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Descent 3 - Playing Descent 3 online
Written by Thomas   
Sunday, 16 November 2008 17:32
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Providing Download Links For Hosted Missions
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I know I've done it before myself. I hosted game servers where the missions didn't have working download links for other players to join conveniently. I believe that was more or less down to the fact that I didn't know that it's so easy to avoid and fix it.

Let's go through the following scenario: You're a player willing to play an online game. You start Vortex, and there's an anarchy mission running called "Derelict Stadium". In Vortex it looks like this:

Mission Not Installed

The red entry already indicates that you don't have this mission file installed on your computer. A right mouse click on that running game brings up a nice looking window like this:

Download Location Broken

Ah, the link is... "Broken". Good.

Of course, almost every player knows in the meantime from where to get that mission. It will take him between 5 and 20 minutes to get that file from the public missions directories.

Anyway, it would take the player willing to join that mission less than a minute if the server hoster had spent 5 or 10 minutes preparing his server properly.

You need some server hosting space in order to provide a download link for the mission you're running. Unfortunately, the hosting request form at Planetdescent goes into nowhere, but you can get the level hosted at Descentforum.de. Have a look at this thread (in German only). If you drop Do_Checkor a line I'm sure he'll put the mission on his server for you. I'm going to use this site here to store the level file.

Download the Descent 3 Mission Browser and start it.

Roth 513 In The Mission Browser

You can now go through all URLs in the mission file and visit them by clicking on the blue link at the bottom of the window. If the download link is working your browser should suggest to download the zip file. Any link that's not working will come up with a 404 error or something similar (mostly advertisements etc).

URL Link Tests In Roth 513

In case of roth513.mn3 none of the links in the mission is working, they are all broken. Let's set up at least one that'll work later. I will simply put the file here: http://www.dateiliste.de/d3files/missions

 


 

All we have to do now is get the correct download link from http://www.dateiliste.de/d3files/missions into roth513's mission file.

Start D3Edit and press the "Q" button. You should get a window as shown below after clicking on the "Editor" tab.

Q In D3Edit

Press "Open" in the top-right corner and select the mission file roth513.mn3 out of your Descent 3's missions directory. Roth 513 contains lots of custom textures and custom objects, so the Files box will fill quite heavily after the mission file has been loaded.

Click on "Edit MSN..." to edit the mission.

Edit MSN In D3Edit

You can now take the broken links out and insert the new link, in our case a working one.

MSN Edit

Select the current URLs and remove them (they're broken anyway). Click on "Insert" and insert the new future URL.

New URL For Roth 513

Close this dialog window by clicking on "Ok" and don't forget to save the changed file. At this point I would like to remind you again to save the changed mn3 file by clicking on the "Save" button (located directly under the button "Edit MSN...") as it happens to me almost every time that I have to go through the next steps a few times just because I keep forgetting to save.

Locate your missions folder again and zip the two files for Roth 513 (roth513.mn3 and rothread.txt) into a files called roth513.zip. We want to include Shoku's readme file (rothread.txt) as well, of course.

While the upload to http://www.dateiliste.de/d3files/missions is running we can open the Missions Browser again and have a look at the new roth513.mn3:

Updated Version Of roth513.zip

Now players can again join Shoku's Roth 513 even if they don't have the mission installed (yet). Note that for the players who have the "old" file nothing has changed. They can still happily join servers running our altered file. Changing only the URLs in a mission does not make the mission incompatible with existing files.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 09:48
 
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