Just want to note that I am not seeking support
here -- I'm simply reporting a problem in hopes that ZOS will read this, try to reproduce, and fix if there is a genuine issue. The earlier they know about this, the better the chance it'll be fixed for the final Catalina release.
- Latest ESO Steam edition, patched as of the July 1 patch while I was running the latest stable macOS Mojave
- Hardware: 2018 MacBook Pro, with 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, Core i9 CPU, Vega Pro 20 GPU, and a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU with the Radeon VII (16 GB HBM2).
- OS: MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) Beta 3, released July 2
- Renamed my ~/Documents/Elder Scrolls Online folder to a different name, to rule out any addons, cache files, or config settings causing the problem
On macOS 10.14 (Mojave), ESO was running very well. Aside from the well-known issues with the mouse cursor and certain scenes tanking the FPS, the client was very stable while running and I rarely encountered showstopping issues. I have been using this hardware as my primary ESO machine for about 2-3 months, running ESO for 2 to 8 hours per day every day.
After upgrading to macOS 10.15 Catalina Beta 3, Steam and the ESO launcher stopped working because they are 32-bit apps. This is well-known and I'm certain ZOS is aware of this issue now. However, that's not the interesting (or new) part of this report.
Several other users have reported that running "eso.app" directly -- the game client itself -- worked for them. However, with my hardware + Catalina Beta 3, launching eso.app gives me a window with a white screen. This window never renders anything even after waiting 30 minutes. It does ask for permissions to access my Documents folder and a few other things, which I granted it and relaunched the game. Same thing. The permissions appear to persist correctly, because I don't keep getting asked the same questions about the permissions. Indeed, when I go into the Privacy settings, I can manually enable Full Disk Access for the eso.app and this setting will "stick" between launches. I know it has access because after I moved my ESO documents folder, it recreated it.
is the white screen on launch. It happens for both the Vega 20 dGPU built into the Mac, and the Radeon VII eGPU, so it's not particular to eGPU. It's not my user settings, because I used a blank (default) user settings folder and got the same problem.
As of now, I'm stumped as to why this is happening. I even tried to upgrade the version of the MoltenVK framework used in the eso app, and that didn't help. Same issue. I also tried disabling SIP and Gatekeeper in hopes that it was a fixable issue with the new permissions security in Catalina. As far as I can tell, that is not the case.
For what it's worth, I was able to watch the opening videos -- once
-- when I reverted to the default settings. After that, I can hear the opening menu music and the audible "thump" of the client indicating it's connecting to the server, but the window continues to be only a solid white screen.
Right now my theory is the problem lies with a change made in a recent Catalina beta -- maybe even Beta 3 released yesterday.
My advice for the ZOS Mac team is to update to the latest Catalina beta, and try to run the game on a recent Radeon GPU like the Vega Pro 20 or the Radeon VII. You'll probably be able to reproduce this issue. Then all you have to do is fix it!