Raging About Rage PC

By Alec Meer on October 4th, 2011 at 2:16 pm.

Good news! Rage is now on my PC, and I have begun to play it. I am excited to be doing so, based on what I’ve played of the game previously.

Bad news! I’m seeing quite a few technical problems on my PC. To the point where I’m not sure I can keep playing. Sounds like I’m not alone either.

Update: apparently a driver update for Radeons, purported to fix some of the problems, is due later today now here! Investigating now – expect updates shortly. This still doesn’t answer the question of why the game was released in this state, of course – was it not tested on older/current drivers?

Update 2: nope, new driver doesn’t seem to help in any meaningful way. The framerate might be a little better, but the texture/character flickering is awful. Even the map keeps popping out of existence. Gonna have to give up on this game for now, I fear.

Update 3: ATI have fessed up to putting out a borked driver: “All – don’t use the current Rage performance driver – package includes very old OGL files, that’s why you’re seeing corruption etc… New Rage driver with proper OGL component will be posted later today.” And yet they haven’t withdrawn the bad one yet. What fun! Meantime I’ve actually ordered an NVIDIA card so I can get this blinkin’ Wot I Think done without keeling over from a migraine.

Of course, some of these may be down to a specific problem with my PC, although I have not encountered similar issues on any other game. So, you and others may be experiencing different things – if so, please say so below so we can form a picture of what is and isn’t going on here.

Let’s start, though, with something universal to the PC version of the game. There are no graphical options to speak of. Resolution, anti-aliasing, gamma, and that’s it. And this is an id game – y’know, id, masters of technology and all that. There are reports that the game is invisibly benchmarking and tweaking invisible settings to suit, but that’s cold comfort – I want to make my own decisions not have a robot make them for me. And given the game chugs on my graphics card (a Radeon 5850) unless I either drop the res or overclock it, that’s pretty damned annoying. Thank heavens for the AMD Overdrive in my drivers, because that gets the frame rate silky-smooth. Not that this is enough…

First up, the ‘megatextures’ streaming texture system is horribly noticeable. If I spin to camera to look 90 or 180 or more degrees in the other direction, for a split second half the world is blurry and featureless, before the impressively detailed textures pop into sight. It’s really, really distracting, I must say.

Then I started experiencing weird artifacting – a sort of grid pattern across characters (see below) and visible seams between ground textures. I fiddled with every option in my graphics card settings, but it wouldn’t go away.

On top of that, the mouse cursor moves at about twice the speed in menus as it does in the game itself, which makes it crazy-hard to control when you’re flicking through the inventory or accepting quests. And I say that as someone who likes a high DPI from his rodent.

Then the game’s audio started stuttering, and a few frames began to drop irregularly, whether or not my card was overclocked. And then:

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I wracked my brains. I remembered I was running the beta version of the ATI drivers, designed for the Battlefield 3 beta. So I uninstalled ‘em and instead installed the latest finished versions. Lo and behold, the weird grid/seam stuff was gone. Hooray!

Except characters and vehicles kept blinking out of existence for a split second, and occasional very brief stretchy-vertical artifacts appear. Again, I tinkered with driver settings, turned overclocking on and off and on and off and then I quit in annoyance and wrote this post.

I am not happy, and raise my eyebrow at any reviews of PC Rage that claim to have had a clear run of it on technical front. I will continue to tinker and to monitor and to read. What about you guys, if you’re either from the US or have used an IP-spoofing tool to defeat the pointlessly staggered UK release? Is it running fine? Hitting any issues? Is my PC haunted, or have id made a bit of a mess of the PC build of their first game in years?

Here’s the aggregated list of known bugs, via Steam forums:

Issues:
No Custom settings for Video Cards
No Console command Read here to enable the console key: http://forums.steampowered.com/forum….php?t=2154191 & via config file here http://forums.steampowered.com/forum…7&postcount=89
No Vsync options – Results in screen tearing – Forcing Vsync causes the game to crash the drivers and game(AMD)
Unable to skip intros??? To disable the intro videos put this “+set com_skipIntroVideo 1″ in the launch options of Rage Via Steam.
Mouse acceleration?
Can’t use Crossfire or SLI..
Bad FoV for PC’s – Short-term solution: FOV adjustment howto

Bugs:
Texture Streaming is bad and slow resulting in always reloading the same textures thus causing the textures popping in effect – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ch6TX-Cbs&hd=1
Missing/blinking textures…
Game crashes when exiting the Arc.
LoD issues(popins dispersing items)
Crashing after intro video
Audio stuttering and not blending properly.
Occasional Artifacts appearing- http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/9…0322215294.jpg
Low Frame rates with occasional fps spikes
Loading saves causes videocard drivers to crash…
Game Fails to start with error code #51.

, .

259 Comments »

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  1. Choca says:

    The game hates Radeons apparently.

    • Sepulchrave76 says:

      Won’t be getting Rage, then, unless they pull their finger out and patch it up for Radeon users

    • woodsey says:

      As someone who knows absolutely nothing on the subject, I feel perfectly qualified to accusingly ask:

      How can nVidia’s chipsets and ATI’s be THAT much different?

    • Askeladd says:

      If I remember right then Id’s games always ran worse on ATI/AMD card then Nvidia cards.
      I suspect partiality.

    • Lifebleeder says:

      I have a GTX 580, and while I thankfully haven’t had as many problems as AMD users. The screen tearing/texture popping got so bad, I had to stop playing the game.

    • Vagrant says:

      2011 has been a bad year for AMD’s video cards; their driver team has seriously dropped the ball. With so many performance issues with major releases this year, I can’t imagine me getting another Radeon.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Blaming these issues on AMD is ridiculous. Their game doesn’t work.

    • Kal says:

      The RAGE-specific driver makes it worse, btw. It adds a flickering problem that isn’t present in the other drivers.

    • Ricc says:

      @woodsey:

      I don’t know about the hardware itself, but the graphics drivers definitely are very different between ATI and nVidia. Each of them have come to an independent solution of how to actually render graphics. There might be common knowledge between the two, but both pieces of software have their own quirks and oddities, I imagine.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Hasn’t AMD/ATI always been bad for OpenGL?

    • sneetch says:

      @Vagrant
      2011 has been a bad year for AMD’s video cards; their driver team has seriously dropped the ball. With so many performance issues with major releases this year, I can’t imagine me getting another Radeon.

      Yeah, I suspect it’s not the AMD team’s fault that these dev companies either don’t test on AMD cards or do test on AMD cards and decide not to fix the performance issues they find on them.

      Time and again we see this: why don’t they develop for the drivers that people have rather than some mythical super driver that we have to wait 3 months for.

    • Sweetz says:

      Rage uses OpenGL and ATI’s OpenGL support has been historically poor while nVidia’s has not.

      The game is running without notable issues on my GTX 570. Assuming the game isn’t using vendor specific rendering paths, circa 2000 style, how can you blame the game when nVidia cards seem to be handling the same rendering instructions just fine?

      I will say, that even without streaming problems, several textures in the game are simply embarrassingly low-res. The landscape and character textures are fine, but lots of incidental “decoration” objects – soda machines, boxes, paintings on walls, various bits and bobs – are all noticeably low res compared to any average UE3 game.

    • sneetch says:

      @Sweetz says:
      The game is running without notable issues on my GTX 570. Assuming the game isn’t using vendor specific rendering paths, circa 2000 style, how can you blame the game when nVidia cards seem to be handling the same rendering instructions just fine?

      Your card and PC may be handling it just fine but from looking at the Steam forums not all nVidia users are that lucky.

    • Screamer says:

      So if the old drivers don’t work, and the new drivers don’t work….. what did they test on? O_o

      “Its done when it’s done” hahahahah

    • MidoriChaos says:

      (@Sweetz) I think I read id saying at some point that a patch with higher resolution textures will be released for PC after release date, but they didn’t want to hold the release to keep it in line with consoles.

    • voidburn says:

      The game hates PC, quoting from various forums around

      Here is the comparison and new system requirements:
      Minimum:
      Xbox or PS3
      Recommended:
      Xbox or PS3

      Visual benchmark

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      @sneech

      “Time and again we see this: why don’t they develop for the drivers that people have rather than some mythical super driver that we have to wait 3 months for.”

      Exactly THIS…

      What drivers were they testing on? This game ran at shows, it’s run for bug testing, etc – they must have had some kind of drivers that WORKED, surely?!

    • psyk says:

      Just repost this from the last page of comments

      http://twitter.com/#!/CatalystCreator

    • Azhrarn says:

      @Woodsey

      “How can nVidia’s chipsets and ATI’s be THAT much different?”

      The difference is in how nVidia and AMD go about designing their rendering cores (you know, those increasingly large numbers of “cores” that both parties love to put on the box), nVidia’s cores are relatively strait forward and offer a lot of brawn on the rendering side with post-processing done mostly afterwards by other cores. Their cards are better at pushing polygons around than anyone else.

      AMDs cores are a lot more complicated, potentially much more flexible but they’re also a lot harder to use as a result of this.

      They have lots of parallel processing potential, where as nVidia’s offering is much more strait forward to code for and relies more on the brute strength of the GPU rather than all the clever features hidden in the hardware.

      Given the time constraints on many development cycles these days, going for the strait forward brawn based rendering option is quite logical. AMDs offering can potentially do much more with less power, but would cost a lot more development time as it’s more difficult to code for.

      It’s also why nVidia has fairly consistently held the crown for “most powerful single GPU” over the years, their entire rendering method relies much more on the pure calculating power of the processor on board, it makes sense to build monstrous calculating beasts because of that.

    • Jibb Smart says:

      It’s tough being a developer. You have an nVidia card, because you know better than to have an AMD card. But you should develop with an AMD card, because so many people don’t know better than to have an AMD card.

      Of course, this is all on id. For sure. But if the issue was going to be worse under one brand, it was always going to be AMD.

    • Dhatz says:

      that fucking shit with texture tiling happened to quite mane people on Brink, i guess it’s avoiding nvidia or just too many people have AMD, like me.

    • Baines says:

      @Simon Hawthorne
      It works on whatever high end machine they coded/tested for, and used for their demos.

      Any machine other than what they worked on is a toss-up.

      One of the Steam posters mentioned trying it on two almost identical PCs. (Main/only difference was that one had a single stronger graphics card while the other had two slightly weaker cards in tandem. Cards were same brand, just different models.) On one, it worked fine. On the other, it didn’t.

      To add to the mix, what some people see as problems, others see as acceptable (like texture pop-in when turning.) And some may be running fine, but near the razor’s edge of failure. Someone mentioned Rage ran with no problems, but if they turned on fraps to record it (to upload proof), then texture pop-in occurred.

      EDIT: I’m not exactly happy with nvidia at the moment, either. I haven’t been able to update the drivers to my nvidia card for nearly a year, it fails on the install and I’ve yet to find a fix. This is apparently not an unknown issue. Worse, if you are really unlucky, it is apparently possible to break Safe Mode with a failed nvidia driver install.

    • Bremze says:

      While historically Nvidia cards have been better at OpenGL, currently AMD cards actually surpass Nvidia in OpenGL performance. And it looks like Nvidia has its fair share of problems too.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Time and again we see this: why don’t they develop for the drivers that people have rather than some mythical super driver that we have to wait 3 months for.”

      Because the drivers people actually have and the drivers the driver developers claim they have are often two entirely different things, and developers aren’t generally known for their psychic mindreading powers.

    • aldo_14 says:

      EDIT: I’m not exactly happy with nvidia at the moment, either. I haven’t been able to update the drivers to my nvidia card for nearly a year, it fails on the install and I’ve yet to find a fix. This is apparently not an unknown issue. Worse, if you are really unlucky, it is apparently possible to break Safe Mode with a failed nvidia driver install.

      Have you tried updating the VBIOS? I don’t know if it’s what you’re having, but my attempts to update my 9800 drivers would result in a black, blank screen on startup until I did that.

    • evilbobthebob says:

      You know what’s funniest about this? The Xbox graphics chip was designed by ATi, called the Xenos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenos_%28graphics_chip%29

    • malkav11 says:

      One of the reasons I have consistently purchased nVidia cards despite ATI cards intermittently having better raw performance is that when technical issues crop up related to a particular vendor’s videocards and/or drivers, it’s probably 8/10 or 9/10 ATI. And I’d much rather not have technical issues than have a few extra fps.

  2. karucifer says:

    Most of the Rage performance issues are to be fixed in an imminent driver release (for both single and CF setups):

    http://twitter.com/#!/CatalystCreator/status/120968368210718720

    Re this:
    This still doesn’t answer the question of why the game was released in this state, of course – was it not tested on older/current drivers?

    Alec – Carmack has made his career from pioneering new techniques with the likes of ATI and Nvidia always on the back foot, it not working on existing drivers is pretty much a given where a new ID engine is concerned.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      Crashing to desktop is apparently the wave of the future.

  3. Shrewsbury says:

    Almost no graphical options
    Streaming textures loading visibly – stuff is a murky blur for a split second when you look at it
    Jumpy performance until I dropped res or overclocked card
    weird artifcacting, grid pattern on characters, visible seams between textures. Played with everything in drivers, couldn’t fix
    mouse moves much faster in menus than in world
    Stuttering
    And crash.

    And crash.

  4. max pain says:

    I have no fear. Americans are beta-testing the game for me.

  5. Unaco says:

    Why do game journalists keep mistaking iD tech demos for games?

    • abigbat says:

      Witty.

      The game looks superb, and by most accounts is an extremely solid experience. There’s a patch being released to fix Radeon issues too.

    • Cerzi says:

      why do gamers keep mistaking iD for id?

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Dunno, because they released 2 games that were the epitome of a good first person shooter and 3 games that were the litmus test for what a good multiplayer game was supposed to be, maybe? I don’t know. Probably because they’re the Blizzard of FPS.

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      The issues mentioned here are actually more applicable to it being a shitty tech demo than to it being a shitty game.

    • Unaco says:

      Paraphrasing a little here, but from what I’ve heard it’s “Borderlands with the fun stripped out, Fallout 3 without any choices, consequences, or characters.” The game looks pretty, but it’s mechanically bankrupt, bland, linear, weak, tedious and has no apparent story. But it does look good!

    • Matt says:

      Congratulations, you can quote Ars Technica “reviews.”

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Oh OK. I heard something different. But then, Borderlands was almost empty of fun, Fallout 3 had no choices, and both games had weak gunplay, retarded AI, and no difficulty. So! According to these reviews I read on Rage, it’s like someone took the ideas of Fallout 3 and Borderlands and made a good game with them :D I am so looking forward to Amazon shipping my copy ^^

    • The Colonel says:

      Second PoulWrist. Borderlands and FO3 were both shit.

    • 2late2die says:

      Not sure really. After Quake they pretty much stopped making games and have concentrated exclusively on tech demos. With all that texture popping though it seems that they’re slipping in that department as well.

    • briktal says:

      From what I’ve heard, the shooting people with weapons part is great and when all the pretty stuff is working the game looks great, but there are some technical problems and the parts where you aren’t shooting people are kinda lame. The big debate I’m seeing in comments is how big a deal that last point is.

    • nimzy says:

      Yeah, Rage is definitely a tech demo. Check out the Ars Technica review if you have any doubts about that one.

      So Rage on PC is a console port? That’s a first for these guys. The “mouse acceleration in menus doubling or tripling” thing is a dead giveaway, as is the texture pop-in (optimization fail) and lack of visual settings. Let me guess, mouse smoothing is turned on by default and there isn’t an option to turn that off either?

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t have a dog in this fight because I’ll probably pass on Rage anyway, but I have to vent at that kind of mouse behavior. It’s infuriating, and increasingly it’s showing up in games I otherwise enjoy, like Witcher 2. The mouse in that game still feels completely different between the main game engine and the menu screens. Why can’t the mouse in a “PC” game work like the mouse on my Windows desktop? Really, is that too much to ask? It’s the year 2011 and game developers don’t know how to directly access the mouse driver?

    • briktal says:

      Tech demo for who?

    • Thants says:

      Thank you, Zenicetus. Note to all developers: I want the mouse in the game is behave exactly the same as it does out of the game. I can’t believe that’s such a difficult thing to accomplish.

  6. standardman says:

    On the plus side, the pointlessly staggered uk release will allow people to cancel their preorders.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Another great and fiendishly clever reason for supporting the RPS No Oceans Initiative.

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      Not if you’re id.

    • Milky1985 says:

      ““Another great and fiendishly clever reason for supporting the RPS No Oceans Initiative.”

      Or the exact opposite of that.”

      For a publisher (and they are the ones that will make this decision) this is a perfect reason.

  7. Jockie says:

    On the verge of cancelling my pre-order. I want to like this and I want ID to not make a crappy pc port that alienates their hardcore fanbase, but they need to get a patch out sharpish and work with ATI to get some new drivers out.

    On the other hand, the benefit of the staggered release dates has become apparant as others have suggested (as with Dead Island), the US gets to beta test for us!

    • yukshee says:

      Phew! Just my pre-order refund confirmation from Steam :) I’ll hang on to the 22gb pre-install and watch the skies for patches and fixes before handing over my cash.

      Way to go beta testing it on your loyal US gaming fans Beth & iD ;)

  8. donmcarthur says:

    It is kinda disappointing that Rage has these technical issue out of the gate. I know id was doing some new graphics tech that required nVidida and AMD to add new features into their drivers. I just wish they had rolled in these new features into their drivers months ago and not in a Zero day driver patch.
    The game will be here shortly, it’s on the truck for delivery, so I too will be able to be part of this negative hullabaloo! I’ve got a HD 5850 too so I’m not to optimistic, that I won’t run into problems.

    • iniudan says:

      Got a 5670 here and it ran has smooth has Barry White voice, except someone was hitting him while he was singing, so odd sound would come out while been smooth.

      Basically in the time I played there seem to be a good game under the technical issue (flickering and texture popping), that are mostly likely due to Id using OpenGL, thus lot of driver issue since OpenGL driver tend to be lacking update these day for so few AAA dev push the boundary of it.

  9. abigbat says:

    This is seriously worrying, especially since Rage was one of the games I went and upgraded my rig for. More than anything the lack of video options irritates me, I hate not being able to tinker – of course once people become familiar with the config files that’ll hopefully become less of an issue (may go explore the folders now and see what’s about).

    Is there a way to confuse the IP to activate the Steam version without risking your account (I have around 200 games on there so any risk is too high, but if it can be done relatively safely that could be tempting).

  10. Daryl says:

    A major developer shitting the bed with a crappy console port to PC? The hell you say! I knew a looooooooong time ago I wasn’t going to waste my money on this crap.

    • Askeladd says:

      I knew looong ago that RAGE was one of the games I’d eventually pick up on a steam sale.

    • Tei says:

      Rage(╯°□°)╯︵ ɔd ǝɥʇ

  11. sbs says:

    Noooooooooo!

  12. Deadpool46 says:

    Rich over at PC Gamer didn’t have any issues to speak of but he was playing at a review event.

    Reading lots of mixed reports but there’s something possibly going awry with the game’s auto-settings. Check out the post by Nostalgia~4ever on NeoGAF… http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=446341&page=72

    Looks like the game does some kind of benchmark, then decides on the graphical settings. You can see in the post that the game thought the PC had zero GPU memory. Curious.

  13. GoodPatton says:

    On my NVidia GTX 260 the game runs smoothly however texture loading still occurs with quick movements. I’ve noticed this happens less on lowered resolutions but then I suppose that should be expected. I’ve also noticed audio sync issues with most dialog and have had a few audio bits end abruptly.
    Also noticed some poor audio when using vehicles, mostly with the acceleration triggering.

    Haven’t had any missing textures or crashes but I have only played for about 50 minutes so who knows.

    Looking forward to jumping in for some more shortly regardless!
    Heres hoping for a swift resolution to these issues!

    P.S. Doom bobble head made me smile!

  14. SpaceAkers says:

    How many games release with graphics problems for a certain few users? All of them?

    Nearly a non-story here, except the ludicrousness about the lack of graphic options. I’m getting this thing through Gamefly on a console, so I don’t really care but that’s pretty awful!

    Kinda wack that iD’s new game is a lame console port, but then again that company hasn’t made a good game since Q3A, unless this guy turns out to be sweet.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      How many times must an indefinite term like “a few” be used to tar all situations with the same brush?

      That could mean a couple of dozen people, or 10% of the player base. One deserves reporting, the other not so much.

  15. Sfitz says:

    The dotted lines on the textures make that lady look she’s just been divided up for the best cuts of delicious meat.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      delicious bare midriff

    • Jarenth says:

      Damnit, you beat me to it! I should’ve made that joke as soon as I saw the picture, but nooo, I had to laugh at Alec’s misfortune some more.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Is that an error or a tattoo? Or both, depending on how you feel about tattoos?

    • Muzman says:

      My money was on poorly placed liposuction scars.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      Perhaps she is really a folded origami model?

  16. CaspianRoach says:

    Borderlands had similar texture streaming system but it didn’t re-load textures it just loaded. Take notes, id!

    • simoroth says:

      Borderlands uses traditional texture mapping. This game uses Megatexturing, its very, very different.

      The core issue is its very memory intensive, but bandwidth for streaming from Ram to main memory hasn’t caught up, and since you cant prebuffer several gig of texture maps in the GPU memory, the game is completely dependant on the speed of your PCI bus.

  17. Hoaxfish says:

    Rage has stopped working

    Sounds like an existential dilema

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Click wherever you want to restart again in apathy mode, or not, whatever.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Christian says:

    According to the Giant Bomb Quicklook, the tearing and missing textures while spinning around are the weak-point of the engine. They quoted someone from id (John Carmack even?) saying that you could easily break the engine that way if you wanted to and there’s no way they’re going to fix it.

    Also, regarding gameplay, both Destructoid and Ars Technica have nice reviews up..also the Quick Look was an eye opener for me. Sure glad I didn’t pre-order this one..

    [edit]
    Hmm, strange though. According to the reviews (for xbox), it doesn’t have a checkpoint system for savegames, only manual saving. So I was thinking maybe they had the pc as lead-platform..but the missing options seem to tell another story here.

    • alundra says:

      The game is just a huge mess, Ars’ review is for the 360 version of the game, which was the rumored (or real?) target platform, the impression is that the game is just another bland demo of ID latest engine, just without the technical problems on PC (and PS3 I’ve read).

      I almost feel sorry for the mounds of legion of doom followers that wasted their money on pre order.

    • GoodPatton says:

      If I remember correctly Carmack described the easiest way to break the engine would be on 360 by leaving an area then returning to the area by walking backwards and then turning around as fast as possible.

      I had hoped texture loading would be a little less obvious on PC!

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      They quoted someone from id (John Carmack even?) saying that you could easily break the engine that way if you wanted to and there’s no way they’re going to fix it.

      What a piece of junk. If that’s true…well, it’s quite hard to believe.

      Did they actually design it so that turning up your mouse sensitivity breaks the graphics? There’s not enough RAM to store the necessary textures for your immediate surroundings?

      It screams “we designed this engine based on console limitations.”

    • alundra says:

      ah well, I couldn’t know for sure, everyone but the usual pre-paid-reviews sites like IGN or EGM tell horror stories about the game, the impression I’ve got is that the x360 version of the game is the less bugged one, don’t quote me on that though.

      the videos I’ve seen in youtube look totally pathetic, and I’m not sure where the logic lies in waiting for a driver update for the greens or the reds, is a driver update going to add decent options and/or patch the game to a non beta stage???

    • Premium User Badge

      Christian says:

      I’ve found the mention, it’s in their review of the xbox-version at about 30 minutes in where they qoute him from QuakeCon:

      http://www.giantbomb.com/quick-look-rage/17-4996/

      And it seems this is really engine-related.

      But apart from that..it just seems a bit boring to play (but the character’s animations when they are talking and not just standing around sure look nice)..

  19. Halcyon says:

    I am experiencing all of the same issues listed above, fwiw. I don’t want to be just another whining internet citizen, but I will say this: This is the last game that I purchase based solely on the assumption that ID makes quality PC games.

  20. Dreamhacker says:

    I don’t get it, I thought id were widely recognized as masters of graphics programming?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      yea, that’s a little disconcerting… maybe they’s masters of ipad programming now, and their PC porting is terrible

    • The Colonel says:

      To be fair, presumably the purpose of the mega-texture streaming business was to make a console game look much much better than it could otherwise have looked. PC games can look that good without clever programming tricks, but they were hardly going to write one set of code for the console and another for the PC release.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You don’t need separate branches of code. You need one bit of code that detects available RAM and scales the cache size accordingly. Basic, basic stuff.

    • The Colonel says:

      I’d be surprised if Carmack missed “basic, basic stuff”. Knowing nothing about how the MegaTexturing works, I have no idea why it doesn’t just stuff all the textures it’s already loaded around you into the RAM. Presumably it doesn’t do that for a reason.

    • rocketman71 says:

      “WERE” being the key word in that sentence.

    • carn1x says:

      I thought one of the major reasons for Megatexture was to provide artists with unlimited freedom to style any part of the landscape without repercussions? Traditional games overlay multiple textures on top of each other, which has performance drawbacks if unchecked. I’m fairly sure ET:QW used Megatexture as well, although I can imagine Rage’s implementation has been drastically amped up, perhaps too far?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Caching is conceptually identical on all levels of hardware and software. If you can’t implement it properly, you’ve seriously fucked up.

      Besides, when your results are shit, nobody cares about your excuses. If you can’t make it work properly, don’t release it.

    • Srethron says:

      Regarding the blurriness while the texture loads: If I understand Carmack’s Quakecon 2011 Keynote correctly, any given render the player sees is a 4096×4096 texture getting assembled Minecraft style from something ridiculous like ~20TB of state of the art compressed texture data and then streamed in, hence his remarks about the blurriness being at its worst if one backs into an area and then suddenly flips one’s view 180 degrees. I don’t know how long it takes to stream something that big at the engine’s 60 FPS, but I’m guessing a while.

      The advantage of the megatexture tech seems to have been allowing id’s artists to create assets in (1) an efficient pipeline, (2) where they didn’t have to worry about resource constraints and (3) could thus go nuts. Apparently from “is it a playable experience?”, this fails? =/

  21. ehukai says:

    I’m running a GeForce 560 Ti and haven’t had any problem other than screen tearing. I wonder if all of this is Radeon related. If so, then I wonder what that says about id’s testing environment.

  22. Teddy Leach says:

    Dan Hagar could do nothing but stare onwards in horror as the disembodied hand floated nearby and congratulated him on his choice of shades.

  23. G915 says:

    Suddenly, I’m not so bummed that I couldn’t preorder this game in EU.

  24. Ramshambo says:

    “No Custom settings for Video Cards”

    Sad, very very sad right now.

  25. DeanLearner says:

    This whole updating drivers each time a game is released is getting ridiculous. It seems like a certain lack of respect is granted to PC gamers.

  26. Pasperix says:

    I am experiencing sadness as well as rage; this game delivers more than it promises in that respect. Starting to wonder if I should get the console version instead…

    • Teddy Leach says:

      You can’t experience Sadness yet. That’s the sequel.

    • RaytraceRat says:

      nowadays it will be a DLC

    • The Colonel says:

      You can already purchase three Sadness animations for your character’s face (you can’t see it but NPCs in the game will be impressed by your emotional range): Crying, Frowning and Just Kinda Sad Looking. These are available from the idStore for £1.99 each. You can buy a pack containing all animations, hats, clothes colours and patterns for £31.99.

  27. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    PC Gamer seem to have played it at id HQ and by the sounds of it they were there with all other PC Journos, I’m fairly certain id have pulled a bait & switch here.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Did PC Gamer UK actually write a review based solely on that experience? Wow. That’s extremely disappointing.

    • Choca says:

      And that’s why you never review a game in a controlled environment at the publisher’s place.

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      To be fair to them the only reason we know that’s how ALL PC Journo’s reviews were written is because PC Gamer UK done the Due Dilligence and admitted it, as far as i can tell, they’re the only ones who did.

    • Ed123 says:

      Didn’t PC Gamer used to harp on about how they would NEVER do anything like that? They had a little blurb at the start of the review section iirc.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Yeah, “never review beta code”. So much for honest game journalism.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Yeah, “never review beta code”. So much for honest game journalism.

      I’m pretty sure they were reviewing beta code at least as far back as 2004; I remember the Battlefield Vietnam review explicitly mentioned a B-52 vehicle that was apparently taken out in the beta (pissed me off royally, along with the god-awful game performance).

      Pretty much why I stopped buying the magazine.

  28. killmachine says:

    brink also has virtual textures and also had massive problems with ati/amd cards at launch. there was the gridding issue as well, but that had been fixed shortly after release.

    the bad ati/amd performance still persists though. hoping id can sort that out.. gonna wait and see. sorry for the pre order folks, or am i? no, actually i’m not. i learned that apparently it’s impossible to release a game without major bugs and don’t pre order anthing anymore.

    • Jesse L says:

      And isn’t that the truth? I don’t preorder PC games for the same reason. Red Orchestra 2 ALMOST almost almost had my money, but somehow I managed to resist pre-ordering and now I’m so glad I did. Is anyone keeping track of the percentage of mainstream PC games that launch broken for a significant portion of the player base? Is it more or less than 50%?

      Fingers crossed for Skyrim; it’s the only day-one buy for me this year. That and Dark Souls for Xbox which arrives today (!!!!!), can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait…

    • The Colonel says:

      You made an error not buying RO2 on release. I started playing a week after release and everyone is already almost infinitely better than me! :(

    • vodkarn says:

      “Fingers crossed for Skyrim; i”

      Oh you poor poor man.

    • jonfitt says:

      Fingers crossed for Skyrim? Fingers crossed for a working Bethesda game on a new engine?
      Thanks for making me spit out my tea!

  29. clownst0pper says:

    Buying an ATI HD5870 is the worst thing I’ve ever done to my PC. It’s just a constant driver and frame rate battle. Brink runs like shit as well despite my spec being way way over so no doubt RAGE
    will run bollocks too.

    Cannot wait to go back to Nvidia.

    • evilbobthebob says:

      Of course it’s AMD’s fault that the game doesn’t run correctly on their graphics cards. It couldn’t possibly be lazy testing on the part of developers who for some reason can’t acknowledge the only other major player in the dedicated graphics market because of the cash thrown at them by Nvidia.

    • Starky says:

      Yet my 5770 runs everything like a dream at 1080p (maybe not quite fully MAXED, but usually on high with a bit of AA).

      I suppose it is just luck of the specific system setup.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      I’ve always had ATI cards. I recently jumped ship to GTX560ti and it’s a whole new world. It’s coped splendidly with everything I’ve thrown at it (Metro 2033, RO2, BF3 beta all spot on). And this is on an old 6600@3.1!

      It’s not good for gamer’s in the long run but the difference is huge. This just confounds it.

    • Starky says:

      I tend to switch every card update – NV MX440 > ATI 9550 > NV 6800 (vanillia AGP) > ATI x1950 pro > NV 8800GT (g92) > ATI 5770

      I’m thinking about replacing it with a 560 Ti also actually, as soon as prices for them drop below £150.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Have a 6950 at the moment and not had a single issue with it. Everything, excluding games with “experimental” DirectX 11 modes (e.g Metro 2033 and Crysis 2), has worked pretty much perfectly on max settings at my native resolution of 1680×1050. Before this card I had a 4850, which also gave brilliant performance and reportedly still does to this day.

      I have absolutely no idea what anyone here is taking about regarding bad Ati cards and the poor performance this year. Off the top of my head, I can only think of this and Brink (worked fine for me,) that have had poor performance on Ati, both of which sound like they have numerous faults on cards from both manufacturers.

  30. thesmileman says:

    That supposed updated does nothing for the random artifact flashing which is all over the entire screen. Right now the game is simply unplayable on most ATI graphics cards. Just look at the Steam forum.

  31. db1331 says:

    Well that’s what you get for buying the PC version. Didn’t you see the TV spot where Rage was touted as the “BEST CONSOLE GAME”? Who knows how good the PC version is. To be fair to id though, they never made any claims as to the quality of the PC version.

  32. staberas says:

    … and thats what happens when you develop games with consoles in mind.

  33. Unaco says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I91AG2BhcI

    That’s a video of the MegaTexture Streaming system being… well… being a bit sh*t really.

    • The Colonel says:

      Ok I take back my previous defence of the MegaTextures. That’s not acceptable for PC at all. Why can’t it hold textures in the RAM?

    • Rasgueado says:

      Wow… well now I understand why some people would be upset by that pop in. It doesn’t look anything like that for me.

    • db1331 says:

      If you guys want a laugh, watch that youtube link, then read this article where someone from id stated that developing for consoles instead of PC actually gives more depth than it takes away:

      http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/09/20/id-software-ceo-consoles-give-more-depth-than-they-take-away/

    • Jar says:

      Wow, that is quite horrific and I can understand the vitriol.

      I can say that I was worried that my GeForce 570 on a 2560×1600 display would end up being starved of video memory and cause graphic anomalies, and after hearing reports of texture pop-in I kept trying to do the spin-and-see and just did not see anything of the sort.

      I figured that people were being over-sensitive, but that video is unacceptable.

      I would recommend that anybody interested in the tech and Carmack’s thoughts on the development cycles for the console vs. the PC listen to his keynote at quakecon this year. Hint: it is absolutely not a console “port”, though I can see where people get that idea after seeing that video.

      He does not pull any punches on his thoughts and frustrations with the state of display drivers, and if you have ever had to use the various tweak panels for doing things like forcing AA, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that a lot of functions that I always assumed to be handled “behind the scenes” are in reality just profile definitions custom built for the various game engines.

      It seems that both nvidia and ATI/AMD are guilty of really just hacking support in by forcing certain behavior if certain conditions are met (ie. if the executable is named whatever.exe). It isn’t exactly graceful. And when new “drivers” are released with a big game, it often times is just all of the various tweaks for that particular game pre-defined to mask the shortcomings of the driver, the API, the game engine, or a combination of the 3.

      It seems to me that RAGE, like all of id’s games, was written with the audacious expectation that the display drivers have their collective shit together. Which is a pretty foolish position to take, but really what can you do?

      I imagine that in the next couple of days we will see drivers released with more cooperative pre-set profiles in place to better deal with the game.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @db1331 That’s not someone, that’s hollowh… I mean, Hollenshead, and his credibility is as low as fourzerotwo’s.

      Ignore whatever they say. Them, Pachter and CliffyB form the poker of inanity of the gaming industry.

      And Molyneux is the Joker.

    • LintMan says:

      Crap! The guy who made that video has the same video card as the one I just bought! And my Rage pre-order just arrived from Amazon. :-(

  34. Rasgueado says:

    I’m going to be in the minority on this one, but the GPU Transcoding option doesn’t strike me as either “shoddy” or “horrific.” I like to be able to individually set settings as much as the next guy (I’ll admit having to force vsync on in my driver control panel was irritating as the tearing was atrocious) but if the game can figure out what settings your computer can handle automatically what’s so bad about that? The issue in this case is that it doesn’t seem to be able to do that… but if it *did* work right, would that be awful?

    Otherwise the game for me seems to work fine. The pop is pretty minimal, and I’ve had no issues otherwise to this point with the exception of having to force Vsync on with my drivers to stop the constant tearing.

    • The Colonel says:

      Well it is a problem if the auto-detect is skewed in favour of providing best fidelity. There are millions of possible combinations of components, so not being able to turn off certain features to get back some FPS, or turn off the annoying features (motion blur and most depth of field for me) prevents people running the game as well as it could be running AND how they would like it to look.

      It’s not a big deal, it’s just an unnecessary system which takes away some control from the player. Many people will be happy to just be able to start the game without having to go through all the graphics options first, maybe even most. It’s the lack of an Advanced Options tab to tweak.

    • LintMan says:

      The problem with the game auto-selecting the quality/performance balance for you is that everyone’s preference is different. One person might prefer high quality graphics at 30fps, while another with an identical system might think anything less than 60fps is unplayable. If you aren’t given a choice, someone’s going to be unhappy.

  35. Thecolours says:

    Anything about a driver update for Vista users?

  36. Tei says:

    We need a new imagemacro. One with anakin in the lava with the words “you was the promised oneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”. I trought this was the ultimate iD game, with excellent tecnical qualities, and story, characters, and gameplay. Has nothing. The reviews make the game look like a dull game. No redeaming features other than graphics.
    On the PC, the game is a techdemo of why choosing this engine for a game is a bad idea.

    John Carmack and the device drivers engineers of ATI can fix the tecnical problem. But the game will still have the stupidity of console menus (press enter to be able to enter the menu to quit, few graphic options, etc) and will still dull.

    So this what are a published usefull for. To limit John Carmack time programming. So he don’t dedicate time to remove this horrible bugs from the other 50% of PC users that don’t use nvidia. It don’t seems like us gamers are getting anything positive from id merge into Bethesda, maybe we have lose another dev to the console world :-(

  37. Hakkesshu says:

    The Rage specific driver does precisely jack shit

  38. Bull0 says:

    Almost preordered this a couple of hours ago.

    Dodged that bullet.

  39. LGM says:

    The Ars review has me saying “no thanks!”. The whole, “go there, talk to that person, go there, talk to that person, then go here and get that, then go back and talk to that person so he can tell you to drive out into the desert, press a button, then drive back to town” is just insane.

    So glad I changed my mind on pre-ordering this a while back.

  40. Eclipse says:

    No Vsync? wtf with you, Id?

    • Biggie says:

      I believe the lack of v-sync option is because the game will run at 60 v-synced unless the render miss a frame and then it will tear. Well that is how it is supposed to work.

  41. Tuor says:

    Now we know why the game is called “Rage”.

    An appropriate title, eh?

  42. Premium User Badge

    Makariel says:

    Being a Radeon-owner I cancelled my pre-order and wait until at least a couple of patches. I am very disappointed :-(

    • voidburn says:

      Thankfully I was able to cancel the preorder, the PC footage is outrageous. This will land in my steam account at a very later date, possibly when the price also is sized according to the 8 hours or so of game-play. I’m sick of this shit, lately even indie games are capable of delivering game-play > 50 hours.

      I gave in initially for the new engine, only for what, discovering that my 5870 + i7 980X and 12 gigs of ram can’t deliver 1080p as well as a fuckin’ xbox 360? Are we frickin’ kiddin’? They might think there’s no limit to the bullshit that pc gamers can withstand, but I hope they’re proved wrong. Thanks god they delayed the release in europe by 2 days, saved me some bucks!

    • psyk says:

      Most 360 games aren’t 1080p and most of them don’t have any aa so your rage is kinda misplaced

      edit – you also never said what your mb was.

    • Dervish says:

      even indie games are capable of delivering game-play > 50 hours

      I like how you say “even” as if it’s harder for indie games to make more content despite their comparatively primitive assets and mechanics.

    • voidburn says:

      @ Psyk: My mb is a Rampage II Extreme from Asus.
      @ Dervish: Fair enough, my point being: I value a game by price/fun/lifespan, I don’t pretend everyone does the same.

  43. Chris D says:

    Generally I am against violence in real life but I think it is the duty of all reasonhable people to uncover the identity of whoever is responsible for that “A problem has caused the program to stop working correctly” message and have them hunted down with dogs.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      What problem? WHAT? Throw me a bone here, MS!
      I would like to volunteer my services for your witch hunt.

  44. King Kong says:

    It’s funny to see people say “new id game” as though these are the same people that made Doom 2 and Quake 3

    • Bull0 says:

      Same lead programmer, same lead artist to name a couple – there are probably more, I can’t find a good source for the RAGE credits

      *edit* Lead designer was the level designer on quake 3

      They were a pretty small outfit back then and a lot of the heavyweights have stayed on as leads. We aren’t talking about Starbreeze here

  45. moarage says:

    just wondering, isn’t RPS UK based? and isn’t the releasedate of Rage the 7th for it?

    • Unaco says:

      Yes… But I believe RPS are also ‘Press’, and so get review code early for a number of games.

    • sneetch says:

      I believe the term “ne’er do wells” fits RPS better than “press”.

    • Salt says:

      There was some polite complaining in the opening of another story posted today about not being given early access to the game, despite RPS indeed being press.

      I imagine Alec was able to download it early by making some servers think he’s in America. Probably by sacrificing a goat over his router.

  46. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    General vibe seems to be: If you have an Ati card, cancel your preorder.

    What a shame.

    • alundra says:

      The game itself is dull enough to guarantee waiting until it hits the bargain bin, and even purchasing an nvidia card won’t fix that.

  47. ResonanceCascade says:

    Wow, didn’t expect this. Doom 3 was a system hog when it was released, but it certainly wasn’t buggy. In fact, it was probably the least buggy AAA game I’ve played in the last 10 years at launch. The fact that Rage is so broken for so many people is a huge shame. Didn’t id notice that it’s OK to make a proper PC game again?

    • Tuor says:

      They’re not an independent company anymore. They were bought up by ZeniMax Media. So, the answer is, “No, they didn’t.” Too bad, but it appears iD has gone to the Dark Side.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Who can truly be said to be independent?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I KNOW they’re owned by Bethesdamax. That’s not exactly top secret information. :P

      Anyway, I forgot about a big shpiel Carmack went on a few months ago implying that they kinda botched the PC development, and next time it will be the lead platform again. Someone posted a transcript at the Bethesda boards, it’s worth a read. So maybe next time if we’re lucky.

    • wazups2x says:

      “Who can truly be said to be independent?”

      Valve.

  48. Pobblepop says:

    This is interesting as just about every interview I’ve seen with Carmack over the last year he went on and on about making sure it was going to run smoothly at 60fps on whatever hardware it was installed on. Seems like so much guff and bruhaha now.

  49. wodin says:

    Oh bugger…it sounds wanked…no graphic options? Is that a bug or WAD?

    Those mega textures sound mega shit…

    Also 20 gig download? Lots of game but….oh fuck em.

  50. kit89 says:

    It should be pointed out that Rage’s graphics use the OpenGL library. Nvidia have always been well known to support both OpenGL and DirectX exceptionally well. However ATi has always been lacking good OpenGL support.

    The Rage technology is primarily focused on texture streaming, now sadly, texture streaming is a horribly slow process. As it requires the data to be loaded to RAM and then streamed to GPU-RAM. This is an exceptionally slow process.

    PC has always avoided streaming content by having a massive amount of GPU-/RAM, allowing all the content required for a particular level to be already loaded. Consoles on the other hand are designed to stream massive amounts of data continuously.

    In many cases the problem is not with Rage but with poor driver support. In many cases you should be thanking id software for forcing them to improve their drivers and subsequently their performance.

    • Khemm says:

      Soooo… thank you id for making a crappy engine tailored for consoles?

    • Starky says:

      You really didn’t read what he said did you? or just read what you wanted to read.

      Like it or not this engine does highlight a flaw in the PC ram/g-ram relationship – and mostly a flaw in driver design, one that should be fixed and should have been fixed YEARS ago – but wasn’t because PCs can just fix any data transfer issue in games by upping the ram requirement.

      PC games use 5 times more graphics ram than they need too – it’s sloppy an inefficient, and just because ram is cheap and graphics card makers can just slap on more ram doesn’t fix the issue.

      Not if we want technology to progress, mega textures is a new concept, one which might in a few years time (and Rage is very much an alpha of the technology) offer texture resolution so high that there will be no such thing as texture settings in game because any system will be able to run at massively high resolution textures.

    • cliffski says:

      But id aren’t people who write drivers, they are making a game, and apparently, selling it at full price on the PC, which means that, love it or hate it, they have to work around the particular issues that the PC has, as a gaming platform.
      Just recompiling your console game with its console-focused engine and hoping for the best is fine, but expect pc gamers to be angry as hell and not to buy it.

      I find the whole issue of texture change speed to be a pain on ALL graphics cards, but I dont just ship a slow, buggy game and point the finger at driver programmers, but I go to horrid pains to write my engine around that issue. That’s what you do, when you make PC games.

    • Starky says:

      Cliffski, id didn’t recompile anything, seriously watch Carmacks quakecon 2011 keynote.

      While I with you that id perhaps needed to bend more to the limitations of PC hardware design, and probably wouldn’t have had these issues – they’d have had to fundamentally change what they were trying to achieve.

      id have never been about just making games though have they? They’ve (and carmack especially) have always been about pushing technology to it’s absolute limit.
      From what carmack says (and his speech is pretty open and frank) there pretty much was no way around the limitations – either they had to put up with some texture loading issues, or abandon mega-texturing entirely.

      PC graphics drivers are in a piss poor state, you as a game developer should know that better than me (I’m a electronics hardware guy, my programming doesn’t go much beyond C in micro processors), and it is something that needs to be highlighted in order to force Nvidia and ATI to do something about their fractured per application patching approach to driver design.

      you could reasonably argue that id are not the ones to do it, and I’d somewhat agree with you – but I’m just glad someone has.