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Lord_Chris last won the day on December 3

Lord_Chris had the most liked content!


About Lord_Chris

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    Lord Commander

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    England, United Kingdom

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  1. Hi @spin khan, Welcome to the site, and thanks for your files the other day. It's been a while since we've had some Stronghold 2 files, and they were really nice. I've split your post from the Old Stronghold Knights topic, as it wasn't really that relevant. Are you referring to the site (Stronghold Nation), or the games? Unfortunately we aren't the official developers and are only a fansite, so if you are interested in developing the games, you will have to contact Firefly Studios. However we are interested in developing a mobile app for the site at some point, although this is currently only in the very early design stages of an API. I'm happy to talk about this a bit more in a PM with you if this is what you mean though.
  2. Welcome to the Nation, @Jm2020! I do have contacts with some of the former Admins and staff at Stronghold Knights, most notably @LordPaultheDubious. I actually approached Paul a year or so ago to ask for this exact thing, and we managed to make contact with another of the admins there (can't remember his name offhand) who had a backup of the database containing all of the things you're asking about. Unfortunately, the backup was in storage on another computer, so it never really went anywhere. I don't know if we will ever get some of the old Stronghold Knights data or not, but there are a few odd tutorials, downloads such as the SH2 Map Unlocker which are in our downloads section. Paul has also been great in assisting me by providing some of his own articles etc too. I need to get them finalised and put up actually, but I've just been so busy. If we do ever get any data from Stronghold Knights, I would port it to the site so we can display everything here so no information is lost at all. I'm totally confident that if I was to get a backup, I would be able to bring all of this information back, certainly the downloads & articles, so nothing would be "lost". However, it's more a case of retrieving it that is the problem. Hope this helps.
  3. Yeah you could tell that a lot of effort had been put into your submission. A really well deserved win. I think with using just the game itself, you've done a pretty incredible job really in what you've managed to come up with. It's taken a lot of imagination and work, and of course the testing must have been a lot of well. A new tutorial would be fantastic- I'm sure it would be very popular I have to say I was very impressed with the difficulty levels. Not only did you spend a lot of time on the map itself, but also creating the different difficulty levels and re-balancing the troops etc must've taken ages. Really impressive. I liked the fact it didn't start on your army actually and started on the capital instead. It made you look around a bit to find out what was what. It's kind of like those really old "adventure maps" where you have to head over to a certain place, and you never know where to go. This game started showing you where it was, and you had to work out how to get there. It's nice! I'm sure we can forgive this little historical inaccuracy Although it would be nice if it were somehow possible to modify the game and add in some kind of behaviour similar to this. I've wanted this behaviour in Stronghold 2 myself before, and to a degree I technically managed to do it with the "move lord" event, but it was never really 100% accurate because it depended on things like markers or the lord being damaged a certain percent. In which case the event never really triggered because the lord was killed before he managed to flee. I had noticed that and wondered what was going on there. Very clever. I think people might like to learn some of this stuff actually, if you ever felt like doing any articles on tips or tricks that you know of. It is disappointing that the game is in this state still. It doesn't really run well on even my new machine. Though, we can't really fault Firefly's drive and attempts at making things better, as not many companies would keep going doing what they have done for so long. Hopefully Warlords will be in a better state when it's released.
  4. Well, after an intense competition which spanned over many months, we can now FINALLY reveal who has won our contest to win Stronghold Warlords for FREE! Thanks goes to everyone who participated in our contest this year. I have to say that when checking the entries, @EaglePrince and I were completely blown away by the quality of the submissions. It's clear that substantial effort has been put into every single one of the entries, and we're really grateful for the submissions members have made. It's made judging the entries incredibly difficult because they were all so good. I feel very privileged to have been able to judge these entries, and I know @EaglePrince feels the same way as well. The Prizes to be awarded are as follows: 1st place: Free copy of Stronghold Warlords upon release and the Stronghold Kingdoms Starter Pack 2nd place: Free copy of Stronghold Crusader 2 Ultimate Edition and the Stronghold kingdoms Starter Pack 3rd place: Free copy of Space Colony The categories for the competition were as follows; Category A (Easy): A Custom scenario using any Stronghold game; Category B (Medium): A historical structure from the far-east; Category C (Hard): A game modification in some way; The Judges for this contest were: @Lord_Chris (me) @EaglePrince For entry to each category, entrants receive 1 bonus point for their submission, on top of the grading of the actual submission. Each Judge grades the submission independently between 1-5 points, then these scores are averaged out and the bonus points added on: (My score + Eagle's score) / Number of Judges + Bonus points. We received a total of 4 entries before the deadline, all of which were valid. In accordance with the Competition Guidelines, we have awarded the results as follows: 1st place: @Krarilotus for the submission Mongol Invasion 1258: 8 points; (5 by me+5 by Eagle) / 2 = 5 + 3 bonus points for valid entry to Categories A, B & C = 8; 2nd place: @artofmath for the submission The Mamluk Siege of Acre, 1291: 7 points; (5 by me+5 by Eagle) / 2 = 5 + 2 bonus points for valid entry to Categories A & C = 7; 3rd place: @Andreas9541 for the submission Blue Star: 5 points; (4 by me+4 by Eagle) / 2 = 4 + 1 bonus point for valid entry to Category A = 5; 4th place: @Lord Mordred for the submission A Three Way Skirmish: 4 points; (2 by me+3 by Eagle) / 2 = 2.5 (rounded = 3) + 1 bonus point for valid entry to Category A = 4; Congratulations to all winners! Your submissions are absolutely superb and we're so pleased and excited to be able to award you the prizes you deserve. Feel free to message me at any point to claim your prizes. Commiserations to @Lord Mordred who missed out on 3rd place by 1 point. It's worth noting that in the case of @artofmath's submission, we were at first unsure which categories to award bonus points for, given that the map is for the middle-east, and not far-east. However after a conversation with our history expert @Crusader1307, and @EaglePrince, we have both decided to award a bonus point for Category C, which is for a game modification, purely on the basis that the Castle was very difficult to construct and required a lot of effort. We unfortunately couldn't award any more points, because the map wasn't really for the right geographic region. The official feedback for entries, taken into account for grading, is as follows: Mongol Invasion 1258: My feedback: Excellent landscape. Very finely tuned with incredible attention to detail. The sheer level of depth and complexity is stunning. Great use of troops, with very well constructed natural defences and obstacles. Cleverly placed Oasis and an exceptional background history. Eagle's feedback: Here I like everything! The landscape, the castle, the scenario itself… Everything looks great, and it is fun to play. The story is great too. I like how the author of the map chose Vietnam’s history, which is what Stronghold Warlords is going to be about. At first it seems strange since we don’t have Far Eastern troops, but the scenario is so fun that very soon you forget about those “missing details” (about which nobody could do anything at all, actually). I have to mention that, once the scenario has been started, the player is looking around, to see what’s going on, and the idea about destroying barracks as soon as possible didn’t cross my mind. Simply because pretty fast those lords have plenty of troops in their castles. Maybe something about this could be mentioned in the story. Something like “those lords had lived relaxed lives, and once upon hearing the news that you’re coming, they have started to gather more and fresh troops.” Although something like this has already been told in the story. Maybe it’s just me. :) The Mamluk Siege of Acre, 1291: My feedback: Exceptional landscape. Perfect for the scenario, and very well planned out. Incredible build design and very well replicated in the game. Every detail of the map is perfectly placed and coordinated. Great use of troops, and an overall fantastic scenario. Eagle's feedback: I like how the scenario was made harder for the player (no inns, no churches), but with everything being justified in the story. And the backstory itself is very interesting. Those two Wolves in one custom shared castle work together really great. It’s needless to say that a lot of effort had to be put into making this scenario with this epic castle, but it was totally worth it! Missions like this are pretty great because here a player can build his usual castle, and test it, both its economy and defences, against an extraordinary opponent such as two wolves in a joined castle with plenty of resources on their hands. Blue Star: My feedback: Very photogenic landscape with excellent placement of ambient buildings. Great use of ruins, trees and shrubbery. Nice natural terrain. Sadly as this doesn't work in game it can't be awarded full marks, but nonetheless very well constructed and designed. Eagle's feedback: This game did work for me, I didn’t notice anything strange. Maybe I missed something, or maybe some lag would appear later in the game. A Three Way Skirmish: My feedback: A nice well constructed map. Very compact which makes it difficult to build everything. Nicely detailed without going overboard. Disappointing that it's based off an existing idea in Stronghold Legends, but nevertheless very well replicated in Stronghold 2. Eagle's feedback: I like that it’s about a map from Stronghold Legends. The landscape is really nice, and the only thing which I don’t prefer is stone keeps being too close to the edge of the map. But that’s just my taste. :) I've tailored my official feedback purely to the criteria and needs of the contest, so you can be sure that my personal preferences didn't play any role in my grading. However, as promised I would like to give each of you my personal opinion as well. So I've written a small piece below for each of you with personalised feedback from me. I will also be posting these comments on the official files a bit later on today, as well. I know @EaglePrince is excited to share his own personal experiences with you guys as well. I'd like to thank everyone again for their entries, and congratulate all the winners on their well-deserved prizes! @Krarilotus I will be in touch nearer the release of Warlords with a Steam code for you once I receive it off Firefly. You can however message me now if you would like your copy of the Stronghold Kingdoms Starter Pack already. Everyone else, please feel free to message me at any convenient time to claim your prizes. Thank you to all our wonderful community members and staff who showed their interest in this competition, dedicated their own time to it, and submitted content to our community. Finally, I'd like to thank Firefly for allowing this competition to be possible. Their generosity has allowed us to hold yet another historic contest and moment in the Stronghold community.
  5. I get this is now 4 years hence, but I have added in URL forwarding to fix this problem. The new system I've built has allowed me to easily do this without impacting anything else on the site in terms of speed or efficiency.
  6. Thanks for the clarification. I never doubted you owned a physical copy of the game, I was just cautious about discussion around copying the game onto other discs because it could lead on to other discussion in that area which would be contrary to the site rules (hence why I said it was precarious territory). I would be interested to know thought whether the issue is related to your own disk or not when you get a chance to install your Cousin's later on. My instinct seems to tell me though that it's something to do with your machine. Do you have another computer your could try your own disk on? Perhaps you could try to play it via your Cousin's computer since he already has Stronghold 2 installed. If you can get that working on there, we can be confident that it's your computer at fault and focus our efforts on trying to get a resolution on that for you.
  7. Thanks @S0ck3tz, I've joined the new Discord. I'm happy to help out in any way I can.
  8. Now Alcohol 120% is known in the past to trigger SecuROM which has prevented the game from running although it runs in Task Manager. Any of the following programs can trigger this: Alcohol 120% BlindWrite Daemon Tools Game-Jack CloneCD Game Jackal Xoom Game Clone CDSpace Virtual CD Fantom CD Anti-Blaxx GetRight Virtual Drives Speaking Clock Nero ImageDrive Usually in the past, this has typically resulted in an error by SecuROM, but on Windows 10 you never know as this is a very modern OS on a game that was built way before its time. And like I said, Microsoft pushed out that update which disabled SecurROM, so you may not even get an error anymore. I'm not using Windows 10 so I can't really comment on that. I would strongly recommend using the original installation media. I do have to caution you though that we're heading into precarious territory while talking about making copies of the game, which is contrary to the site rules.
  9. Do you have this problem in other games as well? The thing which instantly comes to my mind here is an update that Microsoft pushed out in, I think, 2015 (KB3086255). This update essentially disables SafeDisc and SecuROM on Windows 8 & 8.1 machines, thus breaking many older games. Microsoft then decided that it was such as great update they'd push it to Windows 10 to the point where you can't even remove it anymore. The following page explains how to try and start the SecuROM service on Windows 10. I don't use Windows 10 so I can't verify any of this, but hopefully if this is the problem it will fix it for you: https://appuals.com/enable-secdrv-sys/ You will need to enable SecuROM prior to trying to launch the game. You aren't the first person who has reported this issue on Windows 10, so this may well be the problem. However if this doesn't work, we will need to explore other options. One possibility is that an anti-virus may be interfering with the game, it is also known to have happened in the past (offhand I seem to recall McAfee and one other whose name escapes me may have done this in the past). If the first solution above does not work, try disabling your anti-virus and launch it again.
  10. So there's a lot going on here and it's not really easy to digest it all because there are so many files involved now. What I think caught my attention most of all is the fact that as you've previously pointed out there are two shaders, one for DirectX 9 and another for DirectX 11 (some textures also seem to have shaders for DirectX 10 as well, but at least in the case of the water this isn't happening). I suspect that in this instance the DirectX 9 shader would be used on DirectX 10 installations. What version of DirectX are you actually playing the game using? It's important not to just assume this, but to actually try and verify that (a) this version is actually installed on your machine, and (b) that the game is definitely running using this version (not as important if you only have 1 DirectX version installed). You can check this through creating a DxDiag file. The minimum version is 9, so I'm guessing it will probably be 9.0c as the lowest possible value (pretty common on older games). With Windows 10, I've be surprised if it wasn't 11 now, unless you have manually configured something. Once you've established this, you should also check to make sure that your hardware (specifically your graphics card) is fully compatible with Stronghold 3, and that it is fully capable of displaying all of this. I know that it probably is, so please don't think I'm being patronising, I'm just trying to make sure we've covered every possible angle first outside of the game before we start trying to look at the game itself, so we can quickly establish that it's definitely the game that is at fault. Next, you should check the graphics settings in Stronghold 3 itself. You can do this by finding the options.xml file in your My Documents/Stronghold 3/Profiles/ folder. The second row will look something like this: <graphics ssao="2" dof="false" terrain_detail="2" terrain_shader="2" terrain_detail_textures="true" rim_light="true" bloom="2" tone_mapping="true" lod_scaling="2" dynamic_lights="true" vertical_sync="false" shadow_quality="2" particle_detail="2" water_detail="1" texture_detail="0" overall="2" fullscreen="true" /> Please note that these are personalised settings, and will probably have been created automatically by the game on installation, depending on what it perceived as being capable by your hardware. You can also check or modify these via the graphics settings in the game as well. Once you've done this it's probably a good idea to enable error reporting. This is something you should always have enabled if you're playing around with the game files because it will alert you to any programming problems. It is possible that when you've changed the values, it could be causing some kind of mathematical programming error but because the game is handling it and error reporting is off, you don't know about it. To do this, locate the config.xml file in the bin/win32_release folder, and replace 0 with 1 on the following lines: <errordialog enabled=0 /> <!-- Enable/disable pop-up error/warning dialog. --> <onscreenprint enabled=0 /> <!-- Enable/disable drawing Vision::Message.Add() messages --> After this, restart the game and try creating a map with your river texture in. Save the map, play it in the game, and see if any errors appear. If nothing appears, nothing crashes and it all seems fine, then you can be sure that the values you have changed (that are actually editable) are being accepted by the game. I have a couple other files you should look into as well. I opened the River.ShaderLib shader file you mentioned and just from an overview I can see that this is an important file. I can see that the DirectX version is set to 9 from here. Whether or not this is a safety measure, i.e. a fallback in case DirextX 11 is not installed, I do not know. Have a look in some of the other files and see if you can find a class called WaterShaderPass. This could be significant. My instinct is that this is one of the compiled C++ or C# classes, so it might not be viewable, but I don't know as I haven't looked into it. I can also see from that shader file there's a potentially important DDS file called \textures\particles_and_effects\marsh_foam.colour.dds. Maybe looking at some of the .normalmap files might be useful as well, particularly in relation to opacity. This is the foam colour for marsh, but it's equally possible that this could be also loaded into the river texture as well, so it's worth ruling this out. As well as this, you should take a look at the RiverShaderPS.inc, RiverShaderVS.inc and WaterShaderHelpers.inc files. All of these have references to specifically the water depth. It's my honest opinion that a lot of this is being mathematically calculated by the shader files, which is probably why changing settings in the XML file is not having much effect. However, it might still be possible to change this through changing the algorithms. I don't want to overload you with info and I feel this has been quite a lengthy post so I'll pause here for now and we can continue again once you've had a chance to review all this. P.S. It's great that you're trying to add in new values with the XML file, but sadly as these values have to be parsed, adding in totally new values probably isn't going to work. That's really because the ones that are there already are hard-coded somewhere for the game to parse those values, and then use them. What I suspect is happening in relation to the Water depth is that the game is calculating it based on some kind of formula, and therefore, it's not using anything in the XML file, because Firefly didn't create it that way. So adding in new values only modifies the XML file, not the wider game where the XML values are read and used.
  11. Hi @Geralt of Rivia, welcome to Stronghold Nation! So if I understand correctly, you have the standard edition, and are trying to download the 1.3.1 update and install it, at which point your game will no longer load? Or is it the case that you're installing the 1.3.1 straight off your disk, and it doesn't work? Do you get any errors when you try to run the game? What happens?
  12. Yeah I'm sorry that we still haven't been able to conclude it yet. I'm aware it's been dragging on for a while now, but through extenuating personal circumstances I just hadn't managed to reach any of the previous deadlines set. I'm pretty sure I will be able to reach this one now, though so hopefully it shouldn't be too much longer.
  13. Sure, we had 4 entries. Yourself, @artofmath, @Andreas9541 and @Lord Mordred.
  14. I'm pleased to announce that after a small (and complex) renovation, the site downloads section is now back online and running as usual. You can now submit your files to us again. Not much has visually changed, however there have been massive changes behind the scenes that have taken many hours to complete. I've essentially rewritten the entire downloads section from the ground up and restructured all of the database tables, which is not easy considering it's live data. One of the major changes I've been able to make is the addition of a number of options available for each file your submit. Prior to the change, each download section had a number of set inputs of: estates, map balance, number of missions, and map difficulty (slightly different for CivCity Rome with Mission Type and Map Size). I'm pleased to announce that after putting considerable thought into design improvements, each download section now has unique field inputs tailored to that game. These are: Stronghold Difficulty Balanced Number of Missions Number of Players Map Size Stronghold Crusader Difficulty Balanced Number of Missions Number of Players Map Size Stronghold 2 Number of Estates Difficulty Map Type Balanced Number of Missions Number of Players CivCity Rome Difficulty Mission Type Map Type Number of Missions Stronghold Legends Number of Estates Difficulty Map Type Balanced Number of Missions Number of Players Stronghold 3 Number of Estates Difficulty Balanced Number of Missions Map Size Mission Type Random Events Number of Players Stronghold Crusader 2 Number of Estates Difficulty Balanced Number of Missions Map Size Mission Type Random Events Number of Players The files that have already been submitted to us have data available only for the options which have already been input. However, if you go to update your files, you will now be able to populate the additional data which we have available. I'm hoping this will provide more information for users when they try to download files. I've also refactored the submission form as well. Tags are obsolete, and the site will now programmatically determine which keywords are relevant to your file and generate them by itself. You also have the option to subscribe to your file upon submission now. You can subscribe afterwards once it has been approved by visiting your file's page, but you can also subscribe right away if you want and get notified when it's approved. In addition to this, based on feedback submitted by @Krarilotus and other members, I've changed the way downloads are submitted. Once you hit submit, a loading spinner will appear and you will be unable to do anything until the submission is complete. If you switch to another browsing tab during the upload, then the page title will animate informing you that the file is still submitting, so that you don't accidently close the tab. We also have a malware scanner now. While all files are downloaded and checked for safety reasons, I felt it was important to protect everyone as much as possible from any kind of threat. All files are scanned on upload to the site. As well as this, I've also added a number of new security measures, including file checks to ensure downloads are legitimate. Many other things have been optimised and improved, but I hope you guys notice a difference in how things are running. I'd like to thank all the members who have provided input into the new downloads system, and everyone for their patience while I've been busy working on this. I've tested everything thoroughly but as always there may be one or two small outstanding issues, if you can identify the cause or find an error message please shoot me a PM and I'll get anything fixed ASAP.
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