Trending Games | Skyforge | Shards | Chronicles of Elyria | Guild Wars 2

    Facebook Twitter YouTube
Login:  Password:   Remember?  
Show Quick Gamelist Jump to Random Game
Members:3,030,755 Users Online:0
Games:843  Posts:6,483,913
Recent forum postsRSS
Active threads
Cloud view
List all forums
General Forums
Developers Corner General Discussion
Popular Game Forums
Click a status to find game forum
Game Forums
Click a letter to find game forum
2029 Online 2112: Revolution 2Moons 4Story 8BitMMO 9 Dragons A Mystical Land A Tale in the Desert III A3 ACE Online AD2460 ARGO Online Aberoth Absolute Force Online Absolute Terror Achaea Adellion Aerrevan Aetolia, the Midnight Age Age of Armor Age of Conan Age of Empires Online Age of Mourning Age of Wulin Age of Wushu Aida Arenas Aika Aion Albion Online Alganon All Points Bulletin (APB) Allods Online Altis Gates Amazing World Anarchy Online Ancients of Fasaria Andromeda 5 Angels Online Angry Birds Epic Anime Ninja Anime Pirates Anime Trumps Anmynor Anno Online Applo Arcane Hearts Arcane Legends ArchLord ArcheAge Archeblade Archlord 2 Archlord X Armored Warfare Ascend: Hand of Kul Asda 2 Asda Story Ashen Empires Asheron's Call Asheron's Call 2 Astera Online Astonia III Astro Empires Astro Lords: Oort CLoud Asura Force Atlantica Online Atriarch Aura Kingdom Aurora Blade Auto Assault Avatar Star Battle Dawn Battle Dawn Galaxies Battle for Graxia Battle of 3 Kingdoms Battle of the Immortals Battlecruiser Online Battlestar Galactica Online Battlestar Reloaded Beyond Protocol Bionic Marine Command Online Black Aftermath Black Desert Black Gold Black Prophecy Black Prophecy Tactics: Nexus Conflict Blackguards 2 Blacklight Retribution Blade & Soul Blade Hunter Blade Wars Blazing Throne Bless Blitz 1941 Blood and Jade Bloodborne Bloodlines Champions Boot Hill Heroes Borderlands 2 Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Bound by Flame Bounty Bay Online Brain Storm Bravada Bravely Default Bravely Second Brawl Busters. Brick-Force Bright Shadow Bullet Run Business Tycoon Online CTRacer Cabal Online Caesary Call of Camelot Call of Gods Call of Thrones Camelot Unchained Canaan Online Cardmon Hero Cartoon Universe CasinoRPG Cast & Conquer Castle Empire Castlot Celtic Heroes Champions Online Champions of Regnum Chaos Online Child of Light Chroma Squad Chrono Tales Citadel of Sorcery CitiesXL Citizen Zero City of Decay City of Heroes City of Steam City of Transformers City of Villains Civilization Online Clan Lord Clash of Clans Cloud Nine Club Penguin Colony of War Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances Company of Heroes Online Conquer Online Conquer Online 3 Continent of the Ninth (C9) Core Blaze Core Exiles Corum Online Craft of Gods Crimecraft Crimelife 2 Cronous Crota II Crowfall Crusaders of Solaris Cultures Online Cyber Monster 2 Cyberpunk 2077 Céiron Wars
D&D Online DC Universe DK Online DOTA DOTA 2 DUST 514 DV8: Exile Dalethaan Dance Groove Online Dark Age of Camelot Dark Ages Dark Legends Dark Orbit Dark Relic: Prelude Dark Solstice Dark Souls 2 Dark and Light DarkEden Online DarkSpace Darkblood Online Darkest Dungeon Darkfall Darkfall: Unholy Wars Darkwind: War on Wheels Das Tal Dawn of Fantasy Dawntide DayZ Dead Earth Dead Frontier Dead Island Dead Island 2 Dead Island: Riptide Deco Online Deep Down Deepworld Defiance Deicide Online Dekaron Demons at the Horizon Desert Operations Destiny Diablo 3 Diamonin Digimon Battle Dino Storm Disciple Divergence Divina Divine Souls Divinity: Original Sin Dofus Dominus Online Dragon Age: Inquisition Dragon Ball Online Dragon Born Online Dragon Crusade Dragon Empires Dragon Eternity Dragon Fin Soup Dragon Heart Online Dragon Nest Dragon Oath Dragon Pals Dragon Raja Dragon's Call Dragon's Call II Dragon's Prophet DragonSky DragonSoul Dragona Dragonica Dragons and Titans Drakengard 3 Dream of Mirror Online Dreamland Online Dreamlords: The Reawakening Drift City Duels Dungeon Blitz Dungeon Fighter Online Dungeon Overlord Dungeon Party Dungeon Rampage Dungeon Runners Dungeon of the Endless Dying Light Dynastica Dynasty Warriors Online Dynasty of the Magi EIN (Epicus Incognitus) EVE Online Earth Eternal Earth and Beyond Earthlock: Festival of Magic Earthrise Eclipse War Ecol Tactics Online Eden Eternal Edge of Space Einherjar - The Viking's Blood Elder Scrolls Online Eldevin Elf Online Elite: Dangerous Embers of Caerus Emil Chronicle Online Empire Empire & State Empire Craft Empire Universe 3 EmpireQuest Empires of Galldon End of Nations Endless Ages Endless Blue Moon Online Endless Online Entropia Universe EpicDuel Erebus: Travia Reborn Eredan Eternal Blade Eternal Lands Eternal Saga Ether Fields Ether Saga Online Eudemons Online EuroGangster EverEmber Online EverQuest Next EverQuest Online Adventures Evernight Everquest Everquest II Evony Exarch Exorace F.E.A.R. Online Fable Legends Face of Mankind Fairyland Online Fall of Rome Fallen Earth Fallen Sword Fallout 4 Fallout Online Family Guy Online Fantage Fantasy Earth Zero Fantasy Realm Online Fantasy Tales Online Fantasy Worlds: Rhynn Faunasphere Faxion Online Fearless Fantasy Ferentus Ferion Fiesta Online Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Final Fantasy XI Final Fantasy XIV Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Firefall Fists of Fu Florensia Flyff Football Manager Live Football Superstars Force of Arms Forge Forsaken Uprising Forsaken World Fortnite Fortuna Forum for Discussion of Everlight Freaky Creatures Free Realms Freesky Online Freeworld Fung Wan Online Furcadia Fury Fusion Fall
GRAV GalaXseeds Galactic Command Online Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms Gameglobe Gate To Heavens Gates of Andaron Gatheryn Gauntlet Gekkeiju Online Ghost Online Ghost Recon Online Gladiatus Glitch Global Agenda Global Soccer Gloria Victis Glory of Gods GoGoRacer Goal Line Blitz Gods Rush Gods and Heroes GodsWar Online Golemizer Golf Star GoonZu Online Graal Kingdoms Granado Espada Online Grand Chase Grand Fantasia Grepolis Grimlands Guild Wars Guild Wars 2 Guild Wars Factions Guild Wars Nightfall H1Z1 Habbo Hotel Hailan Rising HaloSphere2 Hand of Fate Haven & Hearth Hawken Heart Forth Alicia Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Helbreath Hellgate Hellgate: London Hello Kitty Online Hero Online Hero Zero Hero's Journey Hero: 108 Online HeroSmash Heroes & Generals Heroes & Legends: Conquerors of Kolhar Heroes in the Sky Heroes of Atlan Heroes of Bestia Heroes of Gaia Heroes of Might and Magic Online Heroes of Thessalonica Heroes of Three Kingdoms Heroes of the Storm Hex Holic Online Hostile Space Hunter Blade Huxley Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Illutia Illyriad Immortals USA Immune Imperator Imperian Inferno Legend Infestation: Survivor Stories Infinite Crisis Infinity Infinity Iris Online Iron Grip: Marauders Irth Worlds Island Forge Islands of War Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Jade Dynasty Jagged Alliance Online Juggernaut Jumpgate Jumpgate Evolution KAL Online Kakele Online Kaos War Karos Online Kartuga Kicks Online Kill Strain King of Kings 3 Kingdom Heroes Kingdom Under Fire II Kingdom of Drakkar Kingory Kings Era Kings and Legends Kings of the Realm KingsRoad Kitsu Saga Kiwarriors Knight Age Knight Online Knights of Dream City Kothuria Kung Foo! Kunlun Online Kyn L.A.W. LEGO Universe La Tale Land of Chaos Online Landmark Lands of Hope: Redemption LastChaos League of Angels League of Legends - Clash of Fates Legend of Edda: Vengeance Legend of Golden Plume Legend of Grimrock 2 Legend of Katha Legend of Mir 2 Legend of Mir 3 Legendary Champions Lego Minifigures Online Lichdom: Battlemage Life is Feudal Light of Nova Lime Odyssey Line of Defense Lineage Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance Lineage II Linkrealms Loong Online Lord of the Rings Online Lords Online Lords of the Fallen Lords of the Fallen 2 Lost Saga Lucent Heart Lunia Lusternia: Age of Ascension Luvinia World
MU Online Mabinogi Maestia: Rise of Keledus MagiKnights Magic Barrage Magic World Online Manga Fighter MapleStory Martial Heroes Marvel Heroes Marvel Super Hero Squad Online Marvel: Avengers Alliance Mass Effect 4 MechWarrior Online Megaten Meridian 59 : Evolution Merlin MetalMercs Metaplace Metin 2 MicroVolts Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Midkemia Online Might & Magic Heroes Online Might & Magic Heroes: Kingdoms Might & Magic X: Legacy MilMo Minecraft Mini Fighter Minions of Mirth Ministry of War Monato Esprit Monkey King Online Monkey Quest Monster & Me Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate Monster Madness Online MonsterMMORPG Moonlight Online: Tales of Eternal Blood Moonrise Mordavia Mortal Online Mourning My Lands Myst Online: URU Live Myth Angels Online Myth War Myth War 2 Mythborne Mytheon Mythic Saga Mythos N.E.O Online NIDA Online Nadirim Naviage: The Power of Capital Navy Field Necropolis Need for Speed World Nemexia Neo's Land NeoSteam Neocron Nether Neverwinter Nexus: The Kingdom Of The Winds NinjaTrick NosTale Nova Genesis Novus Aeterno Oberin Odin Quest Odyssey RPG Ogre Island Omerta 3 Online Boxing Manager Onverse Oort Online Order & Chaos Online Order of Magic Original Blood Origins Return Origins of Malu Orion's Belt Otherland Forums OverSoul Overkings Overwatch Oz Online Oz World Pandora Saga Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Panzar Parabellum Parallel Kingdom Parfait Station Path of Exile Pathfinder Online Perfect World Perpetuum Online Persona V Phantasy Star Online 2 Phantasy Star Universe Phoenix Dynasty Online Phylon Pi Story Picaroon Pillars of Eternity Pirate Galaxy Pirate Storm Pirate101 PirateKing Online Pirates of the Burning Sea Pirates of the Caribbean Online Pixie Hollow Planeshift Planet Arkadia Planet Calypso PlanetSide 2 Planetside Planets³ Playboy Manager Pocket Legends Pockie Ninja Pockie Pirates Pockie Saints Pokémon X and Y PoxNora Prime World Prime: Battle for Dominus Priston Tale Priston Tale II Prius Online Prodigy Project Blackout Project Gorgon Project Powder Project Titan Forums Project Wiki Project Zomboid Puzzle Pirates Quest for Infamy Quickhit Football
R2 Online RAN Online RF Online ROSE Online Rage of 3 Kingdoms Ragnarok Online Ragnarok Online II RaiderZ Rail Nation Rakion Rappelz RappelzSEA Ravenmarch Realm Fighter Realm of Sierra Realm of the Mad God Realm of the Titans Realms Online Rebel Galaxy Reclamation Red Stone Red War: Edem's Curse Regnum Online Remnant Knights Renaissance Repulse Requiem: Memento Mori Rift RiotZone Rise Rise of Dragonian Era Rise of Empire Rise of the Tycoon Risen 3: Titan Lords Rising of King Risk Your Life Rivality Rockfree Rohan: Blood Feud Role Play Worlds Roll n Rock Roma Victor Romadoria Rosh Online Roto X Rubies of Eventide Ruin Online Rumble Fighter Runes of Magic Runescape Rust Rusty Hearts Ryzom S4 League SAGA SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online SMITE SUN Sacred 3 Sagramore Salem SaySayGirls Scarlet Blade Scions of Fate Seal Online: Evolution Second Chance Heroes Second Life Secret of the Solstice Seed Serenia Fantasy Seven Seas Saga Seven Souls Online Sevencore Shadow Realms Shadow of Legend Shadowbane Shadowgate Shadowrun Chronicles Shaiya Shards Online Shattered Galaxy Sho Online Shot Online Shroud of the Avatar SideQuest Siege on Stars Sigonyth: Desert Eternity Silkroad Online Skyblade Skyforge SmashMuck Champions Smoo Online Soldier Front Soul Master Soul Order Online Soul of Guardian South Park: The Stick of Truth Space Heroes Universe Sparta: War of Empires Spellcasters Sphere Spiral Knights Spirit Tales Splash Fighters Squad Wars Star Citizen Star Conflict Star Sonata 2 Star Stable Star Supremacy Star Trek Online Star Trek: Infinite Space Star Wars Galaxies Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Star Wars: The Old Republic StarQuest Online Starbound Stargate Worlds Starlight Story Starpires State of Decay SteelWar Online Stone Age 2 Stormfall: Age of War Stormthrone Storybricks Stronghold Kingdoms Styx: Master of Shadows Sudden Attack Supremacy 1914 Supreme Destiny Sword Coast Legends Sword Girls Sword of Destiny: Rise of Aions SwordX Swords of Heavens Swordsman
TERA TS Online TUG Tabula Rasa Tactica Online Tales Runner Tales of Fantasy Tales of Pirates Tales of Pirates II Tales of Solaris Talisman Online Tamer Saga Tank Ace Tantra Online Tatsumaki: Land at War Terra Militaris TerraWorld Online Terraria Thang Online The 4th Coming The Agency The Aurora World The Banner Saga The Banner Saga 2 The Black Watchmen The Chronicle The Chronicles of Spellborn The Crew The Division The Epic Might The Hammers End The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 The Legend of Ares The Lost Titans The Matrix Online The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot The Missing Ink The Mummy Online The Myth of Soma The Pride of Taern The Realm Online The Repopulation The Secret World The Sims Online The Strategems The West The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Theralon There Therian Saga Thrones of Chaos Tibia Tibia Micro Edition Tiger Knight Titan Siege Titans of Time Toontown Online Top Speed Topia Online Torchlight Torment: Tides of Numenera Total Domination Transformers Universe Transistor Transverse Trapped Dead: Lockdown Traveller AR Travia Online Travian Triad Wars Trials of Ascension Tribal Hero Tribal Wars Tribes Universe Trickster Online Trove Troy Online True Fantasy Live Online Turf Battles Twelve Sky Twelve Sky 2 Twilight War Tynon U.B. Funkeys UFO Online URDEAD Online Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar Ultima Online Ultima X: Odyssey Ultimate Naruto Ultimate Soccer Boss Uncharted Waters Online Undercover 2: Merc Wars Underlight Unification Wars Universe Online Utherous Utopia Valkyrie Sky Vampire Lord Online Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Vanquish Space Vector City Racers Vendetta Online Victory - Age of Racing Vindictus Virtonomics Vis Gladius Visions of Zosimos VoidExpanse Voyage Century Online W.E.L.L. Online WAR (Warhammer Online) WAR2 Glory WYD Global Wakfu War Thunder War of 2012 War of Angels War of Legends War of Mercenaries War of Thrones War of the Immortals WarFlow Waren Story Warflare Wargame1942 Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium Online Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes Warkeepers Warrior Epic Wartune Wasteland 2 WebLords Wild West Online WildStar Wind of Luck WindSlayer 2 Wings of Destiny Wish Wizard101 Wizardry Online Wizards and Champions Wonder King Wonderland Online World Golf Tour World of Battles World of Darkness World of Heroes World of Kung Fu World of Pirates World of Speed World of Tanks World of Tanks Generals World of Warcraft World of Warplanes World of Warriors World of Warships World of the Living Dead WorldAlpha Wurm Online Xenoblade Chronicles 3D Xenoblade Chronicles: X Xenocell Xiah Xsyon Xulu YS Online Yitien ZU Online Zentia Zero Online Zero Online: The Andromeda Crisis Zodiac Online Zombies Ate My Pizza eRepublik Discussion Forums

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » Why the graphics engine of SWTOR is inferoir to their competitors

5 Pages « 1 2 3 4 5 Search
82 posts found


Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14702

11/20/12 11:10:41 AM#81
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by mikahr
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by mikahr

It doesnt have any of dx10 and dx11 bells and whistles, its all DX9 and 2007, it should run on any newer hardware. THATS what makes a bad engine.

If it were DirectX 11, would that make poor performance more acceptable?  New APIs don't make any effects possible that weren't possible before.  Rather, new APIs give you more efficient ways to do things that you could have done before but with a larger performance hit.  That dosen't make new effects possible, but it does make new effects practical.  Something you could have done before at 2 frames per second, you can now do at 40 frames per second, so you can finally implement it into your game.

I would BECAUSE IT WOULD AT LEAST LOOK GREAT AND RUN POOR, compared to now when it looks like crap and runs very poor.

And yes, DX9 (2007) game SHOULD RUN PERFECTLY ON ANY COMPUTER TODAY even with only integrated video card.

Did you even read and understand the thing you quoted?

The API version is just a tool.  If you upgrade from a toolbox with 10 tools in it to one with 15 tools in it, but don't use any of the new tools that weren't also in the old toolbox, would you expect things you build with it to suddenly be better?  To the contrary, if you're not going to use the new tools, you might as well just stay with the old toolbox.  That also gives you broader compatibility, and no chance for new bugs to crop up in the process of trying to port things back from DirectX 11 to DirectX 9.0c.

There's nothing intrinsic to DirectX 11 that makes it look better than DirectX 9.0c.  The newer version does make some new things practical, but how good the graphics look is still up to the game developers.

Which comes back to compatibility.  Hero does not support SWTOR's version of it's graphics engine, as part of their deal with EA, since EA bought what was available and would "fill in the rest" later (ie alpha versions of Hero).


I would encourage you to try out SWTOR's "F2P" Freemium model , since you are very interested in this subject.  At first it will seem very nice, or at least when nobody else is near you, but you will notice the major defects people are talking about once you get to the fleet, level 10'ish.


EA did do a major workaround somewhere between patch 1.1 and 1.2, called "sectioning", in which a map (specifically the fleet) is broken up into smaller regions, each instanced, or in some way separate from adjacent sections.  It isn't clear if this was done anywhere else other than the fleet.  You can see this feature if you lose connection with the server (forcibly or via game bugs).  You will be able to move around while not connected (everyone else stays still of course), and you will observe you are trapped in a square type area with invisible walls.  Another workaround EA had was to limit the players on-screen at one time, according to your graphics settings.  This is a more recent "fix".  There might be 50 people at the mailbox, but a player will see far less.


EA came out with these ideas to make the game more playable, but it's really just tucking all the internal graphics engine issues under the rug.  World PVP, for instance, still won't be very enjoyable (low fps) with this engine.  If EA could fix the issues, they would have.  It's likely they can't because it's way over their head, and/or the people who knew how to make miracles happen have been layed off / forced into retirement / or fired.


But still, if you are interested in furthering your studies and analysis, download and play it.

You may not realize this, but you're basically saying that EA is using all of the graphics optimization methods that are available.  They may or may not be using them well, but there aren't any obvious fixes that they're ignoring.  Let's break it down.

1)  Not drawing some things on the screen.  Every game engine has to do a hefty dose of this unless it's a very, very small game world.  Think "Asteroids" small, not "only one zone" small.  Probably the simplest is "that's too far away, so we're not going to draw it"--or perhaps rather, not even going to load it into memory until it gets closer.

Sometimes saying, "we're not going to draw that" is more problematic than others.  The best time to do it is for things that wouldn't have appeared on the screen anyway.  If you can determine that a particular object isn't going to be on the screen that particular frame, then you can just ignore it and move on to the next, rather than passing it on to the rendering thread, which would have to switch to the right program (actually, you can usually get around this one by collating objects that use the same program), texture(s), and vertex data, upload the uniforms, run the vertex shaders, clip each triangle separately, observe that one of the six clipping planes completely killed the entire triangle so that nothing makes it to the pixel shader, and then not draw anything.  It's impractical to always determine whether an object will appear on the screen without trying to draw it and see what happens.  But if something is way off to the side or behind the camera or whatever, you can detect that and skip it.

But sometimes, there's still too much to draw in a single frame, and that's going to kill your performance.  Trying to draw 50 characters at once, each of which is animated and has customized his looks (different textures for all, and likely different vertex data, too) is necessarily a ton of work, and that means a huge performance hit.  You can sort and say, we're going to cap the number we draw in a given frame and only draw the closest ones, and sometimes you have to do that in order to get acceptable performance.  Yes, it does look bad when nearby characters are disappearing and reappearing, but when there's too much to draw, there aren't always good alternatives.

2)  Customizing the game engine.  You're making a big deal about how EA started with a beta version of the Hero Engine, then changed it so that it's not the officially supported version anymore.  But if they had started with the latest version, they'd still have had to change it so that it's not the officially supported version anymore.  Off-the-shelf graphics engines are built to do certain things, and to do them in certain ways.  It never exactly coincides with what you want to do in your game.

For that matter, even if the graphics engine was built for your particular game (Hero's Journey, in this case), as you actually build the game, you'll inevitably discover that you need some things you hadn't planned for, and that you're not using some things that you had built in.  And if the graphics engine wasn't built specifically for your particular game, you'll probably come up with even more examples of both.

So what do you do about it?  You modify the game engine, of course.  If you discover that you need the capability to do something that the engine doesn't already support, the best option is to modify the engine to support it.  At that point, it's no longer the standard, officially-supported version of the Hero Engine, but that's okay--and necessary, even.

One alternative is to try to cram what you want into the way the engine wants to do things, but this is highly inefficient.  It's something akin to eating soup with a fork.  The other alternative is to simply not do what you need to do for your game, i.e., chop out features that you were planning on adding.  You'll sometimes need to do this anyway as things turn out to be impractical to implement, but you'll have to do a lot more of it if you're not going to customize the game engine.

On the other side, if the game engine supports things that you're not going to use, then you want to cut them out.  On the processor side, it's often not that big of a deal if some code goes unused.  But pixel shaders need to run hundreds of millions of times per second.  If your pixel shader takes a microsecond longer to run than it "should", then you have a big, big problem.  (I'm glossing over details of how a graphics card will have many copies of the same pixel shader running simultaneously on different data, but you get the point.)  You have to go through it operation by operation (line by line is too coarse here) and make sure that it's as efficient as you can possibly make it.  If there's functionality that you're not using and not going to use, then chop it out.

3)  Breaking things into zones.  This is really just a more efficient way of structuring your data.  This doesn't only mean different planets in SWTOR, but also different zones within planets.  It's highly probable that the game world is broken into zones in several different ways that are mostly invisible to players--and not necessarily that one subdivision is a refinement of another.

For example, in order to load the entire game into video memory all at once would surely take at least tens of gigabytes of video memory, and likely hundreds of gigabytes.  So how does the game engine decide what to load?  Well, it loads the stuff that is near you, of course.  But how does it decide what is near you?  It could check every single object in the game, determine how close you are to it, and then load it if you're close enough.  But that would take too long.

Instead, the data is broken into zones that are never drawn on your screen.  You're in some particular zone, and several other zones are near enough that the game might conceivably need to load stuff from them.  It checks everything in those few zones, but skips the other hundreds or thousands of zones that are too far away.  It's much quicker to check a zone once and determine that it's too far away than to loop through every single object in the zone and determine that each particular object is too far away to be loaded.

Or for another example, let's suppose that a mob somewhere in the game world attacks.  The server has to determine which players will be informed of this.  Informing every player every single time anything in the game world moves is impractical for bandwidth reasons.  For the server to cycle through every single player online and check whether they're near enough would work, but would bring an unnecessary performance hit.  So it breaks the game world into zones and only checks players in the zone that the mob is in and a few other zones nearby.  Some players who are in such zones may still not be notified of the attack, but the idea of zones is that you can very quickly eliminate 99%+ of the players from needing to know, and only do more detailed processing on a few.

And more to the point, the zones for checking what texture and vertex data to load into video memory probably aren't the same zones as for checking which players need to be notified that a mob has attacked.  There can be a number of other purposes for which players are divided into zones, too.

4)  Drawing objects faster.  Ideally, if you can find a way to compute exactly the same finished screen in less time, you do.  But there's only so much of this available.  Sometimes, you have to ease the load by making it simpler for the video card to draw a given object.  This can mean lower resolution textures, and SWTOR famously had a big dust-up over this.  It can mean fewer vertices in your models.  It can mean reusing programs and textures and vertex data more, so that you can collate things and have to switch data less often.  It can mean chopping out some graphical effects entirely, especially computationally expensive things such as shadows.

Ideally, you give players some graphical options to allow them to turn settings up or down themselves.  That way, people with the hardware to handle it can get the full graphical effects, while people who don't have it can turn settings down and still make the game playable.  But it does sometimes take some additional work to make sure that your code is optimized both for having settings on and having them off, as it doesn't do any good if turning graphical settings off doesn't ease the load on hardware.  And, by the way, that's optimization work that you may not be able to do if you're using the standard game engine and not customizing things yourself.


So what's the point of this?  Most of the claims of "SWTOR has a bad graphics engine because of X" on this thread are completely spurious.  It's like claiming that it's cold today because the sun rises in the east.  Maybe it is cold today, and maybe the sun does rise in the east, but it's not cold today because the sun rises in the east.

In particular, that EA customized the game engine rather than using the bog-standard Hero Engine is a good thing, not a bad thing.  If they hadn't, then you could claim--correctly--that it was a bad graphics engine for the game because it wasn't customized for the game in question.

Furthermore, optimizations of the sort that you describe aren't "tucking all the internal graphics engine issues under the rug".  They're the stuff that graphical improvements are made of.

The thing that you need to understand about 3D graphics is that it's all completely fake.  The way that the graphics work internally does not correspond to anything in the real world.  It's really just a quest to make something that looks nice and lets the player feel like he can control what is going on, while drawing it as fast as possible.  Any movement in that direction constitutes making the graphics engine better, not "tucking things under the rug".


Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/07
Posts: 2167

11/20/12 11:58:21 AM#82

The graphics engine is alright, it's about on par with a game from 2008 or so. The backend engine on the other hand is terrible, HeroEngine wasn't finished when Bioware bought it and shortly after Bioware obtained it, the engine was stated to be designed for free2play games. Things like this makes you go "hmmm....", almost as if Bioware planned this game to go F2P on purpose.

5 Pages « 1 2 3 4 5 Search