Here at Edash we are doing everything we can to make sure your first experience with WaveCatcher is fun and exciting. However, given the wide range of different configurations, problems do sometimes creep in. In our experience, most of them can be tracked down to a few common issues. Below is a list of frequent questions we've been asked. We hope the answers to them will be helpful to you.
I'm trying to log on from work or school
where we have a firewall. However, every time I've tried, I either got a 'Network timeout'
message or no response at all. What's going on?
We are aware that the game currently cannot be played by users trying to access it through a firewall or a proxy. If you're not sure what that means, then, as a general rule, if you're logging on from work (or sometimes school), then you're likely going through a firewall or a proxy server. If you're calling via a modem from home, then you are probably fine. The symptoms of this problem are a really long wait after the game screen appears while the status message says 'Establishing connection...' and a 'network timeout' error that eventually appears. This unfortunate limitation is due to most browsers' implementation of Java security features. We are working on resolving the issue, but as of today we have found no solution. (If you think you know of a work-around, we'd love to hear from you.)
I don't think there's a firewall or a proxy involved in my
connection. However, I sometimes still get a 'Network timeout' message. What's going on?
Sometimes the error is an indication of a sporadic problem that can be fixed by simply exiting and then restarting your browser. If the problem persists, the game server may really be down, there may be a problem with your connection, or the Internet may be too busy for successful game play. To help us identify the problem, please go to our network connection test page, follow the instructions there and send us the results. This will help us identify and fix the problem. Also, please send us your Java log (see instructions for obtaining a Java log below.
I'm logging on from my Mac, but after the game loads, the computer
either hangs, or is painfully slow, or there's some other problem. Can you help?
We have received a number of bug reports from people using the Mac to play, and after doing more testing we've found it problematic as well. As far as we can tell, the problem lies mainly in the fact that Mac OS still doesn't really support multi-threading in a robust manner. Since there are a number of things in WaveCatcher that rely on the ability to do several things simultaneously in several threads of execution, the game does not run reliably under Mac OS. We are continuing to do research to see if we can work around this problem and will do our best to include the Mac in the list of supported platforms.
I'm running into seemingly strange behavior (insert description of
your problem). Can my browser's JIT (Just In Time) compiler be the cause?
In an attempt to improve performance of Java applets some browsers employ JIT (Just In Time) compilers that speed up execution. Unfortunately, because JIT compilers are a relatively new technology, there are still some problems with them. We've ran into a few and have worked around them, but if your game is acting really strangely, you may want to turn off your browser's JIT compiler. Will it affect the game's performance? A bit, but not enough to really worry about. A little slower is better than none at all....
I want to try turning off the JIT compiler to see if it solves
my particular problem. How do I do it?
To turn of the JIT compiler follow these steps:
How do I get the latest version of the Java Virtual Machine
(VM) for MS Internet Explorer?
If you experience problems under MS Internet Explorer, it is possible that the problem is due to an outdated version of the Java VM used by your version of MSIE. As of this writing, the latest available version of the Microsoft Java VM is 4.79.1518. To check the version you're using, right-click on the file MSJAVA.DLL in your Windows\System directory, select 'Properties' and then click on the 'Version' tab. To download the latest version of the MS Java VM, go to http://www.microsoft.com/java and click 'Java VM Update' on that page.
I'm trying to log on from America Online using its built-in
browser but get a message saying my browser doesn't support Java. Can I still play?
As of this writing AOL's WWW browser does not seem to support Java applets. We hope it will in the near future. If you're accessing this page from AOL, contact them and ask them to include Java support in the next version of their browser. In the meantime, you can use Netscape Navigator or another browser to browse and play using your AOL account.
I'm running under Netscape Navigator and when the game
loads I get a ClassDefNotFoundException error. How do I get around this?
When Netscape encounters an applet consisting of a large number of class files (and WaveCatcher is definitely one of the largest applets you're likely to come across) it sometimes gets confused. The message usually means that one of the class files necessary to run the game is missing or corrupted. We've verified that all of the necessary files are on our server and available for download, and we've been unable to get any additional information from Netscape about this. What seems to help if you encounter this error is clearing out the browser's disk cache and reloading the game. To clear the disk cache in Netscape 3.x, go to the Options menu, select Network Preferences choice, and then the 'Cache' tab. In Netscape 4.x, it's under Edit.Preferences.Advanced.Cache menu. Press the 'Clear Disk Cache Now' button, then exit and restart the browser. After this try downloading the game again.
If this doesn't fix the problem, you can try turning off Netscape's JIT compiler.
Additionally, please visit our applet download page to see if you can take advantage of installing the applet locally. If so, your game should usually run a lot smoother.
I'm running under MS Internet Explorer and it crashes with
a 'Page fault' or another error. How do I fix this?
Please make sure you're running the latest released version of the browser. For the Internet Explorer it's 3.02. There are links on our home page to various browsers' download pages. For Windows 95/NT users: If you still run into problems, check how much free disk space is on the drive that contains your Windows swap file (usually the drive that holds your Windows directory). If disk space is low (less than 15 - 20 Mb), you may run into memory problems which cause the browser to crash. To try to solve these problems, try freeing up some space on the appropriate drive.
I'm running under Netscape Navigator and sometimes the game
looks like it suddenly freezes. It usually comes back, but it's annoying. What causes
Netscape 3.x has a 'feature' that prevents it from caching files larger than 64K in size. Because of this we're unable to place all of the files necessary for running the game into one file (like we do with MS Internet Explorer). Therefore, Netscape downloads the necessary files separately, on an 'as needed' basis. This means that some of the parts of the game code aren't downloaded until you actually try to use the feature that uses the code. (Some of the examples of this are the Global Info panel code or the path-finding code in the Move panel.) This has the effect of introducing a pause while Netscape downloads the necessary code. Some of the longer pieces of code may take up to 30 seconds to download. Therefore if it seems that the game has frozen, please try to be patient and make sure it's not just downloading the necessary code.
Please visit our applet download page to see if you can take advantage of installing the applet locally. If so, your game should usually flow a lot smoother.
I want to give the WaveCatcher team as much info about my
problem as possible. What's helpful to you guys?
One of the most useful things you can do for us is send us the Java log produced when the game is run. This is what you need to do to produce the log:
I've played the game a few times but still often see various
files downloaded when I play. I thought that after the first time all of the game code and
graphics would be cached? What gives?
There are several issues that may be contributing to this situation. First, and probably foremost, is the fact that we really do change things quite often to fix bugs, add enhancements, and respond to players' requests. This has the effect of 'outdating' the copies of the code you have cached locally, forcing a download of the updated files. We apologize for this inconvenience and will try to merge in updates as infrequently as possible (probably once a week). However, we cannot totally avoid it at this point in development.
The next issue that may be at work here is your browser's cache settings. If you haven't allocated enough disk space to hold all of the necessary game files in the cache, some of them will be discarded when you visit other Web pages. This will force the browser to download the discarded WaveCatcher files the next time you try to play. You should probably let the browser use at least 5M of disk space for its cache to avoid having to re-load game files too often.
In addition, if you're playing under Netscape 3.x and have not taken advantage of the option to download a local copy of the game, you will see that there are some files that Netscape will never cache; these are files that are greater than 64Kb in size. This is a limitation in Netscape.
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