Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

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Rob
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Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Rob » Wed May 13, 2020 4:01 am

A Mojo user just reported to me that DAOC is covering Mojo's button panels on his wife's computer, making them invisible.

My first thought was, "That's what would happen if his wife's DAOC is set to the original full screen mode. She needs to go to Options and select 'windowed full screen mode' instead."

But I hadn't looked at DAOC's Options window recently, so before I said anything to this user, I launched the game and checked. I discovered that Broadsword has removed the original full screen mode from the Options window.

Now I was intrigued. I was able to think of a few other ways her problem could occur, but they were all unlikely. The most likely explanation, by far, was that her game was set to a mode that is no longer offered by the game as an option.

Incidentally, the real name of what I'm calling "original full screen mode" is "DirectX fullscreen mode." I'll use the real name from now on. I don't remember what Mythic and Broadsword called it on Options, but that's the name used by Microsoft and programmers.

So I spoke to the guy by voice on Discord while he sat at his wife's computer and talked him through a simple experiment to diagnose the problem. We managed to figure out the cause pretty quickly.

Anybody want to take a guess?

Brief review of the facts:

1. His wife's DAOC was behaving like it would if it were set to DirectX fullscreen mode.

2. But that mode is no longer offered as a choice on DAOC's Options window.

That's all you need to know to guess the cause of the problem.
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Blood94
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Blood94 » Wed May 13, 2020 9:50 pm

She's running an old client from a few years ago.

Rob
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Rob » Wed May 13, 2020 10:23 pm

That's a logical guess but impossible. We know she was running the current client because Mojo works only with Broadsword's servers, not freeshards, and Broadsword's servers work only with the current client.
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Rob
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Rob » Tue May 19, 2020 4:45 pm

Here's a hint. I told the user to:

1. Set his wife's DAOC to windowed mode.

2. Exit DAOC with its own quit button.

3. Restart DAOC.

4. Set his wife's DAOC to windowed full screen mode.

That solved the problem with Mojo's buttons. They now appeared normally on top of DAOC.

Now can anybody guess the cause of the problem?
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Blood94
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Blood94 » Wed May 20, 2020 2:52 am

What screen mode was running when the problem occurred?

Rob
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Rob » Wed May 20, 2020 7:52 am

That, my friend, is the million dollar question.

I'll tell you which mode was set but if you want to be the person who solves this mystery, you have to tell me which mode was running.

Her DAOC was set to full screen windowed mode.

If you answer the question "which mode was running?" you'll be very close to solving the mystery. And very close to understanding why I called this DAOC bug "idiotic." A better word might be "irresponsible."
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graveen
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by graveen » Sun May 24, 2020 1:49 am

Let me guess... BS removed the fullscreen option but do not force the client to be windowed. So it was a windowed but still in fullscreen, mixed mode or sort of ? :)

I think this is related to advertising of EC when you close DAoC client ?

Rob
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Re: Can you solve this mystery? Idiotic bug in DAOC

Post by Rob » Sun May 24, 2020 8:27 am

graveen wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:49 am
Let me guess... BS removed the fullscreen option but do not force the client to be windowed.
The only thing Broadsword removed is the radio button for fullscreen mode on the Options window.

On that lady's computer, that mode was running exactly as it would if that button were still there and were checked.

Broadsword is like a hazmat company that was hired to remove a barrel of toxic chemicals, but instead of removing the chemicals, they erased the label on the barrel.

If Broadsword did this on purpose, because they thought it was a good idea, they were unbelievably stupid. If the programmer did it out of laziness, to avoid work, he or she should be fired.

Programming 101: You do not make your UI lie to its users.

I made a mistake calling this a "bug" in the title of the thread. A bug is an accident. This was obviously done on purpose.
graveen wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:49 am
... mixed mode or sort of ? :)
That mode cannot be mixed because it's really DirectX fullscreen mode and when it's running, the window manager (the part of the operating system that displays windows, alt-tabs, draws window frames, etc.) is disabled and a single window -- in this case game.dll's window -- has exclusive possession of the video card.
graveen wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:49 am
I think this is related to advertising of EC when you close DAoC client ?
I don't think this problem has anything to do with anything new in the program. This is just simply the same old "full screen mode" (DirectX fullscreen mode) that was in the client from the beginning in 2001. Broadsword created the illusion that they removed this mode when they removed the button, but they didn't. That's all that's going on here.

If you want to duplicate the "bug", write this in user.dat:

Image

And here we have another facepalm moment. You may wonder, "Why does user.dat use three key-value pairs to describe three mutually exclusive choices? Isn't this likely to be a source of error? Shouldn't there be a single key with three possible values, corresponding to a single enum in the source code that can take one of three values?" Welcome to game.dll! :)

If you want another facepalm moment, read the "descriptions" for the screen mode choices on the Options window. I'll bet that text is left over from patch 1.59 in 2003 when windowed mode was introduced. That text is idiotic now.

Apparently nobody from Mythic or Broadsword has ever sat down and reviewed their 20-year-old product from top to bottom to see what needs to be changed. Unbelievable.
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