Aleron Ives said:
It's actually not related to the sort order at all. It's a passive-aggressive copy protection method that Sega added for Ver.2.
By the time PSOv2 came out, Sega knew all about The Scene's methods for sqeezing GD-ROM games onto the limited capacity of a CD, so they added a special check to Ver.2 that makes sure all the movies and music files have the correct file sizes from the GD-ROM release. You have to remove or reduce the quality of something to make PSO fit on a CD, so your disc is always going to fail that check. Instead of just running the check at boot time and sending you back to the BIOS if your disc fails (which is what the other copy protections do), Sega made this check a lot more mean. It lets you run the game, but it apparently sets a flag somewhere that says, "This copy isn't legit, but don't do anything about it now. Let's wait a while, then crash the game later." That's why you FSOD when loading player data outside of Pioneer 2: your disc failed the check.
Echelon and other Scene members were only interested in cracking and releasing games, so as soon as they got to the title screen, they assumed the game was fully cracked and released it without noticing that there was still another protection that needed bypassing. I suppose a real DC hacker would be able to find out where the check is called and turn it off, but I don't know how to do that, so instead I just modified it so that my disc passes the check. Now I can play every offline quest, Challenge mode, and let people join my team when I'm not on Pioneer 2. Crafty Sega is crafty. You know you've made a pretty solid copy protection scheme when it takes people 15 years to get around it. I bet it's similar to the protection in Sonic Adventure 2 where you fall through the floor of the last level and die on a CD-R (thus making it impossible to beat the game), since Sonic Team designed both games at around the same time. They decided to add some unorthodox copy protections to their final Dreamcast releases.
The terrible performance with the GD-ROM sort order is caused by the GD-ROM drive having pretty much no drive cache. When you load character data, the game needs to play the BGM and load character models and textures simultaneously, but the drive doesn't have enough buffering capacity to do that. As a result, it has to seek between the current BGM file and the player data over and over in order to do two things at once. Sega put all the player data on the very outside of the disc and most of the BGM on the very inside of the disc on the GD-ROM, so the laser assembly has to seek from the very outside to the very inside of the disc over and over to load character data. Fast loading simply puts both the player data and the BGM on the outside of the disc so that the drive only has to seek a tiny bit to buffer between the two of them.
The funny thing is that the Ver.1 sort order is much more sane than the Ver.2 sort order, so there's a conspiracy theory that Sega nerfed Ver.2 on purpose so as to make it destroy your Dreamcast and force you to buy another one, thus boosting console sales near the end of the Dreamcast's life.
The bug where you can walk into the pillar in the Hunter's Guild is caused by booting the game with a Utopia boot disc, which doesn't boot games cleanly. Not only does the pillar stop being solid, but Rafoie won't be able to get a target lock, so you can't cast it on anything, and you can't heal or support your teammates, either. Your game randomly crashes, too. Don't use Utopia with PSO.
Aleron Ives wrote:Making your own CDI without piracy is impossible, since you need MAG94's iwashi.sea crack. Get a GDEMU and play your own GD-ROM backups in GDI format from an SD card.
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