OMFG: Phase 1 to Test!

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by codeForge, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. codeForge

    So several weeks of surgery have yielded some substantial results!


    To answer the most painful but obvious question, we are hoping to have Phase 1 of OMFG on Test servers in the next day or so, and Live around the end of the month. I want to make one thing perfectly clear, however. We will NOT put this patch live in a hurry. We want to smooth out any rough edges and get the stability BETTER than Live. Only then we will feel confident in putting it on Live. We encourage you to come to the Test server once this is up, check it out, and provide feedback.

    For this phase, we mostly concentrated on these two issues:
    • Performance on quad-core and above systems, Intel and AMD, with at least 4G RAM and a medium or higher spec video card.
    • Performance in large battles, 100+ players within range.
    We’ve optimized UI, physics, sound, player processing, rendering code, and much more. We increased our total thread count, but more importantly we made those threads more efficient.

    While the machines which fit the above bullet point will see the most benefit, we expect that low-end machines will see some performance increases, and enjoy the benefit of a reduced memory footprint in many cases and smoother frame rates than exist on Live pre-update.

    Next, I know you want some numbers. If you know any coders, ask them how much they enjoy giving “hard” numbers for estimates.. yeah. *grin*

    Keeping in mind all relevant caveats, a typical quad-core machine in a 100+ player battle who is currently wildly CPU bound should expect a 30% improvement, sometimes higher depending on settings. In many cases, we’re seeing people go right to GPU-bound, which is a good thing because it’s easier to change GPU settings than CPU settings!

    Now, I want to at LEAST say that you should not immediately consider these numbers some sort of guarantee, there are just far too many factors in a given scene as to what can cause performance issues, but in general any “bad” case should be much better.

    Also, we have taken a considerable time working on “spikes”. Spikes are when a particular frame takes longer than normal. Typically a “spike” happens in a fraction of a second. More than a second and we would call it a “hitch”. We are working on "hitches" too, but those fixes will come later.

    Major Known Issues:

    This is not an exhaustive list of what we know about, but we’re turning around a lot of bugs each day and these are the major outstanding issues:
    • SLI and Crossfire hitches – You may want to turn off SLI and Crossfire for the moment if you run into unusual hitches.
    • Minimum spec PCs – If you have the bare minimum or very close to, you may still be experiencing some significant performance issues. We’re gathering more information on this and will address it before release.
    • Crash on logout – We’ve significantly reduced crashes on logout, but some may still remain.
    • UI offsets – We have some cases where the mouse cursor and UI become offset. If this happens to you, please send us a bug on what you did to cause and/or fix it.
    • GPU Particles –These could cause cosmetic anomalies and crashing, so please turn them off for now if you have problems with crashing.
    Help Us Test:
    • Performance in large battles
    • We only have so many people at SOE to test large battles, so this is an area where we really need your help. We’ll be collecting data on the backend, so no real need to send us reports. Using this data, we hope to get a better feel for how we're doing so far, and what we need to work on next.
    • We’ve made a ton of changes here to improve performance and are still working through some issues. Please report any oddities or bugs in first or third person animation.
    • Indar has received a full optimization overhaul. Look for cosmetic and functional issues in regards to bases and terrain. (Esamir and Amerish haven’t had their optimization passes yet.). While these continent-specific optimizations do help, you will see frame rates improved everywhere, not just in Indar.
    Overhead Indicator Revamp and General UI
    • We have made a lot of optimizations just about everywhere in the UI, so please be on the lookout for anything not functioning properly.
    Art Assets
    • We went back and touched most of our existing art assets (weapons, decals, environment objects, FX, etc.), so please let us know if something doesn’t look right or is just plain missing.
    • If you crash, please let us know in a bug report what you were doing before you crashed.
    Everything Else
    • We’ve made core changes to the game that could have caused just about anything. We’ve already found and fixed a ton of these, but we’re surely missing some and won’t see them until we get a critical mass of players.
    • Esamir Amp Station at Freyr
    • Note that this feature isn’t going live with the Performance Update. We’re holding this on Test Server for design iterations.
    Test Server Incentive:

    • If you log on to Test Server any time from today until the day before the patch goes live, we’ll give your Live account a 3 day XP boost to use on any character.
    • You must use your Live account on Test Server to get this reward, otherwise we have no way to determine who to give the reward to.

    In-game Reporting
    • This is the best way to give us feedback as Test Server bugs are emailed directly to us. Push Esc, then support, then Report a Bug.
    • Please use the Test Server sections and work with other players to help give us information. The more condensed and easy to read the reports are, the easier it is to get them addressed.
    We’re very excited to get this patch to you on Test, and get it cleaned up for Live. It stands to make a pretty substantial dent in current performance problems, and also help us find additional problems for OMFG: Part 2.

    Thank you in advance to everyone who jumps onto Test once this is out and helps us get this done!

    Ryan "codeForge" Elam
    Technical Director
    Planetside 2
    • Up x 55
  2. WyrdHarper

    • Up x 2
  3. Sen7rygun

    Love your work guys. Getting me GPU bound will see me in the 60-70 fps range for big fights!
    • Up x 1
  4. HadesR

    Ty for posting this on the forums :)
    • Up x 4
  5. Kaska

    How big can we expect this patch to be, assuming we already have the latest patch installed? On Live and/or Test?
  6. Czuuk

    Yay! Finally some incentive to log onto the Test Server. Has it been swapped out for machine that can handle the load?
    • Up x 2
  7. doombro

    That's a lot better than I hoped for. Thanks for keeping us posted.

    Should we only expect significant performance boosts on indar, or have most of the improvements been across-the-board?

    And while I'm here, great job on Hossin so far. Whoever's been designing the bases for Hossin deserves a medal. Tank spam and a number of other issues will probably become a thing of the past, should such improvements be carried over to the other continents.
    • Up x 2
  8. Danvers

    Nice. I got about 10 more frames in the warpgate on true ultra from 20 - 30
  9. Kalee-J

    I promised myself I wouldn't cry.
    • Up x 9
  10. IamDH

    Yay :)
  11. codeForge

    While there are some significant optimizations in Indar, the code has been optimized across the board. I invite you to check out our OMFG videos, particularly OMFG Episode 5. The level designers talk about what they're doing to make each continent better.

    No matter where you play, though, you should see significant improvements when in large battles, where you need it the most!
    • Up x 5
  12. MrMurdok

    This just got my Squad Beacon off cooldown, if you know what I mean.
    • Up x 11
  13. Brusilov

    Keep up the good work, ill be on test as soon as the update hits it :p
  14. Chewy102

    What do we win if we find a pink prop you guys missed?
    • Up x 4
  15. MajiinBuu

    Serious question, how do I play the test server with my Live account? That's a big problem.
  16. DiHorizon

    Gather your outfit and instruct them to bow down and worship it as the second coming of Vanu.
    • Up x 3
  17. AlephZed

    Thanks for the hard work, I know multithreaded programing is almost an art form in itself and very hard. As much as I know there are some serious balance issues in the game, performance improvements really needed to happen. Let's just hope they take pity on us poor NC who get absolutely nothing from the WDS though and give us something cool to make up for all the free 3 day boosts TR and now VS are getting. Oh right performance increase, nice!
  18. BoomBoom4You

    Thanks for the effort, can't imagine it was the funnest thing in the world to re-write major chunks of code, but it was necessary for the longevity and commercial viability of the game. Thanks, guys!
    • Up x 1
  19. Gokki

    May i sugest you guys lock all stations except the crown and implement a 10x cert gain just to get people in one place and with the certs granted we can test all combinations of things.
    • Up x 2
  20. Amundsenkalmah

    You know the patch isnt in the test server yet right?
    • Up x 8