- 1 Frequently Asked Questions about the BZFlag List Server
- 1.1 Where does the list server reside?
- 1.2 How do I create a name or callsign?
- 1.3 Do I have to create a name or callsign here?
- 1.4 How is my password stored?
- 1.5 How secure is my call sign and password?
- 1.6 What if I forget my password?
- 1.7 What if someone else has changed my password?
- 1.8 How many IDs can I have?
- 1.9 When I join a game, I see -, +, and @ in front of player callsigns. What do these mean?
- 1.10 How do I use my account once I've created one?
- 1.11 Why does it say “Identify yourself” when I join a server?
- 1.12 What is allowable behavior?
- 1.13 What happens if I don’t behave on this board?
- 1.14 How can I appeal a ban?
Frequently Asked Questions about the BZFlag List Server
This page addresses some of the most commonly asked questions about use of the BZFlag List Server.
Where does the list server reside?
The list server runs on the same server as the official BZFlag bulletin board found at http://my.BZFlag.org/bb/ in the United States. The account database for the bulletin board also provides common authentication for use inside the game. More information on general board use is available in the Board FAQ.
How do I create a name or callsign?
Go to the board at http://my.BZFlag.org/bb/, click on the tab at the upper left side of the page which says “Register,” and follow the instructions. More information on user names is available in the Usernames thread.
Do I have to create a name or callsign here?
No, you do not. Most game servers still allow local registration, and unregistered users. We recommend that you register your name here, though. You can read the board content, but you cannot post content without board registration. Also, registration here protects your callsign from being used by someone else on those game servers utilizing the list server.
How is my password stored?
Your password is encrypted by the board server with an MD5 hash and stored in the board name database. The MD5 hash is a one-way encryption. In other words, there is no way to decrypt the encrypted password. For example, the password “joey” encrypts to the MD5 hash “
The only way to break your password is to use a computer to generate words, run the same MD5 encryption on them, and compare the results, until it finds a match. This requires a tremendous amount of computing power. Generally, the longer your password is, and the more unusual symbols you place in it, the more secure it is, too. Most passwords are compromised or broken because players use a simple word, one that a friend knows, such as a pet’s name. Many people have been unpleasantly surprised by this. Some users make their password the same as their call sign...this is really easy to guess, so don't do it!
How secure is my call sign and password?
Your password is encrypted in the board server database. However, when you use a Web browser to enter the board, your password is transmitted in clear text to the forum server. The server encrypts it and compares it to what it has stored in its database. You may want to read more about MD5. The board server utilizes phpbb, an open source forum system.
Your password is not sent to the game server where you will be playing, unless you are using a locally registered ID on that server.
What if I forget my password?
BZBB has a "Forgot My Password" feature. Use it, and it will e-mail you your current password. If that doesn't work for you for some reason, you can use the Registration Issues forum and post for help (guest posts are allowed).
What if someone else has changed my password?
That should be difficult to do. Under normal circumstances, passwords can only be changed by someone who knows your password. If you haven’t shared it, it shouldn’t have been changed. If this has happened, it’s a far more serious circumstance than just forgetting your password. You should make a post in the Registration Issues forum, or PM one of the board admins.
How many IDs can I have?
As many as you have email addresses. Each email address you have created in the forum can only have one associated callsign. Therefore, you must have a separate email address for each callsign you have registered in the system.
[There is an official forum note that multiple accounts are frowned upon here: http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=890, item 13, which should be addressed above and in the Board Rules thread, depending on whether or not this is going to be encouraged or enforced. This question has already been raised by some users, and JeffM has been responding that it’s possible to do it with multiple email addresses, though it appears that he also wrote the Board guidelines above. Just need a decision about that conflict and the text smoothed out appropriately. -john]
When I join a game, I see -, +, and @ in front of player callsigns. What do these mean?
The game status screen shows the different levels of player registration. Players without a symbol are using unregistered callsigns.
- The – (dash or minus sign) indicates a player using a registered callsign that has not yet identified him or herself with a valid password. Most servers require that registered players identify with a password, or with a global login through the list server, in order to play.
- The + (plus sign) indicates a player that is registered and identified, either locally or through the list server.
- The @ (at sign) identifies players with some level of administrator authority on the game server.
How do I use my account once I've created one?
When you start the client, you are presented with the main menu. When you select Join Game, you are taken to the Join sub-menu. You have a number of options at this point. The third selection on this screen is where you enter your callsign. The fourth selection is where you enter your password. When you attempt to connect to a game, your client software will automatically attempt to authenticate you on the list server.
Why does it say “Identify yourself” when I join a server?
This is telling you that your callsign wasn’t properly identified. Perhaps the game server got a bad token from the list server, or your callsign is also registered locally on this game server. The actual message in this case is slightly longer. It should read:
This callsign is registered. You must identify yourself before playing.
Identify with /identify <your password>
If you used this server previously and registered on it, you should be able to use the /identify command to join with the local password you had registered on this server.
If you didn’t register on this server previously, you may have just mistyped your password in the Join Game menu. Go back, retype it, and rejoin the game.
There is also the possibility that someone else registered the callsign you are trying to use. If that’s the case, you need to contact the game server admin. Most game servers have contact information that displays as soon as you join the server. Some also have entries in the board forum “Servers: General Discussion.”
What is allowable behavior?
We do expect decent behavior in the forums and on game servers. Each game server has its own rules, as established by the owner of the server, and some are more liberal than others. The board has guidelines which are published under Board Rules in the News and Announcements forum. Basically, we expect mature, intelligent behavior on this board and in most game servers. We encourage your participation and contribution to the community.
What happens if I don’t behave on this board?
This varies on individual game servers. On this board, however, if you fail to heed warnings, we have a number of options ranging from establishing probationary status on your account to completely blocking your access (ban). A complete block of your access would result in a complete block of your gameplay on servers using the list server, at least under your blocked callsign.
How can I appeal a ban?
- The prefered way to handle this is to post a message on the Registration Issues forum. Note that you do not have to be logged in a a registered user to post here.
- The next best choice is to use IRC. The developers and admins hang out in #BZFlag on irc.freenode.net most of the time. Be patient as they may not be watching when you ask your question. http://irchelp.org/ has more information on IRC. There is a web interface to this channel on http://my.bzflag.org/irc/irc.cgi if you do not have an IRC client. Please change the nickname and realname as directed. You may want to read up about asking smart questions first.
- Finally, you can send email directly to TimRiker at Tim@Rikers.org. Tim’s pretty busy, so don’t expect an immediate response. But be assured that he will read it as soon as he can.