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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

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

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82 posts found
  gervaise1

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 1432

9/11/12 4:01:37 PM#41

When people are comparing the performance of games / engines it helps to say how many players are in the instance.

Easy to say: e.g. "no problem with SWTOR but GW2 is hopeless" or "GW2 wonderful, HeroEngine useless".

How many people in SWTOR at the time, how many in GW2.

Most game engines run perfectly in "single player mode" - there have been excptions! Then you have the "up to 10 people" category, "up to 25" (sorry SWTOR) and finally the "100+ mode".

Instancing is also a factor. Helps the performance for sure but the "massive multi" aspect takes a huge hit.

 

And whilst machine specs and how good your ISP is are also a factor the impression one gets from SWTOR + HeroEngine is that it is its performance has been less than stellar despite the use of instancing.

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

 
OP  9/12/12 12:51:46 AM#42
Originally posted by gervaise1

When people are comparing the performance of games / engines it helps to say how many players are in the instance.

Easy to say: e.g. "no problem with SWTOR but GW2 is hopeless" or "GW2 wonderful, HeroEngine useless".

How many people in SWTOR at the time, how many in GW2.

Most game engines run perfectly in "single player mode" - there have been excptions! Then you have the "up to 10 people" category, "up to 25" (sorry SWTOR) and finally the "100+ mode".

Instancing is also a factor. Helps the performance for sure but the "massive multi" aspect takes a huge hit.

 

And whilst machine specs and how good your ISP is are also a factor the impression one gets from SWTOR + HeroEngine is that it is its performance has been less than stellar despite the use of instancing.

Well slightly prior to 1.2, EA Bioware did introduce sectioning into the fleet, essentially breaking the fleet down into smaller bits, each of which was instanced.  When traveling, you would never know the difference, it was seemless.  After that particupar patch the only way to obsefve it was to have a network disconnect from the main server.  You would move, but shortly after you would hit invisible barriers - you would be boxed in.  Upon reconnect the barriers are seemless and the average player would never notice.

 

To your question about how many people cause lag .. on my machine more than 10 cause lag .. WZ's have way lower FPS's than other PVE solo areas of the game.  The same PVP effect I'd say is caused by maybe 20 or so people just standing around the GTN.

On the extreme, Ilum with 15 vs 15 was a slideshow, maybe 5fps .. and 20 vs 20 would cause my computer to go crazy. lock up and the hard drives would just spin at maximum .. eventually the game would crash, after I sat waiting.

 

This instancing mentioned earlier was done only on the fleet (to my knowledge).  A tremendous lag with 200 players on the fleet was converted into a more playable atmosphere, again prior to 1.2.  It does make someone wonder why more players in a particular zone cause graphics lag, even if they are not on-screen (such that sectioning would even need to be implemented)?

 

Instancing helps alot, but this is not some freebie crap game.  This is a Star Wars game.  I expect to play with other SW fans... a lot of them.

In my guild of 60 or so, we couldn't even hold a decent guild meeting with another guild because the FPS was so bad.  Some SW fans are roleplayers .. and we couldn't even roleplay.  Even if we sat though the lag, no chatbubbles, no sitting?  OK I know the sitting aspect has already been beat to death .. but chatbubbles ..?  Who wan'ts to look at a static chat window and not see the emotes being done? .. Actually the graphics engine was so horrid that you didn't want to turn your camera angle anyways.

 

Just ranting, I guess I went off topic :/

 

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

 
OP  9/12/12 1:18:56 AM#43
Originally posted by tiefighter25

I thought this guy put the Bioware iteration of the Hero engine's performance in a colorful and amusing way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U74hW4_YwWc

Funny video TF25, I can relate.  He had a much better computer than mine, but still had issues.  My 2 year old computer was set to all Low graphic values, shadows off, and I couldn't enjoy the game worth a damn, because of the graphics engine.  As said earlier, other games on my computer mysteriously play great, like WoW and GW2.

 

I'd rather play Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy, but apparently my preference hasn't met high-tech yet.. still years behind, go figure.  So I guess it will be high-fantasy for awhile longer :P

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  Nitth

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3414

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

9/12/12 1:23:03 AM#44

The engine is fine, The implementation of ToR within it was not.

/thread


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

 
OP  9/15/12 1:36:55 PM#45
Originally posted by Nitth

The engine is fine, The implementation of ToR within it was not.

/thread

/disagree

 

SWTOR would have been a great game if it had the technical infrastructure to actually make it a great game.  The graphical limitations limit everything in the end, even any sandbox roleplay aspects.  Star Wars is widely known for its roleplay fans, and even this game doesn't support it.  Chatbubbles can't be added because it would make the graphics engine even more laggy, for instance.  Large groups of roleplayers can't meet in a single place because the graphics lag is horrendous.

 

The graphics engine is not fine.

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  bigron

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/12
Posts: 43

11/16/12 4:17:06 PM#46
Originally posted by BigAndShiny

The engine may be terrible but if you think this is what caused SW:TOR's demise, you'd be incorrect.  If you think lack of interesting combat caused it, you'd be incorrect.  If you think crappy space missions, slow levelling, bad balance or any other thing like that caused SWTOR's failure, I'm sorry to say you're wrong.

 

One thing caused SW:TOR's failure, and that is the lack of new story content.   No-one bought the game to raid or even PVP.  They bought it to play a Bioware/ Star Wars RPG.  You may have noticed that SW:TOR took far longer than other MMOs to crash, and the reason for that is that more players than ever before made it to max level.  And then there was nothing.  One month, two months, four months, six months, and no Act 4 or even new planetary storylines. 

 

People bought into the idea of a never-ending RPG.  Bioware couldn't keep up.  

I'm inclined to agree mostly.

The story brought in new MMORPG players. The game's whole selling point was story. And then the "endgame" was running dailies and the same grind as a F2P KRPG.

Re: PVP - I liked the PVP WF's a lot, esp Huttball, but the fact BW spent weeks or months to correct horrible glitches (Illum, turrets for starters) and class imbalances caused by glitches (non-mirrored moves, pvp armor, glitched cc) was a disaster. Faction balance became horrible and certain classes were unplayable in pvp (beyond the normal imba QQ, everyone was just playing whatever class had the most glitches going on atm).

  DeniZg

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/29/12
Posts: 582

11/16/12 7:03:18 PM#47

You people have to stop beating a dead horse. It was fun for a while, but not anymore.

I realize we all expected much from this game, but it just wasn't meant to be.

I registered on official site in 2008, was refreshing my browser every friday for friday updates, pre-purchased the first day etc. Still, there comes a day when you just have to admit to yourselves that the game will not improve no matter how much you rant and that's it. Move on, for your own sake.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13678

11/16/12 8:27:32 PM#48

If you turn graphical settings to max and it makes your computer choke and you complain about it, that just means you're an idiot for insisting on maxing settings even though you don't have a computer that can handle it.  That says nothing about how efficient the game engine is.

On the other hand, if you have a decent but not great gaming system and get poor frame rates even at minimum graphical settings, then that does mean that it's a bad game engine.

The thing about high resolution textures is that high resolution means large amounts of video memory needed.  If the size of textures that you're trying to buffer in video memory exceeds the amount of video memory on your card, then of course your system is going to choke.  The PCI Express bus is plenty fast enough for what it's designed for, but sending video memory accesses over it aren't what it's designed for.  The reason EA was hesitant to allow high resolution textures everywhere is that they figured--correctly--that some idiots who didn't have enough video memory to handle high resolution textures would enable them anyway and blame it on EA when their system choked.

For the most part, by the time your game goes into alpha testing, it's too late for performance optimizations.  Now of course, if you see a way to change some piece of code so that it invariably gives the same result in half the time, of course you do it, whether the game is in beta or two years past release.  So in that sense, you really never stop optimizing.

But a lot of potential optimizations will require completely restructuring your data.  If you've only got a little bit of stuff in your game world, that's no big deal.  If you've got tens of thousands of models out there, having to redo all of them is prohibitively expensive, even if it would have given you a 10% performance boost.  And if you try, you're sure to introduce a lot of new bugs, too, which is something you need to be very wary of, especially after release.

As for EA modifying the game engine themselves, of course they're going to do that.  Whether they waited for the Hero Engine to be "done" before they started using it has no real effect on that.  Unless the game engine designers managed to anticipate everything that you would ever want to do, you're going to have to modify it yourself to do what you want it to do.  If you try to make it do something that it wasn't meant for without recoding a good chunk of it, you're likely to take a huge performance hit for it.  And if the game engine designers did manage to anticipate everything that you would ever want to do, then you're sorely lacking in creativity and should just save some money and cancel the project now.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13678

11/16/12 8:31:18 PM#49
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Mumbo:

Gamebryo engine was good for performance.
Daoc used it.
War had good performance about 6 months in when they fixed the engine (i put the earlier bad performance down to ea rushing release, they probably did the same with swtor, I don't think hero itself is at fault)
Rift uses gamebryo also.

It's not a simple matter of, this game engine performs well and that one doesn't.  Performance of the final game depends very, very heavily on what you do with it.  More models on the screen at once, more vertices in each model, and higher resolution textures all bring a performance hit.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13678

11/16/12 8:36:43 PM#50
Originally posted by Caldrin

Not gonna really get into this again but here goes...

 

There is nothing wrong with the proper version of the hero engine its very very capable and one of the best off the shelf engnies for any MMORPG developer out there. Its cabable of many different things from fps style combat to massive seamless worlds and i mean massive.

Sure it only supports dx9 for now but it support normal mapping on the terrain and other textures so it can be made to look pretty good. Sure of course this texture is not tilied but i was just testing what kind of things the engine could do so i quickly imported some wood texture and made a quick normal map for it again not spent any time but the engine is capable of good things,

 

Also for a company it makes working togeather really easy, each client can connect to the world and work on it in real time..

Bioware had a very early version of the engine and never realyl updated it or they just tried to update it themselves. They noly have themselves to blame...

 

Anyway check out the repopulation if you want to see what can be done with the current version of the hero engine..

 

How good you can make a game look isn't a function of the game engine.  Anything that you can do with DirectX 11.1 or OpenGL 4.3, you could also do with DirectX 8 or OpenGL 2.0, simply by having the processor do the work that the graphics API isn't built to handle.  The downside to doing that is that you might be looking at seconds per frame rather than frames per second.

The measure of a game engine isn't just how good a game can be made to look.  It's how good it can look, at how good of frame rates, and especially, at how much work it is to make it look that way.  If game engine A and game engine B can give the same quality of graphics at the same frame rates, but game engine B can do it in half of the development time, then game engine B is vastly better than A--even though players will never see the difference.

  snapfusion

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/11
Posts: 976

11/16/12 8:47:06 PM#51
Originally posted by grimal

I see a lot of people throwing around how horrible the engine is.  I've never had a problem with it.  I consistently get above 30 fps at all times in the game (for the most part).

To me, I see a lot of people criticizing the engine with no real background of expertise in programming mmo engines.  It's sort of like me commenting on a surgeon's work after a medical procedure, yet having absolutely no knowledge of medicine.

You dont like the game.  We get it.  Now leave it alone.

Edit: since the inevitable GW2 comparison was drawn, I run TOR on max settings and get 40+ frames.  I can't do this in GW2 as it will lag me down to less than 10 fps.  So, I run a medium quality setting in GW2 to achieve 30 or so.  So not sure why we are getting reverse results? 

Irregardless, I have had no issues with the engine used in TOR and I stand by that remark.

I dont want to burst your bubble but 30FPS in a game that looks as bad as SWTOR is definitely a problem.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/16/12 8:48:33 PM#52
Did you take over this Perpetual Thread Topic from the previous owner?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

11/16/12 9:23:41 PM#53
Originally posted by Icewhite
Did you take over this Perpetual Thread Topic from the previous owner?

It doesn't seem to stop does it?

 

"Soon the deal was done – soon meaning after months of painful negotiations and many weeks of meetings with teams of engineers who examined every line of our source code and interrogated our engineers.  We were concerned over their making major changes to our engine, but we loved the size of the check that came with the deal."

-Hero Engine

  ereyethirn

Novice Member

Joined: 10/23/11
Posts: 79

11/16/12 9:32:04 PM#54
I only read the first part of  your thread (it was too long for me to want to read more) but what I think you're saying is that the hero engine isn't as bad as people made it seem it's just that bioware bought an incomplete version and didn't use it well. If so then I 100% agree, the hero engie is actually an exteremly decnt engine with some awesome capabilities, but it was not utilized well whatsoever in tor, however I am really looking foward to seeing it used in ESO, from the look of it it seems like they are doing a really good job of it...
  FromHell

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 1338

11/17/12 3:00:38 AM#55

I think this game has server problems, not engine problems, because it lags like hell when there are a lot of people around on fleet.

Those are not framerate drops of getting constant low framerate, those are short freezes where the framerate goes to ZERO and back to 60 within one second.

It´s called stuttering

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Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
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  User Deleted
11/17/12 8:09:12 AM#56
Originally posted by Quizzical

If you turn graphical settings to max and it makes your computer choke and you complain about it, that just means you're an idiot for insisting on maxing settings even though you don't have a computer that can handle it.  That says nothing about how efficient the game engine is.

My computer can handle 2007 graphics just fine and SWTOR runs like crap thank you.

When 20 people start to PvP not even fastest super-computer can run SWTOR above slide-show and you preach "its not engine its you"

ahahahhahahahahahahhahahahah

SWTOR has 2007 graphics, shadows are still jagged and still look horrible (if you know what to look for) although a bit better than at launch (which doesnt say much at all), load times are still abbysmal....and it still runs very poor compared to other similar games, not to mention some other games.

Originally posted by FromHell

I think this game has server problems, not engine problems, because it lags like hell when there are a lot of people around on fleet.

Those are not framerate drops of getting constant low framerate, those are short freezes where the the framerate goes to ZERO and back to 60 within one second.

It´s called stuttering

Then theres that too. "look at that monster/player over there ill shoot it" oops its not "there" since it just ported and is attacking me for 2-3s already.

Sever network problems. Still not fixed since launch, and especially annoying for stealhers "ill backstab this one *goes behind, pushes backstab* error-you are not facing target-wtf im right behind it - nope taret is 10-15m away now" rofl

  RavingRabbid

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/09
Posts: 1133

Remember Rabbids cant play MMO's, but they can dance!

11/17/12 8:22:26 AM#57

SNOORE. Game works fine for me as I have a very high end computer. So what if the Hero engine isnt that good or not. Its been a year already! Take it or leave it! LOL

Im starting to wonder if Kartelli has a room dedicated to SWTOR with printed articles posted all over a room with red lines going from page to page like some conpiracy theorist. I also wonder if he stares deeply at them looking for something else or new to dislike. LOL!

All my opinions are just that..opinions. If you like my opinions..coolness.If you dont like my opinion....I really dont care.
Playing: SWTOR, Marvel Heroes and WOT.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13678

11/17/12 9:38:07 AM#58
Originally posted by mikahr
Originally posted by Quizzical

If you turn graphical settings to max and it makes your computer choke and you complain about it, that just means you're an idiot for insisting on maxing settings even though you don't have a computer that can handle it.  That says nothing about how efficient the game engine is.

My computer can handle 2007 graphics just fine and SWTOR runs like crap thank you.

When 20 people start to PvP not even fastest super-computer can run SWTOR above slide-show and you preach "its not engine its you"

ahahahhahahahahahahhahahahah

SWTOR has 2007 graphics, shadows are still jagged and still look horrible (if you know what to look for) although a bit better than at launch (which doesnt say much at all), load times are still abbysmal....and it still runs very poor compared to other similar games, not to mention some other games.

I'm not sure what you're replying to there.  But your reply isn't relevant to my post.  Try reading the second paragraph, too.  Allowing players to turn settings up to ridiculous levels does not, in itself, make a game engine inferior.  Still running poorly even with settings turned down is what makes a game engine inferior.

Meanwhile, shadows are intractible.  To really do them properly, you need ray-tracing.  But if you try that, then no one will have hardware needed to run your game properly.  There are a variety of tricks that games use for shadows, all of which involve large amounts of fakery--and all of which are wrong if you look closely.

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1280

11/17/12 9:52:06 AM#59
Originally posted by grimal

I see a lot of people throwing around how horrible the engine is.  I've never had a problem with it.  I consistently get above 30 fps at all times in the game (for the most part).

To me, I see a lot of people criticizing the engine with no real background of expertise in programming mmo engines.  It's sort of like me commenting on a surgeon's work after a medical procedure, yet having absolutely no knowledge of medicine.

You dont like the game.  We get it.  Now leave it alone.

Edit: since the inevitable GW2 comparison was drawn, I run TOR on max settings and get 40+ frames.  I can't do this in GW2 as it will lag me down to less than 10 fps.  So, I run a medium quality setting in GW2 to achieve 30 or so.  So not sure why we are getting reverse results? 

Irregardless, I have had no issues with the engine used in TOR and I stand by that remark.

"I'm having no problems with the engine, therefor no one else is. Anyone saying otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about because they've never worked on a MMORPG engine before and they just don't like the game. If the game runs acceptably for me, then there's nothing wrong with it. Period".

Does that about sum up your remarks, grimal?

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

 
OP  11/17/12 3:55:19 PM#60
Originally posted by RavingRabbid

SNOORE. Game works fine for me as I have a very high end computer. So what if the Hero engine isnt that good or not. Its been a year already! Take it or leave it! LOL

Im starting to wonder if Kartelli has a room dedicated to SWTOR with printed articles posted all over a room with red lines going from page to page like some conpiracy theorist. I also wonder if he stares deeply at them looking for something else or new to dislike. LOL!

Well I don't have a high end computer, but other games, even GW2, runs at 60 fps just fine.  Sad part is, I think SWTOR had/has a better game than GW2.  SWTOR kept me for months until I could no longer stand the technical incompetance of EA.  GW2 had me for a month or so before I was bored to tears, even though their engine was superior.

 

With other games, this isn't 60 fps just out soloing, this is with other players around .. like it is in GW2's version of SWTOR's Illum, RvR.  In, GW2 I can have 100 players all fighting on screen at once, no problems.  SWTOR?  I can have the equivalent of a WoW Alterac Valley battle (40 vs 40) and get less than 1 frame per second.  Which makes the SWTOR graphics engine even crappier than a 2004 game, WoW.

 

Oh and this is on everything set to "low" on SWTOR.  The engine blows.  Everyone gets good frame rates when they are off by themselves questing.  Get near a bunch of other players and watch your dreams turn to tears.

 

You flatter me with this conception of a room filled with articles.  No ... some of us just are blessed with a good memory, and able to recall those memories when needed.  I liked the SWTOR music a bunch though, even made an article about how much I liked it.  Perhaps on your quest to defend EA, you might have forgotten (or ignored it).

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