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TSAdmiral

Graphics Problems in Emperor, Please Help!

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Thanks for viewing this topic guys. I'm having trouble with the game on my new computer, and I can't for the life of me figure out why it is doing what it is. I've recently picked up a laptop with the follow specs:

Windows XP Home

Pentium M 1.73 Ghz

1024 MB RAM

128 MB Mobility Radeon X700

80 GB 5400 RPM

I installed Emperor and the latest patch, but have some pretty serious issues with the graphics. I see lots of artifacts in the game when I scroll around. It's like the game breaks and I see these black polygons flashing for a split second when I scroll around. When the camera is still or there isn't much happening, it's generally fine, but it's very intrusive when I attempt to play. It is mainly the terrain with this issue. Again, it's like I see the underlying geometry of the game flashing for split second all across the map. I have installed the latest set of Mobility Catalyst 5.8 drivers and this issue is still coming up. I really don't know what to do. I haven't played Emperor in a while and wanted to test the new machine out with it and I'm baffled as to why Emperor has such issues.

Thanks in advance.

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Well, I'm not one of the 'Puter experts from the site but,I have a couple of thoughts.

1- What are your graphics in the game options set on? click on advanced and turn them all down to start.

2- How much crap do you have running in the background? Turn off anything uneccessary.

I have a laptop with a althon 64 3200+ and half as much ram as you, with the same vid card, and EMP runs great on it, when I turn everything off.

3- Do you have the latest graphics drivers?

Thats all I can think of right off the top. Maybe Scar or Nunu or Deluged, or some of the people from the Emp support section would have more ideas. You might want to post this there as well.

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1) I've tested this already. I've tried everything from the lowest possible settings to the highest, I still get those random flashing artifacts across the map, especially where the sand is. Nothing changes this fact, whether I modify graphics quality settings or hardware settings. And only Emperor is having these problems.

2) I don't have anything running in the background. This hard drive was freshly formatted, and the only things I've installed are drivers and operating system updates. Emperor is the first true program I've installed, and there's nothign else running in the background. Performance is not the issue here, as I believe my graphics card and overall system capable of running higher settings just fine, but the "polygonal flashing" makes the game nearly unplayable.

3) Yes, as I've already said before, I'm using ATI's latest Mobility Catalyst Drivers, specifically 5.8. I am sure these are the latest available.

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I found this on the Emp tech support board.  Try it out and see if it makes any difference.

You can do this by right clicking on the shortcut, and then selecting the properties option. You'll then see a text field that has a directory listing, something like "C:westwoodemperoremperor.exe". You'll need to place a +w at the end of this line, resulting in "C:westwoodemperoremperor.exe +W".

One thing you didn't mention was your directx version.  Is it up to date?  If your video drivers and directx are all up to date, I would suggest going back a version and see if there's any difference.

I just updated my video driver and it caused some problems in areas that worked fine previously so "latest" isn't always bug free.  Also, are you using drivers from the chip maker or the card maker?  If your card uses an ATI chipset but is made by someone else, check the manufacturer's website for their drivers as they may be more reliable.

In my case, the older drivers from the manufacturer were bug free whereas very up to date drivers from the chip maker had problems.

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Thanks for the current support guys, it is highly appreciated.

RA1204, I have just tried the "+W" command and it makes no difference. What does it do exactly? As for my DirectX version, it is 9.0c, which I think is the latest available. I have actually used the drivers Gateway supplied, which had these artifact issues. I decided to try ATI's Mobility Catalyst 5.8, which I thought would solve the problem, but to no avail. The Gateway driver itself used version 6.14.10.6512 of the Radeon display drivers. My current Mobility Catalyst 5.8 set reports using version 8.162. Both produce flickering. The Gateway driver is the only one available and ATI has only recently added official mobile support, so I have almost no where to turn.

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I have had a similar problem in C&C Generals on one of my computers and have yet to resolve it. It doesn't bother me much though, though it would be useful to notice that it happens more often when I scroll about the map, and the terrain shown on the screen is generally not flat.

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I would report the problem with ATI as I think this is just a driver compatibility issue.  I don't know what else you can do if you tried all availabe versions of the drivers and nothing works.

I don't know what the "+w" option does but it was just listed as a compatibility tweak for some graphics issues.

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Alright, I've figured out the "solution" to the problem. Well, technically, I didn't but the poster of the other thread did. I forget his name, but it was the topic starter of the thread I linked to. By following his procedues, I am able to confirm the problem. It seems that the last Catalyst driver that does not mess up Emperor is indeed the 5.1 set. Any driver more recent than that causes the texture corruption detailed in this thread. By reverting back to such an old driver, I was able to properly play Emperor as it is meant to be played. Unfortunately, that also means that any newer games could have compatibility or performance issues. I have since reverted from the 5.1 set back to the Mobility Catalyst 5.8 drivers. Could someone sticky this on the Emperor support forum? I feel it could be useful for any ATI users having similar issues as me.

Thanks for the advice in this topic. The time was appreciated guys.

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Hi, so does this mean your going to come online now? And if so, when? ;D

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a shame I saw this topic to late. ;)

I could have mentioned the latest Omega drivers for ATI cards is basically cra*. Not even do they cause a lot of problems but it even crashed my Windows OS.

Good to see you found out yourself. :)

[tt]I'll keep it sticky for a couple of weeks.[/tt]

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I have exactly the same problem. :(

I should have played this stupid game when I still had the nVidia card. Can't be arsed to revert to older drivers, maybe catalyst version 5.13 helps? I have a RADEON x800 card.

Update: I've tried 5.13 drivers to no avail. The +W option doesn't help either. Compatibility mode is also a no-no.

Nothing Better To Do So...: ATI 5.1 drivers solved it. No biggy, but yes sticky it :D

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O.K., as of being an offical TechNet member (who want's to touch me?  :P), I have downloaded my Windows Vista RTM (build 6.0.6000). After doing some R&R (some means all night long) i did a driver update to ATi Catalyst 8.31.100 beta for Vista (owning a Radeon 9600XT). And I've installed Emperor - the only Westwood RTS I have missed to date, bought the game on Allegro.pl (polish eBay) like 6 months ago. Had the texture glitch (XP). Tried it now on Vista. Guess what.

The game runs flawlessly!!!

:D :D :D

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Hey, good stuff.

Has anyone else tried Emp on Vista or is this the first confirmation we will be able to play emp well into the future ? ;D

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  I had a similar/same problem with my Dell laptop-ATI Mobility Radeon X300 with the latest (8/3/2005) available driver from Dell-conventional wisdom being that it is better to download the driver from the manufacturer's site.  My display's native resolution is 1680 x 1050.

  From the control panel/device manager I rolled the driver back to the original, tweaked all the in game controls up and down to no avail and decided to just being content to play the game on my old desktop. Here I will add that also based on conventional wisdom, I had set my display resolution to 1024 x 768 to match the highest resolution available in the game options menu. After re-installing the latest driver, I restarted and got the message that in effect said that I had set my display resolution lower than the native resolution supported and that my display would not be at it's max clarity-on a hunch I set my desktop to 1680 x 1050 and tried the game one more time-no more artifacting even with all graphic options set to max (in game resolution set at the max of 1024 x 768). Your results may vary but this worked for me.

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  Addemdum to my previous post-right after posting I closed down my dial-up isp (or so I thought) and fired up a skirmish before going to work-ACK!!! the anomalies were back!-ah man, better get back on line and remove my post-shut down the game and whoops-hadn't disconnected from the web-shut it completely down, re-started the game and all was well again-just confirms other postings that suggest Nothing running in the background-I will also add that using msconfig and the system startup tab in the tools menu of Spybot (you are using Spybot aren't you?-recommended) I have nothing running in the background or at startup-I have done this for years with 98, 98SE and now XP with no problems-your results my vary.

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Catalyst 5.1 fixes the flickering, but runs horribly slow,for me anyway..

you could try disabling texture compression by adding  -c to the end of the command line..

this helps me when i dont use aa/af as a countermeasure instead..

i wouldnt bother with that on vid cards that dont have a lot of ram to play with tho

(64/32mb=bad idea) as it can be taxing as it uses more memory..the x800 should be fine with it..

afaik the +w switch forces the game to precache the movies for smoother playback..

use this only if ur pc is a real noob with 2x cdrom and it runs fmv like its leeching it off an ide network card :P

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Yep you guessed it i have the same problem too with my Radeon X1600 Pro with them black polygons flashing on the screen also when an enemy unit is on the screen all i get is flashing black polygons on the screen. i recently upgraded from an old GeForce 6200 card which didn't have any problems. I think it is just a problem with ATi cards.  :-

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I have the same problem, so i thought y no one sent an email to ati???

i could send one but my English not so good, and i cant explain exactly what is the problem.

could someone send a message about this problem to ATI?

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I personally dont think they would be too bothered about a 5-6 year old game. Cant hurt to try though, I  suppose.

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Got the same problem, flickering polygons... The 5.1 ATI catalyst patch reduced them greatly but they still occur every so often... particularily at the beginning of a mission...

Catalyst 5.1 is very old and hard to find... It isn't even on the official ATI site anymore...

The only place I could find which still provides it is here

http://www.idg.pl/ftp/pc_5320/ATI.Catalyst.5.1.html

Again, for me it only reduced the flickering (alot but not entirely) If anyone has a sure way to eliminate it altoghether please post!

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I had the same problems with the graphics and I am running ATI X1600 Pro video card 512MB, Intel Core 2 Duo E6400, ASROCK 775Dual-VSTA motherboard, DDR2 PC2-5300 2GB, Win XP Pro. I tried some of the solutions posted here and I discovered an answer on my own that might work for you guys. Since I didn't want to leave any of you chums out I wanted to share how I got it to work without having to revert back to an old Catalyst driver.

1) Run dxdiag

2) Goto the Display tab

3) Disable "Direct3D Acceleration," leave everything else enabled.

4) Run the game!

This worked me and I saw no problems with artifacts yet during gameplay. Let me know if this works for anyone. Cheers!

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Hehe, good stuff. So basically your graphics card does no 3D work.

Hope that does work and help anyone else that is having this problem with ATI.

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I downloaded the latest ATI drivers and it seems that they fix the flickering problems with Emperor

The driver is ATI Catalyst version 7.3 and I tried it out with Emperor and didnt notice any flickering whatsoever...

The one I had before that was 7.1 and Emperor was barely playable from so much black filckering screen... So I had re-installed 5.1 just to play it, with 5.1 the graphics only flickered at the very start, or when zooming out too fast, but now that isn't necessary

For me, at least, 7.3 fixes this graphics problem entirely

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