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Old 02-13-2010, 03:26 AM   #1
Nachtwind
 
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No Online Servers, best dedicated = local, no Group Servers

Well, i think it is time to compile all possible information on this problem as more and more people seem to experience this strange game behavior.

It would be nice if some mod would make this thread sticky as it is very hard to find information on this topic, expeically when there are like 500 independant threads regarding it.

Possible sympthoms:
- No Servers in the ingame Gameserverbrowser
- Your Group Servers dont show anything anymore
- When you host a game you always end up on localhost
- sv_search_key and or mm_force_dedicated dont work - you land on localhost
- You cannot see Servers that you know that exist.
- As US you only see US Server, no europeans or asians (or as asian no EU servers and so on)
- Bogus characters in your Masterservers.vdf file (See example http://shalmirane.de/bogus.jpg )
- more?


Description:
After having seen this problem occur over a time of roundabout 4 weeks at different computers or even different steam installations one one computer this is not a problem related to the mere internet connection and or router.
You cannot host any games anymore or find any games through the serverbrowser. Oddly enough you see your friends playing and youre able to join a game without any problems.
In 4 out of 14 cases the masterservers.vdf file was blank.

Solutions that may lead to a solution:
(almost always) - edit your masterservers.vdf (see below)
(sometimes) - Reinstall Steam
(sometimes) - Installing the beta Steam client (thx MDKAOD)
(sometimes) - Delete all files in your steam folder except Steam.exe and Steamapps/
(sometimes) - Check your Steam region. If this is set to something strange you might see no games as in those region are not enough servers running..
(rarely) - Change your Multiplayer settings to not search for local games anymore (thx DannyBoyBF)
(rarely) - Move Steam from "program files/" to any other folder on your harddisk. Worked only for Vista/7 users. For others this launched the problem!

Editing your masterservers.vdf file:
1) Exit Steam completely (moving it into tray wont be of NO use!)
2) Wait about a minute for all processes of steam to end. If you dont wait your fresh masterservers file could be rendered useless again.
3) Go to your Steam/Config/ folder and open the file masterservers.vdf with notepad(++)
4) Replace ALL content with:
Quote:
"MasterServers"
{
"hl1"
{
"0"
{
"addr" "72.165.61.136:27010"
}
"1"
{
"addr" "68.142.72.250:27010"
}
"2"
{
"addr" "69.28.151.162:27010"
}
"3"
{
"addr" "72.165.61.189:27010"
}
"4"
{
"addr" "69.28.151.162:27013"
}
}
"hl2"
{
"0"
{
"addr" "216.207.205.99:27011"
}
"1"
{
"addr" "216.207.205.98:27011"
}
}
"rdkf"
{
"0"
{
"addr" "67.132.200.140:27012"
}
}
"gms"
{
}
}
5) Check that the file is read-only after changing it(!)
6) Restart Steam

Oh noes! They are gone again!
Well, after some time i notice that this fix wont help forever anymore. There are times when i see the group servers (etc) and times i dont.
Strangely enough it will suffice in 9 out of 10 situations to overwrite your masterservers file again (follow above procedure).
You may see that the file has the same content as the one youre about to paste but for some reason rewriting the file seems to work.. I just guess that something is happening to the file i do not comprehend yet, maybe some nonvisible char somewhere so a EOF is read where it shouldnt.. no idea as of now. When it happens again i will try to find an other solution for this one.



Official 'fix'
As of April 15th it seems that the Steam team now tries to fix some odd bug which makes some clients (us, obviously) experience the problem that is stated here. They introduced a fix in the original UI that renames your Masterservers file to Masterservers2.vdf on update to ensure a download of the most recent one. So all the above ONLY APPLIES ON THE MASTERSERVERS.VDF FILE AND NOT ON THE MASTERSERVERS2.VDF.
Lets hope this will fix our problem. Thanks to the Steam-team!

Thanks and ending lines
Thanks to everyone who helped me actively or passivly to find a solution to this problem and of course [Alpha] for the group servers to disappear and making me look for a solution ,0)

I hope this little guide will help some of you. If you have more ideas or solutions then tell me please! I will try to keep this thread up to date!

----- Changelog (beginning 04/17/10)
04/17/10
- Changed Contents of the Masterserver content in this thread. Trying to find a way to make this automated....
- Added Bogus-example

Last edited by Nachtwind: 04-17-2010 at 03:01 AM. Reason: Added changelog
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:43 AM   #2
facepalm
 
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10 +reps for this one. if it were gamefaqs i would request a sticky. This is the only thing thats allowed me to find my beloved 8v8 vs servers again. Before you posted this stuff and i found it i had almost given up on finding a solution to this stupid problem.

Anyone have any idea on why it occurs>?
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:51 AM   #3
Nachtwind
 
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It SEEMS as if there was a bug in steam for like the last 3 updates that sometimes wipes the masterservers file. The good thing is that it does not only occur on L4D(1/2) but also on all other games that start matchmaking with this file. I have seen this problem occur on Shattered Horizon forums as well as on avp3 (though, as german, i cant test this). The problem there is that every community tries and fails for itself. I hope someday some Steamdev may notice, but even their (mail ticket) support doesnt recognize this problem's patterns, so i needed to sumarize it.
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:11 AM   #4
GeminiFyre
 
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I'm guessing all those server IPs are the ones to the steam master servers which handle match making?
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:52 AM   #5
Nachtwind
 
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youre right there :0)

My first experimetn was to use the set master IPs from my servers in my masterservers file - and that already did the trick, but it has vanished then and again and so i had to compile a few more.. thanks to a user on the forums here (dont know who it as anymore) i got this fuill list again..
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:55 PM   #6
Jeroen873
 
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Someone should really sticky this!

Thanks a lot Nachtwind, worked like a charm! :-)
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
Nachtwind
 
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glad this did help.

Who does one have to speak to in order to get this stickey?
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #8
Jeroen873
 
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You'd need to speak to a forum mod.

Here's a list of forum leaders:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showgroups.php
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
uninvited
 
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thanks m8, do you know if i can make it to list only 10-20 servers in-game on steam group?
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:26 AM   #10
Nachtwind
 
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No idea on how to limit that, sorry pal.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:30 AM   #11
Who Farted?
 
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I find that hosts with a lousy connection tend to make it time out when trying to connect to official or 3rd party servers in which case it just creates local.

If you hit "start game" and it takes more than a tiny moment of time to load the game, stop searching and start again. This is the best way to avoid going to local or getting on a high pinging server.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:12 AM   #12
Nachtwind
 
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yes, sure - but imaging you cant get on any dedicated anymore, no matter how often you try that ;0)

The best indicator i found so far was that the group server were not shown on the main menu. If they were i could always get to a dedicated server, if they werent.. well, i knew i had to patch the masterservers file once again.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:16 AM   #13
Nugester
 
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Good stuff. I am seeing a lot more servers now ...

Last edited by Nugester: 02-14-2010 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:40 AM   #14
subsonika
 
 
 
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bump coz it works a treat +rep
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:55 AM   #15
Nugester
 
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Bump for a sticky. It is great, I can see Asian servers now.
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