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ÜberHack
...is Über Cool

ÜberHack (UH) is an excellent and very popular third party total conversion for Total Annihilation by BSR's R&D. It once enjoyed a prominent presence at Annihilated.com before that site bit the dust, then TA Universe and finally Planet Annihilation. Like the Switeck Bugfix, it offers extensive "bug fixes" to remedy many problems and hiccups that the official 3.1c patch never got around to addressing: ÜberHack is the other big bug-fixing mod for TA. A large number of custom mods and unit packs are based on it. ÜberHack doesn't go for adding as many custom units as it can, and its remedies, unlike the Switeck patch, tend to be about fixing invisible game mechanics rather than worrying about more "cosmetic" corrections to graphics and animations. The philosophy behind it is to balance existing units and sparingly add customs, so that no unit is ever made redundant. The differences between the Arm and Core forces have been leveled. Previously, Arm was light, fast, and technological, while Core was weighed down with armour and heavy with awesome firepower. Now both sides meet each other on equal terms with similar units. ÜberHack has a long an distinguished history in the TA community: there's an aging text guide to the mod called the ÜberBible that can still give you some useful information and background on it, based on the old 3.0 version.


What's in it

ÜberHack lets you build factories in four different directions.

A number of significant game rules have been changed and some great extra features added. The first major thing players notice is that anti-air units can only target air units - which upsets quite a few TA vets used to savaging their foes with forest of cheap missile towers and swarms of missile trucks. With the loss of early ground to ground missiles, laser turrets have been substantially beefed up, and the Commander can now deploy Dragon's Teeth and some extra basic turrets. Your boss can now throw up fortified laser defences almost immediately - and a common battle scene in this mod is of extensive laser defences frying swarms of attackers.

Naval units have had a substantial armour upgrade, making them feel more like hardened battleships, capable of withstanding more punishment. Mines have enjoyed some extensive changes too, and they are now cheap and easy to install, and minefields are more effective in the game now. There's also a small but significant number of custom units, such as armed metal extractors and geothermals for Core, cloaked cameras for front line surveillance, and a shore based depth charge launcher for helping people fight their way back into water if they've lost control of the seas.

The other really cool thing about ÜberHack is that the build menu buttons for factories have been cleverly modified so they can be built in one of four directions; and there's a similar one button system is available for building defensive walls with turrets and gates in the game, filling a largely empty gap in Total Annihilation strategy and gameplay: fortifications. You can now produce elaborate networks of walls and fortifications with little effort.


Where to find it

Brave Sir Robin's R&D weblinkTAEC weblinkCurrent version: 4. This version includes the Bloodthirsty AI (BAI) and TA-Power's Arm Spider Pack. ÜberHack comes in three formats: regular, TA:Mutation compatible and its own "Switchable" version, allowing you to disable the mod and return to the original TA. Pop over to ÜberHack's developer's site, BSR's R&D, and follow the detailed installation instructions in the Setup page. BSR also contains a huge visual database on all the units and structures available in the game. Conversely, the other major ÜberHack site is TAEC (look under Misc/Files) which stores old copies of every development version of the mod and provides detailed unit data of what's in it. ÜberHack has copped some criticism for its endless parade of changes and tweaks - and TAEC hosts dozens of old work in progress versions to download.Even Macintosh TA fans can get into the Macintosh version of ÜberHack via MacUTATOR.


Unit packs for ÜberHack

 

Spider units easily clear the steep hills that have trapped their Core enemies...

To give you some idea just how popular this is, there are actually custom mods and expansion packs made for it. Most of these come in the form of unit packs that are compatible with the unit slots rearranged by the ÜberHack mod. You'll notice some packs in the TA community will come in OTA (Original TA) and UH (ÜberHack) versions. Trying to use a UH compatible mod on an regular TA game will almost certainly cause problems (mostly grayed out build pics), and vice versa.

However, for those of us keen to play with lots of custom units, ÜberHack can be a little underwhelming, wonderful as the bug fixes in it might be. There's nothing like those cataclysmic demolition binges of TAUCP or UTASP! But the ÜberHack Community Pack (UH:CP) addresses this need, adding many normal and advanced units and structures. If you really into the big stuff, ÜberHack matches much of the mega unit packs with its own Tech4 pack, by giving Arm its own Krogoth Gantry equivalent and both sides a large swag of Godzillan units to crash around with. You can find these add-ons at Joe's Web Page.

TA Power weblinkTA-Power is also a third party contributor to ÜberHack. They build their custom unit packs in both UH and OTA versions. The TA-Power Spider Pack is a collection of arachnid themed units with their own special spider factory, just for Arm. Don't worry Core fans: TA-Power's next custom mod will be a special Scorpion Pack just for Core. Their recently produced Emergency Pack is an ÜberHack compatible collection of their current crop of top notch unit designs. All their work is excellent, and definitely worth having a look at.

ÜberHack Add-Ons
Community Pack v1.2 A single .ufo file that comes in two versions, one for the original game and one for the ÜberHack mod. The Community Pack adds a wide selection of basic and advanced units and structures to the game. Tracking these add-ons can be a bit tricky at times: at the moment, you can find the Community Pack at Joe's Web Page.Back
Tech4 v2 A single unit .ufo file that adds the equivalent of Core's Krogoth gantry to Arm and then offers both sides a suite of Krogoth class units to play with. Tech4 appends to the Community Pack and is fully compatible with it. You can find it again at Joe's Web Page.Back
Spider Pack 2k3 TA Power weblinkThis adds a collection of TA-Power's spider units and their own Spider Factory for Arm. Again, there's two versions, one for ÜberHack and one for the original game. The Spiders sit somewhere between basic and advanced technology levels, and come with their very own Spider Lab, made by Arm's Construction K-Bot. Spiders are advanced and tricky, but generally lightly armoured for their higher cost. According to its authors, there aren't any overly powerful units that will upset any deprived Core players out there.Back
Emergency Pack 2.b TA Power weblinkThis pack is currently being reworked for ÜberHack 4. This is another TA-Power mod that adds fifteen nifty units to the game. Designed to be fully compatible with ÜberHack v3.1.6. You've probably seen some of these powerful customs lurking in other mega unit mods.Back

Other suggestions
The Pack weblink However, these expansion packs are getting long in the tooth now, and have a reputation for being buggy and prone to sudden game crashes. A more up to date solution comes in the form of The Pack, a Macintosh based mega-mod that is based on ÜberHack and its two expansions, the Community and Tech4 add-ons, with refinements hammered out on the anvil of LAN testing.Back


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Last modified Thu, Mar 10 2005 by Lindsay Fleay.