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X2: The Threat (of crashing)


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#1 apsinnott

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 09:34 AM

I have been playing the X2: The Threat Demo for the last 2 days. It's a fun, involved and challenging game.

However the most challenging aspect is the non-stop crashing. I mean this thing not only crashes through repeatable bugs, but at a whim in the middle of gameplay! I don't understand why developers don't do more play-testing. Especially with a demo, they could start a beta of the demo to play testers. It's not like they won't get volunteers and their product would be that much better. I can understand not wanting to do play testing of the final product because of piracy, but come on there's no reason not to do the demo.

I just realized that I've played each level of the demo at least a dozen times and have not been able to finish ANY of them because of the crashing. sigh.

I hope they patch the demo. It's really a cool game and it's a lot of fun.

#2 apsinnott

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 10:02 AM

Well my 12" powerbook is under the system requirements, so I guess that's why they never tested it.

I guess this is the sign of the beginning of the end for my laptop.

Oh well. Sorry for the rant I suppose.

#3 Quicksilver

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 10:30 AM

apsinnott, on September 25th 2005, 04:02 PM, said:

Well my 12" powerbook is under the system requirements, so I guess that's why they never tested it.

I guess this is the sign of the beginning of the end for my laptop.

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I hate to mention this, but there really isn't a single Mac laptop out there that can really play games well.  Even my dual 1.25 GHz G4/Radeon 9800 Pro (overclocked to 1.5 GHz) couldn't cough up more than 25 fps on the Halo timedemo at 1024x768 with pixel shaders on--the G4's bus is just way too slow.  Add the absymal video cards that the Powerbooks ship with (with the exception of the special 128MB Radeon 9700 Mobility), and you're severely limited in regards to gaming.

As far as normal use is concerned, I'd say your Powerbook has plenty of life left in it (although we'll both be rejoicing when the Pentium-powered Powerbooks come out, eh?).   ;)
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#4 schwa

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:16 AM

X2 really wants a good graphics chip, which your PB doesn't even come close to having. Have you dialed down all the options? My 9600 barely handles it.

#5 Quicksilver

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:49 AM

Actually, X2 really doesn't need a great GPU--it's the CPU that X2 smokes.
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#6 schwa

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 09:44 AM

Quicksilver, on September 26th 2005, 07:49 AM, said:

Actually, X2 really doesn't need a great GPU--it's the CPU that X2 smokes.

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You sure about that? I've got a dual 2Ghz, and it's far from smoking once a few ships appear in a galaxy. Given the amount of GFX tweaking you can do, I assumed that the graphics card was the bottleneck.

#7 Quicksilver

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 06:48 PM

schwa, on September 26th 2005, 03:44 PM, said:

You sure about that? I've got a dual 2Ghz, and it's far from smoking once a few ships appear in a galaxy. Given the amount of GFX tweaking you can do, I assumed that the graphics card was the bottleneck.

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I'm almost certain.

It was found that enabling AQC (automatic quality control), which reduces the amount of detail that you see at medium-to-long distances, had absolutely no effect on the framerate.  If the graphics card isn't starving for data, significantly dropping the amount of detail that the GPU has to render will result in higher framerates (which wasn't the case).

Also, there's a part in X2's singleplayer where you'll be facing off against dozens of ships, and the game has a tendency to slow down quite a bit.  I've ran through this part of the game under about a dozen different settings, ranging from absolute lowest detail @ 640x480 to highest detail with FSAA, 16X AF, and 1600x1200 resolution with virtually no effect in the framerate.

However, if you installed Apple's CHUD tools, you can significantly decrease your performance by disabling a processor, setting them to "Reduced" performance via the Energy Saver control panel, or running a somewhat CPU intensive app in the background.
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#8 RGoulder

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:01 PM

I have also been trying to play the demo and have so far had repeated crashes and I have a new iMac with a boat load of ram. It just seems to be a really buggy game. It looked so good too. I do hope that one day they'll get this game to work right.

#9 Quicksilver

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:44 PM

RGoulder, on October 3rd 2005, 02:01 AM, said:

I have also been trying to play the demo and have so far had repeated crashes and I have a new iMac with a boat load of ram. It just seems to be a really buggy game. It looked so good too. I do hope that one day they'll get this game to work right.

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Let me guess--you have Mac OS X 10.3.9?   :happy:
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#10 apsinnott

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 10:14 PM

I've had the same stupid crashes on all the Macs I've tried to play it on... super buggy, I wish they would patch it already...

Anyone get to play without it crashing?

#11 Quicksilver

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 12:14 AM

apsinnott, on October 3rd 2005, 04:14 AM, said:

I've had the same stupid crashes on all the Macs I've tried to play it on... super buggy, I wish they would patch it already...

Anyone get to play without it crashing?

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Lots of people, as long as you're running Tiger.  When X2 crashes, it's mostly OpenAL crashes, and Tiger has a better implementation of OpenAL than Panther.  It's up to Apple to correct these issues in Panther (which they're probably not going to do).
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#12 schwa

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 04:56 AM

Quicksilver, on October 2nd 2005, 11:14 PM, said:

Lots of people, as long as you're running Tiger.  When X2 crashes, it's mostly OpenAL crashes, and Tiger has a better implementation of OpenAL than Panther.  It's up to Apple to correct these issues in Panther (which they're probably not going to do).

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With the latest update, stability is HUGELY improved for me, on 10.4.2. Still the occasional crash, but it's pretty rare.

#13 RGoulder

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:17 AM

Quicksilver, on October 2nd 2005, 07:44 PM, said:

Let me guess--you have Mac OS X 10.3.9?   :happy:

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I have tiger, 10.4.2

#14 apsinnott

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:28 PM

Well maybe the OpenAL is crap when it's running on laptops... it crashes on my dad's new 17" and my 12" PB both running the latest update of Tiger.

How about a sound disable patch while we wait for Apple?

It's only one particular sound that causes mine to crash, maybe they could disable that.

Quicksilver, on October 3rd 2005, 01:14 AM, said:

Lots of people, as long as you're running Tiger.  When X2 crashes, it's mostly OpenAL crashes, and Tiger has a better implementation of OpenAL than Panther.  It's up to Apple to correct these issues in Panther (which they're probably not going to do).

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#15 Quicksilver

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:47 PM

Are you guys using any savegames that were created before X2 1.4.2?  If so, there's your problem.
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#16 RGoulder

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 08:02 AM

Quicksilver, on October 4th 2005, 10:47 PM, said:

Are you guys using any savegames that were created before X2 1.4.2?  If so, there's your problem.

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Um, all I was talking about was that the demo was buggy and crashed often. So no I haven't used any saved games.

#17 apsinnott

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 08:29 AM

RGoulder, on October 5th 2005, 09:02 AM, said:

Um, all I was talking about was that the demo was buggy and crashed often. So no I haven't used any saved games.

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Yeah me too, the demo... would like to get the full version but no sense if it crashes as bad as the demo does.

#18 Huntn

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 01:54 PM

Whats the verdict on this game, thumbs up or down? :)

-Hunt'n

#19 benj

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 02:19 PM

I'm running 10.3.9 and haven't had a crash since the new patch. But I think it definently needs to be patched again so everybody can play it. It still seems to need some minor fixes too. But overall I give it a thumbs up. It's safe to say that it isn't perfect, it does slow down on me often but at least it dosen't crash anymore. The gameplay is excellent though, there's just so much you can focus on, such as sides to take and building and maintaining factories. It's really addicting once you get playing for a while.
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#20 Huntn

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 04:48 PM

Benj, thanks for the feedback! :)

Hopefully this is not too stupid of a question, but I just looked at this page. Does anyone know if this patch can be applied to the demo? Thanks!
-Hunt'n