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Friday, May 24 2019 @ 06:48 AM -08

JDRGaming Battlefield 2 server

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

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 174.6.225.213 (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.