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Mega Planetside 2 PC performance patch released

12 Nov 2013  by   Peter Parrish
Planetside 2

In this instance “still buggy” just means an immobile means of transport.

I’d be lying if I said I’ve been keeping up with Planetside 2 in any meaningful way, but the pertu-war online FPS beast is still, of course, very much alive and well. It should be even more alive and well after today, because the PC version has just received a mega patch (seen at NeoGaf) that focuses heavily on performance. This may or may not be related to the fact that a PS4 version of the game will be coming out in due course.

Trying to summarise everything about this patch would be extremely daunting, so instead I’ll mention that multiple CPU cores should be better optimised now, physics are adaptive based on client performance and the “default graphics” option should do a better job customising itself based on your rig. There’s more. So much more. You can read how much more in the Planetside 2 PU01 patch notes, below.

Performance-related Updates:

General:

  • Refactored game rendering to better utilize multiple CPU cores. The same has been done for UI rendering.
  • Optimized the CPU cost of some purely aesthetic physics objects
  • Added adaptive complexity levels for physics simulations based on current client performance
  • Disabled redundant physics processing between remotely-simulated vehicles
  • Improved simulations between complex compound shapes, primarily vehicles
  • Sound emitter optimization
  • Numerous optimizations have been done to remote character processing to reduce the cost of per-player processing.
  • We found that players getting in and out of vehicles was causing some performance issues. This has been addressed and is working as expected, now.
  • Audio asset clean-up
  • Added a frame rate smoothing option. (This is on by default and trust us, you probably want this. It will make your frame rate smoother and reduce spikes. Your FPS counter will show as lower overall, but that’s not a bad thing.)
  • Adjusted the default graphics settings. (If you push Reset to Default, it will set the graphics settings appropriate for your system.)

FX:

  • Vehicle debris pieces updated
  • All bullet impacts optimized

Animation:

  • Implemented new scatterblend node to provide more fluid third person movement and a performance improvement
  • Reorganized the networks to eliminate redundancies and reduce the overall network size
  • Created level of detail version of the third person network. This allows code to switch to less expensive version of the network based on how far away the player is from the camera. This provided our largest performance improvement at approximately a 50% improvement for network processor time.
  • Consolidated the number of active nodes and pass downs in the network. This simplified the network and insured that costly additive nodes were only active when they were necessary.
  • Removed state machines that could be replaced with blend trees. Blend trees are more efficient than state machines.

Art:

  • Optimization pass on First Person arms
  • Improved usage of textures on various vehicles
  • Optimization pass on Ace Tool and Ammo Pack

Memory:

  • Fixed several client crashes (We’re not done with these and should have more coming soon.)
  • Fixed a few client memory leaks (Not done here either. Still investigating some memory optimizations to help with crashes related to memory.)

UI:

  • Overhead indicator system overhauled for performance
  • The HUD, Centralized HUD, as well as the health and shield bars have been redesigned with a new look to increase performance
  • Fixed Scaleform garbage collection spikes
  • Optimizing UI advance processing
  • Faster communication between AS3 and C++/LUA
  • Faster subsequent map load times
  • Faster retrieval of localized strings
  • Platoon UI optimizations and polish
  • Player kill notification revamp
  • Kill spam notification revamp
  • Fixed various existing and potential memory leaks

UI HUD Updates:

  • Minimap optimizations: more logic in C++ e.g. alpha updates such as fading and blinking instead of AS3 tweening, throttling via time slicing, recon indicator updates, recon motion dart detects enemies properly on the minimap, fixed AMS exclusion radius not appearing properly, increased default zoom level
  • Compass optimizations: controlled directly from C++
  • Weapon info optimizations ( bullet count, reload warning, blinking etc )
  • Vitals optimizations and revamp ( health, shield, etc )
  • Facility info / squad list will show when minimap is expanded if screen height >= 1080
  • Fixed issue with sunderers not showing ‘gives ammo’ or ‘gives repair’ icon within 100m
  • Now show the HUD facility indicator when you are inside a region but outside of the facility radius
  • Fixed issues with HUD indicators blinking in when they first initialize

Optimized Indar:

  • Reduced ecosystem masks
  • Reduced polycount on most environment objects
  • Reduced occlusion calculations from most environment objects
  • Reduced texture usage on some environment objects
  • Removed redundant objects, replaced with visually similar ones
  • Adjusted LOD distances

But wait, there are even some further updates that aren’t related to performance. These are as follows:

Non Performance

Highlights:

  • No more double loading screens
  • Changed recommended server calculation to improve faction balance
  • AI turret should no longer shoot itself
  • AV turrets and their projectiles should no longer disappear in large fights
  • Numerous client focus and cursor fixes such as preventing windows from appearing above the client in full screen windowed mode and the Windows cursor appearing on loading
  • We’ve disabled GPU particles until further notice. (Due to some our optimizations, GPU particles don’t work quite right and we need to spend some time to fix them up.)

General:

  • All spawn timers are now the same at 15 seconds. Previously the spawn timers would scale based on location or type from 14-18 seconds, with the majority of spawns being at 18 seconds.
  • Squad deploy will no longer drop pod players into the center of a bases. It will instead spawn the player at the closest hard spawn point to the squad leader, which includes facility spawn points, deployed Sunderers, and squad spawn beacons
  • The Infiltrator’s recon dart will now send found enemies to the minimap of all allies in a 150m radius. Previously this tool had a range limit of 50 meters
  • Increased the drop speed of drop pods. They now accelerate as they approach the ground. Collision damage multiplier reduced to account for the higher pod velocity.
  • Reduced the horizontal movement speed of drop pods so they land closer to their origin points
  • Improved look of bullet hit impacts in low settings
  • Fix to sending tells across servers
  • Improved particle effects on vehicle deaths for TR and NC

World:

  • Amerish sky settings have been shifted 12 hours. If you don’t like the onset of evenings on Indar or Esamir, Amerish has bright sunny skies waiting for you
  • Indar lighting slightly darkend at dawn and dusk
  • Some outposts on Indar received minor gameplay adjustments.
  • Zurvan Amp Station has had its secondary spawn room removed and now resembles the other amp stations
  • Dahaka Amp Station now has gate shield generators

Indar Lattice Additions:

  • The Crown <-> Crossroads Watchtower
  • Vanu Archives <-> NS Secure Data Lab
  • Quartz Ridge Camp <-> Indar Comm Array
  • Ceres Hydroponics <-> Galaxy Solar Plant
  • Crimson Bluff Tower <-> NS Material Storage
  • Benson Construction <-> Alkali Shipping

UI:

  • We’ve renamed the Indar Warpgates to geographical names. So you will now see the “Indar Northern Warpgate” instead of the “Indar TR Warpgate”
  • The squad list now has icons for players inside MANA turrets or Drop Pods
  • The Flash and Harasser mini-map icons have been made more distinct from each other
  • Enemy vehicles will no longer show an occupancy count

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed shotgun pellet count tooltip. Instead of saying, “The amount or pellets each time the shotgun fires” the tooltip now says, “Single-shot Pellet Count / Pellet Spread”
  • Added 1x sight for VS Eridani SX5G
  • Fixed an issue where Resupply and Repair Sunderer icons would not display when within 100 meters of the vehicle
  • Fixed an issue where The Smoke Screen Utility tooltip on the loadout menu has a different duration value than the cert rank for Sunderers
  • Fixed gravity lifts in the Frostbite Harbor spawn rooms to function correctly
  • The AV turrets at West Highlands Checkpoint should no longer be floating
  • Fixed floating turrets at West Highlands Checkpoint and The Stronghold
  • Removed erroneous painfields around Indar
  • Fixed an issue where the two projectiles would sometimes be visible when firing the Recon Detect Device when only one was fired
  • Fixed issue where lower ranks of Sunderer Proximity Repair could not repair Sunderers that had a higher rank equipped.
  • Depot Bundles and store items have had a pass to ensure correct faction usage is written in their descriptions
  • Fixed cases where the player’s corpse wasn’t removed from the world after declining a revive
  • Regions that cannot be captured will no longer show up as reinforcements or instant action spawn points
  • Removed the visibility cap on rockets and placed explosives. They should always show in heavy battles now
  • Players can no longer use the quick action menu to track enemy players
  • Fixed the player standing from crouch in third person when shot while holding certain items
  • Fixed the Striker not animating in first person after firing
  • Glass added to cockpit of Mosquito

Blimey.

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