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Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 01:54 AM -08

TPU (Tanks n Planes Unlimited)

EA Games must enjoy being despised

In a move that should surprise nobody but infuriate many, EA Games has announced that they will shut down server browser support for several games in the coming months, including Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2.

You may already have noticed that Gamespy - the company that provides the service underlying server support for these games - has been gradually winding down in recent months. Apparently Gamespy services will cease to exist in the near future. EA could have taken over these servers or provided a workaround, but they chose not to do that.

What does this mean for BF1942 players? Mainly that you will no longer be able to find servers using the in-game browser server. If you know the IP address of a server, you will still be able to connect to it. Other web-based server browsers like GameTracker may continue to operate normally, but that's not a certainty at this point.

BF1942 fans are working on possible solutions, including setting up their own master server browser, which would effectively replace the original servers. But this requires changes to the BF1942 client software, which may create other problems.

BF2 players face a similar situation, with one additional obstacle: it's currently not possible to play BF2 online without a Gamespy account. When Gamespy shuts down, will it even be possible to play online, even if you know the IP address of a server?

Battlefield 2 mod developers for Forgotten Hope 2 and Project Reality are apparently working on their own master server.

I'll post more information here as I find it. In the meantime, let's think positive thoughts. We gamers are resourceful and stubborn, so I'm sure we'll find a way to keep things rolling.

Mysterious tank rain in Tobruk

No, it's not your imagination. Last night I finally witnessed a bizarre phenomenon previously reported by a couple of players: tanks falling from the sky on the bf1942/Tobruk map.

Next time you're playing bf1942/Tobruk on TPU, watch the skies. Eventually, you may see one or more tanks appear way up in the sky and fall to the ground. The falling tanks often contain bots. Usually these tanks are destroyed when they hit the ground, but sometimes they survive, and rejoin the fight.

So far I've been unable to determine a specific set of circumstances in which this occurs.

My assumption at this point is that there's a bug in the map source for Tobruk, possibly introduced along with the vehicle spawning changes made for TPU. Either that, or there are simply too many units on the map now.

Intermittent Internet connection

The Internet connection used by TPU is having some problems. We're experiencing cold weather, and the same thing happened last time temperatures got this low. The problem fixed itself when the temperature rose, but I want a permanent fix, so I called Shaw and they will send someone out next week. Hopefully the connection will be mostly up in the meantime - at least during the day. I know that doesn't help for you nighthawks, but there's not much I can do. If the connection goes down and stays down I'll call Shaw again and see if they can expedite a fix. The connection is up right now. Temperature is -8 Celsius.

TPU stats reset for 2014

It's a new year, so the stats for TPU have been reset. You can still access stats for 2013 and earlier years by clicking the links at the top of the left sidebar.

TPU down for maintenance

TPU is currently down for maintenance and will remain down for up to an hour. It should be back up by 11am PST.

Internet outage

We've been experiencing intermittent Internet over the past day or so. It seems to be back up now, but it may still be intermittently down.

Update 2013Dec07: Another lengthy outage last night, and again it seems fine now. Shaw is sending a technician today.

Update 2013Dec11: Outages continue. Shaw is sending another technician today.

Special event: next Tuesday is DarkRyda day on TPU

By special request, next Tuesday (2013Oct29) will be set aside for playing DarkRyda's maps on TPU. That includes The Race Track, always a crowd favourite.

For this special day, the Allied:Axis ratio will be 1 to 1 and of course the ratio will not flip every six hours. The game mode will vary, depending on the map, and will include Co-op, Conquest and Capture The Flag. You can play on either side, and killing other players is allowed.

To play all the maps, you'll need the DarkRyda Map Pack as well as The Race Track, both available for download from this site.

DarkRyda day will start at one minute after midnight on October 29 and end 24 hours later.

We're hoping DarkRyda himself will make an appearance, and I will try to be in game as much as possible. See you there!

I'm now available via Skype

I've been using Skype for a development project for a while now and despite some misgivings about security, I like it a lot. It works well as a basic text chat client, but it can also be used for voice chat and of course video. I find that the novelty of video chat wears off pretty quick, and nobody needs to see me looking weird at my desk, but voice chat can sometimes be handy. The basic version is free, but if you pay for a subscription you can initiate multi-way conversations, which can be very useful.

I leave Skype running all the time on my main computer, so as long as I'm at my desk (Skype status: online) you can reach me at jeff.rivett. Those of us who have been playing on the BF2 server are using Skype to alert one another when we're available to play. Feel free to join in!

TPU stats: points formula modified

I just noticed that repair points were being too heavily weighted in the points formula, so I changed the formula to reduce the impact of repair activity. I also reduced the impact of healing activities. As a result, the player stats (when sorted by points) are a lot closer together than before. It's still a good idea to repair and heal, but doing so won't give you an excessive advantage.

The stats points formula is posted in the forum in the Server/stats FAQ.

TPU server visibility

The good news is that WAN speeds are back to normal here. Shaw found something that was misconfigured somewhere in their system and all is well again.

The bad news is that TPU may not be showing up in some users' Battlefield 1942 in-game server browsers. I've checked with a few players, and it shows up on some, but not all of their server lists.

If you can spare a few minutes, please check your in-game server browser and let me know if you see "Tanks 'n Planes Unlimited CO-OP". Don't forget to click the UPDATE button first. Thanks!