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Thread: Engine Performance vs. PvP Dimensions - Advice Needed (Livestream)

  1. #1
    Champion of Telara Silverangel69's Avatar
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    Default Engine Performance vs. PvP Dimensions - Advice Needed (Livestream)

    I've been working on a PvP dimension in the past few weeks, and it has been fun to design the map. I have tried to use an economy of object placement, getting "the most bang for the buck." I've used a low-end machine to play Rift, and I know how polygons and animations can hurt performance. (I.e. dropping a bunch of waving plants and twenty Corgis onto summer festival quest givers in Meridian.)

    Watching the Dimension contest livestream yesterday, I couldn't help but wonder if these "dream dimensions" are going to hurt playability with their huge numbers of placeables, like with the placeable-tiled floor in Area 89. Even with my high-end machine now, I get a camera hitch sometimes in my project, which has less than 100 placed.

    So what can be done with these, and what should be avoided so people with more modest machines won't go to fight in a "dream dimension" and be playing with single-digit FPS? This is important before players go and build wonderlands without worrying about what will happen when you get 20 players in there with spell Fx going off.

    Maybe this topic has been covered. I was unable to find it. Here are a few questions, as an example. I have done some 3d modeling and some map building for NWN2.
    • Area 89 used tons of duplicated objects. I assume this will help initial loading to have minimal total # of object models, but what about play performance? Is play performance only based on polygons, or will duplicated items help also to reduce rendering costs? Can I put ten crates and expect that to be better than five crates and five barrels?
    • What if I scale those crates in all different sizes? Does size matter in placeables when it comes to engine performance?
    • Is performance improved if I hide objects behind other objects? I am building a bandit storage facility. What if I put 100 crates inside the warehouse, and the warehouse is in a village. Will hiding the crates improve performance in the village, or will Rift's engine process all polygons everywhere by "occlusion culling" regardless of whether they are visible?
    • So if there is jungle foliage is outside that village behind a big wall, and the player is in the warehouse, in the village, will the engine see the crates, the village, the wall, and the ferns all with x-ray vision, even though the player won't? So this will affect performance?
    • What if I suspend the warehouse fifty meters off on the y-axis. Will it have the same performance affect as at ground level? Or will the warehouse only be processed if the player looks up or down at it?
    • Are trees and plants performance hogs in Rift? Should I refrain covering the ground mesh with tropical jungle foliage? Do grassy and planty placeables count as "frill" and have better rendering than other objects, or trees?
    Last edited by Silverangel69; 08-17-2013 at 04:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Plane Walker Treble's Avatar
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    Honestly, I don't know how performance would be affected and I don't know that Trion has released enough data for anyone to be able to tell you.

    I do know that there is a max distance for objects and lighting to render, which varies by machine. I had a visitor in The Light in the Dark that could see the ivory menhirs on the top all the way at the top of the hill, but on my machine they clipped very close to the zone in point. In that particular dimension some of the colored lights on the front don't render for me until I'm halfway across the bridge. I think building blocks now render further than before, but there haven't been notes about other items.

    I would think that the plants with glow or particle effects would make more of an impact on performance than the plain types of plants.

    Water features and items with smoke might also cause more load.

    I do think that if you already get lag on the Crucia fight, which is exactly the environment of Edge of Infinity, you're going to get worse lag in the same zone +2000 more items.

    My opinion would be that to minimize performance impact, you should use an indoor dimension such as Breach Chamber or Empyrean Mill because that will also avoid loading distant terrain and sky effects.

    I also notice that on Caer Kholum in particular things will load in chunks on first zone in, but I don't experience any additional lag while running around, which implies that all objects are in some way transmitted on entry.

    I don't think anyone has approached dimensions from this angle before, as you can probably tell by how extravagant some builds can get.

    Shalistiri Mirage : The Light in the Dark : Camp Catari : Dwarven Ladies Club: RP - The Basilicini of Bahralt : Lycini Townhouse : Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater : The Paarrrrsing Deck : Fuji Dojo : Cherry Breeze Estate on Faeblight

  3. #3
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Feendish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverangel69 View Post
    Maybe this topic has been covered. I was unable to find it. Here are a few questions, as an example. I have done some 3d modeling and some map building for NWN2.
    • Area 89 used tons of duplicated objects. I assume this will help initial loading to have minimal total # of object models, but what about play performance? Is play performance only based on polygons, or will duplicated items help also to reduce rendering costs? Can I put ten crates and expect that to be better than five crates and five barrels?
    • What if I scale those crates in all different sizes? Does size matter in placeables when it comes to engine performance?
    • Is performance improved if I hide objects behind other objects? I am building a bandit storage facility. What if I put 100 crates inside the warehouse, and the warehouse is in a village. Will hiding the crates improve performance in the village, or will Rift's engine process all polygons everywhere by "occlusion culling" regardless of whether they are visible?
    • So if there is jungle foliage is outside that village behind a big wall, and the player is in the warehouse, in the village, will the engine see the crates, the village, the wall, and the ferns all with x-ray vision, even though the player won't? So this will affect performance?
    • What if I suspend the warehouse fifty meters off on the y-axis. Will it have the same performance affect as at ground level? Or will the warehouse only be processed if the player looks up or down at it?
    • Are trees and plants performance hogs in Rift? Should I refrain covering the ground mesh with tropical jungle foliage? Do grassy and planty placeables count as "frill" and have better rendering than other objects, or trees?
    There are a lot of really good questions here, particularly given the recent competition.

    In my own arena, I spent more time making sure FPS were decent in the arena area than I did actually building it, because I meant for it to be functional above the aesthetics, although the aesthetics were very important to me as well. Performance issues were negligible until I started adding lighting effects, but with the Fire Projector and Ashoran mountain pieces blocking external light, there was no option but to add some form of a light source. Finding that balance will depend on your machine. Play with the settings, run your map, then run it again and again. Try it out on ultra, full shadows, no shadows, low, and medium, to see how playable it is across all settings. You cannot be responsible for the quality of everyone else's machines, find a happy medium that satisfies you.

    Ground effects delay rendering, considerably. The more you have, the longer it takes. I've been building almost exclusively in Edge of Infinity lately (thanks for the free dimension!), and I've really been trying to see how much it can be changed into something else. Once these items have rendered, however, I do not get noticeable performance issues unless the ground effect glows or moves. Once animation of any kind comes into play, then you must again find a good balance between aesthetics and function.

    I believe the engine sees any item you place, regardless of where you place it, and regardless of where you're at, so performance can be affected. If you stack 100 crates behind a wall, the game will still try to render those crates even though no one else can see them behind the wall. Same thing with the plants.

    The best I can offer is this: Get some buddies in your dimension, run the map, and play it. Try to break it. Find out at what point you really start noticing a performance breakdown.
    Dimensions on Greybriar and Zaviel


    Baradara@Greybriar

  4. #4
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    Awesome subject and responses. The wonderful thing about these gathering places is everyone wants a party and trophy kind of feel going on so there are often many "Yello" items in the form of Great hunt boss statues, practice dummies and bartenders which make even great computers shudder.

    Size of items should not have any effect but lighting as Amity & Baradara have also said definitely. There were a ton of people in all the Dimensions yesterday as the competition rolled more people gathered this has the greatest effect of all.

    There has been many discussions in the passed and not necessarily on forums about 200 being the "cut off" for the amount of people in a dimension but with increased capacities and with items itself lag begins before the item capacity especially in guild dimensions the worst one being Tuldio Studio that has a giant beautiful orb spinning in the middle of it.

    Moving textures I am monitoring including waterfalls as Stone Flask Tavern is very laggy and I am observing if activities on these live maps effect Dimensions also because Kaer Colom (spelling) is also very laggy but its also Conquest so they could be sharing effects.

    It will be fun to test and stress these things for sure as well as with the actual bounce master and Sagespire Tower in them.

    Let the games in the game keep commencing
    Last edited by Kiwi; 08-17-2013 at 08:20 AM.

  5. #5
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    Good morning everyone,

    Awesome subject and responses. The wonderful thing about these gathering places is everyone wants a party and trophy kind of feel going on so there are often many "Yellow" items in the form of Great hunt boss statues, practice dummies and bartenders which make even great computers shudder.

    Size of items should not have any effect but lighting as Amity & Baradara have also said definitely. There were a ton of people in all the Dimensions yesterday as the competition rolled more people gathered this has the greatest effect of all.

    There has been many discussions in the passed and not necessarily on forums about 200 being the "cut off" for the amount of people in a dimension but with increased capacities and with items itself lag begins before the item capacity especially in guild dimensions the worst one being Tuldio Studio that has a giant beautiful orb spinning in the middle of it.

    It is fun to test and stress these things for sure and i am most curious how the latest items will effect performance. I would also suggest buying all keys on the PTS and messing around there to experiment with things before Warfront Dimensions come into effect. (optimistically speaking as they have yet to be given the absolute green light.)

    Click for: PTS Down load details and Dimensions to help with any testings

    Let the games in the game keep commencing
    Last edited by Kiwi; 08-17-2013 at 08:28 AM.

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