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Connection failed, try another Nick (Death of GameSpy?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:47 am
Author: Gorgon
Some of you may have been getting "Connection failed, try another Nick" errors recently when you click the multiplayer button in NWN. That is probably because GameSpy is gone, and they finally shut down the servers that handle the chat stuff in the front end of it. There is a bit of guesswork being done here, so please do correct me if I'm wrong.

We lost the Master Server and game server listings for NWN about 2 years ago. Old news (first mention made here GameSpy going down entirely was mentioned by Darkfire here earlier this year, and was supposed to have happened May 31st, but I guess some stuff was delayed a bit. You folks can Google and post all the fun facts about that, since I've spent too much time on this already tonight.

If you get that error, you can still hit cancel, then use your history or favorites, same as always (those are just things in an .ini file on your machine), and direct connect will still work. It adds something like 30 seconds of wait when hitting the multiplayer button and quitting the game though, but there is a fix below. You can also use NWNCX to load NWN if you hate editing stuff (No need to do the full patch mentioned there, just use the loader). It gets back the server list tab and it removes the delays, so there is no need to edit your HOSTS file below if you use it instead (also unlocks the camera for better viewing angles).

Rather than type it all again, I'll quote the same fix below from when the Master Server died (and we had timeout problems with it), and you simply need to add as the address on a new line, along with the old one from before (order doesn't matter). Before that, I'll also mention something S_N added only for *nix (Linux/Unix...) users, to use instead of as the number. His reasons are later in the first topic, and in the second quote below.

Short version, add:
- If you use Windows:
Code: Select all

- If you use *nix (Linux/Unix etc.):
Code: Select all your HOSTS file, or remap it another way. That tells your computer that those are invalid addresses, and it doesn't waste time checking them.

*Note* I, and others, use shortcut links to connect directly to the servers, instead of dealing with the front end, and have for over a decade. They also let you add logging commands and skip DNS checks if you use IP numbers. has more details there for basic ones. If you use the NWNCX loader (mentioned above), just replace nwmain.exe in the batch files with NWNCX_Loader.exe. If you want a replacement GUI for the NWN loader, you can also try NeverLauncher (archived link, so probably not maintained now, or very Win 10 friendly).

Original bypass post (missing some addresses that became invalid later):
Subject: Handy master server bypass

Ashan wrote:Heres a simply way to avoid the master server delay that someone showed me!!!

Firstly, just to be safe; Ensure NWN's is closed down before you make this change. You should find like I have that after you make this change, you don't hang on the connecting stage and is instead instantaneous.

Okay the first step is to find your hosts file. (So you know where it is)

Step 1. Navigate from your root directory like C drive:
windows > system32 > drivers > etc > hosts (no extension)

If you're using Vista or Windows 7:
Open notepad up alone as an administrator. (Right click notepad and "open as administrator")
And then go File > Open: And navigate again through Step 1. to the 'hosts' file.

Everyone else (XP): Simply open hosts with notepad after you've located it (No need for running as administrator).

What you're faced with should look something like this:

Code: Select all
# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
#          # source server
#              # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#       localhost
#   ::1                 localhost

It's as simple as adding this line at the bottom of it:

Code: Select all

Then click save without changing the name or extension in any way.

Yay no more waiting for the server to connect to a non exstiant server!

Subject: Installing NWN on Linux

S_N wrote:For instant master server timeouts, add this line to your /etc/hosts
Code: Select all
The tip was originally for windows, setting it to, but that is a valid address on *nix (and guessing MacOS X too)

(a suitable iptables rule works too)

Re: Connection failed, try another Nick (Death of GameSpy?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:24 pm
Author: Gorgon
Feedback is always good (and probably why QA keeps Avlis alive). Anyways, it seems that S_N's suggestion to use is only a thing for *nix users (feel free to mention others it is needed for). Testing it on Windows 8 gives the reverse effect at least.
NH4 in IRC wrote:<Nighthawk4> didn't work but using all zeros did
<Nighthawk4> I mean I added to hosts
<Nighthawk4> I added the same with and it worked

No clue about other Windows versions yet, but I'm gonna gloablly assume is the address to use on all Windows hosts files, and that you change that to for any *nix connections, and leave it at that.

Re: Connection failed, try another Nick (Death of GameSpy?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:12 pm
Author: Lady_Ashling
Worked fine for me once I got the hostfile found ( Ty Gorgon zombie elek and all others that helped me!)

Re: Connection failed, try another Nick (Death of GameSpy?)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:28 am
Author: Gorgon
After helping someone with this tonight, I've fixed up the first post to be a bit less confusing (and use proper code tags in the quote). Just to clarify, new NWN installations should use all 3 entries (the, and ones from the original link) to avoid long load times from GameSpy timeouts. NWNCX doesn't need this.

If you have trouble finding the HOSTS file on Windows 8.x, this might help (you need to show hidden files to see it):

*Adds a Win 7 link later*
*Note* that one mentions to "choose All files for File Types" when trying to find it, since it doesn't have an extension like .txt

Or just use Google for any Windows version. Make sure you don't save the changes with a .txt (or any) extension after HOSTS, or it won't work.

*Edits* And even though this seems obvious to many of us (or if you read the sample HOSTS file comments), do not put a # in front of the new lines you add. :P
Anything following the # on a line is a comment, and ignored when the file is checked (Yes, everything in the quoted example HOSTS file is a comment, and does nothing. It is only an... example).

Re: Connection failed, try another Nick (Death of GameSpy?)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:31 pm
Author: Gorgon
Updated the top post to include as a dead address, after the death of GameSpy. Another list replacement server used to use it (not the main SkywingL's substitute listing server), but I don't know what the status of that is.

If you use NWNCX, you don't need to worry about any of this. :wink: