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Old 08-10-2006, 07:14 PM   #1
gswift
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Exclamation Major program conflict discovered

I have started using x-fire for in-game voice chat with my friends. I have x-fire set up for 'push to talk' which is activated by the F12 key by default, and I believe that's also the default key for Ventrillo and TeamSpeak. The problem is that EaW uses the F12 key to take screen shots by default.

So, every time I speak it takes a screen shot. EaW saves screen shots to C:\Documents and Settings\gary\Application Data\Petroglyph\Empire At War\Screen Shots. I noticed that this folder had expanded to over 10 Gig in just a few weeks after I ran out of hard drive space and started looking for the problem. (of course the 'gary' portion of the file path will be your user name)

I was also thinking that this probably uses tons of system resources and could be the cause of some of EaW's performance problems on multiplayer games?

The obvious short term solution is to change the screen shot key in EaW, but long term it would be nice if the default in EaW was changed to another key or a two key combo.

I debated about posting this on the support section, but I thought this belonged in the general announcements section. I'm sure many people use the F12 key for voice comms.

Edit: I spoke to some friends about this, and when they looked they also had huge screen shot folders, so it's not just me. lol


Gary Swift (aka gswift)
Lenexa, Kansas USA

You can try to monkey-proof your program, but you'll never monkey-proof the monkey.

Last edited by gswift; 08-11-2006 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #2
DarthMuffin
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Why should they change the default key? It's not their responsability to do this. They already let you change the key, and that's all they should have to do. Not everyone uses TS/Vent/Xfire or other voice chat programs. And since these are third party programs, I'm pretty sure that they really don't have to support voice chat at all. If a player knows enough about games/computers to use voice chat, chances are that he/she will know how to change the screenshot key. It's a one time process that takes a few seconds. Or you can change the VC key to something else.

As far as informing the players that F12 also takes screenshots, it's already done by reading the manual or checking the key binds in-game. By using a third party program, the player should know what it does and how it works. It's also the player's responsability to configure it properly.

Anyway, I really don't think it's necessary to change the default. Fine if they do it, but it's really not a big deal.

That being said, F12 is a weird key for screenshots. It has been PrtSc for generations already.


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Old 08-12-2006, 10:57 AM   #3
RebellYell
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funny story tho :P
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:58 AM   #4
popcorn2008
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I agree with Darth54 that if a user uses a third party program it's their responsibility to change the key. But... that being said their screenshots system is somewhat annoying. They could have picked a different key and format for the screens.


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Old 08-12-2006, 06:21 PM   #5
gswift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth54
Why should they change the default key? It's not their responsability to do this. They already let you change the key, and that's all they should have to do. Not everyone uses TS/Vent/Xfire or other voice chat programs. And since these are third party programs, I'm pretty sure that they really don't have to support voice chat at all.
I don't remember which one it was, but X-Fire was either included with the Demo or the Game Install Disk. I had not ever heard of X-Fire untill Petroglyph endorsed it and suggested I install it. I think this brings with it at least some small obligation to make sure that using the two products together will not make my computer become non-functional. Besides, they should have followed general conventions for the screen shot key. They used existing standards for other keys in the game (group creation, unit selection, movement, zoom levels, in-game text chat, etc). Why make screen shot different from every other game, and cause headaches for people who don't usually customize thier keyboard comands.


Gary Swift (aka gswift)
Lenexa, Kansas USA

You can try to monkey-proof your program, but you'll never monkey-proof the monkey.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:55 AM   #6
RebellYell
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If you read the manual like you should have for both products you would have realised there was a key being used for 2 diff commands. Srsly, why r u complaining? this is a non issue.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:32 PM   #7
DarthMuffin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gswift
I don't remember which one it was, but X-Fire was either included with the Demo or the Game Install Disk. I had not ever heard of X-Fire untill Petroglyph endorsed it and suggested I install it. I think this brings with it at least some small obligation to make sure that using the two products together will not make my computer become non-functional. Besides, they should have followed general conventions for the screen shot key. They used existing standards for other keys in the game (group creation, unit selection, movement, zoom levels, in-game text chat, etc). Why make screen shot different from every other game, and cause headaches for people who don't usually customize thier keyboard comands.
Well, I'm no lawyer or anything, but unless X-Fire was automatically installed with the game (or it was clearly written in the documentation that X-Fire, even as a third party program, is supported by Petro/LA), then they don't have to do anything about compatibility issues. They "suggested" installing it, but did they say it was supported? Probably not. It's like graphic card chipsets. Companies generally release a list of "supported" cards. You can run the game with an unsupported one, but they won't help you if you have any problems. It's also like playing an old game like TIE Fighter on Windows XP. Everyone knows that it runs perfectly by using the compatibility mode, but LA employees cannot even hint that because XP is officially unsupported.

About the standards, you are absolutely right. For some odd reasons, some developpers think it's "cool" to break the conventions because it makes the game look and feel "unique". Well, they need to make the gameplay unique to make a good game, not the key binds. Petro are ex-Westwood, right? If I remember correctly, the mouse setup was freaky in the old C&C games. Those who stayed with EA corrected this issue in Generals and BFME to make it more like the big sellers (WarCraft and AoE). Petro probably wanted to retain their independant thinking or something


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Old 08-14-2006, 02:45 PM   #8
gswift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RebellYell
If you read the manual like you should have for both products you would have realised there was a key being used for 2 diff commands. Srsly, why r u complaining? this is a non issue.
It wasn't a complaint. I just wanted to let people know about the potential problem. I see this as helpful information and constructive information. If the key conflict is corrected it makes things better for everyone. Also, like I said in my original post, I have many friends online who use voice chat, and half of them had huge folders full of screen shots that they were not aware of. So, I'd say it IS an issue. Even when I started looking for the cause of my problem, it took me an entire evening to figure it out (and I'm computer litterate, so it might be beyond the ability of someone like my mom to have figured it out at all).

It's not as obvious as you make it sound. Frankly, I read the manual (but thanks for flaming me anyway), but that was months before I started using X-Fire, and I don't take screen shots on purpose so I couldn't care less about the key EaW uses for that purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth54
Well, I'm no lawyer or anything, but unless X-Fire was automatically installed with the game (or it was clearly written in the documentation that X-Fire, even as a third party program, is supported by Petro/LA), then they don't have to do anything about compatibility issues.
I was trying to say that the support obligation is implied or perhaps just ethically correct, not legally binding. I only belabored the point because you questioned my original post. Petroglyph seem to be interrested in making future versions and sequels as good as they can make them (and they've done a great job in my opinion). I thought my observation was important and helpful. I also thought that if anyone had noticed this before, I would have seen it on some forum. I can't believe anyone is arguing about whether it's better for people to know or not, and calling me a complainer. At least I see that you agree with me about key conventions.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm really getting tired of having to defend my motivations and the intended good will that led me to make the original post. I'm not going to post in this thread again. I'd like to say thank you to anyone who read this thread and didn't give me a negative response or flame me for trying to help. Happy gaming to all, and see you in the games.


Gary Swift (aka gswift)
Lenexa, Kansas USA

You can try to monkey-proof your program, but you'll never monkey-proof the monkey.

Last edited by gswift; 08-14-2006 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:34 PM   #9
lukeiamyourdad
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XFire indeed comes with the game, giving you the option to install it or not. Supported or not, key conflict should've been a non-issue. There simply shouldn't be any key conflict at all.

Although some posts seem harsh, they certainly do not constitute flaming. Truth is, there is some responsability upon the user to make sure that the programs they are using do not conflict with each other.
Frankly, using the F12 key for voice chat is weird. Being a veteran FPS player (XFire indeeds wants you to play FPS with its program), I can tell you that such a badly placed voice chat key is a pain in the butt. Even when I started using Ventrilo for WoW, I chose a key closer to my left hand so that I could reach it faster.
F12 for screenshots isn't too uncanny. Many games use all sorts of "F" keys for taking screenshots.

As a matter of facts, Ventrilo and Teamspeak uses a voice detection system as their default speaking method. You have to add a "push to talk" key in order to mute your microphone unless you want to talk.


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