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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
jonaswashe
 
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Lightbulb Dark Souls: Network Connectivity Guide

The Definitive Dark Souls (PC) Network Connectivity Guide

User M0tah has created a Dark Souls Connectivity Fix Mod which forces a user on your Friend List into your P2P pool. Both users must have this installed and many are reporting it doesn't work for them but you can try it.



1. Summoning Rules:

The host must be human (The client can be human or undead) and WITHIN 10 Whole Number Soul Levels + 10% above or below the client. (i.e. +/- (10 Levels + 10%) The area boss must still be alive.

retrogameaudio does an excellent job of detailing this here



2. Dark Souls creates a P2P IP Pool of other players as you play the game:

Dark Souls connects to GFWL (65.55.42.54, 65.55.42.52 and 64.4.11.25) for authentication and then Data.exe communicates with a single GFWL ip (65.55.42.52, for me) and starts adding player ip's into your P2P ip pool. This begins at the title screen. It continues to feed you a new ip every few seconds to several minutes. This appears to not be prioritized by location, but seems to be completely randomly selected as I've been connected with Canada, Finland, Australia, the UK, and just now Sweden, long before I've been connected to someone in the US. In addition, since IPs start being added when you are at the title screen and are not dropped when you raise your soul level significantly, I doubt it's based on in-game area or soul level. (Can others verify if their game uses an ip different than 65.55.42.52 to get ips once the game finished making its initial authentication checks?)

What the Dark Souls P2P IP Pool looks like in Comodo Firewall



3. Just because GFWL says you have OpenNAT and are using UPnP does not mean you will have no problem summoning or being summoned:

You can check connections by using networktrafficview

GFWL does not always use port 3074 on the local side, but will uncommonly select a dynamic port in the 0-65535 range. In the example IP Pool photo above, my local port used by GFWL is 38413. If you do not or cannot use UPnP you may have to forward this "random" port to 3074 (The dynamic port is always the same port for your computer). I am thinking this happens if GFWL detects multiple instances of itself on the LAN. You should be able to use networktrafficview to find the UDP port Dark Souls is using

Note: Even if you do the above, you will still get summoning failed, I will go into detail on the causes of this later.



4. Dark Souls uses your IP Pool to create a P2P web which sends messages and souls signs throughout the player base:

It takes roughly 10-15 minutes to reach a healthy IP Pool (~10 ip connections) and this begins when you hit the title screen. Quiting to the title screen will purge your ip pool. Changing areas, will not. Anyone you summon or anyone who invades you is added to your IP pool, this is why it's much easier to summon someone once you have done it once, however, the delay on repeat invasions prevents you from invading the same person immediately. (Unless they use the dried finger) Messages, bloodstains, summon signs and invasions are sent through the P2P network through direct IP connections, but are not necessarily from someone directly connected to you.



5. Nearly all the summoning advice you've read is wrong:

Spamming summon signs, "Join Session in Progress", and sitting at bonfires, do nothing and soul sign spamming actually hurts.

When you drop your soul sign, it is sent to all of the clients in your ip pool, then it is sent to each client they are connected to until it reaches someone who wants to summon you. Therefore, the bigger your ip pool, the higher the chance you will be summoned. Spamming your soul sign is actually counter-productive as it sends false signals throughout the P2P network. When trying to play with someone specific, doing anything but waiting tends to be counterproductive. Once you have about 10 ips each, their summon sign will usually begin to show up. You will probably get summoning failed during your first attempt to summon them.



6. Why do I get summoning failed?

There are a number of causes for summoning failed. Obvious ones being that the player disconnected, the player was summoned, the player died, the player left the valid summon area, the player is soul sign spamming, or your firewall is blocking inbound UDP traffic. However, the most common cause is what I call P2P echoes. As mentioned above, when your sign is placed it must travel across direct ip connections to reach another player. Since it may have to travel from Germany to Australia before it gets to you, there is quite a bit of lag involved (on average ~15-23 seconds) The summon sign sends out pulses for about 30 seconds before disappearing. Thus, when it pops up in your game, it's actually no longer a valid connection as the pulse has ended. You will notice that the summon sign will usually disappear within seconds after a summon attempt which fails. This works the same way with invasions. The best thing you can do is wait for the summon sign to show up again and keep trying. You will usually get the summon to work within 2-5 attempts. Having the client spam soul signs just makes the problem worse, and quitting the game/re-loading completely purges your P2P IP Pool, making you start from scratch.

There is one more cause of summoning failed. I have no idea what causes it, but if both the host and client have an ip pool that is nearly full (~20 connections), you will sometimes get summoning failed over and over again. You generally know this is happening if the summon sign sticks around long enough for you to summon the same failed sign again before it disappears and you receive the summon failed message. In this one instance, I advise the host or client (not both) to reload their game and purge their ip pool. After a few minutes you will re-establish your ip pool and your partners summon sign will show up. After that, the first or second summon attempt should work. I'm theorizing that this problem is caused because the P2P summon sign echoes completely override the actual summon sign, but figuring this out will require more testing by manually clearing the ip pool rather than purging it.

Using the above guidelines, I can reliably summon a friend in around 5-10 minutes on average.


TL;DR

Best way to summon a friend:

Use networktrafficview to make sure the game is making UDP IN and OUT connections. Make sure host is human, the boss is alive and you're within SL Range. If you've both just opened the game it will take around 20 minutes to create your P2P ip pool. For best results, leave the game idling in the background an hour or so before your co-op session. If you get summoning failed multiple times in a row before your partner's sign disappears, quit to the title screen and re-load on either the host or client computer, but not both.

Summoning takes 5-10 minutes on average.

Under no circumstances should you spam your summon sign.


(Please note that everything in this guide is based on my own observation of Dark Souls network data and may be subject to change at any time)






For further reading consider jlocohustler's Rather Lengthy Multiplayer Guide

Last edited by jonaswashe: 09-18-2013 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:02 AM   #2
Wulf2k
 
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http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/network_traffic_view.html

The above is pretty useful as well, for those who don't want to install Comodo just to see connections.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
Pumpgunner
 
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That was a great read op.

+rep
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
Wulf2k
 
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The biggest take away from this post is to not spam summon signs.

Lots of times in the past I've seen that people are trying to summon from an old sign of mine, or the sign I'm trying to summon from will move a few steps away after I get summoning failed from it.

And my most successful method of finding co-op is to play a level while waiting for my invasion to find somebody, then messaging them to ask to co-op.

Somebody needs to write a trainer that will connect to another player also running this trainer, then fake a summon sign between them and initiate a summon.

Use the tech for good and not evil....
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
Mochi_kun
 
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I wonder if alt-tabbing out influences connectivity in any way?
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
Wulf2k
 
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Nope.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
jonaswashe
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulf2k View Post
Somebody needs to write a trainer that will connect to another player also running this trainer, then fake a summon sign between them and initiate a summon.
This was about 70% of my motivation for writing this post. Though, I don't even know how feasible that would be.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
Pwnamancy
 
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i hope this gets stickied. great info. thanks op
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:21 AM   #9
jonaswashe
 
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Tried 100 invasions at Level 62 in The Catacombs, invaded 18 people for a total of 22 invasions (22% success rate). Tried 13 invasions at Level 64 in The Duke's Archive's 12 of them succeeded (92.3% success rate). That's a huge difference!

Last edited by jonaswashe: 10-07-2012 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:29 AM   #10
Wraith1
 
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If there were actually a handful amount of players in the PC as there are in the consoles, you would never have a problem invading/summoning people.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #11
SolidKeevo
 
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How do I allow Dark Souls to have UDP In connections? I've been sitting with the game open for about 15 minutes and all I see is UDP OUT. Also, my GFWL does not show up in the Active Connections.

Last edited by SolidKeevo: 10-09-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:55 AM   #12
Bryant Again
 
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So that was the answer, huh? "Just wait", essentially? Because holy cow it's been working wonders for me.

This guide's helped me a whole lot. A friend and I were always have awful luck trying to play with each other - and we're roommates. We were nearly fed up until I read all of this.

Sure enough, just waiting and letting it get more connections is what's made my coop success rate 100%. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes, sometimes even 40, but from then on we can see each other's summon signs immediately.

We've been waiting since Demon's Souls to finally do this, thanks for making it happen!
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:35 AM   #13
hacker9001
 
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tell your friend spam " join session in progress " while you are summoning him,that works 4 me as well,take about 1-2 minutes to get summoned
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #14
jonaswashe
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker9001 View Post
"join session in progress " while you are summoning him,that works 4 me as well,take about 1-2 minutes to get summoned.
"Join Session in Progress" does nothing, I've tested it a few dozen times. As stated in the guide, once your co-op partners sign begins showing up you are usually a minute or two a way from actually summoning them. All "Join Session in Progress" does is help you pass those 1-2 minutes fiddling around with useless menu options rather than waiting.

Here's an actually valid test of its uselessness. Summon someone in co-op other than your co-op partner, or arrange to play co-op with 2 other people. After the first person is in your game, "Join Session in Progress" will appear. Have the third person attempt to "Join Session in Progress". Observe that it literally does nothing.

Last edited by jonaswashe: 10-13-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #15
LDSkinny
 
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The thing that frustrates me is that me and my roommate on the same lan had no problems getting connected, but for three weeks now we have gotten nothing but summon failed. No hardware changes, no router reconfiguration, nothing. Just suddenly one day it gave summon failed every time instead of working on the second or third summon. We usually spend about two hours attempting it while we watch TV or do other , then we give up.

I don't get it.
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