You raise a lot of great points, McTrinsic, and I kinda hate to step in the middle of this and try and guess what's causing my friend's issues. If I were
to guess, though, I'd probably think it was the 060 at the start, but it is likely a combination of things.
Could you please elaborate on what exactly 3.1.4 does to "cause pain"?
I think what he was trying to say here - in a general sense - was ever since he installed 2.0 way back when the compatibility issues started. He still loves 3.1.4 and couldn't wait to install it and use it to the fullest. He thought I was crazy when I put 3.1 ROMs in my 3000 a couple weeks ago and didn't invest in 3.1.4. I'm just taking my time, one step at a time.
DM2 is a weird one. I have 2 A3000s. One is mostly stock. The other I'm building out like "one of the cool kids" to see what all the fuss is about. I installed 3.1 and tested DM2. It was fine. Not only that, in a side-by-side comparison, I could see the 3.1 3000 had more Drystones than the 1.3 (by a couple hundred points) and the consensus was that 3.1 mapped the memory more efficiently.
So I added a few more upgrades, as well as the zz9000.
I realized early on DM2 had a problem and would crash on every attempt - which didn't happen before the upgrades - so I started over to learn where it was coming from. So I formatted the drive and reinstalled 3.1 and DM2. All good.
I then installed BetterWB and tested DM2. It was still fine.
I then installed the P96 libraries - nothing activated them nor used them yet. It was fine. Not an entirely fair test since they were just files on a drive, but as someone who has helped test software it was still a valid test.
Then I installed the zz9000 drivers to use the card fully. Note: I was using the zz9000 in a default native modes at first (NTSC Hires, iirc). Before installing P96 and zz9000 drivers. The card still works without them via HDMI - you just can't really experience it like one should until you do.
In fact, in the very beginning, with only 3.1 installed, my 3000 booted so fast (7 seconds) it booted before the zz9000 even initialized! I worked with Lukas for a workaround, but ultimately another friend of mine had a better idea. Add "C:WAIT 1" to my startup sequence before the bind drivers. It worked!
Forcing the Amiga to slow down gave the zz9000 the time it needed to get ready on a cold boot. It probably was a matter of milliseconds, but still kind of fascinating to me at the time. Slow the machine down a second to make it better. It was worth it, 100%.
After installing the zz9000 to use the P96 libraries, what happens is you can launch the game. 9 times out of 10 you can get past the intro screens no problem and start a game, too. On a very rare occasion, it will freeze when the lightening is drawing the logo. That's not really the issue I'm talking about.
You're down in the underground dungeon where you walk around and awaken the characters you want to use. It's down there, as you open and close cryo chamber doors, where the game will crash your machine every single time.
I've played DM2 on my A2000 and gotten all the way to the final boss. The issue I always had was the game ran so painfully slowly in that battle, seriously like 1 frame per second, that I always dreamed a much faster Amiga could maybe give me more speed to actually play that final scene and beat it. At 1 frame a second, for me it is impossible. So when I saw this new 3000's stats I thought, "Oh! Maybe this will be just good enough!"
I've explained all of this to a close friend of mine here in Seattle, Christian (I think you may know him on A1K?) and he's written a small script for me that will disable P96 on reboot to use games/programs that have issues with it. This is the first RTG card I've ever had, and I've asked a very small handful of folks about their personal experiences with them. One, 10Marc (Doug), says he has a dedicated machine just for RTG because it can't play hardly any games at all, or at least it's so shaky he doesn't bother with it anymore. But the machine is great for what it does - mainly Workbench stuff, graphics apps, etc. And he's fine with keeping it a dedicated machine like that.
I never meant to step on anyone's toes. I applaud all the efforts being made on all the various teams - I find it fascinating and inspirational. But I do know I'll only be having all this fun with the one machine and likely leaving all the rest of mine as they are for the most part. And I don't intend to ask Lukas to get DM2 to work with his card, or then walk over to Jens and see if maybe he could investigate, too. Nah.
I think what I'd rather do is use Christian's script (and I bet a lot of others would like to use it, too). It'll be like a really, really old game where you have to disable fast RAM to get it to work before you play something. No big deal if it works.
Anyway I bought a RapidRoad a week ago for my current build, which is en-route and should be here in the next 10 days or so, if not sooner. I'm looking forward to it. Why? Because the USB on the zz9000 really isn't ready to go today except for cold-booting a thumb drive. And everyone knows it. And I would like to have a real USB option on the "new" 3000, even though I don't really need it. But to easily hot-swap a thumb drive to move files around? That sounds heavenly. Maybe using an optical mouse, too? Well dang!
Last bit on this from me. I know this is a wall of text (I just woke up)
Even with this amazing graphics card - and it is amazing - I bought a brand new professional 4:3 monitor that has a native resolution of 1024x768. Once you go off the native resolutions of a monitor, you get what I call LCD blurriness, which I really don't like. At a native resolution, though - good god, the zz9000 is so crisp, so sharp, it's jaw dropping. And if I go to a higher res, frankly the text is just too small for me to be enjoyable anymore without reading glasses. So, I got a small monitor at that modest resolution because it looks kick ass and I can actually see it comfortably.
Everyone's different with different tastes and abilities. I'm not an engineer, so when things go wrong I start to undo things and work my way back. Could DM2 run on this machine with WHDLoad? I don't know. I'd need more RAM than I currently have to even find out. The BetterWB and other upgrades have eaten 3MB of the 8 currently installed as it is. I ordered a BigRAM, too.... and another 8 zips for the MB.
But, honestly, I don't believe I should have to run WHDLoad to play this game. I never have before, and only after installing ... all this... has that been floated as an option.
I wish 3.1 had been created similarly (hear me out) like Windows 3.1. A lot of stuff just worked in Windows, but a lot of stuff also only worked in DOS. So you'd open a shell and go to DOS and do that stuff. It would have been cool if 1.3 could "live inside" 3.1 in a dedicated manner sometimes like that, I think. But, that's what ROM switchers are for, etc. etc.
Wall of text is done! Happy Friday, everyone.