Patch Raises A Fuss

Test 3Dfx Patch For MechWarrior: Mercenaries Raises A Fuss Online

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The excitement created earlier this week by a release from Activision of a test version of the 3Dfx patch for MechWarrior: Mercenaries quickly turned sour when many found that the patch wouldn't work with their particular version of the game. Many users simply could not install the patch, version 1.08, and some who could experienced, a variety of odd graphic effects.

According to Dave Georgeson, producer of the project for Activision, a fix will be available "very, very soon." The team is focusing on making a patch that will work with whichever version of Mercenaries users own. "We only found one bug today, and its been fixed," he said. "But we still need to go through QA ." Most people experiencing problems are those who own an early retail release of the game, or who downloaded and installed the Mercenaries patch version 1.05. Problems occur when a part of the game code that handles updates tries to compare two seemingly identical files and finds differences.

Activision has since removed the version 1.08 from their ftp site.

A simple way to check if verison 1.08 patch is compatible is to locate a file called mw2.prj on the Mercenaries CD. If the file is dated 9/16/96, the patch will not work.

This is the first "beta wave" of version 1.08. Activision plans to roll out patches in progress so that bugs can be identified and fixed as they go along.

Users without 3-D cards should use version 1.06. Georgeson said that Activision is trying to make the next version compatible across the board, and that it will add several features, such as dynamic salvage.

The 3Dfx patch is the first of several planned 3-D acceleration updates for Mercenaries. It's being developed under Microsoft Direct3D. The patch is the same code used in the retail release of the 3Dfx Interactive Edition of Mercenaries, a package that features the complete game with 3Dfx acceleration already built in. Activision has not announced which accelerators future patches will support.

News about progress on the patches is frequently posted on Usenet (alt.games.mechwarrior2) by Georgeson.

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