Many of you are familiar with the Mac D3 PPS bug, which causes players of Mac Descent 3 to look skippy in online games. The problem is that the mac client has a fixed upload rate of 7 packets per second (PPS). Most servers and clients operate at 9 PPS, so Mac players look skippy or lossy relative to everyone else in the server.
We thought this was a fundamental limitation in the Mac client-- that 7 PPS was hard-coded into the application. The Mac edition of D3 has nothing equivalent to the Launcher application that comes with the Windows game, so there seemed to be no way to tell the Mac client that it should use more than 7 PPS.
To fix the PPS bug, Mac users with broadband connections should perform the following steps:
- Find the file "System Folder/Preferences/Descent3 Prefs" on your OS 9 startup disk. You need to open this file with a text editor. (Double-clicking on it under OS9 won't work, because Descent 3 will open instead of the file. Try opening the file with BBEdit or another editor.)
- Add the following line to the Descent3 Prefs text file:
- ConnectionSpeed = Fast
The line begins with a dash and a tab. The words are separated by spaces. I don't know how sensitive the preference file is to formatting-- I copied the format of the lines in the rest of the file, and it worked.
- Save the prefs file, launch D3, and connect to a server. To see if the fix worked, use the f6 menu to display netgame info. You should see that the PPS (server/you) counter is at 9/9 instead of the usual 9/7. Here is a screenshot of what you should see.
This fix works the same way whether you run OS 9 natively or emulate it with the Classic environment in OS X.
This message has been brought to you by WhollyCow, Grendel, several years of frustration, and one evening of arcane guesswork.
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