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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

      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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Instead of having a wish list of features we all know won't be put into the game ;) , instead I thought it might be more productive if we could assemble a list of issues that are in need of fixing, with the hopes that some bug squashing, or missing features might instead be fixed or added into CMSF2.

To begin, one of the oldest missing features in all of CMx2, the Recon Variant of the Humvee, with it's large mounted optical device, does not function. At all.
I'd like to see this thing actually working in CMSF2.

Also, I've noticed that the mast-mounted primary gunner sight on the Marder 1A3 does not function either. Placing the vehicle, buttoned up, hull down to an enemy vehicle no more than 100 meters away on an open, flat surface, leads to no positive contact at all, despite the large optic looking directly at the enemy.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else had noticed issues like these, or had some old bugs they would like to see squashed.

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If you look in (v4 game engine) CMBS the dedicated recon vehicles with the masts and the radars, the extra radios and the fancy optic are not really optimal performers. That's because they're not made for 'tip-of-the-spear' firefights. that the game mostly does. They're supposed to discretely stand miles and miles off overlooking a distant village and doing things that are somewhat beyond the scope of the game. Trying to spot an enemy unit 100 meters away with  long range optics is like trying to watch TV while peering through a soda straw. In WWII titles German tanks are at a *slight* disadvantage in close-in fighting because the gunner lacks the panoramic periscope of Allied tanks and is viewing the world through a high magnification sight.

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1 hour ago, MikeyD said:

If you look in (v4 game engine) CMBS the dedicated recon vehicles with the masts and the radars, the extra radios and the fancy optic are not really optimal performers. That's because they're not made for 'tip-of-the-spear' firefights. that the game mostly does. They're supposed to discretely stand miles and miles off overlooking a distant village and doing things that are somewhat beyond the scope of the game. Trying to spot an enemy unit 100 meters away with  long range optics is like trying to watch TV while peering through a soda straw. In WWII titles German tanks are at a *slight* disadvantage in close-in fighting because the gunner lacks the panoramic periscope of Allied tanks and is viewing the world through a high magnification sight.

Errr, I don't think thats right at all.

That humvee with an observation device has multiple levels of zoom, its for observing any kind of position...

BFC told us why they couldn't do it, it had something do with a pixel truppens eyeballs having to line up with the sensor, in this case if it was a mast mounted sensor it would look awkward having a pair of eyes floating. Not sure why they cant be made to be invisible but thats what I remember.

Edited by Raptorx7

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I think the game system is pretty, prettey, purettee good...  as is.

However, there are issues related to administrative aspects that are boring and have no gameplay value and slow down the actual play of the game.  Addressing these would make the play of the game quicker and enable players to spend more time on the FUN aspects of the game rather than fighting the UI to get something done.

1)  Revamp the ACQUIRE routine.

Problem:  It takes many clicks and turns to resupply a company or more of troops from one or more vehicles.  Currently, the best method when one has a large number of inf units to resupply is a) Split the squad into teams. b) Have the teams mount vehicles. c) Next Turn have the team ACQUIRE. d) Dismount the troops and have them move to their original squad members. e) Take a turn to reassemble into one squad and thus share the newly acquired ammo.

It would be much more efficient to have adjacent units be able to "SHARE" ammo - with restrictions as to amounts and a time penalty during which time units would not obey commands (other than emergency/survival "Take Cover")  to account for the time it would take in RL. 

2)  Bring back "one click" 180 Degree Arcs.

Problem:  It take more time-wasting clicks to give 180 degree arcs in CM2 when compared to the simple "one click" method of CM1.  This is particularly annoying for vehicles.  eg: When one wants the turrets of a company or more of turreted armor to face different directions to cover many different directions AND as they move you want the turret facings to change at various waypoints. 

3)  Make it easier to distinguish the TEAMS from a particular SQUAD.

Problem:  When one has a company or more split into teams (eg: during the ACQUIRE process) it can be confusing to figure out which teams belong to which squad.  Same when moving in force - it is very easy to get teams from different squads confused.  One easy method would be to have a colored outline or BG for the teams from one squad.  (Yes, I know there may be problems for color blind folks.  But, those folks would not be any worse off then they are now.  It seems bizarre to not do something that would benefit the majority because a few people won't be able to take advantage of it.)  In any case, hopefully, there may be some other method of distinguishing teams from a squad.

4)  Improve Campaign Decision Trees

Problem:  Currently the only choice is binary:  You win a mission and go to next Mission A, or you lose and go to Mission B.  Some clever designers have been able to provide players with choices by creating dummy missions in which there is only one unit and the player can choose option A by moving the unit to an EXiT zone and CF, or choose option B by doing nothing and CF.  It would be wonderful to have the ability of campaigns to offer players more than choice of mission A or B for their next mission. 

5)  Ability to RESUPPLY the exotic sniper rifles with ammo.

Problem:  Self evident.  AFAIK there is no resupply possible for some exotic ammo.

 

Hopefully, others can come up with other ideas...

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Red Occupy Bug - FFS don't let this minor inconvenience slip through the net.

UnCons need access to demolition charges too.

The ability to 'make smoke' should be present on a number of AFVs, most of them ex-Soviet.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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4 hours ago, Erwin said:

-SNIP-

Hopefully, others can come up with other ideas...

I was shooting for more "current issues that can be fixed" rather than "features we would like to see implemented at a future date".

That being said, I completely agree with everything on your list, aside from #1.

Not because ACQUIRE doesn't need work, but because the issue you have raised isn't important. The two turns it requires to split a squad, acquire ammo, then merge a squad IS the time penalty you suffer for having dudes break open ammo cartons, and pass it out to their buddies. There is no need to model it any other way, IMO.

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The issue with ACQUIRE is that it requires the player to do a bunch of things that are nothing to do with gameplay but are boring and time-wasting administrative tasks that should be handled by the computer.  Taking the crap jobs from humans is what computers are supposed to be for.

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I don't think you will see any adjustments. It is going to be enough work to get CMSF to V4.  Anything beyond that is just asking for them to cancel.  Better to have a thread on things to fix in v4 and then hope that it makes it into a patch that would then be applied to CMSF.  It is the same result but you hide behind v4 so they don't see you sneak up with CMSF2 :D 

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16 hours ago, SLIM said:

I was shooting for more "current issues that can be fixed" rather than "features we would like to see implemented at a future date".

TBH the only thing I can think of is Red Occupy and that's a dead cert to be sorted (I hope!  ;) ). 

Some sort of tweak to the behaviour of units in balconied upper floors of buildings would probably be worth investigating, @LongLeftFlank made some interesting suggestions in one of his threads.....As you know I've been following your play-through of 'Ashsh al-Dababir' and the painful consequences of the TacAI running units out onto balconies to potshot at targets of opportunity.  At present there is no easy way to prevent this that I know of (although @MOS:96B2P might have some suggestions).

Also a clearer explanation (and possible expansion) of the UnCons alleged 'special abilities' might be useful.....I'm certainly not convinced that they are currently effective against other UnCons (as you found out to your cost with the 'Armed Locals').  LLF again had some interesting ideas on this front and I made a few suggestions too.

Some means of modelling civilian non-combatants would be a useful modification/addition, as would a nominally neutral AI controlled 'Grey Force'.

Full spec T-90 & T-90A could be added to the Syrian TOE as could several other vehicles from the CM:BS line-up.

Oh yes and one critical change.....ZPU-23 Technicals for everyone, not just Islamist 'Fighters'!  :D

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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"...running units out onto balconies to potshot at targets of opportunity."   Of course you can always give em a covered arc in the opposite direction of the balcony.  In WEGO it's slightly risky as they won't react to anyone entering the building from the balcony direction either.

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2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

<Snip> Some sort of tweak to the behaviour of units in balconied upper floors of buildings would probably be worth investigating, @LongLeftFlank made some interesting suggestions in one of his threads.....As you know I've been following your play-through of 'Ashsh al-Dababir' and the painful consequences of the TacAI running units out onto balconies to potshot at targets of opportunity.  At present there is no easy way to prevent this that I know of (although @MOS:96B2P might have some suggestions). <Snip> 

My room with a balcony drill (I refer to it as Reverse Wall Drill) in summary:  Give the team entering the room a wedge Target Arc out the side of the room opposite the balcony.  The team will move to the far wall and stay away from the balcony.  The next turn I give the team a permanent Pause with a short 360o Target Arc.   The 360 is for self defense in case an OpFor team enters the building etc.  The permanent Pause keeps them away from and off the balcony.  They can still spot out the balcony side from the back wall.  This is especially useful for F/Os.  I try to never allow a team to shoot out the balcony side of the building since they will then enter the balcony.  IMO a balcony room may be good for observation but seldom for shooting from.          

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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13 hours ago, sburke said:

I don't think you will see any adjustments. It is going to be enough work to get CMSF to V4.  Anything beyond that is just asking for them to cancel.  Better to have a thread on things to fix in v4 and then hope that it makes it into a patch that would then be applied to CMSF.  It is the same result but you hide behind v4 so they don't see you sneak up with CMSF2 :D 

I agree with you and am not holding my breath about these. 

However, from a commercial POV any game has to have the goal of streamlining the gameplay experience to minimize the irritating, boring bits.  That is what computers and robots are for.  Very few other than grogs will put up with clumsy time-wasting stuff. 

The CM2 system is very mentally, and time, consuming.  It is also aging and needs UI improvements to lessen the irritating bits and make it more enjoyable imo.  Otherwise I have a hard time seeing CM2 lasting another 5 years at this rate.  (Unless of course they have lucrative govt contracts.  The govt doesn't care how user unfriendly a sim is.  In fact the more miserable and unfriendly, the better from the govt's POV.)

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well you are certainly entitled to your opinion.  However I am still playing the dated version of pre cmbn frequently and it seems there is still an active cmx1 community so not sure what you base that on. I don't see any issue you cited as a game breaker  nice to have? sure.  Must have?  nope  but that is just my opinion.  

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

My room with a balcony drill (I refer to it as Reverse Wall Drill) in summary:  Give the team entering the room a wedge Target Arc out the side of the room opposite the balcony.  The team will move to the far wall and stay away from the balcony.  The next turn I give the team a permanent Pause with a short 360o Target Arc.   The 360 is for self defense in case an OpFor team enters the building etc.  The permanent Pause keeps them away from and off the balcony.  They can still spot out the balcony side from the back wall.  This is especially useful for F/Os.  I try to never allow a team to shoot out the balcony side of the building since they will then enter the balcony.  IMO a balcony room may be good for observation but seldom for shooting from.

Genius.  B)

PS - Chess hasn't had a revamp in some time AFAIK, yet it's still quite popular I believe.

PPS - I did think of one other thing, the TOE of 'Fighters' needs to be checked, at present they seem to get better RPGs (ie: RPG -29s can be present) when set to 'Poor' equipment, than when set to 'Fair' (no RPG-29s present).....Similar situation at the other end of the scale with ATGMs, you seem to get more AT-14 Kornets when the units are set to 'Good', than when set to 'Excellent'.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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1 hour ago, sburke said:

...well you are certainly entitled to your opinion. 

I really appreciate that.  Thank you...  I wuz really worried about expressing an opinion for a minute there. 

And for the record I would like to say unequivocally that you are also entitled to your opinion as well.   :rolleyes:

"The next turn I give the team a permanent Pause with a short 360o Target Arc.   The 360 is for self defense in case an OpFor team enters the building etc.  The permanent Pause keeps them away from and off the balcony.  They can still spot out the balcony side from the back wall."

Lovely... 

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

I really appreciate that.  Thank you...  I wuz really worried about expressing an opinion for a minute there. 

And for the record I would like to say unequivocally that you are also entitled to your opinion as well.   :rolleyes:

err yeah whatever.

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7 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

 

Don't go near the Taxi.....It might end badly!  :o

Some means of spotting IEDs would greatly improve game balance IMHO.

like a sort of mine clearing, that would be utterly cool and add to potential missions - patrol MSR Michigan and locate any IEDs for removal.  I can think of ways to sort of do it.  Maybe a touch objective with an IED on it or something.  Possibly use actual minefields, but it would be so much more cooler if we could actually clear IEDs.

Edited by sburke

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Killing the triggerman sort of does the job (but not completely because another triggerman can be maneuvered into position (even by the AI with a bit of luck), cell or radio IEDs are particularly dangerous, especially in areas with tall buildings & wide straight roads.....Ask me how I know?  ;) 

I should note that the downside of this with the current iteration of CM:SF is that you use a whole eighth of your available AI slots for one dude (some snowballing excepted)!  :unsure:

The ability to remove mines as opposed to 'Marking' them is contentious, but I think it merits yet further discussion.....Again it would give scenario designers new opportunities.  B)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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On 9/23/2017 at 3:38 PM, Erwin said:

I really appreciate that.  Thank you...  I wuz really worried about expressing an opinion for a minute there. 

And for the record I would like to say unequivocally that you are also entitled to your opinion as well.   :rolleyes:

The issue should not be who's entitled to an opinion - we all are. And on this forum we are even entitled to express a huge range of them. @SLIM opened this thread with a plea to not fill it full of wishful thinking and focus on long standing bugs and missing bits of gear in CMSF that would be nice to get fixed. @SLIM and @Sgt.Squarehead added some useful points and then you side tracked the whole thread and now we have had a bunch of posts about that side tracking. Including this one - sorry.

Cut it out man :D.

Keep your eye on the prize and help @SLIM get the testers and devs focused on CMSF2.

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Maybe I misinterpreted the intent, but when the first post said:

"...some bug squashing, or missing features might instead be fixed or added into CMSF2."

My intention was to post about "missing features" that indeed I would like to see "fixed or added" in CMSF2.    The UI is a huge issue imo.

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Further to my earlier point, the TOE issues with 'Fighters' also seems to effect the presence of RPG-7s within the 'Fighter Groups', once again they seem to be more prevalent when equipment is set to 'Good' than when it is set to 'Excellent'.

Could we get some blank buildings included as a default option (ie: with no windows or doors chosen yet, so that we can choose our own in 'Preview').....This would actually be a timesaver for complex MOUT maps.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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I do think the equipment quality would be something that gets fixed up.
The old system allowed separate settings while purchasing, and then modifying purchased units.
For example, you set equipment quality to "Poor" when purchasing a formation, then set it to "Good" to reflect the fact they're equipped with old weapons, but are keeping them in good shape.

Thankfully, that system was excised when CMBN came around.

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