When I get to working on something I can be completely oblivious to the world around me. Last night was one of those times. I got a message from Tam asking if I needed Xephatol one of the new dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV, to which I replied that I had not touched the content yet. I was in the middle of digging into an issue that had been bugging me since building this system over the weekend. Certain games just would not load regardless of how many supposed “fixes” I attempted… namely the whole compatibility mode and run as administrator nonsense that you seem to need to do with Windows 10. He hinted that it might be good to test out Final Fantasy XIV… which is the point where I got super oblivious. Namely that I said I had tested all of the MMOs and they seem to be working… but that I was largely having trouble with Fallout 4 and No Man’s Sky. It did not dawn on me at the time that he was not so subtly hinting that I should come run the dungeon with them… and it even included an obligatory smiley after his statement. So finally it dawned on me what he was trying to get at and I ultimately logged in, and got caught up to the dungeon. It was a good time, and this really is a dungeon of bad ideas. These silly birbs cannot fly… but want to at all costs. More importantly than that however was the fact that it unstuck the logjam my content was in, and the post dungeon revelations were quite interesting. I largely want to finish the story content so that we can talk about it on Saturday during the podcast because it is sounding like we are going to get a really interesting expansion announcement this week as a result.
As to the more pressing matters… the issues I had been having were maddening. The key problem with windows gaming on a new machine… is that you never quite know if what you are experiencing is just strangeness with the game… or if it is the result of some bad combination of drivers. However as a result I updated almost every sort of driver I could think of to make sure that was not it. Like I hinted at before… I tried several versions of compatibility mode, and running as administrator. I tried launching from steam, nvidia experience, and directly from the executable to see if there were any different behaviors exhibited. In all cases what would happen in Fallout 4 was that it would show the “Please Stand By” screen… and would hear about 5 seconds of static and sound… then the spinning blue “not responding” wheel would pop up and Fallout 4 would either crash… or just sit in this zombie state indefinitely leading me to ultimately close it with task manager. Since the weekend I have spent a good chunk of every evening trying different things and scouring the web looking at people who supposedly had eureka moments. Each time I would feel hopeful only to have it dashed almost immediately as the next great fix didn’t do anything for my current situation. So this is the mental quagmire I happened to be in last night when Tam was trying to reach through it… the repetitive pattern of trial and research only leading to miles of defeat.
After doing the dungeon run… I had a bit of my own eureeka moment. One of the posts had mentioned that usb devices being connected could be causing crashes like this on startup. Now when I built the computer I did so seperate from my main gaming rig. Then Sunday afternoon I unhooked literally everything that was in the back of the previous machine and plugged it into this one. That means with it came all of the devices I had been using on the previous setup. While crawling through the config file for Fallout 4 I noticed a setting that I like flipping to disable controllers, because it is one of those games where it is going to try and use a controller if one is hooked to your system. I flipped that setting and bam the game launched. Now previously I had the Windows PS4 Remote Play application installed, and I largely used it as a way to extract screenshots easily from my Playstation 4 for the purpose of these blog posts, rather than ferrying them across on a thumb drive. As a result when I last used my machine I had my Dual Shock 4 controller hooked to the PC. On a whim I disconnected the DS4 from the usb cable, and then suddenly No Man’s Sky would load as well. It seems as though something was timing out when these games were trying to identify controllers connected to my system, and then getting really confused with the DS4 that doesn’t have actual drivers that work successfully most of the time. So it seems as though this has largely cleared up the issues I was having, which makes me pretty happy given that I spent from 5:30 until 7:30 last night trying random combinations of things to get Fallout 4 working… when in reality I didn’t even care about playing the game. I was stuck in a loop of needing desperately to solve the problem, so that I knew everything was functional.