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redrain85

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  1. I didn't vote in the poll, because the last two answers more or less seem to be saying the same thing (won't buy Thief 4 unless it's as good as the previous titles). But to answer the question: I don't expect Thief 4 to surpass, let alone meet, the quality of the gameplay found in Thief 1 and 2. Sure, it will look better. It'll have all the gee-whiz-bang physics interactions, rag dolls, and special effects. The story might even be decent. But the PC version will probably not be the lead SKU, and rather be a console port. This will lead to simplified game mechanics, aka "dumbing down". Will there even be lean, I wonder? If publishers would do the reverse more often, making the PC version the lead SKU and then doing console ports, many games would be a lot better off. Thief 4 in particular. (A perfect recent example of this is Mafia 2. The PC version is the lead SKU, and the console versions are ported from it. Guess which version blows away the other two?) I'm almost entirely certain that when Thief 4 comes out, I'll be playing The Dark Mod instead. Eidos will pander to the largest demographic and will never put in all the features that die-hard Thief fans would want. While with TDM, if the community requests any changes, additions, or updates, the TDM team will listen to our feedback and implement it. TDM is for the fans, by the fans. Thief 4 will be about making the most money, long-time fans be damned.
  2. Bit of a thread necromancy here, but . . . this issue is near and dear to my heart. I game exclusively on my PC now. I don't believe that for a moment. There will still be PC exclusives, and they won't all be RPGs, RTSes, or crap like Facebook games. Maybe not as many as there used to be. Certainly not many (if at all) so-called "AAA" releases. But they will still be made. But the thing is, it doesn't need to be this way. There are more gaming-capable PCs out there, that meet or exceed the console specs, than all the consoles put together. Hundreds of millions. Even if only a fraction of those people actually choose to play games, that's still an audience at least equal in size to one of the consoles, in a worst case scenario. The issue is getting those people to pay for those games. Piracy is a problem, no doubt. But in all honesty, I feel the industry is creating its own self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to releasing and supporting PC titles. They release PC versions with overbearing DRM, poor performance, a multitude of bugs, lack of PC customization (GUI and controls), and then when people complain they point the finger and say "see, the PC isn't worth bothering with!" when sales don't meet expectations. When it's their own damn fault. The problem is that consoles are easy street, the gravy train. They make so much money there already, publishers get lazy and don't want to put in the effort on the PC because expectations are different and the work is harder. I'm absolutely positive that a AAA PC exclusive released on Steam (because it's the most reasonable compromise on DRM, and grants the best exposure) could sell in the millions, if somebody would just give it a try instead of always taking the easy route. Yes, it's more work and PC gamers are more fickle and harder to please. But I think that if you gain their loyalty, they are also much more likely to stick by you and support you on your future titles. Because they have more of an investment in their hobby, and they know what they want. As opposed to a lot of people who game on consoles, who just want to kick back and don't really care what game they play this week. For example, when Black Ops comes out or any other future Call of Duty titles arrive, I doubt many people playing on consoles are going to care about what happened to Infinity Ward or who is making the latest iteration of the series. Meanwhile, take The Dark Mod and what it represents . . . a group of PC gamers who wanted a more modern Thief game so much, but because their beloved Looking Glass Studios is gone, they made their own. If that isn't loyalty, I don't know what is. (Of course, now someone is going to quote me that the small number of Thief fans doesn't really matter to today's industry . . .)
  3. Thanks for everyone's suggestions, but after messing around some more I found an even better solution. It turns out that either disabling Catalyst AI or setting it to Advanced caused issues, but setting it to Standard solved almost all my problems. It meant I didn't have to use the set r_skipPostProcess "1" command any more and I also got my water surfaces back. On top of that, loading times have sped up and it seems that quick save crashes have been eliminated (though it's still too early to say for sure). Kind of odd that Standard is the only setting that helped (as opposed to disabling it) . . . but, whatever works! Still have the problem with the sky, though. Nothing's changed there.
  4. I finally got around to installing The Dark Mod 1.02. Been meaning to for a long time. The mod looks superb from what I've seen so far. However, the mod was somewhat tempermental to get running well. At first, I had the "menu is a black screen" problem. It seemed to occur the first time I set the window to be full screen. I've also had the issue with the game crashing after several quick saves. But my main reason for posting was to mention the rendering issues I've been having. I'm mentioning a solution I found to one of them, in case anyone else runs into this specific problem. My setup: Win 7 x64, Althon X2 6400+, 2 GB, Radeon 3870, Catalyst 10.6, 1680x1050 resolution. I was having dramatic framerate drops similar to what's been mentioned in this topic. This happened during the training mission included with the mod, in the practice area where you learn mantling and using rope arrows. My framerate was being annihilated whenever I approached the gas lamps near the beginning of that area, after mantling the crates. I knew it had something to do with the lamps, because whenever I specifically approached them the game slowed to an absolute crawl. While up until that point, everything was smooth even at 1680x1050. After trying countless tweaks, I finally found the solution. For Performance Tweaks on the Dark Mod Wiki, it mentions something to try if you get framerate drops around water. On a hunch, I suspected this same setting might help with the lamps. Sure enough, after creating an AutoExec.cfg file with this command, the massive framerate drops disappeared. I'm not entirely sure how this command is detrimental to the image quality of the lighting that the lamps cast, as I don't notice that much of a change. (I think the lamps aren't casting rays on the walls or self-shadowing?) But without it, the game became unplayable. Unfortunately, I've noticed that using this command causes water surfaces to disappear completely for me. No matter what other settings I change. But it was worth the tradeoff. This topic mentions another problem I'm having. The sky isn't being mapped correctly. But Catalyst AI enabled or disabled, it makes no difference. (In fact, I don't notice a difference in loading times either.) Can't seem to find any solution to this. Does anyone have any other ideas? It's not too big of a distraction, though. Maybe I just need to wait for another Catalyst update. (Staying away from Catalyst 10.7.) Oh, and a new tool that ATI owners may find useful is RadeonPro. It's the equivalent of nHancer, for ATI cards. Lets you control and/or force AA, AF, VSync, Catalyst AI, Triple Buffering, and so on.
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