Wings of Honor
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Red Baron II/3D - Tutorials

Patches, Patches - A Brief Tutorial

By Lt. Royce

At the outset of this article, I need to say that I am not a "Tech. Guru". Actually far from it. But I do enjoy the great "patching" and enhancements that many others have contributed to Red Baron. In fact, because of this work, this sim we all enjoy flying is almost unrecognizable from the original version we all purchased. Unfortunately, many of us have shied away from these patches and enhancements, either because they can be a bit confusing, or we feel we lack the necessary technical knowledge.

Initially I counted myself in both categories, but after some reading and practice, I found these enhancements far outweigh any trepidation I may have had. That being said, what follows is an attempt at an initial primer on patching Red Baron.

The first thing anyone should do who is considering enhancing their flying environment, is download von Tom's amazing Campaign Manager (CM). This utility makes adding and removing patches easy. Plain and simple. As with any patch or utility that you use for your PC, read the instructions. If they are not clear to you, drop the creator of the patch an Email or go to one of our Forums for help. My advice would be if you really don't understand something, don't do it until you do. Also, I always download a patch to a "holding folder" (name it anything you choose). There I unzip the patch or add-on and extract it. I examine the contents to make sure I know what I am putting in my RB file folders. If I do, I then cut and paste to the destination folder it was intended for. If I do not, I leave it and find out more about it. This will reduce your frustration level greatly!

There are three "major" patches out now: Beery's Supr Patch (BSP1.1), Cam's Art Attack Flander's Field, and Comeau's Wingstrut (Wstut2.1) and USAS patches (which concentrates on the United States entry and participation in WW1). Each of these has additional smaller add-ons to further enhance them. These are not clothes…DON"T MIX AND MATCH them. The exception would be if the maker states somewhere in the instructions that it's OK to do so. This can corrupt the files, cause conflicts, and worst of all, cause you to DTD (drop to desktop).

These patches are for use in single player (SP) mode. BSP1.1 was the only one (not sure why) I was able to have "in use" while in MMP without getting the "out of sync" message. All of these great works endeavor to bring historic dating, insignia markings, paint schemes and squad/jasta placement to RB. The above patches can be further enhanced for realism by the addition of the much-heralded flight and damage models download, known as EM2, from the FGMOF (Fairy Godmothers Of Flight). Chuck Holden's Warlance site is the source for this patch. Beery also includes an EM2 mode (BSPEM2) that he recommends to use with his BSP1.1. I believe they are basically the same. EM2 is the latest version out; although even as you read this, there are folks testing flight characteristics, researching and compiling data, all in an effort to bring as much realism of handling and damage to the planes of RB. This is primarily for SP use only (see below).

The EM2 patch is considered the most realistic and the most challenging to fly, when installed. The reason being that most of the real planes would take somewhere between 250-500 rounds to be brought down; or lesser rounds but very accurate shooting. To compensate for the corporate versions unrealistic damage model, the damage boxes on the planes were moved to accurate placement, and reduced in size. Thus making for some very challenging campaigning. For those that find this level of realism a bit frustrating, EM1a (out several months prior) still brings good flight handling but somewhat easier damage modeling. Here though, one CAN cut and paste their own "hybrid" EM if they wish. For example, take the FM (flight model) from EM2 and overwrite/cut and paste the DM (damage model) from EM1a. Make and name a new folder and then place it within the CM Patches folder. Then you can add this new hybrid to "patches in use" column of the CM.

You cannot fly in MMP with EM patches still "added in" to RB. Both WON and private servers (LOSS.NET for example), will not allow you to fly without getting "bounced"; unless the server has the security turned OFF. What I suggest when adding an EM patch to "patches in use" column, is to do so last, after the major patch and graphic/sound patches have been added.

Now we come to the graphic and sound enhancement patches and add-ons. Generally speaking, these can be used in both SP and MMP modes. The Promised Land is THE site for graphic and sound enhancements. Kessler's work has become the "gold standard" for RB graphic patches. The patches and sounds available here will change the entire sim for you. You can add these enhancements directly into your Shellpat/Simpat folders. Or add and remove via CM. The one caveat here is the Springtime terrain patch. This particular patch seems to cause "psychedelic" tile square aberrations for many users. So photo realistic is it, that many put up with the problem, until one of the Tech. Guru's suggested limiting the texture memory of the 3d card to 2 MB. This seemed to clear up the problem with this particular enhancement. If you don't want to fool with this aspect of your PC…then don't install it.

Beery has compiled the BSP2TRN. This add-on nicely rolls the Promised Land graphics, Cap'nSmoke's "aqua blue sky" and smoke patch, LE Garp's awesome Flames patch, and his own fields and trenches patch into one package. This patch, as is the case for the others, is added and removed through the CM. BSP2TRN can be used with Wstut patch, as the files don't conflict since BSP2TRN is graphics only. I am not sure if it can be used with Flanders Field. Since this is a large patch, if there are parts that you don't want for some reason, just open the file through the windows explorer and delete any particular .bmp that doesn't suit you. The path for this procedure is: C:\SIERRA\RedBaron3D\cmbeta10\patches\bsp2trn\3dpatch for example. As I recall, the file names are fairly self-explanatory for editing.

There are some terrific music files moving through the RB community these days. If you are tired or don't enjoy the standard RB music when you fly a campaign, you can change the ambience quite easily. All you need to do is right click the .wav file of the new music you want to add - hit rename - then type in Menu1.wav or Menu2.wav or Menu3.wav etc.- and hit enter. Then copy or cut into RB shelsnds folder, to overwrite existing music. OR…. The CM has four "nationality folders" for just this purpose. The path is: C:\SIERRA\RedBaron3D\cmbeta10 . Here you will see German, French, American, and British named folders. Instead of putting your new music sounds in RB shelsnds folder, you can paste them directly into the appropriate nationality music folder. Then in the main CM menu, under the Shell Music button, there are five choices - the four nationalities and original RB. Choose the music for your virtual pilot's country, click OK and your new music is downloaded. Just make sure that the RB program itself is not running when you choose the music from the CM menu. When you go back to open the RB campaign or go into MMP your new music will begin. Try flying a German campaign with the song "Lily Marlene" playing…really sets the mood. The music in many cases was convetred by Jupes for use with the game and can be found in the Lone Wulffe Squadron section on the patches page. There is also some excellent music at Cages World. There are probably others I am not aware of I'm sure.

Recently a creative explosion happened with regard to new planes to be patched/added to RB. Blackjack (don't know any more then his "nom de guerre"), created entirely new plane models and the means to easily fly them in SP and MMP. Rather then go into a lengthy explanation here, I recommend visiting his site, which is show on the patches page here at along with his planes. Let's just say, this is "ground breaking" patch work and puts many folks on the road to "RB4". Baron von Helton and Beery among others are adding these new planes to their respective forthcoming patches. Not to speak for the Baron or Beery, but I believe they are working on all encompassing patches of "some kind", with very in-depth paint schemes and historic details.

Last but certainly not least on the compulsory patch scale, especially for those new to RB, is Flybert's paint schemes. This makes the MMP world graphically come alive. It is so much a part of RB today, that one could forget that it did not come with the sim. Go to Flybert's Chateau for easy instructions on how to dazzle yourself while flying in MMP.

The patches and add-ons that these creative people labor over, which day by day make a better RB sim for all of us to enjoy, and are done free and without compensation. I know I stand back and applaud them each time I load up RB and remember how far this sim has come since being removed from the box that it came in. From the look of things on the Forum boards, this could be just the beginning of the "RB4" we are all hoping for.

Disclaimer: The above are my own opinions based on my own experiences. If I have or inadvertently left out anyone's contribution, I surely apologize. Also as the patch makers say "I assume no responsibility for the above instructions and patches are added at your own risk."