Presenting: How to fix your retail FoC to be compatible with Steam FoC - this fix only applies to people with a physical disc
This guide is for those of you either afflicted with, or curious about, the infamous problem that has plagued Retail Forces of Corruption players since Empire at War Gold was offered on Steam. For those of you that do not know about this problem, it's simply a compatibility problem between Retail FoC and Steam FoC. The fix is relatively simply, even for people that aren't exactly computer savvy; also, let it be known that I have not been the only one to speculate that this particular patch would fix compatibility, however as far as I know I was the only one to ever test it. First, however, I would like to give you some background on why this problem exists in the first place; if you would rather just continue on with the fix, scroll down until you see "The Fix".
The reasons that this problem exists is simply the mere fact that the RAM patch was pre-integrated with Empire at War: Gold when it was put up on steam; I speculate that this caused FoC's executable to consider the version slightly different (off by two digits in the last position) than that of vanilla FoC v1.01. However, if anyone has ever looked at a copy of Retail EaW with the RAM patch and a copy of Steam EaW, they would notice that there are two XML files that are missing. Now, since FoC is an expansion and therefore uses files from EaW, I suspect that FoC uses those two XML files - and since they are missing from Steam's version, a slight version change has happened. It would most likely require an official patch to fix this problem, so as far as I know the problem is not Valve's issue - and since LucasArts branches are shut down and Petroglyph has all but abandoned the game, the only hope for an official fix would be EA. I highly doubt it will ever happen, so this fix is all that you will probably ever get - unless someone somewhere other than those companies mentioned can patch those two xml files into the game files and .exe (most likely with a 3rd party installer). The funny thing is, even though Steam FoC is actually the problem for compatibility steam users can do nothing to fix it; retail users have to fix their game in order to play with Steam players (though, there has never been a problem for EaW). One last thing: there are possibly a few people that may come across this guide with no knowledge of any problem at all; this is most likely because they are people that are forced to install the RAM patch before ever playing FoC, because they need it to play - and that results in compatibility. I was actually one of those people, but have since learned of this problem after picking up gold on steam.
1. In order for this fix to work correctly, you must remove, through whatever means, your game saves from your save directory for both EaW and FoC. This is because, for whatever reason, pre-rampatch saves do not allow the compatibility to work. They can be found here:
2. Once you have located them, you can simply delete them or you can move both EaW and FoC folders out of the directory and then back in after the patch is applied (I would be grateful to have someone test the second option, I actually don't know that it would work given that I don't even know why the saves mess it up in the first place)
3. Download the ram fix
by clicking the hyperlink provided and then finding the "Click here to Download this File" and then run the file.
4. Once prompted install it to FoC, and then it will prompt you to install for EaW which contains the XML files mentioned earlier.
5. Either run the game, or move your saves back and then run the game.
6. Find a buddy that has Steam Gold, and play!
After following these steps, you should now be compatible to play with Steam. Though, do be sure that both you and the person with steam gold are both running vanilla games; i.e. no modded files whatsoever - or else, there will be more than just this problem availing you for compatibility. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to message me on here by PM or find me on Steam or Skype. I would also ask that everyone that finds this thread helpful to point it out to others, and comment that it works! Hopefully one day no one playing Retail FoC will not know of this fix! Let's Retake Empire at War!