The upcomming 126.96.36.199 NeoEE patch for Empire Earth Classic contains a new hosting technology (NHT) to allow a greater number of people to host games even if their game ports are closed (for EEC only at the moment). Please note the following annotations:
The NHT has to be understood as a replacement system or as an alternative to port forwarding. It can never be 100% reliable just as port forwarding is. Some router models still will not be able to host games with it. Moreover, the very same routers may have problems to connect to other games that use the NHT, too. Therefore it is still advisory to forward the game ports if you can since this solution will be always compatible to all router models out there.
Additionally keep in mind that the NHT will be enabled by default. Even if you have your ports forwarded you may fail to start the game while having the NHT enabled; it ignores port forward entirely. Thus everybody who can forward his game ports should disable the NHT to prevent problems. In order to do so, perform the following steps:
- Open your Empire Earth directory, e.g. "C:\Sierra\Empire Earth"
- In this directory, locate the file HostPingRIP.txt and open it with NotePad (not MS Word)
- Replace the word "true" to "false" and save it
When using the NHT, nothing particularily changes. The game ping will still show RIP, but that will not necessarily mean that it will not start. When all players are ready and the host is pressing "Start game", the game may hang for some seconds on both the host and the member's side before the "Waiting for connections" screen appears. When this happens, do not abort or leave it until you see a graveyard/RIP sign. It may take a while (usually about 20 seconds) until the game starts, so be patient, please. If your router is not compatible, it will show you relatively fast a RIP sign; in that case you should consider to forward your game ports (as explained for example on http://www.portforward.com).
If the new hosting system is causing any troubles, disable it as explained above and notify one of the NeoEE/Save-EE staff members or post a thread in the forums. We will try to optimize it and make it compatible for more routers.