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Bioware: Most SWTOR performance issues can be blamed on low-end PCs

Tuesday, 10th January 2012 21:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Bioware has said only a small percentage of Star Wars: The Old Republic players are experiencing performance issues with the MMO, and the majority are running the game on a low-end PC.

Speaking with Eurogamer, SWTOR director James Ohlen said most performance issues the development team have noticed are from bugs, so any issues with black screens or drops in frame rate can be attributed to the PC in use.

“For the most part, 95 percent – oh I can’t give you the exact percentage – most of our players aren’t really having performance concerns,” said Ohlen. “However, we know that it’s important that there is a smaller group of people usually with lower-end machines that are having problems in some areas.

“One of the most important [ways] for us to grow our service is to continue to bring in more players, including those players who only have low-end machines. So we have a client team, a team of programmers, whose entire job is to optimize the code, find out where some of the issues are, and then fix that up.

“Most of the performance issues are localized though. They’re things that we can track down. I would call them bugs.”

The development team as been on a bug and glitch fixing spree of late, and promises patching and updates of some sort “almost every week”. One such issue the firm is looking is the lack of improvement when switching between medium and high texture setting in the game. While players have noted the lack of change in character models, higher-resolution textures are noticeable only during conversations.

Furthermore, over on the public test server, the medium texture setting has disappeared with the only options now being low and high, with the later still looking no different to medium.

In response to the issue, senior online community manager Stephen Reid said the firm was aware of the issue, and the team was currently “tracking down the details with the development team.”

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12 Comments

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  1. tdrules

    Really Bioware?

    Is the reason that you couldn’t be arsed to code the high setting in textures into the game because everyone has a low end PC?

    I have a fairly decent machine, and its annoying that every setting on high is exactly the same as medium. It was an issue in beta that still hasn’t been fixed!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Kabby

    The game drops to unplayable levels when there is some action on the screen. Read fleet stations, busy hubs and PVP.

    The client needs a lot more work and additional optimisations are required from Nvidia/AMD.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DarkElfa

    Thus far, nearly every patch that Bioware has done has been to fix anything that would allow people to make any money.

    In fact, the money system seems to have been their primary concern since it’s the most bug free system in the game.

    Not surprising considering the credit system seems to be the focus of any future F2P options.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Talkar

    @1
    The high texture settings are coded in, where do you read it isn’t? The code to use it might be “//” or in another way disabled for whatever reason, but it is there, as it was in the closed beta.

    @2
    I get an average of 126-7 fps on planets like Tatooine, and i have about 40-60 on the fleet.

    @3
    http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes
    I found 7 points relating to the credits system. How is that the primary concern when there are 84 other points in the patch notes? Where 17 of those are Flashpoints & Operations.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. GrimRita

    Since their last patch(not todays downtime), I have experienced LOTS of crashes – mostly when going into pvp. Prior to Jan 6ths update, I never had a single crash – ever.

    And blaming low ends PC’s is simply bullshit and clearly demonstrates Biowares inability to sort out this creaking game engine.

    Im running an o/c i.7, 2x6870s both over clocked, high end Corsair power unit, lots of fans/water coolers blah blah blah – hardly low end now is it?!

    Drops in frame rate are down to their servers being useless and probably the route course of the ability lag bug that is haunting players on a daily basis.

    And one update a week? Dont push yourself now will you Bioware, when much smaller developers on Rift manage to do daily updates that have hardly any, if at all, an impact with downtime on Euro servers. Lessons to be learned?

    However, as a side note, there will always be a small group of folk who max up their settings on a low end PC. I think Bioware should post some guide on driver updates(although ATi hasnt pushed one yet this year) and some useful ‘how to get the best from your game’ info instead of having a community team who are just customer support messengers.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. _LarZen_

    i7,16gb ram,SSD,GTX590 and im getting as low as 20fps in some areas….not it aint only a issue with low end pcs Bioware.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @1

    The high textures are in the game in fact, look when you go into a cutscene those are infact the high textures. Bioware said they plan on fixing the issue of the textures not going to high but you can’t expect any time soon due to how the engine render scenes they would have to completely regut the renderer.

    As far as all the settings being medium, thats a bug because I can see a difference outside of textures when I go from medium to high. A patch had fixed where the settings weren’t matching. You can always go to the client settings and do them yourself, there are plenty of forum toics suggesting how to do so. I suggest you look them up.

    @2

    THose seem to be a Nvidia/ATI issue. I know with my experience I had a lot of framedrops with the current driver for Nvidia but once I put in the beta driver, my FPS stayed at 60 FPS with vsync on. I also suggest turning the shaders to off or low because high setting just drags the system down for little quality performance (blockey shadows).

    #7 2 years ago
  8. John117

    Checked “Can You Run It!”, not sure if it’s because it’s a GT540M or my PC has some serious issues with Star Wars games but I lag horrible in PvP games… So bad in fact that I tend to see my character death animation 3-5 secs after the actual death… Lvling in zones can also be unbearable at times when the game should work in it’s peak. And I’m talking about playing in low settings with everything looking so sh***y as possible to improve the framerate…

    Required You Have
    Video RAM 256 MB 4.0 GB
    Pixel Shader version 3.0 5.0
    Vertex Shader version 3.0 5.0

    #8 2 years ago
  9. GrimRita

    Actually, for a game that has meh graphics, its very resource intensive on the poor old pc.

    I pressed alt by mistake and the game went to desktop but it took it almost 2 minutes to get there. Processor over worked, fans whirling.

    And, if you switch between normal world pve and enter the warzones, this again can have issues when playing for any length of time.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight

    @10 I have not had any issues with this and in fact my wife’s comp which has Windows 7 quad core 3.2Ghz 8GB of Ram and an Overclocked 460GTX barely goes to 30% load when running the game.

    @11

    Laptop GPUs are far lower than the desktop version of GPU and I can’t help you since I don’t know your specs but you want to have;

    Windows 7 Dual to Quad with at least 3.2Ghz with at least 4GB of Ram
    A GPU with atleast 1 GB of VRAM.

    Some people have suggested running the game in WIndows XP compatibility mode. You can try that to see if that will help.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. teribithia

    “For the most part, 95 percent – oh I can’t give you the exact percentage – most of our players aren’t really having performance concerns,” siad Ohlen

    The 95% is too many IMO.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    Frame rate drops mostly happen on the Imperial fleet(according to the server stats – 250ish people there) – pvp but thats probably the ability lag crap they cant seem to fix.

    @11 Again PB, please read what I said. I had no crashes at all prior to the last update. So whatever they did, has had an impact.

    #12 2 years ago