- i see on this sub board that there's a 3.6.16 version from 2013, yet on knossos it's only 3.6.0 , so am i playing a very outdated version ?
That is a bit confusing because there are two version numbers in play here:
1) The version number of TBP, which up until the Knossos release had been 3.4b; the current Knossos release is 3.6 (or 3.6.0) and the most up-to-date version, and thanks to Knossos' handy developer interface will always be the most up-to-date version.
2) And the version number of the Freespace_Open Engine. Which is still being measured by 3.X.Y - with 3.8.0 the latest stable release version and 3.8.1 the current line of versions in testing - but soon will be measured differently.
On the developer side there might have been a few, now unfortunate short-hands over the years, e.g the 3.6.16 version you are referring to basically is TBP 3.4b run on the 3.6.16 version of Freespace_Open to capitilize on improvement to the multiplayer code. These things happend when "everyone knows what we are talking about".
Knossos has made such detail oriented approaches obsolete however as it automates the distribution process into an (almost) one-click solution for the player.
- on reading some old threat i see mention of a Zathras mod and nearly everywhere it was recommended to get it, yet it looks like it's also from several years ago so is it always required on the knossos version ?
Zathras was the result of some internal drama over the fate of the 3.4b version. Basically Zathras was a collection of patches for TBP version 3.4b which were not allowed to call themselves patches or a version 3.5.
It is now obsolete.
- on knossos release there's a training mission and the raider wars campaigns, on the board here there's a pack of additional campaigns but looking at the date it seems to be from 2012. So are they still compatible with the knossos release or do they need some work before getting there ?
They will need some work getting there, ranging for the cosmetic to the technical - e.g. stars.tbl which acts a referrence for graphics that get layered onto the skybox (e.g. Planets) was significantly changed. Old missions would as the result of that change appear to only have a blank starfield for a background ( or worse ).
As Knossos doesn't have advanced search and filter criteria yet, it is also a bit difficult to bring old campaigns over to Knossos and have them be easily found.