Von: Kaufman, Aaron
Betreff: The Battle for Middle-earth Community Update - patch 1.02 is live, asset cache builder, and more!
To the Leaders of The Battle for Middle-earth community,
Patch 1.02 has finally made its way distributing around the world. I wanted to this time to address certain issues with the patch, what was included, what was not included, and reasons why. I would also ask that you please publish this e-mail on your community websites and direct people to it. This will save a lot of time from posting on many individual threads.
DID YOU GET THE PATCH?
We’ve seen very few complaints from those being unable to download the patch; however, we are having some sporadic reports of users in the UK and Australia having trouble auto-downloading. We do not officially support a manual download of the patch through our official site, however, I encourage all of you to give your users our alternate FTP address ftp://ftp.ea.com/pub/eapacific/lotr/lotrbfme/
if they are having trouble with the auto-updater. They only need to download the .exe file, NOT the .rtp file. As for the server issue noted above, we are looking in to it right now.
Please also refer to our official site for the most up to date and accurate details regarding the patch. http://www.eagames.com/official/lord...th/us/home.jsp
NAT / FIREWALL ISSUES
There is a NAT issue in that after refreshing NAT, clicking on the “Accept Change” button on the option menu will restore old NAT parameters. To work around this bug, please click the “Cancel” button and not the “Accept Change” button, and this should save the NAT correctly, thus improving your connection ability. This bug will be fixed for patch 1.03.
GAME.DAT AND MEMORY FRAGMENTATION
These two issues above have been a heated topic since the game first arrived. I’ve been working closely with many individuals regarding both of these issues, as has the development team. First, to clarify, there is no “memory leak”. It is called “memory fragmentation” and if it occurs for a user, it usually takes at least 3 hours of play before you start seeing noticeable slowdown. A simple solution to rectify this is to restart your machine or give it a break for a little while. We have been researching this issue and this specific fix is not included in patch 1.02. With that said, we have found with almost every user that we have helped individually, which is many, that it points back to their own machine in some capacity. This is certainly not to say that our game is not the cause for the problem at all, but it is to say that this issue has many variable solutions and can almost always be worked out on the user end. This either requires an upgrade in memory, a better graphic card, or lowering the game’s detail settings.
I have attached the last technical document I distributed as well as a secondary document with more variable solutions to this problem. Please distribute these to your community.
GAME.DAT errors are a “generic crash”, not just one type. We know of a particular game.dat crash which can occur while switching lobbies when logged online to the game. This is a fix we are working on with Gamespy that was unable to make it in to patch 1.02. Other critical game.dat errors users may be experiencing could likely be due to the NVIDIA 71.84 or 71.89 drivers which we did put warnings out against. Users should revert back to drivers 66.93 if they are having problems. We have been in talks with NVIDIA and are trying to rectify this driver issue as quickly as possible. If you hear of any other game.dat type errors from your users, please communicate them to me or direct those specific users to me.
This game is fairly demanding with respect to memory usage. We internally recommend 512MB minimum of ram.
2v2 LADDER DOES NOT HAVE DC=LOSS, WHY?
This was a recent change for patch 1.02 in the last week, and it is unfortunate. We are working with Gamespy on this technical fix and will keep you posted. The 1v1 ladder is clearly the most popular. Having DC=Loss for that specific ladder right now is a HUGE win. Please do let your community overlook that. We are working hard to replicate the same rules for the 2v2 ladder. The DC policy will still exist to ensure fair play on both ladders.
ASSET CACHE BUILDER PROGRAM FOR MODDERS
As you know, we included a very critical tool for the modification community in patch 1.02, the asset cache builder. Please alert anybody in the modification community to this tool and with the instructions below on how to use it.
The new patch version of BfME will add support for a mod asset.dat which means that a mod can have an asset.dat file that is used in addition to the original asset.dat
Assume the mod base directory is c:\mymod i.e. it has subdirectories like c:\mymod\art\textures, c:\mymod\art\w3d…The game will be run with LotrBfME –mod c:\mymod. On start it looks for an asset.dat in c:\mymod which is then loaded together with assets in the mod directory. After that the regular assets (and asset.dat!) are initialized. Assets found in the mod directory and mod asset.dat will take precedence over legacy assets.
The mod asset.dat can be created/updated by running assetCacheBuilder.exe (will be supplied) in c:\mymod.
Additionally for BIG file based mods it is also possible to stick the asset.dat into the big file. To make this work the following steps will be necessary:
- create the big file itself
- copy big file into a directory that only contains that big file, no subdirectories
- run assetcachebuilder.exe there
- add the resulting asset.dat to the big file
I’ve spent the last two months collecting serious feedback from the entire community. Not everything that was wanted made it in to patch 1.02 but a lot did. There are going to be obvious complaints on the first day, but for right now, it’s important to the give the patch at least a week or two of play before we take a serious look at what needs to be balanced, what may still be out of whack. I’ll be monitoring, but please reserve any balance e-mails to me for at least a week.
As most of you know by now I have a new blog on our official site entitled The Battleground which is updating every Friday at the moment, and also has a free contest every week! This is going to be a great way for me to communicate to the community at large, but it is definitely not going to replace my relationship and exclusive e-mails with you guys. Tomorrow’s topic is likely going to have an interview with our developer who spearheaded the balance for patch 1.02 and he will also provide tips on how the community should be using it. It will definitely be a hot battleground to read.
That’s all for now, more to come later. Please feel free to drop me a line with any questions.
Community Manager & Marketing Liaison
Electronic Arts LA