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Monday, November 19 2018 @ 12:53 AM -08

Forgotten Hope 2.54

Forgotten Hope 2 version 2.54 was released on October 25. Rather than re-test all the maps individually before upgrading the server, I've decided to rely on players to report any issues they encounter. So the JDRGaming BF2 server is now running Forgotten Hope 2 2.54.

Players should use the Forgotten Hope 2 launcher to update their game client to FH2 2.54. It will offer to upgrade when you run it.

Several release announcements describe the changes in 2.54: part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4. There are some new Russian units and weapons, as well as a few tweaks to eastern front maps. Text fonts used in the game have been updated and now work better at all resolutions.

As always, please let me know if you encounter any crashing or freezing problems with any of the FH2 maps. Click About/contact in the top menu on jdrgaming.com for contact details. If I get reports of reproduceable problems on a map, I'll remove it from the regular rotation.

JDRGaming BF2 server now running FH2 2.53

Version 2.53 of Forgotten Hope 2 was released on May 25, 2018. The release announcement describes some of the more interesting changes, and there's a change log that has additional details.

New FH2 releases tend to have problems with co-op and single-player modes, so I wanted to wait for fixes before upgrading the JDRGaming BF2 server, but decided to go ahead with the upgrade on July 21.

You'll need to upgrade your FH2 client to play on the JDRGaming FH2 server. The easiest way to upgrade is to run the FH2 launcher, which will detect the new version and ask whether to proceed with the upgrade.

Please let me know if you encounter any crashing or freezing problems with any of the FH2 maps. Click About/contact in the top menu on jdrgaming.com for contact details. If I get reports of reproduceable problems on a map, I'll remove it from the regular rotation.

Minecraft 1.13 released

The latest version of Minecraft (Java edition) adds a bunch of water-related features: new creatures, blocks, and items that all appear underwater.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server has been updated, and is now running version 1.13.

IP address changed

There's bad news, and good news. The bad news is that the IP address for all JDRGaming servers has changed again. As of 2018May12, the IP address is 184.71.170.154.

If you're having trouble joining TPU, please refer to this post for assistance.

The good news is that we're finally on a business Internet plan, which has several advantages. The IP address is static, which means it's much less likely to change randomly. And the available bandwidth has increased from 25 Mbps download / 2.5 Mbps upload to 75 Mbps download / 15 Mbps upload. The increase in upload bandwidth in particular should mean less lag and connection problems when there are a lot of players.

Buried treasure: review for a game utility I developed in 1983

I paid my way through university with contract programming, writing for Computist, and developing and selling software. My first software product was Ultimaker II, an Apple II program that allows Ultima II players to print maps and edit their character. Customers included folks in Japan, the UK, and Scandinavia.

Recently, I was poking around in the indispensible Internet Archive, which now includes video, audio, and print archives, and discovered a review for Ultimaker II in the December 1983 issue of the Washington Apple Pi Journal.

I had no idea Ultimaker II was ever reviewed! In case you were wondering, it's positive: "Overall, this reviewer found Ultimaker II to be helpful indeed in enhancing the play of Ultima 2."

Finding TPU after IP changes

At some point in the near future, I intend to change my Internet service to one with a fixed IP address. When that happens, the IP for TPU and everything else on the JRC/JDRGaming server will change.

The last couple of times TPU's IP address changed, I noticed a drop-off in the number of players. Assuming that the two things were actually connected, this implies that some people were unable to find TPU after the IP change.

There are four possible explanations, for affected players:

  • they still aren't using the new master browser, master.bf1942.sk;
  • they forgot to click the Update button in the BF1942 server browser;
  • they are relying on a BF1942 Windows shortcut to the old IP address; or
  • they are relying on an existing Favorites entry in the BF1942 server browser.

Switch to the new master browser

If you're not using the master.bf1942.sk server browser, you should be. Without it, you won't see any servers listed in the BF1942 server browser. You can still connect to any server directly via its IP address, but IP addresses change, and you'll have to find servers some other way. There are instructions for switching to the master.bf1942.sk server browser elsewhere on this site.

Click that Update button

Assuming that you're using the master.bf1942.sk master browser, if you are suddenly unable to connect to TPU, try clicking the Update button on the BF1942 server browser list. This will pull a new server list from master.bf1942.sk, which will include TPU's current IP address.

Update your Windows shortcut for TPU

If you use a Windows shortcut to run BF1942 and auto-connect to TPU, and it stops working, go to jdrgaming.com and check the red notification area at the top. The current IP address will be shown there. Change your shortcut to point to the new IP address.

Update your Favorite

If you have TPU flagged as a Favorite in the BF1942 server browser, and TPU's IP address changes, your Favorite entry will not be updated automatically. Even if you are using master.bf1942.sk, and you click the Update button, if the Favorites filter is enabled, TPU will show with its old IP address, and the PING value will be 9999.

To fix this, disable the Favorite filter, click Update, find TPU in the server list, and mark it as a Favorite.

The screenshot above (click it for a larger version) shows how TPU looks in the normal Internet server list in BF1942. Note that the IP address is current, and the Ping value is low.

The screenshot above (click it for a larger version) shows how TPU looks as a Favorite in the server list in BF1942. Note that the IP address is out of date, and the Ping value is 9999. That's because I haven't recreated the Favorite recently.

TPU stats reset for 2018

Happy New Year, folks!

I've just archived 2017's TPU stats and made them available from the TPU stats archive page. The current stats have been reset to zero.

The top player in 2017 was Johnny James. Congratulations! Johnny walked away with all the badges except for the healing badge, which went to B. Keeney.

This is a good opportunity to review the points formula for TPU stats. The current formula is below. If you'd like to see a change, let me know (see the About/Contact link at the top right of the site).

(((attacks*1)-tks+(heals/10)+(otherrepairs/100))/rounds_played)+kdrate
Available variables:
 
score Total Score
tks Total TKs
kills Total Kills
deaths Total Deaths
captures Total Captures
attacks Total Attacks
objectives Total achieved Objectives
heals Total Number of Heals
selfheals Total Number of Self-Heals
repairs Total Number of Repairs
otherrepairs Total Number of Repairs to others
rounds_played Total Number of Rounds-played
kdrate The Kill/Death Rate
first Total Number of being first in Battlefield End-Of-Game-Ranking
second Total Number of being second in Battlefield End-Of-Game-Ranking
third Total Number of being third in Battlefield End-Of-Game-Ranking

Revive Network shuts down after warning from EA

This is somewhat old news, as it was first reported in October 2017. However, I just found out about it, and it affects my plans for a JDRGaming modern combat server.

Up until a few days ago, I had planned to start running a modern combat server, using the ReviveBF2 client/launcher/server. The idea was to run the server on a trial basis and hopefully attract some interest from fans of my other servers.

Then I learned the Revive Network folks had received a warning letter from EA, which owns the rights to the Battlefield games. EA's main complaint was that Revive Network was distributing Battlefield game client software to anyone who cared to download it.

Background: when Gamespy shuttered in 2015, playing Battlefield 2 online with the official client software became effectively impossible. Enterprising folks found ways to modify the client (and server) software to use new, unofficial master server browsers, and once again online play was possible. Three basic approaches were used to accomplish this: create a new client based on the original (e.g. Forgotten Hope 2); develop patches that modify Battlefield client software (e.g. BF2Hub); or modify the original client and make that available to users. Revive Network chose the latter approach, and that's what earned them EA's letter.

Leaving aside any arguments about rights associated with abandoned software like Battlefield 2, it seems to me that Revive Network could have resolved this issue by simply doing what EA asked: stop making Battlefield game client software available from their site. They could have just switched to the patching approach, so that people with Battlefield clients could modify them to work with the new unofficial master servers. Instead, Revive Network chose to shut down.

With ReviveBF2 and the associated master server no longer available, I started looking for alternatives, and found BF2Hub. It's a free launcher for BF2 that works with most available mods, and automates the process of patching your BF2 client to work with BF2Hub's master server.

My tests with BF2Hub were a complete success. As a result, BF2Hub is now the launcher of choice for all JDRGaming BF2 servers except for Forgotten Hope 2, which has its own launcher. The two launchers don't interfere with each other at all. I've posted the BF2Hub launcher on the JDRGaming Files page.

I am currently testing the Hard Justice BF2 mod for use with BF2Hub. You may notice HJ running on the BF2 server occasionally over the coming weeks. Forgotten Hope 2 is still the default mod for the JDRGaming BF2 server, but I'm considering designating one day per week for modern combat, and Hard Justice is looking like the best option available.

See you on the battlefield!