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Planning to support City of Heroes

Hello Advocates and Users,

Since City of Heroes is currently our top voted game among the not supported ones, we've decided to invest some work into it and add support for it, as I already mentioned on my blog[1] a while ago. In order to get the game running properly, I am kindly asking for your help in collecting a list of issues that need to be fixed. Bear with me, I am currently installing the game, so I lacking orientation in the game.

So far I am aware of these:

  • Refuses to run on Macs with Intel chips because GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array is not supported
  • Refuses to run on some systems, claiming that GL_NV_vertex_shader is not supported(which systems are those?)
  • Crashes for some users when loading. Where exactly? Which System is used, and which graphics card?[2]
  • Many advanced visual features are missing[3]
  • Gamma correction doesn't work. This should be fixed in the about to be released CrossOver Games 7.1. Advocates, can you give the beta / release candidate a try and file beta reports?
  • Any other issues?

Thanks you,
Stefan

[1]
http://www.codeweavers.com/about/people/blogs/stefan/2008/7/3/crossover-games-plans-for-july

[2]
http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/name/?app_id=1299;forum=1;msg=37274

[3]
http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/name/?app_id=1299;forum=1;msg=35938

This is GREAT news.

First, my configuration:
I've got a 2006 17" iMac, running 10.4.11. 1.5GB ram, 1.83ghz CPU, ATI X1600 mobility thingum with 128 megs of ram. I've used both current Crossover Mac Pro, Crossover Games, and I'm currently using the 20080702 unsupported CXGames release. I've seen effectively identical results from all three. Aside from the stability, all of this applies to CX 6.x, as well.

I always run in windowed mode, due to my multitasking needs.

Summary:

Graphics: Total lack of shaders, due to presented DX level. It makes the graphics very flat, but it doesn't harm functionality in the slightest. Overall graphics performance is quite good, otherwise. Gamma correction.. sorta seems to work in the nightly. I'd like the ability to disable it. It does weird things to the colors I don't like. I see the exact same colors in Parallels when I fuss with that in full screen mode... I think it looks /horrible/.

Sound: Far as I can tell, it's pretty much perfect.

Stability: I haven't had any crashing to speak of since moving to CXGames and the other > 7.x releases. It's run pretty rock solid.

Input: This is to me the really big issue. When you enter any keypress that invokes the text entry box (enter, front slash, semicolon)... The very next character you type is sent off to /dev/null, consistently. Very irritating. More problematic, once you hit 'enter' on a text line, instead of restoring focus to normal play, it /stays/ focused in the text entry box... The only way to get OUT of text entry mode is to hit escape twice sequentially. VERY strange.

Also critically problematic, when attempting to use the mouse to turn your character or rotate the camera, when the mouse hits the edge of the window, the turning motion stops. This requires you to either use the keyboard for turning, which is highly inefficient and causes some trouble with switching a hand between keyboard and mouse (I find keyboard targeting extremely difficult in general), or to repeatedly do short turns, which is even more inefficient.

In my estimation, fixing those two issues will result in full "functionality". The graphics improvements would be a bonus, as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks,
Amy

Thanks for the info.

I'll look at the input issues. I can reproduce the loss of the first character. I do not see the mouse problem here on Linux, but it may be a MacOS only issue

As far as the graphics are concerned, this game uses OpenGL. This means any problem has nothing do with DirectX. What I see here on Linux(Nvidia GeForce 7400) is that I can only select low shaders(with and without bump mapping), and I cannot enable Water effects, Depth of Field, Bloom and Desaturation effects. I suspect that the game requires an OpenGL extension that is not available on the Linux drivers, or, more likely, that it depends on a Windows-Specific OpenGL string and doesn't like the driver description of the Linux and Mac drivers. That would be a bug in the game, strictly speaking, but I think I can work around it.

I have an iMac with a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, and an ATI Radion HD2600 with 256MB RAM.

I run CoH in windowed mode.

The game seems to work reasonably well overall, however it does not seem to like going through doors or changing zones. This can cause the game to become gradually more unstable, eventually leading to a crash or occasional hard lock-up. Also, with higher graphics settings, the game often crashes just running around outside. In indoor missions, mousing over mobs and npcs causes the screen to flicker badly, showing occluded objects.

Also, with focus shifting to and from the window, the primary mouse button stops working for clicking on menus, powers, and inspirations.

I will try to run an unsupported build and see if any of these issues go away.

One general note: Since COH uses OpenGL, CrossOver is pretty much not involved in the translation of 3D calls. The OpenGL calls from the game go directly to the MacOS/Linux OpenGL implementation. The good part of this is better performance and in theory out of the box compatibility.

However, this also means that if there's a bug in the graphics driver, there is nothing we can do against it. Our D3D->OpenGL layer has a bit of contextual implementation, and thus we have a limited ability to work around bugs. With OpenGL apps all we can do is disable broken features.

I tried with the unsupported build this weekend. Overall, it seems more stable, although it still crashes from time to time. The mouse button issue seemed to go away as well. Still some graphical glitches, but I don't know at what level.

Hurray ! Celebration, everyone !

More seriously, here's a few issues that come to mind.

Input : see OF's post, it pretty much sums it up.
Stability : recently, I've had numerous crashes under Crossover while I had very few when I first installed it. Could it be the latest Wine ? CoH issue 12 ? I have no idea.
Costumes : Opening the costume selection window not only crashes the game, but after a window pops up explaining I had a video driver problem, my whole system freezes in a manner of moments.
Pictures : You cannot see the picture of your contacts, of other players or mobs in the info window, or even in the I.D. screen.
Cursor : -compatiblecursors 1 or not, my cursor is a big black square, which otherwise works fine.

I'll install the latest beta right away to have a look at gamma correction and other issues.

Thank you !

unrelated EDIT : other users having issues with costume selection might want to have a look at the Tips and Tricks section. I added a simple tip so you can use your other precious costumes.

So far I've found one of the easy issues, how to get better graphics(sort of at least): For some reason CoH prefers the old Geforce3 / radeon 8500-9200 pixel shader GL extensions over the better, standardized GL_ARB_fragment_program extension. I don't know yet why this happens, probably it expects them to be reported in a specific order. You can force COH to use the better way by disabling the old extensions:

Create the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/wine/OpenGL/DisabledExtensions

and set it to "GL_NV_register_combiners GL_NV_register_combiners2 GL_NV_register_combiners3 GL_NV_texture_shader GL_NV_texture_shader2". This should do the job for Nvidia cards. I haven't tested ATI cards yet, but I suspect that "GL_ATI_fragment_shader GL_ATI_text_fragment_shader" should help there.

The other interesting aspect of this is that GL_NV_texture_shader is broken on MacOS(crashes, rendering bugs), so forcefully disabling it might not only give you better graphics, but also fix some bugs.

That looked quite hopeful, but sadly there is no love from your suspected ATI key value. Set that, loaded up CoH, still no shaders.
Oh well, it was worth a try. You're making progress, at least. :)

I'm getting this problem:

  • Refuses to run on Macs with Intel chips because GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array is not supported

My graphics card is a Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
The computer is:

Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 2 GB

do you have any suggestions how to get COH running?

I've done the install in both the default and a new bottle. When it starts(after the COH updated is done) I get the error mentioned above, then it goes to a blank screen with just a cursor. After a while this cursor goes to a rather odd square with a bunch of faint colors it in. It then sits there doing nothing. I can finally get out of this with a bunch of repeated cmd-tab and cmd-esc. At this point crossover quits.

7.1.0, same system settings listed on my previous post for Games 7.0.0. Game runs, cursor is better. Game crashes after 5 minutes of play. Consistent. I followed all the settings and suggestions on the post but I can't go for more than 5 minutes. My resolution is set at 1920 x 1157 (this is what I set it to fit in my screen resolution of 1920 x 1200). I have this set under the WINE Configuration to a virtual desktop. I have changed the resolution to something smaller in game but it keeps crashing.

Hello,

Just a COH player here (found this thread from the COH forums), and I'm just chiming in to post something that may help you. If you start the game with the -console 1 command line parameter, it will display render settings, render path and render features, which may help you determine issues.

So the command line goes: "C:\City of Heroes\CityOfHeroes.exe" -project coh -console 1

In my Windows machine, this is what it reports:

Render settings: VBOS 1
Render path: NV1X NV2X ARBVP ARBFP
Render features: WATER BLOOM TONEMAP MULTITEX MULTITEX_DUAL HQBUMP MULTITEX_HQBUMP FPRENDER WATER_DEPTH DOF SHADOWMAPS LIGHTMAPS BUMPMAPS BUMPMAPS_WORLD DESATURATE

If you find an actual bug with the way COH handles something, their devs are very friendly and probably willing to hear you and fix it. You seem to have an account, so make sure you visit the forums at boards.cityofheroes.com! The thread that directed me here was: http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Number=11696787

Edit: also, if you want to help test but don't have an account, you can grab a 14-day trial code at http://www.coh.com/trial

Intel based Macbook Pro 2.4 ghz, nVidia 8600M GT/256 here, running Crossover Games 7.1 release with OSX 10.5.4 (9E17) and 4 gigs of RAM. Here's all the bugs I found so far:

  1. I did have to modify the CoH shortcut to use -compatiblecursors 1 because I had the cursors out of sync with where they were supposed to be otherwise. Even with that, the cursor is strangely sized (too large), distorted, and separated like it's drawn at the wrong resolution.

  2. Upon launch of CoH, I get the updater ok. I click NEXT twice, and then I get a pop-up error "Your card or driver doesn't support GL_NV_Vertex_Program". I dismiss the box, and the login screen loads just fine.

  3. City of Heroes has problems setting full-screen resolutions. In full-screen mode, you can still see the menu bar at the top, a window bar below that, and the Dock at the bottom. Crossover Games should hide all 3 when a resolution close to the maximum display size is selected.

  4. Upon exiting CoH, the game locks up Crossover Games hard, and a force quit is necessary.

  5. While running CoH, enabling Full Screen Anti-Aliasing causes everything in-game to lose Gamma channel. Anything that's semi-transparent becomes opaque. Also, it causes some streaking.

  6. The game also locks up Crossover Games hard in graphics intensive zones like Grandville, and possibly in instanced/indoor missions with heavy activity as well.

I'll see if the latest unsupported build has any chance from the above shortly.

LeandroTLZ, thanks for the hints! I wasn't aware of the console parameter, but I found that if I just run CoH from a Linux/Mac terminal it writes the output to stdout; So I had these debugging outputs already.

I am also in contact with a CoH developer, and indeed he has been very helpful.

With Crossover Games 7.1, it seems to mostly be working now for me. Unfortunately, it seems that after extended periods of time or when asked to load a large number of textures in a short amount of time (the auction house, for example), not all the textures get loaded. Shortly after that the game will crash or wedge the machine.

iMac running OS 10.5.4 with a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, and an ATI Radion HD2600 with 256MB RAM.

I'm running Mac OS X 10.5.4, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo 17" MacBook Pro with 4 GB memory. I'm running in windowed.

CoH works consistently well for me in 7.1. The shader issue others have reported is no better on mine, and I've found that things are much more stable if I run with minimal graphics and with sound entirely disabled except when I need to hear a glowie in a mission.

I do get some flicker when I'm running through some of the more graphics intensive areas, and it does sometimes lock up or crash when that happens.

My biggest thing is when I use the mouse to track the camera, either by right clicking or clicking the center/scroll wheel (the former is good for rotating around my character, the latter allows for 3D flight and the like). Even a small move of the mouse causes a huge reaction, causing dizzying spins, or a camera shift straight up or down with very little control.

In response to this issue:

Costumes : Opening the costume selection window not only crashes the game, but after a window pops up explaining I had a video driver problem, my whole system freezes in a manner of moments.

The problem is not with WINE/Cedega/Crossover nor with CoH, but with nVidia's drivers. nVidia's drivers only allow for a 4x pixel thingy, but flag to the system as allowing up to 16x, and CoH, when it sees this ability it, well, uses it. And, since it's missing half of the bits, BAM!

Well, the issue is that the Nvidia Linux drivers only support 4x multisampling(aka fullscreen antialiasing), but the game expects 16x. I don't know if we misguide the game in some regard to make it expect this.

I am in contact with a City of Heroes developer over all those issues. Maybe they are willing to fix those problems, because strictly speaking they are bugs in the game, not the driver or CrossOver.

I found the cause of the cursor problem in the meantime - this was a bug in CrossOver at least.

The only issue I ever really had with CXG7+ was the cursor problem. With CX6 I couldn't even get it to run.
I'm on a 2006 MPB w/the 128MB ATI and 1 GB of RAM and it runs like a dream...as long as I wait for a minute after zoning without touching the mouse or keyboard. If I touch them, it locks.

So I am a bit confused with all the different setups here :) Will CoH run on a MacBook with the Integrated Graphics on the lates build. I know it used to generate GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array error. I'm ready to buy Crossover as soon as we get past that :)

-- Geb --

I still am having the issue where I follow the steps properly, CoX will run, but...no matter what fullscreen resolution I do, the game will just quit suddenly. Usually within 5 minutes. Consistently every single time. I don't know if I missed something in the setups but I followed the instructions on the forum to the letter as best as I could understand them.

The same thing used to happen to me, the game would crash consistently in certain areas. I tweaked my graphical settings down a notch or two and the game became much more stable, although I still get occasional crashes.

MacBook Pro 15 inch, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz, 2 gigs RAM, RadeonX1600

The game launches (but only from the updater) and I can create a character, but when I try to enter the game it freezes and I have to shut down and restart. I can't reduce the graphics because there's no settings options in the game start-up. Any advice?

Just a quick note to say that using the /unloadgfx command after zoning or leaving a particularly graphics-intensive area (such as the auction house) really cuts down on all the crashes and hangs for me.

Keith Sutton wrote:

Just a quick note to say that using the /unloadgfx command after
zoning or leaving a particularly graphics-intensive area (such as
the auction house) really cuts down on all the crashes and hangs for
me.

I want to give you a big wet kiss on the bottom.

I've been experiencing regular if infrequent crashes, generally two or three per session. Whilst tolerable, because they are 20 to 30 minutes apart, it is still frustrating to have to reload the game occasionally, particularly when in a team.

Last night I bound /unloadgfx to a key to make it more convenient to use and played for two hours straight without a crash. I used the command after zoning and occasionally after big fights, and this was on a couple of Task Force missions.

It was only one test, but it has given a positive result so far.

Hey guys. I want to start off by saying thank you codeweavers for making playing CoH/CoV on a mac with less problems possible. I stopped playing years ago (on a perfectly good windows rig) and recently jumped back on with the season three premier of the TV show Heroes. LOL! I'm a nerd to a degree....but arent we all. Anyways...

One thing I have learned that prolonged my playing of CoX with a Mac is the use of a good FAN blowing on the hot portions of the iMac or the Macbooks. I discovered this when playing it on my girlfriend's macbook 2.1Ghz with 2gigs of ram. The area where the power plugs goes got extremly hot. She bought a cooling unit for it and we've got great playing times. I've played for two hours without crashes. With the addition of the tweaks I've read from other threads and this one. I also blow a fan on my Imac as well because it too got very hot from playing CoX on there. I had better luck with the iMac. I actually dont get the OpenGL errors that the Macbook does. When I first played CoX on my iMac on default setting I even got it too have that nice shine to the characters as if I was playing on a windows PC. It crashed 30 minutes later. I tweaked it down to like 1024 x 768 and it worked fine. I been trying to get that shine back, but I cant for some reason. Even if i set to defaults. Anyways, I hike it up to 1280 x 800 (i think it was) an it worked fine for an hour or two at a time. I've played 2 hours then it crashed, but maybe it was LIFE telling me to get something to eat and take a break. LOL! Also every once in a while my character will start spining out of control. A quick fix is just to walk forward and press the opposity direction the toon is spinning. So let me recap some of the fixes I've got:

For iMacs (I run a 20 inch 2.0Ghz with 2 gigs ram...the new ones with silver and comes with leopard)

You can either run it from an emulated window (change in winecfg) and use 1152 x 864
or
Run un-emulated and go into the CoH option -> graphics and then change to 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 800 if you are brave. You can turn the gamma to 80 percent too. You can also run windowed. I hate this because I want to use as much of my 20 inch screen as possible.

then

Run a very good fan on the back of your iMac

also

do you maintenence weekly like the periodic daily, periodic weekly, periodic monthly (or is is periodical...I forget)

For macbooks (my GF runs a 2.1 ghz with 2 gigs of ram)

run the winecfg and run an emulated window with 1152 x 864 (still crashes, but not as often)

also

in the setting of CoH run as windowed or 1024 x 768 and turn gamma to 80 percent

then

run that laptop cooling unit under it. Keeping it cool is a must for longer playing times.

These setting still result with crashes, but not as often. I am waiting for codeweavers to give us a BUG FREE crash. Also, with a registed version give me better playability? I ask because my 7 day trial is almost up and maybe that could be the answer to my problems....but I doubt it. I will buy the registered version though. Too big to pass up. I don't want to buy a 1k windows laptop for this game. It's already taking over my life. I dont need it to take over my wallet. LOL! Please respond to me with any other ideas you might have guys. We can make this program work together. Also, my global chat handle on Coh is Ecko Agent.....hit me up. Friend me and we can team.

Heys,

Looks like City of Heroes is going to have an official MacOS release using Cider:
http://www.tuaw.com/2008/10/30/city-of-heroes-coming-to-mac-under-transgamings-cider/

Unfortunately, this Mac version will have the SecuROM DRM/Malware included with it - so I think i'd rather keep waiting for the Crossover Games compatibility issues to be fixed instead.

Wow - this is really a big deal regarding us (the advocates, both here and at COH.com) and Stephan. Unfortunately they are choosing to support a company that likes to steal from WINE Project rather than contribute. Don't worry Codeweavers I'm still here for you! Although I'm glad that NCSoft NorCal, has noticed how many of us play on the Mac, my money still goes to Codeweavers! (although I will be buying the Mac version of COH, because I want the special stuff!)

Just checking in to see if the decision to support City of Heroes has been reverted. I think at this point most of us coh fans have found ways to workaround all of the bugs, but I'm sure there wouldn't be complaints if we could get them squared away. The buglist on wine's appdb I believe is fairly comprehensive to both wine and cxgames currently (although going to try to update to current on crossover tonight and see if that's still the case). Always happy to help bug squash, hope that supporting coh hasn't left the realm of possibility!

So what's the latest on the linux side? I see that there is a new driver from nvidia, and we've had multiple patches in COH, (including the architect abortion). I am super interested in getting out of winders and this is the last program standing in my way (the rest can be run in virtualbox). Last i tested was i13, Mint 6 and whatever was the full wine with all the bells and whistles. costume crash, and rubber-banding (pretty much standard problems) but the frame-rates were unbelievable, going back to windows i lost 30% framerate. i would be willing to be guinea pig...

thanks for any news,
Pagantek
pagantek(at)yahoo.com

edit: system specs
C2D e4400 up to 2.5g
4 gigs 1066 ddr2 single channel 4-4-4-10 nvidia SLI certed
dual 8800 gts, matched pair
nvidia 680I sli board
winders 7

Linux status update Crossover Games: 7.2.2

  • If installing from downloaded client

Installation fails with error writing cityofheroes.prv, work around appears to be to run installer in Windows 98 mode.

  • If installing from installation CD/DVD

Background takes over full screen and hides the installation windows/buttons, work around is to run in a Window (see tips and tricks)

  • Patching.

Recent patch fails renaming file TEMPFILE to COH.CHECKSUM, work around is to manually rename file when patcher crashes. Patcher then starts normally and you can start the game. Failing to rename file causes FIXING FILES on next launch with average ETA of 3+ hours.

  • In game.

Chat Window bug still exists. IE. Have to click into chat window to type/chat and pressing ESC does not release need to click back out to get character control back.

Accessing the Costume change screen will crash the game. Can change costume by using slash command to change costume (can't remember command atm)

Will test with nightly builds tonight see if anything has changed.

Emmett Hendrick wrote:

Linux status update Crossover Games: 7.2.2

  • In game.

Chat Window bug still exists. IE. Have to click into chat window to
type/chat and pressing ESC does not release need to click back out
to get character control back.

Accessing the Costume change screen will crash the game. Can change
costume by using slash command to change costume (can't remember
command atm)

Will test with nightly builds tonight see if anything has changed.

For the chat bug, you can simply hit escape twice.

For changing costumes, the simple form is /cc 0 through /cc 4
The new costume change emotes have an additional slash command:

/cce # emote

Where # is 0 through 4 as with /cc, and 'emote' is one of ... well, a few things. Here:

Paragon Wiki List of Costume Change Emotes

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