Starting a Multiplayer Game
Starting a Multiplayer game is not much different from starting a Single-Player game. Once you have clicked on the Multiplayer button in the Main Game Menu, you will come to a screen with various options for connecting with Multiplayer opponents. Hearts of Iron III supports Multiplayer games with as many as 32 players, though for practical purposes you can only have this many players on a LAN. Games played over the Internet are best limited to a dozen or fewer.
One player must always serve as the Host. The other players will be Clients. An ideal Host is the player with the highest speed and most reliable Internet connection. Due to the amount of data transmitted during a Multiplayer game, it is not practical to play over a conventional dialup modem.
Before launching the game, each player should ensure that his system is set up to receive and transmit data. Many computers are set up so that Clients will not need to change any settings. However, firewall systems may block game transmissions, so an exception to the firewall rules will need to be made to play Multiplayer. Many people may want to play on a computer that is behind a router. Most routers include firewalls, which can also interfere with the game. A Host thatis behind a router will almost certainly need to enable portforwarding to establish a connection with the Clients.
HOI 3 uses ports 1630-1635 and the UDP transferprotocol (or, if you’re using the Metaserver, you will probably be asked to use port 1639 – check the Forum to be sure). You may need to ensure your firewall software permits HOI 3 to access the Internet, and that port-forwarding is enabled on your router, if applicable. Due to the huge variety of software and hardware, we cannot provide comprehensive instructions on how to do this with your specific setup. For legal and practical reasons, we also cannot automate this process. Please refer to your router and firewall user guides to determine how to meet these requirements. If you will be playing a game where players will connect directly over the Internet without using Paradox’s free “Metaserver” matchmaking service, the Host will also need to determine his computer’s current IP address and communicate this to the Clients.
When you first click Multiplayer from the Main Game Menu, you will see the Multiplayer Start Interface. First, you should type your Player Name into the entry field – this is the name other players will know you by.
To Host a game, select the “Host” button. This allows you to Host either by a LAN or by direct Internet communication. You may have to configure your firewall, or specifically open ports in order to do this properly. Visit the Paradox Forum for assistance with this. You will be asked to choose a name for your game session.Then, click “Host” again inside that interface, and you will be
taken to the Multiplayer Lobby, where you will wait for the other players to arrive.
Join LAN Game
To join a LAN game, first click the “Scan” button on the current interface. The Host’s game should appear in the list box at the top of the menu. Highlight the name, and click on “Join LAN Game.” This will take you to the Multiplayer Lobby.
Join Internet Game
If you will be connecting to a Host directly over the Internet, click on “Join Internet Game,” and you will be asked to enter the Host’s IP address, which he should have supplied toyou before play. Once you have done so, the computer willattempt to establish a connection with the Host, and you will be taken to the Multiplayer Lobby. If it cannot find it, wait a moment and try again, or contact the Host for more instructions.
Paradox Interactive offers a free matchmaking service for finding Multiplayer opponents. Players will meet in the Metaserver chat lobby to arrange games. The Metaserver will help create and join games from there. Once the connection is established, the Metaserver releases the Hostand players, who will play the game just as if they had established the connection directly over the Internet.
The Multiplayer Lobby is where players assemble before starting a Multiplayer game. All players have to be present and must choose a country to play before the game can start. This is controlled by the Host.
The Lobby is very similar to the screen you see when selecting a country for Single Player play. The panel on the left shows the same options for Bookmarked games or Saved games. In the middle is the map, showing the current world situation and what countries can be selected. On the right is a panel where each player’s name and flag will show up asnew players arrive in the Lobby. If you are resuming a saved game, the Host should load the save first. The file will be loaded into the Host’s computer, compressed, and then sent to each of the Clients’ computers. Each Client will unpack and load the saved game, so that everybody has the same information at the outset. This process may take a few minutes, depending on Internet connection speeds. All players must have the save loaded before the game can begin. At first, you will see a “Rebel” flag (black and red) next to the name you gave. When you pick a country, the flag next to your name will change to that country’s flag. This operates the same as the Single Player selection interface. Hearts of Iron III supports cooperative play, so two or more players may pick the same country. You’ll have to work it out among yourselves who is to control what. It’s also polite to have an agreement beforehand that more than one player will play that country. Otherwise, showing up in another player’s country can be considered rude. With proper planning, cooperative play can take much of the pressure off the players, and allow for a very fun gaming experience!
You may chat with other players in the Lobby by clicking on the text box at the bottom-left of the screen, typing your message, and hitting the Enter key on your keyboard. All players in the Lobby at that time will be able to see it. Private chat is only available inside the game, though many players will have alternate means of communicating privately outside of the game.
Once every player has selected a country, the Host’s “Play” button will highlight in gold, indicating play can begin. It is customary for the Host to confirm through chat that everybody is ready. Then, by clicking the “Play” button, the Host initiates the game.
All players will see the game begin to load, and a window in the middle of the screen will show the process of each player being accepted into the game. Everything is paused, naturally. As players are confirmed ready inside the game, each player’s flag will highlight, indicating they are ready to play. The Host can then click “Start” and the game will begin.
Paradox Interactive maintains a Multiplayer matching service for registered owners of HOI 3. When you register your copy of the game, you will be asked if you also want to register for the Metaserver. It takes only a minute or two to go through the steps, create a username and password, and begin using the Metaserver. There is no fee. Once you have registered, click the “Metaserver” button from the Connection Types menu to connect to our service. You will be asked to enter your username and password. You will arrive in the Metaserver’s main chat lobby, where you will see a full listing of all the other players who are online and who might want to join a game. Make sure you’re set to use Port 1639 with the Metaserver.
When you’ve found a few players willing to join a game, you may create a separate chat channel where you can discuss the details of Hosting and other items. Once everything is arranged, the person selected to Host will click the “Create Game” button to launch the game’s Multiplayer Lobby. The other players will see the new game listed, and can then join it.
Because this is a free and public worldwide service that may be used by people of all ages, we ask that you remain polite and respectful of all other members when using the Metaserver. It is considered impolite to use inappropriate or vulgar language, and etiquette suggests that you not join a listed game without first discussing your intentions with the Host.
Once players have selected their countries using the same process as detailed for the Multiplayer Lobby earlier, the Host will click “Play” to start the game. The Metaserver will ensure that all players are correctly connected, and then will hand off the game to the Host. From that point forward, play will continue just as any other Multiplayer game would.
The Artificial Intelligence designed for use in Single Player games of HOI 3 should provide an enjoyable challenge for any player, but many crave the incomparable experience of playing against a living, thinking human opponent. For this reason, Multiplayer games are more difficult, and present more complex gameplay. It is recommended that you examine the hints contained in the Strategy Guide for more information on how to deal with Multiplayer gameplay. There is a more comprehensive section on the challenges of Multiplayer play in that volume.R5.1_ Multiplayer In-Game Chat The major difference between Single-Player HOI 3 and Multiplayer is that you have a chat window. Press the Tab key on your keyboard to activate this feature. Close the chatwindow by using the “x” in the window. Text typed by you and others will appear on the screen, as far to the left as possible without obscuring open Interfaces. Each player’s roundel will identify who is speaking.