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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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About CarlWAW

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  1. No, ofcourse not! They are still there. I am so sorry for calling a half empty glass not a full glass. This is becoming silly. Software development is a TRANSPARENT process to the customer. How many parts of the software can be reused or not, how many parts are new in a new revision of a car is not of interest for the customer. It is of interest for the producer. Do you understand there are inherently different interests of customers and of producers? Example? Price. The producer wants the highest possible price, the customer the lowest possible price. The market is where they meet and creates the equilibrium. I am confident you are clever enough to expand the example on other aspects...
  2. Fans always suffer from the same problem: emotions cloud their ability of rational thinking. Hm, then I am wondering why here are maybe just one dozen regular posters left, or why the communities at theblitz.org and thefewgoodmen are becoming less and less active? I find that especially interesting, since they offer more products with the newest features than ever before. But thats only subjective and I understand that fans always suffer from the same problems. But there is a method how every customer, who has bought products for a sufficiently long time, can easily verify that their sales, despite more up-to-date products on sale, are becoming less: every shop transaction receives a number... And whoever has a friend can obtain even more numbers and the date of transaction. It doesn't take a MSc to calculate the sales per day. So contrary to your claims, the hard numbers from the shop transactions show me, that the sales per day are becoming less. And btw, the numbers, btw, fit perfectly to the activity in the community - what everyone with an open mind recognizes easily - fanboys not so much. Since recently my suspicion, that they are a military contractor and therefore are not that dependent on retail anymore was confirmed, I do not believe, they are going out of business anytime soon. I hope not. But the military contract doesn't touch my argument, that despite them releasing more products, the community is shrinking. Which I think is not good. You are living in a total fantasy land, if you believe the community is growing. It is shrinking and if fewer and fewer customers would not buy two, three, four times more products, their sales would have fallen probably 80-90% compared to the 40-60% according to my calculations.
  3. Ok, more content, less development. Then you must be perfectly happy, because engine improvements over the last few years were almost nil anway. Or do you mean even the minimal improvements should have been shelved for even more content? IMO it has been a receipe to shrink the community in a negative feedback loop: less improvements of the engine -> the smaller the community becomes. The smaller the community -> the less user made content is created. Looking at the number of forum posts clearly shows, that releasing new content does not increase the customer base. It melts away. Exciting new features and big improvements bring cutomers back and grow the base, not content with different textures and infantry with a slightly different equipment. Why do you think the vehicle pack did not do well? Because it makes tactically and realism-wise absolutely no difference.
  4. If a customer works with, for example AutoCAD and the developer rebuilds the engine from one version to the next and in the new product a feature is no longer available, for the customer its like the feature was removed. Every development process is a question of choosing priorities. Otherwise we would have one software program in the whole world, that would do everything...
  5. Really? I mean that the restriction being displayed in iron mode, if a unit is selected, can easily be circumvented by deselecting the unit. If it wouldn't be allowed to be circumvented, it wouldn't just create additional clicks. A more realistic iron mode is a 1st person feature? Is the LOCK UNIT feature with ground level view therefore a bad feature? I do not see a more realistic iron mode as 1st person feature, but as an elegant method to remove the player's god ability. It offers terrain fog of war (which for itself probably would be a HUGE leap forward in realism) without even the need to code it, that it makes playing the AI a challenge again (more customers) and several other ultra-realistic and customer-friendly benefits (keeping customers) ofcourse doesn't matter, because it can be called a 1st person feature and therefore must be avoided? IMO it's not a valid argument. Contrary to your point of view I think it should even be possible to sell it to the military, since it would give commanders at least an impression, what losing comm tactically could mean, before ever being in that real life situation. IMO a win, win, win feature. But because it can be labelled a 1st person feature, it must be avoided...
  6. WOW! How the hell can features like that (or persistent map damage to name another one) be removed?!? Hard to believe that the old version had that.
  7. Thanks for the reply, very appreciated. Following that logic the ability of each unit to spot on its own hurts sales. People prefer no individual spotting. Also the simulated C2-net just hurts your sales, because it restricts information available to the player. To increase the appeal of CM, just remove any fog of war. Contrary to that assumptions I believe more realism - without harming the gameplay and fun - the more appealing it becomes to potential customers. Just like chess will never be interesting to dumb people so will CM never be attractive to people who just want explosions, action and gore. I think people do not play CM because its easy, but because its realistic. The more a player appreciates realism, the more he will be willing to accept "difficulty". Regaring the Iron mode: It is frustrating. But for me it is not frustrating because of the fewer info - not at all. That is the great thing with that mode for me! The frustrating thing with that mode is, that it can be circumvented. I don't know about you, but I do not like to lose. I like to win. And I also do not like to receive casualties or lose tanks. I HATE IT. I try to minimize losses. And minimizing losses means Iron mode display must be circumvented, because circumventing it means maximizing information and maximizing information means a better ability for the right decision. The frustration with that mode for me does not at all come from less information, but only that the greater realism can easily be circumvented. I want to win. And I will always maximize the information I can get. I think that mindset is completely normal among competitive ladder players, too.
  8. I think such self imposed rules are interesting for a tiny minority of the minority of die hard fans and are nothing average customers will do. The average customer probably doesn even read this forum. The average customer probably just tries the modes the game offers and if there is something that he really likes, he may keep using.
  9. Battlefront has stated, that most players play against the AI. I had liked to play against the AI, but IME it's biggest problem is, that after a few games it simply is not a tactical challenge. That is no criticism, but with the player's god view the AI can't match a human opponent. What about making playing against the AI a real challenge? Keep expereienced players playing and not get bored by playing the AI? Make tiny scenarios even against the AI great and challenging again? The existing "Iron mode" points into the right direction, but as it is now, I find it just annoying, because the not displayed info when a unit is selected, can be gathered by unselecting the unit. For this mode to really work, it needs the players commitment for self restraint. Which is not good. The natural way to play is to use all allowed possibilities. How about a more realistic iron mode, that goes one step further and which fully utilizes the available individual spotting abilities of units and the already present excellent chain of command net? In that mode the player's ability to move over the battlefield freely would simply be removed! The camera view would be fixed on his unit (with a certain tolerance, for example around 1-3 action squares; maybe dependable on unit characteristics; same with the ingame zooming option). Multi story buildings, or hills would become really important - but instead of only benefitting the units in game, it would be the player himself who benefits from occupying tactically important spots. Current iron mode could have a nice side effect with that restriction: if a friendly unit gets lost from the chain of command or gets out of LOS, it could be denied to select that unit with the consequence the player would really lose contact to it. The only way to learn what's going on with that unit would be to search it with other unit(s). The information net would become incredibly important. Just like it is in reality. Imagine the impact a heavy and successful artillery bombardement could have on the ability for the player, to understand, what is going on, if important HQs and their comm was disabled! I think that mode would make it possible, for the very first time, to understand the amount of confusion, that can happen on the battlefield. Ok, that is beyond the current engine, but imagine, if that mode would in a later engine iteration, also allow to simulate small arms friendly fire… Do you really want to area fire where there was a friendly unit? Incredible realism. Incredible chaos. I am fully aware that mode would not be suited for beginners but for experienced players wo do not have the time or do not want to play against humans. Or just players who would prefer to play tiny but challenging (without being unfair), scenarios against the AI. Summary: Realism: Unmatched realism. Fully utilization of the engine's C2 and spotting abilities. Convergence of the simulated tactical benefits on the map for the units and the benefits to the player from tactically realistic play. No perfect knowledge of the terrain before being there. Improved attraction to players: Playing the AI becomes true challenge - even for experienced players (but playing h2h not less interesting). Playing tiny and short scenarios, even against the AI, a challenge. Say hello to customers with not enough time to play currently sized battles!
  10. I think that persistent map damage could expand the player base significantly, if it would be combined with campaigns or even H2H campaigns. That feature should also have a very positive effect to keep customers playing for a longer time. And probably such a huge improvement to realism and gameplay could easily be priced at $20 minimum, too. Getting this feature out should have a much better ROI than any module.
  11. So my analysis was spot on! But if you remember there are retail customers out there, maybe not all is lost. The posts indicate, there will only be new content and no improvements to realism? Not even simple things to implement (like reversing AFVs when facing a deadly threat when a hide-command is activated), no reuseable maps with damage, no reinforcement triggers, no h2h campaigns? Sorry to say that, but new scenarios with different units and textures, instead of improved realism and gameplay features will not make it for me. But I have no illusions, if there's an institutional military budgeted customer to satisfy...
  12. What is going on?

    I think there is much more going on behind the scenes, than it seems. 1. Battlefront management is not interested in spreading info about CM on the net. Zero modern internet advertisement. Which is strange, because for something that is unknown to probably 90% of potential customers, making it well known, can have a huge impact on sales. 2. They use their forum as NATO-propaganda outlet. Politics is poison for business. Ask thge NFL. In Europe, South America, China, Japan, North Africa people are very sceptical. Why is a software company actively disrespecting the political views of so many of its potential customers and pushing a certain view? From a business point of view it makes no sense, too. 3. The scenarios for the modern Russian or Axis player lack atmosphere and are not authentic. Since 50% of the players are playing that side this is anti-business, too. 4. The shop is not up to date, not user friendly, has no info for new customers to quickly understand what product is needed. Some info is severely outdated. 5. Searching in the repository: by default all available products are ticked. Customers usually want one product to search for. After years, still no option to untick all games? Not customer friendly, too. 6. The development of the game engine is not aimed to expand the customer base or keep the base. By taking these aspects into consideration, I come to the conclusion: they do not really need retail customers... Maybe there was a buyout some time ago, or they have a contract with a NATO-country.
  13. What is going on?

    Seldom guest here, lurking if there is something meaningful to spend my money on. Still nothing. CM seems to be quite dead. I don't believe there are many customers left. I just checked and the two other BFC forums, Blitz and FGM are very quiet too. Not many games reported to the ladders too. I am wondering, how many players are left, from the loud realtime crowd? It seems only WEGO players are left and keep the ship from sinking. Where are the players that raved about vehicle packs and modules, that filled up the ladders and the community? It is better to be king in the village, than 100th in the (realtime) city. I am wondering where would CM stand today if Battlefront stood by it's tradition to perfect WEGO. How big would the community be today, if there was PBEM with multi-multiplayer, full battle replay, higher grid resolution, a spotting system that could use every second as spotting interval because calculation time is no limiting factor for PBEM, if the map grid would be finer, if objects could be oriented in 16 directions? How would the game look with 16 directions and motion capturing? Instead of a focused development process, where they were the leader in the market, they decided to do something IMO the game - because of it's realism - is not suited for - at the cost that development for the core functions was no longer possible. And now I learn, that the second programmer has really left? One programmer to develop four base games for PC AND Mac?! IMO that's insane. No wonder that the development is zero and the community seems to shrink from visit to visit.
  14. Lend-Lease stuff coming soon?

    Megalomania seldomly ends well.