Mercnet 1.1 Problem Reports

"There are no facts, only interpretations." -Friedrich Nietzsche

This is a list of the problems reported on Usenet's alt.games.mechwarrior2 about Mercnet 1.1. The goal of this list is to identify the bugs that keep the leagues from switching to Mercnet 1.1.

If you have a problem with Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries, please email Activision technical support to let them know about it, even it it's listed here. That way they'll have some idea how many people are running into problems.

Please send changes or updates to dank @ alumni.caltech.edu.

Note: I'm collecting these problem reports as a personal fan of Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries. This list is not endorsed by Activision.

The problem reports here have not been verified. Your milage may vary.

If you are having any crashes, please check my list of the latest drivers as of 2/98 or our support department's list of cards and drivers as of 4/21/98 to see if any problems have been reported with the drivers you're using. Generally, if you don't know what version drivers you have, you need to update.


Might hurt league play

Probably won't hurt league play, but need fixing sometime


Might hurt league play

Problems Applying Patch


From: "Apostle" alex @ intertech.com
Subject: Merc 1.1 invalid Pmerc8v11.exe file???

I am trying to install this wonderful patch - but it keeps giving me an
invalid error during the install - I click to ok it and it finishes the
install of patch...
[and then nothing works because lots of files are missing]

From: omulus_stahl @ juno.com (Romulus Stahl)
Subject: Re: ACTIDAVE, Anybody !! Help with v1.1 patch ! Page Fault errors

>On Mon, 22 Dec 1997 16:49:19 +1100, "D. Halloran" dhallora @ mail.usyd.edu.au wrote:
>Dave Martin wrote.
> I noticed that some of you mention a 'install with d3d' option with the new
> 1.1 patch for merc....I am not getting this option at all. Is everybody
> gettting this option to install patch? Am I missing something?
> I doubleclick on the mpatch.exe and it says things like "processing mw2.prj"
> etc but at no time gives me a d3d option.
>
>    I had this problem on first install too. I talked to an activision
>rep, who directed me to edit the registry. I cannot remember the exact
>procedure, or what you have to delete, but basically you have to
>uninstall, delete mercs, edit the registry, install 1.0, then install
>1.1, and it will work.
>
>    Don Halloran
>
Uninstall the game.  Run regedit, hkey local machine. software,
activision, delete the mercs entry. Install fresh, run the latest
patch.

Romulus Stahl at Bad Karma

From: "Dave Martin" myros @ pcisys.com
Subject: Got it working!

Well I finnaly got 1.1 of mercs working! :)
Here's what I had to do....delete windows and reformat my hard
drive...sheesh the things we have to do to get games working hehe.

I guess I had a bad driver or system registry in there somewhere. I was
having the problem like a few others where once a mission was loaded there
were no textures ie the patch never gave me the option of installing the d3d
version, even though I had unistalled mercs, removed entries from registry
etc.

From: no@spam.here ('WULFF)
Subject: Mercs 1.1 errors on install

Has anyone else encountered this problem?........

I've dl'd the patch twice,attempted a clean install 4 times
(scandisk,defrag,regclean etc.)
and each time at the end of the d3d section if the patch i get a error
saying there's a prob with the "c:\win\temp\wzsb204.tmp\pmrc1611.exe.
it then finishes the install unsuccessfully,
the game runs except there is no sky textures and pretty much a fog
effect on all the missions i've tried(just ugly outlines until i'm
within 100 m of the objects)
I'm assuming that it's partially my Rage2 board but this looks worse
than the original.
I've tried it with the original D-X5 drivers as well as the new Rage
drivers but no diff.

'Wulff


(and yes i have read the readme stating 3dfx and rendition chips are
the ones supported but isn't D3D supposed to work even with a boards
limitations?

From: Paul G paulg@*NS*sympatico.ca
Subject: Problems with 1.1 patch install

I have installed the patch but all I see is a light purple screen with
brown buildings.  I can't see the mechs but I can see there shadows. 
The hud looks fine.

I have the following:
P166
Diamond Stealth 2000 4mb
Monster 3D
Ensoniq ES1688 chipset soundcard
sidewinder 3d pro

I uninstalled mercs and deleted the directory before installing (tried
twice).I reinstalled direct x 5 from a fresh copy of the MS sight. I
have downloaded the new drivers from both 3dfx and Diamond and tried
both.   
When patching I do not get a prompt for d3d support but when I run the
game the menu has the "video options" item and it shows it is using the
3dfx card.

The sw 3d pro also does not work properly and a few minutes into each
mission it quits and I have no mech control.  This happens in MW2 also.

From: "Dr. PaiN" zPain @ texas.net
Subject: Re: Problems with 1.1 patch install

>[I have installed the patch but all I see is a light purple screen with
> brown buildings.  I can't see the mechs but I can see there shadows. ]

I had same prob when installing 1.1 over 1.05. patch
I reinstalled mercs fron cd then installed 1.1 ( without the 1.05/1.06),
worked great!

From: nospam_cynical@ptialaska.net

... my third install of the patched game seems to have
done the trick. The first tries left me with a game that ran slower
than the original did on my 16 meg 90mhz machine, and I had to use the
software setting for graphics. After uninstalling and clearing out the
dir., I defragged and scandiskedthe drive. then I installed, declining
to have the program run it's DirectX2 portion. Then applied the patch
inclusing the D3d.

Wow! Didn't expect the major improvement in the graphics! Love the
changes in visuals, and appreciate the work the team put in on them. 
...
180mhz Pentium Overdrive w/MMX
72 megs RAM
32x CD
ATI ALL-in-Wonder (Rage II)
Saitek X35-X36

From: "nelly" EIS-Nnelly.palonen @ icon.fi
Subject: [Mercs]1.1 patch makes (me) BLUE, help!

BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE... oh how I feel blue

Installed merc patch 1.1 over clean install of Mercs that was patched with
1.05.
Patching it self went well, I think.
Now when I try to launch I get BLUE screen that shows ONLY shadows of mechs
and buildings!

Hmmmmmmm, nice patch!;-)
er, Iceplanet?:-)
(might get bit monotonous after 15 missions of icepalnet, no?)

Specially because download time was 2 hours, and uncounted times I was
dropped offline in middle of download! U can imagine how happy I was!
(and even if it is free, it came to cost me a lot, in connection fees!)
...well thats NOT the subject, so lets drop it!
(...still have to say that THIS FAR I have allways thinked that Activision
is one of the best game houses ever...;-))

So, system is:
166 MMX
QDI PI530TX Titanium IB
64Mb
Ati xpert@work w8Mb/PCI
Win95
...
There should be latest graphics drivers installed, from Atis site, dated
12.08.98.

When I first time run patching I got this option that asks: do You want
install 3D or normal version.
So I selected 3D (yes I know my card is NOT 3D card) and installation went
on nicely...
[****]
After I experienced that iceplanet efect, I tried to do it all over again,
starting from installing Mercs and patching it 1.05.
I hoped to get that option screen to choose 3D or not, but nope, nothing
like that! 
[****]
So what is this option and what does it actually install that differs from
non 3D option?

Previously installed:
(And in use all the time, installed in different partitions of course.)
Mercs, patched> 1.05 > 1.06 (>nais202), this I use for MercNet.
(All options on 800X600, works fine without any choppines)
Mercs, patched> 1.05 > 1.06 > 1.08, this I use for pleasing my eyes.
(All options on 480X460, expert@work for 3D driver -not software emulation,
only MIP turned off sometimes, works fine, some choppines with many mechs
on screen)
Mercs, patched> 1.05 > 1.1 (well... tried!)
(Does NOT work, except previously mentioned iceplanet efect!)

And to complete filling my hard disk there has been running long time:
MechWarrior 2 (DOS)
(NetMech)
GBL
MechWarrior 1 (yes one)
all patched up as high as they are available. And running fine!

So please help me with this!
I know (for some od reason ;-) ) that there have been loads of questions
concerning this same issue, but I have not been reading newsgroups for long
time (a month).

Thanks in advance!
-----------------
attila
thehunn
Finland

eisikanautaakennelas@icon.fi
eisikanautaa=nospam, so remove to reply...

From: enigma @ ktb2.ktb.net (a FooL)
Subject: Merc 1.1 patch with Mill II help! non3d setup? question

Anyone get the 1.1 patch to work properly with a Millennium II card?
(No other 3D accelerator card installed).
Besically, I get no polygons. I can see the shadows, but that's all.

I want to know how to get the option for the non-3d install.
I only got it once, and when it didn't work, I tried to re-install it again 
and didn't get the option.

Frame Rate


From: "Christian Tramnitz" chris.ace @ gmx.net
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 - What about Image Enhancement ???

I tried editing gamekey.map
but now NOTHING happens when pressing "w"
with 1.06 and edited gamekey.map only lasers were
invisible, but with 1.1 theres NO image enhancement
at all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[drk- this means that people can no longer achieve high
frame rate by using wireframe mode.]

From: "David Richards" wolf932 @ hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Mercs PPP Help! Anyone.
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 10:33:42 EST

Thanks once again for your help, i think with all the feedback from the 
people on the N.G. and from the leagues, Titanium will be great. Much 
better than WinMercnet is at the moment. Other than the lag created by 
by not being able to turn off the Textures in 1.1 WinMercnet, its great, 
but because of that small problem, the leagues opted not to use it (Of 
course other things also, but i'm not gonna rag on them as you have had 
your share of Flames from the N.G.)

Custom Missions


From: "Boze" boze @ cris.com
Subject: Custome Missions

Do custom missions work with the mercenaries 1.1 patch?  I tried compiling
the demo 1 and demo 2 missions found on the CD.  When I load them using the
new netmech, my mech and all other objects are invisible!  These missions
worked on versions prior to 1.1


From: "A.C. Hamilton" hamilton @ servtech.com
Subject: 1.1 is out ! ..but..

...Tried hosting a game by myself,seems to work...Discover there
are only 12 FFA missions and 4 (!) Team missions to choose from...:( 
Oh,this'll be fun...We've gotten used to only *using* 100 or so,but 16
missions total?!?! I'm dissapointed,to say the least..No mention of it
in the .txt with the patch,but wasn't the 100 mission limit often
discussed as being important in the 1.1 patch?  ...

From: Edward Wong ehwong @ tig.com.au
Subject: Re: Q, Actidave & Crew

Apostle wrote:

> I get an error everytime I try to launch a game in MercNet 1.1 also - error
> is: MW2.exe skydome ID 2562... and it dumps to win95...
>
> Suppose we better stick with Mercs 1.05/6 until all these things are
> fixed...

This error is caused by the differences between the 3d enhanced prj file and
the non 3d (8-bit) prj file. I suspect that the prj files are actually 
different, because there's a lot of eye candy in the 3d enhanced version that 
just can't be done in the 8 bit version.

Dan K. once warned me not to mess with the prj file, because it would cause
just this sort of thing.

For those who don't know, here's a little infomation on how the bwd's work:

Objects in the game are referenced by their position in the prj file. By this I
mean that if you're placing an object, you look at a location in the prj 
file and extract the object data from there. Now, if you add stuff or generally 
_change_ the prj file, but leave the bwd the same, then chances are that the 
object is no longer at that location.

This is why missions compiled for 1.0 - 1.06  will not work properly with
either 1.08 or 1.1.

ed.

From: "D. Halloran" dhallora @ mail.usyd.edu.au
Subject: Re: Q, Actidave & Crew

> Braden N. McDaniel wrote:
> > It would appear, then, that the following need to be pursued:
> >
> > 1) Can the old mission tools compile custom mission sources against the D3D
> > prj and produce working missions?

    Yep, it can be done. The missing link was a file called skygnd.par.
Basically, you can compile missions the same way you used to. But doing so, even
with the 1.1 installed, would produce missions with no d3d textures. If you add a
line to skygnd.par for your mission (Ed has made a mission installer to do this
for you) then it works with all the textures. If youd rather play the 8 bit
version of 1.1, and would like to remove all the object textures, then i think
moving the skygnd.par file out of your mercs dir would do this for you.
    However, there is a persisting problem: playing with 1.1 installed, 
[people using d3d] will not be able to use missions made by people running 1.06.
[You can use custom missions made with 1.06 if you run 1.1 8 bit. The problem only
occurs if you run 1.1 d3d.]
I believe, as ed has explained, that this is because the object references in the
mission file will not match up with the right parts of the .prj. Decompiling the
mission and recompiling would probably solve the problem.... but i dont know if
youd have to decompile it to bwds (easy) or to wlds (harder, not meant to be able
to do this, tho it can be done).

> > 2) Can 8-bit and D3D players who have the correct version of a custom
> > mission installed for the version of Mercs they're using play together
> > online in that custom mission? I'm betting (optimistically) that the answer
> > to this is "yes", since this seems to work okay for the standard missions
> > (some of the time, at least). [...]

    Im pretty sure that would work, but they would actually have to be running
diff versions of the same mission. The d3d person would need a version of the
mission compiled by someone running d3d 1.1, and the 8 bit player would need a
version compiled under 1.06 (or possibly 8 bit 1.1... not sure about that tho)

    Don Halloran
    prev AKA Axe

From: "Boze" boze @ cris.com
Subject: Re: Responses to many posts regarding Mercs v.1.1

>   --- You must add a new line to the appropriate SKYGRD.PAR file that
>has the pertinent information for the mission you're modifying.
>   --- You must do this process (re-WASMing the WLD files and
>modifying the SKYGRD.PAR), for BOTH the D3D version AND the 8-bit
>version. Then, after doing so, you can distribute the MWM and
>SKYGRD.PAR files for each version of the mission to folks. They can
>then choose whether they want the 8-bit or D3D version of the new
>mission.

What exactly needs to be added to the SKYGRD.PAR file inorder to compile
the demo 1 mission found on the CD? Every time I compile & try to run it, I
get a blue screen showing only the mech cockpit.  All objects seem to be 
present but are invisible.  I am using v1.1 of the D3D MW2.PRJ.

From: Fozz @ dial.pipex.com
Subject: Acti Mech Games bugs and Mercs1.1 missions

... could we mission designers for Mercs possibly have
some info and tools for re-compiling our missions for the new D3D 1.1 patch
so we may release 2 versions of our missions for D3D and non D3D.
...
I sussed a lot of the mission re-compiling .. only a couple of points I'm
not sure about .. how do I get the animated clouds in the sky on and how do
I get the scenery backdrops on (the hills etc in the distance)
and .. how do I compile it for non-D3D use as I only have the D3D PRJ file
.. tho I do have a fully working Beta of Spy's City v2.0 out for testing
now.

From: Amber & Michael Grover  grover @ midusa.net
Subject: Missions for 1.1 patch

  We  have made a Application that will patch missions from dos to 1.1
patch..
as far as I can tell this will be freeware. And I have not run itno a
mission yet that it did not patch....

Stay tuned for more info   

Michael E. Grover
Aeternus Digitial Design
Creators of MW2EDIT 3D Mission Wizard

Mercnet


From: "DeathSkull" colsten @ pc.partner.net
Subject: merc1.1 prob

Is any one haveing probs configuring modem and null modem for the new patch?

From: Khayman NOSPAMejstrehl @ evansville.net
Subject: Re: merc1.1 prob

I can't even get the Mercnet section to run!
The screen flashers and then the game kicks out every time I try...
I did a complete un & re-install before applying the patch...

-Khayman- 

From: "FingerSnap" me @ somewhere.com
Subject: you call this a patch?

... i completely
uninstalled mercs as activision requested.  then i reinstalled the
win95 version.  when it was done, i ran the patch with d3d hardware
support accepted.  i ran the game immediately after installing.  the
system crashed to a void screen.  i rebooted and tried again.  it
ran beautifully and reliably.  the single player was a breath of fresh air.
but single player only lasts so long, so naturally, i am expecting (hoping)
multiplayer to be just as comforting.  i played 2 Kali games.  so far,
so good.  no hangs or weird network anomolies except for the
occasional slow down of frame rate due to complexity of the scene
or lag.  i was very happy and defended Activision in the Kali chat
rooms against those who unfortunately had worse experiences with
the patch than I.  and then, i tried playing mercnet in the Activision
provided servers for internet play.  i have played approximately 8
games at those servers...and 6 of which were never completed due
to system crashes (mouse, alt+ctrl+shift, esc, and ctrl+q did not bring
back my desktop).  i've had to completely reboot.  is it the servers?
i suspect it's not, although, i haven't tried a Kali (ipx) game for a 3rd
time yet.  most Kali players have uninstalled the patch, and reinstalled
the older version so it's hard for me to match with a player.

my system is:
pentium 200
32 megs of nonparity 60ns ram
matrox millenium, 2megs wram, latest drivers
canopus pure3d, had it for 2 weeks but d/led latest drivers same day i
     got it, GLQuake has worked flawlessly with ABSOLUTELY no problems
Teac 6x
quantum fireball 1.08 hdd
win95a with msdun1.2 and latest winsock dll

that should be good enough, don't you think?  at this point,
i'm very disappointed with Activision.  you may have invested a lot of time
and money to this patch, but so have your customers to your products.
it may sound weak, maybe, but we have invested emotionally
to your games as well...battletech fans even more so.  you can't put
a price tag on that. i'm a league player who expected the patch to enhance
multiplayer fairness and reliability.  i hated being warped to 8000meters in
the air, leaving my partner to fight the OFFICIAL battle by himself, and
losing
a valuable mech in the process.  now that the mp won't even finish the game,
it is absolutely USELESS. 

[followed up with:
I hear that the 3.80 drivers for the Matrox Millenium cause
trouble.  One user wrote:
> Quit using the 3.8 Matrox drivers and go back to 3.7 or 3.63. The
> 3.8 drivers have caused others, including myself alot of grief.
>
> Problems I encountered with 3.8:
> Could not install Wing Commander Prophecy Demo (setup program crashes trying
> to detect video hardware)
> Could not run my desktop at 1024x768 16bit 75hz, windows starts to
> a black screen and freezes (8 bit colour did work though)
> 
> All these problems were resolved by going back to 3.7.

Who knows, perhaps that's part of your trouble?
The Matrox driver page is
http://www.matrox.com/mgaweb/drivers/ftp_w95.htm 
The 3.70 drivers are at
ftp://ftp.matrox.com/pub/mga/mystique/win95/1677_370.exe
-dank]

From: "FingerSnap" me @ somewhere.com
Subject: Re: you call this a patch?

i just checked my driver version.  i guess i d/l them
before the 19th of December (about 5 days before
the date of the original post) because i don't have
the 3.80 version...it's the 3.70 version.  it's cool of
you to try an help, though.  got any other ideas why
my system crashes in mercnet 1.1?  i should add
though that it has only happened when there has
been more than 2 players playing.

From: "C.P. Rogers" steeldst @ erinet.com
Subject: Mercs 1.1 bug & Matrox Mystique drivers
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 17:05:03 -0500

Dan,

Just another bit of info for your insect collection...

(Big point of the followiing rambling is that I don't see
much difference in crashes between Mystique drivers
version 3.70 or 3.80...)

I've been trying to run Mercs 1.1 and usually can get it
to go OK, but many times it drops to Windows or the
dreaded blue screen of death for no apparent reason
and with no warning. I got through the initial training
session and the "take out the 3rd floor" sequence with
no problems. But now, in the FC guerilla missions
(meeting scout then defending base, etc), I've had
multiple drops to Windows or BSOD. Seems almost
consistent -- at the moment I have a saved game
position that regularly will crash during the following
mission if you'd care for a copy... just ask :)

System:

Cyrix 6x86 133MHz on Tyan Tomcat 1 board
Windows 95a with most available MS upgrades
Mystique 4MB, BIOS 1.6, drivers 3.70/3.80
(note: changing drivers didn't seem to affect whether
the game crashed or not)
SB16 with Soundscape DB
Sidewinder 3D Pro w/1.5 drivers

Love the graphics and the speed is much improved
over 1.081. So far I've turned off particles and lights
and mostly see about 15 fps, with occasional dips
to about 8 fps -- still playable (unlike the 3-4 fps
at Luthien in 1.081, although I'm a long way from
that mission this go-'round...guess I'll see what 1.1
will do when I get there :)

Anyway, Happy New Year,
-Martin Rogers, via account of
C.P. Rogers
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/steeldst


From: wolfgrayx @ erinetx.comx (Steven Scott)
Subject: Mercnet V1.1 Mercnet crashes with M3D, any advice?

        Aside from a few graphics irregularities the game runs
decently enough  in regular and instant missions.  Mercnet however is
another story altogether.  Attempting to host a game locks up the
system with a blue screen of death and attempting to join a game ends
up with a pure black screen and a deceased mouse and keyboard.  I can
get it to host a mission by myself without locking up about 1 out of 5
times.

        This seems extra odd since the game runs well enough in single
player.  I'm running the latest drivers for both my mystique (not 220)
and M3D card on a P5-200 MMX with 40M of ram.  

        If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly
appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

Gray Wolfy :)= 
wolfgray @ erinet.com

From: qwert qwert @ interaccess.com
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1

It seems that Mercs 1.1 wants the perfect system to run. I have always used the
keyboard for this game and with my 3dfx card it runs fantastic. 20-40 FPS. I do
get the black screen bug and have never been able to play a successful
multi-player game but I am enjoying Mercs single player very much. -JB


From: "Stephen White" pcs @ compusmart.ab.ca
Subject: wininet.dll crash after mission

Since the 1.1 patch, after completing one mission I get an invalid page
fault with wininet.dll, but it does not bring down the program and there are
no problems in subsequent missions.  I have a Stealth II S220 on an AMD
K6-200.

From: "Alex R." pcalex @ megsinet.com
Subject: Re: wininet.dll crash after mission

Yeah, I'm getting that too every time. I'm guessing it's because of Internet
Explorer 4.01. Does your Stealth II have the Rendition chipset? I also have
a card with that chip, so that could also cause the problem.

From: "Stephen White" pcs @ compusmart.ab.ca
Subject: Re: wininet.dll crash after mission

[yes, I have the Rendition 2100 chipset] ...

From: msor @ hotmail.com (Andrus Siawyn)
Subject: StealthII aka rendition v2100 + merc1.1

Hello?!?!?!?  anyone home  at "INACTIVISION"?

Us poor Rendtion v2100 owners won't be buying your buggy shit if you
don't get your act together :-).

Once again,... HELLO?!?!?!? Anyone there?  Please stop throwing
parties with the money we've spent on your product and fix the page
fault error with patch 1.1 + v2100. 

[...]

Unfortunately, it happens each and everytime I finish a mission.  It 
gives me GPF and quits to windows.
I have Diamond stealth II card.

Andrus

From: "Leland A. Browning" labrowning @ worldnet.att.net
Subject: Help with Merc Patch 1.1

I just installed DirectX5 and the Patch (1.1).  Now my game seems to run in
slow motion.  Mech is nearly uncontrollable.  Am I over my system limits? 
I have a Diamond Stealth 3D card/133mhz/16mb ram system and the game worked
fine(except for my ineptness) before the changes.  Thanks in advance for
any help.

From: tarnish @ ibm.net
Subject: mercnet 1.1 help
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 11:12:59 -0500

>tarnish @ ibm.net wrote:
>> I finally got mercs 1.1 running.  Now I want to play mercnet, but i
>> am having problems actually starting a game.  I can get a modem
>> connection up, setup the game and launch, but that's it.
>> After launch, the game loads, My mech starts to come
>> online but I get a "xxx has exited game", where
>> xxx is the other player I am connected with.
>> the person who is hosting the game gets that message
>> at the same time as "waiting for remote players" message,
>> while the remote player first gets a "waiting..." message
>> as about 15 seconds later the "xx has exited..." message.  

>Mercnet has a 40 second rule: if another player doesn't respond
>for 40 seconds, he's considered to have exited the game.
>This is a problem sometimes when launching into a mission;
>if it takes too long to load the mission, players can time out.
>How long does it take after the last player clicks 'Launch'
>until the mission loads?  If it's longer than 30 seconds, you
>might be in trouble.  16 meg systems take longer to load missions; 
>if you only have 16 meg, you might consider upgrading.
>Some D3D systems make mission loading take a long time; don't know why.
>How much RAM, what CPU speed, and what kind of graphics are you using?

Dan,
Thanks for the quick reply.  You hit the nail right on the head!

I have a 233MHz PII (Micron XKU) with 48M RAM and a Viper V330 video
card.  The game itself runs fairly well (after turning off particles
and changing the system memory used by the viper to 2M, which together
seemed to cause the game to lock up).  However, missions take about
1.5 minutes to load (I am running in D3D).  Oh, the other computer I am
connecting to is a similar Micron XKU, same memory and video card,
only difference is a 266MHz proc. instead of a 233Mhz.

Is there anyway to work around this problem?  Any ideas about what is
causing the loooong load times? 

From: "Ged" nospamged @ globalnet.co.uk
Subject: MercNet Hosting games

I have installed Patch 1.1 and run MercNet. Joined the server, went to
pilots lounge and played a game hosted by someone else.
When I tried to host a game, my whole machine locks up. Unfortunately the
other guy had the same problem so we ended forgetting the game.

From: Tarl @ cts.com 
Subject: problems with 3D users hosting in Mercs 1.1.

Greetings Rick!  Can't wait to try the new stuff u have for me.  Guess
what?  After all these months....I upgraded/installed the "new"
Winsock 2.0 upgrade....now I can HOST games    : )

must have been a winsock problem.

Sim Bugs


Crashes

From: rlanger19 @ idt.net (Spectre) Subject: Mercs 1.1 Patch Blues Since I installed the 1.1 patch, (over a clean install from the CD) I've been experiencing some ... problems with Mercs. Some of them sound a little like problems that others are experiencing, but not exactly. I've attempted two different careers, and both ended at different points with the same error. "Shutting down because of a undetermined error." or somesuch. This happens before the mission starts, but at the point where the game shell drops you into a mission. When this occurs, no matter how many times you exit, reboot, and reload, the game continues to crash at the same point. -AND- even if you go back to a prior save, when you eventually get to the same mission, the error occurs again. Strangely enough, both of the times this occurred I was attempting one of the "required" missions. *sigh* System specs: Intel P90, 64MB RAM, SB16, 4GB HD, ATI Mach 64 w/2MB RAM. From: dodo @ world.std.com (Dean ODonnell) Subject: Mercs 1.1 Salvage Observations my system is a P200 w/ 32MB, Monster 3D card). ... Also, I'm experiencing a large number of lockups. These always happen when I am killed. It seems as though my mech takes the killshot, but the program has trouble shifting to the outside view where I either eject or watch my mech blow. The screen freezes solid, although Win95 still seems to be active. If I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, then Tab, then Enter (I've memorized how to shut down an offending program without being able to use the mouse or see anything on the screen), I get a default beep. If I then hit the Win95 button (that pops up the Start menu) I can see my Win95 desktop again and a textbox there that says, "Mercs is trying to recover from an unknown fatal error" with an Okay button. If I hit the button, I'm returned to my frozen Mercs screen. If I hit anything else, either nothing happens or I'm returned to my frozen screen. The only way I've managed to get out of this situation is to choose Shut Down and Restart the computer. In case it's relevant, I've tweeked the settings of my Monster 3D a bit. Here are the settings from my autoexec.bat file: SET FX_GLIDE_NO_SPLASH=1 SET SST_SCREENREFRESH=60 SET SST_FASTMEM=1 SET SST_PCIRD=1 SET SST_RGAMMA=1.70 SET SST_GGAMMA=1.70 SET SST_BGAMMA=1.70 SET SST_GRXCLK=57 SET SST_SWAP_EN_WAIT_ON_VSYNC=0 SET FX_GLIDE_SWAPINTERVAL=0 SET SST_TRIPPLE_BUFFER=1 I've tried slowing the clock speed to 55 and remming out the last three lines, but I still get the lockups. I've also experimented with refresh rates to no avail. Dean From: Darrell Mayeda drmayeda @ pixi.com Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 patch? The patch introduces a big bug that renders lietzen unplayable in non 3D and maybe in the 3D version.

Mission Loading Crashes

Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 11:45:43 -1000 From: Darrell Mayeda drmayeda @ pixi.com Subject: Re: Mercenaries problems I'm having a problem with Mercenaries. I installed the 1.1 patch non d3d version and am having a problem with the liezen 2 mission to defend the command center. I press launch and get the screen to synchronize neural helmet, the screen goes blank and stays that way. the CD rom blinks off and on but it's stuck for three minutes or so. that's a lot longer than it usually takes. I have an AMD K6 200 with 96 MB of RAM on a 1.6 Gig Hard drive with 230 MB free. All my drivers are as updated as they're going to get as of Jan 1998. I just installed the Creative Labs update for my sound blaster 16. NO other updates are available. This mission used to work. What happened? [Do you eventually get into the mission?] I haven't tried waiting to see if it loads. After a few minutes, Iexit out via CTRL ALT DEL. Also the Salvage option has a problem after a mission it shows me Mechs that are totaly destroyed. I get a white outline with no salvageable parts. I'll try waiting and see what happens. [...] I tried waiting and it's no good. After about three minutes. I get kicked out of Mercenaries and apparently back to the Win 95 desktop. The screen is blank so I have no way to tell where I am. Could this be a problem with Norton's speed start? What is the history of Mercs with Mircosoft's Powertoys. I just loaded quick res on my system. [We usually can't access the CD right if people have the CD PowerToy loaded. Try getting rid of the power toys... but I doubt they'd cause a problem with just one mission.] Subject: problems From: "Grim" grimlth @ email.msn.com Date: 1998/01/13 I don't know if it has anything to do with the 1.1 patch, but when I'm doing the job where you're on a giant block of ice flying through space and I start the second mission of that contract, after the mission finishes loading the screen flickers out and the game quits but the cd-rom keeps playing the music. Does this hn to anyone else? Hank From: (Diamond) diamond @ home.com Subject: mercs 1.1 help!! any suggestions here? I gave up on it, mercs worked fine before I installed patch for me, now everyonce in a while when I blow up a enemy mech my game freezes, and I have to reboot, any suggestions would be appreciated. and yes I did a fresh install. I have a dell pent pro 200 monster 3d 64 Ram

Accuracy vs. Battletech

From: "J.M. Capozzi" capozzi @ earthling.net Subject: Re: THANK YOU ACTIVISION!!!!! Squash the 'skate' bug..(where you can get up to speed with forward jump jets, shut down, keep holding the JJ button, and skate as long as you want at whatever speed you'd reached when you shut down. From: "Chuck Geary" cgeary @ diespammersdie.computerland.net Subject: Mercs 1.1 can't add and subtract. Fellow mechwarriors, Surprise, surprise. The Mercs 1.1 patch, the last freebie we're likely to get, STILL hasn't fixed the overweight/overammo bug. I take a Thug and load it with four LRM-5s with one ton of ammo for each launcher (yes, I drive a missile boat. Sue me. It works). This gives me (IIRC) 480 missiles (could be 240; can't remember now if it's 60 or 120 missiles per pack). Then, after a few randomly-generated missions, playing as a Merc Commander, using "repair all" between missions, I suddenly notice I have 960 missiles on board. I never added any more ammo packs. What's more, my Thug, which had been sitting on 79 out of 80 tons, is now 81 tons and "illegal." Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Where'd the extra two tons come from? Who knows? Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 01:41:29 -0800 From: -MWS- hauptman @ concentric.net Subject: More for the Mercs bug list - movement Hiya Dan! Here's a couple of movement inconsistencies in the sim and MechLab that belong on your Mercs bug list. MercLab (and sim?) Running Speed calculations --------------------------------------------- In Battletech, mechs use "movement points" (MP) that translate into sim ground speed by multiplying the MP by 10.8 kph. Mercs uses the MP calculations internally for engine rating calculation, max jump jets, and speed calculations. The running speed in the MercLab is calculated incorrectly. Battletech: Walking_MP is selected by design. Engine_rating = walking_MP * design_tonnage Running_MP = INT(walking_MP * 1.5 + 0.5) Walking_speed = walking_MP * 10.8 kph Running_speed = running_MP * 10.8 kph MercLab: Walking_MP is used internally in calculations Walking_MP = Engine_rating / design_tonnage Running_MP = INT(walking_MP * 1.5) + 1 Walking_speed = walking_MP * 10.8 kph Running_speed = running_MP * 10.8 kph What this means is that the running speed is calculated incorrectly for every mech that uses an "even walking_MP". The following side by side comparison shows the disparity. Walking/Running MP and (kph speed) Battletech Mercenaries -------------------- -------------------- 1/2 (10.8/21.6) 1/2 (10.8/21.6) 2/3 (21.6/32.4) 2/4 (21.6/43.2) <--- running speed too high 3/5 (32.4/54.0) 3/5 (32.4/54.0) 4/6 (43.2/64.8) 4/7 (43.2/75.6) <--- running speed too high 5/8 (54.0/86.4) 5/8 (54.0/86.4) 6/9 (64.8/97.2) 6/10 (64.8/108.0) <-- running speed too high 7/11 (75.6/118.8) 7/11 (75.6/118.8) 8/12 (86.4/129.6) 8/13 (86.4/140.4) <-- running speed too high If the mechlab calculations translate to sim top speeds, then there are a number of mechs that have too high a top speed. MASC sim implementation ----------------------- In Battletech, turning on a MASC system is an all or nothing affair - when MASC is enabled "the 'Mech will run that turn at a speed equal to double its standard walking rate". If the MASC system malfunctions, the leg actuators freeze up and the mech is rendered immobile for the rest of the game. In Mercs, turning on the MASC system simply boosts the current speed by 1.333 - and a malfunction simply turns the MASC off. Would it not be a truer implementation to also automatically boost the throttle to max (and keep it there) when MASC is enabled? Also, why wasn't the MASC malfunction implemented correctly? Right now there is no effective penalty - you can simply immediately re enable MASC time & time again if it malfunctions. A note - currently because of the incorrect jumpjet implementation, virtually no one uses MASC. If the jumpjets are corrected, MASC would be a more desirable option. Jumpjet sim implementation -------------------------- In Battletech, a mech with jumpjets may move horizontally as many hexes as it has jumping movement points when it jumps, and may jump up as many elevation levels as it has jumping MP. A note - this latter restriction conflicts with earlier rules - an "elevation level" is defined as 6 meters, while earlier rules allowed 30 meters vertical movement per jumping movement point. However, the key here is that a mech is limited in jumping movement points to a maximum equal to the mech's walking movement points and speed. In other words, the horizontal movement allowed by using jumpjets should never exceed the mechs nominal walking speed. However, in Mercs a mech with jumpjets can currently "fly" along the ground at over 5 times it's supposed maximum horizontal movement rate. This severely unbalances gameplay. Battletech: Maximum jumping MP = walking_MP Maximum horizontal jump movement = jumping_MP * 10.8 kph Maximum vertical jump movement = 30 meters * jumping_MP (old) 6 meters * jumping_MP (new) 1 jumpjet = 1 jumping_MP Mercenaries: Maximum horizontal jump movement = jumping_mp * 10.8 kph * 5.1 This *really* needs to be fixed.

Weapons Problems


From: jsilva@spam.not.welcome ('John' Joao Silva)
Subject: Re: NETMECH *TITANIUM* FIX-IT LIST- READ & COMMENT

My own additions are two real needed fixes for TITANIUM netmech:

1. GAUSS rifles really need to be as powerful as Battletech GAUSS rifles are
come on.. in the BT books a good shot from a GAUSS rifle will take off a mech
limb or kill the pilot with a headshot. As implemented in Activision BT sims,
the GAUSS rifle is nothing more than a launcher for a slow feeble bowling
ball, even if you're too slow to dodge it and it hits you, it doesn't do
very much damage.

2. Real PPC's. In the BT books, PPC's are described as blue bolts of lightning
that burn metal and liquify mech armor, again these are supposed to be very
powerful weapons, not slow feeble weapons.

I think fixing these two important weapons in the BT world would go a long
way to taking away the advantage of missile boats on Netmech and Mercnet 
right now and lead to some much more realistic mech fights and not the
wimpy missile launching battles we see too often, quiaff?

From: "Smeagal" not @ gonnagetit.com
Subject: Weapon & JJ Probs in 1.1

Here are a few MAJOR weapon probs (two of which affect all weps).

A> Clan Mplas now shoot at 600 meters, states in merclab 408, and last I
checked BattleTech stat's it was SUPPOSED to be 360.  Gimme a freaking
break.  A medium laser shooting nearly 66% farther than it should.  This
isn't also taking into account how powerful Mercnet MPlasers are in the
first place, a bug that should ahve been fixed with the 1.05 patch.

B> Clan Splas hit it 380 meters, states in your wonderful merclab that it's
supposed to be 204..almost a 100% increase in range...DERRR!

C>  IS Mplas and Mlas both have the exact same range - 280.  States in
merclab Mplas = 180, and Mlas = 270.. Y'all are on a roll so far, so how
bout we continue?

D>  Instant Hit Bug, y'all heard me bitch bout this one already but let's
recap shall we?  Every weapon, including missles, HIT AUTOMATICALLY, WITHOUT
TRAVELING TO THE TARGET, about 1 in 5 shots.  I have a 1 in 3 rate for both
PPC's and Arrows however (I also instantly hit a target standing 1.44k
away..must be some kinda new missle packing a K-F drive).

E>  Weapons just LOVE to hit yourself instead of what you are aiming at.
Medium range pulse weps seem to have this problem alot, along with IS mlas.
PPC's are the worst tho.  Arrows, oh man, I took out every single weapons on
my Naga when I fired the two arrows grouped...cuz they simply hit myself in
the torso.  I thought my enemy was gonna die of laughter longbefore I ever
got the chance to scratch his armor.

F>  PPC's do VERY little damage most of the time.  Now and then you'll get a
real good hit, specially when you fire them grouped (4).  For the most part,
however, the armor will only go down about 5%.  When testing it with Axe
(Don Halloran) the other day...I took zero damage on all but 2 or three
hits.

G>  Arrows do little damage to targets standing still.  This was a bug
that's been around since 1.0.  If a mech is standing still and is hit by an
arrow..two arrows grouped even.. it'll take either no damage or very little.
Yet, if it starts moving, it'll take about 50% of the max damage an arrow
could and should deal.

H>  It's REAL hard to kill a mech through the rear armor now.  You guys
didnt just fix the bug back there but you made rear armor about 100%
stronger than it was before...it's almost stronger than all of my front
armor.  I hit Ed Wong in the back with 4 ppc's, an LRM 20, and three Splas
and he took NO DAMAGE!  Y'all check that out, it's a hoot.

I>  Missles, also something I've griped about before, arent fixed.  You can
still turn them on a dime.  Take NARC and fire when facing 180 degrees away
from your target and watch those sucker's backtrack like before.
Goooooooood JOB Acti!

J>  Takes 8 Gauss slugs to take off one stock Grizzly leg(a notoriously weak
legged mech).  LEG, not LEGS, LEG, singular, uno, ONE.  Uh, DUH.  Gauss is
supposed to just SHRED armor (that's why you really cant carry too many
rounds...cuz they are so damn big and deal a heck of alot of damage).  Scuze
me, I can find my arse with both my hands, can you activision?

K>  Jets.  Oh MY GOD you BONEHEADS.  How could you possibly make them worse?
I don't understand, explain it to me.  I was in a game with an exe that
hovered at 600 feet for two minutes.  DUH!  Not only that, but you didnt fix
the JJ-slide bug!



Great graphics, best I've ever seen in an online simulator...

Exellent lag..actually, Exellent NO LAG...

Yet you totally missed the boat on what you should have done.  All you want
is to make money on Titanium.  Hey, beta testers, wanna know why you stopped
hearing anything?  Cuz they decided to hold an open Beta Test on all of us.
That BS about how much money they spent and time and yadda yadda yadda is
exactly that - BS.
This isn't a bug fix in any way, as was promised by actidip.  All the probs
we had before, strong MPlas, weak PPC's, bad missle physics, worthless
gauss, they are all hear.  Sure, they managed to fix AC's, Inferno's and
Flamers...but what about the rest?

I love flaming you Actiwipe.  You make it so easy!

Hey, you want some beta testers in teh future who would work?  I got some
names you should remember:

Don Halloran AKA Axe
Ed Wong AKA Endymion
-BLADE- (Kali player, and arguably the best Mercnet player on Kali)
|-|ornet (kali)
Pat Grover AKA Kronos

These five ppl (not counting a few others outhere who I just haven't thought
of right now dont be offended) could find every single bug in your crappy
ass engines within about two weeks (For the record, Ed, Don, Pat and I found
about 18 major ones in a total of 8 drops).

Pel

From: D. Halloran:

>    For all practical purposes, nothing has changed.
>
>    I am talking about missile physics here, not damage infliction by
>infernos, or anything else.
>
>    Im just talking about the behaviour of LRMs in the 1.1 Patch. The
>only difference i have found (using clan LRMs) is that they now have a
>minimum locking range of 30m
>    They do NOT have  wider turning arcs. Activision said they would
>fix  this, in fact they said they DID fix this. They did NOT fix this.
>The only difference now is that the missile does not start turning
>until it is 30m away from its orignal firing point.
>    You dont have to take my word for it. Go into a game of
>mercs/mercnet. Stand at a 90 degree angle to a target, locking an
>LRM15 onto it by torso twisting all the way (say left). Then fire the
>missiles, and as you fire them, swing your torso quickly all the way
>to the right. The last few missiles will initially be launched
>directly away from the target. They will travel 30m, and then proceed
>to make a 180 degree turn inside of 5m, and fly towards the target,
>guaranteed to hit as before.
>    I could blame the beta testers for this, but if i did i would be
>wrong. It is entirely activisions fault, and i dare them to deny the
>comments i have made here. If they do, i invite you all to come onto
>mercnet and find Psychlone, and i will show you the truth.
>
>    Don Halloran.

From: "Smeagal" not @ gonnagetit.com
Subject: Re: Behaviour of missiles in 1.1

Better way to test this is to take Narc.  Narc a target, turn around and
walk away from it firing straight ahead (and a little to the side so the
dont hit you).  About 30m from you target as Don said, they'll turn right on
a damn and hit head for home.

Don, I shot the shit outta Ed's mech like this yesterday :)  Took a missle
boat to test all the LRMs and SRMs and boy, his little IS mech didnt like it
one bit :)

Pel


From:  "Smeagal" not @ gonnagetit.com
Subject: Re: I.S. Slasers and I.S. LRM5's

>Furthermore, I noticed the LRM5s were
>hitting their targets BEFORE getting there... IE, pull trigger, BANG 
>explosions, watch missles go to target. Well, isnt that special... Am
>I the only one? And is this the same for Mercnet? Glad I am a Clanner.

I havent had the slas prob you are, in fact mine were hitting at just over
100m.

The LRM5 thing you are talking about is the "Instant Hit" bug.  Gauss, PPCs,
Arrows, and Flamers suffer from it the most.  SRMs and guided missles dont
get it as much, but still have it.

Lasers also have it (you'll also notice lasers tend to hit yourself instead
of the target and you take splash damage sometimes, especially PPCs)

Pel

From: Ray Grant rjgrant @ kern.com
Subject: Re: ATTENTION* ACTIDAVE,J.M.Capozzi Re: Weapon & JJ Probs in 1.1

DeathSkull colsten @ pc.partner.net wrote:
> 
> I did a full Btech fan review of the mercs game with patch.
> I have played Btech since 1988 and have most of the major Btech books.
> the one I used for this experiment is the "Battletech Compendium; the rules
> of war fare"

Excellent, I did a similar routine relative to MW3, since I
dont think Activision is going to fix the bugs anymore, so
they say. Titanium maybe? We'll see...

> SYSTEM:
> P200MMX
> 24xCD-ROM
> 4.3 hard Drive
> Vidio; Standard packard bell monitor w/ 2 megs ram
> 32MB edo ram
> 56k winmodem set to 33.6
> 
> A special note:
> I dont care what the range says in the mech lab. What counts is on the
> battlefield.

Agreed, but nice if numbers mesh...

> I took one of each weapon and fit what would fit on an Orion for
> InnerSphere, and a grizzly for Clan and fought several Battles over a
> course of six hours.
> The #'s in ( ) are Mercenaries ranges. The other #s are Compendium ranges.
> 
> I call them quirks but if they are bugs you will know it:)
> 
> here is what I found.
> 
> IS Weapons and ranges:
> 
> 1. MG       60M     (60M) with 5MG and 1000rds of ammo I could not destroy
> a Kitfox.This a lot of slugs?

Actually IS & Clan MGs should go 90 meters, typo?

> 2. Medium laser        270M (270M)  very little damage shows on targeted
> mech, but I always have destoyed the target wether Blue or yellow.
> 
> 3. Large laser         450M  (450M)  green laser trail, but Blue damage
> explosion on target.
> 
> 4. ER large laser    570M  (570M)   Same as above.
> 
> 5. LRM15              630M    (630M)   Fire arcs seem fine. once locked
> they hit, but with out the explosions all the time. And the random missle
> hits refleck the missle hits table.( maybe a little more hits would be
> fine;) )

LRM15s should only have 9 missles actually hitting, on average 4 out of
11,
5/6/12/15 missle hits are 1/2 or less as likely each salso, and that is
WITHOUT AMS, it seems that they always hit more than that.
With I.S. AMS an average of 3 missles per rack/salvo should be shot
down.
With Clan AMS an average of 7 should be shot down... Mercs doesnt seem
to reflect this at all.
I guess they tried to get around this by not letting I.S. systems shut
off, like Clan Mechs can... not good. 

> 6. LRM20             630M   (630M) Same as above.
> 
> 7. Narc                270M    (270M)   Once locked all missles hit at what
> ever angle you are in relation to target. Not unrealistic.  I.E.  In btech
> if you are doing indirect fire on a narced target, If you fire striaght up
> to avoid a hill, all frendly missles going to that target are locked to
> that target wether they hit or not.

Good point, agreed. As long as Streaks are not able to use NARCS...
cause
they arent supposed to.

> 8.  SRM4           270M  (269M)  OK< OK DAMNITT!!  THIS WEAPON IS ONE METER
> OFF.... FIX IT :)  heheh couldnt resist... no problem here just kidding on
> the flames
> 
> 9,  AC10            450M   (449M) same as above :)
> 
> 10 LB10X           540M   540M) No probs
> 
> Clan weapons and ranges:  I did the same weapons as IS, But did not see any
> thing that was diffrent, except the greater ranges that come with the clan
> tech.
> here is the additional weapons.
> 1. MG  60M (60M) same as IS MG

90... :)
 
> 2. Gauss Rifle     660M  (600M)  A little weak is an understatement at this
> point.
> Out of 3 tons of ammo = 360 points of damage, this is more than enough
> damage
> to down a mech, leg or other wise.

I could not possibly agree with you more!

> 3. ERPPC      690M   (690M)   hmmm, lets see,  12 direct hits with full
> explosion graphics at a FireMoth =  180 points of damage. Hell, a firemoth
> aint got that much armour in its entire tonage. Btech specs are 2 tons of
> armour for the FireMoth = 38 armour point to allocate. I had to finish it
> off with 2 MPLasers. One volley was enough so it was taking damage.

Agreed again, they took the 2 God-Weapons from BTech and made them into
pea shooters! GEEZ!
 
> 4.   Splaser      180M  (180M)*
> 
> 5. MPlaser        360M  (360M)*
> 
> 6. LPlaser         600M  (600M)*
> 
> *These seem a little over powered in the fact that they will hit atleast
> 200 meters beyond what is listed. This isnt to unrealistic as it reflects
> the fact that weapons do have a "maximum effective range" of some sort and
> can fire out to a certain range  beyond thatbefore gravity takes over. But
> under this assumption,  in a low/no vac situation the ammo ( of whatever
> type) should still be traveling in cyberspace.
> *No trials with IS Pulse lasers

Agreed, except that you are talking about Lasers, and GRAVITY?
Been battling in Black holes again havent ya :) hehe 
 
> OTHER aboservations:
> 
> ArrowIV
> I read on one of the post, (maybe it was an e-mail I got from the league
> guys)
> That ArrowIVs will hit beyond 1000 meters. well here is the answer.
> 
> An ARROWIV's range is (is 5 maps, clan 6 maps) , which breakdown to 17
> hexes per map. Each hex is 30meters across making this a whopping total of
> 3060 meters. in the Mercs game. the max range you will find is around
> 1075meters. and it will lock on at this range and hit your target. So to
> explain why you can hit beyond 1075 meters. easy!  The active radar that is
> available to mechwarrior is only capable of  a range of 1075metres. The
> Btech sensor range is somewhere near this #.( 2 maps I think)
> 
> ERPPC's and PPC's:
> I took a Grizzly on this mission.   2 ERPPC's grouped them, shot six times
> at a pump station. This equals to 12x15 =180 points of damage.
> Now this is a bit high for a Construction Factor on a pump station but isnt
> to unrealistic if you want me to do the math. A CF for a hardended building
> is 150, now lets say that two PPC bolts miss(?), this total of damage
> points now becomes 150.
> 

From: Rob Ayotte rayotte @ badlands.nodak.edu
Subject: Re: Degrade in AI in Mercs? Wepons bugs

...
Another ... annoying thing, group fired shots do about the same damage
in Merc's 1.1 as single fired shots.  I use med lasers for close range, and
will put 8 or so on a mech.  Now, if I shoot using group fire and hit
square, I should be doing some major damage.  NOPE!  So I use chain fire and
just keep pumping the trigger.  Takes them out MUCH faster.

Graphics Card Compatibility Bugs


From: "Patrick Fleury" pfleury @ tr.cgo_cbl.com
Subject: How About Voodoo2 Activision???

 I'd like to know what the guys at Activision have to say about the fact
that some people (a lot it seems) can't get Mercs 1.1 to run correctly or
even to install with a Voodoo2 card....With the release of Titanium Pack
being close, i hope you were smart enough to think about the Voodoo2
compatibility.  If not, let me tell you that you may have more of those
pretty boxes sitting on the store shelf for while, 'cause i doubt that
people who bought a Voodoo2 card would be interested of buying a game that
they can't maybe even install...

From: Nightweb `...` @ nowhere.com
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 patch - Graphics Problem

Lewis Jardine wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> I've just updated my version of mercs to 1.1 (download took 2 days!),
> and I've got a few problems with it:
> 
> 1: Sidewinder disappears, twitches, stops working, etc. while playing
> game (something to do with MWAVE card, not activision's fault). Mouse
> is over-sensitive, laggy, and generally crap.
> 
> 2: Ground textures disappear towards horizon, and are replaced by grey
> colour. With terrain textures off, ground turns grey, and only
> occasionally the right colour. On both settings, when the 'mech is
> pointing down/left or down/right, the ground goes really wierd, the
> textures being replaced by randomly moving multi-coloured lines (far
> out, man)
> 
> 3: Game plays as normal (or as close as it gets), and then instead of
> going back to the shell at the end of the mission, it just quits back
> to windows.
> 
> Has anyone else got these problems with mercs, or know how to fix any
> of them?
> Lewis Jardine                    Remove "nospam" to reply

What type of graphico card do you have? I have a Diamond, and the damn
thing either wont run, or it does the above... works fine with
everything else.. =( Heard that Activision let a few nice ones pass
since they tried to make a christmas deadline...

/Anne - vayda.1 @ osu.edu

From:"Mack" makmorg @ ix.netcom.com
Subject: Re: ACTIDAVE, Anybody !! Help with v1.1 patch ! Page Fault errors

I get the same error too.  In fact everyone who owns a Diamond Stealth II
gets the same error.  And I tried various things.  Fresh Install of V1.0
then install patch.  Patch V1.0 to 1.05 then install new patch.  No luck. 
Going to try some other things.  Let's see what works.  But if anyone comes
up with a solution I'd be much obliged.  The games looks beautiful and runs
great.  But I wanna be able to play to. :(

From: "Mack" makmorg @ ix.netcom.com
Subject: Solution to Stealth II/MW2:Mercenaries patch problem ( Sort of anywayz)

I've  come across a work around (er, sort of anyway) that allows the
Stealth II card to work with MW2:Mercs and the new patch.  To recap the
problem, whenever you exit any mission during the game Stealth II owners
get hit with a invalid page fault error with mercswin.exe and get booted
back to windows.  

Here's a workaround that works most of the times.  On my machine anyway.  I
go to  video options and select software emulation.  I then go into instant
action and select any mech and launch a mission.  I enter the game only
long enough to eject and end the mission.  The game doesn't crash of
course.  I then go back to video options select Stealth II, with all
features enabled, and start the game.   On my machine the game doesn't
crash anymore when exiting a mission so I finally get to play the darn
thing and look at all the purty graphics.  I don't know why it works or how
it works it just works.  Give it a try.  I hope that helps my fellow
Stealth II owners until Diamond or Activision comes up with a more
permanent solution.  Luck to you all.

Mack

From: "S Mcdonald" smcd @ mindspring.com
Subject: DIAMOND STEALTH II OWNERS ..... V1.1 PATCH .. READ THIS

Hey fellow Stealth II owners...

You may or may not be experiencing Page Fault errors when you exit a mission
.. I found that if you just hit the "X" instead of "Close"ing the
application "WinMercs.exe", the game will still continue, and may even not
repeat the same problem.  I experienced the problem once, then was able to
play 3 or 4 more consecutive missions w/o a problem...

Post your success/failure rate ....

From: ambroos @ xs4all.nl (Ambroos Wiegers)
Subject: Re: MercNet 1.1 Lock-ups

On Sun, 21 Dec 1997 00:28:59 -0700, David Forster daforst @ ibm.net wrote:


>anyone else experinced this problem?  Any fixes?
>
>While I'm writing, I also have a problem where when I come back from a
>single player mission the debriefing screen is totaly blank...It's not
>locked up, it's just blank.  I can bring up the Windows menu and goto
>"Save/Load", go back, and everything is OK...Buttons (like "STARPORT")
>work OK, I just cann't see where they are or have a mouse cursor...
>
>Here's my system
>
>P5-166MHz w/ 512KB cache
>128MB EDO RAM
>SoundBlaster AWE64 (Latest drivers as of December 20, 1997)
>Diamond Monster 3D (Latest 3Dfx reference drivers  -- Both D3D and
>Glide2)
>Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM PCI (Using S3's DX5 drivers)
>DirectX v5.0

I think its the S3 chip, I'm having the same kind of problems. The S3 has a 'clear screen' bug in
it. You could try downloading S3fix.zip (or someting like that) at http://www.s3.com. In the past it
worked for me -with other games and the Mercs patch on an other system than mine-. Too bad, it
didn't work at  my own system.

Greetings, Ambroos

From: "J.M. Capozzi" capozzi @ earthling.net
Subject: Re: 1.1 Minor problem -black screen after mission

I get it using my Monster 3d OR my Riva 128 card, and like you said, you
just have to bring down the menu bar, and it goes away.  Little annoying
though.


Heregul wrote in message 67onk4$hq4 @ bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net...
>
>Fusion wrote in message 349fa7c8.1811899 @ news.fast.net...
>
>Is anyone else getting the black screen before the briefing, after a
>mission? The game is functioning normally.
>All I need to do is bring up the Combat Variables, then close it to
>refresh the screen and see the briefing.
>
>I'm using a Monster with the 3DFX (not Diamonds) Direct3D drivers.
>My 2D card is a Jaton 58P (ET6000) using the newest Tseng ET6000
>drivers.
>
>Tim
>
>
>Yeah, I get that too, and get the briefing screen in the same way you do...
>and I have a Monster 3d too.  Hmmm.....
>
>Heregul

From: Andrew Carey a_carey @ sympatico.ca
Subject: Mercs 1.1, Framerate and Video Problem

... has anyone had the problem when exiting a mission the screen
stays black.  All I have to do is make a menu choice and the screen
comes back, so it's not that big a deal.

System is Asus P55 T2P4, P166, 32 EDO RAM, Diamond Video 2001, Monster
3D and all the latest drivers (always).  Yes I did a clean install.


From: GARROTTS @ Ext.Missouri.Edu (Steve Garrotto)
Subject: Mercs 1.1 Patch, 3d=YES, no 3d=NO!

I have just tried the Merc 1.1 patch on two diferent computers:  One with an 
ATI Rage Pro 3d chipset and one with a 2d S3 chipset in it.

My simple non-scientific experiment showed me that if one does not have a 3d 
capable card, the patch will hurt more than help. That said, if one does have 
a 3d adapter . . . WOW! That is all I can say. I went into Mercnet and loaded 
Rat Trap, the fog and rock walls are really cool! Now mind you I was alone and 
could not find anyone there to test lag, game play, or framerates.

I was able to test both computers on the "Blow up the 3 floor of the Bank" 
mission. The 3d version (ATI Rage Pro @ 640*480, all graphic options on high 
or on, and all 3d options checked) never saw the frame rate counter go lower 
than 16, but I was not watching all the time! (to busy shooting)
The non 3d computer (Dell 200MHz MMX, 64MB ram) was seeing frame rates as low 
as 4, in 640*480 with all options off or low! Ouch, major disapointment. As 
this computer used to be able to run almost all missions at 640*480, with all 
options off or High.

My little experiment was very weighted, in that the ATI Rage Pro 4MB was in my 
new Dell Optiplex GXaT 300MHz PII, 64MB ram. The 2d computer was a Dell 
Optiplex GXMT-5166 with an Intel Overdrive 200MHz MMX chip installed, S3 Trio 
64+ 2MB, 64MB Ram.

From: "Ghengis Kat" nospam @ noway.nohow
Subject: ATI (RAGE) and MERCS 1.1

Ok here's my machine specs if anyone really cares:

166 mmx
32 megs EDO
ATI 3Dxpression+PC2TV
Dirext X 5.0 from the MS site

I downloaded the patch tried the 3D, looked like shit. Checked out the ATI
site noticed that they had just updated their drivers the night before.
Tried that looked awesome!!!!

BUT plays slow as shit cuz the game was swapping like nutz with everything
on. So I played around tried everything on EXCEPT MIP MAPPING. And
TADAAAAAA looks awesome and plays great. When nothing much is going on
we're at about 20 fps when shit hits the fan we're at 8-9 fps but still
playable.

Tried the online play,.. NICE. Just wish there was an east coast or central
server to play on. (IF anyone knows anything please say something).

MORAL: with ATI's RAGE or RAGE II try turning off the MIP mapping but use
the hardware setup not the D3D cuz it bites worst than turning your turbo
off.

From: Rob Ayotte rayotte @ badlands.nodak.edu
Subject:      Patch question with ATI 3d RAGE II chipset

    Everything worked fine in the Special ATI 3D RAGE version of
Mechwarrior that came with the computer, and in Ghost Bear, and even the
out of the box 1.05 Merc's, all worked fine.
    So why does it slow down to nothing when I put the 1.1 patch on it,
even leaving off the 3D stuff?
    Customization and all out of mission stuff works fine, but the
missions are choppy and I have to turn off textures to get anything near
a playable mission frame rate.
    I have followed all the instructions, and have done what I need to
do, and have 32megs ram on a P-200MMX, with video on the MB designed
with the ATI chips.

[time passes...]

ATI has a new driver out that solved my problems.  I still get some chop
but it's running with all the options on.  The new driver that handles DirectX5
is for systems using the RAGE II chipset and was released 12-10-97.
Now they tell you the drivers are just for boards, and not for use with systems
that have the chips on the MB's but it still worked on my Aptiva with an
imbedded chip.
[ATI:
Driver download page at http://support.atitech.ca/drivers/drivers.html
 3D RAGE II:   Latest version 4.10.2278     Posted: 12-10-97
 See http://support.atitech.ca/drivers/3drageII+.html]

From: nospam_cynical@ptialaska.net
Subject: Re: Someone wrote to me about 1.1 Merc's patch problems.....

> Rob wrote that getting the driver straight from ATI 
>instead of IBM solved his problem. 

I'll second that. I have an All-In-wonder card with the Rage II, and
reinstalled the game and 1.1 patch after installing the same driver
from the ATI website. Looks bee-yootiful, and runs as fast as ever.
Every once in a while I even find myself driving my mech faster than I
can see (grin). I've only had one hangup since, during combat, and I'm
generally running Free Agent simultaneously in a minimized window. :)

Cynic

From: Khayman NOSPAMejstrehl @ evansville.net
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 patch?

Well, I have experienced both sides of the 1.1 patch: ie could not get
it to work for the life of me, and now it works well. While that may
sound oxymoronic, here's the logic: the patch didn't work until I got my
new video cards.

Previously, I was running Mercs 1.06 DOS on my system: K6-200, 48 MB
RAM, ATI GX-PRO Turbo. The game ran well, especially in its primary use,
Mercnet. Then the 1.1 patch came along, and it took a couple tries to
get it to work after install. This included editing the registry,
scanning & defragging HD, and complete reinstall of Mercs off the CD,
and yes, I chose the non-3d install.  Still had problems tho: Mercnet
(now WinMercnet) would simply not run; it wouldn't even start (the game
would crash when I attempted to start Mercnet). I experienced the
gawd-awful ground flickering, etc while playing IA and other
single-player games. But since I needed Mercnet (leagues), I wiped 1.1
off and went back to 1.06.
About 3 weeks ago, I spent my XMAS money, and pulled my ATI card for a
TOTAL3D & PURE3D pair from Canopus. After getting these new cards in, I
did another registry-purge and installation of winmercs, and ran the 3d
version of the 1.1 patch. Now it works. My framerates are excellent, and
Mercnet works. I've even been able to find a few custom missions (none
of the custom missions written for pre-1.1 will work).
There are bugs with the 1.1, and you've probably seen the list, so I'll
only include some major ones I've seen:
1)Frequently, instant hits on target when firing missiles and PPC's.
They barely get out of the launcher and boom.  This can cause splash
damage to you, btw, even if your enemy is at max PPC range.
2)The damage spheres have been adjusted, but not fixed (see Don
Hollaran's report on Mercnet1.1).
3)Problems with sticky ammo and bad chassis mechs in customization.
4)Dynamic salvage aint all you'd want it to be. Head shots are rare, and
flamer-induced ejects against AI never happen. The fact that you are
limited on space to carry salvage/equip/armaments also puts serious
drawback on the game. I am halfway thru replaying the single-player
campaigns, and don't pick up salvage anymore, just ignore it (against
IS, that is).
5)The damned auto-eject is still defaulted to 'ON'... I am tired of
looking at this sign I have taped to my monitor...

=LoD=Khayman

From: "Lama" lama @ where.not.here
Subject: Invisible Mechs & Buildings

After installing the patch as per Activision Instructions, I noticed
buildings and mechs  were invisible, nothing but a faint outline would show.
That made the game unplayable.  I scrapped the installation, started over,
downloaded DirectX from Microsoft, reinstalled it, and checked the drivers.
Buildings were still invisible and frame rates were averaging 8 fps.  Ack!

After searching the Number 9 site for new drivers and found none, I went to
the S3 site and downloaded their latest driver for S3 Virge.  What a
difference.  Average framerate is now 15, not awesome but decent (most
options off).  I'll be looking for a new video card next year, when the 3d
wars settle down to a minor skirmish.

I have a Pentium 133, 40MB EDO ram, Number9 Reality 332 S3 Virge w/ 2MB, and
SB AWE 64.

From: "Mark" yea-sure @ noway.com
Subject: 1.1 setup worked for me

I think I am up and running? After having a lot of the same problems I've
seen posted in the NG. I think everything works except my Sidewinder. At
first after downloading 1.1 my computer would lock up when I'd launch a
mission. Then I changed the refresh rate on my Pure 3D card and was able to
launch a game, but the screen was jerky, and when I would go to the control
section of the game my system would reboot.

     I have two systems on a small network. My main system is a P II 300
MHz/ AL440 LX board/ 128 MB SDRAM-EP/ Matrox Millennium 8 MB "non AGP"/
Canopus pure 3D fx add on card/ View Sonic 21" monitor/ 4 gig scsi hd/ 15
speed scsi CD-ROM/ Sidewinder Pro 3D joystick.

    When I first installed the 1.1 patch my pure 3D was over clocked to 60
MHz on the memory clock, I changed that back to 50 MHz. My refresh rate on
my Pure 3D was at 120 MHz 640 X 480, I changed that back to 60 MHz. On my
standard display settings my monitors refresh rate was at 85 MHz on all
sizes 640 X 480 through 1800 X 1440, I changed my 640 X 480 down to 60 MHz
and all other settings to 75 MHz. That seemed to help when playing the game
"no more lock ups", but it was still a little jerky. I noticed that my
sidewinder was active even though it was not selected in my options. I added
and then removed the Sidewinder, and restarted the game and the Sidewinder
was not active and the game was smooth, looks great. Sometimes I'll get a
quick frame or two, but I've been able to go back and pump all my refresh
rates back to where I had them, and the game works fine. It could have been
a Joystick problem all along, but I messed with that thing all night last
night and never had any luck, so go figure.

    This is the second time I have purchased this game. I never could get it
to work back when it first came out. I thought it was my Cyrix CPU so I
exchanged the game and said to hell with it. I have since changed to an
Intel P200 MMX on that system. The 300 MHz system was the first system I
installed on this last time because it has always been such an easy system
to configure. I was about to jump on the trash Activision bandwagon, but
thought I'd install on the 200 MHz system before I started my bitch'en. That
install work the first time with the 1.1 up grade. So I went back and
started changing my refresh rates on the P II 300. I still am going to mess
with the joystick "if anyone can help please e-mail".

    The components on my P 200 system are as follows. Intel P 200 MMX/
Gigabyte GA586 HX main board/ 96 MB RAM/ Sound Blaster AWE 32/ Canopus Total
3D video card/ Canopus Pure 3D add on card/ Creative Labs 8X IDE CD-ROM/ IDE
HD/ Shamrock 17' Monitor. I didn't want to give up, Mech is such a great
concept.
Mark

From: "Eric Holk" eet764 @ telisphere.com
Subject: Re: 1.1 Minor problem -black screen after mission

I get this problem too.  Luckily, as you mentioned, it's easy to work
around.  While we are on the subject of VERY VERY VERY minor problems, has
anyone else noticed that all the mechs you salvage have a tech year of 0?

From:  "Alex R." pcalex @ megsinet.com
Subject: Mercenaries 1.1 bug

I play the D3D version of Mercs 1.1 .  Whenever I abort a mission, the game
hangs on a black screen. It doesn't freeze the whole system because I can
still switch to other applications. I can't close Mercs with Ctrl-Alt-Del.
Also, the game doesn't freeze when I complete the mission, only when I
abort.

From: tarnish @ ibm.net
Subject: Mercs 1.1 is slow and crashes

Well,  I downloaded the D3D patche from Activision
and tried to install it.  It looks great when it runs, but it
doesn't run for long...

The symptoms I am experiencing are:

Missions take a LONG time to load. On the
order of 30sec to 240sec.

Play is slow and choppy, slightly worse than Mercs 1.05.

Games crashes often.  Usually after major CPU load, such
as destroying an enemy mech or building or exiting a mission.
Some mission crash every time you try to exit.

The stats on my computer are:

Micron PII 233MHz
32 MB RAM
plenty of harddrive space
Diamond Viper v330 (tried with latest certified drivers as well as
non-certified 1.014 and 1.015 respectively).
latest DirectX 5.0
Sidewinder Pro joystick (which works fine)

Has anybody else experienced these symptoms?  Does anyone have
a solution?  Enquiring minds want to know...


-Eric

From: "Mark" mark_1083 @ msn.com
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 is slow and crashes

Its your Riva 128 not ready for prime time video card.
wait for the new drivers or try the Asus drivers I hear they work good with
Mercs.

From: Darrell Mayeda drmayeda @ pixi.com
Subject: Re: Mercs, Direct 3D, and Viper?

dapel @ omnipoint.com wrote:
> what is required to get
> Mercs to play in D3D mode, with the Diamond Viper accelerator?
> Also - anybody know what version of Win95 supports AGP?

I have the diamond viper 330 PCI version so you would probably get
similar results.  Download the latest drivers for your card either 1.4
or 1.5.  You need the most recent version of Win 95 with osr2 that
supports AGP but you may have a little trouble finding a computer shop
that will load it for you.  This IS NOT AVAILABLE retail.  Hardware
companies are the only ones that have this but you may be able to
download what you need from the microsoft site.  Download the 1.1 patch
for mercenaries and choose to install the D3D portion.  It runs fine on
an AMD K6 200 so a pentium II 300 it will be excellent.  The graphics
are incredible but much different from the non 3D version.  No snow in
the bryceland recon. Don't use the multiple light source option turn
that off.  It causes ugly polygons to appear when you fire lasers or
missles Some objects pop up out of nowhere but otherwise no real
problems.  I think you'll like it. 

From: Darrell Mayeda drmayeda @ pixi.com    2/8/98 1:25
Subject: Re: Merc Patch1.1

Dan Kegel wrote:
> Does installing the new reference drivers
> (from http://www.rivazone.com ) help?  A few people on this newsgroup
> report good results with 'em.

Dan,
I have the Riva 128 and want to know how to get rid of those polygons
that appear when you fire lasers and missles.  It's very anoying.  The
only way I found to get rid of it is turn off multiple light sources. 
I'm using the beta openGl drivers from Nvida and still no luck. Any
ideas.  I have all options on Anti Aliasing, fog transparency.

From: mechtech @ micron.net
Subject: Re: Mercs, Direct 3D, and Viper?

I have the V330 AGP on P2/300M system play is(was)excellent with 1.1
patch. Started with driver ver 4.10.01.0004 and worked great! Updated to
driver ver 4.10.01.0014 and get locked up if I fire weapons(not much fun
there:)). AGP support is on Win 95 OSR2 w/USB. BTW if anyone can figure
out my problem let me know.

From: alman @ interlog.com (@Kicker)
Subject: Merc 1.1 Patch Problems....Yet again

I got the 1.1 patch and after installing the patch properly (ie following the 
steps recommended by Activision) i can't get only a black screen after i hit 
the "launch" button.  In my video options, i can have the options of 
"3DFX DirectX 5.0"
"Mystique Powerdesk"
"Software Emulation"
and despite what i pick only the Software Emulation will be highlighted and 
used :(
For the record, when i have uninstalled the game, i have also deleted the 
registry entries with regedit.
My system is as follows
K6-200
32Megs
Matrox Mystique 4Megs
Diamond Monster 3D

From: paul @ symply.ca (Paul )
Subject: Re: Merc 1.1 Patch Problems....Yet again

I had a similar problem and the way I solved it was to reformat my
hard drive , reinstall Win95, my Diamond Stealth drivers, My Monster
3D drivers and then DirectX5 in that order.  After that the patch ran
beautifully!!!!

I know it seems pretty drastic but it appears that after installs and
reinstals and updates upon updates of reinstallls the drivers get
screwed up and can only be sorted out buy wiping them out and starting
over again.

Let me know if you solve the problem some other way.

From: sparky@en.com
Subject: Re: Merc 1.1 Patch Problems....Yet again

I got an AMD K5, Matrox Mistake and a Diamond Monster. No problems at
all w/ 1.1. Try getting latest Matrox Drivers and Monster Driver 1.09
from Diamond. 

From: aaron @ skypoint.com
Subject: Viper 330 / Merc 1.1 Problem

Has anyone experienced Merc crashes shortly after a mission starts?  I have
a Viper 330, and after I installed the patch with the directx update, Mercs
does nothing but crash.  Please help.

From: Jeff Catt 
Subject: Mercs 1.1 - only see cockpit and blue!

I've got 1.1 installed (at least 3 different ways) and the game does
play, but everything outside the cockpit is blue - no textures, or even
polygon outlines ( I do get some shadows).

I've deleted the Mercs directories and registry entries and have patched
two versions of Mercs - my original - 1.0 (I think), and a copy that I
got bundled with my STB Velocity 128 2D/3D card. Neither installation
gave me the option to install the 3Dfx version, however, I can choose
my video card from the video options menu. Also, switching to software
emulation video did not improve the great expanse of blue (mild surprise).

After initially installing the card, I did have trouble with WinBench 3D
until I went through the STB Vision properties and manually set refresh
rates for each resolution (significant?). And when I change drivers, I
get two STB video card driver options, although both are the same version.

It seems that some folks have been able to get around this problem by
reformatting their harddrives, reinstalling windows, drivers, Mercs, etc.
Is this true? Is their any other way (please say yes!).

Win 95 4.00.950a
Tyan Titan III Motherboard (with Busmastering)
STB Velocity 128 (also running STB Vision)
ViewSonic 17PS 17" Monitor
P100 w/ 32 mb 60ns EDO RAM

Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:26:31 -0800
From: Mike Tryon ddealer @ inetworld.net
Subject: Re: ACTIVISION YOU LIED TO US !!! READ THIS DAN !!!

> > and the ground is all blue and none of the mechs are visable.
> Now that's something we ought to be able to help with.
> What graphics card (2d and 3d) and drivers are you using,
> and what mode are you using Mercs in (hardware d3d vs software only d3d
> vs 8 bit non d3d)?

i have an ATI 8 meg 3D Pro Turbo PC2TV (Rage 2 Chipset)i am useing the
drivers that came with the card. i tryed direct x5
when i got heavy gear and it shrunk my screen. these drivers work
perfect for I76 and Heavy Gear and should work for this too.
as for what the settings are...whatever default was. i tried all
the options i could get to in the menu and had the same results.
according to the ATI site i have the latest drivers for my card.

From: rvillella@widomaker.com (Rich Villella)
Subject: 1.1 Patch Video Problem

I know this was posted before but I erased all the old messages.  I
installed the 1.1 patch and now all I see in a mission is the frame
outline of the cockpit and a plain, light blue screen.  No detail at
all except I can make out other mechs if I get close enough, and
buildings show up sometimes.  It's a pretty shade of blue though.
I have a Matrox Millenium card and I updated to the latest drivers.
Any help is appreciated.


From: "Yvon"  ypilotte @ videotron.ca
Subject: Titanium Pack and pcx2 ???

 Does anyone know if the upcoming titanium pack will run on the pcx2 cards
such as the M3D and Apocalipse 3dx ???
 I play Heavy Gear in D3D, with an M3D  card using the Apocalipse drivers (
the Matrox drivers really sucked)  and it looks great, never crashes and is
basically loads of fun. I have never run into any of the problems reported
on this newsgroup as it pertains to HG.
 However the Merc 1.1 patch, written for the 3dfx, only gives me distorted
textures (sorta psychedelic, man !!!),  weird colored sky (i.e. black with
purple clouds), and disappearing mountains. It looks OK if I only use the
Stealth card but then it's too slow.It's strictly unplayable on my machine.
Pentium 166
64 megs Ram
Diamond Stealth 3d 2000 (4 megs)
Matrox M3D (4 megs texture)
1.8 megs hard drive
Suncom F15e Talon joystick 

I only hope Titanium pack support for video cards is as good as it is for
HG.

From: "Yvon"  ypilotte @ videotron.ca
Subject: Re: Matrox M3D doesn't work with Mercs 1.1 patch?

ajcimell @ gov.ns.ca wrote in article <884265906.130023426@dejanews.com>...
> I have a Matrox M3D card on my Windows 95 system, I also use a Virge 4
> meg as my 2d card.  For some reason when I try to use the D3D patch for
> Mercs it only recognizes the Virge card and not the M3D.  Of course,
> trying to run D3D Mercs on a Virge card is a joke.  Is there any way to
> get the M3D to work that anyone knows of?

I seem to have a video configuration that's similar to yours so this should
give you the same results I got.

Pentium 166
64 megs Ram
Diamond Stealth 3d 2000 (4 megs)
Matrox M3D (4 megs texture)
1.8 megs hard drive
Suncom F15e Talon joystick 


I  got this to work , by getting the Videologic 3DX (
http://www.videologic.com/ ) drivers to replace my Matrox drivers. Then by
going through the display properties window I set the card to standard. I
got the best results by not changing any options other than that. The game
will still not see your M3D ( now known as a videologic 3DX, since you
changed the drivers), but it will still use it. It is true that using this
method, will give you an odd looking sky and a wavy ground (mostly when
standing still) but what the hell. Who says the sky on other planets has to
look the same as on earth anyways. 

Anyhow while this method is not perfect, it will give you the great
textures and AWESOME looking mechs without spending a lot of money on a
3dfx card.

Subject: Questions concerning 1.1 patch and the virge chipsets
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 05:11:06 -0700
From: warlock warlock @ pcisys.net

OK all you mech gurus out there I know somewhere someone is using a
setup similar to mine, I have 2 3d cards in my system one is a nitro 3d
(virge chipset) and the other is a matroz m3d(add on card with a
specific chipset from matrox) beteween the 2 of them i cant seem to get
the mercs 1.1 patch to run correctly, specifically mip mapping does not
work in either config even though the cards  support this feature, I
have tried the patch with the cards individually and together,  when I
dowloaded the patch it said it worked with d3d which both cards support,
when I turn the mip mapping off it works fine other than the sky looking
funky for a time then freezes my sys up tight. I have the lates drivers
for my cards and dx5 and no matter what combo ive tried and beleive me
ive tried all of them the damn thing just wont work.

From: Frederic Souchu freds @ club-internet.fr
Subject: Mercs 1.1 path : crashes W95 !

I've installed the Mercs 1.1 patch. It works fine with my
3dfx/k6-233/32Mo BUT only the first time i launch it.
If I try a second mission, it locks my computer, reboot it
and left a file called d3derror.txt in \Mercs saying :

"A3D_InitCache(): CreateSurface() failed.
DirectDraw does not have enough memory to perform the operation."

From: "Taz" 
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 path : crashes W95 !

> If I try a second mission, it locks my computer, reboot it

mine does the same with the old (8bit) windows version patchced to 1.1 -
allows me to launch one mission, then re-boots machine when i try to launch
next time.


From: ambroos @ xs4all.nl (Ambroos Wiegers)
Subject: how I got mercs 1.1 to work -finaly-

Got the 1.1 a few weeks ago. The patch  works  *at last*:
I own a monster3d card and downloaded the newest drivers (reference drivers at http://www.3dfx.com)
I couldn't get the direct3d stuff to work at first: page faults, freezing etc.

Install DX5, and -very important- install the latest 3dfx-drivers again, after you installed
DirectX5 !!

-obliterate mercs from the HD (including out of the register)
-install  a fresh new copy on the HD, in the default dir. I installed the 150MB version.
-first I patched te game to 1.05 (this is how I got the 1.081 patch to work), then applied the 1.1
patch. Don't know if it makes any difference at all  but it worked.

I think a lot of problems are direct3d/directx related. Check to see if any other direct3d game
works proparly.


From: C.B. Powell helios @ brickandivy.comNOSPAM
Subject: Problems and solutions with Mercs 3Dfx, DirectX 5

I recently had an abolutely awful time getting Mercs (3Dfx version) to
run on my box.  I now have things working satisfactorily, and I'd like
to share my experiences.

First, a question:  does the cockpit outline (the grayish bars you see
when looking out at the scenery through your HUD) jerk/jitter/twitch
for anyone else?  The other graphics are fine, but my visible cockpit
bars really twitch...I'm not referring to joystick twitch, either; the
reticle and the rest of the picture are fine...

Anyway, I purchased the standard (non-3d) version of Mercs and
downloaded the various available patches: 1.05, 1.081 and 1.1. 
Hardware: PPro200, Matrox Mil 4MB, Monster 3D, 96 MB RAM.  The standard
version of Mercs would run fine; patching up to a 3Dfx-capable version
would cause the game to hang the machine immediately upon starting a
mission, any mission.  About three notes would get out of the speakers
and then all would freeze, requiring a hard reset.

I have finally cobbled together a system that runs the 3Dfx version:
the critical factors seem to be the one-two punch of Monster drivers
and DirectX.  Specifically, my computer will ONLY run the game with
version 1.09 of the Monster 3D drivers and DirectX 2.  DirectX 5 will
cause the old grief, as will 1.08 Diamond drivers.  (Thanks, Microsoft,
for not providing an uninstall for DX5 -- I had to delete all the DX5
files by hand in safe mode.  Sheesh.) I haven't yet tried DirectX 3,
but "if it ain't broke don't fix it." (Is there any benefit to going to
DirectX 3, assuming it works?)

The setup I'm running right now also runs good ol' Mech2 just fine, so
I'm pretty satisfied.

Any ideas why DirectX 5 is causing such havoc on my machine?  I'm
assuming there are others with DX5 running just fine...

I hope this helps somebody!

Regards,
Chris Powell
-- 
Christopher Powell               Brick and Ivy Corporate Consulting
powell at brickandivy. com              http://www.brickandivy.com/
            -= A PGP key is available and gladly shared =-

From: "Gaboon" nospam-gabooon @ geocities.com
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1

I have just installed the 1.1 patch for mercs and I am having major lockup
problems in the simulation.  It seems to lockup my machine completely
within 60 secs of the simulation consistantly for some reason.  I am using a
Diamond Monster 3D video board.  I have the latest drivers from Diamond.
...
I have tried the latest versions of drivers for the Monster 3D from 3DFX and
from Diamond multimedia.  The 3DFX version only seems slightly more
reliable.  It still locks up 50% of the time during the simulation.  What is
realy wierd is that I have Heavy Gear also and it runs flawlessly.  So I
dont understand why this one is that much diffrent than Heavy Gear.  Here is
my current system configuration.

200MMX Pentium 64 Megs of ram
Diamond Stealth 3D 3000
Diamond Monster 3D
AWE32 Soundblaster
16X Goldstar cdrom

I also have Quake 2 and it runs flawlessly in the enhanced graphics.
     With all this in mind I am beginning to think that my problems arent
with my machine.  That they are with the patch.

From: Marek Krysztofiak goodkick @ ix.netcom.com
Subject: Mercs 1.1 Raves and one Rant

...Basically, fantastic job guys.

Now the one rant (has to be one).  Has anyone noticed that their after
mission screen (containing "situation", "salvage", and "next mission")
is not showing up?  I can click on the buttons (ie, the game hasn't been
frozen) but there's no picture.  Anybody?

Not that this problem will stop me from playing.  Hell, I bought a
Monster 3d card just for Mercenaries.

From: "John Pasula"  peppy @ telusplanet.net
Subject: Someone Please Help!!!

Hi, I just got Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries for Christmas, and I downloaded
the patch.  It ran fine before I installed the patch, but now I'm having
trouble running it. Also, what are the cheat codes for ver 1.1? The ones I
have don't work with 1.1. I'm running it off of a P200MMX with 32MB ram and
a Matrox Mystique 220 (4MB) video card.
Thanks

From: summoner @ nwlink.com
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 15:09:47 +0000

> >... when I exit, my computer likes to lock up as it switches between 
> >640x480 (Mercs) and 1024x768 (My normal desktop).  It won't even let 
> >me control+alt+delete .. I have to actually power down. 
> >Intel Pentium 200MMX
> >64 Megs of SDRAM (10n)
> >Asus TX 97E Motherboard
> >Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 w/4 Megs
> >Diamond Monster 3dFX
> >Diamond SupraExpress 56i K56 Flex modem 
> >[Win95 OSR2]
> 
  ... I think I fixed the problem with Mercenaries I was having.  
To refresh you, I was having problems where, when I exited the game, 
it would lock up my machine, and I would have to do a hard reset to 
get anything back, etc.  

  Well - here's the story.  I installed the newest version of both 
the Diamond Monster 3d Drivers, the Diamond Stealth 3d 2000 drivers, 
and Glide 2.43.  

   When I did that, I was having even more problems.  When I went to 
launch a mission, the machine would actually reboot on its own, or it 
would lock up with a dark screen.  So, in a fit of frustration, I 
uninstalled Mercenaries, and reinstalled it.  So, now with the new 
install AFTER I upgraded the video drivers, that seems to have solved 
the problems.  I haven't had Mercs crash on me since I did the 
upgrade.  ...

  Anyhow, so, that's what I would suggest doing along with upgrading 
the video drivers - install the drivers, then re-install Mercs and 
the 1.1 patch.  ...

From: "Apostle" NOSPAM-alex@intertech.net
Subject: Locking Up on 1.1 explosions...

Using a Viper V330 with p2 266/128SDRAM Asus P2L97 motherboard.

Installed fresh Merc, then 1.1 on it -

Now, when I go into the battles - any...it all looks beautiful for a little
while - but as soon as I shoot a mech - and it blows - the voice says "enemy
mech destroyed" - the mech is exploding...but right as soon as the voice
stops - the WHOLE system locks up...

This happens in software and Hardware accelerated mode...

From: "Mike Putnam" mikep @ bigsky.net
Subject: Re: No Sound

...is anyone having problems with the 1.1 patch. I'm running a
rendition card and it's exceptioning out at the end of every mission in
Kernel32.

Can't finish one mission and getting frustrated.... back to 1.05?

From: Elmer or Carol Ridenour EERidenour @ value.net
Subject: Re: merc 1.1 non 3D 2nd Luzien mission

redshoulder @ prodigy.net wrote:
> I may be one of the only folks not doing the 3D thing yet. Im trying
> it with a STB powergraph with 2megs of ram, direct x 5. everyting was
> going fine until 2nd luzien mission. one were you blow the ship
> harpoons off. screen comes up ok neuro helment sync ok music kicks in
> then screen goes black and she locks up. I have to reboot. 

I had the same problem with the second Ice Ship mission when I just had
a Matrox Millennium video card in my two year old system (P54c-200, 32
EDO RAM, SB AWE 32, DirectX 5.0, latest sound/video drivers ... all with
the latest drivers).  I was able to run all of the other missions.  I
just recently (yesterday!) installed a Diamond Monster 3D and am now
able to run the entire ice ship mission (BTW, you get to kill the same
mechs in Mission 2 and 3!).

From: dmack @ ultranet.com (Dave Mack)
Subject: Patched retail Mercs 3Dfx w/ 1.11...now no 3Dfx option!

Aargh!

I have the retail Mercs 3Dfx, running on this system:
300MHz P2
64MB RAM
Orchid R3D card (w/ latest drivers)
Matrox Millennium II AGP card (w/ latest drivers)
AWE64 Value (w/ latest drivers)
Latest DirectX5 (dl'd from Microsoft site)

Prior to installing 1.11 patch, I had selected and been running "3Dfx"
from the Mercs "Video Options" menu.  Followed 1.11 patch install
instructions to the letter.  Did not install DirectX from Mercs CD as
part of the Mercs re-install patch process.

Now, with 1.11 patch installed, the only Video Options that are
available are:

* Matrox Millennium II AGP card (which is what 1.11 selected)
* Software Emulation

The 3Dfx option doesn't even appear on the Video Options menu.

The R3D card is working fine with MW2-3Dfx version, Quake 2 and
GLQuake.  Control Panel says R3D is "working properly," and it is with
these games.

[time passes...]

"Christopher Penney"  wrote:
>I have the 3dfx version and an Orchid Righteoud 3D/Diamond Stealth 3D 2000
>and I've seen this too.  All I need to do is reboot and start the game up
>again and I can reselect the Righteous.  This has only happened a couple
>times.

Hmm...this worked.  Interesting that the patch install did not suggest
a reboot before starting the game (at least I don't remember it doing
so).

From: "Christopher J. McLaughlin" cmclaugh @ execpc.com
Subject: Glowing ground effects in Merc 1.1.

Can anyone tell me whether they have experienced a problem with Mercs
1.1 with the ground flickering between black and grey/brown?  This
problem will also make some of the hills black with no way to determine
what the terrain is. When the mech is tilted all the way up and to the
right or left, the ground gets this wonderful white/blue/red bright
pattern slightly reminiscent of christmas lights.

From: sismith @ shl.com
Subject:  A Fix for the flashing ground in Mercs 1.1

The problem:  When you install the non-3D version of the MW2: Mercenaries
patch 1.1 the ground seen in about 70% of the missions flashes.  On my
system the colours flash between grey, black, and a rainbow spectrum. 
This flashing occurs in response to moving the turret.  This problem is
particularly annoying when you are trying to target something as it
always seems flash the most when the turret is near the horizon.  On some
of the mission worlds the colour palette combined with the flashing
conspire to make enemy mechs nearly invisible at point-blank range.

The Fix:  The following procedure will partially negate this problem. 
The procedure will cause the ground colour to be black on all missions
(even with Infa-Red turned on).  The only problems I have noticed with
the fix are on "night fight" missions after my Infa-Red has been
destroyed -- enemy mechs become very difficult to see until they are near
point blank range.

Warning:  This fix is not endorsed by Activision in anyway whatsoever. 
Use at your own risk.

Step 1 - Go to your mercs directory and find the file SKYGND.PAR. Step 2
- Make a backup copy of this file (eg. SKYGND.ORG). Step 3 - Use a text
editor (ie. notepad) to edit this file. Step 4 - On each line of this
file look for the part that reads "gclip=900,35000,50000".  The three
numbers will be different on each line. Step 5 - Replace the three
numbers with "0,0,0".  Each line in this file should now end with
"gclip=0,0,0". Step 6 - Save the file when you're done and play Mercs...

Notes:  If Activision produces a patch to fix this problem, copy the file
"SKYGND.ORG" back over the modified file before installing their patch.

Technical Notes:  As near as I can determine the flashing ground bug in
Mercs is not caused by an incorrect SKYGND.PAR file.  The problem appears
to be within the palette data for individual missions as not all mission
have the flashing ground problem.  This fix merely passes invalid data to
the simulator which causes the sim to use black for a ground colour.  No
other changes I have made to "gclip" setting seem to have any affect on
the simulator except for "0,0,0".  It is possible to selectively edit
this file so that the few missions in v1.1 that don't have the flashing
ground problem are not "blacked-out".  For example, some of the guerrilla
warfare missions on New Ivaarsen do not have the problem (IVA1, IVA3,
IVA4, IVA5 I think), these missions can be left at the original gclip
setting.  I am in the process of determining which missions do and do not
have the flashing problem and what their internal name is (ie IVA1, BET1,
LUT1, etc.).

From: yminale @ aol.com (Yminale)
Subject: [MERCS 1.1] ATTENTION ALL RIVA 128 USERS!!!!!

I just installed the new reference drivers from Nvidia and to my amazement it
fixed some major problems I experienced with Mercs 1.1.  
Problems fixed are:

1. Load time have been dramatically reduced.  Before it took more than 1 minute
to load and more than 1 minute to exit. Now it takes less than 25 seconds to
load and leave mercs 1.1.

2.Pausing has been dramatically reduced.  Does not pause when first selecting
targets or firing missle (firing missles the first time still drops framerates)

3. Framerates are more stable.  Even with 3 mechs and a building my frame rates
did not fall below 15 fps.

4. Game is more stable.  When I installed HG after Mercs 1.1 i experienced alot
of crashes and video problems.  Those problems are no longer evident

My system P233 MMX (250 3x83) w/ STB Velocity 128 and 32 megs of EDO ram

If you want to try out the new reference drivers go to Rivazone at
http://www.rivazone.com  They have links to download the new drivers (1.2 megs
so it won't take to long). 

Bug lists

(individual bugs from these lists should be broken out in categories above)

From:	Braden N. McDaniel [SMTP:braden @ shadow.net]

> From: Kegel, Dan [mailto:dkegel @ activision.com]
> To: Braden N. McDaniel
> Although you're probably tired of listing them, could you
> enumerate for me the shortest list of bugfixes that you feel
> Mercs [1.1] has to have...?

* The teleporting weapons fire problem.

* Obvious cosmetic problems in the game (i.e., green LLas).

* Make Win95 MercNet *stable*. Is stability too much to expect in a patch?

* Fix the missile turn radius, like you guys said you'd do for 1.1.
Whatever you did to it, if anything, didn't make nearly enough of a difference.

* Fix the underweight pre-defined 'Mech variants.

* Most custom missions which worked with 1.05 should work with it. If there
have been any subtle changes to the data file format, please publicize them
so people can update their missions.

* Ensure that the game can see more than 100 custom missions. (I don't know
what the current state of this one is in 1.1--maybe it's already fixed. But
the prognosis didn't look too sunny during the beta test.)

Four out of these seven requirements are, essentially, just asking to be
given back features that we had in 1.05.

In Titanium, I'd expect to find:

* A completed shell which includes the different planet animations.
(The ones that, I believe, are in the PRJ file, but never get played in
the game.)

* More IS pre-defined variants.

(Here, I'd tack on the reloading ports in multiplayer Jack Mamais promised
for 1.1 wayyy back when, but I'm not convinced they're even a good idea.)

Prismatic Booger


From: "D. Halloran" dhallora @ mail.usyd.edu.au
Subject: 1.1 - Report by Axe (long)

  Hello.
    Im Don Halloran. I've had mercs for about 13 months. My long time
mercnet nick has been Axe. I have made 6 missions for mercnet (axe1 to
axe6). I also know well, and have worked closely with, Edward Wong
(one of the first mission builders, also works on NAIS (major author
of 2.0X releases) and writer of a number of mission making guides).

    The following is a report of what i have seen with the 1.1 patch.

    First,. my system specs. I have a low end machine. p100, 16 meg
ram, SiS6202, non 3d video card. No 3dfx vido card. Therefore i will
not say much about performance. I have to expect with my machine that
my video performance will be slow.
    Secondly, i should say that i have not really tested the single
player changes yet, so i wont comment on them. My main concern is
multiplayer, so that is what i will focus on.

    For my first installation of the patch, i did a complete
reinstall. First I used control panel to remove mercs, then deleted
its folder. Then i reinstalled 1.0 windows, and 1.0 dos versions, then
1.05, then 1.06, then 1.1.
    During the first install i did not get prompted as to whether i
wanted to install the d3d version or not. When i started up mercswin,
i noticed "video options" were available. I was unable to launch the
sim (unknown fatal error). Someone called "SkyDawg" (apparently an
activision rep) was on AV-Netmech helping us out. I had to edit the
registry, then reinstall 1.0, then reinstall 1.1. After that I was
able to launch the sim.
    I then made a mech with one of nearly every weapon, got onto
avnetmech again and tried a few games.
    We (Edward Wong and I) ran into quite a few problems.

    1) Mercnet crashes if you join a room and you dont have the
mission that the host has on the screen. This is extremely
disappointing. Mr Dan Kegel said (about 9 months ago) that in 1.1 a
player would only be ejected from a hosted game if the host had
actually selected a mission that the joiner didnt have. In other
words, if the host had not yet decided which mission to use, and they
scrolled to a mission that a player didnt have, then the player would
get a "mission not available" message and would be able to inform the
host rather than getting kicked back to the pilots lounge. Now the
player is booted completely out of mercnet. If you are using kali and
ipx at the time you have to restart kali, because if you try to
relaunch mercnet ipx straight away you get a "network drivers dont
appear to be loaded" message. This is a big bug.

    2) Non d3d missions have a problem with people using the d3d
version (differences in prj file cause this?). I launched mission axe6
(perfect crime) with Ed. I obviously made axe6 using version 1.06, not
1.1. Therefore it is a non d3d mission. When the sim started up my
controls were fine, but Eds mech was uncontrollable. He is using the
d3d version (righteous 3d card). It was spinning around and around,
and the "/" key did not solve the problem. We had to exit. This is
another big bug. None of the present custom missions will work for
people using the d3d version (which is most people i imagine). No
future missions made by people using the 8 bit version will be able to
be played by people using the d3d version either. And i imagine no d3d
version missions will work for people not using d3d. This amounts to
hundreds of hours of work, and a lot of good missions, going down the
drain. The game will be limited to the standard missions, which really
are pathetic compared to a lot of the customs.

    3) Ed and I launched "valor" with Pelennor. All the mechs were
fine. However, i (using the 8 bit version) was unable to turn off
object textures. All of the buildings, and the mechs, had full texture
mapping. I pressed escape, and selected combat variables from the
menu. Everything was off or low. Yet the textures were still there.
This slowed me down quite a bit. Im not complaining about the
performance itself, but not being able to turn of textures is a bug.

    4) I have a problem with the ground plane. Apparently its because
i am using the 8 bit version. When i launch the game, no matter what
the time or mission settings are, the ground plane is a flat off
white. (axe6 starts at night time. The ground should be black. It
isnt. Its white) Also, when i move my torso, the ground plane flicks
between flat black and flat white. This is another pretty major bug.

    5) My game lag was extremely large. Much more than it has ever
been before. Perhaps it was a result of my computer struggling with
all the object textures.

    6) Ed hosted the game (he has a p233 MMX). He got dropped. I lost
contact with Pel in the game. Me and pel exited and got an error on
exit (error.. unable to start communications.) The host dropping never
used to cause the entire thing to crash. It does now.

    7) PPCs actually seem to be even weaker. Pelennor shot a stormcrow
in the torso *27 times* with a PPC before killing it. PPCs do 15
points of damage. 27*15=405. This much damage should be enough to kill

4 Direwolves.

    8) Gauss rifle damage is still very very very low.

    9) Pelennor and Ed tested "back shots". This is a well known
multiplayer bug: the determination of whether a shot hit the front or
rear of a mech used to be determined by the direction the legs were
facing it seemed, because if you and another player were circling each
other, with torsos   facing each other, and you fired at them, hitting
them in the front of their torso, the damage often used to actually go
to the rear torso armour. This was very annoying.  So they tested and
noticed very little rear damage. This seemed good, but being good,
efficient testers they were suspicious. Ed stood right behind pel and
shot him in the back with missiles and lasers. Pel took almost no
damage. The same thing happened when the roles were reversed. Sure,
the "back shot" bug is fixed, but it seems to have been replaced with
an even bigger back shot bug.

    10) Pelennor chose wolf clan from the units list, but in the sim
he had a draconis logo. I think this bug has been around from the
start and is a result of the mission setup. This is only a minor bug.

    11) Pelennor is consistantly able to keep firing heat generating
weapons for up to 30 seconds after his heat passes maximum on the
guage. This is a major bug when it comes to gameplay.

    12) I am using the sidewinder 3d pro. It was nice to be able to
use all its functions in netmech at last. However, i was only able to
torso twist horizontally to approx 75 - 80 degrees. I could not reach
90 degree torso twist using the sidewinder. Ed was using CH pedals,
and he couldnt get 90 degrees either. Pelennor was able to twist to 90
degrees using the keyboard.


    OVERALL
---------------------

    Overall i have to say that 1.1 is a pretty major disappointment.
We have all been waiting for weapons fixes. We got some... missiles
cant turn as hard, infernos only cause heat, flamers only cause heat,
autocannons fire faster, and apparently ranges are fixed. However, we
did not get nearly what was expected. Weapon damages are still quite
wrong. PPCs, Gauss rifles, machine guns and LBX autocannons are still
quite severely underpowered. This means nobody uses those weapons. The
game balance is sorely affected by this. Most people are bored with
playing solely with mplas, or against people with innumerable missile
racks, but it looks like this situation will almost certainly
continue. Fixes to the netshell were also expected (see the opening
sections of this report) but in fact the netshell bugs are now much
much worse than they ever were before.
    Instead of getting bug fixes, we got what seems to amount mainly
to a graphics patch. People with 3d cards (Ed and Pel) tell me that
the graphics and framerate are now very nice if you have a 3d card.
However, this graphics update screws all custom missions up to this
point, and screws people who are trying to play in 8 bit mode (you are

unable to  turn off object textures). Also controller problems
persist, and the net setup is evidently less stable than it used to
be.
    I have no doubt that this patch is very very good for people who
mainly play single player, and have 3d cards. However it practically
kills multiplayer, and will adversely  effect anyone who doesnt have a
3d card, through the ground plane colour and object texture bugs.
    I partly hope to see a 1.2 patch very soon to fix the texture and
ground plane problem. I also think weapon fixes would be extremely
easy, (after all, when we were playing with 1.0 people with hex
editors can hack the weapons and change their properties within
minutes), and that it was just left off the list by the patchers. A
fix to the netshell bug is absolutely necessary, and MUST come out
soon, even if it just takes us back to what we used to have. It would
be even better if the promised fixes came about.
    But i doubt a patch will be forthcoming, and even if one is, it
may be too late to save a good game that could quite easily be
perfect, but is slowly being killed by its own problems, and games
that dont have them.

    Don Halloran
    aka Psychlone (previously aka Axe)

From: "D. Halloran" dhallora @ mail.usyd.edu.au
...
    I think the most common thread between most of those posts has been the weapons (range damage and
physics) Get this bit patched up, and the majority of people will be much much happier. ...

From: Roger Hernandez rogerh @ shadow.net
Subject: Re: 1.1 review by axe (repost)

I agree with you that 8 bit installations were pretty much ignored in
this patch.  I have a Pentium 233MMX w/ 48 megs of ram.  In the first
training mission, at 640x480, with all options on, I was running at 3
frames per second!!!  That is slower than Mercs 1.0 running on a P133 (I
used to have one when I first got Mercs).

Roger Hernandez

From: mbwittig @ ziplink.net (Mike Wittig)
Subject: NETMECH *TITANIUM* FIX-IT LIST- READ & COMMENT

I sent this to ActivDave and Tim Morten... so far no
response.  Comment on this please... does this list
cover most of the things you want to see in Titanium?


Revised Netmech bug/improvement list

Must fixes--------------------------
AC/LRM unlimited ammo bug (weapon in body, ammo in limb, lose limb)
unlimited jump jet bug (tap J really, really, fast)
heat and jump jet rates vary between hosts
heat rate is high for first mech, lowers after regen (2nd rate is better)
instant shutdown if changing groups while overheating alarm goes off
some mechs hurt themselves when launching missiles


Nice to have fixes-----------------
no weapons bug on startup happens when mech new
Mechs in Mek directory need to be consecutively ordered or no show
DFA's occaisionally screw up scoring
mechs in high detail 320 get stuck if too close to wall- can't move without 
jetting
messages get screwed up and dont send if you enter too many words
JJ toward a wall/terrain, shut down, you slide through it (and as long as J 
held)
weapons can be fired through things if close enough
can lock previously locked opponent on regeneration if press q while HUD 
appears


Nice to have features--------------
ping/loss listed next to players name
More shades of damage in image enhanced
Missions/maps from Trial Of Grievance of Mech3 converted to Netmech
Missions/maps from Ghostbears
More Missions/maps and an editor
Netmech battlemaster working (badkarma got mech3 battlemaster working)
3DFX support (fast 3dfx routines for image enhanced too)


From:  "|-|oRneT" dahornetNOWAY @ earthlink.net
Subject: Re: NETMECH *TITANIUM* FIX-IT LIST- READ & COMMENT


All these need fixing as well as a couple of others. Namely:

1. Missles are too manueverable, they shouldnt be able to turn like they do
at such high speed.
2. JJ TAP JJ TAP JJ TAP <--- cant say that one enough
3. OVERBURN!!! This one really must be fixed. Being able to fire
pulselasers 20 and 30 seconds after you pass max heat and not explode is
rediculous. Give 3 maybe 5 seconds after max heat then make the mechs
EXPLODE.  <--- EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FIX

Thats all I can think of to add.

|-|oRneT

From:  "Fenris" postmaster @ aol.com
Subject: ACTIVDAVE: Details that should be fixed in Titanium...

You mentioned in another post about your "undying commitment" to supporting
the BattleTech population out there.  Well, you really need to fix some
details in Titanium!

From what I understand, you guys at Activision are overhauling everything.
I don't know how hard these suggestions are to implement, but if it can be
done, for God's sake, do it!  Some are for Mercenaries but you can apply
them to all three games.

1.)  For Clanners, let them have a full STAR, that's FIVE 'Mechs hence the
term "STAR," to command.

2.)  For Spheroids, stop calling them STARMATES WHEN THEY'RE LANCEMATES.  I
was so unbelievably disappointed when you guys couldn't scrape up ONE MORE
lancemate to make a FULL LANCE of FOUR BattleMechs in Mercs.  Sheesh.

Got it?  5 'Mechs for Clan MWs, 4 'Mechs for Inner Sphere MWs.

3.)  Fix the damn engine masses!  Don't round the quarter-ton!  Example: A
Timber Wolf's 375XL-engine has a mass of 19.25 tons, not 19.5!  I need that
quarter-ton for a medium laser or something like that.  Don't you guys have
Technical Readouts from FASA?!

4.)  You guys sorta fixed the problem with heat sinks in Mercenaries... but
you still tripped up a little.  Okay, you take the engine rating, divide by
25, and that's the number of heat sinks that DO NOT need to be allocated for
critical slots.  BUT, you still need to account for the tonnage (number of
heat sinks minus 10)!  Example: A Timber Wolf's 375XL can hold 15 heat sinks
inside (single or double).  All of the ones over 15 require critical slots.
If you slap an extra heat sink on the 'Mech, that's 16 double heat sinks,
takes up 2 critical slots, and the heat sinks take up 6 tons.  Got it?

5.)  In the screen for selecting 'Mechs, you should put an extra set of
toggles to skip to the next mass-class.  Meaning, you go to the next mass
number (like from 20 to 25) or cycle through weight classes (light, medium,
heavy, assult).  This'll make it easier to get to the Atlas in the middle of
the 'Mech list.

6.)  Can you make the lasers "direct fire" meaning they don't act like
projectiles?  Last time I checked, laser beams move at the speed of light.

7.)  This is a gripe: Couldn't you guys find some REAL company names for the
news headlines?  War Games Incorporated?  Yeah, that's creative.  FASA has a
whole fat game universe out there that you can put into the games, you know.

8.)  Can we get a little more cockpit chatter?  My LANCEmates seem to be
dead.

9.)  Aerospace support is nice and all, but why did you have to make that
unit occupy a space in the lance?  You should still be able to have the FOUR
'Mechs and the aerofighter.  Also, why the hell do they keep flying around
the enemy 'Mech's feet?!  They don't do that.  Aerofighters should also be
hauling ass instead of poking around, taking a minute to travel a kilometer.

10.)  In Mercs, can't you get Smacker to double the resolution on the movies
without stretching them?  If a movie is recorded in 320 x 200 resolution,
play it back in a window of 640 x 400 pixels while the rest of the screen is
480 pixels in height.  Basically, play the movies in a letterbox format.  Is
this so damn hard?  I'm sick of that intro movie in Mercs playing in this
tiny rinky-dink 320 x 200 box in the middle of a 640 x 480 screen and
stretching the movie makes everything go to hell.

11.)  Please play the sound files on cue.  It's annoying when my 'Mech's
feet are flying by while the sound is only played when the left foot is
picking up off the ground.

12.)  There's a thing in Mercs where you can rotate your stationary 'Mech's
heading without it picking up its feet.  I don't think a 100 tons can
literally turn on a dime.

From: mstinson@niven.imsweb.net
As posted on: http://badkarma.net/Newsroom/indexspin.htm

I've compiled a small list of bugs present in Mercs 1.1. Most of
the bugs listed are those which affect the playability of the game
in Multiplayer. I have yet to replay the single player game since I
installed the 1.1 patch.

1.After finishing or exiting an Instant Action mission in single player,
the screen often turns black when the player returns to the Instant Action
Menu. This can be corrected in a makeshift manner by hitting Alt-Tab and
switching to the desktop, then Alt-Tabbing back to Mercs. However, this
is annoying and should be fixed. I've been told that this bug will also
occur during Campaign Missions, but I haven't seen it yet.

2.Certain mechs, such as the Wolftrap and Executioner, have errors during
customization.If a player takes a Wolftrap and tries to customize it
by removing everything and redesigning the mech, he or she will get
an "Illegal Amount of Ammo Detected" warning and the design will be
rejected. The problem lies in the Wolftrap's LBX-10 ammo. If the player
designs a Wolftrap but doesn't touch the ammo and saves the design, he
or she can then go back and customize the new custom Wolftrap, safely
removing the ammo and replacing it whatever they want. The Executioner's
problems are related to MASC. If a player doesn't remove the MASC that
comes on a stock Executioner, and customizes it until they run out
of weight (95 tons for an Executioner), they will receieve a "Mech
is Overweight for its Chassis Type" error. Apparently, the weight
of the MASC is not shown on the Merclab menu while customizing the
Executioner. This is further substantiated by the fact that no weight
is gained by removing the MASC from the Executioner. I have yet to check
all the mechs, but these sort of problems most likely exist among other
mechs and their variants.

3.Some Mechs no longer have their variants listed properly. For example,
the Timber Wolf's variants are all named "TIMBERWOLF," rather than Timber
Wolf Alt. A, Timber Wolf Alt. B, et al in my game, both in singleplayer
and in Mercnet. The Kodiak's Alt Config is named "KODIAK," etc. This is
an aesthetic rather than a problematic bug, but it should be corrected
along with other Merclab issues.

4.Although IS and Clan buttons still exist in the customization routine,
they have no function. Players SHOULD be able to put Clan technology
on an IS chassis for use in multiplayer, since they are able to in the
single player component of the game.

5.TCP/IP does not launch reliably for all involved. In tests with two
different people trying to host using Pentium IIs with 64 Megs & 3DFX,
the game locked up consistently during the "Waiting for Remote Players"
screen. This might be a TCP/IP server issue, rather than a game issue,
as the same people were able to successfully host on Kali via IPX.

6.Mercnet is prone to random crashes, as the game occasionally locks up
when players hit spacebar to regen or during otherwise normal moments
of gameplay. The cause for this is unknown, but it has happened to
several people.

7.Inferno missiles were previously extremely deadly, as they would burn
away layers of armor like a magician's flash paper. Now they are anything
but deadly, as each ISSRM-2 does considerably less heat damage than a
Flamer, which does not follow logically compared to the way Infernoes
really work in Battletech and the way they worked in Ghost Bear's Legacy.

8.Autocannons, both IS and Clan, are nearly useless.Using both Mechwarrior
2 and Ghost Bear's Legacy as comparisons, ACs do only 1/2-1/3 the damage
they should in Mercs. It is possible to fire less than 15 rounds of
AC-20 at a Dire Wolf and destroy it in Mech 2 and GBL (and Battletech),
but in Mercs the same feat often requires nearly 30 shots of AC-20, and
when compared with Medium Pulse (see Item 3), the size and weight of an
Autocannon is undesirable.

9.Medium Pulse Lasers, both Clan and Inner Sphere, remain nearly
unchallenged as the weapon of choice for mechs in Mercs. This would be
fine if it didn't stand in stark contrast to the capabilities of Medium
Pulse Lasers in previous games and in Battletech. This becomes a problem
when you consider the fact that a single Mpulse shot does twice as much
damage as a Medium Laser, and more damage than either a Large Laser,
Large Pulse, or PPC, not to mention Autocannons (see Item 2.)

10.Arrow IV missiles, both Clan and Inner Sphere, do no damage to a mech
that isn't moving. The mech will be rocked by the explosion, but takes
no damage.

11.The hit bubbles were adjusted from their Mechwarrior 2 configurations,
which results in many mechs being unnaturally weak. The Timber Wolf and
Storm Crow are good examples of this. It takes minimal effort to destroy
the legs on either Mech. This reduces the variety of the game, as many
mechs are relegated to the marked-down lots at Mech dealerships .

12.All custom missions made for previous editions of Mechwarrior 2
Mercenaries will not work with Mercs 1.1. Tools and instructions should
be released on how to make the missions work, as customization always
increases a game's appeal and lifespan.

I hope this info helps you out.

Xerxes

Probably won't hurt league play, but need fixing sometime

Custom Missions

From: "D. Halloran" dhallora @ mail.usyd.edu.au
...
Since im mailing you here about this, i thought id ask a question on
behalf of myself and the guys who have created a 3d drag and drop mission
editor. The new d3d missions seem to have a slightly different map file
setup, which has been causing problems. If you make a mission under 1.1,
and give it your own original name, the d3d textures do not appear,
and the skydome runs exceedingly fast. On the other hand, if you call
your project "fre1", or one of the other single or multiplayer missions
included in 1.1, then the textures show up. An odd situation, and one
we cant seem to resolve. We have tried including existing prj map files
(eg in ????plt1.wld > include bet1map1) but this isnt working either.
What the programmers could really do with (i am beta testing the editor
for them) is a decoded map file, or a quick explanation as to how to
make d3d textures show up in custom missions. Any (more) help would be
much appreciated, and the 3d editor will almost certainly re-enliven
the game if we can get it to be fully functional.

    Don Halloran
    once known as Axe

From: "D. Halloran" dhallora @ mail.usyd.edu.au

... Jammer (Mike Grover) figured out why the
custom mission textures werent working.... that an extra line has to
be added to skygnd.par, so no need to follow that one up.

Missions


From: nospam_cynical@ptialaska.net
Subject: Re: Missions that have problems in them.

Not sure I'd call this a bug, but I'm having problems with the 4th
mission in the Proserpina contract. It's the one where you have to
escort 2 hover trucks to evac pow's from a camp in the capitol. Now,
I've played this mission perhaps a dozen times in first the original
game, then the v1.01, and now the 3d version. I know what needs to be
killed, and what needs to be protected. But suddenly this mission
seems unwinnable (even on the Easy setting). I've killed the 2 tanks,
the Panther, the Urbanmech. ID'd the Rising Sun hotel and got the
confirm message. Upon reaching the camp, the 4 bogies activate. Two of
them bug out , but the Atlas and Urbanmech are the nearest threats
to the hover trucks, so I target them first. As soon as the Atlas
dies, I get a "mission terminated"?!?!  Anyone else experienced this?
Since the trucks are alive, and I haven't destroyed any buildings, I
can't see any reason for losing the mission. It wouldn't be a problem
to lose a mission, except you have to win this one to get paid for the
contract, so there's nearly 2 million c-bills at stake. Ideas, anyone?

...
Delete anti-spam prefix for email reply.


From: TANK @ compuserve.com (Tank)
Subject: Re: Help MW 2

On Mon, 5 Jan 1998 17:56:36 -0500, "MV" wrote:

>In the first Wolf mission, called Pyre Light, the primary objectives include
>destroying a factory and inspecting a burning tower. The secondary mission
>objectives ask for destroying all enemy mechs and targets of opportunity.
>Does anyone know where the target of opportunity is located in Pyre Light?
>Thanks.

 There isn't one!  This was an oversight that ActiveDave was kind
enough to fess up to.

From: davidpg @ io.com (Mufasa)
Subject: HELP! Game crashing on start of Snow Fort

I upgraded to 1.1 and have been playing without any problems until
now.

When I start Mission 2: Snow Fort of the Liezen Campaign, Mercs starts
the music and then crashes and goes back to windows.  The music
continues to play.  Sometimes I can restart Mercs and sometimes I
can't.  I am able to play older saves and instact action.
...
I just have a 128 bit video card based on Tseng et6000.  I have
been trying to find drivers that support DirectX5, but Tseng Web site
is under construction.  This is a bit worrysome.

Salvage


From: Darrell Mayeda drmayeda @ pixi.com
Subject: Dynamic salvage problems Mercs 1.1

I installed the 1.1 patch for Mercenaries.  I have noticed the following
problems and wondered if anyone else hit the following problems.

In Mech lab, I have a Thug with two large lasers and the stats showed
two.  It read one of my Large lasers as two since the critical slots
were split.

In the salvage after a mission, or in customization, It tells me that
there isn't enough room on the dropship even though the counter still
says I have space.

The salvage screen says an AC 10 uses 1 slot but I can't take it on the
dropsip.

On the mission for the FDR, I blow up an Atlas but get a reasonably
intact centurion as salvage.  There was no centurion on the mission
where did it come from?

Won't let me salvage Ammo from the mech even though it shows up on
repair reload screen back at the Mech bay.

From: "Michael & Shanon Dowling"   mdowling @ mail.paulbunyan.net
Subject: Posible bugs in mercs v. 1.1

I like the mercs patch very much but there are a few things which might be
bugs or Im missing out on something.

 after the regular campaign is done and you are asked to contine to
     Which you say yes of course, your first contract you select will be
against one of the clans. After that contract though all contracts revert to
inner sphere opponents. To make things worse all opponents are of a lighter
class mech. Even the arms dealer reverts back to selling old technology. No
pulse lasers, no AMS systems, no Arrow missle systems. All of the missions
contract pay is for 300,000 credits, I noticed the random mission generator
was creating more varied missions while the main campaign was on. If I
missed something could someone please tell me.
Its hard to run a good merc business with this kind of pay out (he he).

From: "Dangerboy" ehunyadi @ primenet.com
Subject: After-End Mercs 1.1

Has anyone decided to play after the ending in Mercs 1.1?  I did, and all I
get are these cheesy 300K with bonus and poor salvage rights missions.  This
really sucks, as there could have been a bit better randomness to the
missions.  Anyone have a solution or fix to this?  Would making my own
missions work for this problem?

Also, all Clan tech is gone, and I can't get replacements or ammo.  Any
double heatsinks and such are also not for sale anymore.  What's going on?

From: john @ pball.com (John Hamilton)
Subject: Re: After-End Mercs 1.1

Well, after Luthien and after Tukyaad (sp -1), if one accepts the books as
the authoritative reference, Clan Tech is all but unavailable, though some
individuals have access to bits and pieces from time to time. This is the 
period of the 10 year truce, yes?

Right after the truce begins, the Wolves and the Jade Falcons go at each
other and both sides are severely decimated. Even the Clans have a terrible
time acquiring mech pilots and mechs and repair/replacement parts.

Vlad Ward (?), aka Vlad Khanslayer, wins control of Clan Wolf (whats left
of it). Katrina (Katherine) Steiner-Davion sneaks off in an unarmed jumpship
to try to strike a bargain with Clan Smoke Jaguar, only to drop out of hyper-
space in the midst of Vlad's entire fleet. She consequently impresses Vlad
and strikes a deal with him. I imagine some technology was passed as a 
result, though the book that describes this is mute on the subject.

On that subject, did you know that Malthus, a Jade Falcon Elemental, and
his Star were given diplomatic privilege to come to Solaris ( but only after
they had been already come in under cover, and assisted Kai Allard-Lao
in saving Kai's son) to view a championship fight. It seems there was quite
a bit of diplomatic contact through the offices of ComStar whom the Clans
viewed as the rightful representatives of the Inner Sphere.

However, you should have access to some greatly improved tech produced
in the Inner Sphere, as CMW and other mech works learned from the examination
of captured Clan mechs (what few there were) and started to produce nearly
equivalent weapons systems and equipment, though in very low volume.

There was an IS mech produced in very limited quantity around this time called
the Predator, I believe, and it was every bit a match for Clan tech.

Well, anyway, none of that will make you happy (grin) but in terms of Mercs
being true to BattleTech, you should have a hard time just keeping your mechs
at 100% IS tech, much less obtaining Clan tech.


From: dodo @ world.std.com (Dean ODonnell)
Subject: More Weirdness in Mercs 1.1

After escaping from the clans and getting to Wolcott, I found that I just
didn't have the firepower to continue with any chance of success (given that
I've gotten no salvage from anything and, yes, a few bad deals at the Mech
dealers).  

So I went back to Solaris and tried again.

The first time I got the "captured by the clans" contract, I took a
heavily modified Vindicator on the first mission (yeah, it's light, but I
had lost the PPC and added a bunch of machine guns and medium lasers so it
packed a punch).  I got wasted by the clan mechs on the way to Nav Beta, but
continued with the contract.  Second mission was in the hovercraft as usual,
and for the third mission I got a scrounged pirate mech.  I don't know what
it was, but it was armed with 2 medium lasers, an AC 20, and an SRM6 (I
think it was a 6).  No lancemates available for the mission, but I'm working
with a pirate Flashman who I can't command.

At the beginning of the mission we get one Madcat (I think, it's armed with
2 LRM racks, 2 large lasers, and 2 medium lasers and has heat problems).  At
Nav Alpha there's another Madcat and a Nova.  I managed to get all of them
in time and picked up the dropship at Nav Alpha without dealing with the
Direwolf at Nav Beta.

The second time through (after going back to Solaris and dealing with the
Mech Dealers a little better), I take an Awesome for the first clan
mission.  I toast the clan mechs on the way to Nav Beta and am honored by
the clans.  I again escape and in the third mission (I haven't bothered to
go repair my Awesome after the first mission), instead of the borrowed
pirate mech I get my Awesome back WITH all the damage I took from the first
mission.  I also get my lancemate in his Flashman, AND my Aerofighter jock,
AND my pirate friend in a Flashman.

As the mission started I now had a Nova and a Kitfox coming at me.  The
pirate flasman took the Kitfox and my wingman and I took the Nova.  For the
heck of it I called in air support, and got the acknowledgement from my
pilot, but the Nova was toast long before he could make it on the scene.
Sometime along the way to Nav Alpha I heard the pilot give his death scream
(why?  There were no other active enemies around.  Maybe infantry with SAMs
somewhere out of my radar range?  )  We take out the Nova and Madcat at
Nav Alpha, but not in time to catch the dropship.  On to Nav Beta, but by
this point I'm limping along with damaged legs, so I assign my lancemate to
defend the dropship and gets to Nav Beta long before I do.  When he's in
range I hear the challenge for the landing zone and see him engage the
Direwolf.  I finally get there just to watch.  Heck, the Direwolf called for
single combat, but he didn't specifically say _me_, so I let Daniel Wilkes
accept the challenge since his Flashman was in much better shape than my
Awesome.  

It was a close fight, with the Direwolf eventually reduced to his single
small laser and Daniel popping away at him with the flamer and a medium
laser, but Daniel lost.  Two hits with the small laser sent me to Valhalla
and it's time to reload the mission.

This time, before launching, I went and repaired my Awesome and Daniel's
Flashman, figuring that since we had gotten so close with damaged mechs,
we'd kick ass starting fresh.  I launch and this time I'm in my Awesome, my
pirate friend is still around, but no lancemates or aerofighter.  The enemy
mechs are the same as the first time I tried it with Daniel.

I've since experimented with this.  If I try to assign Daniel, I get "This
mission only allows you to take 0 lancemates" in the Duty Roster.  If I do
any repairs I don't get Daniel, but if I go in with the damage I had, I get
to take my friends.

Considering that the mission description says I'm going to be piloting a
borrowed pirate mech, none of this later stuff should be happening at all.

Explanations?  Theories?  Similar experiences?  Commisseration?  

Dean


From: dodo @ world.std.com (Dean ODonnell)
Subject: Mercs 1.1 Salvage Observations

Taking the advice of others on this newsgroup (after getting all the way to
Wolcott without salvaging a mech), I went back and focussed on missile
kills.  I have now salvaged 3 mechs, all of which were killed with LRMs.

Also, in the spirit of experimentation, I went into the second Solaris
mission with the express intent of getting a salvaged chassis that I killed
with a laser.  For those of you who don't quite remember this mission, it's
a free for all where everyone is out to kill everyone.  There is a Thug, a
Stalker, and an Atlas.  I went in with my trusty Flashman.

I took out the Thug and Stalker without regard to salvage, then worked the
Atlas for the all-important head shot.  Others have said that in order to
salvage a chassis it must have at least 3 of its 4 limbs when the cockpit
blows, so I'd use my flamer to heat the Atlas just enough so it wouldn't be
able to shoot, then use my lasers to leg it.  I succeeded a number of times
in legging the Atlas without damaging the other parts of the mech.  Once the
Atlas fell, I could take my time and target the cockpit with precision.

I isolated one medium laser and used only that to shoot the cockpit so I
wouldn't have the angle that the laser came in on constantly switching.  I
experimented with my distance from the Atlas and the angle from which I
shot.  In general I could target and hit the cockpit with fair accuracy, the
biggest sticking point being that every other shot would usually pass
through the front of the head and hit the back of the head or the top of the
torso directly under the head.  I experimented with pausing between shots
(shoot once, wait, shoot again), but no matter how long I waited, every
other shot would pass through the cockpit.  I was not moving, the target
wasn't moving, so I can't imagine sluggish framerate was a problem (and my
system is a P200 w/ 32MB, Monster 3D card).  After about 4 tries where an
arm would fly off because I was hitting the torso (don't ask me, but it
happened) I finally managed to take out the cockpit without even turning
anything else red.  It should be noted that in all the cases where an arm
did fly off, I finished killing the Atlas and wasn't able to salvage the
chassis.

Bottom line:  I took out the cockpit with a surgical laser strike, and there
was no other damage to the mech (save the missing leg), and I STILL wasn't
able to salvage the Atlas chassis.

This means that the game balance has shifted to favor players using
missiles.  Especially LRMs and Streak SRMs, because missiles that hit with a
target lock are more likely to take out a cockpit and give you salvage.  By
relying on laser heavy mechs (like the Flashman) you don't get salvage.  In
past games I've avoided missile-heavy mechs, not liking the tendency of ammo
exploding and causing me to eject.  This game, I've only gotten salvage
through use of a Trebuchet and a Catapult.

Also note from previous observations that you don't get salvage from using a
flamer and causing the enemy's cockpit to eject from an ammo explosion.

To Activision:  Any way to fix this for Titanium?

To others:  Has anyone gotten salvage from a kill using lasers only?

From: Darrell Mayeda drmayeda @ pixi.com
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 patch?

dapel @ omnipoint.com wrote:
> I just read over the 1.1 patch info at Activision, so I think
> I answered this one myself.   Dynamic salvage is a pretty
> big item that I'd like to have, so I guess I do the patch
> thing.   any caveats?

Dynamic Salvage is a soso feature.  I've had some problems with it and
that 200 crit limit on inventory is a bit hard.  you can't stockpile
unlimited ammo.  The dropship has a storage of 200 critcal slots for
ammo, equipment, and weapons.  You can hold 9 Mechs.  The patch
introduces a big bug that renders lietzen unplayable in non 3D and maybe
in the 3D version.  Salvage has some problems with mystery mechs
suddenly appearing on the salvage screen after a mission.  Even if you
manage a clean kill you might not be able to salvage the chassis,  Some
Mechs are listed in the salvage list but there is only an outline of a
mech or the parts of the mech are there with nothing to salvage on them.
I think the big feature is the dubious ability to continue playing after
the luthien series.  If you played throughly on the first pass all you
will have is computer generated missions after that.  If you manage good
kills you can get salvage.  This is about the only time you can get
salvage from a computer generated mission.  The Aftermission briefing is
wrong though.  Note that dynamic salvage is a little more restricted
than is listed on the Activision site.  I find that if you take a
computer generated mission you will not get salvage no matter what you
do.  Don't bother trying just kill them quick.  After Luthien you can
get salvage and you can finse it.

From: dodo @ world.std.com (Dean ODonnell)
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 Salvage Observations

the count wrote:
>Michael & Shanon Dowling wrote:
>> 
>> I agree, several times I've had the entire chassi except for the head,
>> intact in the salvage screen and was not allowed to recover the chassi, And
>
>One thing to remember about salvage is your salvage rights!
>Most missions, you have only poor salvage rights, so don't expect
>much - your employer will take the chassi as the contract dictacts
>is his right.
>Don't like it?  Don't take poor salvage rights missions...

In order to test this theory I played the Solaris contract where the salvage
rights are excellent.  My results are in the post that started this thread.
In a nutshell:

Even with careful shots taking out only the cockpit you will not get the
chassis salvage if you made the kill with lasers or a flamer.

Based on recommendations here, I started using missiles for "kill shots"
(when I've pounded on a mech for awhile, I switch to SSRM2's in the hopes of
getting the kill with missiles, thus getting salvage).  After I switched to
missiles, I regularly got chassis salvage, even when I didn't take out the
cockpit.  

The only thing Activision has said about salvage is that you should try for
head shots, but through some careful experimentation I've shown that (even
with excellent salvage rights) you don't always get salvage when you get the
head shot, and you sometimes do get salvage even when you don't get the head
shot.

Why won't the Activision people explain how salvage is determined?  Surely
they have a number of conditions that need to be satisfied for chassis
salvage.  Why can't they just explain what they are?

Dean

From: Patrick Fleury pfleury @ tr.cgo_cbl.com

> > I think that only head shots allow chassis recovery. it is the only true
> >way to recover mechs. well...that worked for me at least....a few times...
> >;\
> 
> Nope.  I have salvaged a Madcat that still had the cockpit intact.  All it
> was missing was the left arm and the left section of the torso.  Conversely,
> I have not been offered salvage on any number of mechs where I have _only_
> taken out the cockpit.
> 
> I have asked repeatedly in both this and other threads for someone from
> Activision to clarify the "rules" of salvage in the 1.1 patch, but I've
> gotten no response (other than more speculation from others on the
> newsgroup).  I know you guys read the newsgroup.  C'mon!  If you don't want
> to reply in the newsgroup, then put it up on a webpage or something and post
> an address.

Sound


From: gordonj @ cocoon.co.uk (Gordon Jackson)
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 and AWE64

On 8 Jan 1998 04:03:39 GMT, "Jason Nyte"  nyte @ ods.ods.net wrote:

> Go to control panel/sound controllers/ AWE64 something or other and turn
> off Full Duplex. (The newest Direct X 5 fixes any other problems.)

Hurray!! Thanks for that

Also after wiping mercs and reinstalling everything from scratch, it's
cracking along at a decent pace now (I only originally installed Mercs
last week, didn't think I'd need to de-frag)

The world is now a fluffy place again :)

From: "Mike Putnam" mikep @ bigsky.net
Subject: Re: No Sound

Morton Chalom wrote in message <34b57107.4562310@news.mw.mediaone.net>...
>"Mike Putnam"  wrote:
>>When running the game in Win95, I get no movie or control room sounds
>>including the speech. I get sounds in the game just fine. A weird thing is
>>that when the game starts, my midi splash screen comes up like midi is
>>starting. Runs and sounds good in DOS.
>>SoundBlaster 64 AWE
>I bought my AWE64 Gold about a year ago and had the same issue. It was
>resolved by downloading the latest drivers at that time.

Problem solved. Need to turn off Duplex sound. Fixed it right up.

From: "rebel" outlaw @ net1fx.com
Subject: Mercs sound dropouts

I've had this problem with both the 1.08 and now 1.1 patches to Mercs.
Sound effects for weapons fire do not work all the time. The sound
is inconsistent playing the game in D3D mode.

System:

P166MMX
64 meg sdram
sb64
Mystique 220
Monster 3D

I have noticed the default SB64 midi settings using the wavesynth
clobbers the sound in the opening movie. However that was fixed by
changing the midi control panel instrument. Still, I had this problem with
my sb16 so I am assuming this is just another Mercs prob with D3D?
Or does it happen in the non D3D version too? I never played it without 3D.

From: bobby.lynn @ mailcity.com 
aradu @ lynx.bc.ca wrote:
> Hey I have a problem with my Mercs : I installed the CD version of
> Mercenaries 1.05, installed 1.1 patch.  My sound
> is really screwed up : if I go to Instant Action, the chick says
> "Accessing Personnel", then it keeps on saying Accessing, Accessing then
> if I go to exit, it does a weird groaning sound (not the chick ;)  ) for
> about 5-10 seconds. 

I have a similar problem. When I installed the patch for the first time
it worked fine. However, I then added another 32 meg of ram (no hardware
problems on other programs incl. F22 ADF, Quake 2, etc.) and the game
stopped working. I uninstalled the game, re-installed it and the patch.
This is when the problems described in your posting started. I have tried
unistalling, running scandisk, defrag, regclean and reinstalling several
times (including downloading the the patch again twice). No luck. Game
seems to work but many wierd sounds.

System:
Pentium 200MMx
64 meg SDram
3gig HD
SB64 AWE (latest drivers)
ET6000 2D card
3DFX Voodoo (latest drivers)

From: "Brant Rusch" rusch @ ix.netcom.com
Subject: ACTIVISION: D3D Merc Patch 1.1a Questions....
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 09:48:42 -0500

...
2) The game now skips alot of the sound effects....the music plays ok, but
the sound only works sometimes.....intermittant thumping of your mech on
the ground, laser sounds only working now and then....most of the time they
fire silently.  Machine Gun seemed slightly delayed....

[my sound card is]
Ensoniq Soundscape Vivo 90.....I know....one of those "Trouble boards". 
I'm beginning to think that the Ensoniq boards are akin to the old 
Pro Audio Spectrum boards from the early 90's...you know, every bit as
good, but ever so slight problems with every game..???

I'll have to check Ensoniq's site to see if they have new sound drivers for
the card, last time I check the sound drivers still weren't DirectX
certified.....

Its really odd.....the background music plays...there is background sounds,
but its the primary sounds that don't always show up.  Machine guns always
fire (chug-chug-chug..errr..like they're supposed to), but lasers and PPC's
sometimes fire silently...and in an external view the "stomping' of your
mech on
the ground is very very soft...then sometimes it gets loud..then
soft........

No crackling or fuzzing...its just...weird. ?


From: kjh @ is.myu.edu (KA)
Subject: Re: ACTIVISION: D3D Merc Patch 1.1a Questions....

"Brant Rusch" Rusch @ ix.netcom.com wrote:
>> 1) Just re-installed Mercenaries, and then added the 1.1a 18 meg
>> patch......upon re-booting the machine Mercs found my Righteous 3D Direct X
>> 5.0 drivers,
>> but only let me choose 640x480 as the sole resolution.

no more 512 res, according to the readme file.

>> 2) The game now skips alot of the sound effects....the music plays ok, but
>> the sound only works sometimes.....intermittant thumping of your mech on
>> the ground, laser sounds only working now and then....most of the time they
>> fire silently.  Machine Gun seemed slightly delayed....

I had problems with the CD audio music;  if I try to adjust the volume, the 
game freezes every time.  However, I don't experience the sound problems you 
are.



Joysticks


From: j.jardine@nospam.netmatters.co.uk (Lewis Jardine)
Subject: Re: Problems with 1.1 patch install

On Thu, 25 Dec 1997 23:31:29 -0500, Paul G 
wrote:
>I have installed the patch but all I see is a light purple screen with
>brown buildings.  I can't see the mechs but I can see there shadows. 
>The hud looks fine.
>
>I have the following:
>P166
>Diamond Stealth 2000 4mb
>Monster 3D
>Ensoniq ES1688 chipset soundcard
>sidewinder 3d pro
>
>I uninstalled mercs and deleted the directory before installing (tried
>twice).I reinstalled direct x 5 from a fresh copy of the MS sight. I
>have downloaded the new drivers from both 3dfx and Diamond and tried
>both.    
>When patching I do not get a prompt for d3d support but when I run the
>game the menu has the "video options" item and it shows it is using the
>3dfx card.

Can't help with this, but...

>The sw 3d pro also does not work properly and a few minutes into each
>mission it quits and I have no mech control.  This happens in MW2 also.

It's your soundcard that's the problem. The sidewinder can't get
enough throughput on the joystick port when the soundcard is making
noises, so the drivers die. This happens to me as well. I remeber that
microsoft released a patch for this a while ago, but I can't find it
anymore. Anyone know where it is? The only other option I can think of
is to get another soundcard (nice cheap one), and only use it's
gameport.

From: Paul G 
Subject: Re: Problems with 1.1 patch install

I finally got it to work by reformatting my HD and reinstalling
everything fresh - works great.

I also got a game card which seems to help the joystick.  It still
occasionally drops out in Heavy Gear but not in mercs.

From: Michael Bednowicz yippee38 @ foxvalley.net
Subject: Jumpy crosshairs

Has anybody run into this problem?  I've got Mercenaries 1.1 (3Dfx).  If
I keep my hands off all of the controls, the target reticle jumps around
every once in a while.  This even happens at the beginning of a
scenario.  If I just drop into the scenario and don't touch a thing, the
crosshairs will jump.  They go in different directions and don't appear
to do it in any kind of regular cycle.  It doesn't matter if I use a
mouse, the keyboard, or a joystick.  It makes the game totally
unplayable, as it's really hard to target on a mech if you can't hold
the crosshairs still.

From: Fozz @ dial.pipex.com
Subject: Acti Mech Games bugs and Mercs1.1 missions

I hope Dan Kegel might read this. I would like to ask if and when the
joystick problems from all your mech games (this includes MW2, Mercs, HG)
will be fixed ... I know maybe asking for all three to be fixed might be a
little too much, but the latter two .. Mercs1.1 and HG I would like them to
be fixed.
OK, the problem is this, if you use a mouse or the keyboard for Torso-Twist
then you are able to manage a full 90 degree twist (allowing you to circle
the enemy whilst maintaining a set distance) however, if you use any
joystick device (i.e. the Microsoft Sidewinder series with rotating stick,
any make of footpedals, a throttle or any other joystick driven device) for
the Torso-Twist then you are limited to only around 80% of the full twist. I
may also add that this was never a problem for the DoS versions of Mercs or
Mech2.

I have heard others replying to posts like this with such nonsense as .. it
depends upon the speed of your processor and such like .... I have gone from
a P75 with Mech2 upto seeing this problem still on a friends P233MMX ... so
I passed that possibility off.

Actually this has been reported by many others and Acitivision themselves
have acknowledged this to be a problem (around a year ago now). I notice
they seem to re-use exactly the same bit of keyboard and joystick polling
routines for all you Win95 Mech games since MechWarrior2 Win95 edition.
When HG and the Mercs 1.1 patch came out I thought this would have been
fixed for sure, how wrong can you be. So, the point of this post is to ask
if this will be considered for a future fix.
...

Mechlab


From: "Braden N. McDaniel"  braden @ shadow.net
Subject: Re: Mercs v1.1 patch

Frank Morgan wrote in message <68rn2p$ipt$1@news.udel.edu>...
>being able to customize my fav mech the wolftrap.
>(yes i tryed saving a variaent with no changes and editing that
>but no luck)

Yeah, the Wolf Trap is a favorite of mine, too. And the most annoying thing
is, Dan Kegel (I think it was him) fixed this bug for 1.06! I kinda suspect
they ditched 1.06 and started with the 1.05 codebase when the began work on
the 1.1 patch. FWIW (I know, not much) this one was pointed out quite a few
times during the beta test.

Prismatic Booger

From: Terrance Dunn-Roff 
Subject: after 2 weeks

Hail oh hardworking Activision crew...

Here is some ammo to take to those who do not listen.  Maybe it has been
said here already but here ya go..

To the best of my knowledge, no online league playing mechwarrior-2
Mercenaries is going to switch to mercs 1.1 as the standard version
for league play.

 This has GOT to hurt.  You guys put a lot of work into the game. 
Everything seems to work just a little smother.. You got a few graphics
oops to workout, and someone..(you guys know who!) only did half a job
with fixing the internal to engine/external heat sink thing in the
mechlab.
 Shorthand of the FASA rule...
 Each Battlemech has 10 heatsinks packaged with the engine that require
no additional tonnage but may require critical space allocation
for each 25 points of engine rating (rounded to the nearest 25 point
increment as needed) the mech mounts one heatsing internal to the
engine.  A small engined mech could therefore have a number of its heat
sinks mounted in the mechs internal locations.  The externally mounted
heatsinks will take up a number of critical location apropriate to the
type of heat sink.  On mechs with engine ratings of greater then 265
there will be additional room inside the engine for a greater number of
heatsinks above and beyond the basic 10 noted above.  The previous rule
applies for determining the total number of heatsinks that can be
internal to the engine. These extra internal heat sinks do not have to
be mounted, but if the option is taken the "Tonnage" for the additional
heat sinks must be accouted for in construction calculations though no
internal loaction need be allocated for them.

  the point??  well, ya got yhe over an engine rating of 265 part right
partially..  in the lab it seems that you have no choice about having
these internal heatsinks.  The construction rules were written by FASA,
and the internal HS rule was finalized before the original mechwarrior-2
game ever hit the shelves.  It is correct in the mechlabs in MW-2 and
GBL, but not in mercs.  Maybe the beta testers just didn't notice it,
maybe they did. But it really should be fixed before you put "Titanium"
on the shelves.  Though I have to admit that seeing a little itty bitty
mechlab patch for mercs up to version 1.6 would really make my day.


Cordially
Terrance Dunn-Roff
San Francisco, CA

From: Rob Ayotte rayotte @ badlands.nodak.edu
Subject: 2 slots for single heat sinks

I wiped all my games but it still is taking me 2 slots on the drop ship
per single HS...

From: jakey @ s_p_r_i_n_t_m_a_i_l.com (Andy Key)
Subject: Bug in Mercs 1.1

I've recently purchased MW2:Mercenaries and have encountered a serious
bug (read "it instantly nukes the shell").  I updated to the 1.1
patch.

Description of problem: When attempting to sell an LRM 20 (c) missile,
removed from a salvaged Clan mech, the shell will abruptly terminate.
At this point, attempting to restart Mercs will result in a hung
computer -- mouse does not move, numlock will not toggle, etc.  To
test, I installed onto a second computer and copied the MERSAVEx.SAV
file to the mercs directory there and tried the same thing.  Similar
results, except that the computer immediately hung, leaving the
display filled with gibberish.

Specifically, this occurs only when selling the last one, causing the
second item in the Missiles list to move up to the first.  Almost as
if the "Missiles" inventory, as well as the other categories, is
stored in a linked list and the code to remove it from the front of
the list is incorrect.

Has anyone else run into this?  I've tested it on two different
machines with exactly the same results.  The workaround is to simply
not sell the last "LRM 20 (c)" in your inventory.

=======================================
Send replies to jakey @ sprintmail.com.

Suggestions


Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 16:37:58 -0500
From: dropit dropit @ mindspring.com
Subject: Merc 1.1, non-league impact fixes/improvements

First, please add one to the "bring back wire frame" counter.


Mercenary Commander:

   a) Launch Mission Screen: love the new ability to select any mission
from the menu displayed when left mouse clicking the upper left corner of
the graphic, but once selected, the right side animation is still the one
from the       original dropship mission.

   b) Along the same lines, it would be nice to be able to continue the
newly selected mission sequence, or at least exit the dropship, without
being forced to complete the original dropship mission.  This is especially
true when the game mission sequence has managed to paint you into a corner.


3) Instant Action:

   a) On the main screen where the selection of friendly/enemy pilots takes
place - it takes time to click around through the meks and build the
mission.  It would be nice to have those selections persist after the
mission is over, returning to the same pilot settings rather than have to
assemble the cast of combatants all over again.

   b) Add a quick dropdown menu for mek chassis selection (as in the new
Mission selection screen above) rather than having to click a dozen times
to get to an Atlas.

   c) Add the option to select time of day

   d) Add the option to select parameters available in MercNet, i.e.
gravity, etc.

   e) Add the option to have an Instant Action Mission, once the objectives
have been completed, continue to send in additional groups of enemy meks
for combat.

   f) Add the ability for the user to include custom built
missions/terrain, as in MercNet.


MercNet:

   a) Maintain a custom mission online database where players can find
custom mission files, or at least links to the files, which are in use on
the server.

   b) Provide the option of AI players for either side, as Heavy Gear 1.1
does.

   c) Allow human players (or single player) to be on the same side against
AI players in a mission.

   d) Add a Mission Parameter Checkbox to screen for hacked meks, default: ON.

   e) Add an East Coast Server, and ping stats, to the logon screen.


In General:

Please make the BattleTech aficionados happy.  Tho not one myself, those
folks are the high priests of MechWarrior and though sometimes a bit
fanatical - they feel the weight of protecting this game's soul.

Dream Improvement: Force Feedback.  Weapon sounds could be sampled for
Attack/ Sustain/Decay to provide a shortcut to joystick fire response.  Add
the sound samples for engine, footsteps, collisions, weapon impact on self
and jumpjet landings ported to the FF algorithm  - and its 90% there.

------------

Dan, thanks very much for taking the time and energy to compile this list.
Its a service to all of us who love the Mech series, and we do appreciate
your efforts.

Activision, glad you are listening.  You have created the best computer
game series in existence, IMHO.  It will continue to grow and nourish you -
if you continue to cultivate it.


From: "Christopher Penney"  penney @ cps.msu.edu 
Subject: Re: Mercs 1.1 Bug

I found another bug.  After the series of missions where you steal the
Kodiak I ended up with four of them (the one I stole and three I
salvaged).  BTW: The Arrow IV missles work great for salvaging...
though I really hate using them... not much fun to stand way back and
kill things).

During customization I named the first three in sequence KODIAK 1,
KODIAK 2, and KODIAK 3 (TIMBERWOLF is first in the series).  The fourth
I named KODIAK CHRIS.  The 1-3 are identical configs (for starmates and
a spare).  The latter was one for me to use.  No problems thus far.

The next mission is the final series.  In the duty roster screen I can
assign KODIAK CHRIS, but when I start the game I get one of the other
three.  If I select the TIMBERWOLF I get it fine.  If I choose the
other KODIAKs I get them.  The only way I could pick KODIAK CHRIS was
to only select that one (no starmates).  The repair and reload screen
is fine. 

Bummer.

   Chris

Also, a comment on game play commands.  It would be nice if the comm
menu was more static with respect to sending a message to all
starmates.  I have a programmable joystick and would like to have a
button for telling all my starmates to engage at will.  Unfortunately,
the number corrosponding to "all" changes given the number of
starmates.

From: qwert  qwert @ interaccess.com
Subject: Re: Number of missions in Titanium?

If they were smart there would be unlimitted missions. All they have to do is have:

20 different planets (diff gravities and heat)
20 different landscapes
20 different missions types(defend/scout/attack/raid/etc...)
20 different clan/house/merc/pirate groups (or more)
20 different objectives

etc...

Allow us to select from all these variables and even write text to introduce and
"Set the Mood"... allow us to save them and we have a simple idiots mission
creator. It would not (I think) be hard for us to even pick what enemy mechs and
their starting locations. The size of the missions would be very small (not much to
keep track of) and PLEASE allow the automatic transmission of missions online to
those who do not have them before a multiplayer mission (like C&C I think)

Do this and we will be playing Mercs Titanium for years.

Any comments?

-JB

From: qwert qwert @ interaccess.com
Subject: Re: Titanium Pack: Activision Please Read!

JGP1885 wrote:
> This being your last Battletech product to ever come out, I hope you carefully
> read and consider what people are requesting to see in the T-Pack. I would like
> to see more starmates, mission builder for both multi/single missions, mission
> randomizer option (for single player), mech type/number/starting points vary at
> each start up. Also, give Mercs a MW1 experience.
>
> Also, good framerate. I have P200, 64 megs, Monster 3d, downloaded the Merc1.1
> patch and framerate was choppy, when dealing with multiple mechs. Quake2, with
> high-graphics and many enemies on the screen doesn't slow up at all.
>
> With all the negative feelings, myself included, that were first stirred when
> Mercs was released too soon, your commitment to making quality products has
> been questioned. Truthfully, when I now pickup an Activision game, I wonder how
> "buggy" it'll be and wait for first-impressions to be posted. 

Very well put! As one of Activision's biggest critics I was very surprised at how
much fun I was having (over the 1.05 patch) playing 1.1. The few "if it only had
this" is what I hope Activision puts into the Titanium Edition. My number one
feature (besides bug fixes) is:

Customizable missions and or mechs! Activision may have 5, 10, or even 100 people
working on Titanium but allow us access to a mech workshop and mission editors and
we'll have thousands outting their heart and soul into add-ons.

Of course a VERY VERY strict mech and mission validator should be included to keep
the mech and missions on the up and up.

And PLEASE fix the !@#$% Mercnet. Even if we have to go back to an enhanced
netmech.... please fix online!

Thanks. -JB

From: Vmaxx Vmaxx @ geocities.com
Subject: Re: Titanium Pack: Activision Please Read!

I would like to add the ability to select which 3d card you wanna use.
like the 1.08 patch!

Performance Tuning


From:  "skittle" skittle@no. one.at.home
Subject: Mercs 1.1 frame rate problems? Try this...

I have read a number of postings complaining about bad performance in
Mercs 1.1 coupled with an increase in disk activity. I too had this problem
and after much investigation with system monitor and the like pinned it down
to excessive paging to the Swap file - something I thought strange as my
system had 48Mb!

What seems to be happening is that Windows is using all your spare memory
for it's VIO cache (a kind of dynamic smart drive, for those of you who are
familiar with the Windows 3.11concept.)  This is a good thing normally since
it prevents disk I/O, which is slow.  However what should happen is that
Windows should detect an increase in memory requirement when firing up a big
programme like Mercs 1.1 and trim back its VIO cache.  For some reason this
doesn't happen in Mercs (and maybe other "big programmes - see below,) and
you end up with a big, and presumable useless VIO cache, with Windows paging
like hell trying to squeeze Mercs into the remaining memory.  If you let
Windows manage virtual memory (default) this will be even worse 'cos Windows
may be doing lots of I/O to your Swapfile disk expanding the Swapfile.

To see if you're suffering from this, look at the following:

Is your disk light flashing/are your disks making a noise when Mercs is
running?  If so you are paging.

If you have MSINFO32 fire it up, fire up Mercs and go into a mission (ie get
into a fire fight) then Alt-TAB to MSINFO32, refresh it, and look at
available physical memory and swapfile in use. If physical memory is close
to zero, and Swapfile in use is greater than zero you are probably paging.

To prove this look at Memory Manager:Pagefaults under system monitor for a
period when Mercs is running (again, you need to have it running and get
into a fight, or be active in a mission, then come out and look at the
monitor graph for the time you were in, if you follow me!)  I had a
pagefault rate of 250/second, free physical memory of a couple of k, a
Swapfile in use  of 6Mb and a disk light on for a lot of the time.

Okay so you have this problem - what can you do about it?

Well, I fixed the size of my VIO cache using a frig I found out about by
surfing some Windows 95 sites.  Simply put the following lines into your
SYSTEM.INI (in your WINDOWS directory)

[vcache]

MinFileCache=x
MaxFileCache=y

x and y specify the minimum and maximum sizes in k of VIO cache.

I found with 48Mb that x=y=2048 (ie 2Mb) reduced my paging to nil, and got
performance better than the old 1.08 patch.  You may have to try even less
if you have a lower memory system.  If you cannot remove paging completely
then minimise your disk activity by specifying a Swapfile size and location
from System Properties, Performance, Virtual memory.  A good rule of thumb
is to use a Swapfile fixed to be two times larger than your physical memory
(ie min and max size is the same) on your fastest disk.

Re boot, go back into Mercs and have fun.

I found that XvT with the 3Dfx patch was suffering from the same problems,
and it got much better into the bargain.

As ever, the above is offered as advice based on my experiences.  I will
accept no responsibility for damage, or problems caused by trying it, and if
the above all sounds like black magic to you then you probably shouldn't be
doing it anyway!  ...but if you do try it and it works (or even doesn't)
post and let us know!

As far as an overall explanation goes... who knows?  One of Bill's merry
men, no doubt, but I bet they ain't telling!  (If anyone from Microsoft (or
Activision) would like to comment... (fat chance.))

One final point - as I was unhappy with running Windows with only a 2Mb VIO
cache, I bought an extra 16Mb RAM (it's cheap now...) and now run with 64Mb,
and a fixed 6Mb VIO cache.  A sad day when Windows 95 games need 64Mb to get
decent performance (and it's supposed to run in 4Mb!!!!!)

As for Mercs 1.1... I think it kicks!  Bring on the Titanium set!


From: ladyhawk@mlode.com (Laura Hamilton)
Subject: Fixed Mercs 1.1 D3D...sort of 

Original Problem:
>     Recently, the 1.1 Direct 3D version of Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries
> has started giving me an "illegal operation" error message just after
> initializing the "neuro-helmet interface" or whatever it's called. :) It
> does this without fail. I managed to fix it once by uninstalling
> Mercenaries, erasing the keys from the registry, then reinstalling on a
> different drive, but the next day, I encountered the exact same error
> message.
>     Now it doesn't work at all and I have completely uninstalled it from
> my system. I am using the latest 3Dfx Direct X drivers from 3Dfx
> Interactive, as well as the latest Glide drivers (2.43, I think). None
> of my other games, glide or Direct 3D have exhibited a problem like
> this. What do you suppose is wrong?

    I finally figured out what was causing the problems with Mercs 1.1
D3D. The problem still crops up a lot, but at least now I know how to
fix it without reinstalling everything. For some reason, Mercs "forgets"
about the 3Dfx DirectX 5 Drivers that are supposed to be present under
Options/Video Options in the Mercenaries menu. At times when I enter the
game, "3Dfx DirectX 5 Drivers" are not even listed (just my primary
display driver, an S3 Trio 64, and "software emulation"). Sometimes a
simple reboot of the system is all that is needed for Mercs to suddenly
remember that the 3Dfx DirectX 5 Drivers do indeed exist. Sometimes I
have to reinstall the 3Dfx DirectX 5 drivers (a.k.a. Reference Direct 3D
drivers, which you can get from:
http://www.3dfx.com/download/sdk/index.html ) before Mercenaries will
remember the 3Dfx drivers.
    When I go into the game, I have to re-select the correct video
driver under Options/Video Options and everything works just fine. Now I
just wish I knew why the game keeps forgetting about my 3Dfx drivers.
Hmmmm....

Ladyhawk