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Attacks, Solutions and the Future of Awakening 4

Head Dragon

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People say that time flies when you do what you like, and this seems even more true when playing MIR4. 2023 is right around the corner, so we wish you happy holidays and a healthy year in 2023.

December was a busy month, especially for players in the Americas server. A sudden DDoS attack made the BR server (now merged with NA) unstable, causing mass disconnections and downtimes. To mitigate the issue, we allocated all of our staff to work on an anti-DDoS solution on an urgent basis.

The first version of our anti-DDoS was ready in just six days. This may sound like a long time for the player who is waiting for a solution, but it was an achievement made through many sleepless nights. But it wasn't the best. It protected the server partially, with many players still feeling the effects of the attack, so we continued to work to improve our systems. Today, our anti-DDoS can filter more than 90% of any malicious attack against the server, but this comes at a cost: false positives.


What are false positives?
False positives are when the anti-DDoS recognizes a legitimate player as potentially malicious for the game, blocking their access. We estimate that 5% of the approximately 3000 players on the Americas server suffer from false positives (around 150 players).


How do false positives happen?
Before explaining false positives, we must explain how a DDoS attack happens. In short, DDoS attacks are stress attacks. For you to be able to communicate with the server, there must be paths (ports) that allow the information to transit from the server to the player and vice versa. A DDoS attack aims to artificially congest this port with much more information than the server can process, making it unstable.

To prevent this, we need to add filters (guards) that evaluate who can and cannot pass through the door. False positives occur when the anti-DDoS sees a player as a threat, preventing them from entering the game.


Why do false positives happen?
Because of the nature of the issue. DDoS attacks are done by many sources simultaneously. Computers or mobile phones infected by viruses can be instructed to attack a server without the owner of these devices having any knowledge of it.

In Brazil, many IPs are shared across different houses. In other cases, they are dynamic, which means that you can receive an IP that was used by someone else in an attack, for example. There are many variables, which make this a complex problem to solve.


What can I do?
If you are having trouble logging into your account (if you can't even select the server), please check your connection before trying to connect: https://bit.ly/MIR4-Login

If you are going to log in to more than one account, do not try to log in all at once, and respect the maximum limit of 3 accounts per network. Log in to your main first, give it about 3 minutes and log in to the alt.

If you can't log in after checking your connection, your IP may be blocked. In this case, you can try restarting the optic receiver and router for 10 seconds before turning them on again to change the IP (in cases of dynamic IP) or use a VPN. We recommend Urban: https://www.urban-vpn.com/

Remember to check your connection after resetting your router or using a VPN. Your IP may also change randomly due to a disconnection or power outage. In that case, you must undergo the verification again.


I'm lagging. How to solve it?
First, you need to check the health of your connection. To test it, we recommend using this website: https://speed.cloudflare.com/
There are some values you need to observe in there. The most important is the Jitter. Jitter calculates your connection fluctuations (stability); it is more important in gaming than the ping itself. If your Jitter is above 30ms, attention is needed. Ideally, they should be within 10ms.


How to improve my connection?
If you use WiFi, make sure you are within walking distance of the router, with no walls or interference between the router and your device. Opt for wired connections, if possible. Also, avoid downloading/uploading or doing activities that drain your bandwidth, such as streaming videos in high resolutions.

Alternatively, you can use Internet Repair to fix issues in your network: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Other-Internet-Related/Complete-Internet-Repair.shtml

Finally, we recommend that you change your DNS to Google's by following this tutorial: https://www.howtogeek.com/164981/how-to-switch-to-opendns-or-google-dns-to-speed-up-web-browsing/


My Jitter is normal, and so is the ping, but I'm still lagging. What should I do?
We are investigating a conflict that may be causing lag on specific game maps, such as the Redmoon/Lunula Valley 3F map or the Square for some players. For the Square, a lagging issue usually happens when the player tries to use the "move/teleport" button before the button cooldown of 5 seconds.


I can't log into my character
There are two cases where this can happen. The first is if you are suffering from a false positive. The second is if you are trying to log more characters on the same network than the allowed limit (3). If you log in two characters on one computer and try to log two more on another computer on the same network, not only are you exposing your accounts to the risk of being banned, but you are also blocking your connection.


Do we have to live with these issues now?
Definitely not. We will continue to improve our systems to deliver a smooth and seamless experience for you. We are gamers like you, so we understand how frustrating it is not able to play the game you love, having to check connections/captchas, etc.

This is not the kind of experience we want for our players, so we remain 100% committed to making our systems better, but please understand that complex issues like this take time.

We also want to reiterate that Awakening 4 is a long-term project and that 2022 is just the beginning of our story, so please don't worry. As MIR4 players, I think most of you experienced the same problem on Global a few months ago, even with all of Wemade's infrastructure. Just as they solved this, we will solve it here.

Also, I would like to take the opportunity to share that we are looking for a new host focused on the type of service we provide, so you should expect news about that soon.

Finally, we noticed that some players mistakenly associated lag or any other negative gameplay effect with the merge. This is not true. Everyone who played through the war yesterday (Wednesday) noticed that except for slight delays in teleports, the gameplay was smooth. Please note that war is stressful for the server, so it would cause problems if the merge was causing problems.

We will continue to monitor everything closely, collect feedback and work to improve our systems.


What about updates and changes to the game?
At the moment, we are 100% dedicated to improving our protection system, reducing false positives, and fixing conflicts caused by them. Therefore, you should not expect changes to the game until next year.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read this far and spend your time with us.

May the dragons guide your path.

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