Battlezone Complex

BZ Community History
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Author:  Tnadz [ Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:01 am ]
Post subject:  BZ Community History

Hello, all. I've been browsing several BZ forums looking for info on mods and the like for some time. I started to notice that there's a bit of history with all the communities/groups over the years and I've been trying to piece it all together. Why? Mostly for my own interest, but it also helps me get a feel for where mods are, where they are going, and the general feel of where the community is. So to that end I ask to be filled in on some of the following areas. Keep in mind I don't mean to open old wounds, offend, or repost; I haven't found a single source that objectively summarizes the backgrounds on some of these topics. I just wish to be educated:

1) I understand there is a rift in the community which was caused by or led to the destruction of BZUniverse. Something to to with someone getting irked and destroying equipment of the host (who has now moved most assets to BZ Scrap?). What was this all about and is the community divided?

2) Races, BZRAP, and EPIC. From what I gather, these mods are meant to consolidate several of the races into one. What are the primary differences? Was there tension stirred by some devs having their races included but not giving permission for any of these?

3) MM5 v LM5 (ok may need posted in a different section)

4) Who are the heavy hitters as far as developers in the community? I use developers loosely to include moders, modelers, etc.

5) I've noticed the most activity within these forums and wonder if there are any direct relationships or if there are other forums out there: /

6) 1.3 PB has been going for quite some time. Obviously the goal of the beta is for a final release, but what is the master design and how has the constant updating to this platform/engine/build affected the modders? In another light, are modders just holding off until PB can reach a stable point before converting mods and/or creating new ones?

This is quite a bit, and again, a wiki type summary is all I ask. Don't feel obligated to respond to all of them either. I'm curious and enjoy these backstories. Thanks!

Author:  Nielk1 [ Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BZ Community History

I would love to get some in depth history on things. I was around for a lot of it but I find myself only able to recall things when in a discussion of the past with others who were also there. I tried to get some info on BZ1 stuff which ended up with half of the ARF clan hating me, so I know the dangers of asking around, whatever your angle of attack is.

The big start of the split was 1.3 and its removal of the flying exploit that had spawned an entire style of game play (ZST, that being, STRATs where the turrets had AI level 3 so they could shoot flying ships and where aside from human pilots units, AI units seemed to number rarely over 10). The problem was that flying was also in normal STRATs, so you basically had to choose to play with flying in ZST, or play with it in ST, plus it was a bug.

CmptrWz was the one who kept the longest standing site alive, BZUniverse, but he was under constant attack. Many blamed him for the removal of flying in 1.3 despite that 1.3 was made by Nathan "GSH" Mates and Ken "KillerKen" Miller, two of the original programmers. Some blamed him for vets (who back then were of moderate number and QUITE elitist) for not allowing people into their games who they did not recognize. That ironically being the complete opposite of the whole flying thing since back when vets only played 1.2 FOR the flying.

As for the sites, here is what I know on that.

BZUniverse has existed for a long time, but now it is gone.
Then BZ2MD was made, and it was good until the main Admin left, now I am one of a few Global Moderators who try to keep it clean but I have less and less time on my hands to do so.
Then BZ2Maps came about, and I joined it right away, and watched it looking pretty good. I left for a time and returned to find the anti 1.3 sentiment and veteran elitism had taken total control. It also became the gather place of any banned from BZU, so it also picked up a lot of disgusting meat-spin and other postings. (Don't Google that.)
BZWasteland came about then, but I have since closed that site down and moved here. The implication of the title was not what I wanted so I moved to the Battlezone Complex domain.
BZComplex came about when we were in danger of loosing BZU the first time. This is also about when BZCommand came into play from GreenHeart. BZComplex fell into a state if general disuse after BZU was saved by donations that showed the community did care.
BZCommand became the site for tutorials and BZComplex the site for historical information.
Nathan made the BZForum to replace the loss of BZUniverse as the center for 1.3 development and the new Battlezone 1 path 1.5 development.
Many free forums have cropped up and gone over time, most are either made by outliers from BZU/BZF or members from BZ2Maps who want to create a more civil community while preserving their general feelings (sort of a post-vets thing).

BZU ended up being killed because a minor stole their parents car in California, went missing while he was driving to the East Coast of the USA, vandalized CmptrWz's car, and then was caught the next day attempting to steal his license plates. The death of BZU was a quick DEL action that included the backups, so while at the time it was at a whim, there was no going back. With the loss of the data, there was no reason for CmptrWz to start it anew and subject himself to hell again.

EPIC is a mod meant to take place after FE and continue the storyline of the Cerberi with the Cerberi Evolved. It takes place on much larger scale maps with a greater terrain grid size. It is created by Slaor who held a major role in the creation of the original Cerberi for FE.

Races was a short lived mod that added a few races to BZ2 for multiplayer use. It sort of died off when its creator left.

BZRAP is a mod that has been the long standing combo mod. Sadly, currently it has zero assets as all work that has been done for it over time was integrated back into the original source mods. Now I have control of this one, but have not had the time to really get into it.

RacePrj was a mod created by Vearie, a member of the community who has in the past posted viruses, fake mods that mess with installs, and now provides an illegal full BZ2 install that has some of his own modifications allowing him to display shock images to other players on a whim (if he is the host). RacePrj included a few races with permission issues, but while Vearie was fixing this, the actions of those associated with him got the whole group banned. Once BZU died, BZForum had a clean slate for all. He has since been permanently banned for posting extremely disturbing shock images of a sexual nature. Before this he had been time-banned some 30 times for other actions.

MM5 is a mod manager meant to activate mods. It is no longer needed if someone creates their mod correctly as you can now launch Battlezone 2 (1.3 specificly) with the flag "/config configname.cfg". Many MM5 mods, the well done ones, would simply swap the stock bzone.cfg for the new one used by the mod.

LMM51 is one of my creations, but should not have been released as it was not ready. On a windows machine with an NTSF hardrive it should work fine, but I refuse to offer support since it was released without my wishes. This doesn't mean don't use it, it just means if you need help with it, publicly bug TheJamsh (the one who released it) before privately asking me. LMM1 is only meant for installer mods that do not cause Bad Assets in Multiplayer. This means they are only sounds, music, textures, or interface files.

I have been told I am a heavy hitter, though I ironically have few releases I am involved in FAR FAR FAR too many mods.
TheJamsh is, but he showed he only cares about himself when he released the UEP, a project I sunk over a year into, without the blessing of any of the other involved developers. Check the BLOG on this site for more info on that since the topic about it was removed on BZForum.
BigBadBogie (for whom I probably spelled his name wrong) is a big stand alone modder. He goes missing for long periods of time and then suddenly re-appears with a mod. So far these have been QF Mod and FleshStorm 2, expected in the future are QF2 and Fleshstorm 3.
Jayden is an aussy, like BBB, who has a huge amount of talent. He is working on several mods but has not yet completed any. He is probably going to be the main contributor to the CP2 if it ever gets off the ground.
Avatar is a long time modder converting BZ1 into BZ2 as well as the pre BZ1 story and the between years. He has been gone for a while now but some have contacted him to confirm he is OK, just busy. General Black Dragon has latched onto the project, BZClassic, pretty tightly so he is the one you see publicly the most.

There are others of course, Steeveeo who left, Warfreak and VSMIT who have done a lot of support work for mods, etc.

(Site note, BZForum is accessible by and leading some to still call it BZU.)

Most of the free sites are a slighly separate from BZ2Maps.
Most of the sites other than BZ2Maps that are not free sites are aligned with what was BZU.
My site here, BZComplex, is pretty dead aside from the Wiki.

There have only been about 3 cases in all the versions that lead to huge issues for mods. Most of the time it is a lack of testing the patch that causes issues since if they had been known, corrections could be implemented. Really, had GSH known we would have a 1.3pb1, 1.3pb2, 1.3pb3, 1.3pb4, 1.3pb4a, 1.3ta5, 1.3pb5.1, 1.3pb6, 1.3pb6.1, and 1.3pb6.2 back when he and Ken started, it probably would have been 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.6.1, 1.7, 1.7.1, 1.8, 1.8.1, and 1.8.2 instead of what it is now. Waiting for the 1.3s to stop before modding probably means that no one will play BZ2 anymore by the time you get started. Many conversions are on going of older mods and now that 1.3 changes are a bit more, stable, sometimes mods can just be dropped in higher versions and work. Sometimes what was a suggestion in the past has become a requirement, such as using DXTBZ2 files for textures.

Any other questions or anything I didn't cover very well?

Author:  Tnadz [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BZ Community History

Hot damn. No that's well more than I was expecting, especially so quickly. Thank you.

That's a bummer that so much of your (and others) projects ended up releasing before their time. I guess if you were the boss and paying them, you could fire your subordinates working on various mods when necessary. From the sound of it, I think you would run out of staff pretty quickly.

I just can't believe that there would be such a divide among a community over an exploit. It seems trivial because when I look at BZ2, I see the potential of making the most successful RTS/FPS to date even better. I don't know, what's your take? Is more of the community focused on dogfights than overall battle strategies?

And on that minor who trashed BZU, do we know who that was? And was he specifically going after CmptrWz? I understand if you don't want to go into it. So because BZF is headed up by Nathan Mates, does that mean it's devoid of a strong vet presence?

Thanks again for filling me in. It's interesting to read this and compare to some of the discussions I've come across on various boards. It makes me think of the 3 kingdoms dynasty in China where a power vacuum occurred and all these minor warlords started vying for power until they eventually consolidated into the 3 kingdoms. Sorta like that...but with meat spin instead of armies...ugh. And sorry to hear about the UEP. I didn't know about that, only just a post intimating about people being left out of the credits.

I feel I should catalog this and start a section on the wiki about community history...

Author:  Nielk1 [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BZ Community History

Because he is a minor his identity cannot be exposed beyond to those involved.

Vets are changing, many play 1.3 now. As a result they post on BZF at times, and we as usual try to invite them. Some people rub each other the wrong way but its better than the past.

On the UEP, it wasn't that the credits were missing people for the UEP, but that TheJamsh did the old 'One Name in Lights' move. He was the lead of the project, but was bound by agreements with all those who put stuff in. Agreements he broke. I think the UEP can be continued by modularization; specifically by making it consist of the TheJamsh Addon Pack, MRVP, ST Map Pack 1, etc. (Of course TJ would demand that the ST Map Pack be part of his bit, but it just doesn't make sense.)

Sadly, all plans for modularization that already existed died off with this early release and the way TJ was working, he basically quit working on it, even fixing old stuff, as soon as I made my ONLY administrate type decision and said to stop adding any new content. Be it noted I had a massive pile of assets in progress for future mods.

Now I have my first class of my Senior Year (5th year) tomorrow, Monday. Between that and work my time drops even more. I feel I have an obligation to not do any modding work until some major school projects are in good shape, however I will remain around to talk to everyone and try to get things sorted all around.

I would love it if you could contribute to the wiki in any way.

Also, please feel free to post on the other sites if you are not already. I greatly suggest BZF, somewhat BZ2MD (I am not moderating it very well at this moment but it is a wonderful site with other moderators), and possibly the other sites. BZ2Maps might be OK, I have stopped visiting there. I do not know anything about BZCommand or the free forums that are out there, but I suggest you try them all if you have the time. Just be aware that people might be a bit screwy and if it looks odd, have a thick skin and maybe use a different password/email.

Anyway, from what I still see of the community with my reduced involvement, people are very nice and helpful, though some are a bit grumpy as well they mean well. I also suggest being on the IRC at #bz2 if you want to talk to some people. Depending on who is in there, it might be stoic silence or very chatty. It might be Battlezone related or another subject. I am there often as well, though the time will probably be reduced a bit since I am now juggling work AND school again.

(BTW, School is a 5 year college, well, 4.75 year.)

And also, involve yourself in some of the OT stuff on BZF if you have interest. I feel like a good bit of the community is worth getting to know and talking about other things with.

Author:  Tnadz [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BZ Community History

Cool, thanks again. Good luck on your projects. If it's anything like the work you put into your BZ involvements I'm sure they'll be great. And sorry if this isn't the right spot in the forum for this type of post.

Author:  Nielk1 [ Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BZ Community History

@Topic Location: Eh, it works.

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