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Default Pool of Radiance - Gold Box Companion

January 31st, 2019, 19:40
Decided to set this up today on the GOG version. Pretty seamless experience getting the companion working once you realize you:
1. Have to have a running game with a save to get it to link up
2. Have to modify the address range from defaults to $0 - $F000000
3. Stop trying to set a windowed resolution in DosBox and use the scalar property (normal3x)

Love the automapper and character stat tracking. Looking forward to playing but have to resist distraction because I'm in the middle of Wizardry 7! Retro-gaming mania!

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January 31st, 2019, 20:28
Never heard of that program, but it sounds pretty cool.

I wish someone would remaster PoR and perhaps some of the other Gold Box games too. I've love to play them, but they're just a little too dated for me as they are.
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January 31st, 2019, 21:44
They are incredibly dated particularly POR but to me that’s part of the charm. It tells you to refer to a paper journal included with the game. Old school!
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January 31st, 2019, 22:27
Yes, I tried a replay of PoR a few years back. Even for a GoldBox game it is dated, as it lacks many of the improvements in later GB games. But it was fun as a nostalgia trip.

There is a "Pool of Radiance Remastered" module for NWN2, if you want to try an updated interpretation.
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February 1st, 2019, 01:07
I’ll try it. Crude graphics don’t bother me as long as the interface doesn’t get in the way of gameplay due to poor design. I like NWN2 but I’d prefer to try the original
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February 1st, 2019, 16:39
I replayed a few of these gold box games a couple of years ago, they are still fantastic. Sure, they'd benefit from any sort of updates for graphic purposes, but they are all still quite playable. I've not tried a consolidation system like this while playing, first I've heard of it, but if it opens these games to a newer and younger audience, that's great.
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February 2nd, 2019, 16:16
Just a quick note for anyone trying or thinking of trying to play this. The DOSBox cycle speed is way too high to see combat messages on the screen. CTRL+F11/F12 speed up and slow down the game. I altered the step as follows:
Changes to game speed in dosbox_por.conf (Pool of Radiance GOG directory)

cycles=auto
cycleup=100
cycledown=100
# cycle step was 1000 as default. Changed to 100. use CTRL+F11 to slow down (step 100) and CTRL+F12 to speed up

You don't want to "fix" the cycles at 300 just so you can read the combat messages because the game will move pretty slow out of combat, but that is the sweet spot for reading the combat log on my machine. So I load the game fast at 3000 (auto setting above) cycle down to 1000 for normal walk speed and down to 300 for combat. Revert to 1000 for walking again. Once I get used to reading the messages I might make the cycle step 500 so its just one keystroke in and out of combat in terms of speed.

Hope that helps someone.

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February 5th, 2019, 19:13
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Just a quick note for anyone trying or thinking of trying to play this. The DOSBox cycle speed is way too high to see combat messages on the screen. CTRL+F11/F12 speed up and slow down the game. I altered the step as follows:
Changes to game speed in dosbox_por.conf (Pool of Radiance GOG directory)

cycles=auto
cycleup=100
cycledown=100
# cycle step was 1000 as default. Changed to 100. use CTRL+F11 to slow down (step 100) and CTRL+F12 to speed up

You don't want to "fix" the cycles at 300 just so you can read the combat messages because the game will move pretty slow out of combat, but that is the sweet spot for reading the combat log on my machine. So I load the game fast at 3000 (auto setting above) cycle down to 1000 for normal walk speed and down to 300 for combat. Revert to 1000 for walking again. Once I get used to reading the messages I might make the cycle step 500 so its just one keystroke in and out of combat in terms of speed.

Hope that helps someone.

Pool of Radiance with the Gold Box Companion is on my to-play list, so thanks for the tips!
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February 5th, 2019, 19:53
No problem. I recently discovered there is an in game "game speed" but its global so I'm still planning to use the toggle method.
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February 5th, 2019, 20:01
PoR is one of my all-time favorites. It was the game that changed me from a big RPG fan into a fanatical lover of the genre.

In terms of favorite genre, I've never looked back since I played PoR.

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February 5th, 2019, 20:16
I'm no spring chicken but I don't have the gamer background in the 80's and 90's but I do have the nostalgia from being a computer geek the whole time. I was programming basic when I was 12 years old on a RadioShack TRS-80 Color Computer with the 8K "extended memory" pack. So I like 8 bit sound chip music call me nuts.

Check out the original pricing of these things. That's without the TV. These things were expensive!
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February 6th, 2019, 00:15
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I'm no spring chicken but I don't have the gamer background in the 80's and 90's but I do have the nostalgia from being a computer geek the whole time. I was programming basic when I was 12 years old on a RadioShack TRS-80 Color Computer with the 8K "extended memory" pack. So I like 8 bit sound chip music call me nuts.
I have a lot of fond memories of the TRS-80. Dungeons of Daggorath was my first crpg.
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February 6th, 2019, 00:40
The gold box era of gaming was a second high-point for me, after the earlier Wizardry releases. We'll likely never see games of that calibre ever again.
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February 6th, 2019, 01:13
You never know. Enough retro fans get together - modern devkit tools would make short work of a game like this. Wizardry 7 surprised me last night with a map altering event but other than that you could develop a template process to script the whole game and deal with static encounters + random encounters.

I owned Dungeons of Daggorath too. Still remember the panic heartbeat trying to run away from monsters and getting killed by the giant knight thingy. Great game!
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February 6th, 2019, 11:21
Oh, I think we've vastly exceeded that "caliber"

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February 6th, 2019, 13:12
If by exceeded you mean dumbing down then yes we’ve exceeded. Damn no coffee got that backwards had to edit it…
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February 6th, 2019, 13:14
No, I mean vastly superior in every way.

Of course, such things are subjective. If someone is arguing that, say, Pathfinder Kingmaker is "dumbed down" compared to Pool of Radiance - I would have to consider such an individual so deluded as to give up even having a discussion about it.

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February 6th, 2019, 13:21
Yes true but Kingmaker is not the norm today. Mass Effect is right? Most games today streamline far too much.
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February 6th, 2019, 13:27
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Yes true but Kingmaker is not the norm today. Mass Effect is right? Most games today streamline far too much.
I don't remember saying exceeding the caliber of Pool of Radiance is the norm.

Mass Effect is a completely different experience, and it's vastly superior in terms of immersion, atmosphere and the sensation of being part of a space opera.

As a traditional PnP-like experience, it's certainly inferior - but I would never expect that from such a game.

If we're to be reasonable, we have to look at the modern iterations of similar games trying to convey a similar experience - and satisfy a similar audience.

Pool of Radiance is most appropriately compared to games like Pillars of Eternity 2, Kingmaker, D:OS2, Wasteland 2, and so forth.

I have to say I consider all of those quite a bit ahead of PoR in terms of depth, fidelity and mechanics.

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February 6th, 2019, 13:29
Like anything else that changes with time, culture, society, technology .. etc., CRPG do change as well (not dumped down).

One thing however that always strikes me with goldbox and old CRPG is how intuitive and easy to use their (text-based) graphical user interfaces. I think current CRPG developers, even with current technology, seem to struggle on this front.
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