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Demo stability

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Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Let me start of by saying I've been looking forward to this game for a long time now after I stumbled across it, and the demo didn't disappoint its a very fun game.

However I am having problems with the game stability and im wondering if its the game or my system not being able to run it. I am above the required specs but not by that much.
I currently have an Opteron 144, 6800GT and 1GB RAM. Settings were originally on auto detect but since them I've put it on the lowest and I haven't noticed any different in terms of frame rates or performance.
The problem is the game freezes at random points in the game. At first I thought it was an error with the game as it happened when I constructed the first Villa but after that its been freezing even when nothing is happening and never in the same place. Sometimes happens after 2-3 mins playing, other times ive lasted 20 mins or so before it went.
I can access task manager to kill the program and everything else on my comp is still running fine so its isolated to the game.

Is this a problem with the game or a compatibility issue?
Also are there any plans to release a newer demo if future patches help fix any problems with freezing?

Thanks.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Just another small side question here, didn't think it needed its own thread.

Does the game have a sandbox side to it as well as the objective driven style as in the demo?

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Sorry you're having trouble. From the sound of it your system should be able to run the game fine so I don't think it's an issue of your system not being powerful enough. Graphics drivers can sometimes cause random issues so i recommend you get the latest version from nvidia if you haven't already. You might also try lowering the sound detail in Hegemony to low or off and see if that helps.

We do plan to release updates as we receive customer feedback but we haven't encountered your situation before so I can't say when we might have a fix available.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Does the game have a sandbox side to it as well as the objective driven style as in the demo?

There is no specific sandbox mode but the game opens up completely after the demo and you can explore and conquer in any direction you wish. There are still objectives but they can be done in any order.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Ok thanks for the quick replies I will try changing the sound but im fairly sure I have the latest drivers already, worth checking as always though.

(Also updated my initial post as I put 8800GT instead of 6800GT, but again that seems to be within the requirements)

Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

One other thing to check is cooling of your video card - check for dust build up, make sure the fan is blowing, and make sure you've got good venting on your case. It sounds to me like your video card might be overheating, thus causing the crash.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I have certainly had that problem in the past, infact had it hitting over 100C when I let it get completely blocked.
But since then ive cleaned it out a lot more and specifically taken the cover off my GPU to unclog the heatsink, I last did it not long ago and all my temp monitors are fine, plus im not having any problems on much more graphically intense games (As I said I have set graphics down to the lowest even though auto detect gives me medium settings, wasn't a noticeable difference either way).

Just updated my driver though, wasnt really out of date so unlikely it will make a difference but I will give it a go :)

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm

No neither of those things has helped, still exactly the same problem.

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Did you try setting the sound detail to 'off'? We have seen a bug on some Windows XP machines where DirectSound locks the game up occasionally.

Also, if you have any virus scanners with an active scan, make sure it's disabled while you're playing.

Finally, the 6800 is on the lower end of cards that will run Hegemony, and if your card was overheating in the past, it's possible that it's slightly damaged, which could result in the card under-performing.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Yes I tried it on low and off.

As for the GPU its fine running more demanding games even on higher settings, the actual framerate was fine as well. I will try poking around with it some more though as I really do want to play it, been tracking it ever since I first read about it.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Hi, I just downloaded the demo this afternoon. First let me say I think this is a fantastic game from what I've seen of it. However, I've also been having the sort of constant freezes that Isileth is having.

My card is a 7950GT, running Win XP, graphics drivers were updated about 5 or 6 weeks ago. I'll try updating the graphics drivers when I get a chance – hopefully this weekend - and see if that helps. I tried playing with the sound off for a while and still got a freeze up.

I don't know if this is just coincidence but the game seems to freeze most often when I scroll up to the North West part of the visible map, right around where it boarders the unexplored area.

I hope this can be fixed as I would certainly like to purchase the game, but at the moment it's rather unplayable.

Isileth, if you get a chance to update your drivers before I do, please post as to whether or not that helped.
Thanks.

P.S. I also got a CTD and saved a memory dump. I could send that if that would help.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I updated my drivers but it didn't make a difference. I hadn't long updated them before that anyway.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Can I assume that you've not gone into the 3d settings of the Nvidia and hard-set Anisotropic and Antialiasing to the max settings?

I have an 8800GTS and I've had no freeze up of any sort. My processor is an Intel Q6600 quad-core.

Have you checked your Event Viewer (start->run, type in eventvwr.msc and check System for Disk errors, etc)

The only problem I know of is with Crossfire... assuming no SLI or you'd have said 2 x 7950GT or a single 7950GTX2. Of course, the 6800GT is also having an issue.

I assume you've got the latest Directx 9.0c installed?

You could also try adjusting Hardware acceleration on the sound card in Control Panel->Sounds and Audio Devices, click on the Audio tab at the top, Advanced under Sound Playback, and then Performance tab at the top. Change the Hardware Acceleration there and see if that helps any.

Though it seems like you can duplicate the problem by scrolling into unexplored areas (which screams video problem)? Or is that just Rusty?

Those are the only things obvious I can think of to check.

Good luck and hope you can play. The game is a lot of fun.

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 20, 2010 at 12:50 am

My card is a 7950GT
In your case, I would definitely double-check the temperature of your card. Any card ending with 900 or more, either ATI or NVidia, is basically an overclocked version of the 800-series cards, so they're extra-prone to overheating.

With nVidia cards, you can see the temperature of your card by installing nTune and going into the "Performance" tab of your nVidia control panel.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

I was able to play the game little more last night, almost an hour, and I found the following:

1) My GPU temperature was fine - at least 10 degrees cooler than when I play DoD source, or Empire:TW and I've never had any problems with either of those games (and ETW is a notoriously buggy game that many people have problems with).

2) My initial observation that the freezes were worse on one part of the map was wrong, when I played it the second time it was freezing with no discernable pattern regarding location.

3) However, the freezing might be related to camera movement. At one point I left the camera at ground level and didn't move it, and the game ran for 20 minutes without freezing. There was plenty of action on screen - slaves building a wall until they were captured and executed, crops burning nearby – and I even provided some input by selecting and deselecting buildings and units. Twenty minutes is far and away the longest I've gotten it to run without freezing – normally it was locking up after about 7 minutes or less. In fact the game didn't freeze at all while the camera was still, it might have gone even longer but I had to quit.

Anyway, I hope that helps. As I've said, I really like the game and would like to buy it, but for the moment it's not really playable (on my machine at least), but I'll certainly check back once and a while to see if there's a solution.

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Ah, if it's only when you move the camera, it's probably taking too long to load the terrain off of the hard drive as you move.

If you have an active virus scanner, make sure it's disabled while you play, since that can slow down hard drive access. You might also want to consider defragging your hard drive.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Ah, if it's only when you move the camera, it's probably taking too long to load the terrain off of the hard drive as you move.

If you have an active virus scanner, make sure it's disabled while you play, since that can slow down hard drive access. You might also want to consider defragging your hard drive.


When I say freeze, I don't mean a temporary pause in game play, I mean a permanent stop that usually requires hitting the rest switch to reboot. Sometimes I can get the task manager and stop it that way, but most of the times it's the reset switch.

I defrag my HD regularly and I'm not running AV at the moment, but I've never had problems like that with other programs while running AV.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

One other thing I forgot to mention. When the game locks up, the GUI disappears completely and just the map is visible. The background sounds keep playing though.

I take it there's no difference between the demo and the full version, so if I bought the full version I'd still be having this problem?

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I remembered that my MB has an onboard VGA chip (an ATI 1250) so I enabled that and tried the demo. Apart from a terrible frame rate it ran perfectly. So it is definitely the video card. And I don't mean there's a problem with my card, it runs perfectly with other games. So the problem could be compatibility between the game and older nvidia cards on windows XP.

Does anyone else have the game running on a 7xxx or 6xxx nvidia card (with win XP)? Was the game tested on older nvidia cards?

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 22, 2010 at 12:02 am

I don't remember any 7000-series cards passing through our office. We've tested in a 6800, which works, although not great, and we've tested on a lot of 8000-series cards.

We're still trying to figure out what could be happening with your machine.

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