Today (18.10.2017), we are closing the second EE2.eu Community Poll! The question in the Poll was: Do you like the new "Dark Launcher Theme"?
What is the Dark Launcher Theme?
The UP1.5 1.5.6.013 Launcher (and newer), released on 12.09.2017 supports a new option "Dark Launcher Theme". This option was good enough to be enabled by default after the update. Users are still able to return to the old, light style by unchecking option: "Enable Dark Launcher theme" in UP1.5 Settings. Background colors, fonts, buttons, effects, everything have been improved in the most of the Launcher windows (excluding CD-KEY changer which is rarely used). You can view the screenshots below to see it.
Poll Result: Positive Do you like the new "Dark Launcher Theme"?.
The users were able to select one of the following answers: "YES, I like it", "NO, I don't like it", "I don't know". The poll has been open on 12.09.2017, closed on 18.10.2017 ~22:00 CET, and exited with the following result:
(284 votes total): YES, I like it (91.55%), NO, I don't like it (4.23%), I don't know (4.23%).
Thanks to everyone who voted in our second Community Poll! The result of this poll is important to know if the community likes the new theme and if this option should still be enabled by default in further versions of Unofficial Patch 1.5.
I'm happy to announce that today, the first EE2.eu Community Poll has been closed with the positive result.
What are Community Polls?
The UP1.5 1.5.6.009 Launcher (and newer), released on 05.05.2017 has integrated support for polls in the "news" area. Only users who installed Minor Update 156009+ are able to see the poll question. The users are able to cancel and change their vote for 24 hours and are also able to hide the poll result.
Community Poll: Do you like when Minor Updates are released every month? "Do you prefer regular updates (every month), or bigger updates with more changes, but longer waiting time (6-12 months)? Please consider selecting a serious vote, because it might decide about the further UP1.5 development".
The users were able to select one of the following answers: "YES, I like them", "NO, I don't like them", "I don't know". The poll has been closed on 04.06.2017 ~17:00 CET, and exited with the following result:
(205 votes total): YES, I like them (79.02%), NO, I don't like them (7.8%), I don't know (13.17%).
Thanks to everyone who voted in our Community Poll. It confirmed that most of players like monthly updates, and those who complain about them should accept the majority's choice.
On 11th of April 2017 - Microsoft released a new big update for Windows 10 called: "Creators Update". It's identified as build: 15063. The update rolls out slowly, so not all users already received it by Windows Update, however, if you're lucky and the Creators Update was already installed - you can enable the new "Game Mode" in Empire Earth II and Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy.
To learn more what the Game Mode actually does, please read: windowscentral.com/windows-10-game-mode
In some games (including Empire Earth II), the Game Mode state for the game can only be changed when the game is running in the Windowed Mode. Thanks to Unofficial Patch 1.5 you can eaisly set EE2 to run in the Windowed Mode to enable this function.
I've recorded a Youtube Tutorial which explains step-by-step how to enable Game Mode on Empire Earth 2:
1. Download and Install Unofficial Patch 1.5 from: https://ee2.eu/patch 2. Make sure that Windows 10 Creators Update is already installed on your PC. 3. In the UP1.5 Launcher click on the "Change UP1.5 Settings" button, and enable Windowed Mode, then save changes. 4. Start EE2 or EE2: AOS, click LogoWin + G using your keyboard, click on the settings icon and check "Use Game Mode for this game". 5. Quit the game, go to "UP1.5 Settings" again, and uncheck "Windowed Mode" checkbox. Save changes. 6. Play the game.
In the past few days the old EE2.eu Server (placed in France) was experiencing unexpected high load, which was not caused by EE2.eu but provider problems. Unfortunately, the provider did not help to resolve the issue, instead recommended to check the "security of the server". After verification I knew exactly that the problem is not on our side. The Server load was jumping up to 36.0. It means that everything (EE2.eu website, Multiplayer Lobby, Launcher Scripts) worked 36 times slower or didn't work at all. Connections to the database were timing-out, so it was often impossible to log-in to the Multiplayer Lobby. Basically, I was very angry and decided to change the Server.
On 31.01.2017 I decided to order a Server at the same provider, but at the different location (Germany). It took a few hours to import and set-up everything. At 21:00 CET the EE2.eu domains changed the address to redirect to a new Server. Unfortunately, the problems began even more serious. For some reasons most of players could not connect to the EE2.eu website or enter the Multiplayer Lobby. After a verification, I detected that the IP address we received for the server was... already in use by a different one. It caused a conflict where 30% of time the traffic was redirected to our new Server, and the rest of time - to an unknown for me Server.
Before 22:00 CET I decided to switch back to the old, problematic Server, and the EE2.eu domain was again redirecting to the old address (France). Unfortunately, the Multiplayer Lobby was constantly crashing for unknown for me reasons. I can only assume that after my reports the provider somehow limted software which can be launched on the Server. I literally didn't modify anything, so crashes could not be caused by my changes. It was too much for me, so we started searching for a new Server, from a totally different provider.
At ~1:00 to 2:00 we bought a new hosting placed in the UK, and at ~4:00 to 5:00 I imported and set-up everything, so the new Server has all files, programs and the EE2.eu database. The EE2.eu domain now redirects to this Server, and everything works fine. The Multiplayer Lobby should not crash anymore, and website / launcher scripts should load instantly.
The new Server has 6GB of RAM and 2 cores Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2640 v4 @ 2.40GHz. For comparing, the old Server had only 1GB of RAM and 1 core 1.6Ghz CPU.
We were able to change the Server thanks to the few donations we received in January. It was very helpful and the EE2.eu community very appreciates it. However, to keep the good server (or more like: to not make me pay for everything alone) we need more donations, so if you like the EE2.eu and/or Unoffficial Patch 1.5 - please consider making a donation. For information how to donate, please visit: this site (click).
Also, for those who didn't notice it - In January I have released a minor update for UP1.5 which has a new feature: Cycle Time of Day. You can select it in the game set-up screen under the "Environment" tab -> "Time of day". The presentation video is here:
Around two weeks ago I announced that no new "big" update of UP1.5 will be released in 2017... I was wrong, I changed my minds and prepared a new BIG update, before the new year! The version is identified as "2017", because all minor updates for 1.5.6 will be released in 2017. That's why version identification couldn't be "2016". The full changes list is available at: https://ee2.eu/patch/#1.5.6. The changes list isn't super long nor contains noticable changes during game - however the stability improvement is great. For newbies we have the new "Initial Cease Fire" options: "20 Minutes", "30 Minutes", "45 Minutes", "60 Minutes", "2 Hours", "24 Hours" and: the new "City Population" options: 70, 80, 90, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 500, 1000. The update was mostly focused on the Multiplayer balancing, that's why I added a new option which allows you to disable the crowns system before game start. I have also fixed the "range glitch" which made units (usually heavy artillery) attacking from an unexpectedly long range:
Thanks to Jodocus from the neoEE patch we assembled an option which makes game icon flashing on the taskbar when the game process is minimized, you're on the Multiplayer Lobby and you receive a notification.
I hope you will like the new update. Please don't forget to check the full changes list at https://ee2.eu/patch/#1.5.6
Dear Empire Earth II fans! I'll post some details what will be done by EE2.eu in next year. Some players might be dissapointed, but I'll try to explain why the decisions I made are better for the community.
Unofficial Patch 1.5:
- The base version of Empire Earth 2 and Empire Earth 2: The Art of Supremacy will still be "1.5.5 (2016)".
- Most likely Minor updates for UP1.5.5 will be backward compatible.
- No new units/buildings or significant features will be applied to the game.
With 5 major updates of Unofficial Patch 1.5 all game crashes were fixed. Additionally, some new units and buildings were added. Unfortunately, adding new units was very problematic. It caused more problems and new game crashes than I expected. At the moment all these problems are fixed, and the Unofficial Patch is very stable. That's why I don't want to ruin it by developing the "mod" part of UP1.5. On this site (click) I explained what Unofficial Patch 1.5 is focused on and that only 30% of all changes are visible for the ordinary users. Please remember that the other Empire Earth II mods (EE4 mod, Realistic Mod) are still developed, so if you like new units/buildings you can always download and play these mods using the Developers Version of Unofficial Patch 1.5.
One year ago - Unofficial Patch 1.5.5 with a working in-game Multiplayer Lobby has been released. It changed the style of minor updates, that they're now backward compatible. It means that no matter what minor version you have installed, you can still join other players on Multiplayer. It's good for people who still experience compatibility problems with game. Minor updates always improve the Launcher behaviour, fix compatibility with the newest Operating Systems and improve additional fixes (like the famous DirectX 8 to DirectX 9 converter). I understand that it seems like for the last year nothing was changed to the game. However - it's a very unfair vision. The last year was the hardest year of UP1.5 Developement. The Multiplayer Lobby programming and improvement, new Server, databases and the other things made me spent more time on EE2 than for the previous 2 years. Also, there were a lot of launcher fixes and new features which made Unofficial Patch 1.5 perfect. I'm not affraid to use this word, because in my opinion it's very close to perfection. Also, the number of reported problems shows it (we used to receive at least 2-3 reports per day, now it's like 1 report per 2 days, where the problem usually lays on the user's side).
Language Changer for Empire Earth II and Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy:
In 2017, the Language Changer will be finally released. The Changer will allow you to replace audio + text language in game. Unfortunately, not all languages will be supported. It's because I was unable to collect files for all languages. You can read more details in this topic at forum.ee2.eu (click)
Support chat and Multiplayer Lobby chat rules:
The Ministry of Game Affairs will write a new Act which will contain the clear chatting rules. These rules will affect the Support Chat and the Multiplayer Lobby chat. It's because we were accused of giving unfair bans. Racism, nazism propagation and the other forms of hate speech were never welcome in our community.
Most of players remember the old Unofficial Patch and Minor Update installers, which caused many problems in the past. It's because since Unofficial Patch 1.4 we used free installer builders programs. Everything I could do with them was customizing displayed text... and nothing else. Minor Updates were very problematic, because I couldn't set up automatic version detection and many players were selecting the wrong version during installation. Then they couldn't play because of Unhandled Exception crashes. Unofficial Patch 1.5 updates were more disliked than Windows Updates... but it changed: Minor Update: 155012 for UP1.5 has been created with the new installer builder program: IndigoRose.com Setup Factory 9. I tested many paid programs in trial versions, but only Setup Factory had all features we needed, for example: I was able to create an EE2-a-like skin, automatic detection of the current game version, checking if update of configuration files is required, automatic detection of the installation folder, downloading most recent files from EE2.eu Server (Minor Update), and much more. Not all features are visible for players, but for me (developer) using Setup Factory is way easier than it used to be. For example, Unofficial Patch 1.5 uses many different projects which are located at many places on my laptop (DX8 to DX9 converter, uPnP, Launcher files). With the free installer builders, before every update I had to copy .dlls and .exe files manually to the specified folder. With Setup Factory I can automate everything, even run a program (I use a .bat file) before and after installer compilation.
Setup Factory uses Lua scripts for everything. I can script the installer behaviour at any step, and even handle installation errors. Life is much easier with it :) You can read more about Setup Factory features at this site: https://www.indigorose.com/setup-factory/. I truly recommend it to all developers like me, who appreciate the quality of their products!
Game trainers are programs made to modify behaviour of a computer game, usually using addresses and values, in order to allow cheating.
All trainers made for EE2 in ver 1.2 and AOS in ver 1.0 should work fine with Unofficial Patch 1.5, however, you need to kill the Launcher process which works in the background in order to use them. Using trainers in Multiplayer games will result in Out of Sync error. If somebody abuses OOS, the Ministry of Game Affairs might ban the player by the unique ID from the Multiplayer services.
Using trainers, even in Single Player games is DANGEROUS and NOT RECOMMENDED! Those programs are usually virused! Please use the built-in game cheats instead (press the ENTER key to show the chat window):
icheat - Enable Cheats idontcheat - Disables all Cheat Codes loot - Add 10,000 of each resource give tech - Add 50 technology points epoch up - Advance an epoch without meeting any of the requirements convert - Convert selected unit play god - God Mode on\off (Your Units and Building should take no damage) punish - Inflict 20 points of damage on selected unit recharge me - Instant recharge power for selected unit taxes - Subtract 100 of each resource sea monkeys - Toggle instant build on\off toggle fog - Toggle the fog of war on\off win - Win current scenario (this cheat probably doesn't work)
To use cheats in Multiplayer games, the option "Enable Cheats" must be checked before game start. This option is available on the set-up screen under "Advanced" tab. Unfortunately and fortunately only two cheats work in Multiplayer games: toggle fog and play god.
With Unofficial Patch 1.5 you can use the built-in unlimited population hack called "the Tree of Death". To build the tree, produce the "Gardener" in the "City Center", then select the Gardener and under "UP1.5 Constructions" button select and place the "Tree of Death". To prevent abuses in Multiplayer games - this tree costs a lot of resources and technology points. To get enough resources and technology points simply spam "loot" and "give tech" cheats. Cheats and the Tree of Death is everything you need. Trainers with additional features don't exist, so it's simply pointless and dangerous to search for them.
The even is called "A week with EE2". I decided to create it, to keep the YouTube channel in a good shape, and to make players more interested in Empire Earth II.
Unfortunately, the new videos are not going to be gameplays of the "best games". Some of the videos will be very short, some of them very long, but I hope that it will still be enjoyable to watch!
Since I'm already writing about my YouTube channel, I'll use the opportunity to answer some of frequently asked questions about the channel.
1. Will you ever record Gameplays vs hardest AIs (computer players)?
Yes, maybe in the future, but I don't really enjoy playing against computer players, I prefer Multiplayer, so I'm not going to record it very soon. However, since many people ask for it, I'll try to do it.
2. Why there is no voice commentary in your videos?
A voice commentary is pretty useless in Gameplay videos. Talking while playing would not improve quality of the gameplay. When you're watching a video without the commentary, you can hear the game ambient sounds and you can feel the EE2 climate. It's better to focus on game than talking. Also, if I said something stupid, I would need to cut it in some video editing program. It would negatively affect the quality of uploaded videos. At the moment I upload videos recorded with Nvidia Shadowplay, in the unchanged quality that's why they look so good on YouTube!
3. What about a webcam?
I indeed have a good quality webcam, built-in my laptop. This webcam won't be used when I'm playing games... I'm an ordinary person who improves EE2, not a Youtuber! Some people don't even know if I'm really a woman or a guy.
4. Why this channel has so few subscriptions?
It's because I don't care about subscriptions, and I never ask people to subscribe. The channel is followed only by people who like the current videos and wait for more.
5. How much do you earn from ads on YouTube?
For ~6000-7000 views per month I get around 3-4$ (USD). Now you can count how much YouTubers with millions of views under every video earn.
Have fun, people! If I can recommend something - watch EE2 videos before you fall asleep, on your smartphone! I usually do this!
It's sad that I have to post it, but there is some serious problem with our community. Over 2 weeks ago I released a minor update 155012 with the new UP1.5 installers. Obiviously no code is "perfect", so I asked players to report any problem with the installer to me. Over 2 weeks of silence, and finally one of the active Multiplayer members reported a serious issue which disallowed (from my calculations) over 200 players to install UP1.5 or a Minor Update! The bug was very easy to fix, in the installer code I accidentally added a string length checking of a wrong string... It was my fault that I didn't test new installers long enough, but I'm asking where is the community? Why nobody reported it to me earlier? Problems are not being fixed automatically. Without reports I don't even know that bugs exist.
The similar story is with the project I'm working on for already 4 years: Empire Earth 2 Language Changer (click). There are still 5 languages missing, so I can't release it. Only 2 players sent me required language files (for German and for Czech version). Spanish and French I found myself by a long google research with translations... Unofficial Patch 1.5 was installed over 68300 times, and I spammed a lot that we need those language files... But of course, nobody is even interested to help with that.
So please, if you guys really are EE2 fans - stop being passive, and help me to improve stuff. I can't do everything alone. Please don't feel affraid to contact me by forum.ee2.eu or the Chat in UP1.5 Launcher, whenever you detect any problem. Thank you for reading this.