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Posted: February 08, 2006 - by [Dev]AceKilla


The U.S. Army invites all America's Army players to 'link up' with gamers around the world with the new America's Army: Special Forces (Link-Up) game made available soon for download at www.americasarmy.com. Multiplayer gaming in America's Army has been greatly enhanced with the implementation of the new Master Browser System (MBS), allowing players to easily find other players and get into the action. When fully deployed the Master Browser System will offer players the ultimate America's Army gaming solution with features ranging from match-making to dynamic content delivery to detailed gaming stats to communications tools such as buddy lists. America's Army: Special Forces (Link-Up) also contains two new multiplayer missions -- Dusk and Border.

New Multiplayer Missions


America's Army's Ranger and Infantry action hits a new high with the introduction of two new missions - Dusk and Border.


- DUSK : (75th Ranger Regiment)

[ screenshots ] [ mission info ]

In this active and challenging mission, enemy forces have ambushed a convoy that was transporting a friendly Resistance leader carrying highly sensitive intelligence reports. Radio contact confirms that the Resistance leader is located in an abandoned building. A squad from the 75th Ranger Regiment must locate the Resistance leader and escort him safely to an extraction point for exfiltration. The construction of the new Dusk mission is another of a popular genre of America's Army missions - the VIP rescue mission, and maximizes the use of America's Army's unique use of random spawns and objectives to greatly vary the experience.




- BORDER : (172nd Sep. Infantry BDE)

[ screenshots ] [ mission info ]

In the explosive action of the Border mission, America's Army players must infiltrate the base of operations of a small known terrorist cell. Intelligence reports confirm that the terrorists are planning synchronized bombing strikes at several different civilian landmarks and that high-level sensitive information (Precious Cargo) pertaining to these lethal strikes is being kept at this operations base. A squad from the 172nd Sep. Infantry BDE must secure the precious cargo located in this border village and then proceed safely to the extraction point.



New AA Browser (Match-Making System)


This version of America's Army debuts the unique and innovative Master Browser System. The "AA Browser," built from the ground up for America's Army, is the initial implementation of the AA Server Browser that enhances the player's ability to quickly get into desired online matches. The new server filtering options allow for better matchmaking and include the following new options:


* Filter by Average Honor (players on server)

* Filter by Geographical Location

* Filter by AA Tour (Ranger, SF, etc.)

* Search by Server Name

* Search by Player Name


This new v2.6 implementation of the AA Browser represents just the initial phase of functionality that is now possible with this infrastructure in place. As America's Army continues to grow, additional AA Browser features will be rolled out in future versions. Some of these features may include the following:


* Buddy List

* Favorite Servers/Players

* Stats integration

* Enhanced MatchMaking

* Community website SDK's


As this is the initial implementation of this new technology into America's Army, the existing GameSpy service is still available in-game. This dual browser system allows AA community members with systems built around GameSpy to continue to serve the community with their current tools, while making a smooth transition to the new AA Browser. Players can switch between the two server browsers by using the pull-down box on the Deployment>Internet user interface tab.


Any match-making system provides a "close to" real-world representation of game servers and their players. Due to the nature of the internet and available technology there may be differences in server lists and attributes between AA Browser and Gamespy.

Updated Game Ports


With the addition of the new AA Browser - there is an additional internet port that is required to be open for the new browser to function properly on AA game servers:

TCP Port 20025 (default value)


This port can be manually configured to any port you would like to use by changing the following line in your server ini file:





Thus, the internet ports currently required to be open for America's Army v2.6 are listed below:

# UDP - 1716, 1717, 1718, 8777, 27900

# TCP - 20045, 20046, 20025


UDP ports

- 1716 for the game

- 1717 for the gamequery

- 1718 for the master server query

- 8777 for the standard UT query

- 27900 for GameSpy

TCP ports

- 20045, 20046 for the Auth server

- 20025 for the new AA Browser (MBS).

Competitive Gaming Support


Due to concerns from the competitive gaming community about players exploiting the character shadows to gain an advantage (particularly with modified video card drivers), we have added a new server setting for server admins which allows them to disable shadows on all clients connected to that server. This will be particularly useful to tournament & league admins to ensure fair and balanced play during competitive events.


NOTE: This only a server OPTION, it is up to the server admin whether or not their game server will have shadows enabled or disabled. We expect this will be primarily for competitive gaming matches, and not so much on public servers.


This new server setting has been added to the Command Post to allow real-time enabling or disabling of this setting. We have also added the status of player shadow flag to tournament results file. This was added as a new field in the tournament results file ("PlayerShadowsAllowed=True/False") to indicate whether or not the tournament allowed player's to enable shadows during match play. This setting state was also added to the display in the TM Server Info page to show whether or not shadows are allowed. Leagues who mandate the use of this option now have a method to verify it was used.

New PB Updating Utility


Included with v2.6.0 will be an all new way to update your PunkBuster files manually. We have included EvenBalances brand new PB updater in this version of Americas Army which should provide a much faster way to manually update your PB files. This provides an alternative way to update these critical anti-cheating files in case the PunkBuster auto-updater is not functioning on your system. This new utility is named pbsetup.exe and will be located in its own pbsetup folder located in the Americas Army System directory. More information about this new tool can be found here: http://web1.evenbalance.com/index.php?page=pbsetup.php

New Server Manager Version


Included in this new version of America's Army is an updated AASM (America's Army Server Manager) which supports the new v2.6 missions and features.


The Americas Army Server Manager (AASM) is a separate application from the physical game. AASM is a wizard-based tool that provides an intuitive way to easily configure, launch and manage an Americas Army server or tournament.


AASM is designed to be the user's 'one-stop shopping' solution to configuring, maintaining, monitoring, and launching an America's Army server. The AASM will walk the user through all the many server configuration settings step-by-step ultimately launching the server for play.


AASM also provides tools allowing server administrators to remotely control access to their Americas Army game servers; customers can stop, start, configure, and administer their server remotely.


This AASM application is included in the game installation package. The AA installer will place a shortcut to AASM on your desktop when the game is installed.

Updated System Requirements


America's Army no longer officially supports the Windows 98 or Windows ME operating systems. The game will likely continue to work on those platforms, but we will no longer be officially supporting these OS's or developing specifically for their compatibility.


Other than the supported OS change, the minimum and suggested system requirements are the same as in v2.5.0 and are listed below for convenience:


The Minimum System Requirements for America's Army are:


* Pentium 1.5GHz or equivalent

* 384MB RAM

* English version of Windows 2000/XP

* 2 GB of uncompressed hard drive space

* DirectX 9.0

* 64MB 3D graphics card supporting transform and lighting*

* 4x CD-RoM

* 100% Compatible DirectX 9.0 soundcard**

* 56kbps Modem or other network connection *Nvidia® nForce or other motherboard/soundcards containing Dolby Digital® Content Encoder required for Dolby Digital® audio.


The Recommended System Requirements for America's Army are:


* Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or equivalent

* 512MB RAM

* English version of Windows 2000/XP

* 2 GB of uncompressed harddrive space

* DirectX 9.0

* 128MB 3D graphics card supporting transform and lighting*

* 4x CD-RoM

* 100% Compatible DirectX 9.0 soundcard**

* Broadband Network Connect


The Monitor Resolutions supported by America's Army are:


* 800x600

* 1024x768

* 1152x864

* 1280x960

* 1280x1024

* 1600x1200


NOTE: Other video resolutions are supported by the game engine, and will work. However, we cannot guarantee that every image will fit properly on resolutions other than those listed above.


Updated Security Enhancements


In v2.6.0 of America's Army, efforts were made to close several 'back door' security vulnerabilities in the game code. As such, there is the possibility that several popular 3rd party applications will be initially incompatible with v2.6.0. We apologize for the inconveniences incurred for those who use and develop these 3rd party tools - however the work done on the game code internally should help in continuing to guarantee fair play for all. We welcome feedback from these 3rd party tool developers through the AACMs - however we cannot support direct team development efforts specifically for 3rd party applications.

Here's a quick look at "What's Fixed" from the v2.6 distribution (ArmyOps.txt) :



What's Fixed



- Fix for not being able to stand near the "use" triggers when crouched.

- Fix for TM not handling tie breaking by score correctly.

- Fix for TM Crash when invalid file system characters used in server name.

- Fix for player list in Command Post reseting every two seconds.

- Fix for ability to disable ambient sounds with AmbientVolume = 0 in INI. (exploit)

- Fix for jumping while Fixing jam.

- Fix for round limit > 20 CP resets rounds to zero.

- Fix for no time units shown for MoTD duration in CP.

- Removed many "Accessed None" warnings and excess log statements.

- Fix for CEM meter being too high when player uses opFor weapons.

- Fix for player being able to obtain 255 Med Packs when healing two players at the same time.

- Fixed 'Nearclip' exploit.

- Fixed 'StopSounds' exploit.

- Fixed the AMD incompatibilities experienced by some (Authentication).

- Fix for Door Breacher locking bug. Now, door should not open if there is a breacher attached to it.

- Fixed exploit where player is able to gain CEM bonus for deployed bipod while standing.

- Fix for spacing between player names in menus being incorrect in spectators box.

- Fix for being able to secure objective without using the USE key.

- Fix for pawn being able to fire while taking any timed objective.

- Fix for being able to bleed to death after the round has ended and before new round begins.

- Fix for Non-PB Official Servers and false name change.

- Fix for multiple rapid secondary weapon switches locking the secondary weapon selection.

- Fix for crash when loading a demo, or returning to the main menu after a demo has played.

- Fix for votekick reason list appearing twice with bad votekick instruction.

- Fixed rare bug in CEM/Stamina recovery time.

- Fix for slow volume updates and performance issues relating to faster speed updates.

- Passwords can no longer be accessed using the "get" console command.

- Fix for Score Objectives screen being available before authorization completes.

- Fixed VIP HUD indicator issues.

- Fix for "Cheater" messages when kicked for zero-length user name.

- Fix for exploit where the player is able to drop the carryable objective at spawn points.

- Fix for Admin swap request on last round causing the loss of TM results.

- Fix for admin command post 3 day ban only issuing a one day ban.

- Fix for Resume command not working for Super Admin.

- Fix for case of filter strings not being preserved.

- Fix for Banlist tab refreshing.

- Fix for PB "Say" commands no longer working.

- Fixed several rare client crashes.

- Fixed many map bugs (too many to list).




Well, that concludes this SITREP, folks!


Stay tuned for the next public release of America's Army: Special Forces (Link-Up) v2.6.0 Coming Soon!

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