Without a doubt , if you’re reading this blog, you will have experienced 1.3.2 and the benefits of its increased frame rate or should I say a more stable minimum frame rate, which is really what it’s all about. If you’re interested in getting a little more of an insight into these changes, then have a look at the developer diary for Chad Robertson. Personally this is the kind of stuff I love and would like to see more of, though with significantly more depth, but I understand Mythic not wanting to perform open heart surgery in public on their Warhammer code base.
What does intrigue, is what exactly did Mythic buy from Gamebyro, if they’ve come to the point, where they’re actually rewriting the texture management system? Does their agreement basically buy them the baseline code of the current engine, which they can then modify on a whim. Maybe they have worked with Gamebyro to modify the baseline code to better handle the dynamic nature of the Warhammer textures, with a view to making the engine more accommodating for future MMO clients?
When you get into modifying someone elses product/engine, then the more you modify the baseline code, the more work you give yourself, if you want to benefit from future upgrades to that code base, in this case, say for new revisions of direct X. What I do remember from my time merging releases/updates into customer bespoke versions, is what a truly thankless task it is. Damn you had to be so precise when changing the code base for your own requirements. No matter how much another bit of code annoyed you, you’d leave it, since it would be another difference you’d have to resolve when merging in a future code updates. It’s not a job I miss in the slightest, it still gives me nightmares.
Though I would say, that if you work solely on someones else code, you never really get to see the bigger picture. Of course you learn things, but never in the same way as building something from the ground up. I suppose it’s all about what level you want to work. Personally I need to know how things really work, but nowadays the levels of integration and pace doesn’t really allow for it. Sniff sniff for the good old days of appalling development environments.
Now Chad makes an interesting comment.
I’ve long lived by the belief that the frame rate and performance that a player perceives in a game is dictated by the elements that stand out as the slowest, rather than the fastest. Typing that, it seems obvious—but what I mean is that the frame rates you’ll remember about any game most likely come from times when the game chugged or stuttered
Absolutely true, which is why when your looking at performance figures, especially for GFX cards, it’s all about the minimum frame rate, which unfortunately many websites don’t provide.
Chad also commented on an improvement in the server traffic handling, which should lead to better responsiveness over a wider set of situations. However this is one area where I don’t agree, I’m finding that the inventory is more sluggish since the update. Again I will have another look tonight (Wednesday), since the boss is out the house.
Note – I had a look again and it seems it was my imagination.
A little while ago when reading an interview with another Mythic personage, I remember reading that developing the MAC client had taught them quite a few things. I know I’m speculating, but maybe we are getting some of the benefits via our new texture manager. On a side note, does anyone know how the MACs are handling Warhammer. Did they, do they have a similar performance to the PC 1.3.2 client?
I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t have a slightly nervous tic when recommending “>Warhammer to other people. I always had a little niggle when saying to others, go on give it a go, because the performance if I was to be honest, blew chunks in the ORvR keeps. So that has got to be a step forward.
Now I’m not saying that all is rosy, because it isn’t, but it’s a lot sweeter than was. Just a shame it’s taken a year.
I would have got on and done more live testing last night, but I had my cable connection upgraded to 50MB/1.5MB yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), which though fine in the afternoon degraded to unusable in the evening.
Note – I’m still having a few issues with a drop in FPS, if I play for a while, but since I already can’t remember what it was like a week ago, I can’t say it’s not my head playing tricks on me. In ORvR there are so many factors, that it’s not really possible to do a proper test, merely try to make an educated guess.