VOGONS


First post, by cabinboy46

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I have the latest version of DosBox (.65), a fairly powerful system (1.7 Athlon, ATI 9800 Pro), and I want to play the original version of Ultima 7 & its add-ons (not exault, with its modified AI in NPC), but I can't get past the fact that no matter what settings I experiment with, my character(s) experience a pause every few steps while traversing. This happens everywhere. is this normal under DosBox and has ANYONE experienced smooth walking with their characters in this game, or is this a limitation in DOSBox? Otherwise this is a GREAT program and I thank profusely the developers & all the hard work they put into this emulator. Thanks in advanced for any help.

C.

Reply 1 of 19, by wd

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Works fine for me. Does it happen with the mouse and the keyboard?
Do the characters just stop movement and continue after a few seconds,
or do you have to press the mouse button again then?

Does the complete game seem to halt or only the characters?

Reply 2 of 19, by cabinboy46

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It happens only for about a fraction of a second, but it doesn't matter if I use the mouse or keyboard (both are USB, btw), it still occurs. I don't have to press the mouse button to contune. Judging by the movement of the clouds' shadows, there is a freeze of everything, but again, only for a split second, but enough to give the whole game an unexceptable laggy quality. It's extremely annoying, and I'm just wondering if others had this problem and found a solution.

C.

Reply 3 of 19, by Xelasarg

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I think this behaviour is normal for U7. These short lags occur when the game loads new parts of the world map - it is (until today, see Oblivion or Gothic 3) the main disadvantage with "seamless" worlds.

If you want U7 to run smoother, you should try Exult.

Reply 4 of 19, by cabinboy46

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The tiny little pauses occur like clockwork every 4 or 5 steps, indoors or out, whenever my character attempts to go from point A to point B. Interestingly enough, when I run the game under VDMSound, the lags go away so I'm doubtful it's a loading new areas issue. And, of course, in Exult there is smooth movement with my character. The reasons I won't use Exult despite having tried it, and being rather satisfied with the physical performance of the game, is because I heard that certain AI behaviors & sounds were never implemented in the engine's rebuilding. I'm kind of hardcore, okay, anal about these things. :D

The reason I don't use VDMSound with the fan patch for XP is because of severe slow done issues, which I understand is normal under XP & this particular game. I decided to just chuck it all because I don't think I'm going to get a fix. and now I'm going to play play Baldur's Gate 2 and it's expansion pack, which I installed yesterday. :-)

Thanks anyways, guys.

C.

Reply 6 of 19, by sidv88

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I get these pauses too, I am surprised most other people on this forum don't have them. I know the pauses are not normal because the original U7 on a DOS machine did not run like that. My core=dynamic and cycles=auto as well as stated by above poster. In any case, please keep trying with U7--it is better than Baldur's Gate 2 in my opinion.

Reply 7 of 19, by Xelasarg

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The problem seems to be that you're running U7 with cycles=auto. I've tried it, and it sets cycles to 8500 in U7. That's simply far too slow!

U7 ran like that on my old 386. Always a bit laggy, except when you stood still. In this case, everything would run smoothly (e.g. cloud shadows).

The only possible solution is to raise cycles to 10000 or higher. (e.g. cycles=12000 in dosbox.conf); cycles=30000 works well with U7-SI, problem with Black Gate is that it'll run much too fast with these settings (U7-SI has some kind of speed limiter).

I'm afraid there isn't much else to do about it.

Reply 8 of 19, by wd

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Ok that's interesting information, as auto cycles are measured rather
fine for me. Have to see if this persists in the cvs and if so why the
cycles get rather low.
One thing to try is changing the output= and see if one of the modes
works fine.

Reply 9 of 19, by Dominus

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I do see the same little lag with current CVS. BUT I do think this is the way it is supposed to be working, since U7 cached the world in and out every couple of steps. I see this behaviour with BG still at very high cycles (though it is noticeably less obvious) when the party runs on fasfastfastforward 😀
Why it isn't noticeable when running with VDMS is beyond me, but didn't you need a new executeable for that? (been a long time since I tried that)

Btw, core=auto, cycles=max did work as expected here (with CVS)

Reply 10 of 19, by sidv88

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It is definitely not the way it is supposed to be working. I played U7 (both Black Gate and Serpent Isle) for years on a Win 98 machine (using a DOS reboot) and I have never seen this "stop every couple of steps" syndrome. I have only seen it in my Win XP computer using dosbox. However, my Win XP computer's dosbox can't go much higher than 6000 due to the processor speed. That is probably the issue in dosbox, so I would like to hear how the results are with higher cycles.

Reply 11 of 19, by DosFreak

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Your going to have a pretty hard time convincing Dominus of what is supposed to be working or not in U7, since he's the document maintainer of the Exult project.

You can't go much higher than 6000 cycles? Are you sure that your using dynamic core and auto cycles?

Last edited by DosFreak on 2007-01-13, 23:29. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 12 of 19, by cabinboy46

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Well, I tried ALL the suggestions here and no joy. Even upped my cycles to maximum, and while those spritely little bastards move across my screen at lightning speed, there's STILL the pause under XP & DosBox. Maybe I should just deprogram myself to accept these little starts & stops. I dunno. I'm starting to really get into Baldur's Gate 2 so maybe I won't find the time. I dont understand it because Ultima Underworld runs smooth under DosBOx on my system, and didn't that have higher system requirements than Ultima 7? What really intrigues me about the middle period Ultima games was the great interactivity, and being able to physically manipulate your environment. Later CRPGs didn't seem to come close to this. Oh, Well. If anyone doesn't have any parting words to say, I guess it's back back to Baldur for me.

C.

Reply 13 of 19, by Dominus

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That is probably the issue in dosbox, so I would like to hear how the results are with higher cycles.

The lag is there even when run at much higher cycles. The whole party runs like mad, but you still notice the itsy bitsy tiny lag.

It is definitely not the way it is supposed to be working. I played U7 (both Black Gate and Serpent Isle) for years on a Win 98 machine (using a DOS reboot) and I have never seen this "stop every couple of steps" syndrome.

I'm not 100% sure myself since it's been a while since I played it in pure Dos, but time does cloud once memory and if you didn't notice it back then it could be that you are not remembering it. In the Exult forum we had fun discussions with people that played the original over and over and claimed certain features or things were in the original that just weren't (and could be proven not to have been there 😀).
There are two ways now to proceed, someone still has a functional Dos capable computer and tries it or we try it in a different emulator like Bochs, VirtualPC, VMWare...

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Reply 14 of 19, by cabinboy46

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[quote="Dominus"]There are two ways now to proceed, someone still has a functional Dos capable computer and tries it or we try it in a different emulator like Bochs, VirtualPC, VMWare...[/quote]

I'm willing to try anything, short of going back to Win98 or building a pure DOS box & running MoSlow to get U7 running smoothly. Yes, if anyone here on the forum had ANY success getting this game to run smoothly on Windows XP using a different emulator, please post. Thanks, goodnight all, and God Bless! *does a last-legs Richard M. Nixon on the plane arms up salute*

C.

Reply 15 of 19, by pianoman72

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Hello all,
When I saw this topic I couldn't resist chiming in. I am playing Ultima7 (Black Gate) right now on my pentium 1 @ 90mhz computer in DOS. Aside from having to slow down the game just a tiny bit with Moslo, the game plays very smoothly, with the right speed, and the fluidity of it is wonderful.

The only time there is a pause of course is when the game is loading, either from a saved game or restarting the game itself, when you can hear the hard drive spinning faster while the image is being processed on the screen.

It definitely pays off to play this wonderful and unique game in a real DOS environment if you can, although I must say that it does take a bit of tinkering to make your computer play this game as it's meant to be played.

Reply 16 of 19, by sidv88

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Well, I can't deny that maybe my memory of U7 might have missed a pause. I remember pauses with that magic carpet, but I'm not sure about walking. Oh well. As far as my cycles not going above 6000, that's due to a 1.2 GHz processor. Anything over 6000 would be more than a 1.2 GHz processor can really handle.

Have you tried the Dosbox CVS at http://ykhwong.x-y.net/cvs/frame.html ? The snapshots here have fixed problems for me on other games that the latest stable version on the dosbox site here couldn't overcome yet.

Reply 17 of 19, by skroops

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Just registered to confirm that this bug is still active on 0.72. I have the exact same problems as the OP.

Specs:
AMD XP 3800+ Dual core
1gig of ram
Win XP

I've tried adjusting all the suggestions and anythign I could think that was relevant and have the same stuttering problem.