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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:


      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them


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  1. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    Of course, which is why I never implied even an iota that there would be penetration. Please reread my posts. The issue with 6# of explosives going off right above a bunch of delicate equipment is that the delicate equipment isn't under armor and it tends not to like 'splody things. I don't know what the effect would be, but there is inherently more risk from an overhead close in explosion of a large warhead than a lateral explosion of one 30% of its size. That's the difference between intercepting an RPG round vs intercepting a fly over from a TOW-2B. Whether it makes any effective difference to the crap stuck to the top of a tank or not, I can't say. I'm just saying the potential is there where in other scenarios it isn't. Steve
  2. Another reason for a centralized Forum...

    Yes, it's like asking the police to drop everything because one person has a problem with their land lady. It doesn't work that way Now, if the land lady is suspected of being a mass murderer, then the police should investigate to the extent the evidence supports the claim. But someone calling into a police station and saying "my land lady IS a murder because she's not very nice to me" isn't really the same thing. Hister, I don't doubt you have a problem that needs solving. But don't insist that our sole focus should be fixing a problem that we don't know if it even exits. If we did that for every person with a complaint we'd still be working on CMSF v1.01. Steve
  3. Another reason for a centralized Forum...

    If it is reproducible and not limited to one or two people, sure. We spent several years making performance improvements. As far as we know there's no significant performance problems out there. Actually, it can be. Individual systems can have software that slows things down or internal components that are not top quality. Remember, chip speed is only one thing that determines speed, there's far more than that Then there is the problem with OpenGL support. Some cards are good, some cards aren't as good. Some have good drivers, some do not. Some "silent revisions" of a particular brand/model of card can be a problem in ways that another one with the same brand/model but different revision is not. Cramming a card with tons of unnecessarily high resolution Mods can also screw things up. Etc. The only valid way to compare speeds is if there's an issue with two exactly the same systems. Since that's difficult to do, we ask people to focus on the video cards using identical scenarios with identical card and game settings. If both have problems then we have something to focus on. If one performs differently, then the customer has something to focus on. 20 for a big scenario with lots going on doesn't sound bad to me, but 3 indicates a hardware/software problem that isn't directly CM related. I say this because what tends to produce dramatic reductions is a particular call that CM makes to the video card. If the card or driver has a problem or there's some OS flaw or software running in the background that has an issue, that call might not be processed in the video card at all, but instead diverted to the CPU or just tied up in knots on the video card. I can't say what the cause of the problem you're having because I've got squat for information to go on. All I can say is that it shouldn't be happening and we're not looking into anything right now because we've seen no reason to. Explore your video card issues with some of the people here, including testers, and perhaps they can help you isolate the issue. As I said, I very much suspect it's something that is on your end and not ours. Otherwise we'd have a lot of people complaining about 3fps. Steve
  4. A More Realistic Iron Mode?

    Oh HELL YES it applies to developers as well. Thanks for bringing up a painful subject for me Seriously, the difference between a gamer and a designer is not that one makes ill formed suggestions without thinking through the ramifications and the other never does. The difference is the designer tends to self-reject most unworkable/unwise ideas before mentioning them to anybody. Especially a programming partner who is not afraid to say "what, you're serious?!?" The other difference is when an idea is rejected a designer/developer tends to abandon it pretty quickly and try to get at the problem from another angle IF the problem is important enough to warrant the effort. A gamer, on the other hand, often digs in his heals and says "my poop don't stink, and don't you tell me otherwise". Thanks If someone gets an explanation from me, at all, it is because I think the person is intelligent enough to understand it. Ignorance is understandable and can be corrected. But as the old saying goes, "you can't fix stupid" and so I don't bother with explanations if I think someone is too thick headed to understand them. Or I'm short on time. So if I just say "no" to something you say, you are free to interpret that as me being short on time and not that I think you're stupid. Steve
  5. A More Realistic Iron Mode?

    Well, to do that I'd have to talk to you like you're a moronic child. Then you would have two different responses to compare and contrast, then you could draw conclusions from that. So I'll do that... "No. You cant' have it, you won't get it. Question me again and I'll send you to your room without supper and no game privileges for a month. Now finish your homework, because God as my witness I'm not going to let you live here beyond your 18th birthday so you had better be able to get a job. No go away and let me watch TV in peace, otherwise I'm going to have to call in your mother. And she has had it up to HERE with your behavior." When a customer is wrong he's wrong. I try to educate the customer as to WHY he is wrong so that he can LEARN from the experience. Being honest and forthright with a customer is a compliment to my opinion of their intelligence. If I don't think the customer is capable of learning I'd not bother with the explanation and just say "No". Steve
  6. A More Realistic Iron Mode?

    Well put. Gamers (of all types) have a very bad habit of doing three things and often doing them together: 1. Over estimating the ability of their suggestion to yield the result they say they want 2. Under estimating the amount of effort it will take to produce something that they won't find flawed to the point of frustration 3. Don't understand or reject how their suggestion fits into the Big Picture This is not limited to customers, it also happens with our best testers. The guys who know the game better than anybody AND know how we design behind-the scenes very often do this too. In fact, just this week there was a tester thread with a couple guys pushing a particular "solution" onto a particular known limitation in CM. I kept explaining it wouldn't work as intended, but instead would make things worse or would grind the computer to a halt. After several very deep technical explanations as to how the feature works and how their suggestion couldn't achieve what they had asked for, they said "OK, now I see" and we moved on. I say this to remind you guys that I don't sit here and think you're all a bunch of moronic children when you push for something that I've clearly said "no" to. It is very helpful to have you guys advocate for new features or for us to look at things a different way. WE NEED THAT to make CM better. However, when it comes down to only Charles and I are truly armed with the necessary knowledge and experience to understand and evaluate what is being requested. If our position is rejected, even after a factual explanation for it, then things become unproductive. I'll say it again... we are not interested in trying to shoehorn 1st Person features into a game that is inherently 3rd Person. It's vastly more complicated than people think. If you find yourself thinking "but all you need to do is X" then you've not understood a word I've said Steve
  7. A More Realistic Iron Mode?

    Noted Sigh... this is the sort of extremist logic that is tearing our world apart. You decided to question where I've drawn a line by saying "by that logic you could draw it here". True. But by your logic we could say "we're done making wargames AT ALL because wargamers are NEVER happy with what they have and ALWAYS insist they should have something different. We're instead going to try making another Angry Birds clone". Yup, if you want to go down that road of logic, not making wargames at all is definitely the conclusion I'd come to. In fact, I'd conclude that my time on this Earth is better spent not making games at all Good designs are about satisfying the target audience. Our target audience is not the type of person that insists on as literal of a 1st Person experience as possible. And why is this not our target audience? Because we'd go out of business if we catered to it. You can disagree with this all you want, but you'll make zero headway because you have "no skin in the game". We do and we say you're wrong. No. This is true for you, it's not true for our average customer. We put in lots of features, for both general and hardcore customers, that do not appeal to people on the opposite end. But we choose those features carefully and make sure they don't come at an expense to the majority who aren't as passionate about making the game more "gamey" or more "groggy". You totally lost me here. No idea what you're saying, really. Steve
  8. A More Realistic Iron Mode?

    Well, you are "special" Seriously though, it gives you more info of a particular type, it gives you a lot less of other things. It can also give you MORE immersion, but for others it is MORE frustration. I'm glad we put Iron Man mode into CM2. I think it's a good thing to have. The problem is I don't see the incentive for us to go much beyond that as it will take proportionally more effort with even less interest from our customer base. I think the sort of "full immersion" concept that some CM1/CM2 customers have been asking for would be better served by a game that is inherently set up to provide it, not shoehorned into a game which is inherently top-down-big-picture as CM1/CM2 are. Steve
  9. A More Realistic Iron Mode?

    We've considered this long ago, but without an Order of Battle feature it's not really all that workable. And as has been stated above, this would be a feature that only a tiny percentage of our customers would want to play. Most want MORE control, not less. They want MORE information, not less. So we're not really interested in putting time into something that won't really work very well, cause a few people to complain we aren't doing enough, and have nobody else care. It's a bad situation for everybody to be in. That said, I support the CONCEPT. It's a good one and has been around since CMBO. In fact, that's where Iron Man came from, but it was a compromise between what people said they wanted and what was practical. The compromise being that we knew that Iron Man would only be played by a minority of a minority of our customers so we could do something but not everything that was on those customers' wish list. If someone is unhappy with Iron Man mode, they're likely going to be even less happy with what might go beyond that because the same practical limitations on our resources exists with even less incentive to divert into it. Think of what I said as the Iron Man Rules for game development... realistic and unappealing at the same time Steve
  10. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    There's a VERY long thread about Armata from a while back. We've covered all of this in detail there, especially the APS scenarios. As far as I know there's been no new confirmable information since then so that thread is still relevant. I'd give Search a try and poke around in it. The basic conclusion is that Armata's APS isn't likely to be that useful against tank rounds or top attack missiles. Steve
  11. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    I did miss the thread, thanks! But that's not what he said and that's not what the article said and it's not what we've been talking about There's a difference between soft and hard kills. Especially a soft kill system that relies upon smoke which is notoriously "fickle". As with the other Russian technologies we've talked about, the general track record is they over promise and under deliver. It could be that the new system gives an Armata SOME hope of not getting killed with a 90% certainty, I very much doubt it is "good enough" by most people's standards. Let's also not forget that there's a lot of Javelins out there for each Armata. Even if an Armata gets lucky once, with everything going favorably for it, there's plenty of opportunities to get unlucky the next time. With a limited supply of Armatas, that's a problem. And because of the costs and production issues, limited supply is all they're going to have for a very long time. All that said, it is likely that the best protection from something like a Javelin is through some form of active measure (soft kill) system combined with an active measure (hard kill) and passive measures (reactive and base armor). Soft kill does its best to confuse/misdirect the threat, hard kill tries to damage those that make it through, and armor absorbs the energy of whatever manages to get through that. This is pretty much how things work right now, but not against vertical threats. Oh, and there's Hellfire missiles to consider. Javelin isn't the only thing out there in mass quantity that comes in from above. Steve
  12. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    Well, depending on what "near" is that sounds right to me. I'm guessing what that thread is talking about isn't "2m above the engine deck" or "1m directly above the turret top". Steve
  13. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    For penetration, obviously. But not necessarily for damage. Remember, TOE-2B is quite useful against non-armored targets due to the size of the explosive head. Compared to other things being chucked at tanks by AT launchers, the TOW-2B packs quite a punch with 6kg of explosives. Kornet, by contrast, has only 4.6kg of explosives and a lighter warhead. RPG-7 AP rounds are .7kg to 1.4kg, HE rounds are somewhere over 2kg. A US 81mm mortar round has about 1kg of explosives. It's a big difference. My point is, when you detonate 6kg of explosives directly over a tank, I'm guessing there's a good chance something mission critical is at risk. Engine decks, for example, are notoriously susceptible to damage, as are optics, radio masts, etc. Steve
  14. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    Yeah, I was making the guess as well. But whether the computer is up to the computations I don't know. If the computer was designed to assume the round is coming towards the tank, instead of over it, it's possible that it might not formulate an effective intercept. Also, it's probably not such a good idea to have that big of a missile detonating directly overhead of a tank, which is more-or-less what would happen. Better than having it strike, but I'm not sure if the tank would remain tactically operational. Steve
  15. Ukrainian "Guardian" Tank Supporting Vehicle

    As others have said, yup it can be effective against a TOW-2B. That's because the TOW-2B is not a top attack missile and therefore within its design parameters. Against Javelin it doesn't do a blessed thing unless the Javelin is being fired in "Direct Attack Mode" (i.e. NOT Top Attack Mode). Steve