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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.
What kind of kool aid have you been drinking? They crashed less then 6 months out of the gate, it not even been a full 10 months yet and they are already heading free to play.
The only other mmo that burnt quicker was dcuo.
Name me other AAA mmo's that died that quickly.
Most new MMOs, from Champions to STO to AOC to DCUO to Warhammer crash after the very first (included) month.
SWTOR took until February (3 months) to fail.
Originally posted by BigAndShiny Most new MMOs, from Champions to STO to AOC to DCUO to Warhammer crash after the very first (included) month. SWTOR took until February (3 months) to fail.
DCUO was the only one that failed quicker. Chapmions took over a year, sto over 1.5 years aoc 2.5 years. So yes Only one of the 3 beet swtor, and we all knew that was comming.
You may want to expand your horizons a bit.
From the end of December to February is only 2 months!
WAR sold an inital 750k with 800k announced 6 weeks after launch and still had 300k subs after 6 months (source EA financial reports and press releases). To be as sucessful EA's last results would have to have announced 900k+ subs. AoC did even better. Both much better than SWTOR in terms of sub retention.
Even VSoH had better sub retention despite being bug ridden; arguably a better mmo though.
Champions (17 months), STO (23 months) and DCUO (8 months) - not sure SWTOR has fared better.
At the end of the day I think it is down to how good the game is along with the support & updates. And whether people believe that a subscription is worthwhile.
The IP helps sell the initial boxes. How good the game is determines whether players stay on as subscribers. I can remember saying the same about WoW when people were saying it was only sucessful because of Blizzard or the IP. Sales - sure; but (most!) people won't subscribe month after month to a bad game. They have to feel it is worthwhile / enjoy it.
Good post, OP.
Many of us here appreciate the time you spent in putting all the information together to make it easily accessible for reading.
Originally posted by Karteli Hi everyone, I just wanted to compile some information together, since there is some disparity about SWTOR actually having a decent game engine. It's been talked about before, about how the game engine may or may not be OK, or just flat out SUCK. Often times disputed by EA, and spoken to their fans, the whole idea is dumped back on the players, with reasoning that it's their customers machines, not the game. Let's look into this. Some time ago EA investigated the Hero Engine. They loved what they saw, and, even though Hero was still in beta, they said, "we'll take it!". Now the thing to walk away from here was that the Hero Engine was incomplete, by the very people who could have made it complete, but EA bought it "as is", saying they would fill the rest in later. A Warrantee was void at this point. Nowadays the Hero Engine is complete and other games are using it with full graphics capability. Lets look back to what Hero said. This response was notable only after EA said that optimization could not fully happen because of the Hero Engine limitations. Hero has a way with words to defend their honor .. but then again I'd expect them to, since Hero is a principal to their company. http://www.heroengine.com/2011/11/heroengine-meets-starwars/ We showed the game to our friend Gordon Walton. We had known Gordon for many years, back in the days when he worked for Kesmai, our late great competitor. Gordon had since been with Sony for its Star Wars Galaxies game among other places. He knows games, especially online games. Not only did we show him the game, but because Gordon knew us so well we showed him the development tools we had built around our special process – building the game online, in realtime, with tools for the entire team all in one package. “I need this,” said Gordon. “I am about to start a special project and these tools will let us build and prototype fast and get something running in a hurry.” Gordon is not an excitable guy by nature but this had his adrenaline flowing. “This is just what I need! I want to license your engine.” We had thought about offering our engine and tools to developers but we had expected that we would have to actually ship a game first, like Epic did with Unreal Tournament before they licensed the original Unreal Engine. “It’s not productized yet,” we told Gordon. “There are whole sections of code that is only roughed in and not optimized for performance or security. And there are very few comments and very little documentation.” He didn’t care. “We are going to have tons of engineers. We can finish it ourselves. We’re going to want to modify your source code for our special project anyway.” Gordon Walton was General Manager of BioWare Austin, until early 2011, when he stepped down. Perhaps to save his career after all the damage that was done? http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/02/15/swtors-loss-is-playdoms-gain-gordon-walton/ Well it didn't turn out so good. The performance of the SWTOR engine was awful. EA's twisted version of the Hero engine is still incomplete. SWTOR was nowhere near massively. Multiplayer? .. ok, but with 16 players or less nearby to you. 16 players or more and the game showed it's "massively" weakness. Hell 30+ players in Ilum turned the game into a slideshow, causing Ilum to be shutdown permamently (looking straight down didn't even help). It wasn't because Ilum was a bad concept, it was because players went there and said, "wow this game blows" .. this was not the publicity EA wanted, so they shut Ilum down. This ideology to sell a pile of poo with pretty wrapping doomed the game. Who wants to play a AAA MMO that has a subscription fee, plagued by a horrible engine? Well optimizations continue to happen. I believe in 1.2 we saw a 10% performance boost. At least that what the astroturfers on the SWTOR forums said. I saw no increase. EA Bioware recently came on to say (Aug 27, 2012): Hey all, I just wanted to pop in and say we are actively working on various optimizations (both server and client) and will continue to do so. It's extremely important for us to continually make improvements to our technology so we can have users across a variety of system specs and support large living worlds for those users to craft their virtual lives. ref: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=5091079#post5091079 So this is essentially the same message EA spread from the start, but now they are still working on it. DarthHater has been after EA to optimize from launch, and this is the response SW fans get. /sigh [side reference to the original DathHater interview: http://www.darthhater.com/articles/swtor-news/19981-guild-summit-interview-with-daniel-erickson/daniel-erickson-interview-part-2, see NOTE  at the end of this article.] From a post-launch release: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/01/11/bioware-claims-swtor-performance-issues-are-being-blown-out-of-proportion/ [Star Wars: The Old Republic is no Witcher 2, Skyrim, or government-created missile targeting program. It doesn’t exactly look like it should be the Death Star to your rig’s Alderaan. And yet, many players have reported framerates that can barely keep their heads above 20FPS on machines that eat the aforementioned titles/missiles for breakfast. So, what’s the deal? Well, BioWare’s not entirely convinced there is one. With a wave of the hand, game director James Ohlen told Eurogamer that these aren’t the performance issues you’re looking for. “The thing is, for the most part, 95 per cent – oh I can’t give you the exact percentage – most of our players aren’t really having performance concerns,” he said. “However, we know that it’s important that there is a smaller group of people usually with lower end machines that are having problems in some areas. And one of the most important things for us to grow our service is to continue to bring in more players, including those players who only have low-end machines.”] Liars from the grand opening of this game. Great start Bioware. They even threw in a BS statistic. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Star-Wars-MMO_03. You're my only hope. It should be noted that the same machine that gave 1-10 fps in a crowded environment with SWTOR gives 60 fps in GW2 and WoW. Or close to it, even during massive PVP. As a saving grace, SWTOR gives 60 fps when no other players are on the same map. The only way to play this game is single player apparently. --- [NOTE 1] referenced earlier Guild Summit: Interview With Daniel Erickson From http://www.darthhater.com/articles/swtor-news/19981-guild-summit-interview-with-daniel-erickson/daniel-erickson-interview-part-2 March 14, 2012 Where are you on game engine optimizations? Because I currently get about 5 to 10 frames per second on Alderaan and about 20 in Huttball and I have a PC that can run Crysis 2 at ultra. With no real explanation on what is going on. Wow. You should do some investigation, because that is not typical. Where we are on game optimization in general is we’ve got some crazy, crazy options that you can turn on in 1.2. I played running around on several of the planets at fully acceptable wonderful running framerates on min spec machines now, which was the thing I wanted to see. What we got right now is a big texture package pass, and we did it in both directions. So we can say, “Hey, you can take the textures way down, run around, the game works.” We’ve also said, “Hey, you know those textures people keep saying they like so much in the promotional videos? You can turn those on too now.” Because now we figured out how to do it in a small area so it doesn’t try to do it everywhere. The next big thing we have to hit is effects, and that’s just a standard of what games do is say, “Hey, you know all those crazy crazy effects that everybody else is drawing? Yeah, maybe I don’t want to see all of your lightning storms all at once.” We have a programming team now that literally that’s their only mandate is game run better. Long term target is you should be able to play on your laptop, you should be able to play on your second and third machine in the house. And we are fiercely dedicated to that goal. editted to fix typos
SWTOR tuning your Software & Hardware for best Performance
Windows Optimize Your Version
Why would you do this? How does this help you? Who should do this?
Why: Windows XP sp3 will run noticeably faster after a clean install.
How: Well besides running faster any old apps you no longer use will not be on the PC, if you had any malware it will be gone. Also loading the latest graphics driver on a clean install will prevent any weird graphics issues due over lapping driver files or if you went from a NIVIDA to an ATI card.
Who: Only attempt this if you know what you’re doing and you have your restore disks or you’re PC has a restore partition on your hard drive. Otherwise you would need your mother board driver disk along with your XP disk.
Power Settings for Windows XP:
Open the “Control Panel” then click on the “Power Options Properties” under Power Schemes drop down menu and select “Always On”.
Why: You want you CPU running at full power and using all your CPU cores.
Windows 7 and Vista:
Why run in XP SP3 mode?
Currently the engine/game is turning off the GPU RAM virtualization features of Vista and Windows 7 which is a major feature of the WDM/WDDM technology. This technology allows Windows to manage GPU RAM, by prioritizing textures and assets as needed without saturating the video card’s onboard RAM.
Allows medium and high resolution textures, better antialiasing, and various other features to remain enabled for a higher quality image on video cards with lower amounts of RAM. It also allows the higher quality textures to be used on objects in the distance which helps with the terrain, grass, building flaws as you are moving in the game.
Increases FPS even with higher Quality settings enabled and reduces the GPU stress by not having to load in and out lower resolution textures. This will even reduce GPU temperatures, as the Memory Controller on the GPU has to do less work with constant loading, unloading, and reloading of game textures and other assets.
By setting the game to Windows XP Service Pack 3 in the compatibility tab, the game/engine doesn’t override this feature of Windows, and this lets Windows manage the GPU RAM, and even if you have 256mb or 512mb of GPU RAM, Windows will tell the game you have 1024mb or more GPU RAM based on how much system RAM you have available and Windows can allocate to the game.
Windows 7 power settings:
This is big also, in the “Control Panel” make sure under “Power Options” it is set to “High Performance”.
Why: The CPU is OBLIVIOUS to your game or application settings. All it cares about is if whatever threshold of CPU activity that has been pre-determined by the power plan is reached. If that threshold is not reached, the CPU will NOT shift up to a higher clock speed. Hopefully Microsoft will fix this issue with a patch.
Your Welcome Ajax!!!
This game runs better than wow does on my high end PC.
Originally posted by ajax7
*Clipped a big list of stuff** Your Welcome Ajax!!! This game runs better than wow does on my high end PC.
That's a nice list, but I'm pretty sure a whole lot of people on high end PCs tried even more vigorous things to attempt to get a decent lag free., stutter free, high fps SWTOR experience to no avail.
If you want to add the latest FOTM on the SWTOR forums; all people experiencing any problems have underpowered power supplies apparently. 500 watt is too low, you need 750 to run SWTOR.
Of course maybe you have stumbled on the sevret sollution to SWTOR's engine's problems. You should share your findings with Bioware.
Better yet, load up FRAPS and make a video demonstrating your high fps on a crowded fleet. I'm sure it will run better then WoW.
But maybe you are right.
If someone wants to play SWTOR, they could buy a high end PC and go through your 99 step plan to run SWTOR (with its 2007 graphics)
or just buy any other mordern MMO, install it, and press play.
If you were just trolling for fun, you got me.
It's been a long day, I can't tell anymore.
No, but seriously. Nice research.
Originally posted by tiefighter25 Originally posted by ajax7
*Clipped a big list of stuff** Your Welcome Ajax!!! This game runs better than wow does on my high end PC.
My daughter had stopped playing do to the bad performence she had. When I visited her I tried to play under my ID. Wow bad performance issues she had were many.
1. Not enough drive space. "Bought her a New terebyte WD drive black."
2. She had never ran defrag ever. "Defraged the new drive after reloading everthing."
3. Loaded the latest graphics drivers from Nvida.
4. Put the game into XP sp3 mode.
5. Loaded DirectX 9 under windows 7 so both were loaded.
Now I logged into the game and Her Core2 3.00ghz unit with four gig of ram and 1gig of video ram ran 100% better than it did before. The lag was gone, I set the settings to High.
She is now playing again and enjoying the game.
Try it it works:
Originally posted by mmojunkie5000 Originally posted by Phry the whole Hero engine thing has been done to death already, i think by now the general consensus is that it isnt worth using in MMO's, too late for Bioware perhaps, but hopefully an important lesson is learned.. the hero engine probably would have been okay in a single player game though.
why comment if you haven't even read the OP?
they bought a completely unfinished version and couldn't finish/optimize it for their purposes.
this is not the stock hero engine, which may still suck, but since this whole damn article was about how Bioware even fucked up the purchase of a 3rd party engine and was too incompetent to handle it....
pls read before you comment
Yup,and this time it had nothing to do with EA,they came along later.
So much for the "it's all EAs fault" shouters.
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..
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.
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=plcpRecognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.
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
The engine is fine, The implementation of ToR within it was not.
TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development
Originally posted by Nitth The engine is fine, The implementation of ToR within it was not. /thread
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.