Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

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MetalGearXM
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Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby MetalGearXM » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:40 am

I gotta say I'm extremely excited hearing that the DaggerXL beta could be soon, but being the horribly inpatient person I am, I just have to play Daggerfall again while I wait. But I gotta ask what tips people have to running Daggerfall "optimally." That is, the least amount of glitching and things not working the way they should while keeping load times low and frame rate up... Allow me to elaborate:
While I have Bethesda's free version set up in vanilla to play on the XLEngine, for playing in dosbox I installed the DaggerfallSetup version with all of the patches and utilities pre-installed. The configuration by default isn't really set up for modern machines though. The cycles are set to max which is all fine and good, but I've an 8-core 4.3 GHz and for some reason once the CPU cycles go over a certain amount, Daggerfall just starts working wrong. On max, everything's wrong. All things that "make noise" spam making that noise, so much so that the sounds overlap constantly. Jumping is completely random. Some times you can't jump, sometimes when you jump you fly down the hall at mach 5. If you try to swim, you'll just drown. Wall climbing never works, etc. Last year it took me actually about 12 hours in to realize that the game was all screwed up and how to fix it.
So the cycles need to be fixed, not max, but I honestly can't find a good balance. On the wiki, it says set cycles to 50000, but while the game for the most part works fine and runs smooth, it appears to be too much, because swimming in dungeons still doesn't work, wallclimbing only works some times, and the AI seems a little off. 27000 is the other suggestion. It works without any gamebreaking errors, but it runs slow. Loading in a city or even dungeons takes quite a long time and the framerate appears to be much lower, plus occasionally the game pauses for a moment to- I assume- Load resources. I tried other things that people said helped- Downgraded from dosbox 0.74 to 0.73, changed the sound prebuffer, and changed the machine type emulation... These didn't effect the game at all, really.
So I have to ask, how do you guys play Daggerfall? Are there any tricks you do to make it run at 50000 cycles without the errors I mentions, or do you know a way to make it run faster at 27000? Do you even use dosbox? Discuss.
luciusDXL
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Re: Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby luciusDXL » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:16 am

I've been playing with 50k cycles recently myself with good luck. But it is right on the edge where things can go wrong, so try backing it off from there until everything works correctly (say 48k). Unfortunately this isn't a DoxBox issue but a Daggerfall issue. Computers beyond a certain speed would cause issues with vanilla Daggerfall - but different areas of the game run at different framerates. So if you get the best case situations working correctly and smooth, the worst case scenarios cannot run smoothly. If you want smooth framerates everywhere without wonky gameplay issues (NPCs spinning in place, not being able to strafe, climbing not working, swimming not working and so forth) then you'll have to wait for DaggerXL I'm afraid - which won't have this issue.
MetalGearXM
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Re: Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby MetalGearXM » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:41 pm

Thanks Lucius. 48K seems to be working fairly well comparatively. Guess I'm just going to have to deal with it while I wait on the edge of my seat for the DaggerXL Beta. :P
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greenlight
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Re: Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby greenlight » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:13 pm

I don't know if it is related to the cycles, but for some reason there is no music in Daggerfall anymore for me after I changed the cycles to fixed 48k :( (after changing it back there was still no music)

This could also be caused by renaming the Folder (From Daggerfall to TES II Daggerfall). However, I have no clue why this would affect the midi playback in any way. I have fixed the links to the DosBox.exe and the DosBox.conf doesn't give me any clue either. Any suggestions?
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Aliotroph?
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Re: Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby Aliotroph? » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:55 pm

You confused Daggerfall's configuration, specifically z.cfg. It expected the folder names it was configured with. The other thing to note is DOS doesn't play well with long folder names and doesn't like spaces. If you look in the folder you'll see the names never get bigger than eight characters plus a three-character extension. DOSbox won't mind, but Daggerfall probably will.
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greenlight
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Re: Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby greenlight » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:16 pm

Nope, changing back the name doesn't help either. Daggerfall never "leaves" it's folder, so a long folder name shouldn't be a problem. Also, in the z.cfg the path used is still "C:\arena2\" although the game is on "J:\TES II Daggerfall\arena2"

EDIT:
Partitially solved the issue. Midi over Soundblaster 16 works, but MPU-401 is still wrecked somehow.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Optimizing Daggerfall in DosBox

Postby MrFlibble » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:20 am

greenlight wrote:Partitially solved the issue. Midi over Soundblaster 16 works, but MPU-401 is still wrecked somehow.

I think it would be your best bet to reset your DOSBox configuration entirely and check if this solves your problems.

On another note, 30k cycles works fine for me.

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