Posted 20 December 2006 - 12:45 AM
So I have played RA2 off and on for several years (lately, more off than on). It's fun, it's relatively simple, easy to learn yet enough depth to make it fun even after playing it for a while.
But it's a nightmare to network!
First off, even though it was released in 2000, it only has support for IPX...no TCP/IP. So networking it at lans is problematic at best; you have to keep messing with the IPX settings to get each machine to see each other. When 3 of 4 see the host, but not that last machine, then you mess with settings...have someone else host...changes settings again...apply duct tape, styrofoam, and string...and finally, you just might get to play.
Hours after the lan has started, of course.
I assume the lack of TCP/IP support was to keep folks from hosting their own games online. Apparently a CD key and online account isn't enough...Westwood wanted control of all online games. If that's how they want to do it, well, I wouldn't complain if it actually worked.
Usually what happens is this: when the host launches the game, not all the players will sync and it times out. Or, if you are lucky enough to connect and start the game, someone crashes to windows.
Another bonus: two players, networked behind a router, can't play on Westwood servers, even though they both paid for CD keys. Without TCP/IP support, there's only one incoming IP...so both can't play. Nice.
Great game. When it works...which is about 35% of the time, on a good day, down hill, and with a tail wind. So many people have dismissed it simply because it is just too much work to get going. Like I say, the game itself is a lot of fun...too bad they had to ruin it with crappy code and the irrational lack of TCP/IP support. I think EA/Westwood should give us a all a Christmas present...a patch that adds TCP/IP support into RA2 and TS (and while they are at it, how about patches for C&C and RA1 that allow them to play on an NT OS).
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein
"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams