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Developer Update: Shadow Optimizations in Game Update 1.4

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Developer Update: Shadow Optimizations in Game Update 1.4
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chuixupu's Avatar


chuixupu
09.17.2012 , 05:24 PM | #21
This is far from useless...for this day and age I'd say it's about time!

Also gives me some hope of future time of day shifting
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JonathanCP's Avatar


JonathanCP
09.17.2012 , 05:29 PM | #22
Although the shadows are indeed pretty on the PTS, I can sadly tell that the promised optimization for SLI setups is NOT working.

I'm getting 60+ FPS whatever the settings on live servers.

On the PTS, whenever I put the shadows on high, it drops to 28-30... Even with today's patch (it even got a little worse?)

Dual GTX 570 with latest NVidia drivers.

Spoiler
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Eillack's Avatar


Eillack
09.17.2012 , 05:36 PM | #23
Quote: Originally Posted by Darth-Rammstein View Post
Thank you! I was tired of seeing blocky shadows even with settings on high!
^ This!

Great job guys!
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Suzina's Avatar


Suzina
09.17.2012 , 05:36 PM | #24
This is a good change.

I want to say I really appreciate the "nitty gritty" details. It feels like this is good communication.

For an example of bad communication, see statements like "more frequent updates", ...
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Rogoo's Avatar


Rogoo
09.17.2012 , 05:40 PM | #25
"Players with high-end AMD CrossFire or Nvidia SLI machines should notice a large improvement when running the game with the new shadow system."

Best news in a long time! Can't wait to test it out.

Also:

Quote: Originally Posted by Hexxas View Post
omce again totaly useless crap in a patch , FFS fix the damm issues instead of spenting time on useless stuff like this !
How is optimizing a game that is in dire need of optimization a BAD change ? Really ?
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DegreesOfFreedom's Avatar


DegreesOfFreedom
09.17.2012 , 05:41 PM | #26
Awesome, thanks.

GratuaCuun's Avatar


GratuaCuun
09.17.2012 , 05:44 PM | #27
Quote: Originally Posted by JonathanCP View Post
Although the shadows are indeed pretty on the PTS, I can sadly tell that the promised optimization for SLI setups is NOT working.

I'm getting 60+ FPS whatever the settings on live servers.

On the PTS, whenever I put the shadows on high, it drops to 28-30... Even with today's patch (it even got a little worse?)

Dual GTX 570 with latest NVidia drivers.
They probably haven't fully optimized it for the test serve, though. If nothing else at least the shadows will LOOK better
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JonathanCP's Avatar


JonathanCP
09.17.2012 , 05:48 PM | #28
Quote: Originally Posted by Rogoo View Post
"Players with high-end AMD CrossFire or Nvidia SLI machines should notice a large improvement when running the game with the new shadow system."

Best news in a long time! Can't wait to test it out.
Please DO test it!! As I said, with SLI GTX570 x2 I'm NOT getting optimized, and the new shadow system is ruining my performance. (from 60+ to 28-35)
If your thread title is not a variation on "open letter... BIOWARE,... fail... NOW!", then you are a fanboy

Glzmo's Avatar


Glzmo
09.17.2012 , 05:56 PM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by Ewen Vowels
In addition to these functional changes, there have been numerous optimizations made to the underlying core technology to reduce the load on the player’s computer. In most cases, players should notice an improvement to framerate compared to the previous system. Players with high-end AMD CrossFire or Nvidia SLI machines should notice a large improvement when running the game with the new shadow system.
Unfortunately, the performance gain for Nvidia SLI powered systems doesn't appear to hold true, at least on my computer. To the contrary, my dual GTX 580 3GB Nvidia SLI powered PC (which I think is rather high-end - see the bottom of this post for detailed system specs), I am experiencing a massive performance loss with the new shadows on Public Test 1.4 compared to 1.3 on live and also compared to 1.4 with SLI disabled.
Two areas are all of Alderaan where there is lots of grass as well as the Jedi Knight's Defender' starship's big room with the big holocom in it (just examples, most areas of the game are affected by this performance hit). Framerate is halved from live (from around ~50 down to ~20 FPS on Alderaan, from 110FPS down to 43 FPS on the defender). The game also runs a lot more choppy with framerate (noticeable microstutter, even with Vsync disabled) being far less inconsistent in 1.4. 1.4 with new shadows is nigh-unplayable on my machine with the same settings as 1.3 with the old shadows.

GPU usage for both GPUs in SLI is also way down in 1.4 from 1.3. Where in 1.3 both of my GPUs were used between 94% - 98%, which is proper SLI scaling, both GPUs are only utilized around 30% - 40% each in 1.4 on the Public test Server in the same, problematic areas. SLI scaling basically isn't working properly at all.
How are you rendering the new shadows? Using the CPU instead of the GPUs?

Both 1.3 and 1.4 run on the "Very High" Graphics Quality Preset, at 1920x1080@60Hz, Full Screen (Windowed), same with proper Full Screen mode. I'm using 4x Multisampling FSAA + 2x SGSAA Transparency Anti-Aliasing. I'm using Nvidia's latest WHQL GeForce driver, 306.23.

Which video cards did your testers test with and which driver versions did they use? Perhaps you have tested with unreleased beta drivers with a new Nvidia SLI Profile for TOR? Or much older drivers than the current ones?
Or maybe it's just an issue with the current build on the Public test server and has already been fixed on the build you have internally?

With that in mind, I think it would be a good idea to leave the old shadows in as an option. Perhaps you leave the old, blocky, more static shadows for the High Shadow setting and then use the new, dynamic shadows/Ambient Occlusion as new, Very High shadow setting.

If you can't keep the old, more performant shadows as an additional option, it may be a good idea to leave the new shadows out until you have implemented DirectX 11 support (for increased performance) and a native x64 client.

On a side note, the old bug from beta that cripples performance (FPS and GPU utilization) after leaving the Galaxy map (including entering space combat) on ships like the Jedi Knights's Defender on multi-GPU setups until one reloads the graphics is back in Game Update 1.4 as well.

Here are my system specs:
Spoiler

I tried to post my Dxdiag.txt as well, but unfortunately, the post would exceed the maximum character limit for posts as I have so many devices installed, sorry.

xorcist's Avatar


xorcist
09.17.2012 , 05:57 PM | #30
Quote: Originally Posted by Hexxas View Post
omce again totaly useless crap in a patch , FFS fix the damm issues instead of spenting time on useless stuff like this !
This is anything but "useless" as you put it. Increasing the optimization of the Engine should be #1 on the list. After all, it is the foundation of the game. Since the Engine is very poor at the moment, its limitations are still staggering. But this is a step in the right direction.
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