Main site content which needs updating

Discuss anything that is not related to Drakan and Blade of Darkness here.

Moderators: Mechanist, Arokhs Twin, yangez93

User avatar
Mechanist
Dragon
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Location: Poland

Main site content which needs updating

Postby Mechanist » Sat May 19, 2018 10:41 am

AT, since you've asked for it in the Discord chat, here's some out-of-date information which I spotted, as well as some possible easy improvements:
  • "Where to buy" - you might want to mention the Gold Pack there as well; also maybe hint towards TAG being available on PS2 ROM sites?
  • "OOTF\Tech Support" - the information there appears to significantly predate the AiO patch; it lists some long-nonexistent MP servers, also has some broken links.
  • "Order of the Flame" - it could use a representative screenshot or two to go with the text :), possibly with a link to the screenshot gallery as well.
  • "The Ancients' Gates" - same as above,
  • "Downloads" - might want to move the 445 and AiO patches near the top of the list, considering their fundamental significance; also possibly separate the long-deprecated files (eg. Drakstart, level editor patch, etc.) and push them to the bottom.
  • (various places) - some broken links pointing to files.drakan.ru
Additionally, you might want to mention my server in the Steam group - to let people know they can play at any time, if they want to.

BTW, we could really use a simple step-by-step illustrated guide to installing/patching OOTF; currently it isn't very accessible to less technically-oriented users. I'll try putting something together when I have the time for it; and eventually a similar guide for emulating TAG, too.
I will also ask UCyborg if he could arrange to include a built-in installer in his Gold Pack; that would make it a lot more convenient for people who are new to the game :)

User avatar
Arokhs Twin
Site Admin
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 9:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sat May 19, 2018 1:09 pm

I've done some changes but I don't want to mention the PS2 ROM's on the main site as that could land me in trouble. And yeah a step by step guide would be a great idea. Also an installer for the patch.

I've removed redundant files and removed drakan.ru links.
By fire and by blood I join with thee in the Order of the Flame!
Webmaster of Arokh's Lair

UCyborg
Dragon
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Location: Slovenia

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby UCyborg » Sat May 19, 2018 1:24 pm

It seems we have sort of unwritten rule to always refer to the forum for the most up-to date info. I also had this idea at one point for making installer for the gold pack, just never got around to it. Still, not much can go wrong with 7-zipped archive. I guess 7-Zip or similar is in most people's arsenal and setting it up is very similar to the way you setup portable software on the USB stick.
"Once a profound truth has been seen, it cannot be 'unseen'. There's no 'going back' to the person you were. Even if such a possibility did exist... why would you want to?" - Dave Sim

User avatar
Arokhs Twin
Site Admin
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 9:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sat May 19, 2018 1:33 pm

There is a bit of a mess with information across the site. It's because I've been running it for a long time and it has gone through lots of changes e.g different servers; the original site was written in asp.net running on Windows Server 2003 and used Snitz Forums. When I moved to linux I re-wrote it in PHP and moved to PHPBB.

Much later I then decided to use Wordpress for the main site to make it easier for updating and managing content. In hindsight I would have been better using that from when I switched to a linux host and used Wordpress forums then it would be seamlessly integrated. Think the reason I didn't was because the snitz forums could not be imported meaning we would have to start from scratch.

I did make you a contributor so you can post on the main site if you want to.
By fire and by blood I join with thee in the Order of the Flame!
Webmaster of Arokh's Lair

User avatar
Mechanist
Dragon
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Mechanist » Sat May 19, 2018 2:18 pm

Still, not much can go wrong with 7-zipped archive. I guess 7-Zip or similar is in most people's arsenal and setting it up is very similar to the way you setup portable software on the USB stick.
Hmm, I think you seriously underestimate the trouble that it can cause some people. :|

Of course we casually dismiss that as being trivial - but in my general experience, many computer users find it quite difficult to use software that doesn't follow the typical format:
ZIP/RAR/SFX download :arrow: simple installer, click OK/Agree/Next a few times, leaving the defaults untouched :arrow: click the start menu or desktop shortcut to start.

It's the same as with cars - many owners can only perform the most basic of maintenance tasks, and don't even know how the engine works in any detail - let alone how to repair it, or even where to begin with that.

Then there's also the same reason why eg. fast food is so popular. Less effort :arrow: more better :D

I did make you a contributor so you can post on the main site if you want to.
It's a bit unclear who are you referring to here. :?

User avatar
Mechanist
Dragon
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Mechanist » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:22 am

Here's some more stuff I stumbled upon by chance, while looking through the SP levels for candidates for conversion to MP maps.

On Singleplayer levels download page:
<about Doomsday> Released work done on a 12 level series which adds RPG elements and other features from Drakan2. Cancelled due to limitations with the game engine. 6 Levels complete.
Hmm, but there are actually only 2 maps in the package provided? (intro + map 1)

On Tech Support page, the troubleshooting guide .TXT is out of date - newest one is in the attachment.
Attachments
QuickStart_Troubleshooting_Guide.zip
(4.75 KiB) Downloaded 10 times

User avatar
Arokhs Twin
Site Admin
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 9:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:39 am

Updated.
By fire and by blood I join with thee in the Order of the Flame!
Webmaster of Arokh's Lair

UCyborg
Dragon
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Location: Slovenia

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby UCyborg » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:16 pm

Some thoughts:

Do not install Mplayer as this is obsolete and the Mplayer service no longer exists.

Not really an option during setup. Mplayer is automatically installed along with the game when installing from game CD, so it must be uninstalled afterwards. Manually extracting files from the installer and patch installer is also an option to avoid Mplayer. Also, some people have problems running the installer because they have certain program running in the background that blocks it from starting. Technically, both installer and the problematic program is flawed. I think I wrote about this the last time someone asked for help installing Drakan.

There is also the option to use DGvoodoo during install which emulates a 3DFX Voodoo2 card and may work better for some users with certain video cards. I found it was not needed running on Nvidia GTX970 hardware.

This only applies to Glide portion of dgVoodoo, not DirectX portion, which is the one suitable for Drakan. By translating DIrectDraw/Direct3D 6 rendering calls to modern equivalents, it generally improves performance on newer graphics hardware (and decreases it on older) and provides better integration with the operating system due to bugs in interaction between legacy and modern components. For example, on Windows 7 and Vista, running Drakan in fullscreen mode results in programs' thumbnails used for alt-tab and taskbar preview to get lost. On Windows 8/8.1/10, there is a 3 second delay when switching away from the game if it's in fullscreen and runs at the same resolution/refresh rate as the desktop due to a bug in sync mechanism between DirectDraw and DWM. There is a good chance that preventing access to the handle to DWM_DX_FULLSCREEN_TRANSITION event in dwm.exe using Process Hacker works around the bug without negative side effects, although the more correct fix is part of experimental version of DDrawCompat, which is a bit of an overkill for Drakan.

Either way, it's best to test both with and without dgVoodoo to see what works best.

There is also the 10th anniversary patch which fixes some issues and improves performance but this cannot be used to play the game online without the community patch.

It's actually the opposite; it kills the performance and introduces extra issues. Also, its suggested configuration turns Drakan into some sort of abstract art mess or however you want to call it.

It can be used while playing online as long as you don't overwrite your Drakan.exe by running its installer, which opens easily with 7-Zip.

Also you may get a crash when browsing the servers. This appears to be the game trying to connect to a non existent server. If this happens try deleting the obsolete servers from your servers.txt file.

This was fixed in AiO Patch. And it actually crashed if it contacted the machine which was online - connected to the internet - but didn't have Drakan server running and therefore connection attempt failed with WSAECONNREFUSED error code on the sockets API side. Nothing happened if nothing appeared behind target IP address. There is still one unresolved unrelated bug that sometimes crashes the game when ESCaping from the Join Game menu.
Last edited by UCyborg on Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Once a profound truth has been seen, it cannot be 'unseen'. There's no 'going back' to the person you were. Even if such a possibility did exist... why would you want to?" - Dave Sim

User avatar
Mechanist
Dragon
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Mechanist » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:28 pm

Mplayer is automatically installed along with the game when installing from game CD, so it must be uninstalled afterwards.
Yeah. Currently, the Community Patch installer does delete the Mplayer.com Start Menu shortcuts, but doesn't actually uninstall Mplayer itself. Maybe in a future release...

It's actually the opposite; it kills the performance and introduces extra issues.
Seconded.
In fact, the only good reason to ever use the 10th Anniversary Mod, is out of historical curiosity.
The performance is abysmal, even on monster (post-2015) hardware.
It's also buggy as heck, and doesn't work worth a damn with bump mapping enabled - crazy diagonal lines all over the screen.

It can be used
Don't. Just don't.
It works poorly, and can't be made to ever work well. Total waste of time.

UCyborg
Dragon
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Location: Slovenia

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby UCyborg » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:56 pm

I know, just wanted to say that it works without implying how badly. I forgot to wrote the obvious; but consequently by decreasing game performance, it also vastly decreases player's individual performance in multiplayer.
"Once a profound truth has been seen, it cannot be 'unseen'. There's no 'going back' to the person you were. Even if such a possibility did exist... why would you want to?" - Dave Sim

User avatar
Arokhs Twin
Site Admin
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 9:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Arokhs Twin » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:07 pm

Thanks for your feedback; I made some changes to the tech support page.
By fire and by blood I join with thee in the Order of the Flame!
Webmaster of Arokh's Lair

User avatar
Mechanist
Dragon
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Mechanist » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:45 pm

BTW, about the other things on that page...

"...and nobody should be using Windows XP or older now so it’s gone" - the CP is fully compatible with WinXP in any case... tested on XP, even.

"There is also the option to use DGvoodoo during install which emulates a 3DFX Voodoo2 card" - not true, here it's used only for it's DirectX wrapper functionality. UCyborg mentioned that a few posts ago, too.

"There is also the 10th anniversary patch which fixes some issues and improves performance" - It does exactly the opposite, as UCyborg has also indicated.

"but you really shouldn’t use it for multiplayer." - or for anything else, really... it's only good for testing new textures without having to edit the databases, due to its texture swapping functionality.

"If you still need help, please post on the forum." - or use Discord...

"...multiplayer now works. You will need the AIO patch or the community patch" - no longer true; there are some dependencies (eg. Music Common and Weapons Common DBs) that are ONLY available through the CP.
Also using the AiO patch would require installing all the MP maps by hand, which is a staggering undertaking...
Especially considering that some people have a lot of trouble unpacking a single .ZIP to the correct location - let alone a hundred!

"Note that the master servers have changed but the repack includes the fixed config file" - this is misleading, since it's unclear what "repack" is being referred to here.

"For reference the line that needs to be changed in drakan.cfg is Set MasterServerList which needs to be changed to..." - manual intervention shouldn't be required except in the most unusual and exceptional circumstances; I'm talking about corner cases with astronomically unlikely probabilities, same order of magnitude as winning the lottery.

User avatar
Arokhs Twin
Site Admin
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 9:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Main site content which needs updating

Postby Arokhs Twin » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:59 pm

Updated
By fire and by blood I join with thee in the Order of the Flame!
Webmaster of Arokh's Lair


Return to “Arokh's Lair Forums”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest