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Descent 3 - Descent 3 dedicated server tool for Windows
Written by Thomas   
Saturday, 03 October 2009 13:34
Article Index
Release notes
Earlier changes - May 2014
Earlier changes - March 2014
Earlier changes - December 2013
Earlier changes - November 2013
Earlier changes - June 2013
Earlier changes - May 2013
Earlier changes - January 2013 - April 2013
Earlier changes - May 2012 - December 2012
Earlier changes - March 2012 - April 2012
Earlier changes - December 2010 - February 2011
Earlier changes - June 2010 - October 2010
Earlier changes - February 2010 - May 2010
Earlier changes - January 2010
Earlier changes - November/December 2009
Earlier changes - October 2009
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--- This is the information D3Server3 uses when it checks for updates. ---

Latest D3Server3 version:
Latest beta version:
Release date: 2014-10-22
Features: CPU usage and tracker list
Download URI:
Setup URI:
Beta URI:

--- End of information D3Server3 uses to check for updates. ---


The process of how the update functions in D3Server3 work is explained in more detail in the article Automatic updates. You can also run the server tool as a Windows service. Running D3Server3 as a Windows service explains how to set this up.


D3Server3 release notes



  • Version
  • When a player is being kicked because his/her nickname is too short, the message displayed (sent to the console) was missing the text "nickname". The previous message "(player name) uses a too short and gets kicked!" has been corrected to "(player name) uses a too short nickname and is being kicked!".
  • The standard setting "Send rotational velocity" of a dedicated Descent 3 server configuration has been set to off again. The setting causes disconnections in co-operative type games. The tooltip for this option has been extended to explain the facts.
  • The default value for frames per second in the global options dialog window has been changed from 999 down to 333, as suggested by Do_Checkor. This setting only applies to complete new installations of the server tool. The default value for frames per second is used when a new dedicated Descent 3 server is configured. Existing servers as well as new servers in already installed D3Server3s are not affected by this change.
  • The two game trackers and removed from the game tracker list. The first one is identical to, which is still in the list, and the second one is dead. Since Descent 3 only supports up to five game trackers the list had to be trimmed. Thanks to Do_Checkor and CoolChris for pointing this out.



  • Version
  • The value of the configuration key FTPUploadPassiveMode in section [UploadStatistics] of D3Server3.ini is not overwritten by the installation program anymore if the key existed prior to the installation. Previous versions had always set the value of FTPUploadPassiveMode to 1 in order to circumvent a bug in certain beta versions during the implementation phase of the statistics processing functions.
  • The tooltip bubble help for the UDP port of a server in the server configuration dialog windows has been extended. The tooltip now explains when port 2092 or any other port should be used.
  • Three new game tracker servers added to support Qtracker ( The servers are,, and See also the associated forum post at the Qtracker forum ( According to the post, has been removed from the default tracker list of D3Server3 again.
  • The 'better string library' Bstring added to the project. Within this and following versions of D3Server3 string handling will be gradually improved.
  • Some minor code optimisations, mostly "strlen ()" related; some code comments added. The browser string for online requests is now retrieved by a a single function to save a few bytes of code.
  • Bug fix where the IP address was displayed as garbage in D3Server3's main dialog window. The bug only showed up when the ini key CheckForPublicIP was set to 1 in the section [GlobalOptions] of the configuration file D3Server3.ini, and when the public IP address could not be retrieved within the first few seconds after the server tool was started.
  • Bug fix: It was possible that an automatic server tool restart could cause the configurations to be lost. This is now prevented with a critical section object and an additional flag.
  • Very old versions of D3Server3 cannot download and run the installation program to update the software. This means they might be missing the file logtext.dll. Until now, more recent versions of D3Server3 suggested to download and install the latest version manually. This version of D3Server3 now contains a copy of the required file logtext.dll. Should the file not be present, or only exists in an outdated version, then the server tool tries to extract and create the file automatically. Only if this fails is an error message displayed and the user informed to download and install the latest version of D3Server3 manually. This step was considered necessary because the version of Descent 3 that can be downloaded from Dateiliste constains a version of D3Server3 that cannot yet download and run the installation program.
  • The debug version of D3Server3 additionally contains the text " - Debug version" in the InternalName field of the version information. This makes it easier to identify the debug version.
  • Fixed an issue with an access violation when a dedicated server process unexpectedly died while its process priority class was updated.
  • Bug fix: When no FTP or username for statistics FTP upload had been specified D3Server3 would repeat several error messages within a short time period. The messages are now still repeated but with a time delay of 30 seconds between each error.
  • Under certain circumstances D3Server3 displayed an error IP address (169.254...) although a real internal and/or external address had been assigned by the DHCP server. This should now be fixed and the software displays the assigned IP address.
  • When a logfile was opened from the server list's popup menu of D3Server3's main dialog window, but the logfile didn't exist, nothing happened. Actually, the associated application just popped up quickly to close again a moment later. Now an error message is displayed that the logfile doesn't exist. If the user doesn't close the message box it closes itself after the defined timeout value. The value is defined in seconds as the value of the ini key MessageBoxTimeout of the section [GlobalOptions] within the configuration file D3Server3.ini. The default is 3 minutes (180 seconds).
  • Bug fix: D3Server3 sometimes crashed on machines with multiple CPUs and many running dedicated Descent 3 servers due to a multi-threading bug in its main event listbox.
  • The event message "Stopping all empty servers..." that appeared when the button "Stop Empty & Exit" was clicked has been changed to "Stopping all empty servers and closing D3Server3...". This is to avoid possible confusion because the action might keep the tool busy for some time.
  • The event message "Stopping all servers..." that appeared when the button "Stop & Exit" was clicked has been changed to "Stopping all servers and closing D3Server3...".
  • When D3Server3 finds an orphaned dedicated Descent 3 server, and this server is terminated by the tool, it now writes this information to the main logfile. Before, this had been done quietly. Also, a summary of how many processes have been killed by D3Server3 is now placed in the event listbox and the logfile as a single event message. Its text is: "n" orphaned server process(es) killed. See main logfile for details.
  • In the server configuration dialog window the mission combobox was broken. When the mission was changed the combobox for the level selection only updated when the dialog window had been closed and re-opened again.
  • Bug fix: Since the D3Server3 automatically corrects download links the level loop function didn't work anymore. In fact, level looping was always on, independent of how the setting had been configured in the server configuration dialog.
  • The combobox in the server control panel for level warp (command $warp) has been made wider. Certain levels in some missions had long names that didn't fit in the box.
  • The commands $playerinfo, $ban, $removeban, $changeteam, and $kick are now working in the server control panel. They had not been implemented before.
  • Bug fix: When the server control panel was opened for the first time after D3Server3 had been started, the predefined value for the command $settimelimit was always 100 minutes, independent of what had been set before. This is now fixed and the previously selected value is displayed when the control panel is opened for the first time after program start.
  • The field in the top-left corner of D3Server3's main window ("PXO tracker status") has been changed to "CPU usage". Since PXO has been down for many years, and it doesn't look like it's coming back any time soon, it probably makes more sense to display some other information instead of the status of a non-available tracker. The CPU usage of the tool (D3Server3) and running dedicated Descent 3 servers are probably a good replacement. Since the tool's main window has changed it might require some additional work to update all the screenshots at Dateiliste and other places.
  • The values for the new CPU usage area in the top-left corner of the main window are now updating. The displayed values are not always correct, though, but it's a start.
  • Two new ini file keys DisplayCPUUsageD3Server and DisplayCPUUsageDescent3Servers in section [GlobalOptions] of the file D3Server3.ini added. DisplayCPUUsageD3Server=0 suppresses updating the CPU usage of the server tool. DisplayCPUUsageDescent3Servers=0 suppresses updating the CPU usage of running dedicated Descent 3 servers. By default both values are set to 1, which means that CPU usages are displayed and updated.
  • Previous versions of D3Server3 stored the process ID (PID) of a dedicated Descent 3 server even if the D3 executable could not be started. If the process failed to start a PID of 0 was saved in the file DynSettings.ini for finding it again as an orphaned server process later on. This version of D3Server3 only stores valid PIDs to recognise dedicated Descent 3 servers as being orphans.
  • New configuration key EnableProcessPriorityChanges in section [DedicatedServers] of the file D3Server3.ini. If set to 0, the key disables D3Server3's ability to change the process priority classes of Descent 3 dedicated servers. The default value is 1, which is the same if the key doesn't exist. The installation program creates the key with EnableProcessPriorityChanges=1, if it doesn't exist.
  • The progress message "Loading server data..." is now only displayed when no servers are about to be started. When D3Server3 automatically starts dedicated Descent 3 servers the message reads "Loading server data and starting servers...".
  • New configuration key UseDefaultTrackers in section [DedicatedServers] of the file D3Server3.ini. The key can either be 0 (UseDefaultTrackers=0) or 1 (UseDefaultTrackers=1). If set to 1, which is the default when the key doesn't exist or after the installation program has run, only the predefined game trackers are used by D3Server3. The tracker configurations of individual servers are ignored in this case. If UseDefaultTrackers=0, D3Server3 behaves like in previous versions and the server operator can edit the game tracker list for each dedicated Descent 3 server.
  • The configuration dialog window "Tracker options" has been changed for hard-coded Descent 3 game trackers only. This means the buttons Add, Remove, and Default are now disabled and the tooltip for the game tracker list explains what to do to get trackers added or removed. The tooltip is the help text that pops up when the mouse rests over the list for a few seconds. The dialog can be restored to its default by setting UseDefaultTrackers=0 in the section [DedicatedServers] of the file D3Server3.ini, which is not a recommended step.
  • When a dedicated server is started there are now two additional messages. The first one is added to the event log listbox before D3Server3 extracts custom objects from a mission ("Extracting custom objects..."). The second one is added when no custom objects were found in a mission ("No custom objects in mission."). Since extracting custom objects can take a significant amount of time it should now be clearer what the server tool is doing during this process.
  • Some "real-time" output in the event log listbox has been disabled. D3Server3 had sometimes deadlocked due to this. This means that some events are only displayed after the action has completed, for example when servers are stopped or started. I think it is better to have an application that doesn't freeze and get along with delayed output instead of accurate output but a non-responding server tool. The issue will be fixed in one of the next versions when all the time-consuming tasks will have been transferred into a separate worker thread.
  • The controls in D3Server3's main window are now disabled when it is clear that the application is about to exit. Since the software is now capable of handling Windows messages during some operations it would be prone to crashes or deadlocks if it was possible to click around in the windows during the shutdown process. This also applies to the X button in the dialog's title bar. It is disabled as soon as the server tool is about to close.
  • Handling of orphaned dedicated Descent 3 server processes has been improved. D3Server3 now catches some orphaned servers it would not have caught in earlier versions.
  • The installation program creates a new section [Debug] in the file D3Server3.ini. Two keys have also been added to this new section. Both are set to 0 (off) by default. If DebugMinuteTicker=1 an event log message is added to the event log listbox every minute D3Server3 has been running, but not for the first minute. This could allow external programs to check the main logfile for changes. If no change occurs in time the external program could assume D3Server3 to either have crashed or deadlocked. If the key DebugDlg is set to 1 (DebugDlg=1) the main logfile is updated even more often with lots of information regarding called functions and accesses to critical section objects. The key DebugDlg should really be used for debugging purposes as it outputs quite a lot of probably confusing information to the user.
  • Bug fix: D3Server3 sometimes froze or wouldn't close due to a deadlock in concurrent accesses to the event log listbox. All conducted tests so far lead to the conclusion that the bug has been fixed. Fingers crossed!
  • Sometimes D3Server3 would postpone an automatic server tool restart due to an open dialog window or because a server is being played. Now the tool places the messages "Automatic D3Server3 restart postponed because a server is being played." and "Automatic D3Server3 restart postponed because a dialog window is open." in the event log list and the main logfile when one of these conditions apply.
  • When the server tool is about to perform an automatic restart of itself the restart might be postponed when a server is being played. Since the restart is only postponed up to around 100 minutes D3Server3 now places an entry in the event log list to inform the user that this happened. The message is: "A server is being played but an automatic restart of D3Server3 required regardles."
  • New debug entry in section [Debug] of the file D3Server3.ini. They key UpdateThreadTicker=1 outputs the ticks of the update thread in the event log and the main logfile. The default is UpdateThreadTicker=0, which is the recommended setting unless there's a requirement to debug the update thread's minute ticks.
  • D3Server3 now also recognises WineHQ ( It goes without saying that the software does not work any different on Wine, if detected.
  • The software now ships with a Windows application manifest file (D3Server3.exe.manifest). The file requests admin privileges when D3Server3 is started by non-admins. It fixes the bug (well, Microsoft says it's a feature) in Windows 8 and 8.1, where it is not possible anymore to turn UAC off completely. UAC on Windows 8 and 8.1 can only be turned off in the registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, key EnableLUA to 0; the default is 1 when UAC has been switched off with the user interface, which essentially means that UAC is not turned off).
  • When D3Server3 is running as a Windows service and the user starts another instance of D3Server3 the software tries to first stop the service automatically. If the user starting the server tool doesn't have the appropriate privileges to stop the service, D3Server3 displays an error message that it can't continue. Earlier versions had a bug that tried to start the service again even if it could not be stopped. Now D3Server3 just closes without additional messages.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 13:15
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