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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
Erwin

Best way to install all games on new computer?

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7 hours ago, TheBlackHand said:

You will need all your licence keys 
 

This is my problem. 

All solvable. If you have the email info etc support can help you out. 

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7 hours ago, TheBlackHand said:

The anti-hacking methods have become anti-player methods.

LOL, yep that is the nature of DRM. It causes speed bumps for determined hackers and big fat pains in the butt for some legitimate customers. Weighing those factors is always necessary. I think for games it is pretty clear it is necessary.

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27 minutes ago, IanL said:

LOL, yep that is the nature of DRM. It causes speed bumps for determined hackers and big fat pains in the butt for some legitimate customers. Weighing those factors is always necessary. I think for games it is pretty clear it is necessary.

And frankly BFs implementation is not particularly difficult. If you find the current licensing model that hard, I can’t imagine how you manage to play the game. 

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I've been playing the game since about the year 2000.

I've purchased every iteration and expansion module.

Yes, it is rather difficult to maintain the discs and keys and everything else that it takes to play this game in 2018.

Of course, it's easy for someone like you.  So is being an asshole.

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8 minutes ago, TheBlackHand said:

Of course, it's easy for someone like you.  So is being an asshole.

Well that was uncalled for (regardless of who you are talking about).

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1 hour ago, TheBlackHand said:

I've been playing the game since about the year 2000.

I've purchased every iteration and expansion module.

Yes, it is rather difficult to maintain the discs and keys and everything else that it takes to play this game in 2018.

Of course, it's easy for someone like you.  So is being an asshole.

Well, that earned you a 1 week time out.  I get that you're frustrated, but lashing out at others and breaking Forum rules is simply unacceptable.

Steve

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With that unfortunate, and completely uncalled for, incident taken care of...

We hate DRM more than our customers.  It costs us a LOT of money to license, it costs us a ton of time to implement, and it costs us even more time to support.  We also understand that our customers don't like it and that it produces ill feelings towards us, despite our best efforts to keep the impact of DRM to a minimum.  Nobody has more incentive to get rid of DRM than we do.  Period.

Yet we use it DRM.

An intelligent person, frustrated or not, would presume that because we still use DRM that we do so for a pretty darned good reason and not to torture ourselves and our customers.  And the simple reason is that gamers are prone to not paying for things if they aren't forced to.  Oh for sure, not ALL gamers.  Absolutely.  But in this thin margin, niche business we're in we can't afford to have even a small percentage of our customers bypassing compensating us for our work.  We would be out of business pretty soon.  The argument that we'd attract more paying customers if we dropped DRM is a foolish experiment that others are welcome to try out, but since it means losing our ability to earn a living... not something we're interested in playing around with.

Also, as a consumer I don't like being in a situation where I pay for what I use while someone else has the option to not.  Therefore, I think it is completely irresponsible as a game maker to expect a few good people to make up for the fact that others are getting a free ride.  We aren't running a charity here and so I don't think any of us should be thinking it's OK for people to play without paying.

With all that said, it is our responsibility to make sure we have the least invasive DRM we can reasonably have.  That has, over time, changed as our games and the DRM software we use have evolved.  Engine 4 marks a big improvement over the somewhat chaotic legacy methods we had previously used.  As of Engine 4 we have a universal installer for each Family that contains 100% of all data for that Family.  We still offer Update installers which are incremental because that's very useful for people who aren't doing fresh installs.

All in all our DRM is much less invasive than others out there.  There's still some legacy issues that will be with us for a long time, such as the old method of issuing printed license keys for physical products that can't be retrieved electronically.  Engine 4 allowed us to move away from that nonsense too!

Steve

 

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50 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Yet we use it DRM.

DRM has been around since software was invented. Once upon a time, when you bought a PC game, it came with a 16 digit serial number that was printed inside the game manual. That serial number had to be entered during the installation process, or you couldn't play your game. Period.

Your setup is largely similar, and is not difficult to use.

I don't get why people are complaining...

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1 hour ago, SLIM said:

DRM has been around since software was invented. Once upon a time, when you bought a PC game, it came with a 16 digit serial number that was printed inside the game manual. That serial number had to be entered during the installation process, or you couldn't play your game. Period.

Your setup is largely similar, and is not difficult to use.

I don't get why people are complaining...

I do.  Well, at least why some are complaining :)

Up until Engine 4 there's been a slightly different course of action for each of the Families because they were made at various times and were not yet unified.  Which meant that installing CMFI v3 was different than CMBN v3 and different from CMRT v3.  Etc.  Confusing, for sure.  Now everything uses the same installer strategy so all products have the same experience for installation.

The other big issue, for some, is keeping track of keys.  For those who purchased only a few download products from one store account (instead of making multiple ones) it's pretty easy to keep track of and/or retrieve keys.  The more products one owns, the more keys to maintain.  And if some of those products are physical ones bought years ago before we had the ability to provide digital keys it is even more difficult.

Currently I think the most amount of frustration comes from people who try to piece together installations from multiple installers.  Even more frustrating for them when they try to do it for multiple Families concurrently.  Especially if they don't follow instructions and install something older over the Engine 4 installation.  No good comes from doing that!

These are all valid complaints about CM's DRM, which is why we have addressed them as best we can over the last few years. 

Steve

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13 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Once upon a time, you had to have the original disk in the slot.  :(

WHILE playing the game too!  Ugh, those were not good days.  Especially because 5.25" floppies were not very robust.

Steve

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33 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

These are all valid complaints about CM's DRM, which is why we have addressed them as best we can over the last few years.

Yes, and you've done a good job making the licensing system easy and intuitive. It certainly is a far cry from the old E-License System used for Shock Force.

I do think the customer deserves to take some responsibility for using the product correctly though. Having recently installed Shock Force, Battle for Normandy, and Fortress Italy, using three different installation types (fresh on my Win 10 machine), using both physical media (Shock Force and CMBN + Commonwealth + Market Garden) as well as the all-digital installers (CMBN 3.0 and 4.0 Upgrades, and CMFI Master Installer), I had absolutely no problems with any of it, so long as one actually sits down and thinks for a few minutes before clicking the 'Install' button.

At any time one can simply come to the forum and ask for help. People here are more than happy to provide step-by-step instructions for those having difficulty.

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It could be that us oldsters having gotten used to one way of doing thing, then learning a new way... now it's different again - well something about teaching an old dog new tricks.  

FWIW: I absolutely detest being forced to learn a new OS (Win 10) when I spent ages learning Win7 after Win XP after Win 98 etc etc etc...  and Win 10 does nothing for me that Win 7 already does very well. 

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4 hours ago, SLIM said:

Yes, and you've done a good job making the licensing system easy and intuitive. It certainly is a far cry from the old E-License System used for Shock Force.

I do think the customer deserves to take some responsibility for using the product correctly though. Having recently installed Shock Force, Battle for Normandy, and Fortress Italy, using three different installation types (fresh on my Win 10 machine), using both physical media (Shock Force and CMBN + Commonwealth + Market Garden) as well as the all-digital installers (CMBN 3.0 and 4.0 Upgrades, and CMFI Master Installer), I had absolutely no problems with any of it, so long as one actually sits down and thinks for a few minutes before clicking the 'Install' button.

At any time one can simply come to the forum and ask for help. People here are more than happy to provide step-by-step instructions for those having difficulty.

Yep. I have a simple file on my pc where I keep all my license keys (and not just the ones for BF products) and have it password protected. I need my keys, there they are including the ones that still have physical media (CMSF).  I also have the instructions for shock force copied on that same file. My intent was not to be a jerk to anyone, but CMSF is the hardest of the games to install and I have done it multiple times no problem. It really isn’t that hard.  It is much harder  trying to remember how to avoid my guys getting killed fighting from a balcony etc. 

pretty soon even shock force will be a single installer with activation keys.  It really is not that hard. Honestly the hardest thing for me is trying to keep a good place for storing the physical media. I am way happier with the current download model and storing copies on USB, cloud storage etc. pretty soon having a disk is going to be useless as you wont have a reader. 

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On ‎12‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 1:59 PM, Elvis said:

I'm probably too late to help too but I'll put this in case anyone else reads it looking for the information.....

If you purchased the 4.0 Big Bundle, to do full installations of each game you would download the Full Windows/Mac versions for each title. For instance the full game installer for a Windows computer for CMBN is called "CMBN 4.0 Full Windows". That will install everything through the 4.0 Upgrade. The base game and every module, patch, Upgrade and Pack.

From there you will need to activate things. Here are the keys you'll need for each title....assuming that you own everything (some items may be part of a Bundle but I think you'll get the idea):

 

CMBN: 4.0, 3.0, Market Garden, Commonwealth, Vehicle Pack, Battle Pack

CMRT: original base game and 4.0

CMFI: base game, 4.0, 3.0 and Gustav Line

CMBS: base game and 4.0

As mentioned above, CMBS also has the 2.01 patch that needs to be installed. The 2.01 patch and CMBS Battle Pack are the exact same download. The only difference is that when you purchase the Pack you get a key to "unlock" the content.

I can dig how much of a pain it may be to dig through your account for all of the key. Whenever I get a new key for something I add it to a Word document that I keep so that I can get to them easily. 

This is exactly the information I was looking for.  Thanks, Elvis!  I just downloaded all of Engine 4 installers and am planning to uninstall my old versions (at least BN and FI) and do a clean install of the latest versions.  I'll also be doing fresh installs on a future gaming laptop sometime this year (fingers crossed).

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned here or is relevant but if you go to "My Account" from the battlefront home page it will show you all your purchases and all the License Keys.

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I just updated all five of my games and I didn't find it difficult at all with a printout of the forum instructions in hand.  Unlike what I said above, I decided to just install the upgrades and not do full reinstalls of the games.

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Note to self: When your intelligence has been insulted by someone with a higher post count do not respond to this provocation in direct terms as you will be sent to the corner while Teacher's Pet gets to gloat.

Now, back to tearing the room apart in a futile search for ancient jewel cases emblazoned with secret codes with which to access a game that I've payed hundreds of dollars for.

Yes, I'm sure this is all my fault and I should be more careful with my money.

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19 hours ago, TheBlackHand said:

Now, back to tearing the room apart in a futile search for ancient jewel cases emblazoned with secret codes with which to access a game that I've payed hundreds of dollars for.

Yes, I'm sure this is all my fault and I should be more careful with my money.

If you open a ticket with the Help Desk I might be able to help you with some of your search. Let me know if I can help.

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