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Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 03:08 AM -08

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

Forgotten Hope 2 server update

The developers of Forgotten Hope 2 recently released a new set of server files (version 2.5.776a). There are a few bug fixes and a few changes that should make crashing less frequent. I've installed the new version on the TPU BF2 server. Let me know if you notice any problems.

New version of Forgotten Hope 2

Version 2.45 of Forgotten Hope 2 has been released. The new version has a TON of updates, including fixes for some annoying bugs and several new maps. The full details are on the FH2 web site.

I will be testing the new version over the next couple of days, and if all goes well, the TPU BF2 server will start running 2.45 soon after that.

UPDATE: The new FH2 server has a glitch with co-op mode, but I worked with some of the developers and they came up with a fix, so the TPU BF2 server is now running the latest FH2. Two maps were removed, and three were added.

The new client files - there are two this time - have been added to the Files and Links page.

Notable changes in this version include:
  • Stg44 pickups removed from maps (boo), but G43 and Stg44 still available in kits
  • lots of ticket/bleed changes
  • jumping stamina drain removed
  • bots can now apparently work with humans on artillery
  • new bot strategies and fixes
  • decreased rifle recoil
  • added artillery direct fire
  • improved plane handling
  • improved player collision meshes (many)
  • destroyable barbed wire
  • new minimap icons for some big guns
UPDATE 2: there were problems with the number of tickets on some of the maps: a couple had too few tickets, while several had 9999 tickets. According to the developers, this is due to a bug in BF2. The solution was to change the number of tickets assigned for 16 player maps for all of the affected maps from 9999 to something more reasonable. I've done that for all affected maps, so the ticket numbers should make more sense now. These were all server-side changes.

BF2 server changes

The TPU Battlefield 2 server is now running the Allied Intent eXtended (AIX2) mod instead of the Hard Justice mod.

Hard Justice is awesome, but it doesn't look like there will ever be an update to fix all the issues caused by the Battlefield 2 1.5 update. So I'll be evaluating AIX2 over the coming days. If I'm happy with AIX2, I'll leave it running on the server; otherwise I'll switch back to HJ and work on fixing the bugs. So far AIX2 looks very polished, and it has some very cool exotic weapons, including a handheld minigun.

You'll need to install the AIX2 client files in order to join the server. You can download the files from the 'Files and links' page (link in left sidebar).

The server IP address hasn't changed; it's still (same as the main TPU server). But the server name has changed slightly; it's now [TPU]BF_1.5_AIX2_Coop.

Fixed A10 server crashes on BF2 server

As any of you who have played on the BF2 server are probably aware, any attempt to enter an A10 Warthog was causing immediate server crashes.

It turns out this is a known problem with the Hard Justice mod (version 1.3) that was introduced with the Battlefield 2 version 1.5 update. That update placed a new restriction on the maximum number of rounds for a weapon at 1000. The HJ mod had the A10 set up by default to have 1350 rounds.

I found a fix and applied it to the server, so the A10 crashing problem should be resolved.

Please let me know (details, please!) if you run into any more problems like this. Now that I know what to look for, I might be able to fix them. So far, I am aware of a possible problem with the third position in one of the desert vehicles (but I may have that wrong), and a possible problem with the A203 grenade launcher.

BF2 server crashes

I guess I should have expected this. I noticed that the new BF2 server I'm running seems to crash a lot. In fact, it crashes in such a way as to prevent automatic restart, which is a separate problem. Anyway, in researching this, I discovered that - just as with BF42 - there are well-known ways to remotely crash BF2 servers.

It's difficult to know for sure that the BF2 server is being crashed intentionally, unless someone takes credit for it. The BF2 server software has always been a bit crash-prone. But these crashes feel different, and they're happening way too often. Combine that with the fact that this is the first time I've run a public, Internet BF2 server; that the BF42 server running at the same IP address has most definitely been attacked; that there are known ways to crash BF2 servers remotely; and that the Internet is full of [expletives deleted] jerks, and I'm thinking it's likely.

If anyone has any ideas about dealing with this please let me know. The people doing the crashing apparently use proxies, so simply blocking their IP address won't help. As I see it, there are only five ways to resolve this:

1. EA/DICE fixes the bug that allows for remote server crashing. Unlikely, given the age of the game. Still, maybe if we make enough noise?

2. Someone else comes up with a patch to prevent these hacks from working. This may well happen; the TPU BF42 server is running with just such a patch.

3. I may be able to use packet inspection to look for and block packets containing the known hack sequences. I have the technology to do this, but it would be a huge pain to set up.

4. Change the BF2 server to require a password to join it. I'm seriously considering this. The password would be provided to people I know through TPU and anyone those people feel they can trust.

5. Finally, and least likely to occur, I somehow find out who's doing this and beat them to death with their own keyboard. Actually, this one is my favourite.

Battlefield 2 server up and running

Those of you with Battlefield 2 may be interested to know that I'm now running a BF2 server. Like the TPU BF1942 server, it's co-op only, with a skewed ratio. But the sides don't swap, so humans should always play on the smaller (blue) team.

The name of the server is [TPU]BF_1.5_HJ_1.3_FH2_Coop. The IP address is the same as the TPU BF1942 server: The Gamespy 'join' port is the standard 16567 and the Gamespy 'status' port is also the standard 29900.

The server currently runs the Hard Justice (version 1.3) mod all the time, but it can run standard BF2 as well as Forgotten Hope 2, although FH2 is somewhat crash-prone.

If any of you are interested, I'd appreciate some feedback. Are you able to connect to the BF2 server? Does it appear in your in-game server lists? Does it appear in server monitor software and on server monitor web sites that you use? Has your ability to connect to the TPU BF1942 server been affected?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

UPDATE #1: I've removed from the rotation all the maps that are not part of the official Hard Justice 1.3 or its three map packs. I will gradually add back some of the removed maps later, and I'll post download links for them on jdrgaming.com.

UPDATE #2: The server is up to date with the latest Hard Justice version (1.3 + hotfix #1) and its three map packs. Links to the required downloads are on the Files and Links page. Let me know if you have any trouble connecting with any of the maps.

UPDATE #3: I increased the ticket ratio from 200% to 300% to extend the rounds a bit as they were too short. I also adjusted the team ratio from 2:1 to 3:2 as it was just about impossible to win as US/EU at 2:1 - at least without lots of help.

UPDATE #4: I increased the number of players from 24 to 32 since the server seems to be able to handle it easily. I also evened out the teams; it was just about impossible to win otherwise.