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  1. #1

    Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    I'm hearing rumors of true SLI/Crossfire support as well as Physx (especially for water)

    Any truth? If so, looks like I'll be adding a GTX 480 to handle Physx to go along with my 2x 5970s (Way overkill I know)
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  2. #2

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Physx and SLI/Crossfirex support is very unlikely. Why? Because Physx is useless, WoW won't ever have anything that requires major physics processing, and SLI or Crossfire is useless for WoW since you'll never use the full processing power of even a 5770 on WoW. They may increase stability and possibly fix the problems associated with SLI/Crossfire enabled where you would see a performance loss, but even that is unlikely.

    What case are you using by the way? :P
    Mind taking a picture? I'd like to see how those things fit in any case >_>
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  3. #3

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    See I'm hearing distinctly otherwise due to the added water effects and the new graphics engine upgrade going on in Cata, we may see an advantage to physx processing as in it may become enabled. Google WoW Cataclysm and physx, some interesting hits come up in regards to it.

    I agree, WoW cannot even max out a 5770, but with the engine upgrades... who knows. We used to see the 8800 GT being king in WoW prior to WOTLK, now look what happend with the added lighting effects. That card crawls in wow.

    Personally, I want to see true quad core support. Hell, maybe I'm greedy, bring on hexcore
    2x Intel Xeon 5680 12 Cores (2x6 Cores)@ 5.0ghz.* EVGA Classified SR-2 Motherboard.*Kingston Hyper-X 48gb(12x4gb) DDR3 1600.* 3x OCZ Colossus SSD 1.5gb (3x500gb) Raid 0.* 2x Enermax 1250W PSU. 4x EVGA GTX 480 Quad-SLI.* Samsung F3 1TB Storage Drive.* Custom Watercooled (EK 2xCPU/4xGPU Blocks, 2xMCP655 Pumps, 3xXSPC Dual Bay Reservoirs, 3x480 GTX Radiators, 24x Scythe GentleTyphoon AP15 Fans in Push/Pull).* 3x Dell 3008wfp 30" IPS Monitors.* ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 PCIe

  4. #4

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by None
    Physx and SLI/Crossfirex support is very unlikely. Why? Because Physx is useless, WoW won't ever have anything that requires major physics processing, and SLI or Crossfire is useless for WoW since you'll never use the full processing power of even a 5770 on WoW. They may increase stability and possibly fix the problems associated with SLI/Crossfire enabled where you would see a performance loss, but even that is unlikely.

    What case are you using by the way? :P
    Mind taking a picture? I'd like to see how those things fit in any case >_>
    I've had them in Coolermaster Cosmos, Coolermaster HAF932 and a Corsair 800D Obsidian. All fit, no issues.
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  5. #5

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    See I'm hearing distinctly otherwise due to the added water effects and the new graphics engine upgrade going on in Cata, we may see an advantage to physx processing as in it may become enabled. Google WoW Cataclysm and physx, some interesting hits come up in regards to it.

    I agree, WoW cannot even max out a 5770, but with the engine upgrades... who knows. We used to see the 8800 GT being king in WoW prior to WOTLK, now look what happend with the added lighting effects. That card crawls in wow.

    Personally, I want to see true quad core support. Hell, maybe I'm greedy, bring on hexcore
    The water uses the same physics as the old water, there isn't going to be waves or any tide coming in more than what you see now, therefore there will definitely be no PhysX. Although it would be quite funny watching corpses fall off of mountains, I can guarantee there will be no major physics in Cataclysm.

    And I agree, I'd like to see full multithreaded support as well as a 64bit version, that way we can make use of more than 2gb of ram and potentially see longer sliders for ground clutter and whatnot.
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  6. #6

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    What astounds me is being a Ph.D Computer Scientist and working as a Software Architect for some cpu intensive business process systems, how much money blizzard can haul in with such a horrid platform.
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  7. #7

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    The game was in development from mid-late 2000 until around early 2004, it's hard to imagine anything better at the time.
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  8. #8

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by None
    The game was in development from late 2000 until around early 2004, it's hard to imagine anything better at the time.
    must be my continuous improvement background kicking in.
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  9. #9

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    must be my continuous improvement background kicking in.
    If Blizzard had that mindset we'd have another Duke Nukem Forever ;D
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  10. #10

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by None
    If Blizzard had that mindset we'd have another Duke Nukem Forever ;D
    or we can take another spin on this. If blizzard had that mentality, we'd be currently using a DX11 platform, that uses 50% of the processing power our game is currently using. We'd also be off this lua scripted monster We would also probably have a more robust back end DB with better stored procedures... etc etc etc

    but blizzard is known for good QC, maybe just need someone to streamline those processes so it doesn't take releases as long as it does. With their resources it is definitely possible. But I am pretty confident they don't have a CI group.
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  11. #11

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    or we can take another spin on this. If blizzard had that mentality, we'd be currently using a DX11 platform, that uses 50% of the processing power our game is currently using.
    It's been concsious choice from day one at Blizzard that WoW runs on low end computers decently. They've already said that many times. Based on that I see WoW using DX11 sometime around 2015 earliest. WoW graphics engine is/has been rather shitty, but they're probably very limited at what they can change in the engine to keep all current content working without forcing all 10M customers to update whole 16gig game in one go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    We'd also be off this lua scripted monster We would also probably have a more robust back end DB with better stored procedures...
    I think you're seriously underestimating the stability and robustness of Blizzard's backend, considering they log everything. Every single word you say in public or private, every step you take, every creature you kill... For millions of players in realtime. And Lua is running only the UI part of the game client, nothing more.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  12. #12

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Are you sure you've got a PhD in Computer Science? I'm only a first year student in software engineering and even I know that LUA is far from capable of what I understand you're trying to say. The LUA engine in WoW is driving the UI, as stated above and nothing more.

    I'm going to assume you meant C or C++ and not LUA, but World of warcraft was confirmed to be in C++ and even the errors you get clearly show signs that it's in C++.

    Edit: And it's totally illogical to even consider upgrading the WoW engine every time there is new technology available.
    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. - Charles Babbage

  13. #13
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    I could see Blizzard making WoW recognize and use CrossFire/SLI setups, but I highly doubt they'd use PhysX. There's really no basis for it in game, and the server would have a hell of a time with it. Most PhysX setups are client based. Player A shoots Player B. Player A sees the corpse fall off a ledge. Player C sees the corpse roll to the edge, but not off. The server would basically shit itself at that point.

  14. #14

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    It's been concsious choice from day one at Blizzard that WoW runs on low end computers decently. They've already said that many times. Based on that I see WoW using DX11 sometime around 2015 earliest. WoW graphics engine is/has been rather shitty, but they're probably very limited at what they can change in the engine to keep all current content working without forcing all 10M customers to update whole 16gig game in one go.

    I think you're seriously underestimating the stability and robustness of Blizzard's backend, considering they log everything. Every single word you say in public or private, every step you take, every creature you kill... For millions of players in realtime. And Lua is running only the UI part of the game client, nothing more.
    I am not saying their backend is not robust. I am saying there have been leaps and bounds of database technology made since.

    There are two major resource pigs this game has. 1. is it's UI processing, which is handled in LUA. 2. Is how it's database references items etc. Both can be upgraded without major overhaul of the engine or system requirements.

    I don't expect blizzard to revamp the engine when new tech comes out, BUT we have had 2 generations of graphical upgrades since. DX9 and 10. Now we're sitting on 11. Can we make such a drastic upgrade? Well not really in a content patch, but in an upcoming xpac, sure it's not too entirely difficult. To be honest it would probably run BETTER on lower end systems than it does now.
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  15. #15

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by None
    Are you sure you've got a PhD in Computer Science? I'm only a first year student in software engineering and even I know that LUA is far from capable of what I understand you're trying to say. The LUA engine in WoW is driving the UI, as stated above and nothing more.

    I'm going to assume you meant C or C++ and not LUA, but World of warcraft was confirmed to be in C++ and even the errors you get clearly show signs that it's in C++.

    Edit: And it's totally illogical to even consider upgrading the WoW engine every time there is new technology available.
    *Looks up at the wall, see's Ph.D in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon* Yep, I'm entirely 100% sure.

    I think you need to go back and look at my previous statements. Never once did I state this game was built in LUA entirely. I'm not sure how you can decipher what I said by referencing and saying this "lua monster". I appreciate the queries of a first year "Software Engineering" student. I'll assume you were having a bad day when you phrased that question to me the way you did. If you meant insult by it, then that shows lack of character on your part, if not, no biggy.
    It's how WoW handles its calls between the LUA UI, the C++ engine, and it's back end. That makes it run so inefficiently. The UI scripting is what inputs so much processing lag between it's logic tiers and it's data tiers that makes it chew through good hardware like how it does. I can say though you are correct to a point that the Blizzard dev's could stand a couple courses in object oriented design again just to see if they can learn a thing or two about efficient programming.
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  16. #16
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Frankly, it's you versus the entire Blizzard development team. They have access to source code, you don't. Your breakdown of what's wrong with their software is purely guess work, unless you've had access to their source. For instance, all of the EQ emulators that I'm aware of use a MySQL, PostgreSQL, or (at best) BDB backend because that's how people assumed they worked. Live EQ used a flat file setup.

    Blizzard has plenty of years designing video games. I'd be inclined to believe they know what they're doing.

  17. #17

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    I am not saying their backend is not robust. I am saying there have been leaps and bounds of database technology made since.

    There are two major resource pigs this game has. 1. is it's UI processing, which is handled in LUA. 2. Is how it's database references items etc. Both can be upgraded without major overhaul of the engine or system requirements.

    I don't expect blizzard to revamp the engine when new tech comes out, BUT we have had 2 generations of graphical upgrades since. DX9 and 10. Now we're sitting on 11. Can we make such a drastic upgrade? Well not really in a content patch, but in an upcoming xpac, sure it's not too entirely difficult. To be honest it would probably run BETTER on lower end systems than it does now.
    Umm... How database refers items? Every item, quest, NPC and whatnot in the game have a running number as uniqueID, which is totally typical. Are you perhaps referring to the scheme where they keep all items you haven't seen in the game as server only and cached locally on demand to prevent dumping whole internal database with simple sql injections or just hundreds of thousands of manual queries through the UI?

    I really don't understand your gripe with the item system, so please explain.

    What comes to the new DX generations, the biggest changes in those are hardware calculations of better anti-alising modes, texture and pixel shaders and tesselation. You can turn custom AA filter on from any graphics card and enjoy the latest that way, but WoW might benefit from tesselation since their 3d models have very low polygon count. Too bad tesselation is something that requires very high end hardware, and Blizzard will not force people to use it.

    At most they might add another optional slider like shadow quality which chokes current low end machines for tesselation to choke low end graphics cards. Using new shaders is probably not necessary since WoW has never used or even aimed for realistic weather, explosions, smoke or anything like that, but instead stick to very cartoony graphics style which is one way to hide the low polygon count and the lack of graphical detail.

    Totally throwing guesses here since I'm not very versed in 3d engine optimization and even less versed in optimizing WoW, but I believe the biggest chokepoint of WoW graphics engine is the sheer amount of dynamic 3d meshes visible on screen at one time. All the hundreds of creature, player and item models visible in normal 25-man raiding is the problem. Nothing can be culled out when people are usually playing at maximum camera distance. This is not so big problem in first-player shooters because those games cheat a lot in this aspect. Things like Halo multiplayer has only one player model + few weapon models with different skins to reduce the 3d object load.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    It's how WoW handles its calls between the LUA UI, the C++ engine, and it's back end. That makes it run so inefficiently. The UI scripting is what inputs so much processing lag between it's logic tiers and it's data tiers that makes it chew through good hardware like how it does. I can say though you are correct to a point that the Blizzard dev's could stand a couple courses in object oriented design again just to see if they can learn a thing or two about efficient programming.
    You're barking at the wrong tree here, which might be explained by the PhD paper and thesis done from something totally different than MMO's. Lots of theoretical knowledge does not equal to having practical knowledge of how to implement multiplayer online games.

    Users who live near Blizzard datacenters and have fast internet connections have constantly latency at 50ms's or even lower, which is totally on par with all other online games from Unreal Tournament to Quake to RTS games like Starcraft. Internet lag is always going to be several magnitudes bigger than the UI lag from Lua (which is one of the most efficient VM interpreted scripting languages btw).

    Biggest lag outside purblic internet in the client-server model WoW is using comes from the intensive logging of everything in realtime, and the parsing of those logs in the game client which is something that Lua probably shouldn't be doing but you can turn off the combat log parsing if you choose. There are instructions to do that in the stickies, and it is one way to increase FPS in very low end computers.

    OO is not a magic bullet to anything, and it's not even possible to use in most embedded systems due to compiler and/or memory limitations. Also some branches of agile development have ditched OO completely and moved back to procedural coding. In some parts your arguments sound more like you having a PhD in marketing instead of CS, so many buzzwords slapped into one paragraph here and there :P

    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  18. #18

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    Umm... How database refers items? Every item, quest, NPC and whatnot in the game have a running number as uniqueID, which is totally typical. Are you perhaps referring to the scheme where they keep all items you haven't seen in the game as server only and cached locally on demand to prevent dumping whole internal database with simple sql injections or just hundreds of thousands of manual queries through the UI?

    I really don't understand your gripe with the item system, so please explain.
    If WoW queries every item and it's specifications when your character is not directly interacting with the other character, it should be replaced IMO with a query that only calls the item texture, and not it's specifics. Only when direct interaction with that other character should a different query be used to to pull the item specifics. This will severely cut down on resources needed in sanctuary towns. Now, you'll ask, what if I inspect someone... it would be apart of the latter query.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    What comes to the new DX generations, the biggest changes in those are hardware calculations of better anti-alising modes, texture and pixel shaders and tesselation. You can turn custom AA filter on from any graphics card and enjoy the latest that way, but WoW might benefit from tesselation since their 3d models have very low polygon count. Too bad tesselation is something that requires very high end hardware, and Blizzard will not force people to use it.

    At most they might add another optional slider like shadow quality which chokes current low end machines for tesselation to choke low end graphics cards. Using new shaders is probably not necessary since WoW has never used or even aimed for realistic weather, explosions, smoke or anything like that, but instead stick to very cartoony graphics style which is one way to hide the low polygon count and the lack of graphical detail.

    Totally throwing guesses here since I'm not very versed in 3d engine optimization and even less versed in optimizing WoW, but I believe the biggest chokepoint of WoW graphics engine is the sheer amount of dynamic 3d meshes visible on screen at one time. All the hundreds of creature, player and item models visible in normal 25-man raiding is the problem. Nothing can be culled out when people are usually playing at maximum camera distance. This is not so big problem in first-player shooters because those games cheat a lot in this aspect. Things like Halo multiplayer has only one player model + few weapon models with different skins to reduce the 3d object load.
    Simple solutionn (lots of work), like most new DX11 titles, set options to what DX version you are running. Keep in mind, I am not cutting down WoW, I am purely looking at ways to theorize and improve it.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    You're barking at the wrong tree here, which might be explained by the PhD paper and thesis done from something totally different than MMO's. Lots of theoretical knowledge does not equal to having practical knowledge of how to implement multiplayer online games.

    Users who live near Blizzard datacenters and have fast internet connections have constantly latency at 50ms's or even lower, which is totally on par with all other online games from Unreal Tournament to Quake to RTS games like Starcraft. Internet lag is always going to be several magnitudes bigger than the UI lag from Lua (which is one of the most efficient VM interpreted scripting languages btw).
    I don't think I am. I will admit, my Ph.D thesis was on Integration of Artificial Intelligence Casing in New Generation Business Process Systems but in my defense I have worked on game development in the past. Has anything I've worked on been as successful as WoW? Nope, marketing team the company I was with had absolutely nowhere near the skill blizz has. Nor was it a similar scoped project, but that's not the topic. So yes I am famiular with the ins and outs of what needs to happen within game design. WoW is not some complex marvel in game development, it's wonderful in what blizzard has accomplished with it, and the fan base it has attracted but how it works is not something that would make you scratch your head if you were in the industry. I agree with your statement though. LUA on the other hand is a "COST EFFECTIVE" tool. It is by far no way the best solution. It is however the best bang for the buck. So I am not surprised the architects at blizzard had decided to choose it when doing their initial technical requirements translations/diagramming.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    Biggest lag outside purblic internet in the client-server model WoW is using comes from the intensive logging of everything in realtime, and the parsing of those logs in the game client which is something that Lua probably shouldn't be doing but you can turn off the combat log parsing if you choose. There are instructions to do that in the stickies, and it is one way to increase FPS in very low end computers.
    And so do transactional based ERP's suffer from the same issues. Until we boost broadband speeds we won't ever fix this problem, this is not my gripe.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    OO is not a magic bullet to anything, and it's not even possible to use in most embedded systems due to compiler and/or memory limitations. Also some branches of agile development have ditched OO completely and moved back to procedural coding. In some parts your arguments sound more like you having a PhD in marketing instead of CS, so many buzzwords slapped into one paragraph here and there :P
    Sounds like you're the buzzword oriented architecture guy here . Agile development does not care if it's procedural, oo or a combo of both. Agile takes its roots from operational quality methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma (which I hold a Black Belt in). It's a commonly used methodology when creating applications that have multiple teams working on contrasting modules that will eventually tie in at a later time frame. As well as an application that will constantly be going under revision.

    Also why did you mention embedded systems? WoW is not an embedded application. It does not talk directly to hardware, like for instance a phone's OS, or an industrial control system. No, I am a Ph.D Computer Scientist, but I am not typical. I worked through school and gained practical knowledge to assist me in my theory studies. I basically hated working with new methodologies that a Dr. had dreamed up in a lab one day without any real world knowledge of how it actually works in corporate based development and architecture. Maybe I should go back for an MBA someday so my company may promote me to President one year, lol.


    I hope I answered all of your questions effectively.
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  19. #19

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    We used to see the 8800 GT being king in WoW prior to WOTLK, now look what happend with the added lighting effects. That card crawls in wow.
    Uh no. I'm currently dual boxing with settings on high on an 8800GT. Card is still great for WoW.

  20. #20

    Re: Cataclysm graphics engine upgrade rumors? SLI/Crossfire and PhysX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    If WoW queries every item and it's specifications when your character is not directly interacting with the other character, it should be replaced IMO with a query that only calls the item texture, and not it's specifics. Only when direct interaction with that other character should a different query be used to to pull the item specifics. This will severely cut down on resources needed in sanctuary towns. Now, you'll ask, what if I inspect someone... it would be apart of the latter query.
    Textures and 3d models are stored locally, but the numbers, fluff text and stuff like that comes with the DB queries to prevent datamining all details. I believe the game starts caching stuff at the point when you're inside "combat log range" of the objects which explains why areas such like Dalaran are extremely slow on low end computer. Some part of the inherent lack of speed might also come from the internal compression/encryption Blizzard uses in their mpq files but if their caching tehniques are any sane, it shouldn't make big difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    Simple solutionn (lots of work), like most new DX11 titles, set options to what DX version you are running. Keep in mind, I am not cutting down WoW, I am purely looking at ways to theorize and improve it.
    Blizzard's code developers are probably focused at this point in time towards the engine of their "next gen" MMO and just maintaining WoW instead of doing aggressive optimization. But it's totally possible that things like tesselation will be added as an extra to WoW too in some patch, it's just hard to say when they think it's worth the trouble.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiran
    Also why did you mention embedded systems? WoW is not an embedded application. It does not talk directly to hardware, like for instance a phone's OS, or an industrial control system.
    WoW itself is not embedded in any way, it was just quick & dirty example of where OO fails in my point of it not being the right tool for every place. WoW itself is so old that most of the codebase is from era when C++ compilers had really awful OO support anyway and it might've been something totally irrelevant to get the project done at Blizzard. Their coding style and if that is limiting factor in any way is something we can never really know for certain.

    But even for WoW and Blizzard embedded systems and the limitations of those are getting more important with the success of iPad/iPod, they've already started with the mobile armory.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

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