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O:MFG! - SOE Finally Optimizes PlanetSide 2

Whoa. I'm so shiny, I can see a mirror's reflection in myself.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say SOE wanted to keep PlanetSide 2 all to itself. That would explain why the technicolor dream MMOFPS has been the stuff of mid (and even some high) range rigs’ nightmares since day one. But then, nobody likes the idea of being desperately poor and all alone forever, so I’m guessing SOE just made a gigantic boo-boo on its priority list. But now, finally, it’s managed to set all of that right with a huge optimization patch. If your machine choked, sputtered, and excused itself from the table (or life) after trying a bite of PlanetSide 2, now might be the time to give it another go.

Here are the many multifarious fruits of O:MFG – aka, Operation: Make Faster Game, whose goal, amazingly, was to make the game run faster. This is just a portion of a massive list of patch notes.

  • Refactored game rendering to better utilize multiple CPU cores. The same has been done for UI rendering.
  • Optimized the CPU cost of some purely aesthetic physics objects
  • Added adaptive complexity levels for physics simulations based on current client performance
  • Disabled redundant physics processing between remotely-simulated vehicles
  • Improved simulations between complex compound shapes, primarily vehicles
  • Sound emitter optimization
  • Numerous optimizations have been done to remote character processing to reduce the cost of per-player processing.
  • We found that players getting in and out of vehicles was causing some performance issues. This has been addressed and is working as expected, now.
  • Audio asset clean-up
  • Added a frame rate smoothing option. (This is on by default and trust us, you probably want this. It will make your frame rate smoother and reduce spikes. Your FPS counter will show as lower overall, but that’s not a bad thing.)
  • Adjusted the default graphics settings. (If you push Reset to Default, it will set the graphics settings appropriate for your system.)

As for who should benefit most from this, technical director Ryan Elam explained that SOE focused on machines owned by 80 percent of PS2’s player base. That means quad-core or above, AMD and Intel, 4G or more RAM, Windows 64-bit, and AMD and nVidia GPUs. CPUs, however, got the bulk of the focus, as “it’s a great deal easier to lower GPU settings when you want higher FPS.”

Apparently, players have been seeing performance increases well over 30 percent in 100-person warbattles, which is quite a pie-in-the-sky-scraping leap if true.

This is just O:MFG 1, too. SOE’s not finished applying spit-and-shine to its game’s rustier bits, so expect more improvements soon-ishly. For now, though, how’s the new and improved PlanetSide 2 running for you? Was this update worth all the hoopla, or is it simply a matter of too little, too late?

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Nathan Grayson

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