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-   -   Gothic 3 - A Study in Stuttering… (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11933)

Mondain_the_Mad November 26th, 2010 08:53

Gothic 3 - A Study in Stuttering…
 
I have played Oblivion for days and weeks on end and it never crashed on me. I have played Risen from beginning to end and it was without issues. Even Mount and Blade and Neverwinter Nights 2 work for me on my PC. The Witcher, too, and even Hellgate London. Crysis and Crysis Warhead, I have played from beginning to end. No crashes there either. All of these games, I can run on full settings, all totally maxed out. But Gothic 3 has bested me! It is the only game to defeat me and render my PC a mess by trying to run it. No other game before or since has earned my ire quite like Gothic 3 has. To be fair, I gave it a good month. And what a month it has been, this past month, trying to play this game. Here is my tale…

I shall tell you of my recent experience attempting to play Gothic 3. A tale of woe! It all began when I purchased the Gothic trilogy as a set and decided to play the games in order. I shall not recount my tribulations with Gothic 1 and 2, which I've already recounted in another thread under the Gothic 1 and 2 section of these great and noble forums. Rather, my adventure into Gothic 3 must suffice here…

After the daunting challenge of getting the first two games to work, and finally playing them to completion and finding them insanely buggy… I came at last to Gothic 3. I was expecting bugs, sure, but what I got was an unplayable mess. Not due to bugs, ironically, but rather how the game itself was coded. I shall explain.

As is widely known and even admitted to on the offical forums at World of Gothic, Gothic 3 stutters a lot. This in fact is because the game streams and loads things on the fly. If only they had programmed it like Oblivion which has never failed me! But alas, they did not and so there is stuttering to be had in Gothic 3. I ignored the stuttering and really got into the game. I was thoroughly enjoying myself and had liberated nearly all of the Orc-controlled cities for the human rebels. Then, I came to Trelis on my way south to the desert. And this is when Gothic 3… died. I shall relate to you, dear readers, the circumstances of the game's untimely death.

I was walking to Trelis from the home of Torn the druid when suddenly the game's textures vanished as I was walking along. A visual glitch that I fixed by turning the Vegetation distance setting to medium. There is a bug in the high and ultra high settings for Vegetation distance, sadly. I thought everything was fixed and had counted myself lucky. No bugs but this in the whole game, I thought! Surely, this was almost as good as Risen (which was perfect!), but alas it was not to be so. I had spoken too soon (and on the offical forums, too)! I had just come back to Trelis from clearing the Eastern Temple of Orcs and decided to loot the legendary city treasury. I was discovered in the act and ran out of Trelis for the nearby woods. I fell into a pit in the forest that led me into a cave filled with Ogres. I was making short work of them and exploring the cave when the game froze on me for the first time. A hard freeze, requiring a manual reset of the PC. On restarting, I got a BSOD with the generic 0x0000008E gibberish that means even the BSOD did not know what was wrong. I updated my video card's bios all the way, updated the mainboard bios, whatever the heck that is, and since I was already using the latest ATI driver for my video card I decided to fall back to an older one that was more stable. Nothing, however, is stable enough for Gothic 3 because Gothic 3 is unstable! I reloaded my saved game and decided to just take my time and have fun exploring the woods around Trelis, secure in the knowledge that I had done all I could for this problem I had experienced. The gods of Gothic are sadistic, at best, I discovered! I successfully robbed the Trelis treasury and decided to do some of the quests for that area. I was walking through the woods on my way to a farm when the game froze for the second time. No BSOD this time, either. I was lucky about that. So, I gave the game one final try. I went to Trelis and talked to the Hashashin emissary… and while talking to him the game mysteriously quit to the desktop with no error message at all. That is when my patience ended and I gave up on this series for good. The stuttering, you see, causes these freezes when they build up to a certain point and try to load a lot at once. Not willing to risk my PC on any more BSOD-inducing freezes, mysterious crashes, and even a Trojan virus my virus detector found in one of the offical patches (1.12), I quit and sold my game at gamestop for some credit. And I've never been happier! :D

Risen is the only one I have kept of the Gothic-related games, because it works flawlessly from beginning to end, and it still does. At least it's not a full, true Gothic game…. maybe that's why it works so well! I am not bashing Gothic 3 here… I am merely recounting my own personal experience with it. If your copy works on your computer, thank the gods for small favors. Myself… I was very unlucky with it. And worse still… over on the offical forums at World of Gothic I got literally no help for the freezing. All they kept saying is that the constant stuttering that causes the freezing cannot be fixed even by the community patch team. So, with no fix coming for this problem, ever, I have deemed the game unplayable. As I said I would do on the World of Gothic forums, much to so many peoples' chagrin over there. I've thought it wise to post this here, since it is likely that many other people might be having problems similar to mine and thinking they are the only ones, just as I one thought. I discovered I was not the only one, and so if you too have these issues now you know it is the fault of the game, not your system. How do I know? Ah! Because my system specs are WAY beyond this game's requirements. People I know with system specs WAY beyond mine have reported to me stuttering and freezing in Gothic 3. So that is the purpose behind my post. To share my tale and help others with similar problems to see that there are sometimes when a messed up game just cannot be saved, no matter what. In desperation, I even did a full reformat of my hard drive. To clarify… my PC has all new parts. My Hard Drive was just replaced last month by Dell, who checked it out and deemed it "perfect", and my fan, video card, and sound card are all brand new and the best that my PC and my pocket change can afford for the time being. I only did a reformat to prove that Gothic 3 was messed up, not my system. I have proven this, and so I am content.

Also, yes… I tried the 1.74 "Enhanced Edition". A friend of mine said it best: by polishing a turd, you still will never make it turn into a diamond. 'Nuff said! ;)

P.S. Has anybody ever noticed the strange similarity between Xardas and Zardoz? I actually made a post about this over at World of Gothic on the official discussion forums for the Gothic series. Silly, I know, but it was compensation for my woes.

cptmaxon January 21st, 2011 06:46

Gothic 3 works flawlessly on my system:)
so does gothic 1 and gothic 2 who almost never crashed for me.
they are all patched up and good to go.
just recounting my own exprience;)

wiretripped January 21st, 2011 15:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by cptmaxon (Post 1061045649)
Gothic 3 works flawlessly on my system:)

Same here.
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Gothic 3 is a good game, IMHO. Currently playing as well and having a ball…

Oldboy January 21st, 2011 15:55

On my machine Gothic 3 is unplayable. I have tried all various patches. About three months ago I spent an entire Saturday in an attempt to make the game run without non-stop stuttering. I was unsuccessful.
Gothic 3 is the only game I have ever installed that I cannot get to play.

ToddMcF2002 January 21st, 2011 17:33

Sounds like a patching issue. If you played Crysis there is nothing G3 brings to the table as a tech challenge.

RivianWitch March 11th, 2011 09:34

Well. I too have tried every patch available, both community and unofficial, and I still haven't managed to finish the game, (which I started the first time just after release) in spite of later buying an 'updated' version and trying again. I don't get crashes, but the freezing every few seconds gives me such bad motion sickness that I simply cannot continue for too long.

Never had any such problems with the first 2 Gothic games, and for me Risen also played flawlessly from start to finish.

JDR13 March 11th, 2011 10:58

I've never managed to finished Gothic 3 either, despite playing for at least 70-75 hours.

For me, it wasn't the performance, even though I still got some stuttering on a high-end system. It was the boring convoluted story, and endless fetch quests, that eventually just got me burned out.

northreign March 25th, 2011 03:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldboy (Post 1061045710)
On my machine Gothic 3 is unplayable. I have tried all various patches. About three months ago I spent an entire Saturday in an attempt to make the game run without non-stop stuttering. I was unsuccessful.
Gothic 3 is the only game I have ever installed that I cannot get to play.

Did you look into the font bug? None of the patches fix the font bug.
http://forum.jowood.com/showthread.p…73#post2224473

Kostas March 25th, 2011 17:33

It's not like it's hard to fix, is it?

SolemnOaf December 8th, 2011 23:30

I have this too. AMD Phenom II X4 965, Radeon HD 5850, 4 GB RAM, Win 7 x64 bit. I feel like I'm trying to play Skyrim on PS3 here, it's ridiculous. Game runs absolutely fine for minutes, then will just freeze solid from anywhere between 2 and 15 seconds. I've been trying to make changes to fix it for days and nothing helps. Max details, Min details, everything in between. No difference.
I can't believe it's not something that isn't fixable. I had to turn Ambient noise all the way down after installing the CP and QP because the loop would break sometimes and create a popping sound. I thought it would be something like that if I searched hard enough, but I guess that assumption was wrong.
I'm not even sure if it's a conflict with Win 7 or ATI. The only other threads I can find about this game in English are from 4 years ago.

rossrjensen December 9th, 2011 00:16

I have tried playing through Gothic 3 multiple times on multiple machines, and every time it has become unplayable for me. My first attempt was on an early patch, so that can be forgiven. After I upgraded to v. 1.6 I began running into problems again. Last January, I built a new computer (upgraded it to SLI about two months ago). It is quite the powerful machine. Gothic 3 still stutters on it when I quickly scan my surroundings. Not a huge deal, something I could definitely deal with. However, after putting probably about 5 hours into the game, all my saved games somehow became corrupted (every one would load me back at the beginning of the game, with no stats at all and none of the equipment I had acquired - didn't even have the orc slayer). The oddest thing is that the orcs were back in control of the town. It was as if I was back at the beginning of the game, but I wasn't forced to liberate the town.

Unfortunately, that means it has been pushed further down my backlog. I intend to give it another go (I think this latest issue was a freak accident), but it will have to wait until I am done with some other games first. So much potential in this game!!!

Gorath December 10th, 2011 01:39

Is it possible that G3 doesn't like Win7? I remember it was playable without serious performance problems in my old X2 2.4 GHz WinXP rig.

badmofo December 10th, 2011 01:57

Hmm I've played G3 on various hardware configs, XP & Win7 (32 & 64) since it was released in 2006? Always with the stuttering. My current system can handle the graphics fine (i5), and I get decent framerates, it just seems to be an inherent problem with the game engine with regard to streaming data. No amount of patching / INI tweaks / extra RAM has ever made much difference; my theory is that an SSD would help coz there ain't no stopping all the disk reads, so the only option is to make them faster.

Moriendor December 10th, 2011 03:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by badmofo (Post 1061111735)
my theory is that an SSD would help coz there ain't no stopping all the disk reads, so the only option is to make them faster.

It doesn't really help all that much. As I posted in the other thread I just installed the game on a Crucial m4 256GB SSD and there was still quite a bit of stuttering. I share your observation that it is not a question of graphics performance. I have a GTX 570 and it always stayed at under 70C when I was playing G3 (around the Ardea village starting area) while producing 40 - 90 frames per second when the game was not stuttering. In more demanding games like Battlefield 3 or Metro 2033 my card will reach temperatures of ~80 - 85C so Gothic 3 is definitely fairly easy on the graphics card (with ultra ini graphics settings even).

Zephyr February 7th, 2012 03:30

I must be one lucky SOB. My PC is a 10-year-old home-built machine. It's a P4 2.4 GHz, WinXP Pro SP3, 2GB RAM, ATI Radeon X1650 Pro w/512MB RAM, 300GB WD HDD, Audigy MP3+ Audio, ASUS P4B266-C mobo, and HP L1706 17" LCD monitor. Your basic gaming dinosaur.
Yet, with this machine, I can comfortably run and play G3, The Witcher, Oblivion, Risen, FO3, FO-New Vegas, Mass Effect, Splinter Cell, among others. Granted, not on Ultra settings. But I run them at 1280 X 1024 75Hz resolution at fairly high settings. When I was picking out the components for this build, I was very careful that everything speced out compatible. Any Windows Services that are not absolutely essential are turned off. Only essential processes run in the background, only three programs at Start-Up. All drivers are up-to-date. All Windows Updates are installed. I de-frag regularly and use CrapCleaner after every browsing session. Maybe that's why I have so few problems.

badmofo February 7th, 2012 04:51

You must be one of those people who are content with what they have, in which case you are one lucky SOB. I, unfortunately, have spoiled myself with the high resolution wide screen monitors, and the high end graphics cards that ensure 60+ frames with the settings cranked.

My inner child, who played slow-mo DOOM on a 486SX33 with PC speaker and loved every second of it, weeps.

Zephyr February 7th, 2012 17:49

badmofo: With me, it's more a matter of economics. I'm 64, retired and on a limited budget. I've wanted to upgrade my PC for quite some time, but putting $1200 - $1800 into a new machine isn't practical right now. Maybe in a few more months…

Gorath February 7th, 2012 18:03

From someone who has built a few cheap gaming machines over the last couple of months: You would be closer to 600$ than 1200$ if you choose the components carefully. Even less if you recycle case, DVD and HDD.
It's totally unbelievable how fast cheap CPUs are nowadays. For 90+% of games you simply don't need a 200$ CPU or a 250$ graphics card.

Zephyr February 11th, 2012 19:17

Gorath:
What would be your recommended specs and parts for a decent machine if I were to do a build again on my own? I've been more than happy with Intel, ASUS, and ATI products so far. I haven't used an AMD CPU or other motherboard or Nvidia graphics.

Gorath February 11th, 2012 22:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zephyr (Post 1061126713)
Gorath:
What would be your recommended specs and parts for a decent machine if I were to do a build again on my own? I've been more than happy with Intel, ASUS, and ATI products so far. I haven't used an AMD CPU or other motherboard or Nvidia graphics.

I'm an AMD man. Not on principle but rather because they're relatively fast and cost efficient. ;) Practically it doesn't matter any more, especially for gaming. It's just like the choice between Mercedes and BMW.

For starters I would suggest to look into parts like this:

All prices in EUR.

1) mainboard: any brand name mainboard with socket AM3+ and the AMD 870 / SB 850 chipset combination will do. The first one controls CPU, graphics card and RAM, the SouthBridge adds things like USB or bluetooth.
an example would be a MSI 870A-G54 (FX) , but the differences between boards and manufacturers are slim. It doesn't really matter as long as it's stable.
ca. 60-80 EUR
2) CPU: AMD Phenom 2, with as many cores and as much speed as you can afford.
for example a AMD Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition (this one is harmless) or a Phenom II X6 1055T (-> make sure the mainboard supports 125W towards the CPU)
100 EUR - 150 EUR
3) CPU Cooler: boxed is okay if you can accept a certain noise level. If not buy something more silent. Example: Zalman CNPS 7X LED
0 - 30 EUR
4) RAM: Buy one kit with 2 * 4 GB DDR3-1600 RAM. The brand doesn't matter, choose whatever major brand is on sale.
40 EUR
5) graphics card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 Dual Fan or similar or a GeForce 560. Complicated topic.
150 EUR
6) sound: onboard
0
7) HDD: recycle your old disk. If you have to buy new, buy Samsung before Seagate assimilates them. The most reliable disks.
8) DVD writer: doesn't matter
9) case: recycle your old one
10) PSU: buy major brand, no less than 450W. But also not much more. ;)
40-80 EUR

This makes it roughly 250 EUR for CPU, mainboard, RAM, cooler and sound. Add a 150 EUR budget for a graphics card, ca. 50 EUR for the PSU and add the rest as the budget allows.

HDD and DVD can only be recycled if they already have the small S-ATA connectors.

Assembling it is simple nowadays. The only tricky part is attaching the CPU cooler without breaking anything.

My PC is very similar but slightly slower. I played Crysis and Metro 20something on it, two notoriously demanding games. Playable with maximum details on a reasonable resolution on a 22" TFT, and with good to high details on 1680*1050. AS far as I can say so far, the graphics card is the bottle-neck, not the CPU. The CPU hardly ever goes over 30% load in any game. Most other games are less demanding, thanks to the stagnation on consoles.

Add 100-120 EUR for the same PC with an Intel Core i5 2500 (Intel Core i5 2500K if the price difference is small) and a decent mainboard. Also quite attractive, I must say.
The next bigger graphics would be a GeForce 570 or a Radeon HD 6950, for example a Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 OC, which according to the tests is both silent and very fast.


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