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Technical Update - November


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#1 Matthew Craig

    Technical Director

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 01:01 PM

Time for another Command Chair update to help shed some light on what’s currently taking up our time internally here at PGI, so without further ado what has engineering been up to?

DX11

As most of you are aware DX11 had some last minute critical bugs not entirely dissimilar to some of the black screen issues that have plagued production (it remains to be seen if the fixes for DX11 translate to DX9) we finally got to the bottom of these issues for DX11 this last week and it is moving back to QA to setup for a public test shortly.

Dynamic Pricing/Bundles

Every Friday and Monday we have to cycle the servers to accept new pricing information for weekend sales, we’ve desired for some time to not have to do this and this work is now completing to allow us to dynamically price items in the game without downtime. In addition there has been work done to allow us to sell bundles. These features allow for more dynamic and varied sales without any server downtime and will be released in conjunction with UI 2.0

UI 2.0

As many of you recently experienced UI 2.0 is moving along nicely there is still plenty to be done but Public Test has allowed many of you to experience it in its current state and provide feedback that will be incorporated into the final state.

Something we realized during the DX11 work is that the switch between windowed mode and full screen going into game opens up a lot of edge cases for the renderer e.g. handling you alt tabbing to a browser during the load into game.

We plan to remove this complexity in the upcoming UI 2.0 and keep the mode consistent front end to back, meaning that if you run windowed when you go into game the game will be windowed and similarly if you run full screen the Mechlab will be full screen and it will retain full screen as you transition into game.

Hit Detection

We are aware there are still some issues surrounding hit detection, particularly with SRMs and also certain Mechs hitboxes. As Paul recently posted hitboxes are being addressed and we are scheduling time for a closer look into why SRMs are suffering a loss in accuracy compared to other weapons.

Matchmaking

We know some high Elo players have been finding longer wait times to get into match, we’ve been monitoring the telemetry and there is no easy balance here if we loosen the values more to allow these players lower wait times they will start to match more readily with lower Elo players resuming the state we had before where new players would face more punishing competition than desired.

Ultimately we agree that the current status is not ideal and we are working towards addressing all these short comings for the new Pre Game screen that will be introduced shortly after UI 2.0 this will introduce tonnage limits and is being designed to handle faction play etc.

It will represent a significant shift in the way matches are made compared to the current system and as mentioned will incorporate all our learning’s so far, into what we hope will be a much more rewarding and balanced way to find a game.

Stability

We know there are still users experiencing freezing and black screen issues on production, we have been investigating but are still unable to reproduce this issue reliably or see any discernible pattern in the crash dumps we’ve seen.

If you can reliably get these issues and are willing to work with us to help resolve them as always please head to the Patch Feedback thread and post in the Crash and Stability Feedback thread we’ll do our best to work with you to get these issues resolved.

As discussed above a lot of stability work went into DX11 this work will be back ported to DX9 where applicable. You may also find that at least one render path or the other works better for your machine, we’d love to hear your feedback during the upcoming public test for DX11 so please come and join us when a date is fixed.

Disconnects

Since closed beta we’ve been tracking a mysterious slowdown that would occasionally get bad enough to backlog our users and cause users connections to drop it was finally resolved (hardware configuration issue in the data center) and since then we have not seen any recurrence of these issues.

If you continue to experience connectivity issues please post in the Patch Feedback forum in the Performance and Connectivity thread and again we will do our best to work with you to identify and resolve any issues that are game related.

Performance

We continue to monitor and work to improve performance, the next target for performance improvement is DX11. Our initial profiling has shown that out of the box the CryEngine DX11 render path is slower than the DX9 path so we have an uphill battle on this front. We’re going to be looking at what we can do to bring that performance above DX9 levels if possible (given the DX11 feature set we’d be surprised if this is not attainable).

If you have particular hardware or a setup you think is underperforming please notify us of it in the Patch Feedback forum and we’ll do our best to get it into rotation in our test lab and work to reproduce what you are seeing.


Hopefully this helps shed some light on what has been ongoing internally recently for us, we’re excited to get DX11 and UI 2.0 wrapped up and delivered to help lay the foundation for future work. These changes really do help to underpin a lot of future performance/stability/compatibility work not to mention improvements to the games visuals and new feature work.

These releases should hopefully mark a transition to a higher level of fidelity for the game and set the framework we’ll be working within for the years to come.

Post your feedback here!





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