What "Alpha" and "DDOS" Means

A lot of people are nagging about “Waaah it’s horrible I can’t play it 90% of the time I spent 20$ on a game that’s a piece of crap boooofuckityhooo!”
I spent 40$ on a game that I can’t play only 20% of the time I try, because I not only bought it for me, but I bought it for my boyfriend for Christmas. Why?
Because I love testing games. I love giving my input. It’s what I want to do as a living, create, test, concept-sketch, everything. So when I see a company working their rear ends off trying to deal with hackers, people complaining and wanting refunds, and the constant output of negative feedback, I feel a little compelled to give my feedback and share my knowledge.

**Now to explain what “Alpha Stage” means when creating a game. **
From what I’ve learned in my time studying both Game Art and Design and Game Development, Alpha is a “Playable” test stage in which the creators attempt to iron out major bugs. While playable, the main purpose of this stage is to test functionality, revising the code base, fixing major bugs, implementing minor additions, and troubleshooting server connectivity.
The fact you spent 20$ to help test a game is in a year when this game gets past Beta and into Full Release, you can have bragging rights. And, let’s admit it, despite the issues they’re having, it’s a great game. You wouldn’t be complaining you can’t play it if you didn’t enjoy what time you did get to play it.
Alphas are not meant to please the people. Alphas are meant to build up the community, build up the game, fix all the major crap going on, and to prepare the game for Beta, then for Release.
Imagine if you WERE NOT allowed to play the Alpha, you NEVER bought it until the Release Date, where it could cost anywhere from $30-$40, and this happened. There would be a lot more of an uproar, and a lot less “Excuses”. Put yourself in the developers shoes. Yeah, it’s easy for people to sit in their office chair, munching on a hot pocket or a bag of cool ranch Doritos, and say “Get the hell off your ass and get it fixed! I wanna play!”
But from someone who’s just STUDYING to be in the industry, I know there is TONS of code to go through, tons of manual troubleshooting to do, and tons of angry people to deal with.
Instead of “Wah I wanna play!” people should be “I wanna test.” That’s what you are. You’re not playing a GAME. You’re playing an Alpha for the purpose of providing feedback, reporting bugs, and enjoying yourself while you do so.

Now also think of it this way. Garry has done his hardest to tell us the honest truth of what’s going on.
Apparently the problem is an exploit in uLink. As of right now, I don’t have any information about that, feel free to look in the comments for various amounts of hate messages for more information.

**Let me explain DOS, or DDOS. **
DOS stands for “Denial of Service” and DDOS stands for “Distributed Denial of Service”, which means that these meaniepants are purposely going in and cutting power lines by surging them. The point of a DOS and DDOS attack is to interrupt, abort, or suspend a host’s ability to provide service to the intended user. A lot of times, smaller studios are targets because of their inability to communicate with third party servers, or simply because it’s more difficult for them to handle all at once. Imagine the server as a power station with a limit to how much electricity it can handle. When it receives too much electricity, it overloads, and therefore shuts down. So people send a lot of electricity into the power station, it overloads, and quits. This is what they do with packets. Packets are little pieces of information that are sent over the internet from server to server in milliseconds. So the way that they’re doing it, is they are sending a lot of packets until it overloads a server, and it has to restart and recover.
Usually DOS is when one source overloads a server with packets of information. DDOS is when many sources overload a server with many more packets of information.
Literally speaking, a DDoS attack is where a group of people are spamming a server with packets of often empty information, flooding it, forcing a recovery or reboot.

Now that we understand what an “Alpha” game is, and what a “DDOS Attack” is in a more primitive scenario, let’s talk about a few minor fixes.
What can WE do? We can stop complaining. For one. Hey, even I have to work on it. Even if my complaining is: “Stupid12yearoldmonkeyshavenocluewhatthehellthey’r etalkingabout actingthiswaywhentheyknewitwasanalpha needtogetabrainandgrowup itsnottheendoftheworld we’llgettoplayitoncepeoplestopruiningitforeveryone else” instead of “ths game sux i cnt even ply it evn tho i only tried a litle bit 2 conekt.”
We can also be supportive of Facepunch while they’re going through a hard time. Instead of “god ur gaiz game sux” it could be us grabbing pompoms and waiting for the brawl between Garry and the Hackers. Only hopefully you’d have a G on your chest instead of an H.

Just so you know, there are also minor fixes that you can do to possibly help the game run smoother.

  1. Run Steam/Rust as Administrator. (Yes. I know. Easiest solve ever. Worked for my bud.)
  2. Go to your steam library, right click on Rust, go to Properties, navigate to the “Local Files”, click the bottom button which says “Verify Integrity of Game Cache” which immediately prompts a search and possibly an update.
  3. When in game, open console by pressing F1, and type in "grass.on false’ and “grass.displacement false”
  4. When joining a server, join a server with little to no people in it. These servers are less likely to experience a DDOS attack, and you’ll probably get more game time.
  5. Do not get frustrated when unable to connect to a server. Be sure your firewall is not blocking Steam or Rust (but do not disable your anti-malware or anti-virus.)

Aside from those steps to ensure your game runs fine, wait it out. They will iron out the problem, you’re not going to be without your 20$ video game forever and ever and ever. There’s been people who have had to wait longer for more expensive video games. Be patient, enjoy your time with it.

I’m so happy for the people that do understand "Hey. Shit happens. This looks pretty bad, but it’ll iron itself out because that’s what Alpha Stage is about.

I do not work for Facepunch, I do not professionally advocate for Facepunch, I’m just a really pissed off game development/art and design student who still thinks 70% of the gaming population are morons.

You are a god among men, gold star for you.

Lol. Yay gold stars!

Awesome post, your only mistake is using the term “hacker” to describe them, any kid can run scripts.

Do not attempt to explain technical issues if you have no idea what you’re talking about. No one is cutting phone lines and there are no power substations being affected. Nor is the current issue a DDOS attack. He even says in the quote you posted the behavior is unlike a normal ddos. That term is used because the public will understand it, not because it is completely accurate.

Furthermore, the size of the studio is irrelevant. Facepunch does not host servers. Third party providers are being affected. Specifically, data centers are the actual targets.

While I applaud the intent of your post, you are spreading misinformation. Educate yourself before expounding.

I’m trying to make them sound evil and mean! :V Even if they are basement monkeys.

[editline]29th December 2013[/editline]

I’m merely attempting to educate people who do not understand the basic concept. Yes, I get it, the data centers are under attack, but specific parts of the data center, mostly involving Facepunch and Rust’s server community are the targets, hence my generalization. If I really wanted to get mega technical for people like you who already understand what’s happening and what’s going on, I would. But people like you do not need to understand, do not need to see this. I’m talking to the 12 year olds with horrible grammar who are incessantly attacking the game developers for their “horrible game” and giving it a bad rep. In other words, I’m explaining rocket science to morons in a friendly way that they can understand. I’m also stating the studio size IS relevant, because it’s an easier target, despite third-party servers.

I like you already! Nice job there, hopefully people will actually take the time to read it and learn somethig.

Very informative, but the attack turned out to be a simple exploit for uLink. It’s not a DDoS attack.

Well now people know what a DDoS attack is. Thanks for telling me in a friendly manner. Either way, I still don’t feel it’s facepunch’s fault, and I still want to smack the monkeys with a spiky bat. :slight_smile:

You don’t seem to get the point he was trying to make. Yes, a large majority of the people whining on the forums are prepubescent morons, but you cannot educate them with misinformation. A DDoS does not involve any kind of physical attack on a networking infrastructure like cutting wires. Your typical DDoS is pretty much where you have a bunch of machines spam packets to overload a target’s resources, and DDoSing wasn’t even the issue. While they seemed to imply that in their earlier announcements it is not the cause its some sort of exploit in uLink’s library.

Yes. I get the point he was trying to make, but he definitely came about it as “You’re an idiot” and not as “Well, it was more like this instead of this, here’s my input and what I know.” (Which would have helped a lot)
Let me say this… again.
This was an attempt to inform people who have no clue what an alpha stage of game testing is, and what a general DDoS attack is. Yes, I thought that it was a DDoS attack, I will agree I was wrong, and that it was a uLink exploit. However, there are a lot of people nagging about DDoS attacks, and they tend to have no clue what it is.

Let me explain how I was attempting to portray it. Again, a DDoS attack is a coder/hacker/whateverthehellyouwanttocallthem attempting to interrupt, abort, or suspend service to users. They were trying to interrupt productivity, hence turning the light on and off. Stating that it was annoying, repetitive, (in most cases, they do it over and over) and difficult to block out. It also shuts down any sort of productivity (because you can’t work easily with the lights out.)
Next, I said that DDoS is like surging power. Shut down a source that is distributing power by overloading it with electricity, is like people sending empty packets into a server until it overloads, as you said “with resources” and has to shut down/restart/recover. To me, the power station represented the server itself. Where it distributed power was to the people on the server. So you’re receiving input from the server, receiving electricity from the power station, et cetera. When overloaded with packets from another source would be overloading the power station with excess electricity, which prompts a shut down and reboot due to capacitors being unable to re-route the electricity in time.
So it was a metaphor.
Instead of treating me like I’m an idiot that has no clue what she’s talking about, treat me like a person that’s attempting to help in simple terms, provide input, the information that I do know, and attempting to learn. If you’ve got a correction, or another metaphor, or another method of helping, that is what this thread is for. Not for you guys to point fingers at me when I’m only attempting to help with what I’ve got.

As stated before, I understand now that it was an exploit with uLink, I recognize it as the main problem, but I do not want the information within this thread disregarded. DDoS is still an issue, people still don’t know what it is, and this is the best way that I can help.
Another point of this thread, was that a lot of people are complaining about the developers, when it’s not entirely their fault, and are doing what they can. I’m saying that it’s not an easy thing to deal with. I’m not spreading misinformation, I’m spreading my knowledge on the subject. If people read down here, they’ll know “Oh. It was a problem with uLink. Alright. Well, at least I got an idea what DDoS is and the purpose of an Alpha game.”

Also keep in mind I am a student, I’m not a complete braincase, and I’ve still got a lot to learn. But, I’m still eager to give my positive input, as should anyone else testing an alpha.

Furthermore, I politely request that this thread be used to help people. Yes. I made a mistake. Completely on me. Tell them more about the uLink exploit, how they can protect themselves, and how they can better improve their game play.

Your DDOS analogy is honestly the worst and the most irrelevant analogy I’ve ever heard.

Then you come up with one. <3

Well the DDOS explanation is not accurate other than the acronym itself and the fact packets are involved in some manner but I liked the first explanation quite well. Not trying to put anyone down just from a Network Engineers standpoint I got confused as to what you were saying and how it related to a DDOS even at an elementary standpoint.

Good job sir otherwise however, I think most people still wont understand either cause of the incapability of consumers in America to grasp concepts while having services interrupted because of the need to be gratified.

-Dan

EDIT: Ya I was trying to be nice but then I read other peoples responses…your entire rant was useless and has no point other then to further confuse people. I had to reread several parts of it because of the uselessness of the information.

One note. I’ve been playing on a server with 1-5 players for the last two days. The DDoS attacks affect low player servers just as bad, per my experience.

Well then please, better explain to me and everyone else how DDoS attacks work. I’m trying to say instead of attacking me for “misinformation”, correct me, provide your own information and your own metaphor, and et cetera. Then I’d love to go back, edit the information, and make it easier for people to understand. My problem is, is everyone is accusing me of misinformation when they’re providing no information on how my metaphor is otherwise idiotic. This is how I understand it. Please, if I’m wrong, tell me what’s right, correct me, and I will edit it accordingly.
As of right now, people have just been calling me dumb, but not providing the correct information readers, and apparently I, still need.

Good work, you have distracted people from complaining about the attacks on the servers and the lag by making them complain about your post.

When you put it that way, I’m alright with that. Maybe I’ll get another gold star for misdirection of fire.

He was using the cutting wires as an analogy. GG.

I’m a she. Did you at least get my analogy? :smiley: