Wizardry 8 Frequently Asked Questions

Here, you can find solutions to the most common issues and answers to many people's questions when playing the game. If the information you seek is not here, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. Be sure to include Wizardry 8 somewhere in the email so I know which game you are talking about, and I will do my best to help you out. I may add your question to this page so others can benefit, too!

Wizardry 8 closes immediately after opening it!

  1. The game starts with a series of opening videos, and if you press ESC to skip them, the Quit option from the menu will activate when it loads. Press the Space Bar instead to skip to the game.
  2. Confirm the graphics are set up correctly for your computer. For modern computers:
    • Wizardry 8 setup should be set to Glide2x, the highest resolution and DirectSound3D Hardware Support.
    • NGlide should be configured to Automatic back end and your monitor’s native resolution and refresh rate. You can turn off the 3Dfx logo splash screen if you wish.
  3. For Windows 10 and later computers, The User Account Control (UAC) may be blocking it.
    • Search for User Account Control Settings on your computer and ensure it is set to Notify and that you have administrator access to your user account.
    • Depending on where you installed the game, you may need to allow the application to access a folder.

The Keyboard isn't working!

The keyboard not working after changing windows was a common issue for games made around this time. When you use Alt-Tab to change windows, the Alt key gets stuck active in the game. To correct the issue, press and release the Alt key in the game again.

I have no sound!

Open the Wizardry 8 Setup and change the sound to DirectSound3D Hardware Support. This should ensure it works on most modern computers.

It is difficult to move my party.

3D games of this era are best controlled through the mouse, and only using the keyboard for action keys.3D games of this era are best controlled through the mouse, and the keyboard is used only for action keys.

  • To pick up an item, hover over it and click it with your mouse.
  • To turn your party, hold the right mouse button and move the mouse.
  • Hold down the right mouse button to control the camera, then press the left mouse button to walk forward. This also allows you to turn while moving just by moving the mouse.
  • Hold down shift while walking to run.

The rest of the controls are easily activated with one hand on the keyboard. Walking backwards does require the down arrow or the key remapped, but I have rarely needed to walk backwards.

How do I improve the graphics?

If you find everything stretched out, use the NGlide Configurator included with the current releases to change the Aspect Ration to Preserve Original. However, some things look better stretched, so it is up to you.

You can also configure your 3D settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel (if you have that type of graphics card). You will likely need to add the program manually to change the program settings for wiz8.exe (or wiz8_v128.exe if using the fan patch.) After playing around with the settings, I have found that these are the best settings to change:

  • Anisotropic Filtering: 8X
  • Antialiasing - FXAA: Off
  • Antialiasing - Gamma correction: Off
  • Antialiasing - Mode: Override any application setting.
  • Antialiasing - Transparency - 8x (supersample)
  • Texture Filtering - Anisotropic sample optimization: Off
  • Texture Filtering - Negative LOD bias: Clamp
  • Texture Filtering - Quality: High quality
  • Texture Filtering - Trilinear Optimization: On
  • Threaded Optimization: On
  • Triple Buffering: On
  • Vertical Sync: Adaptive

Don't forget to apply the changes before launching the game. This won't change the game into a realistic-looking game, but it will smoothen the rough edges.

How do I open trapped chests?

There are four ways to disarm a trap:

  1. With the Traps and Locks skill: First inspect the trap, which will highlight the correct disarm buttons. Green means it is required, yellow means they aren't too sure about it, and red means it is unnecessary. You may need to inspect a few times to confirm, but each inspection has a chance to set off the trap.
    Dexterity, Intelligence and Senses are also considered for each inspection.
    Once you've identified the trap, scroll down the list of possible traps to find the one that matches the highlighted colours, then press those switches. The character with the skill must be selected.
  2. Using Knock Picks: When used from the trap interface, they will automatically attempt to disarm it. This will work for lower-level traps, but elaborate traps will likely be set off.
  3. The Divine Trap Spell: Casting this while in the trap menu will attempt to disarm the chest. If unsuccessful, it may identify the trap or at least temporarily improve the base Lock & Trap Skill, making it easy to disarm manually.
  4. Force the chest to open: This will use the character's strength to determine if the chest is successfully pried open but at a high chance of triggering the trap.

How do I unlock doors?

Some doors require a specific key or object to open, but it must be picked if the lock-picking interface opens. In these cases, your options are:

  1. With the Traps and Locks skill: Click on each tumbler to lock it into place. If your skill is too low, it may release previously locked tumblers, causing them to fall. It will often take many attempts to pick the lock and locks once you get five or more tumblers. 8-tumbler locks are impossible at lower levels of skill. Dexterity, Intelligence and Senses are also considered for each tumbler use. The character with the skill must be selected.
  2. Knock Picks: They will automatically pick the lock, but they may be unsuccessful with locks with too many tumblers. If unsuccessful, a random number of tumblers will be frozen in the up position, making it easier to pick with the Traps and Locks skill.
  3. Knock Knock spell: Cast the spell while in the lock-picking interface. The odds of a successful opening depend on the level of the spell cast versus the level of the trap strength. If unsuccessful, a random number of tumblers will be frozen in the up position, making it easier to pick with the Traps and Locks skill.
  4. Force the lock: The character's strength and stamina is used to push open the door. Most doors require a lot of strength, but 8-tumbler locks have less than 2% success even with maximum strength.

Why does the combat text not show everything?

Verbose Combat Message is turned off. Go to Settings > General > Page 3 to turn on the feature. Expect a lot of information, but you will get better information about the damage done and even what spells enemies are casting.

How are chest and drops contents decided?

Drop encounters may be the most complex part of the game, so don't feel bad if you don't understand once you read this section. Not finding random, powerful items won't make the game unbeatable. Still, it can change your experience from challenging to easy.

1. The Level Sensor

Some drops will check for your average party level when determining if the item will appear. When the sensor is enabled for the drop, the max value allowed in the drop is set when the enemy dies or when you first enter an area if it is a chest.

Average Party Level Max Item Value
Levels 1 - 5 499 Gold
Levels 6 - 10 999 Gold
Levels 11 - 15 2999 Gold
Levels 16 - 20 4999 Gold
Levels 21 - 25 9999 Gold
Levels 26 - 30 19999 Gold
Levels 31 and higher Everything

This means chests are locked into the item values when entering an area. For example, start at the Monastery at levels 1 - 5. The maximum item value in chests will be 499 Gold, even if you don’t open the chests and come back later. However, if you had a different start and wandered into the area later, the items will be based on the character levels when you enter the map.

Since enemy drops are calculated on death, returning to an area with a higher level may cause enemies to drop more powerful items compared to those spawning in chests.

Note: The Average Party Level counts RPCs, so if your party is all level 16, but you have a level 5 RPC in your party, it will impact the max item values in the drops. Be sure to visit areas without RPCs to set the max item value first or increase the level of your followers first!

2. The Number of Items

Each drop batch will have a range of how many items will appear for the drop. Some are only 1 item, while others may have a range, such as 2 - 6. Chests run this check when entering a map, but drops will check on enemy death. Leaving the map and returning later might cause it to recheck this and the later steps. It will not run the Level Sensor, though.

3. Fixed Items

If any fixed or set items are in the item list, they will spawn first, leaving any other open item slots to generate afterward. If the drop only spawns two items, it will only contain the fixed item and one random item.

4. Randomly selecting the items

If it were just a set percent chance to spawn, this would be simple, but each item in the drop will have its own rarity or Level of Appearance, as the W8 community called in when it was found.

For each random item, the game rolls a spawning value (1D10). A roll of 10 will only list the most common items, but a roll of 1 lists all the possible items for the drop. This means that items with an SV of 1 have a meagre chance of appearing; it requires a roll of 1, plus being rolled successfully to spawn when it does, especially if there is a long list of possible items in the drop list.

5. The Random Roll

After everything is calculated from the previous four steps, the game places a value on each drop left in the list and then rolls to select an item randomly. When multiple items are in the drop, it will make the same roll again, choosing another item from the list (possibly the same one) until all the drops are selected.

Putting it together with an example

Since the Light Sword is one of the most sought-after items, I will describe it in more detail.

There is only one chest in Bayjin, and Buccaneer Ghosts can drop it. This drop has no level sensor, so it doesn’t look at your party’s average character level when deciding the items! Only 4 - 6 items will be dropped, but there are 40 items in the list, and 4 have a spawning value of 1, including the sword.

So, each time the drop is created, it only has a 10% chance to roll an opportunity to spawn the item. Then, it has a 2.5% chance (1 in 40) of being chosen from the list of 40 items. For the one chest, the calculation ends there, leaving an already horrifically low odds of spawning.

For the Buccaneer Ghosts drop, each enemy only has a 20% chance to drop anything when they die (1 in 5 odds.) When that is successful, it rolls the 1d10 to check the SV score before giving a roll to appear before the item is randomly selected. This makes it even less likely to drop the coveted item, even though there are five enemies. Your best option to get it is to weaken all the ghosts significantly, then run away until you can save your game, and then return and finish them off. If they don’t drop it, restore your save game and try again.