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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:

      -showui

      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

      Instructions for Upgrading CMFI to Engine 4   04/09/2017

      Upgrading CMFI to Engine 4 requires prior product purchases be relicensed.  This is because we've updated the copy protection software.  This is a one time thing which also affected CMBN Mac and CMRT for both platforms, so some of you will find these instructions familiar.  The method of relicensing is flexible, but here's the optimal method: 1.  After installing using the Full or Update installers, launch the game.  You'll be prompted to license.  Enter you Engine 4 license key and exit. 2.  Use the "Activate New Products" short cut in your CMFI folder to launch the game with the license window.  Enter your Engine 3 license key.  If you bought the Upgrade 3 + 4 Bundle then you can skip this step. 3.  Use the "Activate New Products" short again and enter your Engine 2 license key *IF* you have one, otherwise skip this step.  Note that CMFI started it's life was Engine 2, therefore if you owned the game prior to Upgrade 3 coming out then your CMFI Base Game license key is your Engine 2 key. 4.  If you purchased Gustav Line as a separate product, use "Activate New Products" again and enter your Gustav license key.  If you bought Gustav as a Bundle, it should already be activated. If you should run into any issues, try to figure out what key is missing (the game should give you adequate feedback for that) and use "Activate New Products" link to allow you to enter whichever key is needed.  If you still have a problem, especially if you bought a Gustav Line Bundle (some keys definitely didn't transition correctly!), file with our Help Desk and include the license key you're having problems with: https://battlefront.mojohelpdesk.com If you can not find your license keys sent to you by email, no problem.  Go to your store account and check your Order History.  Keys and download links are always there for you unless you ordered a "hardgoods only" option.  In that case your license keys are on the back of the CD/DVD cases that came in the mail. Also good to know... if a download link in an email confirmation doesn't work, go to Order History and try from there.
    • 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
Hilts

Has 4.0 made the stock campaigns unplayable?

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Perhaps the fleeing is somewhat realistic? I reading a book and around Villers Bocage a British platoon fled and was forced back into position at "gunpoint" only to flee again. It was pretty much accepted that many Allied generals would lose about a divisions worth of men before they finally began to catch on to the art of waging war and many never really did. 

Under those circumstances the largely conscripted armies of the day probably did melt away more than we think. They had been in combat for extended periods of time and there is simply so much one can take.

Even in elite German SS units I'm reading form the same book "The Guns at Last Light" German commanders resorted to things like tossing live grenades at reluctant troops to get them to move forward and fight

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9 hours ago, db_zero said:

Perhaps the fleeing is somewhat realistic? I reading a book and around Villers Bocage a British platoon fled and was forced back into position at "gunpoint" only to flee again. It was pretty much accepted that many Allied generals would lose about a divisions worth of men before they finally began to catch on to the art of waging war and many never really did. 

Under those circumstances the largely conscripted armies of the day probably did melt away more than we think. They had been in combat for extended periods of time and there is simply so much one can take.

Even in elite German SS units I'm reading form the same book "The Guns at Last Light" German commanders resorted to things like tossing live grenades at reluctant troops to get them to move forward and fight

There has been a lot of discussion about this.

There has been a change (I'd say a dramatic change) in game behavior, and it seems to involve units fleeing where before they would merely cower in place for a short time.  Units in good cover (a heavy building, a trench) coming under fire will now get up and run into the open rather than hunkering down in place as they used to.  This is as true of Elite British paras as it is of Italian conscripts.

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2 hours ago, Holman said:

There has been a change (I'd say a dramatic change) in game behavior, and it seems to involve units fleeing where before they would merely cower in place for a short time.  Units in good cover (a heavy building, a trench) coming under fire will now get up and run into the open rather than hunkering down in place as they used to.  This is as true of Elite British paras as it is of Italian conscripts.

Agreed...... I have seen a lot of this lately. It doesn't take much to make good quality troops vacate buildings or foxholes and I'm not talking just about HE . Small arms fire will suffice. It's sometimes kind of cool if the troops retreat out the back into cover when under fire but half the time they run out through the front into a hail of bullets or tank shells, well that just looks f*****g ridiculous!

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I have seen some odd behavior in my 4.0 Campaign game like German troops running down the hill slope, being shot at. Retreating and then running down the slope again only to be shot at, retreat back up, then come back down.

This is continuous behavior and seems to only stop then they get shot

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I wish Battlefront would just come out and comment on this issue, saying whether it's a bug that's being looked into, or if things are working as BF thinks they should.

And if so, I'd love to understand their thinking. Why their AI behaviour seems the opposite of most wartime accounts I've ever read.

World War 1 would have been over very quickly if soldiers got out of their holes to flee across the fields when the first shells started landing.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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I think that if they wanted to better simulate morale having soldiers be pinned is a much better way to do it than a rout.

Even in antiquity everybody knew that the army that broke formation in battle would be massacred. It's as true in a company attack as it was in a phalanx.

Even with conscripts I think they'd be more likely to lie at the bottom of their trenches and surrender when the position was taken than head for the hills into a barrage or a hail of small arms fire. As others are saying CMFI is particularly  impacted because much of the scenarios and campaigns are attacks against dug-in positions in defensive terrain. Just compare any scenario set at Monte Cassino to accounts of the real battle and you'll see the issue.

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9 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I wish Battlefront would just come out and comment on this issue, saying whether it's a bug that's being looked into, or if things are working as BF thinks they should.

I couldn't agree more!

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I too am eagerly awaiting some feedback from BFC on this issue. Hopefully a fix is not as far off as it may appear. I seem to recall hearing that one of the big behind the scenes updates with the new launcher system, that 4.0 introduced to all the titles (except CMSF) is that they can now release an update to the engine that can be installed once to all owned CM games. If thats the case, when the fix is ready, it should be easier now to apply the patch. 

Hopefully we hear something soon. 

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23 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I wish Battlefront would just come out and comment on this issue, saying whether it's a bug that's being looked into, or if things are working as BF thinks they should.

And if so, I'd love to understand their thinking.

Please, Battlefront, we need your comments on this topic !

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On 8/8/2017 at 7:43 AM, Bulletpoint said:

I wish Battlefront would just come out and comment on this issue, saying whether it's a bug that's being looked into, or if things are working as BF thinks they should.

It appears there's room for improvement, for sure.

On 8/8/2017 at 7:43 AM, Bulletpoint said:

And if so, I'd love to understand their thinking. Why their AI behaviour seems the opposite of most wartime accounts I've ever read.

When artillery comes in soldiers make a decision about what to do OR they panic.  If they make a decision it is EITHER to hunker down and ride it out where they are, or relocate to some place else.  Engine 4 introduced new behavior that allows soldiers to do the latter to an extent never before seen in CM.  It seems that there's some situations where the new behavior (relocate) is getting triggered when the old behavior (hunker) might be better.

Do not confuse relocating with panicking.  If a soldier is standing out in the open and there's a brick building 10m away, he's probably going to make a break for it (perhaps not that second).  This is a conscious decision which may or may not be the right one.  If a soldier is standing out in the open and panics, he makes an unconscious decision to do anything but stay in place.  That too could be the right or the wrong thing to do.  Sometimes panicking units survive simply because making a run for it was the correct course of action.

With this in mind, we think there's likely some tweaking to do.  However, 20 years of debating this very topic with you guys leads me to conclude that some of the criticism is based on unreasonable/unrealistic expectations for how units behave under fire.  There's plenty of accounts of units getting wiped out because they did the wrong thing, like run when they should have stayed or stayed when they should have run.  Therefore, expect to see things you do not understand or necessarily agree with in terms of TacAI behavior even after some things are tweaked.

On 8/8/2017 at 6:52 PM, Erwin said:

I am now accepting bets re you hearing that from BF.   Currently 1:18 against.  Electronic deposits welcomed.  PM for details.

Man, I hope people took you up on that offer!  Your incessant pessimism and complaining might be taken down a notch if you had to pay up :D

Steve

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On 8/8/2017 at 9:50 PM, IICptMillerII said:

I too am eagerly awaiting some feedback from BFC on this issue. Hopefully a fix is not as far off as it may appear. I seem to recall hearing that one of the big behind the scenes updates with the new launcher system, that 4.0 introduced to all the titles (except CMSF) is that they can now release an update to the engine that can be installed once to all owned CM games. If thats the case, when the fix is ready, it should be easier now to apply the patch.

Yes and no.  The move to unified code and installers for Engine 4 does not make patching any easier than they were before.  What it makes easier is having those fixes applied to across all Families sooner than they could be done before.

The primary problem with patches is threefold:

1.  We have to make and test five separate builds.  We can not assume that if a tweak is made for one that it works for all, nor can we assume that avoiding unintended negative consequences in one game means all games will avoid new problems.  This is time consuming to do.

2.  We have to update all the full game installers (perhaps not right away), which is a separate process than #1 and also very time consuming.

3.  We have limited time, therefore spending time on patches means not spending time on other things.

This has always been the case, and will always be the case.  It's just that prior to Engine 4 we also had a fourth problem which was different CM games were using different versions of code so either Charles had to "port" fixes from the current code back to old code or would have to spend time bringing older games up to newer standards before a fix could be made.  It took is nearly 4 months to update CMFI's code... just to give you an idea :D

Steve

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BTW, the reason you don't see me as often as you once did is because if I'm here reading and posting then I'm not doing other stuff.  I have a lot of other stuff to do :D  Therefore, we rely upon or testers to help us figure out what does/doesn't need our more immediate attention.  It's a good system because our testers have many more eyeballs and collective time than I do, and ironically more gameplay time.  You're in good hands with 'em.

Steve

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2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

It appears there's room for improvement, for sure.

Sorry, Steve, but this reminds me of another classic understatement: "The war has developed not necessarily in Japan's favor."

:D

Well...the bottom line is I am confident you will all give it your best shot...for now.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

BTW, the reason you don't see me as often as you once did is because if I'm here reading and posting then I'm not doing other stuff.  I have a lot of other stuff to do :D

<snipped>

Steve

@Battlefront.com

Steve, can you provide any updates on that "other stuff"?  Maybe the a 90-day window for releasing the w.i.p. final CMFI module?  B)

If not, good luck and best wishes getting all that other stuff done successfully.  Thanks for the fine games.

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5 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

 

When artillery comes in soldiers make a decision about what to do OR they panic.  If they make a decision it is EITHER to hunker down and ride it out where they are, or relocate to some place else.  Engine 4 introduced new behavior that allows soldiers to do the latter to an extent never before seen in CM.  It seems that there's some situations where the new behavior (relocate) is getting triggered when the old behavior (hunker) might be better.

 

Steve

Thanks for commenting on this issue :)

IIRC many of the negative comments regarding this does not neccesarely see the 'falling back' as the biggest problem...It's more the direction/location they are falling back to that is the main failure.

If this proves to be difficult to 'get right' perhaps the designers could help the AI somewhat by being given a new command in the editor...

- Fallback location - or perhaps - fallback direction -

Fallback location would allow the designer to designate a specific area that the AI-group would withdraw to if forced out of their possitions.

Fallback direction would work simular to the new FACE command...That is...specify a direction for the withdrawl but not a precise location.

A small suggestion for the tweak ;)

 

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7 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

With this in mind, we think there's likely some tweaking to do.  However, 20 years of debating this very topic with you guys leads me to conclude that some of the criticism is based on unreasonable/unrealistic expectations for how units behave under fire.  There's plenty of accounts of units getting wiped out because they did the wrong thing, like run when they should have stayed or stayed when they should have run.  Therefore, expect to see things you do not understand or necessarily agree with in terms of TacAI behavior even after some things are tweaked.

Hi Steve, thanks for explaining things. Looking forward to see what you come up with.

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I am now accepting bets re you hearing that from BF.   Currently 1:18 against.  Electronic deposits welcomed.  PM for details.

Man, I hope people took you up on that offer!  Your incessant pessimism and complaining might be taken down a notch if you had to pay up :D

Nope no one did - as expected...   But you misunderstand...  Am certain that I am not the only one who feels that there is no need to respond.  Most of us know that you guys do a great job with limited resources and we know that new products/upgrades/patches will get released when they are ready for prime time.  It is amazing that the CEO of a company has the time to respond to detailed complaints/comments.  It's very impressive that you do so. 

Edited by Erwin

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13 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Yes and no.  The move to unified code and installers for Engine 4 does not make patching any easier than they were before.  What it makes easier is having those fixes applied to across all Families sooner than they could be done before.

The primary problem with patches is threefold:

1.  We have to make and test five separate builds.  We can not assume that if a tweak is made for one that it works for all, nor can we assume that avoiding unintended negative consequences in one game means all games will avoid new problems.  This is time consuming to do.

2.  We have to update all the full game installers (perhaps not right away), which is a separate process than #1 and also very time consuming.

3.  We have limited time, therefore spending time on patches means not spending time on other things.

This has always been the case, and will always be the case.  It's just that prior to Engine 4 we also had a fourth problem which was different CM games were using different versions of code so either Charles had to "port" fixes from the current code back to old code or would have to spend time bringing older games up to newer standards before a fix could be made.  It took is nearly 4 months to update CMFI's code... just to give you an idea :D

Steve

Ahh thanks for the clarification!

13 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

With this in mind, we think there's likely some tweaking to do.  However, 20 years of debating this very topic with you guys leads me to conclude that some of the criticism is based on unreasonable/unrealistic expectations for how units behave under fire.  There's plenty of accounts of units getting wiped out because they did the wrong thing, like run when they should have stayed or stayed when they should have run.  Therefore, expect to see things you do not understand or necessarily agree with in terms of TacAI behavior even after some things are tweaked.

I'm glad to hear that you guys are considering some tweaks. For me the main issue is infantry fleeing from cover into the open while under indirect fires, not the other way around. I've made a video and thread about it which I'll link for your convenience:

I know that the video is not a conclusive test, but hopefully it is able to show the specific behavior that I think needs to be tweaked, so that you guys may have a better idea on what to focus on. 

13 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

BTW, the reason you don't see me as often as you once did is because if I'm here reading and posting then I'm not doing other stuff.  I have a lot of other stuff to do :D  Therefore, we rely upon or testers to help us figure out what does/doesn't need our more immediate attention.  It's a good system because our testers have many more eyeballs and collective time than I do, and ironically more gameplay time.  You're in good hands with 'em.

In that case I hope we don't hear from you until at least CMSF2 is out! Kidding aside, its glad to know that you are all hard at work. Very much looking forward to the upcoming modules/patches/games!

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There are two problems here:

1. Core CM problem unrelated to Engine 4: AI has no concept of proactive use of cover and only uses cover reactively.  Foxholes and trenches will not provide good cover for AI until AI has already taken significant casualties from indirect fire / HE.

2. Engine 4 problem that exacerbates the above: AI in cover will proactively displace from cover after receiving very light casualties.

You can see the feedback loop problem that results.  Solution: instead of AI recognizing indirect / HE threat and proactively displacing, AI should recognize foxholes / trenches as good cover versus indirect / HE and proactively use this cover when subjected to indirect / HE (cower / hide to minimize exposure).  Artillery vs. AI in cover then becomes more about suppression than destruction (as is the case in reality).

Edited by akd

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On 8/12/2017 at 6:56 PM, Erwin said:

But you misunderstand...  Am certain that I am not the only one who feels that there is no need to respond.  Most of us know that you guys do a great job with limited resources and we know that new products/upgrades/patches will get released when they are ready for prime time.  It is amazing that the CEO of a company has the time to respond to detailed complaints/comments.  It's very impressive that you do so. 

 

 

Edited by Bulletpoint

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I should have posted this a while ago. This thread slipped my mind. Apologies for that. 

Here is the link to my thread on a video showing the current TacAI behavior in v4 compared to v3:
 

Its in the CMRT forums because I used CMRT to make the video. Its been up for two weeks now, so you've all likely seen it, but I figured I would post the link regardless for those who maybe do not frequent the CMRT forums. Everything else is explained in the thread/video. 

Edited by IICptMillerII

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