So after a long wait here we are with SOE’s first of many Optimization updates. We also have no more double loading screens! YAY!. I decided to play for a few hours to see how much these optimizations had actually improved my gameplay. I left all of my settings where they were from my previous gameplays and I made sure that there were no other applications running in the background. Of course it took them a few extra hours to get the update running on the server and upon logging in I found out that the login servers were down but this was fixed after about twenty minutes. In the warpgate I was getting an fps of 60 so it was already looking good but I didn’t want to get my hopes up just yet.
I started off on Indar as that was the only continent to receive a facelift and get some major optimizations. I landed at The Crossroads and immediately noticed a difference in fps. I was averaging around 40 fps during a 80+man fight. Typically these large fights would only give me 15-20 fps so it was at least a 100% increase in performance. Now I have yet to play during my prime-time where the players might number even higher but the optimizations are noticeable already.
You might have noticed that I mentioned only Indar got the continent optimizations. Well from what I can tell SOE has plans in the future to update the other continents to make them more efficient but they wanted to see how much of an improvement Indar would have for the amount of effort they put in. To check how much the Indar optimizations helped the game I decided to fly to Amerish and compare my fps there to what I had seen on Indar. In the warpgate I had about the same as on the Indar warpgate. However, when I went to an empty AMP station my fps was about 30, and on Indar the AMP station was around 45. That means that the continent optimization they did had a large effect on my fps increase. Now I know that every base will not have the same fps but I tried to pick two that were similar and I made sure to look at the base from the same location. I also moved onto a fight of medium size and had about 25 fps on Amerish. Now when I was on Indar in a medium fight I had about 45 fps so there was about the same difference in fps. At the time of posting this there has not been a large fight on Amerish so I have not been able to see the full affect of the lack of optimization.
When I was on Indar I was GPU bound and on Amerish I was CPU bound. From that I can assume that the major improvements on the Indar decreased the load on my CPU. This would explain why Amerish was pushing my CPU to the max causing me to get lower fps. So once the update is released for Amerish I should see my computer become GPU bound which is good. GPU bound is an easier fix for most gamers as it only requires a player to tone down the graphic quality or buy a new video card. CPU bound would require a new CPU which usually requires a new motherboard and ram to go with it.
It is clear that the optimizations implemented are very important to improving the games fps and that they made Indar a much better place to fight on. If these optimization updates continue it will definitely allow a large player base to participate in Planetside 2. However, I am still hesitant that SOE will continue to optimize the other continents as their other promises to incorporate a lattice on Amerish (not that I want a lattice) and to introduce two new continents have fallen short. I do think that SOE is trying to improve their game so that more players can enjoy it but as I have said before it is a little to late to convince ex-players to return and without new content no new players are likely to sign-up either. They didn’t help change my mind etiher because upon logging out my game crashed as usual even though that was supposed to have been fixed.
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