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Updates 2018

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    Updates 2018

    Howdy folks,

    already during the Mod Awards in December I announced a few updates for Crossfire in 2018.
    One of them was a story related update introducing new Bonus missions.
    Crossfire already has a bunch of bonus missions that are not 100% tied to the main storyline. Id like to extend that a bit.
    For this purpose I will create a new thread where you can share your ideas.
    These ideas can be based on already existing bonus missions (we have a fancy new sleepership with unknown origin) or you can come up with new stuff.
    We will collect the ideas in the next few weeks and see where it leads to.

    However, before I start working on new missions there is a topic Id like to get covered first.
    We have a noticable amount of players which dont seem to be able to install the mod correctly. To be honest I have no idea why.
    Prior releasing Crossfire 2.0 the dev team has spent weeks working on the installer trying to make sure that it runs perfectly under Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista and also Windows 10.
    Back then we knew that Windows could be a bit quirky when it comes to user permissions and specific security settings required to get files altered. We also knew that the Freelancer Mod Manager isnt perfect and has a few stupid standard settings which could cause troubles (e.g. creating write protections after a mod installation -> thats a problem since we have to do patches via out launcher).
    All these issues we came across back then were fixed by allowing the Crossfire Installer to change specific Freelancer and Freelancer Mod Manager related settings on the registry.
    Why players still have problems gettings the mod to run correctly is a miracle to me.
    It might be that something on their PCs is blocking some of the changes we wanted to be done by the Installer.
    One possible cause of the problems also could be the installation directory.
    Most users which reported about problems had installed Freelancer/Crossfire into "C:\Progam files (86)\Microsoft\Freelancer\". Thats of course the default directory where vanilla FL wants to be installed (if you dont select a different one).
    But "C:\Progam files (86)" is also a directory which on some PCs is protected and required specific administrative rights to write into. It of course is just a guess but I think thats one of the main problems why players run into installtion problems with CF.
    Unfortunately my tries to verify this theory were not really successful since I personally dont seem to be able to reproduce the problems on my PC and I have not been able to find other players which suffer such problems and are willing and able to the required tests.
    With other words, I have no data to work with in order to clearly identify the problems and fix them.
    That is not a very satisfying situation since I cant really help players that have problems to get CF to work without detailed information and its even more frustrating to unban people from the server each day because they have a bad installation.

    I recently came up with the idea to provide a verification tool for Crossfire.
    It will work similar to the way how the launcher checks if your files are upto date. But unlike the launcher which only checks for specific files which need to be updated, this new tool will check EVERY file of CF installation for its validity and creates logs if there are errors. Users then can upload these logs to the Portal.
    This way I finally will be able to figure out where exactly the errors are created and also will be able to provide fixes without telling players to re-install their game.

    Why dont we just let the launcher do that job?
    Because such checks are time consuming and its nothing you want to do everytime you launch the game. Therefore an extra tool appears to be the best solution.
    At this point I dont know if we require to write such a tool from the scratch of if we can make use of existing code/tools.
    Thats something I will try to figure out in the near future.


    Another problem Id like to address are the clan bases which meanwhile at least once a month cause a massive problem on the server which requires me to spend a significant amount of time to fix each time.
    Huor already tried to take a look at the code and figure out where stuff goes wrong, without that much success.
    Id like to take a different approach on this issue and instead of trying to fix the source of the problem I want create a new server tool which detects when exactly the problem occurs and automatically fixes it.
    So when we cant find the source of the problem we can at least try to cure the symptoms.


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