I'd like to connect to this server to take advantage of the server-side resources I've been missing (online quests, gallons shop, etc). I played on another server a number of years back with my actual GC, but Dolphin has the benefit of being able to multitask. :P

So I've read the guide on Dolphin connection already, but I'd like to understand one particular part a little better. What's the purpose of the TAP adapter? My understanding of network concepts is not as robust as I'd like it to be, but if I'm reading Wikipedia right, TAP is just a virtual network card which treats a locally running program as a server (do I have that right?). So why would Dolphin need that, when what it's emulating is client software?

Also, would it affect my regular network traffic in any other ways if I bridge it together with my LAN adapter? This is just an abundance of caution, I suppose - I would rather not do anything that carries a risk to my network, especially not when the GC itself could connect without such a process (although for all I know, the BBA could use TAP in its normal operation anyway).

I realize this is more a Dolphin question than a PSO/Sylverant question, but I hoped someone here knew about it before I went and made a forum account over there as well.

One more question: does this server offer download quests (particularly the tower quests and other standard online quests, e.g. TTF)? Or alternatively, can anyone point me to a Dolphin memcard save which has download quests on it?

Thanks in advance. :mrgreen:
Old GC player from ~05-08, casually playing a new set of chars on Dolphin. Currently focusing on other games, send me a PM if you need me to jump on PSO.

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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by IcemaX » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:56 pm

It causes no problem whatsoever, you will have the same internet speed and so on. Every other emulator with BBA support uses that TAP thing. Demul for example.

I'm using one myself, it's safe.

Speaking of downloadable quests, there is 5 of them available. Also there is many online only quests.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:18 pm

IcemaX wrote:It causes no problem whatsoever, you will have the same internet speed and so on. Every other emulator with BBA support uses that TAP thing. Demul for example.

I'm using one myself, it's safe.

Speaking of downloadable quests, there is 5 of them available. Also there is many online only quests.
I see. Would this be the standard fare found on the old official servers (TTF, PW# etc.) or something more custom? I used to play schtserv back in the day, but their custom content got extremely annoying after awhile (mostly because it became all anyone ever wanted to play :| ).

I'll probably look into setting up TAP tonight (haven't even registered my SN/AK yet so I presume that'll take some time). Still looking for a more technical description if anyone can provide one, but thanks all the same.
Old GC player from ~05-08, casually playing a new set of chars on Dolphin. Currently focusing on other games, send me a PM if you need me to jump on PSO.

Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
Tin Can Dan (RAcast) // OliverLeo (HUmar) // Winterleaf (FOmarl)
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:30 pm

No, the TAP adapter does not treat Dolphin as a server. Dolphin emulates physical GC hardware, which in turn allows GC software to operate, and the BBA emulation is no different: the emulated BBA needs a virtual Ethernet cable to connect to a router, and the TAP adapter provides that virtual Ethernet cable. By bridging your LAN connection with the TAP adapter, Dolphin gains the ability to communicate with your Ethernet adapter to send and receive network traffic. The virtual BBA connected to your virtual GameCube gets its own IP address on your network, just as a physical BBA connected to a physical GameCube would.

Sega never released any downloadable quests for GC. The quests we offer are the same quests that Sega added to the PSO+ disc (namely Central Dome Fire Swirl, Seat of the Heart, The East Tower, and The West Tower). You can also download Garon's Scheme, which was ported from the official Japanese Blue Burst server.

Sylverant does not have the GC homebrew quests that SCHTServ had. The only unofficial online GC quests are The Missing Maracas and The Tinkerbell's Dog 2 (both of which were ported from DC), and Global Warming, which is BlueCrab's quest. Once I get around to testing them, I'll also add Lost HELL PALLASCH and Fragments of a Memory, which were ported from the official Japanese Blue Burst server, as well as Resurgent Darkness, which is one of my quests.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:45 pm

Aleron Ives wrote:No, the TAP adapter does not treat Dolphin as a server. Dolphin emulates physical GC hardware, which in turn allows GC software to operate, and the BBA emulation is no different: the emulated BBA needs a virtual Ethernet cable to connect to a router, and the TAP adapter provides that virtual Ethernet cable. By bridging your LAN connection with the TAP adapter, Dolphin gains the ability to communicate with your Ethernet adapter to send and receive network traffic. The virtual BBA connected to your virtual GameCube gets its own IP address on your network, just as a physical BBA connected to a physical GameCube would.

Sega never released any downloadable quests for GC. The quests we offer are the same quests that Sega added to the PSO+ disc (namely Central Dome Fire Swirl, Seat of the Heart, The East Tower, and The West Tower). You can also download Garon's Scheme, which was ported from the official Japanese Blue Burst server.

Sylverant does not have the GC homebrew quests that SCHTServ had. The only unofficial online GC quests are The Missing Maracas and The Tinkerbell's Dog 2 (both of which were ported from DC), and Global Warming, which is BlueCrab's quest. Once I get around to testing them, I'll also add Lost HELL PALLASCH and Fragments of a Memory, which were ported from the official Japanese Blue Burst server, as well as Resurgent Darkness, which is one of my quests.
Ah, there we are. Thanks Ives. Do you still hang around Scht these days or is this your main home now? :P

I got everything set up the other night and have been grinding a little bit of TTF. The connection speed seems a bit inconsistent (sometimes quest loads in 10s, other times 5mins or more, on one occasion it crashed Dolphin which I suppose is an FSOD equivalent), but otherwise everything looks good. I noticed something on the patch notes about problems with server side drops. Is there anything I should be aware of concerning this? I see a lot of games which say drops are on the side of the client, so I guess that means the server isn't even involved in that for the most part. On like 7-8 runs of first half VHard TTF, got one Gobooma's arm and one Yamato... seems pretty normal to me. :P
Old GC player from ~05-08, casually playing a new set of chars on Dolphin. Currently focusing on other games, send me a PM if you need me to jump on PSO.

Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
Tin Can Dan (RAcast) // OliverLeo (HUmar) // Winterleaf (FOmarl)
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:56 pm

Nobody plays on SCHTserv anymore. It went down. :roll:

Quests often take longer to load than when using a modem, which is really annoying. It seems to be a problem with the TAP adapter, as consoles don't have this problem. Sometimes it takes so long to load a quest that PSO will just give up and disconnect me.

The server-side drops only apply if you use /sdrops before you create your team. A team with Drops: Client is not using /sdrops, so everything will work normally. If you see a team with Drops: Server, be prepared for borked drops.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:03 pm

Aleron Ives wrote:Nobody plays on SCHTserv anymore. It went down. :roll:
Pfff. I'm sure it'll be back up and still unregisterable for GC in due time. XD
Aleron Ives wrote:Quests often take longer to load than when using a modem, which is really annoying. It seems to be a problem with the TAP adapter, as consoles don't have this problem. Sometimes it takes so long to load a quest that PSO will just give up and disconnect me.

The server-side drops only apply if you use /sdrops before you create your team. A team with Drops: Client is not using /sdrops, so everything will work normally. If you see a team with Drops: Server, be prepared for borked drops.
What a weird feature... good to know though. :o
Old GC player from ~05-08, casually playing a new set of chars on Dolphin. Currently focusing on other games, send me a PM if you need me to jump on PSO.

Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:45 pm

It works fine on Ver.2. Other things have just had higher priority lately than fixing it for Ver.3.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:00 pm

Aleron Ives wrote:It works fine on Ver.2. Other things have just had higher priority lately than fixing it for Ver.3.
I guess I just don't see the benefit of it. What was wrong with client side drops to begin with (other than, y'know, the dropcharts being made by Sega)?
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:06 pm

It's required for Blue Burst support; using it on earlier versions is just a perk. It's mainly beneficial for Ver.2, as it allows rares to drop in quests, and it allows custom drop charts with good rates.

It's less beneficial for Ver.3, as rares already drop in quests, and Sega already fixed most of the rates. It does, however, still open the possibility of having special drops or rates during events, which was previously only possible on BB.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by BlueCrab » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:18 pm

The real reason for /sdrops on every version other than Blue Burst is "because I can". :wink:

Really it's because it was easier to test that everything still behaves sanely with PSOPC than with any other version (including Blue Burst, as I've never really played it extensively). Basically /sdrops was/is practice for the Blue Burst drops system. :wink:
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by tueidj » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:39 am

Aleron Ives wrote:Quests often take longer to load than when using a modem, which is really annoying. It seems to be a problem with the TAP adapter, as consoles don't have this problem. Sometimes it takes so long to load a quest that PSO will just give up and disconnect me.
From looking at the code I think this is a problem with the way interrupts are handled for the emulated BBA (interrupts being cleared when they should remain active due to multiple sources).
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:38 pm

Oh, well that may actually be good news, then. If the problem lies within Dolphin and not OpenVPN, then there's a chance it might actually get fixed.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:34 pm

I'm not sure if this matters, but the problem seems to occur less on Iselia than on Vega. Additionally, Vega has this habit of arbitrarily not showing me some quests sometimes (one game it'll load the ep2 quests, the next it won't, etc). But I haven't had any pseudo-FSODs on Iselia in the last week or so, which is a plus.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:08 pm

I've read that Vega shows every quest in Episode I teams and no quests at all in Episode II teams. We don't have any control over Vega's update schedule or configuration, so all you can do is avoid playing there if something doesn't work. It's run by DC-Talk, so its focus is on Ver.2.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:44 am

Ah. I take it Altimira is DC-only, then.

Also - and sorry for increasingly using this thread as my question catch-all - but I was just looking for this answer and I didn't really find it. What exactly was the reasoning for requiring valid SN/AKs? Was it to keep people from coming back on a fresh char/GC# if they misbehaved or some such? I ask because I might want to bring a second person online, but although I have two copies, my non-plus copy doesn't have a S/N sticker in it... never did.

It just seems to me you'd get more of a community if you allowed unregistered SNs, or at least allowed someone to register a made-up one (how does it check validity, anyway?). I think that's part of the reason the Scht GC community lasted as long as it did. But if I'm dredging up a topic that's long since been put to bed here, then feel free to ignore me. XD
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:56 am

There are several reasons:
  • Serial numbers are how the server identifies players. If you don't have a unique one, then the server must assign your Guild Card number through some other means. SCHTServ used player names, which meant that players with the same name couldn't come online at the same time, and searching your friend's Guild Card would be useless if he changed characters. Requiring unique serials allows all of PSO's functions to work correctly.
  • It encourages accountability. If you have to register with your original keys, getting banned means something, because you can't just change your name or use a proxy to avoid the ban. You not only need new serials, but you need to register them to your account to get onto the server.
  • It enables new features. Having a static Guild Card number tied to your account allows you to have a single friend list across all of your characters (and platforms), and it allows you to participate in server events that track monster kills.
  • It increases security. Nobody can steal your Guild Card or get you banned by using your character's name, and nobody can steal access to GM powers without having both the serials of a GM and the username and password of that GM's account.
  • It discourages piracy. Sylverant is BlueCrab's resume as a programmer, and he tries not to actively encourage piracy with the project so as to keep his reputation clean.
Sylverant runs quite smoothly thanks in no small part to the mandatory registration. ;) I always hated how Guild Cards were useless on SCHTServ when people didn't bother to register. :x
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:48 am

I am determined to make this thread a resource for other Dolphin users who are having my kind of issues with it! (Or I'm lazy, take your pick)

So I recently got a new laptop with a video card good enough to run Dolphin comfortably, and I set up a network drive to my desktop machine so both of them can access the same memory cards. I can play offline with no problems, but getting the TAP adapter working hasn't happened yet.

The basic symptom is that it's unable to get an IP address (error 15, never gets past the bursting screen). Normally on my desktop (Win7) this will happen on the first attempt only, then the second time it connects normally. Not so on the laptop, which is Win10 Pro (I wouldn't have upgraded it to Win10 yet, but it was brand new and I figured upgrading would be the most painless when nothing important is installed).

I have tried/checked the following so far:
  • The TAP adapter is installed, and I can bridge it with the laptop's wireless card and still load things on the network. When bridged the TAP adapter still shows "network cable unplugged" status, but this is also the case on the desktop machine.
  • Ensured that BBA is selected in the proper port in Dolphin's settings.
  • Restarted wireless NIC and rebooted machine.
  • Allowed Dolphin as a firewall exception, and also tried disabling the firewall (and related things, such as Windows defender).
  • I would've tried bridging it with a LAN cable instead, but for some stupid reason Win10 decided it couldn't recognize my network when I used a LAN cable, and so the network drive with the memcards on it went down, so I couldn't do this test.
I can't see anything different between my desktop's settings and the laptop's. Any ideas, or is this one for the Dolphin forums?
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Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Aleron Ives » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:17 pm

Have you tried using a static IP in the BBA settings? I've never gotten error 15 in Dolphin.
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Re: Getting on w/Dolphin (GC)

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:31 pm

Can't say I have - would the TAP adapter be the one that ultimately requests that IP, then? If so, it'd probably get the next available DHCP address every time it's first invoked by Dolphin, wouldn't it? Maybe that's why the first attempt always fails... I'll try it tonight.

EDIT: Just to be clear, should I be setting a manual IP in PSO's internal network settings, or in the IPv4 settings of the TAP adapter in Windows?
Old GC player from ~05-08, casually playing a new set of chars on Dolphin. Currently focusing on other games, send me a PM if you need me to jump on PSO.

Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
Tin Can Dan (RAcast) // OliverLeo (HUmar) // Winterleaf (FOmarl)
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