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[Official High Resolution Textures Post] Can we get a clarification on this?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
[Official High Resolution Textures Post] Can we get a clarification on this?

MisterWratten's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:12 AM | #11
This is incredibly disappointing, to be honest. I see no reason to completely remove the option.

If somebody wants to use the high textures, then they should be able to. There's no reason to completely remove the option, simply because you all feel the game runs smoother.

That should be left up the end-user, not ya'll.

Seleyana's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:12 AM | #12
gabrielhead beat me to it^^
Thanks for the clarification, however, I'm understandably disappointed that my mighty sith sorcerer looks like he dresses by throwing himself into a puddle of mud and smearing it all over his body.

mcfabulous's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:12 AM | #13
I guess my confusion lies in.. Why don't people have a choice in the matter? They cant choose to play with lacking performance, or even test their pc capablities for that matter. Most are forced to play with lackluster models because of some. I don't get that,

mArchangel's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:13 AM | #14
Whilst I am sad the decision was made in the first place without asking the community (BETA testers in particular) I am very very happy about this detailed explaination Stephen. I give you 6 months or more if need be. I love this game and your CLEAR commitment to give us highend users what we desire is plain awesome.

Thank you so much. I salute you and your team.

I knew you would not let us down.

Off to level 42 now. With even more vigor!
'If all children would mature according to early indications, the world would be full of geniuses.' - J.W. v.Goethe

junkfunk's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:13 AM | #15
Thanks for the update.

Disappointed, but an update nonetheless.
Nasty - 50 Gunslinger | Ryane - 42 Guardian
Legends - Warriors of the Shadow (PvP West Coast)
Quote: Originally Posted by McVade View Post
Every time I get force charged/rooted/knocked off the bridge in Voidstar, I want to tear off my shirt, grab my supple manboobs and shriek.

carnac_fett's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:13 AM | #16
Well, thank you for the concise reply, Mr. Reid.

However, I have chosen to stop playing The Old Republic.

You used the high-resolution character models and textures for hundreds upon hundreds of screenshots and videos that were purportedly showing actual gameplay - for instance, your progression videos which showed combat. Those certainly weren't dialogue scenes.

I purchased the game expecting that level of graphical fidelity. I have never seen another MMO use special textures that are unavailable to players in their gameplay videos.

Good luck to everyone working on the game and continuing to play it.
Safeguard - Jedi Guardian - Harbinger (US)

Soulaufein's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:14 AM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by StephenReid View Post

With that said, we've heard your feedback here loud and clear. The development team is exploring options to improve the fidelity of the game, particularly for those of you with high-spec PCs. It will be a significant piece of development work and it won't be an overnight change, but we're listening and we're committed to reacting to your feedback.
This reply says, well, nothing and above all, makes absolutely no point at all! Thank you for buttering up "We messed up the texturing vs.performance issue because our engine is so full of holes it looks like a sinking Titanic, so we got creative and said that Hey, its a UI bug. We have NO idea how the "high" option ended up in the UI. Damn hackerzzzz".

I dont really care about hi-res textures. What I do care about is that my decently rigged i5 cant get more than 20 fps in WZs with everything on minimum. High spec PC users dont want MORE: they want BETTER. They want 40 FPS with everything on minimum if thats whats needed to play fluently in WZs. 150 players in the fleet isnt 20 players in a WZ now is it?

Its more than sad: its incompetent on BW part. I shouldn't need a master degree in computer nerdism to have this run at 40 fps in WZs. GET.IT.FIXED.

Lanzel's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:15 AM | #18
******* Bioware, it sucks! , your textures sucks!.

HerrAwesome's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:15 AM | #19
Wait: So because some people don't have nice computers, people with good computers have to suffer too? The resolutions for textures in gameplay are some of the bar none worst I've experienced in the past six years.

DDO does better.

You're not encouraging people to remain subscribed to your game.

miliways's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:15 AM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by StephenReid View Post
Hey everyone, thanks for bearing with us as we investigated the concerns raised here.

After investigation, it seems that the confusion here is a combination of a UI issue that's been resolved and a feature that's working as intended, but the reason why it's 'working as intended' needs explanation.

First, the UI issue. The preferences menu as it is seen on the Public Test Server for version 1.1 of the game is correct - there are only supposed to be two texture choices, 'Low' and 'High'. This replaces the original three-choice preference of Low/Medium/High because in reality, there was never supposed to be a 'Medium' choice - that was a bug.

Here's where we need to explain. As many of you have noted, your character in the game world is rendered using lower resolution textures than inside of cinematic conversation scenes. This was a deliberate decision by the development team. To understand why this was done, I have to briefly talk about MMOs and their engines.

In comparison to single player games and other genres of multiplayer online games, MMOs have much higher variability in the number of characters that can be potentially rendered on-screen at the same time. In MMOs, even though most of the time you'll see a relatively small number of characters on screen, there are certain situations in which many more characters will be seen. Some examples of these situations include popular gathering places in-game (in our case, the two fleets), Operations with large teams, and Warzones. In those scenarios the client (and your PC) has to work hard to show off a lot of characters on-screen.

During development and testing of The Old Republic, our priorities were to ensure the game looked great and performed well. In testing, we discovered that using our 'maximum resolution' textures on in-game characters during normal gameplay could cause severe performance issues, even on powerful PCs. There were a variety of possible options to help improve performance, but one that was explored and ultimately implemented used what is known as a 'texture atlas'.

To understand that I've got to get technical for a minute. When a character in the game is 'seen' by another character - ie, gets close to your field of view - the client has to 'draw' that character for you to see. As the character is 'drawn' for you there are a number of what are known as 'draw calls' where the client pulls information from the repository it has on your hard disk, including textures, and then renders the character. Every draw call that is made is a demand on your PC, so keeping that number of draw calls low per character is important. With our 'maximum resolution' textures a large number of draw calls are made per character, but that wasn't practical for normal gameplay, especially when a large number of characters were in one place; the number of draw calls made on your client would multiply very quickly. The solution was to 'texture atlas' - essentially to put a number of smaller textures together into one larger texture. This reduces the number of draw calls dramatically and allows the client to render characters quicker, which improves performance dramatically.

When it comes to cinematic scenes, however, characters are rendered using the higher number of draw calls and maximum resolution textures. This is because in those scenes, we have control over exactly how many characters are rendered and can ensure that the game performs well. The transition between 'atlas textured' characters (out of cinematics) and 'maximum resolution' textures (in cinematics) is mostly hidden by the transition between those two states (when the screen goes black), but obviously it's clear if you pay close attention.

In summary; yes, we had a small UI bug that unfortunately caused confusion over how the game is intended to work. The textures you're seeing in the course of normal gameplay are optimized for that mode of play. The textures you're seeing during cinematics are also optimized for that mode of play. They are higher resolution, but that's because we're able to control cinematic scenes to ensure good performance in a way we can't during normal gameplay.

We understand the passion and desire for people to see the same textures you see in our cinematic scenes in the main game. Because of the performance issues that would cause for the client, that's not an immediate and easy fix; we need to ensure we're making choices that the majority of our players will be able to benefit from. Having 'atlassed textures' helps performance overall, and that's a very important goal for us.

With that said, we've heard your feedback here loud and clear. The development team is exploring options to improve the fidelity of the game, particularly for those of you with high-spec PCs. It will be a significant piece of development work and it won't be an overnight change, but we're listening and we're committed to reacting to your feedback.
Glad to hear it! Yes, this all makes sense and was exactly as I expected.

It would be really nice if you could allow a "high" or "ultra" option for players with high end PCs, so we could still see those textures in the overworld, but since youre doing the megatexturing / texture atlasing, its not a quick switch. Hmm.

I might almost prefer using the higher resolution textures and just setting the number of displayed character models to be much lower. I guess you guys are playing with it and know best. Some way of swapping LOD (Level of detail) between the medium and high resolution for the closest characters and keeping the rest a medium would be best, but it depends upon how hard it is to simultaneously texture atlas the far away characters and swap close characters to higher levels of detail. I'm pretty sure it can be done, but it'll take a ton of work, I understand.

That you're working on better graphics options is great, sounds like you did hear us.