C&C Labs News Wire

— Sunday, April 29, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 12:00:22 PM ET

All Stars Mod Interviewed

C&C All StarsRecently, CnC All Stars mod leader Blbpaws sat down with HeXetic of PlanetCNC for "hours, nay, days of heated discussion in the hardened PCNC secret underground bunker conference room."  Command & Conquer: All Stars is a Generals World hosted mod currently under development - and nearing completion - for C&C Generals: Zero Hour.

All Stars has been in development for over 3 years now, and is finally nearing its release; only the AI code for computer players remains. Over two dozen individuals have worked on the mod over the years. Having watched the mod's development all this time, I'm personally excited to see it enter the final stages of development. It's certainly come a long ways.

HeXetic's interview with Blbpaws sheds light on the development of the All Stars mod, detailing the design and decision-making processes.

HeXetic: Was it concern over rabid Red Alert 2 fans clashing with ferocious TD/RA1 fans over Apocalypse vs Mammoth that caused the original Mammy to be left out of All Stars?

Blbpaws: No, it was more a desire to vary the sides as much as possible. Granting each side one big, lumbering, double-barreled tank would be boring and would result in too much spamming of units (kind of like, I don't know, granting each side one big, lumbering, expensive mech). We thought it'd be more interesting to bring back the Mammoth MKII (and its build limit of one). The neat thing about the MMKII is that it's very upgradeable. You can pack a ton more armor onto them, and, if you're the GDI subfaction, you can significantly upgrade the rail gun. Also, the Carryall returns, so the Mammoth MKII can be quickly flown across the battlefield. Dropping one in the back of your opponent's base leads to loads of fun.

I definitely recommend you head over to PlanetCNC for the rest of the interview - it's a good read. On a related note, we recently relaunched the All Stars website, so you may want to check that out too.

Stay tuned for the release of CnC All Stars in the near future.
Last edited by Mike on Sunday, April 29, 2007 at 4:05:33 PM.

— Wednesday, April 25, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 4:23:42 PM ET

New C&C Podcast

Over at the official site, the latest C&C podcast has been released. There's also a bit of an intro posted about it:
-APOC interviews Senior Development Director Chris Corry about all the technical aspects behind our new Battlecast Multiplayer system, the way our ladder system functions, how disconnects are being handled, and a little insight in to the future of our multiplayer system for Command & Conquer 3.


-Lead Balance Designer Greg Black jumps back in the hot seat as APOC delves deep in to the balance change-list for the upcoming "BIG" Patch 1.05! What exactly is in store for GDI, Nod, and the Scrin? How will Command & Conquer be changed forever? You can find out by listening to the 2nd half of the podcast as Greg Black reveals quite a bit about what's to come!
Download the full podcast at the site.

— Tuesday, April 24, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 4:59:47 PM ET

Word Out of EA on Cheats, Bugs, Patches

First, a number of cheats and exploits have been popping up for C&C 3 lately. Cypher on the official C&C 3 forums said the following:
Hey guys,

I'd like to ask all of you NOT to post specifics of exploits and cheats you find.
At least, not in public. This will not help speed things up, but would only hinder the team's progress in fixing the issues.

By all means, do post warning posts about such things, if you want. But don't tell everyone the specifics of the exploits or cheats - instead, PM them directly to me and I will pass it along to the team.

Contrary to what some of you might think, posting publicly specifics of the exploits, will not speed the fix along. It's proven, and has been that way even in the old Westwood days. Back then there was even a semi organized group that claimed to have been dedicated to exposing cheats of Westwood games. All they managed to do was enrage many other fans.

There were quite a few patches till now, and at the moment the team is working on the first really major patch. All these issues we see on the forums are being tracked and studied to be fixed.

So, please, have patience and if you see anything (traines, hacks, cheats, exploits, bugs), PM the specifics directly to me.
I have not seen this play surface too much in online play, but, knowing very well the nature of the exploit, I can say that once it does, online play for C&C 3 will stagnate quickly. If EA wants fans to enjoy the multiplayer aspects of C&C 3, fixing this exploit immediately is imperative.

Also, Senior Development Director Chris Corry commented on the future patch and the state of online play, saying:
As many of you are painfully aware, we've had some problems (I'm risking understatement here) with the timely and accurate reporting of match stats. When these issues first arose, my first reaction was, "Yikes! We've got to fix this issue fast -- but at least it should be pretty straightforward." Boy, was I ever wrong. It turns out that the stats issues we've been seeing are not the result of a single bug but are several different problems that are all interrelated and only show up when the system is under extreme load. The good news is that most, although not all, of these problems have been resolved. [...]

Once again, we really, really want to apologize to you if you’ve had a less than smooth experience with multiplayer. We are making good progress but as the above notes show, we've still got a ways to go. We will keep at it until it’s right. Mike and I, and the entire team, have been overwhelmed by the response that the game has been receiving. There are obviously many, many people having a great time with the game, which is the main reason why most of us have chosen this career. Thank you for the kind words and we look forward to lots of exciting C&C3 news in the weeks and months to come.
Once again, it's good to see that EA is working on these things, but I think any fan familiar with the concept of a release date expects that on said date, the game playing experience will indeed be released. A large part of that is multiplayer. The troubles EA's had, both with the large number of bugs--hundreds have been confirmed internally--the exploits that threaten to take online player offline until they are fixed, and the issues with the servers, do not reflect well on them.

— Sunday, April 22, 2007 —

Posted By: Luckie at 10:28:57 AM ET

Increasing Worldbuilder Performance using Windows Vista

I'd like to let everyone know that I've found a couple ways to dramatically improve the load times of the C&C 3 Worldbuilder. I've posted the article here on Generals World. Here's a snippet:
If you fall in the Midrange or near Bare Minimum and are running Windows Vista, you can still make Worldbuilder run faster using a feature of Vista: It's called ReadyBoost. It allows you to cache to a thumb drive instead of your hard drive. Caching is used when a program takes up more memory than you physically have in RAM. Hard drive caching is slow. ReadyBoost attempts to remedy the problem by allowing you to dedicate a USB key or Memory Card (which have faster seek times than a hard drive but still slower than RAM) to caching.

Read on for instructions as well as some unofficial Worldbuilder requirements and notes. Happy mapping!
Last edited by Luckie on Monday, April 23, 2007 at 12:25:58 AM.

— Friday, April 20, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:53:53 PM ET

Apoc Gives Some Worldbuilder Advice

Community Manager Aaron 'Apoc' Kaufman officially announced that the C&C 3 Worldbuilder was live here. In his post, he also made a few other comments:
- Worldbuilder is not easy to use for the first time. If you have never used it before then be sure to open up the RTF manual that comes with the install. We have created a very good general introduction in to creating maps. Worldbuilder is not for the weak of heart, prepare to have patience :o)

-Worldbuilder is what WE USE TO BUILD THE GAME MAPS. That's right, as stated in the copyright, the tool you have is exactly what we used to build all the maps in the game. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes good understanding of how to use all the power in the tool. Do not try and rush it.

-Pre-plan your maps. I cannot stress this enough. When we design maps, we don't just jump in to Worldbuilder and go for it. We draw them out, we create battle-plans, we visualize and conceptualize what we want to do before we start building. Especially if this is your first time, make sure you really think about the design when pre-planning and creating.

-"Map Balance" is key when creating a map. If you look deep in to each of our maps in Command & Conquer 3 then you'll see the rhyme and reason for every object and layout of a map. We hope to see aspiring mappers create strategic maps that have specific strategic thoughts put in to them. Those are the maps that will become the best. We challenge everyone to make the next best multiplayer map that hundreds, if not thousands of C&C multiplayer gamers will play.
He's right on with these. You can easily tell a high quality map from a mediocre one by looking at the layout and the balance. Great maps have a unique ability to be detailed yet efficient, balanced yet engaging that only comes from planning, playing, and revision.

— Thursday, April 19, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 7:52:06 PM ET

C&C 3 Worldbuilder Released

C&C 3 World BuilderC&C Community Manager Aaron Kaufman informs us that the C&C 3 Tiberium Wars Worldbuilder has been released! Worldbuilder allows fans to create their own custom skirmish and multiplayer maps for C&C 3.

Download from Generals World
» Download from EA Servers

What are you waiting for, map makers? Start creating some maps!

Generals World will begin hosting fan-created maps for C&C 3 sometime next week. If your map is good enough, you may even find it hosted on the Official C&C Site.
Last edited by Mike on Friday, April 20, 2007 at 11:30:07 AM.

— Wednesday, April 18, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 1:11:08 PM ET

Apoc Speaks

Community Manager Apoc passed along the following today:
Hey everyone,

My apologies in my absence the past few days, wanted to experience the relaxation of a weekend for a change, it's been a long while.

That said, Worldbuilder is currently in CQC which means, the final phase of approval. It is possible we will release it this week on our official site, so stay tuned. I think the worst case scenario is an early release next week, but I also feel some good vibes for this week. So, fingers crossed, I know you are all excited for it!

And how about those stats? EA Smudge will have a more formal update, but as of right now, we are seeing almost all stats being reported accurately and timely. The stat-less threads have dissappeared significantly, so unless we are mistaken, it looks like we should be on a good path right now. Let us know if not otherwise.

Part 1 of the official C& C podcast will debut on Thursday with the C&C April newsletter, lots to look forward to!

XBOX 360 is coming!!! Did you get the new theme's today on XBOX Live?
The demo for the C&C 360 version is due out tomorrow.

— Tuesday, April 17, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 7:02:56 AM ET

Topping the Charts

(Thanks Brandon, Tyler) Both C&C 3 Tiberium Wars and C&C 3 Tiberium Wars: Kane Edition have been topping the US PC games sales charts in the weeks since the game was released, according to NPD Group.  Rankings are based on units sold.

April 1 - April 7, 2007
  1. Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars
  2. The Sims 2: Celebration Stuff
  3. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  4. The Sims 2 Seasons
  5. The Sims 2
  6. World of Warcraft
  7. Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars: Kane Edition
  8. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Shivering Isles
  9. The Sims 2: Pets
  10. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
March 25 - March 31, 2007
  1. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - Electronic Arts
  2. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Kane Edition - Electronic Arts
  3. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl - THQ
  4. World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Vivendi
  5. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Shivering Isles - 2K Games (Take 2)
  6. World Of Warcraft - Vivendi
  7. The Sims 2 Seasons - Electronic Arts
  8. The Sims 2 - Electronic Arts
  9. Supreme Commander - THQ
  10. The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts
Last edited by Mike on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 11:10:08 AM.

— Friday, April 13, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 9:42:55 AM ET

Update from APOC - Podcast, World Builder Coming

APOC has returned, and he's posted an update here on the Official Forums.  In case you don't want to read the whole thing, here are the major points:
  • New Official C&C Podcast this Monday, featuring Grace Park, Mike Verdu, Amer Ajami, Greg Kasavin, and Chris Corry
  • Delays in online stats are improving and being worked on
  • The team is working on a back-end fix to foil disconnectors
  • World Builder has a high potential for release this coming week
  • The Mod SDK is being worked on and is APOC's personal priority

— Wednesday, April 11, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 8:23:38 AM ET

Tiberium Wars Replay Tool

The first fan-created tool for C&C 3 has been released.  The Tiberium Wars Replay Tool allows you to manage your C&C 3 replays and view extended information about them without launching the game.  Information includes:
  • Participating players, observers and commentators
  • The armies of the players (GDI, NOD, Scrin or random)
  • In team games, the teams of the players
  • Colour and handicaps of the players
  • The map that was used
  • Replay length
  • The version of the game used to play the game
  • Date and time when the game was played
You can download the tool here.

— Wednesday, April 11, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 8:21:09 AM ET

Operation Rescue APOC

It's time to bring community manager APOC home:

Listen now to the FINAL ACT of the Rescue Operaiton podcast of the Rescue Operation as Commander Predator and his elite group of GDI covert-ops must escape the Nod base with APOC before the Firehawks carpet bomb the base!

If you missed the first two acts, be sure to check them out on the official podcasts page.

Last edited by MicScoTho on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 9:58:35 PM.

— Tuesday, April 10, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:04:53 PM ET

Word From EA on Stats, Worldbuilder

In contrast to the stated claims of 'early April' as the release date for C&C 3's Worldbuilder, Amer Ajami, a Producer for C&C 3, stated today that "
Worldbuilder is coming this month. We're almost there.
Even though this is a bit of a delay, it's still good to see that they are making progress. We still haven't heard word on the modding Software Development Kit, yet, though.

Amer went on to discuss the latency in statistic updating for C&C 3:
We fully recognize and acknowledge that there is an issue with stats not getting updated. Right now we are seeing a 2-3 day delay on stats processing to your profile and the website. There is a server and processor issue that we are working extremely hard on to fix. We are already making improvements and are on track to fully resolve the issue so that your stats are updated consistently and efficiently with little delay. Certainly, this current issue is not ideal, but I can assure you it has been our top priority to fix.

All of your stats should still be there, but again, the main problem is there is a significant delay on when they get updated. We will absolutely have this fixed, please do not think anything otherwise.

I'd also like to mention that we have not started any contests or ladder seasons/tournaments because of this issue and will not do so until this is resolved completely. So, to a certain degree, you are not missing out on anything from a stats perspective aside from personal pride, but believe me, we fully understand how important that is.

I simply wanted to update you, acknowledge and explain the issue, and let you know once again that we will get this fixed, your stats are still there, there is a just a bottle-necking issue preventing them from updating quickly. It is getting fixed and I will keep you informed on the progress.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding.
That is also good to hear. Progress is being made, even if it's going slowly.

— Monday, April 9, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:03:36 AM ET

New Poll and Poll Results

I finally updated the poll today. I'm now wondering what you think of the balance in C&C 3. Is one side significantly stronger than the others? Please share your thoughts by voting on the right hand side of the page.

Here are the results from the last poll:
Will you be getting C&C 3 on the first day you can?
Yep. I've preordered.
Yes, but I haven't preordered.
We'll see. I'm still not sure.
No, I'll wait for the price to drop.
No, I'm just sticking with another game.
No, my computer can't run it.
Total Votes: 367
It definitely seems like a lot of you were set on getting C&C 3 nearly as soon as possible, which certainly isn't surprising. What is more surprising, though, is the amount who expressed some doubt about getting it. I'd be curious to know how and when those doubts resolved themselves. Maybe once the price drops, I'll ask a follow up poll about that.

Thanks to all 367 of you who voted!

— Monday, April 9, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:57:54 AM ET

New Art From Godwin

It's always great to see fans of C&C show off their creative abilities, and I think one of the most talented artists I've seen in the community is Godwin. He released another piece recently, which you can see below. Click on the image for a bigger version.

Definitely a well-detailed piece. If you're interested in seeing more about this piece, check out his blog, which also has other works he's completed.

— Saturday, April 7, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:49:58 AM ET

Operation Rescue Apoc Act One

According to the official C&C site, the operation to rescue Community Manager Apoc is underway.
The fate of APOC rests in the hands of Commander Predator and his elite GDI covert-ops group. We are receiving live transmission feeds directly from the Operation and then digitally remastering them together for YOU, so you can stay up-to-date on all the action.

This is the latest feed that we have, so download ACT 1 now and be sure to visit back here constantly for the next update. We expect a swift rescue Operation to bring our official Command & Conquer Community Manager APOC back home!
You can download the podcast here.

— Friday, April 6, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 3:43:07 PM ET

Patch 1.04 Live

The 4th patch for Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is now live.  You can download the patch by logging in to the Online section of the game.  As an alternative, it should be available for download from EA's FTP shortly.  Here's what's included in the patch:
Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars(tm)
Version 1.04 Patch Notes - April 5, 2007

This patch for Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars addresses video
playback issues and several multiplayer problems:

- Made further improvements to video playback on low-end Windows XP system configurations.

Bug Fixes
- Fixed an error that caused some players to crash or disconnect while in online lobbies.
- Fixed an error that caused players with semicolon (';'), colon (':'), comma (','), or equal sign ('=') characters in their Online IDs to not be able to see and select options from dropdown menus in online multiplayer lobbies. These characters are no longer permissible in Online IDs.
- Fixed an error that caused players to desync when watching a BattleCast match in which one of the participants disconnected.

Other Fixes
- All online multiplayer game lobbies will now appear properly localized in different languages.
Patch 1.04 is the 4th patch to be released for C&C 3 in the two weeks since the game's release.

— Friday, April 6, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 9:20:58 AM ET

Rescue Mission for APOC Begins

This just in from EALA Predator:
Hey everyone,

This is not a false alarm, this is not a pre-emptive warning, this is the real deal. We are going in to save APOC now, and when I mean now, I mean tonight! I have crafted a covert-ops team of some of the best GDI has to offer, we have a lead on APOC's location and we are going in to save him!

I cannot disclose the details of this Operation, but all YOU need to know is that there is an extremely capable team of GDI operatives on this mission and we will NOT fail.

It's time to bring APOC home once and for all, and god willing, we will do whatever it takes to bring him out alive and back to this community.

I cannot stress enough that in my absence our development team will be managing the message boards and lobbies as usual, tracking issues, and replying as always. If all goes well, we should be back for dinner by this weekend, and your loyal faithful community manager, APOC, will be back next week, or earlier depending on how fast he recovers.

We do not know what state he is in, but we are certain he is alive based on his last communication in the podcast interception. We have to take a chance on this!

Once again, my absence should not affect everything going on in the C&C 3 world; I have a dedicated and better than capable development team behind me to take the helm while I am gone.

It's time to bring APOC home.

Keep your eyes peeled on our official website through the weekend and on the message boards, we hope to have periodic updates for you and a quick successful mission.

Operation Rescue APOC begins now!

Always an honor serving you,
Last edited by Mike on Friday, April 6, 2007 at 6:42:24 PM.

— Thursday, April 5, 2007 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 1:15:11 PM ET

Word on the Next Patch

Community Manager Aaron Kaufman passed along the following info:
Alright, an update here from the battle-lines.

Battlecast Archive matches are back up and working! We corrected an error on the back-end, so now all of your archive matches are available to click and boot up, start checking out all the hot matches!

Stat Update - So we are fully aware of the stats and ranking issue and are working hard to address it. Stats are not getting updated quickly enough. Do not worry, will resolve this. Right now is more or less practice time. We have not initiated ladder tournaments or seasons or prizes and will not do so until we are comfortable with everything. We are close, but do not worry.

We are also very close to releasing patch 1.04, what we hope to be the last of our emergency patches until we release the first major bug/balance patch (also heavily in the works).

Patch 1.04 is going to help address the audio-video sync error, further crashes within the lobbies, desyncs related to watching Battlecast matches, and localizing the online multiplayer lobbies.

Please note - the stats issue is not a patch issue, that can be fixed without a patch.

This should help clear up any confused and update you guys on the current situation, thanks!
Good to see that they are making some progress.

— Sunday, April 1, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 1:11:09 PM ET

Another Summit Report

Redcloak from StarCraft Legacy has posted his report on the March C&C 3 community summit.  It's a good read, especially if you want an "outsider's" perspective on the game. But basically, I think this quote gets the point across:
I knew that I had enjoyed the game during my time in Los Angeles. However, it’s hard to have a bad time at the Summits. EA knows how to put on a good show, and even a relatively stinky title can be polished hard enough to give you a good first impression. That luster fades quickly when you return home and reflect on the game. The strengths, the weaknesses, what worked, and what felt out of place all stand out upon further review. When I returned home from this trip though, only one thing really stood out in my mind; my absolute desire to play the game right now. The demo wouldn’t suffice. I needed all the units. I needed the campaign. I needed human competition and the alien interface of the Scrin. I needed to play with the BattleCast feature, and I realized one thing. I had the longing.
Click here to read the rest!

— Sunday, April 1, 2007 —

Posted By: Mike at 1:01:41 PM ET

Patch 1.03 Now Available

The C&C 3 team over at EA has been working through the weekend trying to resolve a number of multiplayer issues that we've been experiencing with C&C 3.  As such, they've just released Patch 1.03, which is available by simply logging in to the multiplayer online section of the game, or by downloading the manual installation files from EA's Website (note: manual installation files will be available later today).

Bug fixes for the latest patch:
  • Fixed an error that caused players to experience unexpected disconnections and freezes while in online lobbies and Automatch search.
  • Fixed an error that prevented players in online lobbies from chatting globally after sending private messages to other players.
Also, EALA Predator sends word that the team is working on a new patch 1.04 to fix the last remaining technical issues with multiplayer.  They're also working to fix the ISP issues that have been affecting the game servers and the multiplayer servers this morning.