Author Topic: Update on the Paragon Chat Mac Client and macOS 10.15 "Catalina"  (Read 2086 times)

Manga

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I have installed the macOS 10.15 "Catalina" developer beta, and unfortunately it brings bad news.

What makes up the Mac client able to run City of Heroes is a fairly old open-source project called Wine.  While the project is still updated with new or patched modules from time to time, the Wine application itself has basically been abandonware since 2016.  It's a 32-bit command-line application that has been hacked to be able to load 64-bit modules to then launch either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows apps.  What that means, simply, is it's like hacking Windows XP to run *some* 64-bit software.  Badly.

Unfortunately, macOS 10.15 no longer will run 32-bit command-line applications.  And very soon, Debian Linux is rumored to be joining it (which means Ubuntu will follow as well).  It means macOS will no longer be able to run City of Heroes, even if the developers somehow make the game itself 64-bit capable - because the part that makes it run, Wine, will never be fully 64-bit.

So the current plan is, as of the final release of macOS 10.15, the Mac client will have to be discontinued, and the Mac version of Island Rum will have to be discontinued as well.

The plan is to not get focused on trying to freeze Mac players in time to where they have to find a way to keep their OS at 10.14 or below in order to play.  Instead, I would rather move on, focus on figuring out a reliable virtual machine product to use instead.  The current choices are Parallels, VMWare, or Virtualbox.  I'm going to test each of them in macOS 10.15, and find out which one has the best balance of performance and stability.  A small bonus to that will be that the testing will also likely improve the play of other Windows games as well.  My tests should be complete long before the macOS 10.15 final release.

Since macOS 10.15 is still a *very* early beta, there is always the possibility another product might come along to take the place of Wine, or that Apple itself will come up with some solution, or that some other group will take up the Wine project and finally update it properly to 64 bit.  I can't depend on that happening in a timely fashion, however, so my current plan will have to eliminate that possibility for the time being. 

Thunder Glove

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Re: Update on the Paragon Chat Mac Client and macOS 10.15 "Catalina"
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 11:20:00 PM »
Does this mean it'll stop working even for those of us who aren't planning on updating to 10.15?  I seriously hope not.  I just got CoH back. :/

Tahquitz

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Re: Update on the Paragon Chat Mac Client and macOS 10.15 "Catalina"
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 11:35:35 PM »
It won't but there's downsides to that approach.  Because Apple releases macOS releases for free, they tend to "obsolete" their oldest hardware from time to time.  While those computers will continue to get some security updates and vendors will release updates for a short while, eventually their development will focus on the new versions and cut off older hardware.

Unlike Windows, where old hardware is cut off more gradually (new computers being made without 32-bit components, but Windows still supports and runs on 32-bit systems for now) in macOS, when a computer is obsoleted, the updates tend to cascade faster ("because this isn't supported, we're not supporting macOS 10.14 Mojave" will be a more frequent thing you'll read.)  It won't happen overnight (if it did, it would really look like collusion for Apple to make people buy Macs faster) but in 6 months to a year, you will see apps start to fall off the update list in the App Store.

Even if your machine is eligible for Catalina, by continuing to use macOS 10.14, you'll be in that camp until you upgrade your Mac... and break your ability to play CoH natively. :(
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Thunder Glove

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Re: Update on the Paragon Chat Mac Client and macOS 10.15 "Catalina"
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 11:48:31 PM »
That is a relief.  I do most of my gaming (now including CoH) on my five-year-old laptop.  Not just CoH, but most of my older Steam games (which are the ones I play most often) would stop working if I updated my OS at all, let alone to 10.15.

I have a newer Windows computer for newer games, but that's large and fixed in place and not as convenient as my laptop. I have installed Tequilla on that already, so worst-case scenario I'd just have to play CoH there from now on, but it's not my ideal solution.

Sounds like 10.15 will also break my copy of MUGEN (since that's running on Wine) and several other smaller Windows games that I play via Wine wrappers (like the Packri Monster emulator), so there's another reason not to immediately jump on the update train.

Tahquitz

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Re: Update on the Paragon Chat Mac Client and macOS 10.15 "Catalina"
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 12:57:11 AM »
That's a very loose timetable to keep in mind.  While most developers won't be too insistent on kicking out old OS versions (because most macOS versions are very incremental, so the real 'gamebreaking' changes usually hit every 2-3 releases... apart from pissing off customers who don't enjoy 2GB downloads every fall) there are going to be a handful who aggressively push "must update to continue use" requirements as soon as three months after Catalina hits general release. 

You might have three years.  You might have three months.
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Thunder Glove

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Re: Update on the Paragon Chat Mac Client and macOS 10.15 "Catalina"
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 10:47:56 PM »
You might have three years.  You might have three months.
Clearly, you cursed me. :D Borderlands 2 just stopped running on my computer tonight (due to the new DLC update).  (Still have it on PS4 and the Windows computer, but still.... YOU CURRRRSSEEEED MEEEEEE)