XCOM 2 Dev is "Working Furiously" To Fix Framerate Issues

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XCOM 2 Dev is "Working Furiously" To Fix Framerate Issues

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XCOM 2 developer Firaxis claims it "didn't know it would be like this at launch" in regards to technical issues.

XCOM 2, while receiving some favorable ratings, still has a bunch of issues to iron out, the top one being its inconsistent framerate on certain PC setups. The good news is that developer Firaxis is "working furiously" to fix all of these issues, and has issued a statement to Rock, Paper, Shotgun detailing the problems and their upcoming fixes.

"[The technical issues are] the first thing we talk about about when we come in in the morning", claims lead designer Jake Solomon. "We take it incredibly seriously. Me and all the leads, that's what we work on all day and that's what we're committed to right now."

"I can honestly say that we didn't know it would be this way at launch," continued Solomon, musing that "maybe it was our optimism about our new deferred renderer and MSAA - a lot of little things like that."

"Maybe this is damning on me, but I'm sitting here talking to you now on the laptop I use to play it on," explained Solomon, "and I didn't see these issues. We didn't catch this stuff in compatibility testing. We're fully, fully accountable for the product in people's hands, so we certainly take responsibility for it."

He said that while he couldn't give any exact dates as to when the fixes would be rolled out, they would be coming "soon".

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Permalink

Glad to hear it, but stuff like this would always be better to hear right after the actual release when the issues became apparent. You know, not half a month later.

While they are at it, I would really like a launcher which doesn't use ModLauncherWPF. I just want to play the base game, but I can't do so, since the ModLauncherWPF has a fatal .NET error every time I try to start up the game.

Wow, those screenshots look really sweet. The armors, the weapons, and the aliens. Everything is so shiny and vibrant. I hope they fix their issues soon, as I really want this game to succeed.

But I'm sure by the time I'll get to play it, in a year or two, things will be smooth.

So I was justified to wait, but this is one of the few new releases I'm looking forward to thus far. I was really happy with the first reboot, so I'm looking forward to when it's in a price range that I can manage.

Super weird they didn't catch these issues. My computer is somewhat old now but uses very standard hardware and based on their recommended specs should be fully capable of running this game flawlessly, and while the frame rate is fine most of the time now and then I'll get a sudden single digit fps or a load screen that straight up freezes for seconds at a time.

So nice to hear they're addressing it.

Amaror:
Glad to hear it, but stuff like this would always be better to hear right after the actual release when the issues became apparent. You know, not half a month later.

Look on the bright side, they could take the DICE route and aggressively claim everything is working as intended for three months, then admit there might be some minor issues, maybe, that they might look at addressing.

Will they be doing something about the loading times too? As the game progresses, the after-mission loading times to get back to your base keep growing to over a minute.

It's a great game, but seriously, the amount of technical problems and graphical glitches (including quite a few that were in the first game too) is somewhere in the Assasin's Creed: Unity catagory.

Amaror:
Glad to hear it, but stuff like this would always be better to hear right after the actual release when the issues became apparent. You know, not half a month later.

Considering most publishers would flat out ignore the issue or try to brush it off, I don't mind. I think Firaxis wanted to get an idea of the issue, before making a public announcement.

Also, he admitted that they made a mistake and gave an honest answer. The game runs well on my PC(not ultra settings, but it still looks nice) and aside from the occasional minor bug or frame loss, the game runs well in all other respects.
Aside from the loading screen, of course.

fix-the-spade:

Amaror:
Glad to hear it, but stuff like this would always be better to hear right after the actual release when the issues became apparent. You know, not half a month later.

Look on the bright side, they could take the DICE route and aggressively claim everything is working as intended for three months, then admit there might be some minor issues, maybe, that they might look at addressing.

As I said it's still nice to hear, but having more experiences with indie devs or devs like the Paradox development studio just showed me personally how lacking the communication from most of the larger development studios truly is.
Your customers are not completely unreasonable, developers. If you show them that you heard them, they will be more patient and let you do your work. It's when you ignore them that they get pissed of.

Renegade-pizza:

Considering most publishers would flat out ignore the issue or try to brush it off, I don't mind. I think Firaxis wanted to get an idea of the issue, before making a public announcement.

Also, he admitted that they made a mistake and gave an honest answer. The game runs well on my PC(not ultra settings, but it still looks nice) and aside from the occasional minor bug or frame loss, the game runs well in all other respects.
Aside from the loading screen, of course.

As I said it is nice to hear. And stop with the "It works for me, so everyone else obviously just has a sh***y computer" defense. That's not a valid defense and you know it. Lots of people have issues with the performance and just because you don't doesn't mean that the problem doesn't exist. I personally can run the game pretty good as well if I tweak the settings accordingly, but it's still really really obvious that the game was barely optimised. Considering the graphics of the game and that most of the game is top-down, which means less things to render, the performance is pitifull especially comparing it to better looking games like The Witcher 3 or MGS 5.
What makes it worse, in my opinion, are the, sometimes huge, response delays after actions. Shoot at an alien and you suddenly have to wait 3 seconds for the game to continue. Give an order and it takes the game a second or two to actually do it. This doesn't happen in all the cases but it's annoying when it does. This is not a good performance. Not at all.
But as I said it's good to know that they work on it, it would just be nice to hear that earlier. Communication is key if you release a poorly optimised game like this.

bificommander:
Will they be doing something about the loading times too? As the game progresses, the after-mission loading times to get back to your base keep growing to over a minute.

You can press Caps Lock and that would (almost) skip the loading screen. If your hardware is rather old, it might crash the game but overall, it seems to work for most people.

bificommander:
It's a great game, but seriously, the amount of technical problems and graphical glitches (including quite a few that were in the first game too) is somewhere in the Assasin's Creed: Unity catagory.

Really? Because I can't really see that. Sure, there are some glitches here and there, some performance issues, too but I've hit worse in the previous game. And that was when I played it at the end of 2014 - so way after launch. There haven't been any patches for it after I started playing it and I'd hit way bigger bugs more frequently than in this game - the grapple hook one, being a particularly terrible one. Comparing it to Unity doesn't do the game any justice.

Amaror:
What makes it worse, in my opinion, are the, sometimes huge, response delays after actions. Shoot at an alien and you suddenly have to wait 3 seconds for the game to continue. Give an order and it takes the game a second or two to actually do it. This doesn't happen in all the cases but it's annoying when it does. This is not a good performance. Not at all.

This is actually not a performance issue but rather part of the way the game works...for some reason. Which is why a smart individual created the "Stop wasting my time" mod for the game, which you should be able to find easily over Nexus mods or wherever you please. A little bit weird that you need a mod for such an obvious improvement, but it should still increase your enjoyment of the game.

Fat_Hippo:

Amaror:
What makes it worse, in my opinion, are the, sometimes huge, response delays after actions. Shoot at an alien and you suddenly have to wait 3 seconds for the game to continue. Give an order and it takes the game a second or two to actually do it. This doesn't happen in all the cases but it's annoying when it does. This is not a good performance. Not at all.

This is actually not a performance issue but rather part of the way the game works...for some reason. Which is why a smart individual created the "Stop wasting my time" mod for the game, which you should be able to find easily over Nexus mods or wherever you please. A little bit weird that you need a mod for such an obvious improvement, but it should still increase your enjoyment of the game.

Really?! Who thought THAT was a good idea. I get it if there are some fancy animations or something that the devs want to show of, but why would they make literally nothing happen on screen for a few seconds. It doesn't make any sense.
I thought it was a performance issue, because this is the sort of thing that would happen if the processor needed to catch up to what is happening on the screen or would wait for some ressources to load from the harddrive.
Hmmm... thinking about it ... maybe they once intended there to be animations for more stuff, but couldn't finish them and forgot to remove the pauses in the game?

bificommander:
Will they be doing something about the loading times too? As the game progresses, the after-mission loading times to get back to your base keep growing to over a minute.

Wait 2-3 seconds, then press capslock. Loading will complete almost instantly, with a very slight chance of crashing.

All of my issues went away the moment I turned of anti-aliasing, so I consider myself one of the lucky ones that I can play it with no FPS drops.

Hope they do get it fixed up though, I know a few people who have been having issues and really want to play it but can't.

Have both sides considered the poor framerate may be due to third party applications? Why do the players, and less so the developers, always assume it is the developer's fault when the players always have these obscure third party applications running in the background that interfere with the rendering chain?

Aren't there any decent third-party testing labs out there? If not, someone should start one. A warehouse space, a bunch of PC hardware- much of it slightly to moderately obsolete- and a slew of testers. As start-ups go, this would not be one of the more expensive ones.

And then we'd all get the pleasure when the information leaks came out: "Oh, hell, no, we told them it ran like crap, and they released it like that anyway."

That's great, now when will they fix the instability caused by the latest patch while using mods. They work fine, the thing just crashes every other mission or so. not a big deal given autosavve, just annoying.

EndlessSporadic:
Have both sides considered the poor framerate may be due to third party applications?

Both sides of...what?

But to answer your question - yes, it has been considered and it has been found that it's not the fault of third party applications. It's very very very easy to see that when you don't have any potentially problematic third party applications, when your hardware can run other games even better than this and also that when you turn off one graphics setting in XCOM, you immediately get a huge boost of performance. It pretty much completely rules out these "interferences" you're trying to sell. Moreover, there is the history we should also take into account - XCOM: EU had a slew of technical problems at start. It even still has some that were there initially, however, EW and patches have changed and alleviated most. Yet it remains a game that is very well known for having technical problems and those would be the ones caused by the developers.

I really don't get what you're trying to say here. Have you tried XCOM 2? I can only imagine you haven't, hence your comment, however, it's very easy to spot where the problem is when you play the game. The problems are in the game itself. That's not really a secret, either. I'm mostly not sure why Mr Solomon is said the words he did - I find it very hard to believe the problems were not noticed until release. I frankly think that Mr Solomon is lying. Or has been lied to. At any rate, what he explained wasn't the situation at Firaxis. It's not the case of the bug with custom voice packs which would crash the game if previewed from your armoury - that is something you can have slip past. The other bug with being unable to load a save where there are burrowed Chrysalids is also something I think is possible to miss. Probably shouldn't have been missed but possible. Performance? I don't think you can easily miss that. I don't think QA can easily miss that.

What I think Mr Solomon should have said is something like "We didn't expect there to be as many people affected by performance problems. We knew that some configurations may have hiccups but we didn't have the full picture. We apologise and we're working on it".

The Escapist sure did give this game a good score for something that has to be furiously worked on in order to fix basic issues. Pretty weird.

Ha, don't ever change Firaxis. I mean among the massive framerate drops, badly optimised AA and lack of multi-GPU support, we're left with a less-than-well optimised game which needs serious work. Hopefully this patch comes out soon and addresses most of these issues.

Broslinger:
The Escapist sure did give this game a good score for something that has to be furiously worked on in order to fix basic issues. Pretty weird.

I'd give this game a good score. And I have (for what it's worth) when I rated it over at GameFAQs. Yes, the game does have issues - easy to see issue, however, not ones that should take the enjoyment out of it. Although, I do hear of people (usually on older and/or lower end hardware) having much more pain with the game, which is weird, since it shouldn't be that bad. Yet apparently it is.

At any rate, the vast majority of issues are easy to overlook, really - there is a huge performance hit when you have AA on and for a lot of people Ambient Occlusion also causes problems[1] in some configurations VSync causes a huge noticeable slowdown, as well. Yeah - these are there. The good news is that if you disable those settings, the game tends to both run smooth and not really look much worse.

There was a problem to do with burrowed Chrysalids on a map - if you loaded a save with any of them, the game would crash or hang, however, that's been fixed with the first (and currently only) patch for the game. The patch also fixes a couple of other instances where the game would crash, however, those seem to be rarer.

The more prevalent problems are to do with performance and more to the point with it not being really consistent all the time. You'd get some spikes here and there. However, the thing is, as this is a turn based game, it really doesn't matter as much as with action games. Sure, it looks bad, but it's not unplayable. I'd take small hiccups here and there and there any day to play the game. Very rarely, but still notable, does it happen for the game to crash. I've played it for 40 hours, according to Steam, and it happened around 5 times. This is roughly 1 crash per 8-10 hours. I've heard other people report more frequent crashes, like for example, one every 4-5 hours. Which while, again - a problem, I don't really see it as too serious. Stability can and should be improved, however, having to just start up your game again once a play session or two doesn't seem like that big of a hit to the enjoyment playing.

A lot of the worse reports come from players with lower end and/or older hardware. And it's completely understandable - the old game was less demanding than this one, the improvements to the looks don't appear to be that big to justify the the increased performance cost[2]. I would not deny the legitimacy of these complaints - these are issues that should be addressed. I even think they should have been acknowledged by Mr Solomon - I'm not sure why the attempt at cover up on his part. However, with that said, these players are not the majority. As hash as that sounds. I can and do recognise their complaints as problems, however, at the same time, when the game works, it is a very good source of enjoyment.

[1] I kept it on - doesn't seem to matter on my machine
[2] in reality there have been lots of changes under the hood, but I wouldn't blame anybody for not noticing them. Yet even then, the vast increase in requirements seems...well, too vast.

EndlessSporadic:
The arrogance and ignorance in your comment is absurd. You assume that software has a direct and contained impact when certain settings are changed. "X directly impacts Y, therefore X is the problem" is an extremely flawed mentality.

So, you're going to dismiss hundreds of people on all sorts of hardware, all reporting the same and all coming to an agreement that AA is a big problem in this game because...wait, you don't actually have anything to support yourself. Just some arrogant and ignorant information. Firaxis themselves have acknowledged it as a problem - their latest patch removes AA 8x from the default max settings. That's a change in their first patch alongside fixes for reputable, reproducible game crashing bugs. Something tells me it's not completely random that they've done it.

EndlessSporadic:
This is not to say that the game itself isn't what is causing the issue, but it annoys me how people instantly jump on the developer and assume performance issues are always their fault instead of looking at their own environment and disabling programs that might cause interference caused by what I call "faulty hooks".

Cool. And we have only your word for it. On the other hand, we have hundreds of reports of the same behaviour across a multitude of platforms. Yeah - it's totally just clueless people running their mouths.

EndlessSporadic:
Have you ever wondered why people with the exact same hardware and in-game settings experience the game differently?

No, I wonder how you know there are people with the exact same hardware. You have any data you haven't shown us? How about you contact Firaxis with your findings instead of just snidely commenting on this thread here. Come on - you obviously know best what the issues are. They don't really need to be working furiously, if you've got it all figured out.

EndlessSporadic:
To prove to me that you aren't completely ignorant I want you to answer that question.

I am not entirely convinced you know what you're talking about. Come back to me with your official Firaxis response saying that you've solved their problem and then I'll care what you think of me. Right now, you're just trying to use techno-lingo to attempt to show you "know better than me" in vain attempt to show "you are right". Well, it ain't working. I expect a Firaxis seal of approval or acknowledgement that you don't really know better.

Broslinger:
The Escapist sure did give this game a good score for something that has to be furiously worked on in order to fix basic issues. Pretty weird.

Maybe, just maybe, it's because XCOM 2 is a legitimately great game, even WITH all of the issues?

Hmm...

Nah, the more reasonable assumption is that the people running the site were paid of/have shit taste in games/are evil.
Clearly.

Gundam GP01:

Broslinger:
The Escapist sure did give this game a good score for something that has to be furiously worked on in order to fix basic issues. Pretty weird.

Maybe, just maybe, it's because XCOM 2 is a legitimately great game, even WITH all of the issues?

Hmm...

Nah, the more reasonable assumption is that the people running the site were paid of/have shit taste in games/are evil.
Clearly.

I agree. The Escapist is shady with reviews. Isn't it weird that it wasn't even mentioned, even though the dev team needs to work furiously to address it?

Weird.

Broslinger:

Gundam GP01:

Broslinger:
The Escapist sure did give this game a good score for something that has to be furiously worked on in order to fix basic issues. Pretty weird.

Maybe, just maybe, it's because XCOM 2 is a legitimately great game, even WITH all of the issues?

Hmm...

Nah, the more reasonable assumption is that the people running the site were paid of/have shit taste in games/are evil.
Clearly.

I agree. The Escapist is shady with reviews. Isn't it weird that it wasn't even mentioned, even though the dev team needs to work furiously to address it?

Weird.

I was clearly being sarcastic there, dude.

In all seriousness, it's a turn based strategy game. Framerate isn't a make or break issue here.

Gundam GP01:

Broslinger:

Gundam GP01:

Maybe, just maybe, it's because XCOM 2 is a legitimately great game, even WITH all of the issues?

Hmm...

Nah, the more reasonable assumption is that the people running the site were paid of/have shit taste in games/are evil.
Clearly.

I agree. The Escapist is shady with reviews. Isn't it weird that it wasn't even mentioned, even though the dev team needs to work furiously to address it?

Weird.

I was clearly being sarcastic there, dude.

In all seriousness, it's a turn based strategy game. Framerate isn't a make or break issue here.

I was clearly making fun of you for trying to be sarcastic in text, buddy.

So why is the team working furiously to fix an issue that isn't a make or break issue?

Interesting fact: one of the most popular mods on the Steam Workshop for this game is called "Stop Wasting My Time" which cuts out a lot of animation to help framerate issues.

Broslinger:

Gundam GP01:

Broslinger:

I agree. The Escapist is shady with reviews. Isn't it weird that it wasn't even mentioned, even though the dev team needs to work furiously to address it?

Weird.

I was clearly being sarcastic there, dude.

In all seriousness, it's a turn based strategy game. Framerate isn't a make or break issue here.

I was clearly making fun of you for trying to be sarcastic in text, buddy.

What does that question have to do with anything? It's still an issue. I was explaining why someone might play the game, experience those issues, and still love the game.

Broslinger:

Interesting fact: one of the most popular mods on the Steam Workshop for this game is called "Stop Wasting My Time" which cuts out a lot of animation to help framerate issues.

Have you actually used that mod? It has nothing to do with framerate. It cuts out a bunch of delays at the ends of animations and actions so you can do stuff faster. Those changes would have nothing to do with the frame rate.

EndlessSporadic:

Because you are too retarded to look up how it works on your own. Ignorance doesn't protect you.

I can already tell that no matter what evidence I give you, you will just dismiss it because you don't want to admit you are wrong. Here's a tip for you. You never know who you are arguing with on the internet. For all you know I could work at a high profile game company with knowledge of how all of this works. For all I know you could be too, and ultimately it comes down to which one of us looks more ignorant when other people read our discussion. Considering you have contributed nothing to this conversation and have even shut down a valid point as "techno-lingo" you are looking way more ignorant than I am (though admittedly I look like the bigger douche, but one of us has to put the big boy pants on).

Have you tested and played the game yourself?
I did. With all the different external programms running and not running, except steam thats required. And lots of other people have done the same thing. And guess what? Doesn't do sh** to improve the performance.
So, yeah, this is just about a game not being optimized at all.
But glad we could hear your arrogant rants on the subject as you seem to be the sole expert on how performance works.

EndlessSporadic:

You have given me no evidence that you know what you are talking about either. I have given you descriptions and facts (that you can freely look up online) as well as describing the environment and all you have done is assault me back.

That's not evidence, that's an anecdote we have to take your word at.
Before you get on someone else's ass for not giving any evidence, you should probably give some yourself first.
And he hasn't fucking assaulted you, either.

EndlessSporadic:
Considering you have contributed nothing to this conversation and have even shut down a valid point as "techno-lingo" you are looking way more ignorant than I am (though admittedly I look like the bigger douche, but one of us has to put the big boy pants on).

Nope. Do-Po looks like the more informed party to me too.

And this is why we can't have nice things. We have all of these ill-informed people going around thinking they know how computers work, and thinking that everybody is like them. Just love to read between the lines and extract information that works in their favor, completely ignoring everything else. Any opinion that doesn't align with theirs is just flat out wrong, and because they have an opinion they are suddenly masters of the subject. Clearly YOU all have proven you know how computers, software, and game engines work, yes?

Gundam, the fact that you agree with his "No, I wonder how you know there are people with the exact same hardware." and think that is an educated and informed response just goes to show what you actually know as well. Go look at any AAA game on Steam and look through their bug report forums. You'll see a lot of people posting their hardware in the threads. Do you actually find it impossible that people can't have the same hardware and in-game settings? Is the thought of that so mind blowing that you don't consider it a possibility?

You know, messing up the overclock on your computer, running third party software, having faulty hardware, running a lot of applications at the same time, messing with config files, and/or running a cracked version of a game won't ruin performance at all. Nope. Totally the developer's fault. They need to cater to your every whim and make sure it runs perfectly with every other application known to man. Yup. Every. Single. Time.

Sure, Gundam. I'll go ahead and admit that while DoPo shot me with a rubber band I responded with shots from a tank (I can admit I got worked up and made a mistake), but that doesn't excuse the ignorance I am seeing from him/her/it and you (and how Amaror is implying he knows something about how performance works).

While I should be providing links to back up my statements, it doesn't mean they are wrong. As I said before ignorance doesn't mean you are innocent or correct, and by extension me not providing sources doesn't make me incorrect either. I made a claim. You are denying them and making claims yourself. Now you need to back up your claims if you want the high ground over me, otherwise you are no different.

I'd like to point back to my original comment for a moment and note that it was generic, as has been the rest of my points. Not once have I referenced XCOM2 in any of my arguments. I've played the game with absolutely no issues at all and was only making a comment about a worrying trend I've been seeing in our community. Whatever, I'm out. I can't deal with the level of ignorance shown by the users in this forum and how they are too half-assed to even look basic information up.

Alleged_Alec:
While they are at it, I would really like a launcher which doesn't use ModLauncherWPF. I just want to play the base game, but I can't do so, since the ModLauncherWPF has a fatal .NET error every time I try to start up the game.

try installing/reinstalling your net framework. sounds like its third party libraries thats crashing for you.

EndlessSporadic:
I am absolutely certain you are spouting nonsense as your comment implies you don't know how the rendering toolchain works or how applications like FRAPS works. FRAPS is a good example of this. FRAPS, MSI Afterburner, Steam, and even Skype all hook themselves directly onto what is called a "hook" (more on that here). The software will send out messages, and applications that are "hooked" to receive these messages will receive the message and will do a process defined by the hooked application or process (this is slightly different than a callback). Sometimes these applications or processes are poorly optimized or very intensive, and since these hooks are third party the developer can't do anything about it. Got a specific feature turned on? Certain third party software might hook into the rendering toolchain and if that feature is enabled it could cause serious performance issues.

The problem with your point here is that those third party programs use same hooks for all games, at least all games using same APIs since they hook through API (in this case DirectX). If those were the programs interfering, then they would do so in all games using same APIs. They dont though. In fact ive yet to see a case where Fraps hook has ever interfered with anything. I do remmeber cases where Xfire (now dead) and Raptr hooks would crash games with certain APIs. but that happened consistently with all games utilizing that. There are also games they fail to hook into. However i havent seen a case yet where they would have problem with only one specific game. Most of those hooks come "on top" of the regular rendering chain though, so they dont directly interfere with it (exception being things like SweetFX that directly hijack the directX render).

So unless you can give evidence of what you claim is happening, all im seeing is a bunch of hot air.

Strazdas:

Alleged_Alec:
While they are at it, I would really like a launcher which doesn't use ModLauncherWPF. I just want to play the base game, but I can't do so, since the ModLauncherWPF has a fatal .NET error every time I try to start up the game.

try installing/reinstalling your net framework. sounds like its third party libraries thats crashing for you.

Sounds unlikely. I've had this issue for multiple versions of .NEt with other software, but I'll try it anyhow.

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