Author Topic: Mechwarrior 3  (Read 9043 times)

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Offline Hades

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So I installed MW3 and pirates moon, but I'm not able to play them. They both start up fine, but when trying to go into gameplay on regular MW3, there's a back screen covering everything, and in pirate's moon it covers the main menu. But everything is till working/interactable.

Can someone help?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 02:00:12 pm by Hades »
[22:29] <sigtau> Hello, #hard-light?  I'm trying to tell a girl she looks really good for someone who doesn't exercise.  How do I word that non-offensively?
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<batwota> KILL

 
I've recently reinstalled MechWarrior 3, myself, and unfortunately, it's not a game that plays nice with modern hardware, drivers, or operating systems.

I'm not familiar with the video issue you've described, but should you overcome it, you are likely to find yourself accosted by a host of physics bugs, including inoperable jump jets, vehicles bouncing off the ground up to several kilometers in the sky and back down, and mechs falling up or clipping straight through the ground (both of which are real game-breakers, when they happen to you).  The only definitive solution I've heard regarding these problems is to build a legacy box for MW3, though if your current machine is a few years out of date, you might have a modicum of success turning all of your driver-controlled video effects (anti-aliasing, texture filtering, et. al.) up to maximum to make your GPU as busy as possible.  That's made the game almost-playable for me (APCs stay on the ground long enough for me to shoot them, and on the occasions when I do go rocketing into the clouds, I can sometimes coax my mech back to the ground).

Come to think of it, I've heard that nVidia GPUs are exceptionally troublesome, with regards to MW3, but I hadn't looked too deeply into the matter.  My best suggestion is to poke around the help forum at the MW3 Community Project.  It's got a pretty deep archive, and if a thorough search doesn't turn up a solution, there's a few active members, who will do their best to help out.

[edit]Poking around, it looks like it's a driver issue with nVidia cards.  Rolling back to an older driver may get you past this hurdle.[/edit]
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 06:02:14 pm by BlueFlames »

 
I've played MW3, and it played great on my system until my mech crashed into something, at which point the game would also crash.
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Offline Mongoose

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So how far away are we from seeing DOSBox-level emulation of something like a Windows 95-era system, anyway? :p

 
So how far away are we from seeing DOSBox-level emulation of something like a Windows 95-era system, anyway? :p

Something tells me it will be a while.  I doubt Microsoft would be too happy about someone trying to reverse-engineer DirectX, even if only to emulate a radically out-of-date version.

I also don't see a huge degree of need for such an emulator, at the moment.  Of all of the 1990's and early 2000's era games that I own, MechWarrior 3 is about the only one that I haven't been able to just install, patch, and play.  In Windows XP SP3, there's no trick to get running games like Deus Ex, Descent 3, retail FreeSpace 2, the entire Command & Conquer series, anything made with the Infinity Engine ever, etc., etc., etc.  You pop the disc in the drive, run the installer, and it still works.  Where they don't work out-of-the-box, the latest official patch, usually available at the top of the heap in a Google search, gets the game running as new.

Windows 7 might be a game changer, but I suspect that when the dominant operating system is a 64-bit OS with lackluster (or altogether missing) 32-bit support, we'll start to see some proper strides toward a third-party Win95/98 emulator.  The precedent exists.  DOSBox didn't really get underway, until 2002, almost a year after Windows XP came out.  Except for Windows ME, which flopped so hard that even Microsoft would like to forget it, XP was the first Windows operating system directed at mainstream consumers that didn't have the capability to boot to a DOS prompt.  Since it was no longer feasible to stick with Windows 95 and 98, and XP didn't provide that native DOS environment, DOSBox came along to fill the gap.  When the capability to run Win95/98-era games is well and truly gone (rather than just difficult with some hardware-software combinations), you'll see something of the quality of DOSBox emerge to replace the lost functionality.  Until then, you'll either need to hang onto a legacy machine, or be content to reminisce about those few games that can only gather dust on a shelf, for the time being.

 

Offline CP5670

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The problems that occur with these games are typically due to modern video card drivers rather than the OS, although there are exceptions. Some of the earliest Windows 95 games work in Virtual PC, but that doesn't support any 3D acceleration. VMWare has some limited D3D support but I haven't tried that out.

One big reason for the emergence of Dosbox was not just the DOS prompt, but the sound support. Sound cards and motherboards stopped supporting the ISA-based SB16 emulation around the time of XP's release, which meant that you couldn't get sound in DOS games even when they worked fine otherwise.

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the entire Command & Conquer series

RA with certain mods (which worked fine back then) is actually quite unstable on modern systems. It doesn't work properly in Virtual PC either unfortunately.

 

Offline Davros

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vmware has good opengl support i'm told

 

Offline Mongoose

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* Mongoose apologizes for total thread hijack

I guess the fact that the majority of games from that era still run on semi-modern OSes is as good a reason as any why we haven't seen such a project emerge.  From what I understand, though, it's games right at the cusp of the Windows 95 era that tend to have the most problems: they're too new for DOSBox, yet they're too old to play nice with modern hardware and drivers.  One thing I've never really seen explained is why 64-bit OSes completely dropped support for 16-bit software; one would assumed that creating some level of 16-bit emulation wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world to pull off.

 
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One thing I've never really seen explained is why 64-bit OSes completely dropped support for 16-bit software; one would assumed that creating some level of 16-bit emulation wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world to pull off.

You write that emulator and get back to us.

Seriously, though, the people in need of sixteen-bit software support are a small niche at this point.  Any software serving a practical purpose has been replaced by a thirty-two or sixty-four bit alternative.  What's left but games, and where's the monetary benefit in bending your programmers over backwards to ensure that those ten and fifteen-year-old games continue to work?  It's why a lot of new drivers are breaking old games, like MechWarrior 3 (tenuous link to the original topic!).  It's just not feasible to try to offer infinite backwards compatibility.  The investment in getting it to work would grow continuously, and the returns would decrease to almost nothing.  It's why your XBox doesn't have a cartridge slot for Atari 2600 games, and it's why Windows 7 doesn't run Commodore 64 applications.

Oh, and nixing support for old software also feeds into the cycle of planned obsolescence.  Why, after all the hype, did Microsoft and Sony backpedal so hard on backwards compatibility in the XBox 360 and Playstation 3?  Because if you can play old games with the original media, you're less likely to buy the 'HD'-rehash from their digital download service.  With Games for Windows Live integrating more heavily into each new iteration of the OS, I imagine Microsoft will be aiming to nick a slice of GoG's pie by offering updated versions of old titles, as they make new operating systems without the backwards compatibility necessary to run those old programs.  We've been incrementally upgrading hardware of all types for years and years, and now it seems there's an avenue available for companies to make us incrementally upgrade a wider variety of software in much the same manner.

CP is right about video card drivers, though.  That seems to largely go back to companies lacking the time or money to even attempt to test new drivers for all manner of old software, since it's so rare (if it's ever happened at all) to have a PC hardware manufacturer producing or remaking games.  Still, if developers and publishers can find a quick and cheap way to patch some of these old games to work on newer systems, they can squeeze another ten dollars out of you, for a game you already own, for which they don't even need to worry about pressing a disc.

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RA with certain mods (which worked fine back then) is actually quite unstable on modern systems. It doesn't work properly in Virtual PC either unfortunately.

I had a big paragraph addressing the ease of my experience with Red Alert, but it's a forest-through-the-trees issue.  There are a few, specific titles that have trouble with my hardware-driver-OS combination.  There are a few more specific titles that have trouble with a newer hardware-driver-OS combination.  By and large, though, titles from that era can still be installed and played with relative ease.  Certainly, there's not yet enough of a barrier to get them running to warrant the kind of effort on a new emulator that went into DOSBox.  Not to say that I'd be sad, if someone with the time and skill decided to make a top-notch Win98+DirectX5-7 emulator, starting today.  I just think that the library of unusable software is currently so small that it's quite unlikely someone with the time and skill has decided to act.

* Mongoose apologizes for total thread hijack

Status quo intact.

 

Offline ShadowWolf_IH

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Mech3 was incompatible with XP.  I read that you can set the compatability to 98 and it works, but I haven't tried it.  Pity, cause mech3 rocked.
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Offline Starman01

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I never managed to get MW3 to run on XP, not normal and not in compatibilty mode. I have read somewhere, that there is a aspect in the game, that doesn't accept modern hardware (I'm not sure, but it had something to do with the games physic engine and modern graphic adapters). It's a real shame, I loved that game. Mechs looked much better than MW 4, and also the gameplay somehow made me feel more like I sit in a mech. Not to mention, that the Autocannon was working as it really shot (multiple shots per volley). Unfortunately, the Impulslasers were wrong, MW 4 did THIS right :)

Really a shame, another great game lost because of the technic evolution.
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e (I'm not sure, but it had something to do with the games physic engine and modern graphic adapters)

I think it was related to how MW3 handled DirectX6 or something. PM used DX 6.1 and runs much more smoothly on modern systems.

 

Offline Hades

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Odd thing is, I found an 'xp patch' when I tried to install it on my other Acer laptop and the game had worked flawlessly, minus the intro cutscene and briefings not working, though that could be because that laptop used an intelgrated card.
[22:29] <sigtau> Hello, #hard-light?  I'm trying to tell a girl she looks really good for someone who doesn't exercise.  How do I word that non-offensively?
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----
<batwota> wouldn’t that mean that it’s prepared to kiss your ass if you flank it :p
<batwota> wow
<batwota> KILL

 

Offline CP5670

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I had a big paragraph addressing the ease of my experience with Red Alert, but it's a forest-through-the-trees issue.

Yeah, RA is kind of an exceptional case. I think the crashes here may actually be related to CPU speed increases, as they seem to have become more frequest over time.

We probably won't get a full Windows 95 emulator for a long time but the virtualization programs out there should cover at least some of the broken games. VMWare (paid version only) and VirtualBox have D3D, although I think they're limited to DX8 only.

 

Offline ShadowWolf_IH

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I thought that DX was all backward compatible.  I remember reading that somewhere. Although it was a very long time ago, something may have changed.
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I thought that DX was all backward compatible.  I remember reading that somewhere. Although it was a very long time ago, something may have changed.

It wasn't about DX, it was about hte implementation of DX. MW3 did it poorly, it would seem.

 

Offline ShadowWolf_IH

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ok, i see the distiction.
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Offline Zacam

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RTC Timers. Older code liked relying on that a lot, under the assumption that the best way to equal performance across many platforms was to set the game threading to the RTC and tick count against the CPU clock. Or something to that effect, my recall on the exact specifics is a little hazy and I can't be arsed to google it at the moment.

Funny, I never had a problem with MW3 on XP. Haven't tried it on Win7 yet. I have two versions though. I know one of them definitely will not work, since it is the ATI Rage Pro edition version.
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Offline Mongoose

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One thing I've never really seen explained is why 64-bit OSes completely dropped support for 16-bit software; one would assumed that creating some level of 16-bit emulation wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world to pull off.

You write that emulator and get back to us.

Seriously, though, the people in need of sixteen-bit software support are a small niche at this point.  Any software serving a practical purpose has been replaced by a thirty-two or sixty-four bit alternative.  What's left but games, and where's the monetary benefit in bending your programmers over backwards to ensure that those ten and fifteen-year-old games continue to work?  It's why a lot of new drivers are breaking old games, like MechWarrior 3 (tenuous link to the original topic!).  It's just not feasible to try to offer infinite backwards compatibility.  The investment in getting it to work would grow continuously, and the returns would decrease to almost nothing.  It's why your XBox doesn't have a cartridge slot for Atari 2600 games, and it's why Windows 7 doesn't run Commodore 64 applications.
I know there probably isn't a very large demand for that kind of compatibility, and maybe it wouldn't have been worth paying a professional coder to write something up, but I'd still expect someone out there to be working on something on their own time.  Cooking up largely-unneeded projects for extremely niche audiences is pretty much the Nerd Credo, after all. :p But maybe that's not as true as I'd think, given that there still isn't a functioning XBox emulator; this is all the stranger given that the XBox was essentially a modified PC.  There's a ridiculously-awesome Japan-only game called Metal Wolf Chaos that I've been dying to play for a long time now, but no dice so far.

As far as backwards-compatibility goes, at least Microsoft did implement it for a rather large number of original XBox titles, even if it kind of trailed off.  Sony cutting off PS2 backwards-compatibility was just an utterly stupid move, though it has had the side-effect of keeping the PS2 itself rather alive even up to this day.  Nintendo has done fairly well with compatibility in the past, what with GameCube titles being playable on the Wii, and original GameBoy cartridges working all the way up through the GameBoy Advance.  Hell, there's no physical reason why they wouldn't have worked on the DS too, though I'm not sure why they never implemented that, since they never put those on the Virtual Console either.  (GB titles will be offered on the new 3DS, though.)

 

Offline Davros

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Another problem with a vm runnning an old o/s
even if they get d3d working great could you for example get win98 drivers for a gtx500 series card or a ati 5000 series the answer is no
so you would either have to use an old card difficult with the death of agp although there are some pci cards or the vm would have to emulate a card

ps: another game which doesnt work properly on xp or later is janes usaf
crimson skies and avp stopped working on later drivers but both of these games have now been fixed

pps: Ive just moved from xp to win7 x64 and I now have to go through the whole Sacred Terrabyte to check for compatablity :(
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 07:37:08 pm by Davros »