Over the past few weeks, there’s been quite a bit of talk in terms of tech improvements for RIFT. An article, livestreams and numerous dev posts have popped up about what has been completed since last year, what Trion is working on and what is planned for the future.
There’s a lot of words and video to go through, so here’s a summary! For further details, there’s sources posted below.
Tech Additions in 2015
There were many tech improvements and additions in 2015:
- Chat Reporting Expanded. Chat now has better reporting features, including a ‘black mark’ system for offenders. The game can temp mute, perma-mute, temp-ban or even perma-ban based on a number of factors. Customer Support still takes a look at the accounts in question, so it’s not 100% automated.
- ‘Black marks’ are cluster-wide with potential action (such as muting) being cluster-wide; not just on the offending character. [r]
- GUD System. New system added in 2015 to simply the process of adding region-wide features. Makes adding features like region-wide Minions a lot easier. Allowed the creation of the Affinity System.
- Wardrobe System. The new wardrobe system introduced last year took considerable work to bring together, especially on the tech side.
- Intrepid Instant Adventures. Some players might remember the problems they initially had on the Publis Test Shard (“PTS”) with trying to get multiple groups in the same ‘instance’.
- Assault on Bronze Tomb Warfront. New ‘Assault Mode’, allowing players to switch from attacking to defending team.
- Auction House optimizations; On-demand guild loading (reducing memory usage on some servers by approx 25%); more tech to detect different bots; and leaderboard performance improvements.
Tech Additions in 2016
- Reduce Tech Debt. Over time, code might be built in a less than ideal way, or discovered to be less than ideal later on – that’s tech debt. Trion has always reduced tech debt, but they will now begin to dedicate specific schedules to reducing it. In short, bugs will get solved faster, and new features likely built faster.
- True Multicore Support. The engineers have been working on true multicore support, allowing the game to make use of more than one CPU core. This will lead to better performance, with some best-case scenarios of up to 20% faster FPS. This has been in the works for more than a year and is already in some initial pre-alpha testing on Live. More on this later.
- 64-bit Support. 64-bit support has been worked on concurrently with multicore support, although its release will be further down the line. It will help reduce the instance of crashes. [r]
You can learn more about the 2016 improvements in both the January 22nd 2016 Livestream Summary as well as Snedhepl’s “Leveling Up the Tech in RIFT” article. Further multicore support information is available in the February 5th 2016 Livestream Summary.
- Cluster-wide Ignores. No promises, but Trion has done some back-end work to make cluster-wide ignores a possibility. Whether it is implemented will depend on scheduling – they have a lot on their plate. [r]
True Multicore Support – Additional Info
Further information about multicore support for RIFT from multiple sources, including various dev/CM forum posts, articles and livestreams:
- RIFT is currently bottle-necked by the CPU. The goal of multicore support is to make sure that the game is no longer CPU-limited. [r] This allows your GPU to do more work. [r]
- Since RIFT uses a heavily modified Gamebryo engine, they cannot simply hit the upgrade button. Work on multicore support for the game is fully in-house. [r]
- Multicore support has been in the works for over 18 months already [r] and is looking at a 2016 release, although there’s no exact ETA.
- Every CPU core will benefit from multicore support, although you will see diminishing returns the more cores you have. [r]
- The multicore support will take advantage of hyper-threading. [r]
- No formal plans for DX11/12 support, but they would need the work they’re doing here if Trion ever chooses to support them. [r]
- Snedhepl hopes to add the ability for players to assign specific cores to RIFT. No promises. [r]
Best-case scenario over a Ravenous Devourer zone event has shown an increase of approx. 20% in framerate. [r]
Multicore Support Testing
- Testing has been on-going on a variety of machines, including older machines.
- Some players are already testing the pre-alpha build, which is available to them in the form of a special Addon. This addon will not affect other players, only the tester.
- The addon is usable on Live, and some testers have even been testing it out in raid environments.
- Testers are under an NDA.
- Testing pool will increase over time, with more players testing over the weeks. Eventually, everyone will be able to test it out.
It seems alpha testing for multicore support has also begun to be given away during Trion’s fortnightly RIFT livestream giveaways, starting with the stream on the 5th February [r].
More Tech Info
Hungry for more tech-related information? You can check out the below articles/streams with more information:
- January 22nd 2016 Livestream Summary. Primarily 2015 info and explanation of tech debt/refactoring.
- February 5th 2016 Livestream Summary. Primarily about Multicore Support.
- Leveling Up the Tech in RIFT article by Snedhepl. 2015/2016 info. [Forum Post Version].
And Even More Info
Snedhepl is slated to release another tech-based article [r] with more details on upcoming tech improvements, and he is slated to appear in another upcoming livestream (potentially as early as 12th February [r], although more likely on 19th Feb [r]).