Guild Wars 2 players built an unofficial addon manager and unofficial upgrade to DX12

    
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If you’re the sort of person who uses unofficial addons in Guild Wars 2 such as ArcDPS or the radial mount menu addon, then you’ll definitely want to know about the GW2 Addon Manager, a newly released utility that, as one would expect, makes managing addons easier.

Created by player Matthew Lee, this new utility not only lets players more easily activate or deactivate their chosen addons but also searches for updates to those addons and let users update them from the utility — no more manual installs. Of course, adding the manager does take a bit of manual work, such as placing the files in a folder on the same drive as the GW2 install and deleting any addon files currently in the system, but by and large this new utility looks to be pretty self-explanatory.

Speaking of addons, there’s also an addon that unofficially upgrades the game from DX9 to DX12, which results in a far prettier Guild Wars 2 experience provided your computer is capable of the load. This is another addon that can be managed by the addon manager, but there are also some specific instructions for anyone using this one. Additionally, there’s a video from GW2 streamer Mukluk with instructions and details of the addon manager after the break.

source: Github via Mukluk
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zaber

If anything this the same tech what Proton is doing with DX9 to Vulkan? As the engine need to be build, or updated for DX12 in mind. It does hit on the ToS if you get ban that was your own risk changing any files.

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Dave

I play on Linux using WINE and we use a tool called DXVK that translates DX9 (and 10 and 11) to Vulkan on the fly. It works well enough that I get better performance on Linux with DXVK than I do on my Macbook Pro with the Native client, lol.

(For those curious, DXVK is a part of Valve’s Proton suite for running Windows games on Linux).

I’ve heard of a few people using DXVK on Windows as well, though I don’t think the performance boost is quite AS good as the customized dx12 proxy tool is.

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Toy Clown

A few days ago I had discovered FFXIV’s Gshade worked with GW2 and I was thrilled! Now this?! I had no idea GW2 had mods and trying out DX12 is the first thing I’m doing when I log in tonight.

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Neurotic

I’d like to try all this out, but how dodgy is it, modding GW2? Don’t ANet disapprove?

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Greaterdivinity

Officially: Mods are bad, don’t mod.

Last I recall for the “Unofficially Officially”: Mount mod and dx12 mod are still “forbidden”, but Anet won’t taken action against accounts for using them. I’m not sure their position on the dps meter mod, especially if the build/gear save system is still in there. I think it was historically allowed, but I don’t know if we’ve gotten word on the build saves since the original creator stopped supporting it when the in-game method came out.

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Neurotic

Interesting! Thanks for the information, this is very helpful. :)

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Greaterdivinity

It still pains me that GW2 runs on bloody dx9. I can’t tell if updating to more modern tech for more tools and better performance is simply cost-prohibitive for them, or if it’s gotten to the point where some of the underlying code simply can’t be worked one for some reason.

Been seeing the dx12 mod for a while, tempted to try it out but my generally poor luck with those bigger visual mods is keeping me away. I should probably grab the mount addon again at least, it was so much more convenient than needing 7+ bloody keybinds for mounts.

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Bruno Brito

I remember a dubious comment about the game being badly optimized because the entire world was built upon the water or something. Which meant the game had to render water even when you were nowhere near it.

I don’t know how true it was, but since GW2 is a reworked GW1 engine, i wonder how much of the game is badly optimized just because it’s…old?

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Greaterdivinity

IIRC it wouldn’t even have to render that? I remember videos about how the game only actually renders what is visible on screen at any moment, so if you enter a building it stops rendering anything that’s no longer visible outside. If that’s true (trying to find the video now) then it shouldn’t render what’s below the ground you’re on.

Though looking in a bit more, it seems like many (but not all) the zones have this water as a point of reference for the ground and scale. Apparently some other games use similar tricks as well.

I’m no tech expert by any means, but the GW engine has always seemed…odd. It does some things INCREDIBLY well, far better than most games out there (keeping servers up almost constantly, deploying major updates without long downtime etc. etc.) while in other areas…it struggles.

I get why dx9 was so popular for so long and all, and it made sense for quite a while. But holy shit I can’t believe games are still running on an 18 year old API that hasn’t seemed to have seen any updates in around 14 years?

Hell, granted WoW has a ton more funding but that’s even older than GW2 by quite a bit and it’s already got DX12 and is getting BLOODY RAY TRACING. Built on the bones of an old WC3 engine, that likely includes some of Mike O’Brien old work, that predates even GW1. I can’t tell if that’s more a ding on Anet or simply Blizz’s engineers continuing to functionally be god-damned sorcerers.

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Dave

Hell, granted WoW has a ton more funding but that’s even older than GW2 by quite a bit and it’s already got DX12 and is getting BLOODY RAY TRACING. Built on the bones of an old WC3 engine, that likely includes some of Mike O’Brien old work, that predates even GW1. I can’t tell if that’s more a ding on Anet or simply Blizz’s engineers continuing to functionally be god-damned sorcerers.

It could also have to do with more than just the engine. GW2 has some crazier things going in with the backend code than what WoW does.

For example, GW2 calculates damage on the fly based on the hitboxes and if the weapon/spell/skill animation touches the hitbox or not. WoW calculates damage before you even see the animation, hence why arrows “curve” and the like. And that’s just an example that I know about.

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Bryan Turner

That Dx12 thing has been around for over a year I think.

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losludvig

the dx9->12 upgrade is not as much to make the game prettier, as it is to make gw2 run much better when there’s 30+ players on screen.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

I was today years old when I found out GW2 had addons.

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Axetwin .

Yeah. Taco is essential if you have any interest in map completion. Or any of the completion quests (like the Skyscale). It also helps you track meta events without needing to constantly alt+tab. It even helps you with the most efficient routes for various harvesting nodes so you can make money from crafting (as long as you know what you’re going for).

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Bryan Turner

I do not have Taco and I’ve done map completion 3 times, twice prior to mounts, and the first time was on a male Norn.

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Greaterdivinity

Holy hell, I never knew Taco existed but it looks bloody fantastic. Lots of very nice QoL additions that I could totally live without, but some of the stuff like the meta-tracker? YESYESYESYES!!!

Man I wish the modding scene was a bit more active/visible and that Anet supported them. I get not wanting to have mods change the entire player experience and the like but hot darned are things like that meta-tracker and the mount wheel borderline NECESSARY in the game.

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Sleepy

I had no idea either. It’s amazing :o

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dawgeth

MMO communities and their ability to provide things to one another is amazing. The sheer amount of knowledge and drive that can be crowd sourced to create these things is awesome .. and it’s great when the creators of the games embrace their third party communities.