SWTOR Sith-MarodeurIm Forum äußerte sich Avi Mintz, Associate Project Manager im Client Engineer Team von SWTOR, in einem ausführlichen Statement zum Thema FPS und anderen Performance-Problemen und schlug einige Einstellungsänderungen vor, die bei den Problemen helfen könnten.

In seinem Beitrag erklärte Mintz, jeder Computer könne Engpässe an verschiedenen Stellen haben. Die Grafikeinstellungen könnten einige oder alle dieser Engpässe beeinflussen, die optimalen Einstellungen für den jeweiligen Computer zu finden könnte jedoch eine gewisse Experimentierzeit erfordern. Dabei würde man am besten alles zunächst auf „Niedrig“ stellen, dann verschiedene Features hochstellen und ausprobieren, welchen Effekt das hat.

Im weiteren Verlauf seines Statements äußerte sich Mintz u.a. auch zu den geringen FPS in den Kriegsgebieten und auf Ilum sowie den Client Crashes. Den gesamten Beitrag des Associate Project Managers kannst du im offiziellen Forum lesen, einen Teil inkl. den von Mintz gegebenen Tipps findest du hier:

Game settings and what they mean for performance

Any given PC can bottleneck in a few different locations (processing power, available memory, graphics processing power, etc.). While changing graphics settings can have an impact on any or all of these, finding a ‘sweet spot’ for your system might take a bit of experimentation. Such experimentation is probably best approached by turning everything to ‘Low’, and then turning various features up selectively and noting the effect. We’ve broken down some of the less straightforward options for you here to give you some insight into the workings of our rendering options.

Min-spec shaders

  • The min-spec shader option allows faster rendering, at a reduced quality. This option also turns shadows and bloom off.

Shadows

  • Our shadow options are High / Low / None, where:
    1. The ‘High’ option renders full shadows
    2. The ‘Medium’ option renders only ‘blob’ shadow discs under characters.
    3. The ‘None’ option removes even the ‘blob’ shadows.

As you might expect, your choice of shadow setting can heavily impact frame-rate. High shadows will be, comparatively, much more taxing on your system.

Textures

  • Our texture options are High / Low. We are planning an additional setting for character textures, closer to the quality seen in cinematic scenes, which is under development right now.

Anti-Aliasing

  • Our anti-aliasing options are High / Low / Off. Depending on your system, these options represent different levels of jagged edge smoothing.
  • Anti-aliasing is one of our more system-taxing features, and we do not recommend using it when running a video card with less than 1GB of memory. Keep in mind that the ‘performance cost’ is greater at higher resolutions.
  • Note: anti-aliasing is temporarily disabled for AMD 6900 series cards, due to severe graphical artifacts. We are working with AMD to resolve this bug, and we will re-enable the option for the 6900 series as soon as possible.

Resolution and Window mode

  • Window mode options are Fullscreen / Fullscreen (windowed) / Windowed, where:
    1. ‘Fullscreen’ is what we refer to as ‘Fullscreen exclusive mode’. This option gives you the best frame-rate of the three, but it comes with a trade-off of having to reinitialize the display if you tab away from the game and back.
    2. ‘Fullscreen (windowed)’ is really just a borderless window that stretches to fill your screen. You lose out on the slight performance gain of ‘Fullscreen’, but you can now tab back to the program seamlessly.
    3. ‘Windowed’ is as straightforward as you might expect. If you feel that you’ve gotten the best frame-rate out of this setting, keep in mind that it all comes back to how much resolution you are prepared to sacrifice.

Minimum spec, recommended spec and performance

Error Code 7

Error code 7 is our way of reporting a game initialization failure – essentially, the game failed to run. There has been some speculation about this message being a ‘gate’ blocking players based on their system, but that is not quite accurate. Here are some situations that will result in an error code 7:

  • Missing technology that would cause an unplayable scenario. To be more specific, we require SSE3, introduced in late 2004.
  • Missing PlatformInfo.dll file (part of the SWTOR client).
  • Failure to create a Direct3D device – usually caused by an absent or outdated graphics card driver.

Note that this factor is not related to system processing capabilities, but rather fundamental system architecture (e.g. a 2011 netbook CPU might be able to run SWTOR while a 2004 desktop CPU might not).

If you’re receiving error code 7, but your system should be up to the task of running SWTOR, please contact us through Customer Service with the email tagline ’Error Code 7‘. We have introduced additional logging in patch 1.1.0 that can help us diagnose and pinpoint the source of failure.

Low FPS in the fleets, warzones and Ilum

We’re very aware of the frame-rate degradation that even top-notch systems experience in these gameplay scenarios. We’ve taken measures to control the overall impact that character-heavy scenarios can have on system performance, but there is always more we can do. We are constantly investigating and optimizing, and we are in the process of making changes to the fleets that have hopefully yielded some improvement.

Some of you have pointed out that your GPU is not being fully utilized when in these types of situations; we have found that character-heavy situations like these are usually limited by the CPU, not by rendering, so this makes sense.

Other changes you can make that will help improve performance:

  • We’ve read that some mobile graphics cards might not appropriately set their performance profile when running SWTOR. You can correct this by going to your graphics control panel and manually setting up a profile.
  • Disabling Windows Aero can also improve performance slightly.
  • And, of course, shutting down background programs can only help.

Client crashes

Our data says that, when measured as an average across all players, crashes during SWTOR gameplay are relatively rare. That being said, there might be some users that have the perfect storm of hardware, settings or activities that provoke repeated crashes in a way that we can practically diagnose and fix. If you experience consistent crashes, or if you know of a consistently reproducible one, please take a visit to this thread and post your information there – we’re always looking for more issues like this to fix, and increasing SWTOR stability will always be a top priority for our team.

We recently messaged that we fixed a frame-rate degradation problem that occurred when shadows were on ‘High’; this fix also greatly increased stability on 32-bit systems.

System failures

If your system consistently shuts down unexpectedly, please go to this thread and post your information. Some of you have already done this, and your posts have been extremely helpful. We’ve analyzed all the information you’ve provided so far, and this is what we can say…

  • SWTOR has the capacity to heavily utilize your system. If you are running the game with high graphics settings, this is especially true. System flaws or inadequacies that might not be evident when idling or playing other games could possibly be exposed when you are running SWTOR, especially in moments that put extra pressure on your system (PVP, Operations, etc.) To name a few things you should look out for:
    1. Ensure that your power supply is not failing and that it supplies enough juice to power your system.
    2. For temperature considerations, it’s also worth checking that the power supply fan is working properly. Also ensure that your PC case is properly ventilated and your airflow is unobstructed.
    3. Ensure that your PC is clean and your system is not clogged with dust and dirt.
    4. We recommend taking appropriate precautions (monitoring and cooling) if you are overclocking your hardware. Our advice is to dial things back to the manufacturer’s recommended settings until your system failures are resolved.
  • Blue Screens are displayed when Windows encounters a critical error. Errors of this nature are usually hardware or driver related.<
    1. We’ve provided some information here in the CS forums about ways to narrow down and identify the root cause of a given error. Windows tends to log this information, and those logs are a good point to begin an investigation.

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