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VonS

New Mac OS Versions and FE2

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Hello gents',

A quick heads up for those running FE2 in WineSkin on a Mac - keep in mind that FE2 is a 32-bit program. MacOS 10.15 and later will not be supporting 32-bit programs anymore (only 64-bit). This of course is a problem considering that WineSkin (and other Wine programs for Macs) are currently 32-bit. While WineSkin may eventually go 64-bit (this is a slim possibility), there is no guarantee that 32-bit programs like FE/FE2 will be able to run in it even if it is 64-bit, considering that MacOS 10.15 and later are stripping out most if not all of the 32-bit code from their OS. This leaves Mac fliers of FE2 in a precarious position. Options are eventually to go over to Windows and drop fiddling with WineSkin, or to keep running your older Intel Macs (like my 2012 quad-core Mini), or grab another Mac and sort of future-proof yourself, with something like a Mac Pro or the newer Mac Mini (2018), providing you don't upgrade past MacOS 10.14 (last one to support 32-bit). SF2 by the way is 64-bit, and so is WOFFue - so those are good to go into the future of 64-bit OSes, on the Windows side. No guarantees that you will be able to fly WOFF/SF2 in future Mac OSes however because WineSkin may remain 32-bit only (no telling what's going to happen with Wine on a Mac at this point). Have been reading some forums that the Wine folks may move over to Linux entirely if the Mac world drops 32-bit...not good news for legacy simming/gaming. Anyway, I'll probably future-proof myself in some way with an extra Mac or two since I like running FE2 in WineSkin and there's no dropping FE2 once you get the modding bug. :biggrin:

Happy flying,

Von S :flyer:

UPDATE: The CodeWeaver folks working on CrossOver (a fork of Wine) may be developing a way for 32-bit code/libraries to be loaded into a 64-bit version of Wine - something that may eventually be ported to the general branch of Wine too - but again this is work in progress and no telling what will happen until the dust settles down over the next couple of years, in terms of 32-bit gaming on a Mac, in Wine. Linux has a 64-bit version of Wine that can load 32-bit code for older games, and it seems to have had this for several years already - but this is not relevant to gaming on a Mac. Will update this post further if any (good) news emerges.

Edited by VonS
Added info.

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Further update to this Mac-related thread: FE2 and RB3D work fine in WineSkin on MacOS Mojave (10.14) - for FE2, the same recommended install procedure posted under the relevant WineSkin thread (under the stickies section) works fine, using the Wine8 ver. 1.5.1 engine, the best engine to use for FE2 since decent frame rates can be attained on it.

Have also tested FE2 in Win10 under BootCamp on my MacPro and it bogs down at around 10 fps with the AMD FirePro D700 cards - but runs beautifully in WineSkin on the MacOS side. :biggrin: I included the higher quality mesh-size flightengine.ini file and frame rates still run around 50-60 fps, about 80-120 fps with the lower quality flightengine.ini file. If running FE2 on integrated Intel video cards - the lower quality flightengine.ini file is recommended. Have kept most settings in the FE2 game menu at medium since there wasn't much difference between medium and high, while fps suffer at high settings.

Will do some further testing with FE2 on the BootCamp side to see if frame rates improve by running it in Win7 compatibility mode - otherwise WineSkin is still recommended for running FE2 on a Mac, in OS versions ranging from Snow Leopard (10.6) to Mojave (10.14). System 10.12 (Sierra) and above require however that you disable "system integrity protection" in the terminal window, or games in WineSkin won't load.

Happy flying and happy holidays,

Von S :drinks:

Edited by VonS
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Hello fellow FE/FE2 flyers, here are the latest Mac-related updates.

WineSkin is still the simplest choice up to ver. 10.14 of MacOS to run FE2 on your Mac side...ave. fps are between 50 and 80 at medium graphics settings and a resolution of 1600 x 900 on my rig (Mac Pro 2013). Also good is that FE2 now runs fine in Win10 on the BootCamp side of the Mac....the trick, as posted in another thread earlier by gTerl and others, is to include the dx9 driver directly in your FE2 game (not user directory) folder. I'm getting good results with the generic dx9 driver included with the enb-series v. 0.076 package, located at the following link:

http://enbdev.com/mod_generic_v0076.htm

The only thing you need from that file is the dx9 driver. Ave. fps range from about 60 to 150 on the Win10 side of the Mac Pro with that driver in the FE2 folder...my previous tests with the dx10 and dx11 drivers installed, and advanced shaders set to "1" (on) and dx9 set to "false," in the options.ini file, have been filed away...yes fps gets into the 200 to 300 range but the sky and clouds look less subtle, peripheral/horizon fog flickers on occasion, and the classic, thin line water droplets disappear from the inclement effects. Also nicer I think are the landscapes with the older driver - more atmospheric. Aircraft and pilot shadows may of course be set to on if you are running a discrete graphics card or two (not recommended on Intel integrated vid. cards). Occasional crashes were also experienced with the dx10 and 11 driver installed - no such problems with dx9.

Recommended in the options.ini file is to set advanced shaders to off (0), to set dx9 to "true," and vsync off to "true." Also recommended are the following settings in the AMD control panel in BootCamp, basically the same ones that work well for WOFFue:

- anti-aliasing mode (override application settings)
- anti-aliasing level (4xEQ)
- anti-aliasing filter (Edge Detect)
- anti-aliasing method (Adaptive multisampling)
- morphological filtering (off)
- anisotropic filtering mode (override application settings)
- anisotropic filtering level (8x)
- texture filtering quality (high)
- surface format optimization (off)
- wait for vertical refresh (off, unless application specifies)
- opengl triple buffering (off)
- shader cache (on)
- tessellation mode (override application settings)
- maximum tessellation level (16x)
- AMD crossfire mode (optimize 1x1)
- frame pacing (on)

The great thing about Win10 in BootCamp is that all of the in-game settings can be run at high/ultimate with no problems...the only recommendation, if you like shadows enabled, is to set them no higher than "medium," to avoid any possible shadow flickering (although with dx9 instead of dx10 enabled, there shouldn't be any flickering visible...).

Happy flying,

Von S :smile:

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Representative pics with dx9 enabled (subtler clouds, better peripheral fog, classic rain drops visible together with the tga file raindrops, more realistic/subtle smoke and fire effects). Resolution at 1920 x 1080 in BootCamp, by the way.

Von S :flyer:

img00001.JPG

img00002.JPG

img00003.JPG

img00004.JPG

Edited by VonS
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Good news on the WineSkin side of things too - dropping the dx9 driver into the FE2 game folder, within the WineSkin wrapper, improves the fps on the Mac side as well. Recommended is to set dx9 to "true" in the options.ini file, and enhanced shaders to off (0), as specified in the post above for BootCamp. Smooth fps can be attained then, and it's fine to increase the resolution to 1920 x 1080. The in-game (graphics) settings in FE2 running in WineSkin should be set to "medium" - otherwise there is slight stuttering at high settings. (The MacOS side doesn't crossover/link the two video cards on the Mac pro...while in BootCamp high/unlimited settings are fine in FE2.) It's possible that dropping the dx9 driver into the FE2 game folder even on Macs running Intel integrated vid. cards, such as the Mac Mini, might lead to fps boosts. Some representative pics below of FE2 in WineSkin with the dx9 driver in the game folder (pics. in the post above are from BootCamp...at unlimited/high settings.) GTerl's Caporetto terrain also works great in WineSkin, by the way.

Happy flying,

Von S :flyer:

NOTE: recommended, with the dx9 tweak, is the higher mesh size flightengine.ini file, for your Flight folder, even if you have FE2 installed in WineSkin - in BootCamp I have the higher mesh size flightengine.ini file running and it works fine, even with high/ultimate graphics settings in game. Pics. below are with the higher mesh size and medium graphics settings, in WineSkin. For integrated vid. cards, best is to use the simpler/default flightengine file (both are included with the ver. 9.5 FM update pack).

img00001.JPG

img00002.JPG

img00003.JPG

Edited by VonS
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