Machkhan, Rebase won't work on campuses

Mac Technical Support
On most of them, at least.

So, you're probably aware about the war that's been going on between copyright holders (mainly RIAA) and every college in the US, right? And you do realize that most colleges take measures to prevent their students from downloading copyrighted material from P2P networks. Because of that, many colleges in the US, UK, TW, Hong Kong decide to simply block download of torrent files. Although not very effective, this method prevents their students from accessing any URL containing the word 'torrent' in it. Some go to even greater lengths and scan the actual file to look for basic characteristics of torrent files like "d8:announce" in order to make sure that simply removing or changing the file extension won't be enough for the file to go through.

Well, college students encountering this problem when installing and updating Blizzard games is nothing new as I'm sure you're aware of (This began with the introduction of the WoW streaming client during Cataclysm beta-Aug 2010) But so far, getting around this issue has been quite straight forward, all that's needed is the tfil file, and, once in a while, a Agent/Launcher update.

However, the new Battle.net Update Agent is still in early development and with new features, come the need for downloading additional torrent files. In a perfect world, this would not be an issue because torrenting wouldn't be blocked anywhere. But it's not the case, and with patch 2.0.4, the Agent will be making use of a not so new feature, which is the "rebaseline". And although not new, the way in which it works has changed, making it more or less impossible to run if you're not allowed to download .torrent files on your connection.

Sure enough, it's still possible for college students to optimize their game by using a VPN, an unrestricted internet connection, tethering a mobile, etc. And, I haven't checked yet but I believe it's also possible to edit/replace some files in order to skip the optimization but that may require a redownload of the entire game. Easy or not, this kind of thing gets old very quick and not everyone is willing to do more than just launch their game and wait for the patch to finish.


What can or should be done? In my opinion the whole P2P thingy needs to go, but if that's not an option, there are other ways:

The most obvious one is to serve torrent files within .MPQ files. That's how the SC2 patching system worked from Beta until 1.44 and it worked somewhat well.

Another option would be to drop the .torrent extension (no extension or something that's not torrent or tfil would work fine). But removing or changing the extension wouldn't be enough, so, a https connection should be considered. And if you're worried about certificate errors, a http connection could be used if the https connection fails.


I know it's a tricky subject. I mean, if torrent files are blocked on a network, it's because they don't want it in their network. Still, lets not forget WoL from Beta to 1.44. Either way, it's one more reason to drop the whole P2P thing from the launcher completely IMO.


I believe I'm done. Here's the list of all rebase patches, but unless your name is Agent.exe, it's completely useless. :)
http://dist.blizzard.com.edgesuite.net/sc2-pod/Blob.24621.Liberty20Rebase/s2_game_7AA1361F3186E9D81ED1B5A14E5C41E9.blob
btw I've been keeping patchup.info up since 2010, and I'm not going to lie, I never thought it would take more than 3 months for Blizzard to do something about this and believe it or not, it's been two and a half years.

How much longer is it going to take?

I believe I forgot to mention those in the military, many are unable to play Blizzard games for multiple reasons but the main reason is the Agent and its P2P component.


The devs responsible for the launcher need to remember that a launcher is meant to make easier for people to download and update a game, not create barriers that prevent paying customers from playing a game.
Thanks. I've sent this up for review.
Thanks for the additional information eld. I just wish I had been spared last Sunday's headache... oh well.

Until I can get a way to work around the reconfigure I'll just play something else. A shame really, I was hoping to actually get back into the game.
Thanks for the additional information eld. I just wish I had been spared last Sunday's headache... oh well.

Until I can get a way to work around the reconfigure I'll just play something else. A shame really, I was hoping to actually get back into the game.

It's still possible to get around this whole thing and update game. I'm just trying to get them to do something so that the players won't have to.

http://patchup.info/sc2/tfil/NA/#rebase
I forgot to mention. Reinstalling the game will eliminate the need for running the rebase patch and — although I haven't tested — installing on top of the existing install may also have the same effect. However, most people would rather not reinstall and every reinstall adds to Blizzard's bandwidth bill, which kinda goes against having an entire system designed to save bandwidth that once in a while ends up being the sole reason someone has to redownload the entire game.
Hey eld,

Is it the tfil file you downloaded to make it work? What campus are you at?

I touched base with our team that handles this. Blizzard is the only one that uses the tfil extension. Blocking the *.tfil isn’t the same as preventing P2P, as the tfil is necessary to fetch data from http servers as well.

If we know specifically which networks are doing this perhaps we can reach out to them in order to find a better solution. We don't have control what networks can block.
If you look in the blob I posted on my original post, you will see that all torrent files hosted on Blizzard's CDN servers have .torrent as their file extension, not tfil. And yes, it's true that if Blizzard started using .tfil for files hosted on the remote servers, considerably less people would be affected but some would still be blocked because some firewalls scan the file before allowing it trough.

http://dist.blizzard.com.edgesuite.net/sc2-pod/Blob.24621.Liberty20Rebase/s2_game_7AA1361F3186E9D81ED1B5A14E5C41E9.blob

I know that everything a campus IT department needs to do is to allow torrent files coming from Blizzard is to whitelist the three hostnames that Blizzard uses as its CDN servers, but some have strict rules regarding torrent and won't even consider it. The reason is usually not because of how torrent works, rather it's because of the risks of not doing enough to prevent copyright infringement.

Currently I'm not affected by this, and even if I was, I would be able to workaround it.

02/20/2013 08:59 AMPosted by Machkhan
We don't have control what networks can block.

This is true, but making use of a technology that is often blocked and not making an effort to make sure the launcher is not so easily affected by it doesn't make sense.

Want to know how many times the Diablo III.tfil was downloaded from my website in May 2012? Around 20 thousand times. And I'd say that the number of people that were affected by it was a lot bigger than that because many chose to take their laptop home, to a starbucks, or not to play.
Thanks, I'll forward this up to the appropriate parties. TY for providing greater detail about this, as we want to make sure that we can make downloads/patching as painless as possible :)
02/19/2013 08:59 PMPosted by eld
It's still possible to get around this whole thing and update game


I still can not do it, even after reinstalling the game, deleting the Battle.net folder, and copying the SetupWin.mpq & StarCraft II.tfil, it is still failed to download a required file, wtf...
What else do you have in your Updates folder? is having just one s2-24621-24621-Win-liberty-rebase.MPQ file there enough? or do I have to download anything else?
Btw, I can not just bring my gaming desktop into a Starbuck or somewhere to patch this sucker up! so please help!

All of this is a joke!!! every time a new patch is out the Launcher still always need to torrent some stupid "required files" so why the hell they even bother making up that stupid option "Disable P2P networking" in the Launcher Downloader Preference when that option is greyed out everytime it updates & won't work? this sucks!!!
Thank you eld for providing all this information. I hope Blizzard really steps forward on this and fixes it. Fixing this for all students who live on a campus would be a god send.
I still can not do it, even after reinstalling the game, deleting the Battle.net folder, and copying the SetupWin.mpq & StarCraft II.tfil, it is still failed to download a required file, wtf...

When I tested this, uninstalling and reinstalling the game allowed me to install the game without having to go through the optimization process. When reinstalling, you will get that error ("Failed to download a required file"), but even though this happens at 0% during the install, it only happens after the installer has finished setting up the game. So, after getting the error just go where you installed the game, replace the tfil with the most recent one and run the Launcher. (do not run the installer again)

But if the launcher still wants to optimize:
It's still possible to get around this whole thing and update game


I still can not do it, even after reinstalling the game, deleting the Battle.net folder, and copying the SetupWin.mpq & StarCraft II.tfil, it is still failed to download a required file, wtf...
What else do you have in your Updates folder? is having just one s2-24621-24621-Win-liberty-rebase.MPQ file there enough? or do I have to download anything else?
Btw, I can not just bring my gaming desktop into a Starbuck or somewhere to patch this sucker up! so please help!

All of this is a joke!!! every time a new patch is out the Launcher still always need to torrent some stupid "required files" so why the hell they even bother making up that stupid option "Disable P2P networking" in the Launcher Downloader Preference when that option is greyed out everytime it updates & won't work? this sucks!!!

Simply downloading that file and putting it there isn't enough but it may be helpful, because then, the launcher wouldn't have to download that file and would start 'reconfiguring' your files right away.

Have you tried using hotspotshield.com ? It doesn't always work, the ads are REALLY annoying, the latency can be insanely high, but as long as it doesn't have too much downloading to do, and if you're patient enough, it might work.

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=399465#1
Just letting you know that still haven't forgotten about this, eld. I sent the data up to be reviewed and I am just seeing what feedback happens or if we need additional information.
It's cool. I know that things like this aren't forgotten. It might not be priority number one or may be out of the question completely, but I'm sure it won't be lost under a pile of complaints. (Mainly because of you)
Hey eld. I got some additional information back. I'll be sending this to the email on your account shortly once I get settled in. Look for an email with-in the hour.

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