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Descent 3 - Vortex
Written by Thomas   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 12:46


On 2014-07-25 at around 18:19 UTC Gamespy has finally shut down their game tracking services. That's when Vortex stopped displaying Descent 3 servers that didn't announce themselves to the Descent.cx game tracker.

D3VortexD3DescentCX

There's two solutions: Either edit the Windows hosts file or get a patched version of Vortex.

 

To find online games, one of the trackers Vortex checks is the Gamespy server master.gamespy.com. However, the services of this machine are now not available anymore.

 

CoolChris has set up a tracker service which is compatible with the Gamespy tracker. His d3gsm.tsetsefly.de works as a full replacement for Descent 3 online games.

 

Since Vortex tries to connect to master.gamespy.com the software can't find any Descent 3 online servers anymore that are announced by utilising Gamespy only. The dedicated server tool D3Server3, which is used by most Descent 3 server operators, already addresses the Gamespy service shutdown by optionally announcing games to several other game trackers.

 

One method of convincing Vortex to use CoolChris' tracker instead of the Gamespy one is by adding an additional entry to the Windows hosts file.

The file is located at C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc and is called hosts. Note that if Windows is not installed on C: the drive letter must be changed to the one on which the operating system has been installed. The file hosts has no filename extension and can be edited for example with Notepad.

 

If you add the line
78.46.175.83 master.gamespy.com
to the end of this file, Vortex (and actually Windows itself too) believe that CoolChris' server is called master.gamespy.com.

 

Anti virus software usually tends to protect the file hosts by locking it so that it cannot be changed. If you want to change the file and your v

irus scanner holds a lock on it, you will have to temporarily disable the scanner, or at least allow editing the file. As an example, the picture below shows where the lock on the hosts file can be removed with the Avira anti virus software.

D3AviraConfigHostsFile

 

The disadvantage of an entry in the hosts file is that not only Vortex but any other software including the operating system itself accept the new master.gamespy.com host. This can cause issues if you're playing other online games that use or used the Gamespy services.

 

A far better solution is to download and install a patched version of Vortex that directly contacts CoolChris' game tracking server instead of master.gamespy.com.

 

Since it is quite a hassle to configure Vortex to work with Pyromania correctly, we've placed both Descent 3 additions into one package. You can get the installation software from here.

 

pyromaniainst01

 

Download Pyromania_15_Setup_with_Vortex.exe (21.84 MiB = 22,363.6 KiB = 22,900,300 bytes)

 

If you have Vortex (and probably Pyromania too) installed already you can download the patched Vortex executable file alone and replace your existing version with it:

Download Vortex.exe (4.19 MiB = 4,290.0 KiB = 4,392,960 bytes)

In case you wonder why this file is almost four times as big as the original Vortex.exe, this is because the original version uses an exe compressor. The compressor is neither required nor useful to run the application. It only slows down the program's start.

 

The patched file (Vortex.exe) is available as a compressed zip file:

Download Vortex.zip (1.46 MiB = 1,495.4 KiB = 1,531,321 bytes)

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 August 2014 04:43
 
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