Star Wars: Empire At War is a real-time strategy game developed by Petroglyph and published by LucasArts that was released in 2006.
It has been more than eleven and a half years since the game originally launched on PC and it has just received a bunch of pretty significant patches.
The first patch released on the 1st of September allows players to play multiplayer over Steam for both the original game and the Force of Corruption expansion pack. This patch also added support for modding via Steam Workshop and also features a windowed mode and some bug fixes too.
A patch like this was not expected at all, but it’s good to see developers supporting their games after this much time.
The game originally used GameSpy servers for multiplayer, which were shut down in 2014. With this patch is now possible to play online again without third-party tools.
These patches are not available for CD or GOG copies. It is unlikely that it will be available on these platforms due to GOG being DRM free and the CD versions not using Steam as their method of DRM. There is currently no way to redeem your CD key on Steam.
Following the release of this patch, Petroglyph released a follow up patch that includes the following fixes and tweaks:
- Perception Functions were not being loaded out of MOD paths.
- Multiplayer Lobby List will no longer show games that are full.
- Multiplayer Lobby List will no longer show games that have a different GAME_CRC.
- Multiplayer Lobby List will now show games from around the world.
- MOD Paths are now searched for shaders as well as the default paths.
- Added support for joining / hosting password protected games.
- Fixed incorrect icons for V-Wing fighters (EaW,FoC)
- Fixed missing Pirate Faction icon (EaW)
- Fixed incorrect damage type for Crusader Cruiser (FoC)
- Removed unneeded death clone for Hutt Asteroid Base in skirmish mode (was targeted as an out of sync issue)
- Fix for not allowing mirror matches in multiplayer.
- (EaW,FoC) Updated patch2.meg to include updated XML.
- Fix for infinite loop when blowing up a planet with Han and Chewie on the ground.
- (EaW,FoC) Fix for speeder bikes not reaching the end of their paths.
- (EaW,FoC) Fixed the quit code on a D3D fatal error to terminate process in release/gold and crash in debug/internal builds.
- (EaW,FoC) Shader fixes from the community.
- (EaW,FoC) Updated patch2.meg build scripts to include new shaders.
- (EaW,FoC) Fix for drag select only selecting a small(16 ish) number of units.
- (SWFOC) Don’t allow manual targeting hardpoints to target fogged objects. Fixes the Consortium superweapon being able to infinite fire on an opposing space station.
- (SWFOC) Fix for EarthQuake ability not canceling stealth on activate and vice-versa. Fixes Luke being able to blow up structures while stealthed.
- (SWFOC) Public Terrain Editor (Map Editor) fixes.
Petroglyph have also release a patch for the game’s terrain editor tools, available separately at their website, the link is available below.
It’s great to see game developers supporting their games a decade later with patches to restore multiplayer servers, add new features and patching bugs.
Star Wars: Empire At War is one my favourite games of all time, it is also the game that got me into PC gaming and strategy games. It’s great to see support for such a great game after all this time and I hope that this is the beginning of a trend.
Hopefully we will see more support for older Star Wars games from other developers soon too.