Jump in and take command in a fight that spans six exotic worlds with diverse environments - from steaming, swampy jungles crawling with deadly creatures to rocky wastelands strewn with boiling lava pits to ruined cities half-buried in nuclear snow. Players start by building a base from which they command a force of armored vehicles, infantry, and aircraft through a series of exploratory, offensive and defensive missions. Gamers will drive a variety of tanks and walkers, pilot the scout ships, and even jump out and fight an evil and challenging alien enemy on foot. Each side will choose from an arsenal of powerful weapons including guided missiles, mortars, mines and bazookas. This revolutionary game is the sequel to 1998's Action Game of the Year (Computer Gaming World). Complete Control Over the Battlefield!
The 1.3 alpha 5 patch for Battlezone II: Combat Commander.
The major improvements of 1.3techalpha5, compared to 1.3pb4a are:
* Updated graphics engine that uses (and requires) DirectX 9.0c for the best balance of compatibility and speed. Hardware transform & lighting is now supported, allowing a lot of work to be offloaded from your CPU and onto your graphics card. New DirectX features like fullscreen antialiasing (or multisample antialiasing) are supported to improve visual quality.
* Various lagout bugs in network games should be drastically reduced
* Further support for Windows Vista/7 -- should fully support being installed to paths with unicode, has high-resolution icon for Windows Explorer
* Music from the BZ2 CD is now distributed with this patch, in ogg vorbis format, allowing for better performance. You can also set up a random playlist of music to be played ingame, if you copy in .ogg files to the right place and the right name. (Note: other music needs to be user-supplied.)
A number of tweaks and enhancements of the 1.3 series are:
* Much greater MOD (game modification) support, allowing up to 26 total races to be active at once. Many MODders have been among 1.3 beta testers, and have been working to take advantage of the new features. [Their participation or nonparticipation is their own business; no support for 1.3 is implied or MODs promised by us.]
* Developed/Tested on Windows 2000/XP/Vista, for much better compatibility out of the box. Should work on Vista without requiring Administrator access. Limited WINE testing has been done as well.
* Many crashes/freezes fixed.
* Redone audio system that supports far more channels (up to 64) and DirectSound3D for a far more immersive experience. Note: not all sound cards on the market support that many channels; if the driver on your system notes a limit under 64, BZ2 will use that instead.
* Support for Ogg Vorbis compressed sounds - similar to mp3 files, but with higher quality.
* Some graphics tweaks: Maximum ingame resolution can be set much higher than 1280x1024 if your hardware supports it. Gamma (brightness) adjustment works on ATI cards.
* New graphics options like anisotropic filtering, mip bias, more efficient use of graphics card memory with DXT textures improve the visual appeal of the game.
* Enhancements to many parts of the game, including AI, craft handling, etc.
* Many more pregame options for IA, DM, Strat & MPI games (feature available to MODs to define custom options pages on a per-map basis)
* Bots in DM, and some additional DM gameplay modes.
* Strategy-CTF game mode -- capture a goal, tug it back to your recycler to win, on 6 classic maps. Finally a good use for tugs in MP!
* Over 50 additional Instant Action & Multiplayer maps by several mapmakers within the BZ2 community, and tweaks to some existing maps to reduce bugs. As of 1.3TechAlpha5, there are 20 classic & additional IA maps, and over 100 classic & additional MP maps installed.
* Several additional security measures to make cheating in multiplayer much more difficult; deliberate remote crashing of games should be fixed.
* New BZ2 editor screen layout files contributed by testers to expose more functionality that was already there.
* Ability to rotate buildings (on 90-degree increments) for even more base-building fun
* Updates to the manual (located in the Extras folder where BZ2 is installed to) to give updated and more accurate information
* Includes over 1MB of text files listing changes made since 1.2. This changelog contains our (minimalist) notes as to what changed for each version, and isn't guaranteed to be easily understood. But, it may be useful reading.
* More features, including weapon linking, thumpers, and variable gravity DM maps Increased vista compatibility, audio works in WINE
* Many more modder features, such as 60-char ODF names, inheritance, tons of new tuning values, etc
* Performance optimizations - Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) are used to take more efficient use of your CPU
* Fewer resyncs, units (human & AI) should warp less online
* Ability to replace CD music w/ OGG files
* Easier to host games w/ automatic UPNP, Windows Firewall support(*)
*: requires router w/ UPNP support, and Windows Firewall as your primary firewall; other firewall software/hardware will still need some manual attention
For now, this patch will be pretty much English-only. If you have a foreign (French or German) version of BZ2, this patch will replace a lot (but not all) of the files used to display text ingame with English. Voiceovers and other sound effects will remain in the installed language. A translated version of these text items may happen at a later time.
A special note: one of the bugs fixed is the infinite flying bug present in BZ2 1.0 - 1.2. This was removed because it is considered to be a bug by those of us who worked on BZ2 from the beginning. It is not due to complaints from "newbies" or the like. Certain people certainly feel strongly about this. Fine. Please realize that feelings are not an argument. Whining about this will not change anything-- we've heard such complaints for years, and your comments will only serve to harden our resolve in this.