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Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:53 AM -08

New Twitter account for JDRGaming status updates

I've created a Twitter account for status updates for all JDRGaming systems. My plan is to use this account to provide basic information regarding status changes to JDRGaming game servers and related services. Tweets will include planned and unplanned outages, version updates, and so on.

Forgotten Hope 2.47 and BF2 Gamespy

A new version of Forgotten Hope 2 was just released. Version 2.47 includes a few map changes (listed below), but the main change involves fixes for the demise of Gamespy.

Gamespy services for Battlefield 2 and many other games will cease to function soon, some time in the next few weeks. For Battlefield 2, this presents two problems: first, the standard Battlefield 2 client will no longer allow players to log in using their Gamespy/IGN account, which means no online play will be possible. At all. Second, the in-game server browser will no longer function, so the only way to join a server would be to enter its IP address.

The new FH2 client gets around both of these problems. The developers of FH2 and Project Reality have created a replacement server for the user account and master server browser functionality in BF2. The new FH2 client connects to the new server back-end to allow user login (your existing accounts are migrated) and server browsing. For this to work properly, FH2 servers must also now use a new server executable that also connects to the new back-end server.

I'll be working on upgrading the JDRGaming BF2 server over the next day or so and will post status updates here.

The Forgotten Hope 2 2.46 client launcher will offer to update your FH2 client the next time you run it. You might want to consider holding off until the servers you play on have upgraded to 2.47.

Map changes

  • Omaha: tickets and spawn conditions of 2nd flag group equipment changed
  • Gold Beach: new vehicles added and German artillery setup changed, German assault kit with MP34
  • Minor changes to Sidi Rezegh (added back main base artillery) and Falaise Pocket (removed lewis gun)
  • Added Omaha 16 player layer
  • Singleplayer added to Omaha, with changes for Gold Beach and Villers Bocage
  • Fixed aiming with the Gewehr 41
  • Fixed the physics of the Puma and Ju52
  • Improved ragdoll settings

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.

Forgotten Hope 2.46 released

A new version of the Forgotten Hope 2 Battlefield 2 mod was just released.

The JDRGaming BF2 server is now running FH2 2.46. To join, you need to download and install the client files, which will be available on this site in the Files and Links section shortly.

All the fixes from the Coop patches (A through C) are included in version 2.46, so there are no special requirements for joining a coop server other than the 2.46 client. Because of that, I have removed the server password.

Other changes of note in FH2 2.46:

  • newly rebuilt maps
  • bots now understand more commands, including get in and get out
  • kit limiting
  • bots die immediately on entering guns deployed by humans to avoid CTDs
  • lots of other tweaks
  • improved AI bot names
  • bots use secondary weapons in vehicles better
  • bots use unarmed vehicles less

Password now required for playing on BF2 server

Anyone wishing to play on the JDRGaming BF2 server must first install both the FH2 mod and Coop Patch C. Both of these files are available in the Files and Downloads section of this site.

Unfortunately, despite the name of the server including "COOP Patch C", it looks like people are trying to join the server without first installing Coop Patch C. Normally, when you do that, your client will crash and the server won't be affected. But for some reason, when some players try to join, the server also crashes. In an attempt to avoid this, I have now added a password to the server. The password is "cooppatchc".

I'll publish the password in a couple of other places (GameTracker, XFire) to make it easier to find. I'm not trying to keep people out of the server, just trying to make sure they understand that there's no point joining if they don't have Coop Patch C installed.

VOIP enabled on BF2 server

This morning I enabled VOIP on the BF2 server. To use it, you'll need to enable VOIP in your BF2 client settings.

Here's how to use it:

  1. Join a squad (press CapsLock).
  2. Hold down the 'B' key to talk. Your voice will be heard by all your squadmates.
  3. If you're a squad leader, hold down the 'V' key to talk to the Commander.
  4. If you're the Commander, hold down the 'V' key to talk to all squad leaders.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Battlefield 2 server now running FH2 Coop Patch C

I've just updated the BF2 server to Forgotten Hope 2.45 Coop Patch C. This new version is not compatible with any previous version of FH 2.45, including Coop Patch B. You will not be able to join the JDRGaming BF2 server unless you are also running Coop Patch C: your BF2 client will crash when you try to join.

You can find a download link for Coop Patch C in the Files and Links section of this site, but here's a direct link. Install Patch C on top of your existing FH2 mod folder (but see the warning below first!)

WARNING: If you want to be able to join non-coop FH2 servers, you should make a copy of your original FH 2.45 mod folder, so that you can switch back to it when the need arises. For instance, I have the following folders in my main Battlefield 2 folder: mods\fh2, mods\fh2a, mods\fh2b, mods\fh2c. Normally, mods\fh2 is the same as mods\fh2c, but if I want to join a PvP server, I copy mods\fh2a to mods\fh2.

Coop Patch C fixes numerous general and map-specific co-op problems in FH 2.45, so coop gameplay should be noticeably improved. There are two changes of particular importance: improved AI aiming and navmeshes with blank areas.

AI/bot aiming was improved in an attempt to reduce friendly fire. You may have noticed that friendly bots previously had a tendency to kill you if you were in their line of fire. Apparently the bot aim improvements have made battlefield survival even more difficult. I will be monitoring this, and I will lower the overall AI difficulty setting if that is warranted.

Navmeshes are map overlays that determine where bots are allowed to travel. Before Patch C, bots tended to drive vehicles into rough, narrow, and steeply-sloping terrain, and then get stuck. The navmeshes on several maps have been modified to prevent bots from entering these areas. However, this also means that if a human drives a vehicle into one of these difficult areas, then abandons it, and then a bot enters the vehicle, the server will crash. If this turns out to be a big problem, I will consider reverting to Patch B.

A few maps removed from the BF2 server

I tested all the available FH2 maps on the new BF2 server and found a few that still cause server crashes, so I removed them from the rotation. Some of these are maps that worked before the move to the Linux server, and others worked before patch B. I'll be working with the FH2 developers to try to resolve these issues.

Maps removed:

  • Battle of Keren: server crashes about five minutes in, consistently.
  • Operation Hyacinth: server crashes immediately after first spawn.
  • Mareth Line: server crashes about five minutes in.
  • Port En Bessin: client crashes on join; server sometimes crashes during map load.
  • Eppeldorf: server crashes on join if playing Allied side.
  • Meuse River: server crashes about 20 minutes in.

If you notice any more problems, let me know.

Changes to Battlefield 2 server

The Battlefield 2 server is now running on the new Linux server PC.

The server name has been changed, to distinguish it from the Battlefield 1942 server (TPU). The BF2 server was previously named "[TPU]BF2_AIX2_FH2_COOP". The new name is "[JDR] FH 2.45 COOP Patch B". The server's IP address has not changed.

Anyone who was previously an admin on the BF2 server should still have the same admin permissions on the new server.

The BF2 server is still running Forgotten Hope 2 (version 2.45), but it has been patched with a special, semi-official set of fixes for co-op play, provided by the co-op gamers on the FH2 forums. This patch is usually referred to as the "Singleplayer Patch B for Forgotten Hope 2.45". Here's a link to the announcement on the FH2 forum.

To join the BF2 server, you need to install patch B on your BF2 client. The patch B installer is in the Files and links section of this web site. WARNING: once you install this patch, you won't be able to join any servers running FH 2.45 unless they have also been patched. Since only co-op servers are likely to be running patch B, that means you likely won't be able to join any non-coop servers. If that's a problem for you, just copy your /mods/fh2 folder to a safe location before you install patch B. Then, if you want to join a non-coop FH2 server, rename the patched /mods/fh2 folder to something else (e.g. fh2b), and copy your backed up fh2 folder back to /mods. You can flip back and forth this way.

When you run the patch B installer, you need to install on top of your existing FH2 mod folder (e.g. C:\Battlefield 2\mods\fh2). This will overwrite some existing files and add some new ones. This is not a full installer; if you install it to an empty or nonexistent folder, FH2 will not work.

Forgotten Hope 2 winter tank action

I recorded a few videos from FH2 a while back and I'm finally getting around to posting them. FH2 isn't really compatible with XFire, so I used Fraps for these clips. I'm running the free version of Fraps, so the clips are limited to 30 seconds. But the audio and video quality seem to be pretty good.
  • Clip #1 - Battle of the Bulge tank action
  • Clip #2 - Battle of the Bulge tank action #2
  • Clip #3 - More tank action
  • Clip #4 - Tiger kills Sherman from behind