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Do you love Command & Conquer? Do you love Red Alert? If you're still reading this, that means that you do! Come join us this week for our game night, this Wednesday and Thursday at 19:00 GMT.
More details in the forums!
Be advised that over the course of April-May some services (teamspeak, website, forums, game servers, the launcher) may be unavailable for an expected outage due to server maintenance.
if you have any concerns or questions, please email outages (at) catalyst-hosting.net.
And so the time has arrived to announce the fresh testers whose applications have been accepted.
Without further ado:
Congratulations on your new testership! Your permissions should be sorted out very soon and who knows? Maybe you'll join our new testing session this weekend!
Didn't make it to the list? Don't worry, some of you have been contacted by staff who'd just like to have a chat before introducing you.
It's the most wonderful time, of the year!
Yes it is the time again when we are looking for new, motivated, testers to help test Red Alert: A Path Beyond. We have a rather interesting new version coming up and we need some extra testers to help us out!
Deadline for applications: April the 2nd.
So how do you become a tester?
If you want to be a tester you will have to meet some requirements and send me, your lead tester (Nodlied), a pm on the forums.
What do I put in the pm?
There are several things you will have to answer, please answer the questions below. You may always include additional information if you wish to do so.
Other than that, there are a few requirements for joining our internal testing team.
You have to have a BHP forum account.
- How else would you join us in the tester forums?
You have to have a Skype account.
- We use skype daily to chat about the projects as well as to quickly call upon our testers. We do not use the voice chat function, only the text based chat.
You have to have Team Speak 3.
- We use teamspeak during testing sessions to make sure everything goes according to plan and to communicate with each other effectively. You don't need a microphone and you do not need to speak. As long as you have the ability to listen, you should be fine. (We'd would appreciate it if you do have a microphone!)
You have to be able to enjoy our game.
- I don't think that this requires any additional information.
Do you have what it takes?
So, are you the best tester in the world? Do you want to join us in our collective testing sessions as well as testing things on your own on LAN? If so, don't hessitate to apply!
Remember, Red Alert: A Path Beyond still isn't finished and every tester helps us getting closer to a new release!
Let us know why you're the best tester we will ever have and, maybe, you will become part of our tester team! (Or even grow further into a fully fledged developer!)
It's just about time for one of these again, isn't it? Probably over time! So, we'll cover some recent events and what we've got going on. I've been personally really busy for the past couple months and since I generally handle these (and since it's been holiday time) we've slipped on getting them up.
TSR & AR Flee Into The Night
So probably the biggest happening lately is the formation of "W3D Hub" by former staff and moderators, as a place for AR and TSR development There has been a lot of discussion about it, including on community news sites, and you're definitely welcome to read all about it. It's been a bit confusing to a lot of players and fans, so I'll lay out some salient points.
First, this move was done without warning or consent, and indeed was explicitly planned to take place when BHP administration would not be around. Player and staff data, accounts, content, and metadata were taken suddenly; we're talking everything from session information, to private messages, public and internal staff topics, to user-moderator interaction, to account and profile details (exposing things like email addresses, IP history, and Facebook-connector information). Troublingly, this data is now accessible by unverified parties, including some former staff and moderators who were dismissed for misconduct.
Access to this data was taken by stealing the database information from configuration files lifted via the site management FTP account that is used primarily to archive old builds, upload resources for forum skins, and content for the front-page site. Considering how unhappy we are when a tester uses his access to spread around internal builds of the game or pre-release content, you can imagine how upset we'd be about such a shady maneuver.
While we would ordinarily welcome a new community site as C&C modding and Renegade modding in particular is a small and shrinking scene, it's become quite clear the W3D Hub intended to set up a "new" community by simply stealing all user data and hosting it offsite instead of presenting new and compelling content, or even a functional website.
This is all very shocking and unfortunate, amounting to a needless schism and we're sorry to see such a breach of trust among players and fellow modders. There are even rumors the SQL attacks had been planned against the BHP site if "plan A" didn't work or W3D Hub founders were caught in the act, which is the kind of thing that really breeds permanent distrust and skepticism. While I've asked that all user data, posts, etc. be discarded immediately, troubling news is that I've heard rumblings that they would rather simply hide (or pretend to discard) this data while keeping it viewable to the W3D Hub moderation team.
Hopefully ethics will prevail in the end.
The Launcher & Gameservers
The BHP Launcher was also suddenly rebranded as the W3D Hub launcher, forcefully hijacking existing launcher builds and funneling players to the "new" site where they were "mysteriously" able to use their old login information. This was followed by a series of game update snafus, and client/server version mismatches.
Going forward, to prevent confusion, we anticipate shipping the BHP Launcher in a familiar form for now and hope any development of the W3D Hub launcher will continue responsibly in such a way as to not interfere with the BHP Launcher. We also anticipate no longer seeing the W3D Hub launcher list RA:APB gameservers and push builds of our game as we explore our options -- some community members have expressed interest at taking a crack at producing their own launcher variants, even.
Please be sure you grab the latest BHP Launcher when you get a chance.
We're hosting a new vanilla RA:APB European server, located in Paris, France. All the normal server rules will apply. Also, the MPF co-op server has been updated to the new build, so have a look for a slightly different gameplay experience.
RA:APB 220.127.116.11 Released
So as not to be all doom-and-gloom about modding, a new build of RA:APB was also recently released in case you missed it. Version 18.104.22.168 includes a number of changes, including a codebase update to a more modern Scripts branch - from the relatively ancient Scripts 4.0 to Scripts 4.2 for those of you keeping track. Highlights include:
As a side note, we're going to be looking to pick up some new testers somewhat soon to help fill out the ranks and keep the new builds coming. A lot of balancing work is tricky when working with smaller groups.
In other recent (and positive!) news, for those of you who love to use IRC (be it via standalone client such as mIRC or even via our browser client), we've recently affiliated with the CnCIRC Network. Put simply, CnCIRC is a network of IRC servers for C&C fans to use to hang out, talk about games, or play together no matter if you're an RTS or FPS fan.
You can continue to connect to irc.bluehellproductions.com as normal, and you will automatically be on the CnCIRC network and have access to all the other channels and users. You can also connect to irc.cncirc.net to hop onto any one of the affiliated servers; don't worry, you'll have all the same access no matter which method you use to connect.
Once you're connected, check the channel /list command to see what's available -- give it a minute though before it'll let you do that, take some time to register your name.
Other participants already include:
Thanks for Reading!
We'll have more news for you later. For now, click for big, I'm going to just leave this here:
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