Legal disclaimer: The Battlezone II 1.3 patch comes with no warranty, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Except when otherwise stated in writing the copyright holders and/or other parties provide the package "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose and the accuracy of the information contained within it. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the package is with you.
The 1.3 patch has been in development since September/October 2001, headed by two programmers from the Battlezone II team: Ken Miller, Nathan Mates.
A number of tweaks and enhancements are implemented for v1.3:
* 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, DirectX 8.0-9.0b for much better compatability out of the box. Some testers are testing it on WinME.
* Many crashes/freezes fixed. Please note that not all bugs have enough details to figure out how they happened, and so it probably will be impossible to get all crashes fixed.
* Redone audio system that supports far more channels (up to 64) and DirectSound3D for a far more immersive experience. [Old Aureal code is gone; good riddance.] 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* Over 35 additional Instant Action & Multiplayer maps by several mappakers within the BZ2 community, tweaks to some existing maps to reduce bugs. As of February 2004, there are 16 classic & additional IA maps, 88 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.
* Includes an over 300Kb text file 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.
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.
Compatability w/ previous BZ2 versions
Some notes on compatability w/ previous versions:
* Like all other BZ2 patches, the 1.3 patch is not network compatible with any other version-- all players in the game must be running the exact same version (1.3)
* Maps & DLLs for BZ2 1.2 should load fine. However, any map/dll that depends on certain behavior in the AI, etc for scripting may need tweaking.
* Progress in Singleplayer missions, preferences should be read fine; where more options than 1.2 exist (especially the sound setup), users may need to adjust those new options if they don't like the defaults. 1.3 uses a new file format for pilots/prefs, and upgrades 1.2's files on reading them. Those new preferences files can not be read by 1.2.
* Mid-mission savegames from BZ2 1.0-1.2 can not be read, as the file formats changed too much. But, as noted above, progress in SP missions is left untouched.
* Missions created with the editor in 1.3 will not be readable in previous versions, same with savegames, etc.
* Many MODs for BZ2 will be uninstalled as part of the install of 1.3. Some broken MODs that installed themselves into the Data folder (which should *never* have happened, but some people refused to do things right and install to addon) may have to be manually deleted.
* MODs that replaced out large chunks of the BZ2 shell (aka FE) may need extensive tweaks before they can work with 1.3.
Requirements for this patch:
The 1.3 patch is currently about a 37-40MB download, with the bulk of that coming from additional maps. If more maps are added (and they can be, up until the end), this will increase the download size. The 1.3 download is designed to upgrade any previous version of BZ2 (1.0-1.2) to 1.3. Approximately 65MB free HD space is required to install this patch over and above the disk usage of your existing BZ2 install. With 37+MB for the patch and 65MB unpacked size, and 50-100MB for your swap/pagefile (see below) having at least 150MB free HD space should be required, 200-250MB really recommended.
If you're under 100MB free HD space, it is highly recommended that you get another HD. BZ2, like all Windows apps, uses your HD as swap (pagefile) space if your physical RAM is exhausted. You should have at least 50MB free (250MB recommended) on your HD before starting BZ2. The 1.3 installer can be deleted (or archived to another system, CD backup, etc) before running 1.3 to get a bit more space.
Battlezone II v1.3 requires DirectX 8.0 or higher (tested w/ 8.0-9.0b), Windows 98/ME/2000/XP. A x86-compatible processor with MMX is required (i.e. original Pentium, Pentium Pro are out, as is the AMD K5). At least 128MB of RAM is required-- 192MB may be a better value-- for 2000/XP (see below). Note: I don't believe any testing has been done with Windows95, and as MS has long-since discontinued support for it, it may not be the best choice of OSs anymore. If 1.3 works on Win95, great. If not, you may be out of luck.
Please note that some video boards originally supported by BZ2 may not have proper DirectX 8.x/9.x drivers for Windows 2000/XP. If this is the case, you may not be able to use them. Please ensure that your video board has DirectX 8.x/9.x drivers for Windows 2000/XP.
BZ2 also requires a audio output device (sound card, motherboard audio, etc) that supports DirectX 8.x. 3D positional audio is supported, but not required.
Recommendations for this patch
With Windows 2000/XP requiring much more memory and CPU than 98, BZ2's box specs must be adjusted. Win98 box specs say 16MB required, BZ2's box specs (as only Win98/98SE was released) is 64MB. Thus, BZ2 requires at least 48MB over and above Windows minimum. MS says that Windows XP Home requires 64MB (but would be crippled), 128MB recommended. Adding 48MB to XP's usage translates to 112-176MB required to run BZ2 on Windows XP. If you have 3D video integrated onto your motherboard, additional RAM is required-- at least 192MB is probably going to be a usable minimum, as motherboard 3D video can use up to 64MB. [See manual for your motherboard for exact usage, and do the math yourself.]
Most testing and development of 1.3 has taken place on machines with at least a 500Mhz processor, 256MB ram, and a GeForce or better video card. This may be a good baseline.
What uninstalling 1.3?
Sorry, there is no uninstaller for 1.3 specifically. For this reason, it is recommended that you reinstall BZ2 into a separate directory specifically for 1.3, and apply the 1.3 patch to that directory. There is no need to install any other patches (e.g. 1.2) before installing 1.3 -- there is only a cumulative patch able to upgrade any 1.x release of BZ2 to 1.3.
A sepatate 1.3 directory is the preferred method of installing 1.3, as it helps get rid of any debris left over from broken MODs that installed themselves into the data directory, doesn't have any compatability issues with MODs not yet updated for 1.3, and gives you a clean slate to begin with.
If you take this route, probably 500-600MB of free HD space before starting the separate install is required.