Is WC3 via gog.com really ready for prime time?

yoyoyojo

Rear Admiral
I know a lot of us are old school gamers. We were the ones back in the day that had to have PC skills to get games working properly. Since then we've learned all about DOS Box so we could get our classic games working again.

Don't get me wrong when I ask this ... but is WC3 via gog.com ready for prime time? I had a lot of issues to contend with. The fixes mostly consisted of manual edits of the config file.

I guess I am more curious about the decision to put a game out this way. I will be the first in line to buy all the remaining WC titles on gog.com. The extras are worth it alone. It's like an early Xmas. But that's me, a 20 yr IT professional and a 30+ yr gamer.

I found lots of help on how to tweak the config file to get WC3 working but at the same time it seemed that a legit company would build a more sophisticated version of something like DOS Box and provide working config files along with it.

Perhaps this is simply not possible or perhaps they did a cost/benefit analysis and knew most of their market wouldn't mind fixing the game. I keep thinking of some random person who doesn't know how to do all this, they see gog.com and think "hey I'm gonna try some classic gaming. Oh Wing Commander, my uncle told me about that once!" When they fire up the game they would probably feel like it's a bust.

Also isn't Dosbox freeware? Even if they paid a license to distribute it for commercial purposes it seems kind of lazy doesn't it? I know there are a ton of DOS titles and it would be difficult to make a one-soze-fits-all solution ... or would it be that difficult? Not sure.

Out of the box here are the issues I encountered (all fixed now BTW)
  • Windows would not re-size nor maximize. Windows was set to original resolution resulting in a very small window on my modern monitor.
  • In full screen mode game would not maintain proper aspect ratio
  • Video sequences were very choppy
  • Limited game controller support
Quite a bit to deal with if you ask me.

All the video issues required two manual edits of the config file. Using the video setting tool did not result in a solution for any of it. The game controller support was improved by using button mapping software.

And one last time, over joyed these games are back in an official capacity. This isn't qq-ing. More curious how a game company decides to take this approach, essentially relying on the consumers to support themselves.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'd say yes and no. GOG is /supposed/ to be more of a hobbyists market--and this is exactly why these aren't on EA's "Origin" service yet. It's a service for people who are excited about revisiting these games rather than one for selling to everyone.

It does seem impossible to configure DOSBox for everyone--GOG does their best to put out 'most good for the most people' settings... which means setting things like cycles to max instead of the number that works for a particular hardware setup.

They also screw up, though: the music settings on WC1 and 3 are not ideal for anyone and SHOULD be fixed by GOG.

... at the same time, running Wing Commander III from GOG was MUCH, MUCH easier than running Wing Commander III out of the box in 1994. :)
 
... at the same time, running Wing Commander III from GOG was MUCH, MUCH easier than running Wing Commander III out of the box in 1994. :)
I dunno about that. I just added a few lines to my MS-DOS boot menu in my config.sys and it was ready to roll--then again, I grew up using commandline OS's back in the day. I will say this--playing WC 3 on a pure DOS machine results in much smoother transitions aboard the carrier (stills to video) than it does in Dosbox. With some good soundfonts though, you can get it to sound niiice with an X-Fi card.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Out of curiosity, how did you fix the first 3 of your four issues? Or where did you look to find out how to fix them. I'm having the same issues.
 

Exterminator17

Spaceman
When I signed the GOG agreement, it says that the configuration through DOSBox is generic and may require tweeking. The other part is most who will play these games are like you, old time DOS Hackers that knew how to configure their config.sys and autoexec's on the fly.

Personally, I still, after DL'd WC1,2,and 3 I still used my original DOSBox conf file instead of GOGs. I knew it worked and had used it on the Old Strike commander as well as WC1-4 and Priv!
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Out of curiosity, how did you fix the first 3 of your four issues? Or where did you look to find out how to fix them. I'm having the same issues.
If you navigate to where you installed the game, you should find a '.conf' file that DOSBox uses to set up the emulation. You can edit this file in a text editor to change resolution, fullscreen y/n etc. etc.

Getting midi music to work correctly was a little tricky - for WC3 you can add '-i' after the WC3.exe entry at the bottom of the .conf file to run the original installer & select the correct music card.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Dosbox is only one of the tools used, I installed Beneath a steel sky and found myself running ScummVM. Sure you can finetune WC3 to run better/smoother, but so was the case with the original back in it's day. It's a PC you are running it on, not an Amiga, Macintosh or console.
 
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