Announcements and News

Two Years of YukiTheater

January 06, 2015, 09:51:02 PM by WinterPhoenix96
Since I made a post about the history about YukiTheater on the day of our One Year Anniversary last year, I figured I might as well do the same for what's happened since then. The main things that have happened this year were primarily the result of gaining more popularity than I had ever expected to get when I first started this project, with most of them being bad things that turned out to be good in the long run.

This year we had quite a few large updates, including one on Christmas that completely changed the map, and we've steadily grown to be one of the Top 150 Servers on Gametracker for Garry's Mod consistently for more than 3 months straight. The Christmas Update with the new map managed to boost us to our record as #9, which is where we're currently sitting. On New Years we also managed to finally hit 90 Players for longer than 10 minutes, making it our official new population record (I will actually be making a counter that counts how many times we hit 90 for longer than 10 minutes soon as a replacement for the population record statistic soon).

All of this, however, didn't come without resistance from a lot of fronts. Specifically most of it came from a certain other Cinema community, you probably know which one, that's been extremely persistent in trying to take us down since September. They began this by launching large-scale DDoS Attacks against our old Fortatrust Dedicated Server, which had very limited bandwidth (only about 75Mbps up and down) whereas the attacks' traffic was much much larger than that (up to 8x more, from what little info I had on them). This caused us to move over to another host known as OVH, which, as you know, worked only slightly better. OVH had a DDoS Mitigation system that had the ability to adsorb a lot of traffic, and this worked decently well for a short while as it kept the server online.

However after a while they started getting a bit creative with attacks. The end result was a highly specialized attack that in the end resulted in OVH's own DDoS Mitigation system being used against us. They did this two ways. First, they began each attack with a large, short burst of bandwidth, causing OVH's DDoS Mitigation to be activated. The reason why this was a problem is that the DDoS Mitigation system works with TCP connections by sending an RST (Reset) packet when the connection is first established, for it to test the validity of the connection. If it reacts in the way it expects, the client is put onto a sort of Whitelist for a short time. The problem with this is that it results in the client not being able to find YukiTheater in their Server Browser a lot of the time. The second part of the attack was low, in comparison, UDP traffic that had packets with similar sizes to legitimate packets being transferred between the GMod Server and Client. This caused the weaker part of OVH's DDoS Mitigation, UDP filtration, to filter legitimate traffic as well as bad traffic that was targeted at imitating the legitimate, resulting in clients losing connection at random, very laggy performance, etc.

After I figured out what was going on, I did some more looking and we switched over to NFO. NFO, which is primarily a game-server hosting company, doesn't advertise itself as having DDoS Mitigation, however being in the game-server hosting business tends to require some sort of protection system(s) in place. This made it a prime candidate as did its reputation with customer service, which I've actually had to go to a couple of times and they've been extremely helpful in comparison to the two hosts before it. Their mitigation systems have allowed us to finally host the server in peace and I'm quite grateful that we found them, otherwise I'm not sure we would be still be hosting, or even could host, YukiTheater.

Also, I'm just going say this, fighting DDoS Attacks are no joke. They are extremely difficult to defend against, and as a creator of a project, it is extremely draining to watch what you built get destroyed as you aren't able to do anything about it except stand by and watch. Many GMod communities have died this way, and our attackers were hoping that we'd go the same way. We almost did, and had we not found NFO or another host that could sufficiently protect us, we probably would have. I must mention that they also did other things like orchestrating raids on our Steam Profiles, the Forums, and other parts of the web as well as attempting to steal players from our community in a variety of different ways, however those pale in comparison to those godforsaken DDoS Attacks.

Fortunately the rest of the the resistance has been mostly in the form of legitimate competition, which basically just made us work harder and better than we ever have. The new map is a great example of that, because it was multiple months of work on behalf of the Dev Team, which ended with a very good looking result that the community now gets to enjoy everyday they visit. An Ordinary Magician (Mapping), Sophie-bear (Modeling/Texturing), and ATGnekocoaster39 (Texturing) did an excellent job with that, so if you see them please thank them. I personally am looking forward to another year of running this and whatever it throws at us. A year from now I'll probably be in college, but I intend to run YukiTheater and whatever comes after it through college if I can help it, so that's what we're gonna do.

Let's have another awesome year guys. Love you all. <3
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Cereal Box Cinema has set up fake servers using YukiTheater's name

December 18, 2014, 04:15:43 PM by WinterPhoenix96
There are currently 3 servers up with the name, "YukiTheater.org [Anime-Theme]." 2 of those 3 are Fake Redirect Servers have been set up by the Cereal Box Cinema community to redirect you to their own server in an attempt to steal our players. These can be seen in the Server Browser.

To avoid connecting to the wrong server, please connect using http://www.yukitheater.org/connect or the Connect Link in the Steam Group. There's also a guide that Sophie-bear created if you want to use a Link straight from your Desktop: http://www.yukitheater.org/forum/index.php?topic=2794.0

Please be wary.
Love You All <3
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We're sticking with the Weekend Test Run Server Host

September 29, 2014, 08:04:11 PM by WinterPhoenix96
New New IP Address, please update your Favorites: 63.251.20.69:27015
The Connect Link still works as well.


We've also set up a Temporary Sandbox Server for YukiTheater Members to hang out in since we still have OVH's Dedicated Server for the next 18 Days and it's doing nothing but redirecting players using its old IP. The Sandbox, dubbed YukiSandbox, is located here: 192.99.18.210:27016. Please note that Playtime or any other tracking of Player Stats is not active in the Sandbox Server.

The New New Host is NFO Servers, and we have a Virtual Dedicated Server with them. While this is not nearly as powerful as OVH's Dedicated Server, it's also about half the cost. On top of that, I have a much more usable Firewall control panel, and they're focused a great deal more on game servers instead Websites/Databases. That means that whatever systems they have in place on top of the firewall to mitigate Denial-of-Service attacks are tailored much more to the kind of server we're hosting, which was the main reason why OVH's Mitigation system totally failed when it came to attacks targeted toward YukiTheater's GMod Server, and even made it more difficult for players to see the server in the Server Browser or even connect.

Anyway, if you have any questions, reply to this Thread.

Love You All <3
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After almost a week of Downtime, we're back!

September 20, 2014, 01:53:26 AM by WinterPhoenix96
To start, We have a New Server Host and a New IP Address, so please update your Favorites: 63.251.20.69:27015
You can also still connect with the old Connect Link we've been using for forever.


Also, Thank You so much to everybody who donated to make this switch possible! <3

Now, since we have a new host that's actually decently reliable and can realistically handle DDoS Attacks, it costs us 5x more than the old host. So please consider donating. We'll also be Adding another Donation Tier soon that will cost more, but in exchange it will also have more perks. People who've donated before and have donated over the cost of the New Tier will get it automatically.

We're also Rewriting the Rules for clarification as well as lightening up on some of them to allow more content in the Server. That will be effective starting Next Update.

The Next Update should be out in a day or two. I'm basically sinking all of tonight into coding most of it.

And to top this all off, we're having a 3x Credits Boost all weekend long to make up for the Downtime, so come join us!

Love You All <3
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Why we're down, 9-14-14 edition

September 15, 2014, 01:08:42 AM by WinterPhoenix96
I tend to create Announcements about Downtime if it goes longer than 24 hours for sake of clarity, as some people start getting a bit worried and think we've shut down the server for good, so here's what's going on and what we plan to do about it.

To start, we are not down forever. What started this downtime is the fact that our dedicated server's IP Address suddenly became unreachable and unrouteable yesterday, meaning that our Host most likely "Null-Routed" it. Basically that means that nothing can connect to it and it can't connect to anything. Hosts tend to do this if an IP becomes a threat or begins degrading the performance of the network. Most likely what happened is they Null-Routed us because we've been getting DDoS Attacks for several hours everyday for the entirety of this last week, meaning we were probably using a huge chunk of the bandwidth available, thus degrading the performance of the other servers on the network and the network itself.

For right now, all we can do is wait it out until our Host gets back to us and tells us what's going on with the server. If we're able to come back online we will, upon which I would expect DDoS Attacks starting once again since these people are relentless and clearly have nothing better to do. I can state that first-hand, as they have also continually attacked my Home IP Address whenever they find out what it is after I've changed it.

Now for what we can do about it. Quite simply, we need to upgrade/change Dedicated Server Hosts to one that offers DDoS Mitigation in some form. I spent a great deal of time trying to mitigate it through the server's built-in software firewall, but it's simply not enough. The attacks are too large for it to handle. Unfortunately that means that we're going to have to upgrade, but the cost of doing so, at the very least, is double what we're currently paying for our dedicated server. This community's website and dedicated server is paid for entirely by the community through donations, but paying for a better host isn't very realistic with the average amount of income we get from donations every month right now. We can afford, right now, to set up the minimal upgrade mentioned above (So You Start) for 1 month, including Setup Fees (Ironically the minimal upgrade is and has been Out of Stock recently and that's why we haven't switched already and then made this post), but after that we don't know for sure. And if we end up requiring better/larger DDoS Protection it will cost even more. Something like 5-8x more than we're currently paying for our server.

So I'm asking you, the Community of YukiTheater, to lend a hand if you're able. Even if you only have the minimal to spare, we would greatly appreciate anything you could contribute! If you haven't donated yet, you will receive the Perks that come with First-Time Donations once the server comes back online, DDoS Protection or not. If you've already donated, a huge thank you for helping support us thus far, and I'd like to ask you with a humble heart to please consider contributing again.

The Donation Page can be reached here and always works regardless of Server Downtime: http://www.yukitheater.org/donate

Thank You All from the bottom of my heart for enjoying and supporting the project thus far! I never thought it would even get this big when I started it in October of 2012 (bit of history in the One Year Anniversary Post).

Love You All <3
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