Gothic 1 - Serious Issues… Need Help!!!
Ok, so during the summer my cousin bought me a copy of Gothic 1 while he was over in the UK. It's the English version and had to be patched to 1.8k from 1.8j. Here's the trouble: the game's FPS is stuck as 25 but when I enter the nest in the Old Mines and the huge idol chamber in the Sleeper Temple the FPS goes down to 10 or less! Thus making the game unplayable in those locations. How do I fix this?
Over at World of Gothic I inquired about it and they told me to try the FPS remover which requires the 1.8k Playerkit. However, installing that not only did nothing to remove the stutter and slowdown in those two locations… but the Playerkit also makes the game freeze whenever I climb the ladder in the Fog Tower during the Chromanin quest. I tried to post for help at World of Gothic and some idiot acted like my copy of the game was pirated and told me to buy the game AGAIN! I said: HELLO! I have the box, the manual, the discs, and even the receipt my cousin gave me. He paid the pounds equivalent of $9.99 for the game in the budget section of an electronics store in London, for Heaven's sake! So it is certainly a legal copy of Gothic 1. My stepfather has a copy of Gothic Collection that he paid $39.99 for at Gamestop.com and he too is having this problem with the game, the slowdown and freezing when using the Playerkit. I really could use some help.
Any ideas as to the cause of the slowdown/stuttering at those two locations, and how to solve it? Here are my PC's specs…
Windows XP Home Edition
Dell Intel Core 2 Duo CPU with 2.00 GHZ
2046 MB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 3600 with 512 MB
SoundBlaster X-FI Xtreme Audio
3069 MB Virtual Memory (Since I know Gothic 1 uses a lot of this!)
I tried setting the game to High Priority and to run on Core 1, but nothing worked. I also tried enabling / disabling Vsync and nothing worked. Seriously frustrating!
I can run Risen, Oblivion, and Neverwinter Nights 2 with no problems. This issue is solely with Gothic 1. My stepfather's PC is the same specs as mine, but he has the Nvidia 8800 GTS video card with 512 MB on it. I am actually afraid to even try Gothic 2 or 3 until I can resolve whatever's wrong with Gothic 1 first. :S
23, 24, 25 FPS are all perfectly normal per the game design timers. continual low FPS generally points to video performance problems, some things to try……
1. Remove all traces of the Player kit.
2. Remove all patches as the international versions 1.08j and 1.08k of G1 are fully patched and run straight out of the box.
3. Go to 'add and remove programs' -> G1 - then select and run 'repair' (just to be sure all is installed o.k) all saves will be o.k.
4. Can you run the 'cube' in DirectX diagnostics o.k?
5. Do the Bink video cut scenes run o.k ? (eg: at game start up)
6. Select the' Miles Fast' audio setting.
7. Maybe select 16 bit video and lower resolution to experiment.
8. Check Win-Xp is set for max performance? (rather than vid quality)
9. How many windows resource threads are running? - experiment to get as low as possible.
10. With the game running, do a "Ctrl + Esc" then Ctrl/alt/Del into task manager, run resource monitor to observe any adverse or over activity or bottlenecks. It's possible to run G1 in a window while observing monitor at same time.
Never had any fps issues in G1 on modern computers. Like Wulf says - it usually runs smoothly right out of the box, no tweaking or patching needed.
I finally got the game running. It seems that with ATI video cards, like mine, you have to run a benchmark or video card stress test in the background because the game has a bug in it that prevents it from otherwise running smoothly in WinXP with ATI cards. I kid you not! I found this out at World of Gothic, the official site and forums for the game. Ironically, those with Win7 or even Vista will have no problems. Those with Nvidia cards can even run in WinXP with no problems. It's just the combination of WinXP, ATI, and Gothic 1. For this reason, I sold my copy and decided to forget I ever heard of the game. Risen was way better anyhow, and thankfully not part of the Gothic series in any case. I did play through Gothic 1 and beat it first, though. I was bored though, since I expected somthing more interesting in the way of plot than what I experienced after finally getting it to run. The whole drugged out cultists worshipping a [SPOILER ALERT!!!] giant bug thing made me laugh. What I went through just to play this game made me cry. In the end, neither range of emotions seemed worth the experience. But at least it ran!
My experience with Gothic 2 was better than with Gothic 1, but what killed it for me with Gothic 2 was the AI bugs. The Elite Orcs and Orc Warlords and Leaders would sometimes refuse to attack. I heard this was because of the community patch for the game, which introduced this bug. So in the end, I sold Gothic 2 too, the same day I sold the first game. Gothic 3 was even worse! Gods, so much so. Wait until I tell you what I went through with that one… it was an epic struggle, just trying to get it to work. A struggle that I sadly lost in the end, due to bad programming on the part of the game's developers. How bad? Read on and see…
In Gothic 3, the game stutters when loading on the fly and this stuttering is like short pauses. Not too bad, you might say? Ah! But imagine these pauses every time you start to run. Walking? Not so much. But running… ugh! On the official forums, I learned the stuttering is actually how the game loads things. It seems the developers think of it as a feature, the loonies. And it cannot be fixed. Even the community patch team said it was not fixable! What makes this so horrid, is that when you get to a big crossroads like the area around Telis the stutter will randomly increase until the game actually freezes. Hard freezes, that require a manual reset of the PC! It seems these stutter-casued freezes can even cause BSODs on the latest ATI drivers. I finally fell back to my old driver, just to avoid the BSODs, but it did not stop the freezes… sadly. And that was the final nail in the coffin for me when it comes to the Gothic series. I sold Gothic 3 along with 1 and 2 at Gamestop for some credit. I still have Risen, though. The only game that these developers have actually gotten right. I played Risen from beginning to end with no bugs whatsoever. It was Heaven! So now you know what transpired once I finally was able to play the Gothic trilogy of games. A mistake I shall never repeat.
I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience with the Gothic series. The majority of us didn't run into the bugs you describe.
A reasonable question. This should answer all questions…
Regarding Gothic 1:
Most people have no problems with it because they have Nvidia cards on WinXP, or if they have ATI they are likely running it on a Win7 or Vista OS. It is a known bug in Gothic 1 that ATI cards on Windows XP cause problems in certain parts of the game world, such as the Sleeper Temple, the Orc Tomb, and the Crawler Nest in the Old Mine. It is due to the high poly textures used by the game that were never optimized for today's systems. ATI cards on WinXP just can't handle them, and the only way to get them to be able to handle them is to run (in my case) a tool like a video card stress test in the background while playing. That was just annoying for me, so I decided to give up on Gothic 1 for that reason. Never mind the myriad small bugs that also plague this game, such as having to put all the music and sound files under a certain folder so the game would recognize them and not crash in the Sleeper Temple. An admitted bug mentioned at World of Gothic that I encountered in my copy of the game and a friend's copy as well.
Regarding Gothic 2:
Because it used the identical engine as Gothic 1, I was forced to run that darned stress test in the background or the game would start to lag after a while. The way I saw it, even if I removed the community patch and fixed the enemy AI bug that way, I'd still have to deal with playing the game in a way that was not really good for my PC, given the heavy load of running a stress test plus a game the size of Gothic 1 and Gothic 1. I felt that was too risky, putting my video card under a load liek that just to play two games. A second unfortunate mess was the video that playes when [SPOILER ALERT] Xardas takes the dragon's soul. On the gold edition of the game, which mine was, it crashes. A friend of mine sent me a copy of her movie files and I replaced mine with hers. They worked without crashing after that. I could almost have dealt with Gothic 1 and 2's bugs. But it was Gothic 3 that drove me to give up on the series for good. It was the only one that bested me.
Regarding Gothic 3:
After replacing my Hard Drive, my Fan, my Video Card, and my Sound Card for all new ones and doing a complete reformat of the hard drive, I still could not get Gothic 3 to stop stuttering and freezing on me. The only difference is no BSODs happened after all that. The freezing made the game unplayable and tainted my view of the series as a whole, thus convincing me the effort to play them was in fact wasted and not worth the effort. Crashes that at least have an error I can read and fix somehow, I can deal with. But a faulty game engine that stutters all the time from streaming and loading on the fly, I cannot deal with. Too much!
Believe it or not, my PC runs the following newer games flawlessly with maximum settings, with no bugs or any crashes. All of these have their latest patches, too:
Oblivion with Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles
Neverwinter Nights 2 with Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir
The Witcher: Enchanced Edition
Crysis and Crysis: Warhead
Mount and Blade: Warband
Empire: Total War
[Just to name a few!]
And I can even run older games with no difficulty, either. Some way older than the Gothic series, in fact. So that isn't a factor, either. It really is just the Gothic games!
My older games include such titles as these extremely old classics, in fact…
Ultima IX: Ascension
Heavy Metal: Fakk2
Neverwinter Nights: Platinum Edition
Temple of Elemental Evil
Emperor: Battle for Dune
Morrowind with Bloodmoon and Tribunal
Medieval 2: Total War
[Just to name a few!]
I hope this helps to clear up any questions regarding my experience with Gothic.
It is strange indeed that only the Gothic series caused those problems.
As for me, all the Gothic games have run flawlessly although i haven't used an ATI graphics card in the whole of my gaming life span (i'm pure Nvidia) - PB also recommend Nvidia eg: as per the G3 start logo.
G1 - out of the box - runs smooth as a babies bottom.
G2 - out of the box - runs like a hot knife through butter.
G3 - last 'official' patch (no CP) - runs without a hitch.
All games were boxed retail, my best 'series' gaming experience ever.
As a gamer, it is sad but seems that we are opposite ends of the Gothic experience spectrum from what appears as no more than mere technicallities….. i offer my sincere gothic commiserations to Mondain_the_Mad.
The last official patch was a CP. ;)
He might mean the 1.12 one. :)
Well, take your pick…..
1.60 - 1.70 - 1.71 - 1.72 - 1.73 - 1.74 - are all community patches.
The last PB patch before community involement was indeed 1.12
The CP team said they couldn't leave G3 alone without previously realising some more "ideas"
The PB 1.12 patch remains as a vanilla fix with no new "ideas" added - an undeniable fact. :)
G3 without CP is a waste of time because it's a bad game.
And the last official patch was the CP with Spellbound involved. JoWooD funded it and ran it through QA. It also removed the disk check.
It's weird for me too since I almost never encountered any game stopping bugs in gi or gii. The night of the raven did have a gamestopping bug and is the reason why I never finished it. You are supposed to do something in a very particular order with the tablets or something and I didnt so I couldnt open up the portal to the other world.
Also I knew not to turn any of the winches from jemym's FAQ…
Giii was a disaster of a game at first and turned out to just be mediocre. The game is too big and has too many repetitive quests and was too much like an mmorpg for my liking.
I'm going to buy risen and probably play it next week as I finally finished my exams.
Also I was never bothered by gi and gii's control scheme. I actually loved the way it worked and I find much better than just hacking away like the new games …
My previous post explaining how the gothics ran without problems was all in the past and with good old Windows XP and although i've stopped playing the gothics some time back i was very curious as to why there are serious problems for some gamers running the gothics on Windows 7 -64-bit…would it be the same for me?
First, to see if any problems would show up, i installed and ran G1 once again. It ran flawlessly with complete fluidity with no problems, 1.08j straight out of the box with no patches, mods, starter kits, no nothing! - after reaching several levels i removed G1 knowing as i suspected and for referrence that all runs well.
I decided to skip G2 knowing there was a 64bit dll problem with Nvidea graphics, maybe another time.
My main concern was G3, to see if this superb game would run at all on Win-7- 64-bit.
I installed G3 followed by the 1.74 Community patch with no problems but after being dropped into the Ardea liberation i was completely disappointed - - the lag was unbearable and stutter almost continuous. Mondain_the_Mad's points struck home hard and fast, it was a mess.
After this, i had a strange retrospective notion….i wondered if the 1.12 patch - the patch i strongly advocate (because of its chaste purity) would make any difference. I clean installed G3 once more followed by the PB 1.12 patch then followed by the latest AMD dual core optimiser, a fix for the well known stuttering problem, followed by the latest Microsoft DirectX Redistributable driver, the game loaded but then the "put the DVD in the drive" error popped up, i knew what this meant, the Tages protection was not allowing my game to boot. I quickly found the latest 184.108.40.206 version 64-bit Tages protection driver and installed it, this would allow my retail G3 to boot….and it did.
G3 ran beautifully, the lag was gone, the fluidity returned, the game had me so "pulled in" and ran just as it did several years ago - if not better. There is nothing "game stopping inferior" or even "mediocre" with the 1.12 patch. I power tested by running for two full eight-hour runs with no stutter or lag problems.
With all of the above trials using Nvidea graphics - the latest version 260/xx_win7_64bit_international driver was installed.
On my games rig i use the Windows 'bare install' method, no updates, no internet, no anti-virus, all extraneous processes disabled.
Hope this info' will help some Gothic gamers, it worked for me.
You are going to say and do anything to support your case.
Yes, i'll always try to help fellow gamers if i can. :)
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