Category 22, Topic 17
Message 198 Wed Nov 02, 1994
D.SELLE [Rude Boy] at 20:11 EST
I am pleased to see that Earthsiege is (generally) being well-recieved.
Since Sierra is pulling off of genie, I will try to give you guys what help I
can. But realize that I am doing this on my own time and money and that I am
not a tech support expert. I have heard rumors that Sierra may resume some
kind of a link with Genie when the internet connection is complete in January,
but I don't know the details or how certain this is. I will check in here
about once a week.
1) Responsiveness of the game
Earthsiege is memory and CPU intensive. The recommended setup for
the game is a 486 33MhZ with 8 meg of RAM. This was mentioned in
the manual. If you play on a machine slower than this you should
lower the detail settings to improve performance. If you have enough
memory for it, a 1 meg smartdrive is also adviseable.
2) Thrustmaster support
WCS MARK I
This device is not supported unless you have an upgrade chip.
Contact Thrustmaster for more information.
WCS MARK II
We provide a "default" setting for the WCS mark II that
works with the V1.39 version of Thrustmasters "Command
& Control Center" software.
They don't work like the rudders for a plane, but function
as they do in MPBT. (Moving the right pedal forward rotates your
turret to the left or turns you to the left). If you don't
like this setup, the programmers tell me you MIGHT be able to
calibrate them backwards and get it to work. I haven't tried
this so I don't know if it works.
Well, I kinda messed up here. Thrustmaster wrote us B50 and
M50 files for this sucker but I changed the names of the files before
we made the final burn. You can do one of 2 things to fix this:
Change the names of the B50 and M50 files from ES.B50 and ES.M50
to EARTH.B50 and EARTH.M50 *OR* change the Mdef line in the ES.B50
file to read "Mdef ES" instead of "Mdef Earth." Also, Thrustmaster
did NOT include a provision to use the WCS II with the F-16 FLCS
files they wrote for us.
In general, if you have problems with TM support, it is better to
call them than us. They were part of the Beta test for Earthsiege
and are familiar with most aspects of the game. They also know
far more about thier hardware than we do. The tech support number
for thrustmaster is listed in the README file for earthsiege.
3) Getting Started
We have had several people complain that the game is difficult
to get started with. Earthsiege is as complex as many flight sims,
and has a similar kind of learning curve. It rewards the persistent
and skillful player. If you are having difficulty with the game,
try practicing the single missions in "invulnerable" mode.
4) CD Info:
We finalled the CD the same time as the floppy version, but CD
duplication is done out of house so it takes longer. CD's should
be in the store any day now. The CD version has the speech pack
included with it and contains a couple short movies. You also
have the options for minimum, medium, and full install with
the CD. I personally would have set the speech pack at a lower
price point, but I don't make those decisions.
5) Some HINTS
-Build a new Herc every chance you get. The lager ones take
more time to complete than the smaller ones. Construction
time and salvage can become critical in later missions.
-Try to shoot the weapons off the enemy hercs
You have a chance to recover new weapons this way, even
if you don't have the technology to build it yet. (Your
armory won't build any new ones until you get the tech
-Target legs and the waist. If you take out a Cybrid Herc's engine
or blow off its legs you will get a lot more salvage for it
than if you just blow away the center torso. The down side is
he can shoot at you the whole time you are doing this .
Note: this strategy is not the best one for survival in mult-herc
-You can't "kill the base" in every mission, and it is not
necessary to do so to win. Sometimes just getting in
and out can be hard enough. Read your mission objectives.
-Some people here are giving autocannons a bum rap. I think
they are the BEST weapon of all. You just haven't learned
to shoot straight apparently .
I may post more hints later if response warrants.
Category 22, Topic 17
Message 278 Wed Nov 09, 1994
D.SELLE [Rude Boy] at 21:33 EST
Hello again everyone!
Here are some answers to questions that have been asked:
But first a note on the nomenclature:
Are the names of the Herc's some people have been referring to.
Notes about auto-tracking:
This has been intended more as "training wheels" than a feature that a skilled
player will rely on. It works best with lasers and can be helpful shooting
down flyers. Most of the time I play with neither my targetting system nor the
auto-tracking feature activated.
There is an undocumented feature that will allow you to traverse the turret
at high speed. Holding down the "alt" key while pressing the I,J,K,M will
cause it to traverse rapidly. I believe these key combinations will work in an
.adv file but I have not tried it personally.
CD Installation sizes:
These are incorrectly stated in the manual. The readme file contains the
Since there seems to be demand for a patch to flip the rudder axies, I will
find out what it will take to make one available here. Rudders will control
either turret rotation OR herc movement (turning). I have tested this setup
both ways myself and I am 100% sure it works either way.
Joystick button 2 toggling between movement and turret control is NOT a bug,
it is works (more or less) as designed, so blame me. I *like* this feature
and use it all the time. If we WERE to do a patch on the joystick, what is it
that people would want to see changed? Please be specific. It is not clear to
me that the "turning" problem people have experienced is due to a true
inefficency in the product, unrealistic expectations regarding the
maneuverability of an 80 ton Herc, or if people don't understand how the
interface is SUPPOSED to work.
Out of environment space error:
This is not our fault (really). You need to increase your DOS environment
size in your config.sys. It should fix all the CD problems mentioned in this
This information is available on the HUD (Heads up display). Two yellow bars
at the top and left sides of the HUD indicate turret rotation and elevation
respectively. There is a compass which numerically indicates your heading
(facing) above the "turret rotation" bar. We may add an iconic orientation
display in future versions since people seem to be confused by this.
Deleting saved games:
You can delete a career from the "career" menu. You cannot delete individual
saved games or rename them. Saving the same mission twice will overite the
previous save in that "slot." I realize that this is a bit clunky, but for a
long time we intended to drastically limit the number of saved games and it
was added at the end. The idea behind limiting saves was so people might
actually end up on the alternate campaign paths (I bet most of you didn't even
know there were any). Our Beta testers and QA people STRONGLY requested
unlimited saves which we agreed was the right way to go. The upshot of this is
the same thing that happened in the original wing commander: there are a lot
of missions out there that no one will ever see because they just play the
same mission over and over until they win . You don't HAVE to win to go on
to the next mission. You may regret it later --but you can still continue.
Oh well. Live and learn.
I love surprises, which is why there is no enemy vehicle preview. The
potential for a database of known technology and enemies was eliminated when
the "Barracks" screen was cut. With it also went a lot of the story elements I
intended to include in the game. What can I say? It would have delayed
shipping. Certain non-essential game elements were sacrificed so we could
concentrate on other "vital" features. Look for more frosting on future
cakes. I have some backstory written for the game as well as the complete
text of Gierling's log (excerpted and edited in the manual intro) that I could
upload if people are interested in that kind of thing.
These depend on how well you do on the campaigns. Since everyone is replaying
the missions until they win, the tech releases will probably be all hitting in
the same place. Generally you have the chance to get a tech release on certain
special missions (no, I am not going to say which ones). If you achieve the
mission objective you will get the tech release, if you fail the mission you
will get another chance at a later date. Each new weapon and Herc type works
this way. If a mission has a chance for tech release on it, generally this
information will be spelled out for you in the briefing. Your technology
development paralells Cybrids, but they always get the new goodies first .
You will see the Cybrids using EMP's well before you have a chance to make
them, for instance.
I wish we had it too. Put it in the "future products" file. I consider
this feature a must for a major sequel.
We are considering it in a future ES product. FYI Battledrome will be
shipping in a few weeks with modem and network support. Battledrome is a
robotic combat arcade game set in cyberspace--for those who didn't know.
Low detail on weapons:
Someone mentioned that they were only getting polygons on the weapons. If you
have enough memory you should get texture mapping on the weapons at MAX shape
detail. If you are "Low" on memory the game automtacilly throws away the
highest detail level on the shapes and you will never see it (the second
highest detail becomes the highest in the prefs). You will almost certainly be
running the "low" memory version of the game on a 4meg machine, even if you
run from a boot disk. NOTE: Shape detail has the greatest impact on your frame-
rate, so if you set it to MAX it will slow gameplay on all but the most
Rolling motion with turret movment:
You only "roll" when your herc turns in place. You should experence no
rolling motion when you traverse the turret right or left. There is a slight
up and down motion if your herc is running or walking, which can "jiggle" your
turret a bit, but that's all.
Someone mentioned a problem with the FCS choosing the wrong buttons. I really
am not very familiar with hardware in general, but it sounds like you might
have your WCS configured with an .adv file from another game? If not then you
could have a problem with your game card or joystick port (this is especially
suspect if you use multi-function card with a joystick port). We sent the game
to PC test, who does our compatability testing, but it is possible that some
hardware/joystick configurations were missed. If this is the case then the
best I can suggest for now is to call sierra tech support and give them a
description of your hardware so it gets into the database. Tech support has
forwarded a couple of minor issues to us, but so far we have not heard of any
joystick calibaration problems. Sorry I can't help you more.
Note: The game DOES support CH Flightstick PRO.
Skipping the intro:
This is made up of 3 seperate parts, press ESC 3 times to skip them all.
VCR function: please see my notes in the previous message. As I said before,
if we had a shippable version of the VCR we would have included it. This was
NOT "held back" to put in an add-on disk and you won't see one in the mission
disk coming out early next year.
If we do them, it will probably be a seperate product and not an add-on.
Can't say for sure, though. There is strong interest in doing one on the team.
Turning while moving slow:
You CAN rotate your Herc while it is stationary. You must be COMPLETELY
stopped to turn in place (if you have even 1% throttle it won't work). When
your herc is moving slow he is taking "baby-steps" which means it takes MUCH
longer to turn then if you have a bit of speed built up (Hercs only have 1
size turning radius--BIG). There is a strategy for maneuving your herc that
I find works well: the "J" turn. If you want to get a guy in your sights fast,
back up and turn in the opposite direction:e.g., if there is a guy on your
left flank, back up while turning right (you would have your joystick all the
way down and right). Also moving slowly is generally a very unhealthy tactict.
By the time you tweak your turret and get the guy lined up juuust right you
will be Herc Pilot fricasse. Soo sorry .
Somone claimed they hit a Herc with 26 missiles and it didn't die. I have
never seen anything approaching this level of absurdity in our testing
process. Missiles have a blast radius and are detonated on contact with the a
herc's shields, if any. In some rare cases a missile hit may do little or no
damage to a herc. For instance: your target is running directly away from you
at full speed with his shields fully diverted to the rear. I can't imagine
this happening 26 times in a row, however. I think it's more likely that you
missed a lot (especially with EO missiles--it takes awhile to get the hang of
I have never seen this happen. I suggest you call Sierra Technical support,
if other people have this problem they may have a fix (I doubt it, becuase I
would probably have heard about it, but it might be worth a shot). I have used
logitech and microsoft 8.xx mouse drivers with the game myself.
In general weapons are built based upon need. If you are out of or down to 1
weapon of a certain type, it will build a new one for you. The maximum # of
weapons built at 1 time is 5. It is generally a good idea to keep your hercs
as fully armed as possible.
I am surpised everyone is having so much trouble with these...
To win the Rhino prototype mission you must save the base(60%) and at least
50% of the herc. You can still win the mission even if the rhino pilot is
dead. I don't recall if this particular mission has a wingman or not, but
I usually have a wingman guard one side of the base, while I patrol the other
on scramble missions. I check the HDD display frequently while in this "guard"
mode. When the enemy appears he is usually close to one of us. I send my
wingman the "attack my target" message and then charge in. You should always
avoid chasing enemy hercs far from a base you are defending.
You will not get the tech release for the Rhino until the beginning of the
next campaign if you lose this mission, but there is no other negative effect
on the campaign besides this.
Campaign 2 mission 1:
Your main objective is to scout the waypoints, NOT to fight the enemy hercs.
Run away at the first hint of danger.
Certain slots in each campaign are filled by "random" missions. This means
that if you replay a campaign you will not necessarily see the same missions
in the same order. If you do get the same mission, your mission path, the
Cybrid herc types and locations can all be different. Some missions contain no
random elemets while others are derived almost entirely from them.
Difficulty in career mode:
Is set to "BRUTAL."
Campain 3 mission 3 (radar towers).
This is actually one of the few missions that I still find challenging. I
take a tomahawk with 4 ATC 35mm and 1 ATC 50mm. I have my wingman attack the
same target as me so it dies fast, then when a radar tower's "guards" are
dead, I have him destroy the base (so I conserve my ammo). I typically finish
the mission with about 100 rounds left in each AC (10% ammo left). Since you
are only fighting 2 guys at 1 time, shooting the legs on the mirimacs is a
good strategy. Also, I think the briefing mentions that the enemy Hercs mount
ARM's (hafta look). Avoid using radar in combat on *ANY* mission if there
are reports of cybrids mounting ARM's in the breifing. It is a sure way to
die. ARM's can lock onto an ECM pod too.
Well, I think that is enough for now Thank you all for your interest in
Category 22, Topic 17
Message 287 Thu Nov 10, 1994
D.SELLE [Rude Boy] at 23:45 EST
Update from HRL HQ .
There are 8 campaigns in Earthsiege. 5 Main and 3 alternates. No one is
hitting the alternates because they are playing all the missions until they
win . If you want to try an alternate campaign, lose the last mission of
campaign 1,2, or 3 (just quit as soon as you get in). This is a guaranteed way
to fail the campaign. Note: if you lose 2 campaings in a row you will lose
the game, so you can't do this twice. Campaign 7 (the fifth campain in
sequence) has no alternate so if you lose the "fourth" one you will lose the
game. Backing up your career on an alternate path will overwrite missions if
you have progressed beyond that point on another campaign path--so you
probably will want to avoid saving over the last mission of a campaign if you
go "exploring." This will allow you to resume the "win" path at any time.
Here is what the campaign tree looks like:
Camp#-- 0 "First" campaign
| \ (L)
1 2 "Second" campaing
(L) /| /
/ | / (EOG if you lose 2)
4 3 "Third" campaign
(EOG \ | \ (L)
if you \| \
lose 4) 5 6 "Fourth" campaign
| / (EOG if you lose 5 or 6)
7 "Fifth" campaign
(L) = "losing" branch
EOG = End of Game
Thus, 8 different campaigns (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7). The box also says 45 missions.
Actually Earthsiege shipped with 60 unique POSSIBLE missions, however you
will only see about 40 of them per career.
Sorry if this is misleading on the box. Marketing asked me how many campaigns
there were and that's what I told 'em. Number of missions
was my best guess for a career at the time it went to print.
Next time we will put the campaigns in a straight line so that you have to
complete ALL of them to win the game . Also, there is branching within many
of the campaings themselves. For instance: if you lose the third mission in
campaign 0 (the first campaign) you will get a scramble mission next, if you
win it you will get a patrol mission. I can see that this didn't work out like
I hoped it would. I grew weary in X-wing of playing the same mission over and
over again until I won it, but it seems like this is the kind of thing people
As far as the bug with the deleted campaign, I am pretty clueless. I have a
career on the final version of ES saved up until the last mission of campaign
7 (fifth campaign) and I have replayed it many times. I have not seen anything
like this bug in the shipping version, but there was a bug with careers a
while back. It was fixed and regressed, but I will have someone check on this
and see if it somehow got reintroduced. I would expect that it would happen
all the time and not just the last mission if this was the case, however.
If you reboot or turn off your machine while it is transitioning between the
sim and the shell or while you are backing up a camapaign it is possible that
your career file could get messed up (if you have the bad timing to do it
while it is writing this file to the hard drive). This could affect *all* your
saved missions in an unpredictable and possibly fatal way, especially if you
have Smartdrive installed. You could check out your hard drive with Norton
Disk Doctor or an equivalent utility to see if your files are okay. Beyond
this I really can't think of anything else to try.
I would be interested to see if other people encounter this problem when they
reach the last mision. If you are worried about this bug, you can back up the
contents of your \CAR directory as a safety measure the next time you get to
the last mission of the game.
You need to have the red button on the WCS II set to "Digital" and the black
button (hat) set to "Analog" to use it with Earthsiege.
We will begin working on a joystick patch to give people the option to
switch the rudders and add keys for the throttle for WCS II users after
the forein translations are completed. It is possible that we will add an
increased "vanishing distance" for hercs in this patch as well. I have
no idea what the timeframe for availability of this patch might be.
You don't get salvage for destroying bases, and you surely don't get credit
for friendly bases the Cybrids have destroyed! Some missions will have a
"salvage bonus" for killing certain bases (some supply buildings or hangars
for instance), but this is a special case and not a general rule. It is
possible that one of the mission programmers made an error and
put a salvage bonus on a FRIENDLY base, in which case you would get salvage if
your squad or a cybrid killed it. I strongly doubt anyone on our crack team of
mission programmers could have made such an oversight (looks around
innocently). The reason you get a lot of salvage on scramble missions is
simply because there are a lot of enemy hercs to kill.
We have a pseudo vcr function we use in house to test most of our games. This
is what was used to create the contents of the unfortunately named "\TAPES"
subdirectory. It is a LOOOONG way from something that could be considered
"consumer ready." There *may* be a vcr for Earthsiege sometime in the future,
but it will not be ready when the first missions disk ships early next year. I
too would like to see this in a shipping version of the
game, but it is a ways off unfortunately.
Well, I gotta work on getting Battledrome finalled, so you probably won't hear
from me again until late next week. Until then, Good Hunting!