Posted - 27 May 2019 : 00:58:41
While the BMS Multiplayer (MP) code is certainly stable, if the correct SOPs are not followed it can cause serious issues. This SOP must be followed for all official 185th MP sessions using BMS 4.34 otherwise the enjoyment of everyone could be ruined.
1. Ensure install and setup is completed as per the 185th VFS BMS 4.34 Install & Setup SOP.
2. All Sqn members and cadets must have completed Dunc's NAT test. Any issues resulting from the test are to be investigated to ensure they do not impact MP flights. Further details of the test, including link and pass parameters, can be found here.
3. Low frame rates can cause warping and stuttering issues for everyone in the MP environment. All members must ensure they adjust their graphics settings to maintain a minimum of 26 FPS in BMS including around airbases and when both the TGP and WPN pages are in use.
Hosting a MP Session
4. If behind a router you must ensure you have port forwarded 2934-2935 UDP for BMS 4.34 and 9987-9989 UDP for IVC. See http://portforward.com/ for help on setting up your router with Falcon. If you are still struggling you can post a query in our 4.34 Technical Forum. If you are a cadet and cannot access the technical forum please contact our Cadet Training Officer (CTO) who will answer your query.
5. Prior to starting the host/server you must run the Simple Port Tester V3.0 and confirm that ports 2934, 2935, 9987, 9988 and 9989 are all open.
6. Pages 7-80 to 7-82 of the BMS Manual cover hosting a MP session.
7. Start the BMS 4.34 launcher. Launch the IVC server and minimise it (if you are also hosting IVC). Next click launch to load 4.34.0 and then choose your Theater. If you need to switch Theatre, you must then go back to desktop and restart BMS and IVC. You can also use Zipgun’s Theater Changer utility to change the Theatre before loading BMS.
8. Prior to starting the host/server, you should start a single player TE to confirm that all devices such as Track IR, HOTAS and MFDs are working correctly in the 3D world.
9. Click Comms.
10. Select New.
11. Enter your Sever Name as Host.
12. Enter your IP as 0.0.0.0.
13. BMS 4.34.0 requires less bandwidth per client than 4.33 due to net code optimization. Work is ongoing to determine how much bandwidth a host needs for each client. For now you should assume the upload bandwidth required for every client connected to the server/host is around 500 Kbps. In calculating the maximum number of clients that can connect to the host/server you should take your maximum tested upload bandwidth (less 20% for overheads such as spikes, TS and IVC) then divide this by the 500 Kbps allowance per client connected to the host/server. For example, your tested upload is 5000 Kbps, less 20% is 4000 Kbps so you can have 8 clients join the host/server.
14. Enter your upload and download bandwidth, as calculated above, in Kbps.
15. Very important, after entering your bandwidth setting you MUST press enter otherwise the bandwidth details may not be set correctly
16. As host, your computer needs to be able to sustain a frame rate of 26 FPS or better. Anything less than this will cause stuttering and pausing issues with clients. See Paragraph 3 for details on how to achieve and test this.
17. Ensure the "IVC Enabled" and "IVC Auto Gain Control" boxes are selected. If you are hosting IVC then enter 127.0.0.1 or localhost as the IVC IP address and a password if you want to set one. If you are not hosting IVC, enter the IVC server IP address and any password.
18. Click Save if you want to save these settings for future use.
19. Click Connect and after a few seconds you should get the message "Connection Established".
20. Click Comms then call "Host is Hot" and your IP, the required Theatre and the connection bandwidth eg "Host is Hot, IP 248.137.2.8, Korea KTO, 1024 up and down bandwidth" then wait for all of the clients to join. If you wish, you can post some of the additional information using TeamSpeak (TS) before starting BMS then you just need to call "Host is Hot, connection details in TeamSpeak".
21. 4.34 allows you to see the bandwidths and port of people joining the server. Ensure the bandwidth is as specified and the port is 2934.
Joining a Server as a Client
22. For all 185th missions the following settings must be applied, these may be slightly different to those detailed in the BMS manual. Where there are differences, this SOP is the authority and should be followed.
23. If behind a router you must ensure you have port forwarded 2934-2935 UDP for BMS 4.34. See http://portforward.com/ for help on setting up your router with Falcon. If you are still struggling you can post a query in our 4.34 Technical Forum. If you are a cadet and cannot access the technical forum please contact our Cadet Training Officer (CTO) who will answer your query.
24. Prior to joining the host/server all clients must run the Simple Port Tester V3.0 and confirm that ports 2934 and 2935 UDP are correctly forwarding to the internal IP address on the computer that they will be running BMS on.
25. All clients must test internet speed and ping immediately prior to joining the server. Use Speedtest.net to a Speedtest.net server close to the physical location of the host/server. If your ping is greater than 180ms, your upload speed less than 500 Kbps or your download less than 3000 Kbps then you will not be allowed to join the official missions without prior permission from Command. All cadets/prospective cadets must carry out this test and any with a connection below these standards must be referred to Command for a decision on if they will be accepted into the Sqn.
26. Members, especially those with upload and download speeds close to the minimum requirements, should minimize other traffic on their network that may be using bandwidth while flying in official missions. All members should connect using a wired connection to their router, not via wireless.
27. Start the BMS 4.34 launcher. Launch the IVC client and minimise it. Next click launch to load 4.34 and then choose your Theater as per the host's direction. If you need to switch Theatre, you must then go back to desktop and restart BMS and IVC client prior to joining the server. You can also use Zipgun’s Theater Changer utility to change the Theatre before loading BMS.
28. Prior to connecting to the server, you should load a single player TE to confirm that all devices such as Track IR, HOTAS and MFDs are working correctly in the 3D world.
29. Click Comms.
30. If you want to save the host's server details, click New then enter the callsign of the host under name.
31. Enter the IP of the host as provided by them.
32. Enter 1024 for both upload and download bandwidth. We will be testing to determine if we should change this to 80% of the client’s maximum as per the manual recommendation.
33. Ensure IVC enabled and IVC Automatic Gain Control are enabled.
34. Enter the IP of the IVC host in the Dedicated IVC Server box. If this is the same host then just re-enter the same IP.
35. Enter the IVC password if there is one.
36. Very important, after entering each setting in the Comms screen you MUST press enter or tab otherwise the details will not be set correctly
37. Click Save then connect. After a few seconds you should see the message "Connection Established". If you get a Failed to Connect to Server message ensure the Host IP is correct, you have selected the correct Theatre, you have correctly forwarded ports 2934-2935 UDP and that it is not being blocked by any Internet Security software. Once you have confirm these are set correctly then try to connect again. If you are still having issues speak to the host.
38. Click Comms and you will see a list of people connected to the Server.
39. After all clients have joined, the host will check everyone has the correct bandwidth setting and BMS open port and then ask everyone to confirm they are showing as connected P2P and not CS. The host will then tell everyone to complete a text check in lobby order. Do this by typing the number of people you can see connected to the host, less any server, in the order shown on the comms screen and pressing enter. If you don't see text from someone connected then let the host know and they will troubleshoot.
40. After completing the text check, the host will complete an IVC check by calling "IVC F2 check in lobby order". In the order shown on the comms screen everyone will then press F2 and state their callsign. If you don't hear someone during this check let the host know and they will troubleshoot.
41. The host will then start the TE or campaign. To do this they simply select the chosen mission or campaign and click "Commit Online".
42. When the rules of engagement box pops up, for official missions ensure everything is set to maximum realism apart from Padlocking, which should be set to Realistic. External views should be set to off. For unofficial missions the host may change the settings as required but be aware that enabling external views may cause technical issues. When completed click OK.
43. When the mission/campaign is loaded halt the clock and call "Mission Up".
44. At this point clients will join the mission. On hearing the "Mission Up” call, everyone can select the mission listed under TE/Campaign then Online. Click the Host name so it is Green then click commit. Click Comply/OK to agree the Rules of Engagement box that pops up.
45. Once in the mission jump into your assigned seat and call "Callsign in". There is no longer any requirement to stop the clock. Provided the host does this it will stop the clock for everyone.
46. If the hosts gives a joining order then you must join in turn and wait until the person before you has called "Callsign in, clock stopped" before you click commit.
47. Mission planning and briefing now commences. Note that the host/server must be in the first Flight to enter the 3D world. Under no circumstances is the host/server to remain in the 2D world once people start committing to 3D.
48. B61 is a banned weapon,that may not be selected by any members for official missions, other weapon restrictions may be imposed for specific missions and/or Theatres.
49. For official missions, cadets are not allowed to fly unless authorized by Command but they can listen into IVC mission comms from the 2D mission planning screen. Details of how to set this up can be found here.
50. Once everyone is ready to commit, everyone should click on their Flight, then the aircraft they are flying within that flight and finally click DTC then save. This will ensure that any changes made during the Mission Planning are saved to your DTC and available in the cockpit.
51. Once everyone is ready to commit, Flight Leads will call ready, the host will save the mission then click Fly and either Ramp, Taxiway or Runway. Usually this will be taxiway. They then call "Fly, fly, Fly. Commit to Ramp/Taxi/Runway (as appropriate)".
52. On hearing this call all clients click on Fly, then click ramp, Taxiway or Fly as briefed. There is no requirement to join in order (unless the hosts briefs this) or to say anything over IVC or TS.
53. Anyone connected to the host but not committing to the 3D world must set their clock to x64 once the commit call is given.
54. Once everyone has committed/set x64, the clock should speed up and the host calls "Good clock". All other comms are to be minimised while the 3D world is loading.
55. Once in the pit, the call "callsign in pit" should be made over TS. All further comms will be over IVC unless there is an issue, in which case TS may be used as a backup.
56. Very important, if commiting to taxiway, until all of a flight are in the pit no-one should move their aircraft.
57. The mission can then proceed.
58. Once the mission commences, if anyone has an issue and need to disconnect and rejoin this will be at the discretion of the host. In official missions, rejoins are not allowed at all once the first aircraft crosses the FLOT or is in contact with the enemy, whichever comes first. For unofficial flights, rejoins are entirely at the host's discretion.
59. If there are multiple issues, a restart decision will be made by the host. In the event of a restart, everyone must go back to desktop, close BMS and IVC, the server is then reset and everyone then connects to the server again.
60. If a restart/reconnect is not approved then any members with issues will need to remain in the 3D world until everyone has landed after the mission but declare a Tech for CPL purposes.
61. Once everyone has landed and parked, the host or Mission Commander will give the call or type in text chat "Cleared to disconnect". Everyone should press Escape then end the mission, once back at the debrief screen they can disconnect from the host by clicking comms then Sign Off. The host/server must be the last aircraft to exit the 3D world.
62. Very important, leaving the 3D world and disconnecting from the host before everyone has landed can cause serious issues. ALL pilots must remain in 3D world, regardless of their status until the mission is complete and everyone has landed. You may only back out of the 3D world and disconnect from the host once permission is given from the host or package commander.
63. The host/server should not disconnect until he has confirmed all clients have disconnected. Clients will often need to stay connected while saving an ACMI before they get back to the debrief screen. Closing the host during this period will cause a CTD for the client and a loss of the ACMI and debrief screen.
64. Flight and package level debriefs will be completed at the end of every mission. This is part of the mission and all members who took part are expected to remain for the debrief.