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Old 02-06-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
NotScias
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Default NG3D issues and its awful OpenGL support

As you may already know, NG3D is the homemade 3D engine behind Regnum Online (and now Champions of Regnum), the part responsible of drawing and rendering the game.
However this engine is actually riddled by old major bugs, performance sinks and its OpenGL backend is not on par with the Direct3D one.

I know it's a difficult task to create and maintain its own crossplatform 3D engine with low manpower, especially when the reported bugs reports are incomplete and scattered all over the place, so I decided to create this thread to group all the issues related to the 3D engine, hoping it will help developers to improve the engine and thus make the game more consistent-looking and playable for us.

I'm aware that this topic and these issues can seem superficial compared to the other core game issues, but it's still concerning a core part of the gameplay. Also some cosmetic issues can lead to useless redraws/flickers wasting CPU/GPU cycles and thus decreasing the general performance even under low settings. Not talking about new players that would be tempted by the game if only it performed better and had less graphical glitches.

COMMON
  • [CRITICAL] Huge FPS drop caused by virtually stuck characters (2 years old)
    Topic : http://www.regnumonline.com.ar/forum...ad.php?t=84943
    This bug is a total gameplay killer. It's unacceptable that this bug which can turn the game into a slideshow even on gaming rigs is still around.

  • [MAJOR] FPS drop due to selected character portraits (Since CoR VIP or last NG3D update)
    Topic : http://www.regnumonline.com.ar/forum...ad.php?t=95113
    This issue seems to happen on certain configurations, and after a certain time of gameplay.

  • No "regular" Antialiasing (Since last NG3D update)
    Since the last engine "improvement", regular AA is still greyed out on all configurations.
    MSAA/FSAA is a must for modern games, why did you disable the option ?
    FXAA should be optional as it's much less effective and a driver-specific (NVIDIA) option.

  • Overbright bloom (3+ years old, aggravated by latest engine update)
    Topic : http://www.regnumonline.com.ar/forum...ad.php?t=95232
    Bloom is a nice addition to the game, however it's unuseable in its current state due to its tendency of making some surfaces, and especially spell animations, way too shiny.

  • Missing and incorrect shadows (Since NG3D 2.0)
    Topic : http://www.regnumonline.com.ar/forum...ad.php?t=94118
    Some terrain objects don't have shadows cast.
    Shadows inside/from some buildings and forts are incorrect or missing (Examples : [1] [2] [3])
    Flickering shadow artifacts on some objects depending on angles/time of day.

  • Bugged skins/tatoos
    Example: [1][2]
    If you have applied skin to lamai, after you die and ressurect at save skin is bugged. I think it is client side only, because i asked other people and they told it is alright for them. Other players told same happens with tatoos of uthgars/moloks.

  • Stuck spell animations
    Even if it's less worse than before, spell animations very often get stuck and stack client-side yet. Non-exhaustive list : all auras, MoD, ivy, confuse, will domain, def/offensive stance...

OPENGL (All OSes)
  • [MAJOR] Lower FPS and Quality vs. D3D (Since NG3D 2.0 - Aggravated by last NG3D update)
    When using the exact same settings, the OpenGL backend is not only underperforming compared to the Direct3D one but isn't as polished.
    Example : http://wstaw.org/m/2013/02/06/oglvsd3d.jpg
    Taken the exact same scene with identical lighting and angle (forced setting & ignored server time), you clearly see the OpenGL screenshot is really dull compared to the D3D one, the local lighting is non or badly working, and it seems there's always a permanent fog, yet it performs really bad (25 FPS difference on this static scene !!) compared to it. See Note for the testing protocol.

  • [MAJOR] [LINUX] Performance regression & Shaders validation fail on Intel GPUs
    Thread : http://www.championsofregnum.com/for...t=93058&page=3

  • No SSAO available (Ambient Occlusion) (Since last NG3D update)

  • No Ultra quality preset available / No "Very High" advanced setting (Since last NG3D update)

  • Bugged/incomplete water reflections (Since last NG3D update)
    [1] : The general (seas) water reflections in OpenGL (same settings) are pixellated and unrealistic compared to D3D with the same settings.
    [2] : Some specific water (fountains, swamp ponds, eferias' swamp level, Ignis oasis...) aren't rendered at all and flicker really badly.

  • Visible LoD rectangle around the character (Since NG3D 2.0)
    Example : [1]

  • Crashes after minimize/workspace switch. (Since forever)
    Crashes also on Windows when using OpenGL.

  • Incorrect translucency (Since ?)
    [1] : As you can see here, the translucent surfaces are rendered in the wrong order.

  • Bugged and flickering wheat (Since ?)
    Example : [1]

  • Bugged weather effects (Since ?)
    Snow/Rain don't work on OpenGL. There's the fog, the clouds, the sound but not the effect shown.

DIRECT3D (Windows only)
  • To be completed ?

So what we can notice is that the OpenGL backend is not only lacking a lot of features compared to the D3D but is crippled by numerous bugs meanwhile underperforming ! It's really bad especially knowing that the OpenGL backend is the only choice for Linux and Mac OS X users, so 2/3 OSes you support are left with an incomplete and underperforming 3D engine.

Now I really hope NGD devs will finally focus on bugfixing and polishing their 3D engine. New models and shiny animations loose their value on top of a broken and underperforming 3D engine.

Of course you're welcome if you have more points to add to the list. I'll also be glad to provide logs/backtraces if needed.

Note : In the OpenGL vs D3D part, in order to avoid false results due to different drivers/OSes, I did all the Direct3D and OpenGL tests on the same machine, under the same OS (Win 7 64-bit), and obviously using the same latest NVIDIA driver, on which Direct3D and OpenGL perform identically. I verified this using the Unigine Heaven benchmark which is not only pixel-perfect but performs identically using either OpenGL or Direct3D. (Example : [1])

PS : Now I have a question, why even bother to maintain both a D3D and an OpenGL backend for your engine ? It seems to me to be a waste of time and ressources (knowing your low manpower) since OpenGL is crossplatform while Direct3D is tied to Windows only. If you really want to keep your game crossplatform you should prioritize OpenGL, not only this would save you time but make the gameplay better on all the OSes...

Setup :
AMD FX-4100
8GB RAM DDR3 @ 1600
NVIDIA GTX550 Ti / Latest blob / Win7 & Linux

(Inspired by this spanish complaint)
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Last edited by Shining-Scias; 02-16-2013 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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- Bugged skins, tatoos.

If you have applied skin to lamai, after you die and ressurect at save skin is bugged. I think it is client side only, because i asked other people and they told it is alright for them. Other players told same happens with tatoos of uthgars/moloks.

Example: [1][2]

- Missing spell animations when you cast out of visible range.
- Stuck animations.
- Invisible players with equipped skeleton costume.
- Spells, items not sized properly to lamai size.
- Oversized, broken character portrait images.

- Broken character login screen.

Sometimes background of the login screen gets invisible. It can be reproduced if you play for several hours and then go and switch character. When this happens whole scene of the login screen is missing and you get a static image of the game just before you went to switch.
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Last edited by ieti; 02-06-2013 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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Can I also add the regression in performance of Intel graphics under linux. I've not tested Open GL under windows, but I assume it will be the same. I've also not tested D3D on Windows so I can't say how it runs there. I'll try to test both GL/D3D on windows once my 0.5mbit connection updates the game on my windows partition.

Currently the shader scripts fail validation when running the game under linux/Open GL with intel/mesa drivers. Related post here.

Forced to play on safe mode .
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ieti View Post
- Missing spell animations when you cast out of visible range.
As much as I find this wrong I believe this one is intentional. And it seems to be confirmed by the fact that relic carriers animation is always shown, so it doesn't seem to be a technical issue.

Quote:
- Broken character login screen.
Hmm never ran into this one (yet). Could be driver-specific maybe. I'll let it unconfirmed until someone else eventually confirms it or I manage to find a topic about it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ieti View Post
- Broken character login screen.

Sometimes background of the login screen gets invisible. It can be reproduced if you play for several hours and then go and switch character. When this happens whole scene of the login screen is missing and you get a static image of the game just before you went to switch.
I have this issue too, it happens after every crash of the client and the characters in this default screen are coloured pink

The worst things imho are the water effects, the oasis at save Samal is a desaster - you have to close the eyes when you are crossing it or you won't be able to see anything the next 5 minutes after suffering this flash-attack of pink, grey and green light

The tatoo of my hunter is broken since long ago, I have an open and unanswered support ticket since 2011 about this issue, every time I log in or change char I get another tatoo (sometimes no tatoo at all)
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shining-Scias View Post
[*]Bugged weather effects (Since ?)
Snow/Rain don't work on OpenGL. There's the fog, the clouds, the sound but not the effect shown.
I see Snow, even on safe mode. Rain indeed doesn't work.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:27 AM   #7
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you are right, lamai skins have the same problem than molok's tatoos.

This are critical errors, hope some day they fix them.

Sorry for the bad english.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awrath View Post
Can I also add the regression in performance of Intel graphics under linux. I've not tested Open GL under windows, but I assume it will be the same. I've also not tested D3D on Windows so I can't say how it runs there. I'll try to test both GL/D3D on windows once my 0.5mbit connection updates the game on my windows partition.

Currently the shader scripts fail validation when running the game under linux/Open GL with intel/mesa drivers. Related post here.

Forced to play on safe mode .
same here awrath i'm playing on a mac and i am forced to play on safe mode otherwise it does not even start up
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyyer View Post
you are right, lamai skins have the same problem than molok's tatoos.

*They* are critical errors, hope some day they fix them.

Sorry for the bad english.
You're English is bueno!

(Only one correction)
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #10
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Does anyone begin to get whitish graphics with OpenGL? As if resources didn't download? It is probably that's the problem but meh, randomly in the middle of the game? I'll try to post a screen when I catch it. When that happens, I normally crash 10mins later.
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