Closed servers - why and how


I want to meet other players in Grim Dawn that I don’t know personally, to play and especially trade with them.

Main problem:
I cannot know if they’re legit or if my character gets tainted by accepting anything from them or even having them help me with any game objective, because I cannot know if they cheated (modified/copied savegames) or hacked (modified client code). That’d be unacceptable. It’s like a highly contagious virus that immediately invalidates everything.


The devs have stated that they’d need to make major game engine changes that they don’t have $$$ for. So here’s how to do it with some easy hacks instead.

We know that in multiplayer the host game gets to decide all the dice rolls/calculations for loot, combat etc and the guest clients who join the host’s game have no say in it.


The game client has a new mode, let’s call it “No-Cheat”.
Clicking on it will contact a GD meta server that’s running in a protected environment, ie is provided by the development team. This meta server will then simply launch a GD game instance that actually hosts the game.
The player who clicked on “No-Cheat” mode will then join that hosted game, becoming a guest in it, as will all the other players who want to participate. So it’ll just use the normal host/guest mechanics that are already in the game.

Now the specialty about the host game is that it won’t have an actual character in the game, or if it’s too much work, just make the character completely invisible and not noticable in any way, ie a dummy character. So the GD server is the host but doesn’t actively participate in the game. Only the guest game instances which are the real persons wanting to play have characters.

Now in this “No-Cheat” mode everyone has to create a character the first time he starts it, since already existing characters stored on everyone’s PCs aren’t accepted: In “No-Cheat” mode the game client will immediately upload the created character savefile to the host, which in turn performs sanity checks if its a valid, newly created level 1 character (no weird items in it, all stats within sanity boundaries).

From then on, the host game will take care of saving/loading any existing characters if a client game logs out or back in. On logging back in, the server will load the according savefile and send it to the client if necessary so the client has all the info it needs.
But the server will never accept the client’s savefile data anymore, so savefile cheating won’t be possible.

So in summary, the game runs just as usual, with the two specialties that

  1. the server hosts the game while not actually logging in with any character (or just sets up a dummy character that is kept invisible to the real players)
  2. all savefile handling is done only on the host side, with the host transferring savefile data to the clients when they need it (probably on logging in I guess), so the clients would simply read the savefile over the network instead of from disk, and the host instance would do savefile storing on player logout, instead of the guest instance.

What would still be possible I guess:
Position hacking and macroing. The clients could probably send unreasonable control command sequences to the server about movement, which allow things like teleport-hack or speed-hack.
Adding some additional code to guard against unreasonable position changes (too much change in too little time) fortunately wouldn’t take much effort though.

I dont know, never had problems with cheated , or duped items, because i first ask in trade topics for hc or sc, for what i need, then contact that person. All my trades were like that, and no1 tricked me. But in all honest, u dont need servers. Just join some radnom hosted game, play, trade, whatever… I have no ides why ppl keep asking for that kind of thing, after all this is a single player game…

I cannot know if they’re legit or if my character gets tainted by accepting anything from them or even having them help me with any game objective, because I cannot know if they cheated (modified/copied savegames) or hacked (modified client code)
In which ARPG on the market do you know this :)?

I actually would favor much more a gated community approach build on a web of trust. Let the community moderate itself. GD is not a F2P game therefore banning someone from such a gated community would require a new investment into GD, which already had shown for D2 is not a bad marketing strategy, but thats another topic.

If “so many” people desperately want something close to closed MP solve the problem the same way we (as a gaming community) have solved it for all the games in the last 20 years without any closed services. Build the gated community yourself. Tag your games with [LEGIT], let all those games have the same password per day and change the “password of the day” each day, announce the password in member only section of a forum which you only can enter by invitation. Steam has a feature called “groups” which allows you to use a forum without hosting it yourself.

And on the other hand I want to point out there are almost no games available online for public most of the time, therefore I still believe for GD any invested cent would be a wasted cent. I still understand all the wishing for “closed” MP but I just don’t see a sudden rise of open MP games by a factor of 100+, which is likely what would be required to account for such developements.

Well, Crate hosting games means having servers. So that’s a heavy infrastructure investment. Eventhough hosting servers in an amazon server farm is cheaper than it used to be, I don’t see where the interest for Crate would be to invest every year in this.

There is also the fact that… why the hell someone who cheats - and thus creates items out of nowhere would trade them? Seriously?

Are there really people trading items they have created with GDStash or else? In order to get items they could have created directly?

Makes no sense at all.

I have contacted 2-3 people through the Legit trading thread, and assume they dropped/crafted it. If they haven’t… well, I have no way to tell, and I still exchange an item - loosing mine. So I end up in the same situation and my single player experience is not altered.

And if you wanna make sure anything you use is 100% legit, playing entirely self found is your safest bet.

PS: I am keeping your idea in the back of my head. I have started to create public servers recently, I might make it with always the same name [Legit] tag and create a Steam group for it if people are interested in playing regularly. And there is already a discord server if I recall - which I haven’t tried yet.

There are fully functional trading sims on market. GD just doesn’t cut it.

Very simply as the many threads about closed servers have all explained very clearly…Closed servers won’t be happening as it’s not just the cost of the server, but the fact that the vast amount of the game code that would have to be re-written to work with servers, and this simply isn’t an economical option for Crate to just stop all development on both the upcoming new areas and the expansion just to re-write the entire game code purely for online trading

GD is a hack n’ slash, not a trading game

GD is a hack n’ slash, not a trading game
… I still have this vision of an MMORPG ARPG sandbox where the whole game is about crafting, trading, pvp. Imagine it like “Diablo the Grim Dawn EVE Online”. Hard to describe in a few words, but not much worth the effort to explain in detail as this is not something we are going to see soon/if ever.

That sounds like a strong contender for the tenth circle of hell. Throw in building and you basically have isometric minecraft.

Minecraft does not really share a single concept with neither Grim Dawn/Diablo nor EVE Online?! So, what’s your point?

Relax, it’s called a joke.

But if you want my actual opinion, I don’t think an ARPG focused specifically around crafting, trading and pvp would be particularly fun.

No you misunderstood me. I am relaxed. I just did not understand what you wanted to tell me as I do not see any similarities and therefore did not get any pun, if there was any, nor see any critique/opinion, if there was any.

This still doesn’t solve the problem that the devs would need to make major modifications to the client and then create a server portion as well.

There is the [thread=26759]Grim Dawn’s No Cheat Clan (Steam Group)[/thread]. Check it out, that will be your best bet.

There is really no need to bring this topic up again when there have been numerous threads on the subject, many with replies from us.

We are aware that some players wish for the game to have closed servers, and in a perfect world that would be the case.

It has always comes down to the initial cost of retrofitting the entire engine to support it, future maintenance costs of such a service and (which is frequently not considered by players) the cost of opportunity (aka the time we spend on this is time we cannot spend on other things such as expansion(s) or future products).

The fact is, about 10% of ARPG players even touch MP (this data is consistent throughout history of ARPGs and remains consistent with Grim Dawn). Just because people have to go online (as with Diablo 3 and Path of Exile) to play does not automatically make them want to share that experience with others.

In the end though, for us, it falls to finances and focusing our resources where they best benefit our audience.