Might take a break from PSO for a while...

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Sir Rappington
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by Sir Rappington » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:01 am

I would advise anyone using Dolphin to use a 4.x version, specifically one that supports keyboard input. I believe the build I have is 5130(?) but I'm not at my own machine to check it. There are also newer ones. I'm just too lazy to update and feel like sticking with what works.

For performance... I can tell you that my desktop machine has an old GT 220 with 1GB RAM, from around 2010, and it has no problems running PSO. Only in a couple of places do I get framerate lag and it almost never causes problems.

And as for authenticity... while I'll grant you that there's a different feel to sitting on the couch with the TV and GC, I also have to ask: are you using an actual GC controller with your Dolphin setup? I would recommend the Mayflash adapter to anyone - originally created because Nintendo didn't make enough official ones for Smash Wii U, this one includes a PC USB mode and it works flawlessly. Never had any issues or lag with it.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:44 am

^ Oh, okay. Maybe I'm good with my current GPU, then. I have a GT 750M with 2 GB DDR5 RAM. I believe it's a fairly decent mobile GPU for gaming back in 2013. I actually hook up my laptop to my TV almost every time. For the life of me, I can't get used to gaming on a smaller screen anymore (excluding handheld games). I use a PS3 controller (emulating an Xbox 360 gamepad, most of the time) on it, but I know where I can get that GCN controller adapter here.

The only things I probably need to know are your display settings for PSO, how I can make the keyboard work for chat, and whether or not there are extra steps involved for setting up online play (outside the norm).
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by Sir Rappington » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:55 pm

I made a thread on this board a few months back where I asked various things relating to Dolphin network setup. The short version is, you need to get the OpenVPN TAP adapter installed on your machine and then bridge it with your active connection, so that Dolphin can have its own (software-based) network card for online play. Oh, and if you happen to be using Win10, it doesn't like OpenVPN - my Win10 laptop still can't use it, only the Win7 desktop works.

Assuming you get a build high enough to support it, "keyboard" will appear as a controller input option. I put it in slot 3. I can't remember if you need to do that for whatever reason, but that's what I always did on the physical GC. I haven't personally tested any controllers other than the Mayflash adapter, so I can't tell you if they work or not.

Display settings... honestly, I just drag the window up to an agreeable size and it auto-adjusts, as well as remembering that window size between sessions. You can set the native resolution, and I believe I set it to 2x normal, but it has only very small effects from what I can tell. At 3x I noticed a lot more framelag and more things would set it off (even standing in front of an active telepipe would do it). At 1x I saw a bunch more text characters randomly disappearing (there's always a bit of that but it's rare and doesn't really affect game enjoyment IMO). But oddly enough I never saw an actual gain or loss in visual clarity between these settings.

I will say that you need to use the DirectX 3D option rather than OpenGL. The latter is more glitchy and the image is kinda... blurry. DX doesn't have that problem - the only real thing to note is that the opening cinematics don't display at all, but meh. There's also some framelag on the class selection screen in char creation, and in the Gol Dragon fight, but nowhere else in my experience.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by tueidj » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:37 pm

Keyboard works in any slot.
The Gol Dragon fight always lags (on a real console) due to the off-screen rendering used for the displays around the arena and especially when the ground-based shockwave occurs (when the dragon lands on the ground). Even using a wii, with a significant clock boost over the gamecube, doesn't eliminate it.
The programmers on Pioneer 2 who made the VR system just weren't very good :P
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:44 pm

Sir Rappington wrote:I made a thread on this board a few months back where I asked various things relating to Dolphin network setup. The short version is, you need to get the OpenVPN TAP adapter installed on your machine and then bridge it with your active connection, so that Dolphin can have its own (software-based) network card for online play. Oh, and if you happen to be using Win10, it doesn't like OpenVPN - my Win10 laptop still can't use it, only the Win7 desktop works.

Assuming you get a build high enough to support it, "keyboard" will appear as a controller input option. I put it in slot 3. I can't remember if you need to do that for whatever reason, but that's what I always did on the physical GC. I haven't personally tested any controllers other than the Mayflash adapter, so I can't tell you if they work or not.

Display settings... honestly, I just drag the window up to an agreeable size and it auto-adjusts, as well as remembering that window size between sessions. You can set the native resolution, and I believe I set it to 2x normal, but it has only very small effects from what I can tell. At 3x I noticed a lot more framelag and more things would set it off (even standing in front of an active telepipe would do it). At 1x I saw a bunch more text characters randomly disappearing (there's always a bit of that but it's rare and doesn't really affect game enjoyment IMO). But oddly enough I never saw an actual gain or loss in visual clarity between these settings.

I will say that you need to use the DirectX 3D option rather than OpenGL. The latter is more glitchy and the image is kinda... blurry. DX doesn't have that problem - the only real thing to note is that the opening cinematics don't display at all, but meh. There's also some framelag on the class selection screen in char creation, and in the Gol Dragon fight, but nowhere else in my experience.
About your display settings, I was wondering more if you changed anything in the other tabs (Hacks, etc.), because I've tried vanilla PSO on every version of Dolphin I have, including the latest build (4.0-8824), and all I'm ending up with is a black screen after confirming the date and time from initial use. I've tried running the game on D3D and OpenGL, trying with either the integrated graphics or the discrete Nvidia GPU, and still nothing. Maybe the problem is native to vanilla PSO? I'm currently ripping my copy of the Plus version, so I'll test that one next and report back.

Would you know if OpenVPN plays nice with Win 8.1? That's what I have. I've already tried using my PS3 controller, which is emulated as a 360 controller and then a GCN controller, and it works fine. Only problem I have with it is that I'm much more familiar with the actual GCN controller when playing PSO, but then the Mayflash adapter would take up two USB ports. I'm using all 3, unfortunately. Would you know if a USB splitter would work fine for Mayflash plus another device?

EDIT: Just tried running PSO Plus, and I got the same thing: black screen after the game asks you to set the date and time. Is it because I haven't set up OpenVPN yet, or are there a few settings I should tweak? Thanks!
tueidj wrote:Keyboard works in any slot.
The Gol Dragon fight always lags (on a real console) due to the off-screen rendering used for the displays around the arena and especially when the ground-based shockwave occurs (when the dragon lands on the ground). Even using a wii, with a significant clock boost over the gamecube, doesn't eliminate it.
The programmers on Pioneer 2 who made the VR system just weren't very good :P
Glad to know. Sucks that you can't force 16:9 in PSO. I dislike having black bars on a widescreen display, but I dislike having a stretched picture even more.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by Aleron Ives » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:41 pm

The black screen is probably because you're using an ancient version of Dolphin. You need one from at least March 2015 or so in order to have keyboard support, which would probably be like 4.0-5000 or so. Anything older than that wouldn't be worth using online, since you couldn't communicate. I used to get lots of slowdown during Gol Dragon on 4.0.2, but the latest development versions eliminated all of it except for when the floor rises.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:18 pm

^ I said I tried it on version 4.0-8824, which was released a day and three hours ago as of this writing, according to their website. I also have the stable release of 4.0.2, which was released more than 2 years ago, and both vanilla and Plus exhibited the same behavior when I tried them on it. Other GCN games (and some Wii games) I have run pretty well on both, esp. on the development version.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by Aleron Ives » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:58 am

My guess would be that either you changed a Dolphin setting that is breaking PSO, or your laptop has a broken video driver that Dolphin doesn't like. You could try updating to the latest GPU driver for your system, but unless you have a relatively new CPU, Dolphin won't run very well, anyway. It also helps to have a gaming laptop that is well ventilated, as running Dolphin generates a lot of heat.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:42 am

^ At least for the development build, Dolphin is running on stock settings (except for the display settings). My laptop's also elevated a few inches high and I clean the grills every once in a while to maintain good airflow. It has a quad-core CPU, but I've set it to cap at 95% performance to avoid triggering Turbo Boost. I also posted a video on YT more than a year ago about my findings on how well my laptop handles emulation software, including Dolphin, PCSX2, and PPSSPP; temps peak at about 77 to 80 degrees for the CPU and 75 degrees for the GPU -- fairly below what I'm getting when playing heavy PC games (e.g. MGSV: TPP on near-max settings), which would be around 80 to 89 degrees for CPU and 87 degrees for the GPU (using a limiting software on GPU to max at 87 degrees). My CPU can operate up to 100 degrees, while the GPU up to 96 degrees, I believe, before they're considered to be overheating and initiate down-throttling. Quite reasonable for a laptop of this design, where it doesn't have the best cooling solution for PC gaming.

My drivers work fine. Dolphin's only having a problem with both PSO versions on start-up, while the rest of the GCN games I have on my PC load normally. Thinking about it, I suspect that I may have a bad rip of both games. I personally ripped them using the BBA method. I'm currently ripping my copy of Luigi's Mansion to my PC with the same method to test if it boots up fine and would at least let me get to the part where I can start controlling Luigi.
Last edited by Aleron Ives on Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Discussion of piracy is against the forum rules.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by Aleron Ives » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:10 am

Try hashing your discs. Here are MD5 checksums for all three US discs. If yours don't match, then your dumps are definitely bad. I also edited your post, as you can't discuss piracy here. :oops:

1.0: 478bf75c63d6ff30315c9b34cee288ab
1.01: 81724d71a2143a4fccf49020737d3add
1.02 (Plus): 36a7f90ad904975b745df9294a06baea
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:45 am

^ Whoops. Sorry about that.

Yep, the checksum matches for both my copies of PSO vanilla (1.01) and Plus. Also tried another copy of PSO just to make sure, and it also failed to get to the title screen. Luigi's Mansion ran fine, and I even played it a little. Must be a setting in Dolphin that's causing this...or something else that I probably don't know about yet.

EDIT: I got through the hurdle by not setting the date. Looks like the game runs normally now. Tried a bit of the offline game and it seems to run fine. Running with OpenGL, though. Wonder if I can use Tunggle, which is some sort of VPN, to bridge it with my connection and use that to enable online play...
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by tueidj » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:37 am

When it shows you the date and time, it asks if you want to return to the boot menu to change it. You have to say NO because Dolphin can't reboot to the BIOS.
Dolphin also won't work with anything besides OpenVPN for BBA emulation.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:20 pm

^ I see. Yeah, you're probably right. I tried to bridge Tunggle with my connection and it didn't work. :P Oh well... Thanks.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by hahuhowdy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:34 pm

It sounds like you're taking steps to hang around Birdy [FACE WITH STUCK-OUT TONGUE AND WINKING EYE]
Had the chance to play together and it's sad you lost character data again. It's so cool that the emphasis is on how to get over the hump rather than letting you leave. Don't. You're not allowed. Look forward to playing with mk.3 soon enough

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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:21 pm

^ Haha. Well, I did say I'm only taking a break from PSO and not the forums. :P Just trying to forget the horror of losing game progress, twice. I'm also trying to explore other ways to play the GCN version of PSO. I might actually get a Wii tomorrow. That would be neat if it pushes through (hopefully, the seller won't bail *fingers crossed*).

Yeah, I hope to play with you again soon. While I try to distance myself from the game, it's ironic that I still keep booting it up, mainly for homebrew purposes. I think a couple more weeks away from it (at least, online play) should help to rehabilitate me.

Now that I think about it once more, I believe my old ethernet cable was to blame for corrupting my save files. I say this because I've recently replaced it with a sturdier one, and now I can rip games on the first try. Having already ripped 3 of them, I think it's safe to say that my successes with it are no longer a fluke. Before, with my old cable, the ripping process almost always fails at some point. So if I got interruptions there then it's possible that I was also getting interruptions with my online connection. Yeah, I'm never getting anything from that store again. Most of their products seem to be poorly made.

Still unsure if I'll name my next character with a "Mk. III" suffix. Anyway, I still have plenty of time to think that over. Haha. But I'll continue with the RAcast for my first character. BTW, check your inbox if you haven't yet. I sent you something before that might help you. :)
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:05 am

Okay, this is weird: bridging the OpenVPN TAP over a wireless connection doesn't work in PSO, but it does over a wired connection? There are no free slots left for another cable on the router, and I don't have a long enough cable lying around that would reach my laptop. Another thing; I wasn't able to get the Wii I thought I'd be getting today because the seller decided to give it to someone else and not tell me about it. If I didn't know any better I'd presume something's trying to keep me away from PSO. :P
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by Aleron Ives » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:20 am

I do recall reading that a wired connection is required for the bridge, and Windows 8 is problematic even if you do have a wired connection.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:59 am

^ That sucks double. I might either have to wait for another good Wii deal or find an SD adapter/first-party MC before I could play PSO again, just to be sure. BTW, do you allow fabricated SNAKs in Sylverant or are people required to register real ones?
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by tueidj » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:34 am

The purpose of the OpenVPN Tap is to allow Dolphin to send and receive network packets directly out "on the wire" rather than using the OS's TCP/IP stack. At that raw level wifi packets use a different format than regular ethernet packets.
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Re: Might take a break from PSO for a while...

Post by byte.me » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:21 am

^ Okay, so basically there's an extra step involved with wi-fi packets. Were you implying that going the wired route bypasses a process that may involve something else other than a straight-up conversion, and that the "something else" isn't cooperating well with VPN systems? Still, if there's an extra step between sending/receiving packets then that means some degree of latency exists. But going wireless is just sooo convenient, provided that nothing else hampers the connection.

Yeah, I might just be talking out of my rear with what I said. I'm no IT, so... :D
My Hunters:
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Shaider (RAmar, PURPLENUM) - Lv 91

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