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2.0 Beta - First observations

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2.0 Beta - First observations

Postby lonadar » Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:42 pm

Well, after a few hours (I've been a sick sore-throat puppy this week) working with the new Beta 2, here are some problems I've noticed, as well as some general observations. I'm posting them in the forums so others can chime in if they are able to reproduce the problem, in case it ends up being processor or OS-dependant.

Most of these comments are before even beginning to play. Many of these are little nit-picks, but I believe everything is fair game when testing.

1) While the title screen (V)iew is running, all of the normal (left-side) menus are grayed out except for the Edit menu and the Apple menu. All of the commands in the Edit menu are grayed out. Shouldn't the Edit menu be grayed out as well?

2) I had the game in Full Screen mode and, while at the Main Menu, selected About... from the menubar. The About dialog appeared in the center of my NORMAL screen resolution, which means I only saw about 1/4 of it in the lower right corner of my screen. This should take the current resolution into account and center itself accordingly.

2a) Your method for going full screen (and back) had an affect upon other applications I had running in the background, both hidden and not. Specifically AIM and NotePad. Other resolution-changing applications have not left these applications changed after they have quit and changed the resolution back.

3) "Save Game" is available from the File menu while you are at the Main Menu. If I select it, a dialog comes up telling me I can't, but shouldn't this just be grayed out in the first place?

4) Purists might wonder why you changed "FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL..." to lower case.

5) While in full screen mode, the cursor changed to a spinning rainbow during the dragon animation at the very beginning. Can this be avoided? People may not realize they can interrupt the animation. (I had not yet tried this in window mode.)

6) Shifting to Classic Appearance while at the main menu, I had to go back to the View and back to the main menu before seeing any font change. I imagine this is required (updating the screen), so no big deal. However, the font for the copyright along the bottom did not change.

On a side note, I was in Classic, opened Preferences, changed to Modern, changed the font, changed back to Classic, and finally CLOSED the Preferences. "From the Depths" was in the Classic type, while the copyright was in the newly selected font.


That's all for the title screen. Then I grabbed the pre-made party and Journyed Onward.

Ultima III OS X does not seem to like to have to share it's processor time with other applications. I'm on a 500mhz G3, running 10.3.9 with 512MB RAM. I have AIM, Eudora, Safari, Yahoo! Messenger running, as well as Ultima III OS X (heretofore U3X), Ultima III ( within Classic, heretofore U3C), and the original Ultima III running within Virtual ][ (U3A). (I like to compare and contrast. You should hear the carnophy when I turn the music on in all three occurrances.)

While this was running, moving about within U3X was very slow. So slow, I decided to take some measurements, using the beats of the background as a measure (since this was the only constant I could find without having a stopwatch). I measured the beats it took to travel from 1 square south of Britian to the western-most point I could go before hitting ocean, without interruptions.

U3X Modern: 40
U3X Classic: 37 (23 with Constrain Speed off)
U3C: 11

Yes, running within Classic, U3C ran almost 4 times faster. I did not do speed tests within Virtual ][ and, on further experimentation, found I needed to overclock the //e to 3mhz for Ultima III to play at normal speed through it. It's a very slow emulator, but the new version of Catakig won't even generate new machines for me.

When I would enter combat, it would take a phenominally long time before beginning to respond to my commands, and sometimes wouldn't even recognize them right away, idle-passing the first character's movement, and then finally taking up my keypresses with the second character. This also happened on Sosaria, if I hit a direction key a lot, and ran into a barrier, it would take a while before it would start recognizing any other keypresses.

After a bit, I closed Virtual ][, and because of a problem with another application, ended up force quitting the Classic Environment, so I played U3X for a bit longer without them around. U3X performed much better. With Constrain Speed off, I am able to move about at almost the speed I can within U3C. Turning off Sound and Music also helped speed, and shifting to the Macintosh B&W tileset also gave a speed boost.

Yes, strangly enough, the game "felt" slower when I used any of the alternate COLOR sets. The Standard set seemed to run fastest of them all, and the monochrome sets ran slightly faster. It wasn't enough to measure, but it definitly felt a bit faster.

Now, while all of this may sound like common sense to people who have lived through slower processors in the past, I'm still very perplexed why the U3C is running faster in an emulated environment than U3X is natively.


Well, so now I have a playable environment, I'm going to run through the game and see if there's anything that jumps out at me. I like the status bars in the modern apperance. Very nice. If there is anything you'd like us to specifically stress test or try out, please let me know.


Oh, one suggestion - could we have a Modern option to keep daggers from being thrown? It'd be nice if, when attacking over distance with a dagger, if it would ask "Throw?" to help keep new players from idly throwing their weapons away.

Victor Aldridge
Dardin's Pit, Level 7[/b]
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Postby beastie » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:51 pm

I have a feeling that most of what you encountered has now been resolved in Beta 3. I've put your requests on my list of things to consider doing ...


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