Guild Wars 2: ‘Upgrading to DirectX11 is the first step toward being able to do more shiny things’

    
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If the Revenant, Warrior, and Elementalist aren’t your Cup of Light-Roasted Coffee, then next week’s Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons beta round might not spark your attention. But not so fast: There’s more to the beta than just the new elite specs. As promised, ArenaNet is also going to run the DirectX 11 beta the same week, beginning on September 21st.

“Client performance is a priority for us, and we want everyone to be able to play with the highest possible framerate,” ArenaNet’s James Fulop explains. “We pinpointed that sometimes the game could stall waiting for rendering work to complete. Guild Wars 2 has been live for nine years now and implementing some DirectX11-dependent features can help the game continue to look beautiful over time. DirectX11 also offers some modern technology options that aren’t available in DirectX9. Upgrading to DirectX11 is the first step toward being able to do more shiny things. After careful research we decided to integrate the open source rendering library BGFX into Guild Wars 2. BGFX is well-written and supports various graphics backends and is already used in many games industry-wide.”

Fulop’s dev blog is pretty technical, so the engineers and graphics snobs in our follows will want to go read the whole thing, but the short version is that the upgrade will make the game strong and pretty. To test out the changes, you’ll need to log in, opt-in in the graphics options menu, and restart the game come September 21st.

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Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

Ugh, fine. I’ll upgrade to windows 10.

graven2002
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graven2002

The source says the DX11 upgrade supports all the way back to Vista, so unless you’re still on XP (why?!) you can hold out a little longer.

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Ardra Diva

win10 is DX12. of course doesn’t mean all the applications are.

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Ardra Diva

Truly entertaining game, I really love it. if LOTRO shut down today I’d be playing GW2 tonight. Can’t wait to see the DX11 enhancements. Should be noticeable.

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Arktouros

I’d argue the game is a bit too shiny as is, some of these cosmetics people have look like a unicorn vomited then some fairy sprinkled glitter all over it while jacking up your bloom setting 300%.

But otherwise hopefully performance is better.

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Rndomuser

After so many years and pretending that “client performance is a priority”, they finally decided to add support for an outdated API instead of latest DX12. And DX12 support is something which Blizzard actually done for their MMORPG which was initially released at 2004, game that was never designed with DX12 in mind.

And before anyone will say “but there is not much difference in terms of performance between using DX11 and DX12”, take a look at this user benchmark, specifically at minimum FPS:

View post on imgur.com

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traja

It’s questionable to compare to different games like this. Just because WoW benefits from DX12 does not mean that GW2 would necessarily benefit as well.

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Arktouros

I’m pretty sure the GW2 client is based on the GW1’s engine as a heavily modified internal one. Likely faces just as much struggles as WOW in terms of upgrades. I mean the whole launch of the game they didn’t even have a 64 bit client even. We used to run out of memory on the game client in WvW then get dumped out into a 3 hour queue to get back into the game mode on Fridays when the client crashed.

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Nathan Aldana

and yet Wow is basically the only MMO that runs like complete dogshit on my pc because it also assumes you have an SSD

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Dug From The Earth

I dont care about more shiny things.

I care about the existing not as shiny things, not running like crap.

So if dx11 helps me maintain 60 FPS, im happy.

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styopa

I thought while he didn’t “reveal” a lot, his technical discussion was pretty well done. I’ve heard some people grouching that they didn’t understand most of it, but if you’re talking about rendering pipelines and multi-cpu load sharing there’s only so “general” the talk can be before it’s valueless.

I’m quite happy with whomever at ANet is behind the ‘opening up the hood’ sort of chats like this and their server-fail discussion earlier. Really interesting stuff on the nuts and bolts of what goes into running MMOs which are a relatively unique software species.

I’m NOT terribly happy about the deprecation of d912pxy, I think that guy has done a ton for the playability of gw2. But native implementation of dx11 HOPEFULLY will improve some of the chokepoints gw2 has, particularly on newer systems.

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Dug From The Earth

Upgrading to TRUE dx12 supposedly only nets an additional 5% performance in most cases of games that werent designed with dx12 at the start, so hopefully dx11 will perform AS good if not better than the “proxy” dx12 plugin.

Plus, no wonky shader cache issues, white/black textures, or long load times.

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styopa

Dunno, the nightmare-fodder that were the character profile pics in d912pxy sometimes provided hilarious source material for some people’s Call of Cthulhu campaigns.

In seriousness, I think dx11 was wise. I agree that dx12 isn’t THAT much of a performance bump and if the legends of how bad ANet’s code is are even partly true, far better to take something that’s rock solid and minimize your adoption variables as much as you can.

EDIT: not sure about you, but something happened in one of the patches recently, as my system (Dell G7 – Core i7-8750H & RTX 2060) suddenly got hot AF, never did that before with GW2.

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Dug From The Earth

which part got hot? cpu? gpu? the entire thing?

I monitor my system pretty heavily and havent noticed it go up. Im on an i7 7700, gtx 1070.

You updated your video drivers lately? That can often bring unwanted increased temps.

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styopa

CPU, oddly. The G7 runs hot (laptop, meh) anyway, but not the 70+ C I was seeing all the cores bouncing up to (up to mid/high 80s…) that I suddenly saw. I haven’t updated Nvidia drivers in a while but of course the ongoing crap-spatter of win10 updates.
Literally just started happening…iirc it fully shut down…Wed evening?
GW2 wiki shows last update Sep 8, but I’ve certainly seen updates since then, including I’ve noticed an update or two off the usual Tues cycle.

I’d have to dig into my event log and see if I could track it down. I haven’t had much time on gw2, so not much time to diagnose.