We've got a Public Beta (v2008.024) Update available via our Members Club. While we do final testing we figured we'd offer you a change to get it early as well. This is still a beta, but it's stable and solid as far as we can tell and includes a brand new feature - The BattleSet Builder! See the change list list below for details.
You can download this as a Registered Download as long as you have registered your Larry Bond's Harpoon Commander's Edition serial number in our Members Club (click on the MEMBERS link in the top nav bar).
WARNING ! This is quite a large update and with the new features included it weighs in at 284MB!
Here's the change list:
• BattleSet Builder - For the first time, end users can create their own Harpoon Classic BattleSets covering nearly any part of the planet. From the early days HC players were forced to play in the GIUK, NACV, MEDC, or IOPG areas of operations. The initial HCE release gave you the Western Pacific, now the player is free to play elsewhere. If you have always wanted to build a Falklands series of scenarios, now you can. Feel the need to bomb a distant continent from CONUS, now you can. Not only that but the utility walks you through the process step by step. For the adventurous users the textured map can be edited to give your BattleSet a look and feel like no other. For those talented with editing large graphics files, you could even recreate the globe, play Pangaea instead of modern Earth. http://www.computerharpoon.com/wiki/main/index.php?title=HCCE:BB_Guide contains the start of documentation for the program.
• Surface Gun Model Improvements - Prior releases of Harpoon Classic engagements with surface to surface guns were often short and very much favored the AI. The computer knew exactly when each unit was in range to fire and loosed an overwhelming full minute's barrage in the first game second. That model underwent major surgery for the 2008.024 release. Now the AI and player may allocate many shells to be fired but the guns will fire them at a rate adhering to the Rate of Fire and number of barrels limitations of the Weapons Mounts. That one-sided and very quickly resolved gun battle may now range over many minutes and occasionally even hours. If you are a database designer, be aware that you'll want to test your guns and update those areas of your database so they work more smoothly with the reworked model.
• Game Database Changes - The 2008.024 version of HCE contains the HCDB-080122 platform database by Brad Leyte. This version also sees adoption of further platform photos. In addition to the changes listed below, many tweaks and fixes occurred in response to feedback from the community. Even those changes, however, pale in comparison to the changes triggered by the reworked gun model in this first HCE patch. Brad undertook the modification of all surface gun weapons in the database to make use of the improved surface gunnery model. Gun battles which used to leave the player's ships sunk before there was time to react now often last many minutes. All of the magazines for ships have also been re-worked, not only for gun ammunition but missiles as well. That means cascaded changes to the mounts themselves, truly changes innumerable for this release of the game.
EA-6B Prowler ICAP I - USA
EA-6B Prowler ICAP III - USA
Atago DDG - Japan
Atago (BMD) DDG - Japan
Comandante OPV - Italy
Conrado Yap PG - Philippines
Epirus (Knox) FF - Greece
Godavari (mod) FF - India
Hyuga CVH - Japan
Johan de Witt LPD - Netherlands
Kilic PTM - Turkey
Milgem FFL - Turkey
Mowj FF - Iran
Orkan PTM - Poand
Patrolship FFG - Denmark
Rotterdam LPD - Netherlands
SAM NASAMs II Bty - Intl
SAM SA-15 (Tor-M1) Bty - Intl
SAM SA-20a Bty - Intl
SAM SA-21a Bty - Intl
Sigma FFL - Indonesia
Skjold PTM - Norway
Zulfiqar (F-22P) FF - Pakistan
Ghadir SS - Iran
Soryu SS - Japan
Tartus - Syria
• Data Export DLL Interface - The release version of HCE contains an undocumented interface for exporting a subset of game actions to a 3rd party DLL. That interface endured a total rewrite for HCE 2008.024. Now instead of a single DLL, a player can load multiple DLLs, each adhering to a different version of the export DLL specification. These DLLs may do something as simple as note each time a unit is killed, or follow the progress of units across the map. This is just the most visible early step in a series of efforts to open up the game to user mods. Existing export DLLs: DataDump - exports all information made available by the interface to a text file, GoogleEarth - plots the movement of all units involved in a scenario on your local copy of Google Earth, HC Remote Viewer - perhaps the interface that will allow multiple players to submit orders to a central game umpire leading to an interesting impersonation of multiplayer. For more information, see:
• Range Circles are now Range Ellipses, helping to more accurately portray systems capabilities in "non-square" BattleSets. Range rings are still just play aids giving a general indication of a Group's capabilities, they do not indicate the exact ranges of a particular group.
• Scenario Editor now runs at resolutions of 1600x1200 and greater. (note: there were only a very few machines available on which to test the capability)
• EC2000 BattleSets again make an HC appearance. This allows the use of the Scenario Converter application to convert scenarios from EC2000 to EC2003 format. Thanks to B.I. Hutchinson for the use of the EC2000 res files.
• By modifying the db_utils utilities, database designers can now stuff thousands of platform images into their rsr files, up from somewhat under 1,000 images in the HCE release version.
• Instant Action has returned to HC. When the game is loaded and the Instant Action checkbox was previously checked, the player will be thrown immediately into a randomly chosen legacy scenario. The Instant Action checkbox has had no effect for a number of HC iterations, now it is enabled and expanded in capability.
• CPU Relief - HCE will no longer use as much horsepower as the CPU can provide. The game now gives CPU cycles back to the operating system if they are not needed, potentially allowing notebook computers to run cooler.
• The player and the AI can now fire surface to surface torpedoes, no longer are submarines the only targets for torpedoes!
• Scenario Editor - Scenarios larger than 64kB can no be loaded in the SE for those itching to make scenarios so large no computer can actually play them. Loadout range is now shown in the launch aircraft dialog for each line of ready aircraft. Added 16x, 32x, and 64x zoom levels to allow finer placement of platforms in BattleSets that cover a large geographical area. Adding bases and airplanes to scenarios proceeds more smoothly in 2008.024, no more unintended jumping up and down a line when adding aircraft, adding a base returns you to the same base on the same side as the base just added.
• Game Engine - Show range in launch aircraft dialog for each line of ready aircraft. This helps the player choose aircraft sure to have the range to comfortably reach the target and return. ECM devices on mounts will now operate in the area and point defense regimes. This includes chaff and flares. Surface to Air guns now adhere to the altitude limitations listed in the database. When planes return to base they will no longer drop to Low altitude, they will maintain whatever altitude they were at before assuming the RTB posture. Suppress the Orders window if there were no orders provided with the scenario instead of showing blank orders window. The Show All keyboard command works in the release builds (Ctrl-Alt-s)
• Crash Fixed - Clicking on an AD Mobile group would crash the game due to an overflow in the mini report window.
• Crash Fixed - Making listview columns very narrow would put the GE into an endless loop trying to shorten the displayed text.
• Crash Fixed - Long Class Names (i.e. Improved Spruance Strike 1984) could crash the formation editor. While fixing the crash the length of text displayed was also increased (the text that shows at the bottom of the formation editor window).
• Crash Fixed - Splitting all units from a group would often crash the game. Most of the reasons for splitting all units from a group have also been addressed.
• Crash Fixed - Using the game option "Start with full ordnance" set to No would result in a crash with any scenarios containing Neutral units.
• Crash Fixed - Scenario Editor platform display will no longer crash due to long mount names.
• Fix - SE will now dynamically shorten length of ship class names so that the entries at the end of the list are not blank.
• Fix - Aerial refueling improvements centering around any manual refuel event replacing a planned refuel event. This means refueling works more reliably than in 2007.000. However, there is much work yet to be done.
• Fix - The Red Victory graphic for EC2003 and newer BattleSets will now be the same as the pre-EC2003 graphic instead of the errant US CVN super-imposed over a USA flag.
• Fix - Included the new sound files that should have been a part of the original HCE release.
• Fix - If an air group has an attack order against a surface group and that target unit is destroyed before the air group comes within weapons range, the air group will now pick a new target in the group instead of clearing mission and loitering or returning to base.
• Fix - BOL weapons will now attack any unit in the way, foe, neutral, or friend; and will go active near the player selected target location. In 2007.000 the weapons would only attack the enemy and were seeking a target immediately after launch instead of waiting until the activation point.
• Fix - Neutrals no longer attack other sides and do not share sensor information with other sides.
• Fix - Victory conditions were often triggering when only have the required number of units were damaged or destroyed. The damage was being counted two different ways instead of one way correctly.
• Fix - Bombers closing to their death senselessly has been reduced. The planes were properly given the RTB order after launching weapons but the attack order was not cleared, the two orders fought and resulted in the bombers flying to their deaths.
• Fix - Neutral submarines now have an image displayed on the Staff Assistant dialog when sunk.
• Fix - If the original unit in a group was sinking it was not possible to attack other units in the group, this is no longer the case, the other units may be attacked. Mainly this affected land unit groups.
• Workaround - In pre-EC2003 BattleSets SAMs can no longer be used in an anti-surface role. This was preventing purpose-built ASMs from firing if they were placed in a mount after the SAMs.
• Workaround - HDS III GIUK scenario 12.0 is errantly the same scenario as 11.0. The GE will not longer show 12.0 as available, the SE however will still show the scenario in the BattleSet listing in case someone wants to create the scenario for later inclusion in the game (if possible).
See the Release Notes section for greater detail.
< Message edited by Greg Wilcox -- 3/3/2008 11:37:17 PM >