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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

General Discussion  » The culling bugs are worse than you think--and unlikely to ever receive anything more than a half-baked partial fix

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114 posts found
  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 6959

2/18/13 8:10:32 PM#61

This thread reminds me of the Hero engine thread during the early swtor days.

 

Elder Scrolls Online vs Wildstar Mass PvP you decide.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

 
OP  2/18/13 9:52:46 PM#62
Originally posted by SonicTHI

The culling "bug" talked about in GW2 is an entity based thing. Its not about rendering but about what the server is limited to send to the clients. AFIK that is 50 entities: NPCs, players, mobs.

But.
Graphical culling or rather the bad implementation of it might be one of the reasons why they are not just upping that number. Other reasons being bandwidth and server cycles of course.

With current max of 50 visible players/foes even the best CPUs OCed to the max cannot run the game at 60 FPS. Older quads like my Q6600 at 3.2 drop to 10.
Whether that is due to bad graphical culling, client side calculations of movement, bad optimization etc. is hard to tell without seeing the code but from what i ve seen the biggest problem is in the engine not using more than 2 CPU cores effectively.

The game simply doesnt scale well for lower or mid end rigs. Till they fix that they might as well leave the entity culling in the game.

Culling is a performance optimization.  For bad culling to harm performance, you'd have to be not culling enough things--such as by not bothering to cull anything at all.  Problems with culling are only obvious when it does the opposite:  culling things that it should draw.

I've seen characters vanish with <10 that were remotely nearby.  If that's caused by capping the number of characters that it will display at 50, it would have to be astonishingly bad at picking which 50.  I've even seen my own character get culled, and I'd think that would be the highest priority character to draw.

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3461

2/18/13 10:32:01 PM#63
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

 

Originally posted by jpnz
On a technical focused thread like this, always look for who attacks the poster rather than the tech information / facts. If you know your stuff you don't have to attack just post the knowledge and see the other side squirm and try to attack you.

I rather look for those who shout "ad hominem attacks" when someone just challenges their knowledge. When you really know what you're talking about, you don't have to cry wolf when someone challenges it. But to each his own agenda, I guess.

.

 

Let me get this straight cause this is absolutely hilarious.

Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard And that's exactly how it sounds - like someone who has read about 3D computing theory but has little practical knowledge.

is your post. Right?

So you are saying this quote isn't 'ad hominem attacks' and it isn't a personal attack?

I mean... wow.. the irony..

I love that Quizzical is just dropping technical knowledge after technical knowledge to back his statements up while the other side is saying 'that's not a personal attack!' to the quoted post above.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

 
OP  2/18/13 10:43:48 PM#64
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
Originally posted by Quizzical

Try reading the original post. There are at least three entirely separate classes of culling bugs in the game with totally different causes.  Completely fixing one of them would probably leave the others unaffected entirely.  You seem to want to focus on just one particular culling bug, and then argue that any discussion of other culling bugs in the game is automatically wrong because it doesn't apply to the particular culling bug that you have in mind.

That's precisely what's wrong with your original post. You mix up several different "problems".

There is only ONE noteworthy "culling problem" in GW2, even though there definitely are several minor display bugs like in most if not all other 3D games. It's the "invisible entities" problem, notably in World vs World. Everything else is totally unrelated and only technical blah blah, in my country we say "trying to drown the fish". And that's a pure, 100% distance culling related problem, the order at which incoming entities are told being "in visible range" to the various clients in range and then loaded and displayed by those clients. There's no visibility culling involved, no camera clipping or collision either, no entity collisions either. Visibility culling due to obstacles between the viewer and the target only happen after the distance culling... and the distance culling bug (aka "invisible armies") happen even on totally flat terrain without any building or other object or entity blocking the sight.

From the sound of your OP, one may think all the problems are related and therefore cannot be fixed. I call Shannanigans on that. The ANet guys actually gave some hints in their posts which confirm that.

To make it short... you make a long post with an alarming title saying "culling bugs are bad and unlikely to ever be completely fixed". I don't agree at all. Those minor bugs most if not all games have, like the camera culling/collision problems, will most likely never get fixed because they are only a minor annoyance not worth developer time. But pretending that because of those minor bugs, the major problem can't be fixed is... nonsense.

Many games will have some minor issues with near clipping plane culling making small, nearby objects look all wrong.  That's nearly intrinsic to how clipping is done, and it would take some major sacrifices to avoid it entirely--such as using an isometric viewpoint.

Guild Wars 2 takes this much further, however, and can make entire mountains completely vanish.  It routinely lets you see straight through solid walls.  I don't recall seeing any other released game do anything like that.  And that's just one of the classes of culling bugs.

There are also more distant objects that mysteriously don't draw.  In some cases, whether something draws or not depends on your camera angle.  This is for objects not close to any of the clipping planes, whether the near plane or otherwise.  Furthermore, the object abruptly vanishes, rather than getting sliced up as it crosses a clipping plane.  When it happens to terrain, it's not network code.  And I don't think I've ever seen this happen in any other released game.  In Guild Wars 2, it happens in quite a number of places.

Maybe you think they're minor bugs, but I think they're distracting--and they're definitely culling bugs.  Just like I think it's distracting how the camera jumps around when you're up against a wall--even when you're standing still.  Guild Wars 2's graphics are very impressive in screenshots, but substantially less so when you try to play the game, due to the graphical glitches.  It's hardly game-breaking, but it's still a nuisance.

  cronius77

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 1281

2/18/13 10:48:54 PM#65
this is what i do not get about this issue though. Warhammer online used the game byro engine which is a crappy engine by far but there was PLENTY of times you had well over 100 people on screen fighting. That game is not that much older than the engine they used for gw2 yet you cant even have more than 30 people on screen sometimes and culling toons begins.  DAOC was the same way I remember having many epic relic raid battles and that engine got laggy but that was about it , you could see everyone.
  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3461

2/18/13 11:05:52 PM#66
Originally posted by cronius77
this is what i do not get about this issue though. Warhammer online used the game byro engine which is a crappy engine by far but there was PLENTY of times you had well over 100 people on screen fighting. That game is not that much older than the engine they used for gw2 yet you cant even have more than 30 people on screen sometimes and culling toons begins.  DAOC was the same way I remember having many epic relic raid battles and that engine got laggy but that was about it , you could see everyone.

I suspect that the combat engine has to keep track a lot more in terms of combo fields and other things is what breaks this.

Making your combat system complicated and more intensive in terms of calculations and then strapping this engine on top is just bad judgement.

GW2 is all about 'scaling', it is one of their 'vision'. Which makes this very very bizzare.

'Our game is all about groups and large amount of players!'

'Therefore lets make our combat system more complicated!'

That's just not logical. Either ANet massively miscalculated what they could do or something fell off during development.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

 
OP  2/19/13 12:05:30 AM#67
Originally posted by jpnz
Originally posted by cronius77
this is what i do not get about this issue though. Warhammer online used the game byro engine which is a crappy engine by far but there was PLENTY of times you had well over 100 people on screen fighting. That game is not that much older than the engine they used for gw2 yet you cant even have more than 30 people on screen sometimes and culling toons begins.  DAOC was the same way I remember having many epic relic raid battles and that engine got laggy but that was about it , you could see everyone.

I suspect that the combat engine has to keep track a lot more in terms of combo fields and other things is what breaks this.

Making your combat system complicated and more intensive in terms of calculations and then strapping this engine on top is just bad judgement.

GW2 is all about 'scaling', it is one of their 'vision'. Which makes this very very bizzare.

'Our game is all about groups and large amount of players!'

'Therefore lets make our combat system more complicated!'

That's just not logical. Either ANet massively miscalculated what they could do or something fell off during development.

Just because complex computations have to be done server side doesn't mean that you can't replicate them client-side, as well.  Combo fields could put a considerable load on client rendering, but shouldn't have much if any impact on network activity.  The server tells the client that player X used skill Y at position Z and time t, and the client can interpret that as meaning that a combo field sits at position Z for 6 seconds and act accordingly.

It's pretty easy to have 50 characters all told what every single other character is doing if you don't have to update them very often--which I suspect is a trick that games known for having a large number of players in an area at once commonly use, especially for players who are relatively further away.  If you and some enemy are way too far apart to hit each other, the game could update his position and velocity twice per second and it would seem fine.  If there are 20 other players nearer to you, then you probably wouldn't notice a bit of rubber banding on the faraway player, anyway.  You need to be informed more frequently about players who you're near.

  stayontarget

Guide

Joined: 10/04/08
Posts: 6123

Girlfriends come and go but Epic battles are Soulbound

2/19/13 12:14:55 AM#68
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by SonicTHI
/snip

Culling is a performance optimization.  For bad culling to harm performance, you'd have to be not culling enough things--such as by not bothering to cull anything at all.  Problems with culling are only obvious when it does the opposite:  culling things that it should draw.

I've seen characters vanish with <10 that were remotely nearby.  If that's caused by capping the number of characters that it will display at 50, it would have to be astonishingly bad at picking which 50.  I've even seen my own character get culled, and I'd think that would be the highest priority character to draw.

But even if the cap is say "50" or "25",  you should still see a cut out of the NPC or PC above the cap, just not rendered.  Or this engine does it differently.

Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4568

2/19/13 12:21:39 AM#69
Originally posted by stayontarget
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by SonicTHI
/snip

Culling is a performance optimization.  For bad culling to harm performance, you'd have to be not culling enough things--such as by not bothering to cull anything at all.  Problems with culling are only obvious when it does the opposite:  culling things that it should draw.

I've seen characters vanish with <10 that were remotely nearby.  If that's caused by capping the number of characters that it will display at 50, it would have to be astonishingly bad at picking which 50.  I've even seen my own character get culled, and I'd think that would be the highest priority character to draw.

But even if the cap is say "50" or "25",  you should still see a cut out of the NPC or PC above the cap, just not rendered.  Or this engine does it differently.

True, though the engine isn't currently being used to do that. However, they're ability to load placeholder models suggests that the ability to implement such is there, just not being utilized atm.

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4568

2/19/13 12:26:29 AM#70
Originally posted by Quizzical

Just because complex computations have to be done server side doesn't mean that you can't replicate them client-side, as well.  Combo fields could put a considerable load on client rendering, but shouldn't have much if any impact on network activity.  The server tells the client that player X used skill Y at position Z and time t, and the client can interpret that as meaning that a combo field sits at position Z for 6 seconds and act accordingly.

It's pretty easy to have 50 characters all told what every single other character is doing if you don't have to update them very often--which I suspect is a trick that games known for having a large number of players in an area at once commonly use, especially for players who are relatively further away.  If you and some enemy are way too far apart to hit each other, the game could update his position and velocity twice per second and it would seem fine.  If there are 20 other players nearer to you, then you probably wouldn't notice a bit of rubber banding on the faraway player, anyway.  You need to be informed more frequently about players who you're near.

I've actually seen no evidence to suggest combo fields make any difference when it comes to culling. Outside of stealth, the issue seems to have nothing to do w/ player skills being used.

While firing off tons of skills and combo fields can result in a ton of lag, it doesn't really have any effect on what gets rendered. I.E. you may get a slideshow, but things won't start becoming invisible.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

 
OP  2/19/13 12:28:22 AM#71
Originally posted by stayontarget
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by SonicTHI
/snip

Culling is a performance optimization.  For bad culling to harm performance, you'd have to be not culling enough things--such as by not bothering to cull anything at all.  Problems with culling are only obvious when it does the opposite:  culling things that it should draw.

I've seen characters vanish with <10 that were remotely nearby.  If that's caused by capping the number of characters that it will display at 50, it would have to be astonishingly bad at picking which 50.  I've even seen my own character get culled, and I'd think that would be the highest priority character to draw.

But even if the cap is say "50" or "25",  you should still see a cut out of the NPC or PC above the cap, just not rendered.  Or this engine does it differently.

That depends on whether the cap is due to network activity or client rendering limitations.  If it's network activity, then telling the client where to put a placeholder character takes just as much bandwidth as telling it where to put the real player.  And if it's client rendering, then the cap should be adjustable by the end user so that people who have the hardware to draw 100 characters can do so.

  Thupli

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/11
Posts: 387

2/19/13 12:49:55 AM#72

Quizz- "X, Y, and Z will make GW2 impossible or excessively expensive to fix.  Likely won't happen"

Jean-Luc- "X and Y are in no way related to Z.  Why are you bringing them up?"

 

OP-  Simply put, you add a lot of unrelated issues to culling in WvW to bolster your point, which is clearly stated in the title of your thread: "The culling bugs are worse than you think--and unlikely to ever receive anything more than a half-baked partial fix".

So yeah, I see why Jean Luc is ripping you apart for your first 2 or 3 points that are unrelated to WvW.  Now if you would have just stuck with the one point relative to WvW culling, it would be different.  But then you wouldnt be able to use your "never be fixed" line of argument because it wouldnt sound as strong, would you?

 

I really dont get people these days.  It's like they have to find something to hate and be negative about, and not only that but spew it on everyone.  Good grief, gamers are getting uglier by the day.

  Grymmoire

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 33

2/19/13 2:31:35 AM#73
Originally posted by cronius77
this is what i do not get about this issue though. Warhammer online used the game byro engine which is a crappy engine by far but there was PLENTY of times you had well over 100 people on screen fighting. That game is not that much older than the engine they used for gw2 yet you cant even have more than 30 people on screen sometimes and culling toons begins.  DAOC was the same way I remember having many epic relic raid battles and that engine got laggy but that was about it , you could see everyone.

Not to mention the huge battles in Shadowbane that to my recollection, also had many particle and spell effects (and lag) but never did I notice their culling; obviously that engine is ancient in comparison too.

  User Deleted
2/19/13 3:40:54 AM#74
Originally posted by jpnz

Let me get this straight cause this is absolutely hilarious.

Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard And that's exactly how it sounds - like someone who has read about 3D computing theory but has little practical knowledge.

is your post. Right?

So you are saying this quote isn't 'ad hominem attacks' and it isn't a personal attack?

I mean... wow.. the irony..

I love that Quizzical is just dropping technical knowledge after technical knowledge to back his statements up while the other side is saying 'that's not a personal attack!' to the quoted post above.

Dropping tecnical terms =/= dropping knowledge.

And one (well more) big flaw with his OP:

1. hes guessing he dosent have access to code or inner workings of GW2 and his guess is as good as anyones

2. in fact he also doesnt talk about THE culling, but on some minor bugs that noone really cares about. Give me one complaint about "OMG being able to peek through specific shape rock formation is making me quit" In fact i can only applaud ANet for lack of "terrain issues" which is best ive encounterd so far.

3. THE culling is not a bug, its actaully system they used, and while that system was working good with PvE it was (is) not suitable for PvP

So yah, i would say that his lack of adressing THE culling that is actual issue people complain about is lack of experience of actually experiencing THE culling because he obviously didnt do much Wx3 where it was actually visible. In fact most people didnt even know there was (they had) culling in LA for example. They only started noticing THE culling recently where they changed some things about it.

4. IMO, and from what i observed and experienced issue with THE culling is completely different bag of marbles that they are trying to solve and solutions well get is actually peformance related (the way they attacked the problem with fallback models first) on lower end machines (read mid min and below min spec machines) and using separate method for PvE and PvP

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2548

2/19/13 3:44:41 AM#75
Originally posted by Grymmoire
Originally posted by cronius77
this is what i do not get about this issue though. Warhammer online used the game byro engine which is a crappy engine by far but there was PLENTY of times you had well over 100 people on screen fighting. That game is not that much older than the engine they used for gw2 yet you cant even have more than 30 people on screen sometimes and culling toons begins.  DAOC was the same way I remember having many epic relic raid battles and that engine got laggy but that was about it , you could see everyone.

Not to mention the huge battles in Shadowbane that to my recollection, also had many particle and spell effects (and lag) but never did I notice their culling; obviously that engine is ancient in comparison too.

It is called nostalgia.

And of course DAoC had much less information to keep track of.

Anet could turn off the culling and then the complains would be "slide show" and "I keep crashing" which were the complains during the BWE.

http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/50161

Robert Mull of Warhammer Online Dev team at Mythic Entertainment has put up a statement on the Herald. If you have been noticing a significant drop in client performance while in some large scale RvR battles, rest assured that they are working on the issue.

The WAR community has expressed concern with overall performance and server stability in Tier 4, particularly during large-scale fortress sieges. We want you to know that we’re listening and dedicated to resolving this issue as quickly as possible. Our Production team has been working hard to resolve this with both server-side fixes to resolve any crashing issues, as well as client-side fixes to improve frame rate and other graphic-related issues that can occur during large battles.

RvR is a core element to Warhammer Online, and we are committed to making it an enjoyable and exciting experience for all of our players. Our ultimate goal is to have our players focused on fighting their opponents and experiencing the thrill of RvR the way it should be. Thank you for your continued support and patience while we work to resolve these issues. We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3461

2/19/13 4:09:20 AM#76
Originally posted by mikahr
 

Dropping tecnical terms =/= dropping knowledge.

And one (well more) big flaw with his OP:

/more technically irrelevant posts

Once again, we have the 'pro-GW2' side attacking the poster rather than the post itself.

Phrases like 'hes guessing', minor bugs that no one really cares about, his lack of experience'.

Also notice how most of this post is filled with 'what I observed and experienced / my opinion' while the OP is all about factual information and technical knowledge?

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  User Deleted
2/19/13 4:12:32 AM#77
Originally posted by jpnz

Once again, we have the 'pro-GW2' side attacking the poster rather than the post itself.

Phrases like 'hes guessing', minor bugs that no one really cares about, his lack of experience'.

Also notice how most of this post is filled with 'what I observed and experienced / my opinion' while the OP is all about factual information and technical knowledge?

So youre saying hes not guessing? Really'

Ii asked you for proof that what he actaully talks about matters and is, you know, problem AT ALL? have you? no? no wonder

and from his post its evident that he didnt experience THE culling much, because he obviously didnt play Wv3 much.

He also observed, experienced and gave his opinion.

Really bro, get a grip lol

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3461

2/19/13 4:25:41 AM#78
Originally posted by mikahr
 

So youre saying hes not guessing? Really'

Ii asked you for proof that what he actaully talks about matters and is, you know, problem AT ALL? have you? no? no wonder

and from his post its evident that he didnt experience THE culling much, because he obviously didnt play Wv3 much.

He also observed, experienced and gave his opinion.

Really bro, get a grip lol

Now it is getting into the funny but sad territory.

Yep, keep on attacking the poster in a technically slanted thread, I'm sure you'll convince anyone that can understand what the OP is saying.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2548

2/19/13 4:57:37 AM#79
Originally posted by jpnz
Originally posted by mikahr
 

So youre saying hes not guessing? Really'

Ii asked you for proof that what he actaully talks about matters and is, you know, problem AT ALL? have you? no? no wonder

and from his post its evident that he didnt experience THE culling much, because he obviously didnt play Wv3 much.

He also observed, experienced and gave his opinion.

Really bro, get a grip lol

Now it is getting into the funny but sad territory.

Yep, keep on attacking the poster in a technically slanted thread, I'm sure you'll convince anyone that can understand what the OP is saying.

A problem of the OP is that it ignore the simple fact Arenanet could just disable the culling optimizations (which would lead to other problems if by itself).

The culling optimizations and the rendering delay are the causes of mass invisible armies, not any problems of collision detection or plane clipping. (fun how Anet word on this isn't dogma opposed to other times Anet talk)


 

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  User Deleted
2/19/13 5:27:27 AM#80
Originally posted by jpnz

Now it is getting into the funny but sad territory.

Yep, keep on attacking the poster in a technically slanted thread, I'm sure you'll convince anyone that can understand what the OP is saying.

I dont have to convince anyone about anything since its obvius to anyone who reads OP (and the bombastic title) that he actually made a strawman.

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