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View Full Version : Halo Custom Edition and HEK OUT


Vash
05-05-04, 12:36 AM
Just played the best Halo MP game in my life. 1154x864, all the goodies turned as high as they can go - no visible slowdown on a Barton 2500+, 1 Gig RAM, and a softmodded Radeon 9500. The netcode's much better too - I now suck using the pistol.

Linkage is below.

Give this one a shot - it's much better than regular Halo MP and new content will be on its way in the next few weeks. If you've still got your Halo CD hanging around somewhere, this is definitely worth your time.

Halo CE (http://www.fileplanet.com/download.aspx?f=140271)

Finding a link for the HEK is very hard right now; there should be more up and running by tomorrow.

Edge
05-05-04, 01:13 AM
How much did they improve performance? What did you used to run the game at? I'm wondering how much improving the shader code actually helped.

Oh, and how does the netcode work? Like how does it do client prediction and lag compensation?

Vash
05-05-04, 09:24 AM
For me, the fast shaders made all the difference in the world.

Before, I was running at 1024x768 with specular off. That netted me a playable game that still looked good. I haven't done any testing (was bloody 1:30AM), so I don't have framerate info, but I've got my old timedemos saved away somewhere; I'll post those sometime tonight. Everyone was experimenting with the new netcode last night, so not much CTF got done. I spent most of my time getting distracted by the specular effects... I haven't seen 'em in a long time.

Now I'm running at 1152x864, with everything turned up. I haven't tried anistropy yet; we'll have to see how that goes.

What's even more surprising is that the game is snappier - the screen moves quickly and smoothly when I do 180 degree turns. Definitely quicker than 1.04. Everything still moves at the same pace, but things that were sluggish before aren't anymore. I can't really quantify it yet; like I said, I'll post some benchies tonight.

Ah yes, the new netcode: it's definitely improved. Player warping is much improved. I noticed an improvement in the vehicle warping department, too, though I haven't had much/any time to test that. The only problem I had was that once or twice during the forty-five minutes I played, I had a single burst of severe lag. But I honestly think that was because it was running off of someone's desktop box somewheres and was having trouble with all 16 connections. There were a lot of hurried servers up and running last night.

Other things that are important to mention: more of the controls are bindable. I've had a minor gripe with the Show Score button being perma-bound to the F1 key since the original release, and now it's bindable to other keys (back to good old tab). There's a new button to see the rules of the game that you're in (this screen pops up for 3 seconds when you join the server, too - very handy). The rocket hog's targeting recticle is also fixed; it shoots rockets where the recticle is now, instead of below it.

Best of all, there's a new button to toggle player names that are visible over their names. For team games, this also places small green arrows over your teammates' heads, and these are visible through level geometry. It's much easier to know where your team is.

There's a new flag carrier icon and I don't like it. It's much too easy to see from across Blood Gulch and other open maps; it's much harder if not impossible to sneak around w/the flag. There are a lot of people complaining about that one in the Gearbox forums; I wouldn't be surprised if the old icon make a comeback in the next patch. Right now, that's my only solid gripe.

The netcode itself isn't all roses, though - there have been reports that slower connections still suffer from lag, though I've only see one post on it. This is a great step in the right direction, however, and I'm anxious to see what other improvements Gearbox is going to make.

And finally, the last and most important side effect of the better netcode: I have to relearn the game. The pistol is deadly accurate. Previously, if you dodged and weaved and kept a steady hand, you could win a pistol duel in half a clip (4 shots if you were lucky, 3 if you were even luckier). Now with the improved code, 3 shot kills are commonplace. I was pretty good at guessing where people actually were. I had a good firing pattern that hit more often than it didn't. Getting good with the pistol again is going to require some work, and I'm also going to have to change my tactics, i.e., running around in the open on Blood Gulch is no longer feasible.

The HEK is also a nice package; it comes with a very detailed map creation tutorial. Right now, it only accepts 3D Studio Max 3-5 files, but that can be easily handled by opening with a freeware graphics prog that saves to .3ds. Plugins are on the way; forum members at Gearbox and other community sites have already started researching their respective plugin projects.

It's going to take about a week for people to get used to the new game, and after that it's going to be a lot more fun.


EDIT: I should mention that the fast shaders aren't a complete fix for performance - there are some guys at the Gearbox forums with older Athlon XP revisions (1600+, for example) that aren't seeing as much an increase as the guys with newer CPU's and graphics cards. One guy in particular was able to go up from 800x600 to 1024x768, but couldn't do specular and still get playable performance.

randsom
05-05-04, 09:28 AM
vash, we were palying on the same server the other night.

you Basta***

Vash
05-05-04, 09:31 AM
Oh yes: this page has got a great compilation of links for HCE and the HEK. They're still arranging their bandwidth to host the files themselves; that should be ready sometime this week, early next week.



Cortana.org (http://www.cortana.org/tafs/files_patch.taf)


Right now they are depending on word of mouth to get people moved over to HCE. If you've still got your copy of Halo, I highly suggest that you give this a spin. It's patch release cycle will be several orders of magnitude higher, and the community is gonna go absolutley bonkers with the HEK (we've already had new levels released, SP->MP map conversions, and mods that add in Halo 2 weapons with tools that the community wrote to do just that). Whether or not you are still sore at Gearbox for the problem-ridden product that got released, something better is out and it's free if you still have the CD.

Nephilim
05-05-04, 09:32 AM
Sweeeeeeet

*downloads.....well, waits in line to download now*

Vash
05-05-04, 09:33 AM
vash, we were palying on the same server the other night.

you Basta***

My Halo handle is Joyeuse, not Vash. I've ended up on the same server as him before; it was kinda strange to be shooting at "myself."

I wasn't playing well enough last night to be called a basta*** by anyone. :retard:

randsom
05-05-04, 09:44 AM
how long before someone convrts the single player portion?

i downoaded this morning and hopped on for a map or 2 and the difference is enormous, its like a new game.Gear box has somewhat redeemed themselves.It will be interesting to see what kind of support G.B gives C.E without the M$ there to test and back them up.

Vash
05-05-04, 10:02 AM
I'm expecting some good stuff from Gearbox now that they've got the right to release patches as they see fit.

The reason for not including it is that they reworked the map cache system, and this required structural changes to be made to the maps themselves. That's the bulk of the 170M download for CE.

As far as SP goes - the Gearbox HCE Editing Forum has got a lot of people who are very intersted in doing SP. Gearbox has stated multiple times that the HEK is a very powerful tool, and it's not just for making multiplayer maps. SP content creation hasn't been tested yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this changed very quickly.

To boot, the mods on the Gearbox forums are hinting that SP is coming, from one corner or another. They have a slightly more privelaged position than regular forum goers and often get info before we do (but are sworn to secrecy, if they want keep their jobs). About two weeks ago, all the mods were invited to Gearbox headquarters for the Brothers in Arms announcement party. At least, officially. They got an eyeful of HCE and the HEK, and an earful concerning when it would be out. When they got back, they all switched their signature pics to various versions of clocks that were ticking the last seconds of an hour. Something is brewing concerning SP, but I don't know what.

LiquidX
05-05-04, 02:17 PM
Holy ****! The difference is huge. It is so much smooter in everyway and hell I am getting into servers in less that 8 seconds. :drooling: This is how it should have been on the PC from the start. It would have far impressed more people, me included because I unistalled the game because of the state it was in before. It only improves MP but I hear SP is coming. This is what happends when you take your time. :clap:

Nephilim
05-05-04, 02:35 PM
Yep, it's rockin' along on my system. I'm loving it....maybe now we can get a NVnews Halo game going. :D CTF anyone?

Vash
05-05-04, 03:27 PM
Yep, it's rockin' along on my system. I'm loving it....maybe now we can get a NVnews Halo game going. :D CTF anyone?

That would kick several kinds of [swear filter engaged]. Count me in!

|JuiceZ|
05-05-04, 06:10 PM
lol, guess I should d/l this 'eh? :p

LiquidX
05-05-04, 08:04 PM
lol, guess I should d/l this 'eh? :p

Dude if you have Halo you should the improvement is truly HUGE. All who were pissed they couldnt max out a 2 year old game on a recent card will be happy.

Anyone esle getting into servers within seconds like 2-5? I have never had any MP game load so fast.

Vash
05-05-04, 09:14 PM
Anyone esle getting into servers within seconds like 2-5? I have never had any MP game load so fast.

Yup. The cache system Bungie wrote for Halo does great things when it's scaled up from a PIII 700 to a Barton 2500+. :D

Nephilim
05-05-04, 09:19 PM
Anyone esle getting into servers within seconds like 2-5? I have never had any MP game load so fast.


Yeah, it's totally killer now. Pick a server and *boom* I'm in-game in no time.

marqmajere
05-05-04, 10:18 PM
But nothing for the single player game. :(

saturnotaku
05-05-04, 10:22 PM
But nothing for the single player game. :(

Not yet anyway.

Vash
05-05-04, 10:26 PM
It is teh suck. :(

Vash
05-06-04, 09:43 AM
Just did some testing. The Halo CE timedemo doesn't give a good performance baseline; it's just the title screen moving faster. There's no point in posting timedemo scores for PC and CE because they aren't the same thing.

I'll try taking some FPS measurement comparisons and get back to you.