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Cyberstrike2027
Gallente
Focused Annihilation
Detrimental Imperative
Posted - 2005.08.04 16:58:00 - [61]
 

well, yeah, I wud like them to bring out new textures, so when u get up close to a ship (zoom in all the way), it doesn't blur out, but rather get's sharper, so when ur really close, u can see uber detail!

This wud require a pretty hefty download of new textures....but I'd do it.

Mark A
Caldari
Destructive Influence
Band of Brothers
Posted - 2005.08.04 19:57:00 - [62]
 

Edited by: Mark A on 04/08/2005 20:10:45

Originally by: Sarmaul
Originally by: Mark A
Most games can run a few thousand objects, AI, physics, FX, etc. and still maintain 30 fps, ie everything gets processed in <33ms.


I would love to see you have A*, physics and audio running for 2000 objects while rendering in real-time Laughing.

The last game I worked on had at least 1500 objects active in the main loop. And it had to run on a PS2, which has about 10% of the processing power of a modern PC. One essential generic technique which makes this possible is amortization, ie spreading processing load over several frames. The game logic loop ran at ~15Hz (configurable), independently of the rendering loop so if you were getting 60fps this reduces the processing load significantly. The renderer then used simple interpolation for the in-between frames. This also meant that even if the game loop got heavily loaded, it wouldn't drag down the framerate or cause the UI/controls to become unresponsive.

Other systems took this further, for instance the AI. Sophisticated AI is indeed expensive. Also to compute the AI decisions the NPCs used a "perception map" which was a list of what they could see within a 180 degree field of view in their forward-facing direction. To make this "can see" information truly accurate required ray-casting through the terrain geometry, so creatures didn't react to things behind walls etc. (although they also had a "can hear" map which came into play close up). Ray-poly collisions, while heavily optimised, are always going to be costly. Also if there are N npc's that's N^2 calculations.

Now if you just went ahead and did this naively the game would crawl. So the AI had it's own update interval, based on each NPCs activity level. If there was nothing near it, it would be snoozing and only recalc it's AI every 1 second. Once you got near it and stirred it up, the update rate would increase to a maximum of every 0.2s. Also the perception map was only updated every 2 AI cycles, saving more time still.

Similar techniques were used throughout the engine, e.g. the animation was LOD'd with size/distance, so close objects would update every frame, but far away things that were only a few pixels on screen would animate much more jerkily but ofc you'd never notice.

For the route finding (yes, using A*) each NPC would store its route so it didn't need to replot it. Also the route finding system would cache the last several requests because often groups of creatures would head to the same point (e.g. the player) all at the same time, so the route would already be available for the 2nd and subsequent requests.

The audio subsystem simply had a configurable maximum number of active sounds (there are only so many things you can listen to at once anyway). This means there's a cap on how much time sound processing can take up. Which sounds got played was decided via a heuristic algorithm which (at its simplest) just looked at the sound volume after attenuation. The game could also set flags to make sure sounds got played if they were really important, e.g. the players gun noises.

Such is the trickery of game programming ;).

So in summary, a typical PC/console game has much more work to do than the EVE client, with much less processing power (min spec), and still runs way faster. So it's clear to me CCP are not making best use of such techniques.

How could this be applied to EVE? Well let's take our old friend turret FX. Let's say you work out only 50 turret FX can be active before it starts to slow things down too much. So if there are 150 turrets firing, just process every 3rd one. Simple.

Originally by: Drakolis Gorgunden
also I wouldn't mind seeing some Dev comments about this issue.

That would be nice. And if anyone from CCP wants to get in touch I'll be happy to donate my time to talk about this or help out in any way.

djenghis jan
Amarr
Debiloff
Posted - 2005.08.05 15:27:00 - [63]
 

/signed

i also found that turning off sound fx helps a lotRolling Eyes

Hawk Firestorm
Posted - 2005.08.08 11:24:00 - [64]
 

I have to agree totally.

The overall game would be far better improved by going back to the basic game design and overhauling the gameplay.

Fixs instead of fudge, if it isn't working start again with something better that's well planned and implementated.


Gigi Barbagrigia
Malevolent Intentions
Posted - 2005.08.08 14:02:00 - [65]
 

Edited by: Gigi Barbagrigia on 08/08/2005 14:04:17
Good post. And I agree with it up to when you say "most of people would ..." where I think your evident coding expertise ventures into marketing department and gets lost Razz No seriously, people involved regulary in basically unplayable fleet battles are minority of playerbase (although pretty vocal one but then I'm sure there was a link to this on [5] boards Wink ). And I would even risk saying, significant minority. Most of players are minding their own little world of 10 jumps accross, dealing with less than 50 objects at a time. And I believe this includes considerable portion of dedicated PvPers. True, some are doing this because thay are "forced" to by Eve performance.

And all those carebears, if you wanna call them that, couldn't care less about your inability to conduct promissed warfare. They are paying their money too and have different list of wishes. No extreme approach will work here imho. If CCP dropped development of new content (they can only strech no-coding clause to a point ... doubt dread's siege mode is just an entry in a DB for instance) and spent next 6 months rewritting fundamentals, that majority would be all over the boards demanding new stuff cause they'd be getting bored. Also, they are the ones who go "wow" warping into COSMOS/plex dungeon, they're the ones who don't play zoomed out, have effects on and I know more than few who have sound on and are listening to in-game jukebox. Yes, hardly trademarks of a PvP game, I agree.

Also, when it comes to fights Eve imposes additional "motivation" to win on each player. It isn't just "Press Fire to respawn". So question arises; when/if you fix whole thing to a point where 100 vs 100 fights were possible, wouldn't one of the parties just bring in 50 more? And so on and so forth.

I'm affraid they will have to look into zone population caps at some point as that is far more cost effective than doing true dynamic processing power distribution.

Anyway, sorry for venturing off topic. Again, your client-side performance asessment is correct and that part I do /sign.

Bobby Wilson
Gallente
Posted - 2005.08.08 20:42:00 - [66]
 

Okay, you said some scary technical stuff I'll run screaming from, obviously your forte, deff not mine.

On the large note of "would people accept a feature freeze if CCP actively worked on bug fixing and client/server code optimizations" that is a big yes on my part. We've got a TON of new toys. I'm willing to wait two or three months at least for more goodies, so that should give CCP folks plenty of time to do the stuff suggested, yes?

BW

Bobby Wilson
Gallente
Posted - 2005.08.08 20:46:00 - [67]
 

Originally by: Gigi Barbagrigia
No seriously, people involved regulary in basically unplayable fleet battles are minority of playerbase (although pretty vocal one but then I'm sure there was a link to this on [5] boards Wink ).


I think more people would be involved in fleet battles if they were half as good as the rest of eve. Speaking as one who has been in quite a few, although none recently, I can say that they were an excitement akin to no other in the game. I got more of a charge about being in big fleet battle (win or lose) than I get out of any other aspect of the game, even 1 vs. 1 duels (which I've been in the odd time, usually as the loser due to my 56K lag issues).

Now I just imagine what those fleet battles would have been like if I'd actually been able to see what was going on at a frame rate that changed, y'know, once a second even :P

A LOT of ppl got into EVE with an interest in titanic fleet battles, if not all the time then at least occasionally. Then discovered they don't work :(

BW

Ruffryder1167
Minmatar
Destructive Influence
KenZoku
Posted - 2005.08.08 21:30:00 - [68]
 

/signed

BIRDofPREY
Minmatar
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2005.08.09 01:58:00 - [69]
 

SIGNED

Drakolis Gorgunden
Caldari
Freelance Economics Astrological resources
Posted - 2005.08.26 19:44:00 - [70]
 

Originally by: Gigi Barbagrigia
Edited by: Gigi Barbagrigia on 08/08/2005 14:04:17
Good post. And I agree with it up to when you say "most of people would ..." where I think your evident coding expertise ventures into marketing department and gets lost Razz No seriously, people involved regulary in basically unplayable fleet battles are minority of playerbase (although pretty vocal one but then I'm sure there was a link to this on [5] boards Wink ). And I would even risk saying, significant minority. Most of players are minding their own little world of 10 jumps accross, dealing with less than 50 objects at a time. And I believe this includes considerable portion of dedicated PvPers. True, some are doing this because thay are "forced" to by Eve performance.

And all those carebears, if you wanna call them that, couldn't care less about your inability to conduct promissed warfare. They are paying their money too and have different list of wishes. No extreme approach will work here imho. If CCP dropped development of new content (they can only strech no-coding clause to a point ... doubt dread's siege mode is just an entry in a DB for instance) and spent next 6 months rewritting fundamentals, that majority would be all over the boards demanding new stuff cause they'd be getting bored. Also, they are the ones who go "wow" warping into COSMOS/plex dungeon, they're the ones who don't play zoomed out, have effects on and I know more than few who have sound on and are listening to in-game jukebox. Yes, hardly trademarks of a PvP game, I agree.

Also, when it comes to fights Eve imposes additional "motivation" to win on each player. It isn't just "Press Fire to respawn". So question arises; when/if you fix whole thing to a point where 100 vs 100 fights were possible, wouldn't one of the parties just bring in 50 more? And so on and so forth.

I'm affraid they will have to look into zone population caps at some point as that is far more cost effective than doing true dynamic processing power distribution.

Anyway, sorry for venturing off topic. Again, your client-side performance asessment is correct and that part I do /sign.


The game still lags in battle with a few ships. not 100 vs 100 or even 4 vs 4. So yes it still needs a overhaul of some sort. I know a few people who wouldn't mind it not lagging in 100 vs 100 though. I'm sure it won't happen much but it would still be cool to have to once in while.

Jiggy
Minmatar
Posted - 2005.08.26 23:54:00 - [71]
 

In the period between Shiva & Cold War(9? months), we've seen an awful lot more new content than from Gemini to just before Shiva(17 or 18 months?).

We now have enough new toys, and enough new long skills, to postpone the next expansion pack 3 or 4 months while nothing but optimisation is done by coders.

Maybe it would also give artists time to stop re-using old models at every chance Rolling Eyes

Caerleus
Achmed-Terrorist
IUS PRIMAE N0CTIS
Posted - 2005.08.30 10:38:00 - [72]
 

signed..
Not only agree with the content, but also the fact that this thread needs to be kept alive and at the top..
Three pages and not one dev comment...


FalloutBoy
Posted - 2005.08.30 18:25:00 - [73]
 

Edited by: FalloutBoy on 30/08/2005 18:25:05
/signed

but unfortionatly talking with GMs as of late they don't even acknowldege thier is a problem and they claimed all the lag we have during fleet battles are all out of thier control and not there fault, and its the fault of our systems/or our links to there servers

SpeedoMan
Caldari
Posted - 2005.08.31 17:10:00 - [74]
 

signed

No new taxes!!...er... content! Fix & balance what's already here, first.

Morden
Amarr
Viper Intel Squad
Pure.
Posted - 2005.08.31 21:31:00 - [75]
 

Improving the game engine was a major part of the recent dev blogs, it seems to me that they already know about it. Fixing bugs was also highlighted as being in the forefront of dev activity many times.

Drakolis Gorgunden
Caldari
Freelance Economics Astrological resources
Posted - 2005.09.09 20:42:00 - [76]
 

Originally by: Morden
Improving the game engine was a major part of the recent dev blogs, it seems to me that they already know about it. Fixing bugs was also highlighted as being in the forefront of dev activity many times.


Ok, which blog are you talking about? I can't seem to locate the one about improving the game quality and lag. are you sure they weren't referring to the last couple patches? they don't seem to improve too much

Christopher Scott
Blue Republic
Posted - 2005.09.10 07:51:00 - [77]
 

Edited by: Christopher Scott on 10/09/2005 07:56:24
I believe I understand why there are so many graphic and code problems which CCP has yet to fix(if even bothering to fix them).

First and foremost, they are based in Iceland. If you want to work for CCP, or assist in any kind of code development, you have to live in Iceland. Now, you don't have to speak Icelandic, but it will still be rather difficult to live in a country and not know their native language. To the majority of videogame programmers, or any kind for that matter, this is probably a huge turnoff. Understandably so, as the majority of videogame programmers do not live anywhere near Iceland, or speak their language. :-P

Now Blizzard, who owns World of Warcraft, has their HQ based out of California. Sharing the same home as Silicon Valley, California is very tech-savvy and harbors many schools and training centers specific to the video game industry. If Blizzard were looking to hire more people(which they are), they would have a very diverse talent pool in which to choose from.

EVE-Online is just another small MMORPG that is stuck in the wake of WoW's overwheling success. It has come to the point where the other MMOs have given up mainstream success and are now trying to grab as much runoff from WoW as they can. EQII is an example of this.

The rate of EVE's patch deployment has skyrocketed since WoW, yet the imbalance of new content between new code has just gotten worse. I get the impression that their design team is working very hard to make up for their lack of an equal programming team, while trying to push as much content as possible to catch more runoff and bolster their subscription base.

When it comes to an MMORPGs subscription base, rate of growth is more important than a whole number of subscriptions, right? YARRRR!!

Anyway, I don't think EVE is going to change it's bad habits anytime soon, unless they decide to break their own "Home" rule and harness talent from overseas.

Messerschmitt facility
Amarr
Posted - 2005.09.10 17:34:00 - [78]
 

Signed

Tsual
Minmatar
Posted - 2005.09.10 18:40:00 - [79]
 

/signed
(though in the second dev blog abotu kali they stated already that 2 programmers are on the turret animation.)

Besides Eve is the only game that yet makes my laptop emergency shut down because of overheating within 5 minutes and with only the login screen visible.(even WoW needed 1 hour for that, ok besides the laptop being crap additional.)


Just for differentiation/clarification:

Is there a visible increase with following settings: no depth buffer, color depth: "15 bit" as well as depth/stencil format: 16 bit?

(Just wondering what this omnius w-buffer is?)

Kermos
Posted - 2005.09.10 21:00:00 - [80]
 

Originally by: Tsual
/signed
(though in the second dev blog abotu kali they stated already that 2 programmers are on the turret animation.)

Besides Eve is the only game that yet makes my laptop emergency shut down because of overheating within 5 minutes and with only the login screen visible.(even WoW needed 1 hour for that, ok besides the laptop being crap additional.)


Just for differentiation/clarification:

Is there a visible increase with following settings: no depth buffer, color depth: "15 bit" as well as depth/stencil format: 16 bit?

(Just wondering what this omnius w-buffer is?)



You *WANT* the depth buffer. Depth buffer = GOOD. Do not turn it off.

At least....if CCP is using it correctly. Imagine an image the size of your screen, instead of color data, each pixel so to speak, has a value of 1.0 to 0.0. 1.0 being farthest away, 0.0 being closest. This is your Depth buffer, also known as a Z-Buffer. What do these values mean? Well when the video card goes to render a pixel, it calculates the pixels position in the Z-Buffer, and checks it against the current value in the Z-Buffer. If the value is LESS than or equal to the Z-buffer value, the pixel is rendered. If the value is greater, it is not rendered. This allows the video card to reject pixels *before* performing texture mapping, and expensive shader effects on them. Fastest way to draw a pixel is after all, not to draw it. So on a bottom line, Z-buffers prevent overdraw.

So if CCP is doing things right, and renders things in order based on the distance of your camera position. Rendering closer things first, things further away last. And if now you have a lot of objects on the screen all overlapping each other, the depth buffer can result in a significant performance boost.

So bottom line, the Depth/Z-Buffer is your friend. You do not want to turn it off. I'm not sure if you'd see a performance difference in eve between a 32-bit depth/stencil buffer or a 16-bit depth buffer. I honestly doubt it.

Same goes for color depth, you will loose visual quality at 15-bit color, that's for sure. And on an older cards with slow fill rates, that *may* improve performance. Downside however is that 15-bit is a 555 format, being 5-bits red, 5 bits green, 5 bits blue, 1 bit unused or alpha. A royal pain to work with as none of the color channels are directly accessible. A 888 format such as 24-bit, 8 bits red, 8 bits green, 8 bits blue, each color channel occupies a whole byte. From a code perspective much easier to work with.

While copying 15-bit image data would be faster than copying 24-bit image data, performing operations on 15 bit can actually be slower than 24-bit due to the additional per pixel work required on the 3 color channels split across 2 bytes, really depends on memory access speed at this point in time VS clock speed. Will you see performance gains by going to 15-bit? really depends on your card. Anything at least halfway up to date, I personally doubt it....

Oh and the omnius w-buffer is similar to the z-buffer. Its a different way of doing depth buffering, I though do not quite remember off the top of my head how it exactly works.




Seth Killbain
Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2005.09.10 22:11:00 - [81]
 

Signed, i have done a fair amount of the combat scenarios available, and the problems are becoming obvious the more i get involved in the game.
The more going on the worse it gets, fairly substantially.
Im still new compared to a lot of old players, and at my level, there are toys in this game i doubt i will ever get to play with, the game is bursting with content at the minute. I would much rather see improvements made to the game rather then more toys which are possibly a year or more away.
Im already avoiding some parts of the game due to problems with performance and bugs, and adding new content instead of fixing is only gonna make it worse.

And as i aid im fairly new, but i can remember the difference playing later castor --> Exodus (break) Exodus --) now, and it hasnt got better, its got a fair bit worse overall.

McBane
Gallente
AFK Initiative
Posted - 2005.09.10 23:35:00 - [82]
 

Oops, just posted a very similar thread and then noticed this one!

/signed

jbob2000
Gallente
Degenerate...
Posted - 2005.09.11 01:17:00 - [83]
 

Only problem with doing such things as you're suggesting is that it would require like an ENTIRE re-write of the Eve code. I'd imagine that would take like a year or two, but I don't know much about coding.

CCP needs to keep adding content to keep people interested and paying. If they stop adding content for a year, people will wonder wtf ccp is doing. Although, with eve it might be different cause alot of the players are more fascinated with the player politics than with the new features.

And dont say hire more coders. You can't just do that cause they won't know wtf is going on and they don't 'know' the code.

In the end, there's no gurantee it will optimize the client. It might break the game, but who knows.

abdar
Posted - 2005.09.11 14:59:00 - [84]
 

/me thanks Kernos for the explanation.

abdar
Posted - 2005.09.11 15:00:00 - [85]
 

/me thanks Kernos for the explanation.

Jex Jast
Go for the booty
Posted - 2005.09.11 22:44:00 - [86]
 

/signed

Derron Bel
Amarr
Imperial Academy
Posted - 2005.09.12 11:10:00 - [87]
 

CCP is doing big client-code rewrites already. They've delayed all sorts of features in the interest of performance. Including a turret code rewrite. So I'm not really sure what the point is.

It's difficult to take petitions such as these seriously, since I have yet to participate in a game community (let alone MMO) where similar complaints have not surfaced, even the unpopular O-R-B.


Caeden Nicomachean
The Older Gamers
R0ADKILL
Posted - 2005.09.12 12:07:00 - [88]
 

Originally by: Derron Bel
CCP is doing big client-code rewrites already. They've delayed all sorts of features in the interest of performance. Including a turret code rewrite. So I'm not really sure what the point is.



The original post: 2005.07.25

Oveur's blog post summing up the stuff you alluded to, and clarifying whats what about optimizations - 2005.08.08


Derron Bel
Amarr
Imperial Academy
Posted - 2005.09.12 12:18:00 - [89]
 

Ah, good point. Embarassed

Christopher Scott
Blue Republic
Posted - 2005.09.13 06:31:00 - [90]
 

Originally by: jbob2000
Only problem with doing such things as you're suggesting is that it would require like an ENTIRE re-write of the Eve code. I'd imagine that would take like a year or two, but I don't know much about coding.


That was Shiva(Exodus). The Shiva code branch was supposed to be a major rewrite of game code, to optimize performance. And sadly, it didn't optimize where it was needed.


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