The Chat_Monitor bot automatically enters chat channels that go beyond a certain number of minimum users. It would then kick, mute or ban for a very short select list of 'bad words' or URLs to known warez and crack sites. Spam and certain bad words will get a gag, repeat offenders and those posting 'crash URLs' will result in a ban.
Most bans expire after 5 days, however racial slurs can last forever or until our customer support is contacted to discuss the matter.
Geoff and I when discussing this are concerned that people were being arbitrarily banned without any prior warning. So we had a look at the EULA that is installed with HW2.
Here's the important bit here (You can read the rest in your homeworld2 directory in the Eula.txt).
For convience, here are the Gamespy chat room rules. I assume they apply to Homeworld 2 as well.
As a user in Arcade chat, you may have your chat privileges removed with or without warning for the following reasons:
- Flame wars. The verbal attack on others in order to instigate or continue a pointless argument.
- The excessive use of foul, vulgar or extremely profane language.
- Racist and sexist remarks, slurs and attacks, as well as unsportsmanlike and unkind attitudes. Spamming the channel or repeating yourself excessively, so that others are unable to share the chat.
- Exchanging information regarding pornography, adult sites, obscene urls or any site sponsored by banner ads of pornography is strictly prohibited.
- Out of respect for the great companies who have brought us all together for their incredible games, GSA does not condone the discussion of game piracy and warez, e.g., the exchanging of warez site links, cdkey generators, software cracks, etc., as it violates copyright laws and the licensing documentation of most game publishers. This extends to discussion of cracks or hacks of GameSpy software.
- Chatting in / accessing GameSpy Arcade through any interface other than the Arcade software (through IRC or similar clients) is prohibited. Users accessing Arcade chat rooms using these clients will be removed from the chat rooms.
We appreciate your need to discuss things without restrictions, therefore we have provided you with PlayerSpy and the ability to private message one another using the "/msg nick" text feature that irc chat offers.
Note that Homeworld 2 now has the ability to Ignore users, and use private messages.
Course of action if you have been banned.
You could also try
http://www.gamespy3d.com/support/contact.asp or http://www.gamespyarcade.com/support/contact.asp
1.1 Patch Installation Issues - Old File Not Found
When installing the patch, you may get an error about a file not being found. What's happening is that the patch is using the registry to try and locate the place where you installed your copy of Homeworld2. If you've moved your Homeworld 2 installation to another folder, or moved files around in that folder, you may have problems with the patch.
Also, if you try to install the english patch on a non-english version, you may see this error. Same or similar if you have a no-cd crack or pirated version installed.
Re-install the game, or put the correct path(s) into the registry under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurr
For help or discussion, post here.
Issues with Ships
This post will lists common points of concern with various ships.
1. Movers do not stay docked with "Remain Docked" checked. This may be by design, as they are hyperspace capable yet still corvette classed.
2. Dreadnaught can dock with ships other than the shipyard. This is by design, but *should* be tweaked to avoid issues with players not knowing how to undock it.
3. With Ships transiting Hyperspace gates, if one of the gates is destroyed, the game crashes for all players. May only be for MP Games with AI involved. - Likely Fixed in 1.1
4. When docking ships for repair with a Battlecruiser, the battlecruiser can accept more ships into the docking bay than would normally be allowed to dock - This is By Design.
5. When a build ship is captured in a MP,with AI involved, or Skirmish game the game may crash. - Likely Fixed in 1.1
6. Putting two (or more) Battlecruisers (Carriers also?) in parade formation results in them circling each other. Suggest putting them in broad formation, and having others ships that were put into Military parade form off the right hand battlecruiser. - Not Fixed in 1.1 (to dangerous to fix)
7. Vaygr Gunplatforms have no Sound Effect when firing.
8. When allies launch a probe "Enemy Probe Detected" is sounded.
9. Vaygr Destroyer antifighter guns appear to be missing traverse as well. - Not Fixed in 1.1 (By Design)
10. Vaygr Assault Craft have a small hole in their meshes.
11. Texture normals on Hyperspace and anticloaking sensors still inverted - reference.
12. There is no sound for the ICF being completed - reference
13. Pulsar vettes will fly through each other on agressive tactics - reference
14. Hyperspace and Anti-cloaking sensors have their normals inverted.
Issues Fixed in 1.1
1. Sensor array on carrier (hyperspace sensors as well?) will show up with its "normals inverted". - Fixed in 1.1
2. Badges on vaygr refinery show up backwards. - Fixed in 1.1
3. When scouts fire emps their trails disapear. - Fixed in 1.1
4. If a Defense Field Frigate is destroyed with it's field on, the field may stay active. - Fixed in 1.1
5. Badges on Vaygr Laser Corvettes are missing the Alpha channel. - Fixed in 1.1
6. When you have ships docked in a carrier, and you hyperspace the carrier, then hit Launch All from the launch manager, the ships will be launched all along the hyperspace trail of the ship as it moves through hyperspace. - Fixed in 1.1
7. Shipyard clerical error. Shipyard has one sensor slot, info pop up indicates 2. - Fixed in 1.1
8. If platforms are EMPed, once they wake up from EMP, they then are fully mobile and can chase their targetted units around the map. Info Thread. (Determined to be invalid - 12/17/03 - UJ)
9. Platforms move along with the build ship when they are done building. They should be left behind if the building ship is moving, otherwise, go into parade formation. - Fixed in 1.1
10. When using a vaygr carrier that has a production module on it, and you go to replace it with a different type of module (say from fighter to Frigate facility), the cost it shows does not include the money you get back from the automatic retirement of the module that's already in place.
11. Vaygr Carrier anti fighter guns have no traverse, and are useless. - Fixed in 1.1
12. Retiring a subsystem damages a ship - Fixed in 1.1
13. Marine Frigates colliding/intertwining one another when capturing hiigaran carrier. - Fixed in 1.1 by moving capture/latch points.
Invalid CD Key Error
Note that if you get an Invalid CD Key error when signing into gamespy, this has something to do with the Registry CD key being corrupted(like as in deleted). Possibly caused by having the demo installed at the same time and/or uninstalling the demo after the full version is installed.
To fix the error, re-install HW2.
Windows 2000: AGP Program May Hang When Using Page Size Extension on Athlon Processor
Some people are experiencing very weird crashes. If you have an Athlon based system running Windows 2000 and you have the latest motherboard drivers and latest video card drivers and all the service packs installed then you could trythis.
"The following workaround for this issue prevents Memory Manager from using the processor's Page Size Extension feature and may affect the performance of some programs, depending on the paging behavior" Not to mention that entering a typo in the registry can really mess things up if you aren't careful.
A Windows 2000-based computer may stop responding (hang) when you use an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) program such as Ziff Davis 3D WinBench 2000. This behavior may occur more frequently depending on the computer's processor, memory, and graphics configuration. This problem is known to occur with Nvidia GeForce 256 and Matrox G400 video adapters on computers with AMD Athlon processors. This issue is not specific to any particular video adapter type.
This behavior can occur if memory that is allocated by the video adapter driver is being corrupted.
WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
The following workaround for this issue prevents Memory Manager from using the processor's Page Size Extension feature and may affect the performance of some programs, depending on the paging behavior. This registry value also limits non-paged pool to a maximum of 128 megabytes (M instead of 256 MB.
- Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
- Locate and click the following key in the registry:
lSession ManagerMemory Management
- On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following registry value:
Value name: LargePageMinimum
Data type: REG_DWORD
Data value: 0xffffffff
- Quit Registry Editor.
- Restart the computer.
Blue Screen on Startup
Some users on Win98 systems are experiencing blue screen errors which occur when trying to start HW2. This appears to be an issue with SecureROM.
Here's a copy of an email sent from VU Tech Support to a user.
There are a few systems that are having conflicts between some of their components and the new copy protection software (SecuROM) used with this game. Specifically the issues are with the CD-ROM drive, sound card, and some of the maintenance suite software packages.
Some manufacturers, such as Kenwood, have resolved this issue with firmware upgrades for the CD-ROM drive. Contact either the computer or CD-ROM Mfg. for the firmware upgrade and instructions on applying this upgrade.
This problem can also result from conflicts with outdated or
incompatible driver software for the sound or video card. Always be sure that the computer has the latest drivers for the video card and sound card. Drivers are frequently updated to keep the hardware current and to fine tune performance.
To find the brand and model of the sound and video cards as well as the CD ROM:
- Click the Start button, choose Settings, and then Control Panel.
- Double-click the System icon.
- Click the Device Manager tab.
- Double-click the Display Adapters icon, then the icon of the listed device.
- Make a note of the name and manufacturer of the device.
- Double-click the Sound, video and game controller's icon then the icon of the listed device.
- Make a note of the name and manufacturer of the device.
Update the sound and video drivers
Driver software is generally available for free as a download on the Web site of the card manufacturer. The particular Web site can be located by a Web search, although domain names are often the name of the manufacturer itself (just as Sierra On-Line is found at www.sierra.com). There are also general driver sites such as http://www.windrivers.com and http://www.driverzone.com.
When a driver file is found that is the latest for the particular model of card, select it for download. A window will come up asking what to do with the file; select Save it to disk. Find a place on your hard drive to download the driver software; be sure to create a new folder to contain the driver software. After the download, go into the driver software folder in the hard drive and double-click on the executable to extract the other files. There will be at least one README file with instructions on how to install the drivers. These directions are brief, and relatively simple to follow, but are extremely precise, so read and follow the instructions carefully.
For further information on how to update the Video and Sound drivers, please contact the Mfg. of the computer or the specific hardware Mfg.
*NOTE* Users with the Creative PCI64 should download the latest PCI64 drivers from Creative Labs Support.
This issue may also be caused by the joystick port settings on some soundcards conflicting with the copy protection software. Please follow the instructions below to disable the joystick port.
- Right-click on My Computer.
- Left-click on Properties.
- Click the + next to Sound, Video, and Game Controllers
- Click on the sound card.
- Click on Properties.
- Click on Settings.
- Put a check in the disable 'Joystick port' box.
- Click on OK.
- Start the game.
This will disable the Game Port on the computer. If there is a
controller plugged in it will now be disabled. To enable the Game Port for other games redo the above instructions and recheck disable 'Joystick port' box. This will not affect any USB controllers. Updating the drivers for the sound card will most likely solve this issue also but this will tell us if in fact the Game Port is the culprit.
Non-English Keyboard Issues
There is no support in game for non-english keyboards. You will likely not be able to use uppercase letters, or punctuation as a result.
You can attempt to work around this by switching to an English (US) keyboard in the control panel. Some have reported success with this, most have reported failure.
It is not known if this will be fixed in a patch or not.
"Banding" in Backgrounds.
In response to several (dozen) people asking about why the backgrounds in HW2 are displaying visible bands of different colours (reminiscent of a 16 bit background texture), Relic replied with an explanation.
It's not running in 16bit
It's just that the process used to load the backgrounds and prepare them for brightening / dimming during the game results in some 2 colour jumps which give the banding. At least that's how it was explained to me when I asked.
So that explains the backgrounds.
The banding you see in some of the effects and the dust clouds is due to texture compression.
Original thread containing this information can be found here.
Remy also had made a previous comment in a demo thread on the same subject.
I think what you are talking about is part of HW2. In certain parts of certain backgrounds where there is small colour fade from one part to another 8bits per channel just doesn't just cut it.
You are in 32bit colour mode. That is eight bits for each of the RGBA channels. Imagine it is a red part you are talking about, maybe from light red to medium/light red.
8bits gives you 256 unique colours between bright red and dark red (AKA black). If you stretched this accross your entire screen you would have 256 colours stretched over 1600 pixels; giving you bands of colour just over 6 pixels thick! Unfortunately you'll be going from light red to medium light red, for which there may only be 16 different shades of red, but far more than 16 pixels you need to cover. So you end up with even more noticable banding.
The real solution is we need video cards with better than 32bit colour. 64bit or 128bit should be good enough.
ATI and nvidia have 10bit DACs, but they do not have a 10bit per channel frame buffer. 9500+ sort of does, but I belive they unfortunately haven't been able to expose this to applications like HW2 due to some unforseen limitations. I orginally saw Radeon 9700 previews say they would have a 10:10:10:2 frame buffer mode, but I haven't seen them mention that lately.
nvidia and ati also have floating point 16bit or 32bit textures, but these are textures, not frame buffers. The banding is caused by not enough frame buffer bits. Even if HW2 rendered to a floating point texture on Radeon/GeForceFX cards with 32bits per channel it would be converted to just 8bits per channel in the end when it goes to the frame buffer and would still have banding.
By having a 10bits per channel instead of 8bits you will still have banding, but the bands will be four times more noticable on the 8bit version. So a 32bit 10:10:10:2 frame buffer will actually be more effective for reducing banding than a 128bit 32:32:32:32 texture sent to a regular 32bit 8:8:8:8 frame buffer. This is key, even though a Radeon/GeForceFX can do more precise calculations with textures internally, they still go down to a 8bit per channel frame buffer at the end while the Parhelia has 10bit per channel.
Parhelia owners are claiming that the Parhelia with its "gigacolor" 10bit per channel mode reduces banding. From the screen shots it seems to be true.
The 1.1 release is a patch to fix crashes, network bugs, and game play balance issues. It isn't out there to add new features which could potentially introduce new bugs.
Hopefully people will now understand why backgrounds appear banded.
ATI Catalyst Drivers 3.7 - Black Screen "Hang"
This is a general comment about ATI's Catalyst Drivers version 3.7.
Homeworld 2 was not QA tested with the 3.7 Catalyst drivers. As such, there may be issues observed related to the newer version drivers.
At this time, the best solution to problems with ATI cards not loading into the game, or having corruption when exiting seems to be the uninstallation of the existing ATI Driver software, followed by a reboot, and re-install of the ATI Catalyst 3.6 drivers.
See these tips from ATI for help installing your drivers.
Also, more than one person has posted that these 3rd party ATI "Omega" drivers solve all their problems. Use these at your own risk.
If you run dxdiag and see that you've got all the correct files, but you are missing registry keys try this:
Go to a command prompt:
type the following:
(dpnet.dll is directplay basically)
this should register directplay on your machine.
This worked for me on WinXP Pro, I know it'd work on NT, but I'm not too sure about previous windows versions.
If you've got corrupted registry keys, try the following from a command prompt:
regsvr32 /u dpnet.dll
(I think it's /u, it might be -u).
This will unregister the dll, and then reregister it.