Patch #1: Earth Fix
Patch #2: Earth and Anti-cloak Fix
Patch #3: Earth, Anti-cloak and Xannor Turn Fix
If a player owns Earth, and another player spends money buying equipment at Earth, 100% of all credits spent are returned to the player who owns Earth. This allows a team or a single player with two accounts to essentially purchase an unlimited number of fighters, ground forces, and shield batteries. The only practical limitation of this method is either the effort coordinating with a second player to swap back and forth, or in the case of a single player the number of times they are willing to blatantly log on to two separate accounts without the sysop of the BBS catching on. To perform this exploit:
1) Buy Earth
2) Second player logs on, spends all the money except for 1 million and then buys Earth themselves
3) First player logs on again, receives all the money back that was spent, spent all the money again except for 1 million and then buys earth again
(repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as desired)
To patch this exploit, edit the YT.EXE file with a hex editor, go to address 2436D, and change the hex value at that address from 94 to A0.
This changes the purchase price of Earth from 1,000,000 to 4,096,000,000 credits.
Since at best, a player can make at most 40 million credits in 500 turns, 4 billion credits is quite unachievable.
Gargoyles Landing has already implemented this patch. As of the last modification of this guide, TOHC is unpatched.
The second issue this patch addresses is general game balance. It is far too easy for a single moderate to high level player to destroy every other player in the entire game and take over every single planet in the galaxy in a single day. Because on average, it requires many weeks to build up a sizable number of planets and resources, this is definitely an imbalance. It can be addressed by breaking the sequence necessary to “destroy the galaxy.”
This sequence is:
1) Acquire between 20-100 plasma bolts, because of quadratically increasing damage extremely high level players can still be killed by mid-level players with only a few bolts.
2) Buy the anticloak from earth to uncloak all other players
3) From a safe location (a sector behind a friendly planet with ground forces for example) send a missile into all 3000 sectors. Write down the locations of all the planets and fighter groups found.
4) Because a player starts with only 500 turns, find and destroy at least 5-6 out of the 20 Xannor groups. These groups will be found during the previous process of sending missiles.
5) When all the other players are found, kill them with plasma bolts and then return to the planets one at a time, landing on each which automatically gives you ownership of them.
To break this “abuse” one way is to disable the purchase of the Anticloak from Earth. This makes the process of finding other players and “uncloaking” them impossible with missiles and only possible if a player actually travels next to or within the sector and repeatedly [S]cans for them.
To patch this, edit the YT.EXE file with a hex editor, go to address 25CEA, and change the hex value at that address from 00247493 to 286B6E9E.
This changes the purchase price of the Anticloak from 500,000 to 1,000,000,000 credits.
Another way is to patch how many extra turns per day the Xannor provide to a player. The default value is 1 turn per 200 fighters, up to the maximum of 500 turns per 100,000 fighters. To modify this value to 1 turn per 8000 fighters or 500 turns per 4,000,000 fighters, edit the YT.EXE file with a hex editor, go to address 239AE, and change the hex value at that address from 4888 to 7A8D.
Keep in mind that it would still be possible for extremely rich players to get the turns necessary to send a missile into every sector of the game in a single day, but it would require roughly 24 million fighters or more to do so, and only players willing to lose over 2.4 billion in score could afford to do this. Combined with the anti-cloak patch, this should balance out empire building with empire destroying. Keep in mind that neither of these patches affect players who attack planets directly or stay within their initial 500 turns.
A fairly useless exploit to close the game off to new members is to use the anti-cloak to reveal other players, sit in sector 1, and get killed by a retaliatory missile attack. All of the other retaliatory missiles will be destroyed by the union police, leaving any mines on your ship in the sector:
The useless thing is that this closes the game off to you as well, and prevents you from attaining shielding, cargo holds, and the danger scanner even if you warp away like shown in the example above.. In addition any player with a surviving planet somewhere may be able to escape the mines, travel to their planet to obtain missiles, and clear out all of the remaining mines.