Path of Exile’s devs say its performance issues are down to ‘calculation complexity,’ not the engine

    
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The word “performance” is being kicked around the Path of Exile community kind of a lot lately, but lest you think Grinding Gear Games is ignoring the din, the studio posted up a dev blog all about the game’s performance issues last night to “reassure [players] that [GGG] is working on them.”

“What normally happens when you engage a pack of monsters is that your attacks quickly cull out the weak ones, leaving just a few strong targets,” the studio explains. “In Blight, however, the weak ones last for much longer. As you know, Path of Exile has a very complicated stat system with tens of thousands of different values that your character can have. […] Blight combat is an order of magnitude more strenuous on our servers than regular map content.” Initially, GGG just threw more servers at the problem, but it’s now suffering a CPU bottleneck, so the team is still “trying to find a solution that will reduce the calculation complexity without compromising gameplay.”

Also a high priority for the team? Dealing with minion gameplay, as so many people are playing minion builds that it’s causing problems there too. Either way, GGG doesn’t want folks to blame the engine or its optimization.

“Almost all of the performance problems that Path of Exile suffers from are related to gameplay systems and decisions we have made there. For the reasons described above, Blight is a league with performance problems. We made a conscious decision to try this type of league, and it’s entirely appropriate to blame us and this decision for the poor performance that you may encounter while playing this content. We weren’t expecting it to be this bad, and are working on fixing it. No matter what engine we are using, Path of Exile would be slow in its current state due to the gameplay decisions we have made: calculating too many things on the server and rendering too many things on the client. It may seem arbitrary and defensive for us to point out the difference between the engine and the gameplay systems, but the reason is that the engine is going to be part of Path of Exile forever, but the gameplay code comes and goes as things are added and removed. We don’t want leagues to have performance issues, and this informs the decisions we make about future content development.”

The 3.8.1 update is also live this week with hefty tweaks to Blight league mechanics, including better reward chests, reduced spawn, and tons of bug fixes.

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Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

You’d think they’d have prepped better for a Minion Master being FOTM, seeing as it was the focus of the league updates, and each league’s focused build tend to be the FOTM. Then again, Captain Hindsight and all that.

Still, I’ve enjoyed the league a bit more than I thought I would, and as someone that plays a lot of Minion builds, the Minion changes are pretty great.

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Tee Parsley

While not super hardcore, nor a great theory-crafter, I’ve got a Scion build that’s kicking ass on the run up now. Hope she survives the patch change….