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Livestream Summary: Multithreading

Trion held their latest Friday RIFT Livestream on 12th February 2016, with information relating to multithreading. There were also additional tidbits, including brief information on upcoming class changes and an announcement that the Call to Arms event would be returning next week as well.

Click here for a replay of the 12th February 2016 RIFT Livestream video on twitch.tv. RIFT portion of the video starts at 3hrs 11min 35sec in.

Legend:
Black/Normal Text = Livestream Summary.
[Dark Blue Text] = My own comments. i.e. May not be indicative of actual content.

Trion had their 12th February 2016 Livestream with Senior Systems Designer Jeff “Red Hawk” Hamilton, Lead Rendering Engineer Ben “ZorbaTHut” Wilhelm, Lead Engineer Dan “Snedhepl” Hollinger and Senior Community Relations Manager Eric “Ocho” Cleaver.

Multiple Trion staff were also in the chat channel including SupermanSocks, TrionBrasse, Gingers, BigDataDude, Archonix and Daglar.

Table of Contents:

  • Multicore Support Info. Showed it off on Live including explanation of Addon, testing and more.
  • Call to Arms Event V2. Call to Arms event will be coming back next weekend as well, now with less Patron-exclusiveness.
  • Class/Soul Changes. Red Hawk teased some changes coming – some potentially hitting PTS as early as next Monday. Also, April soul packs separate from the additional Primalist souls.
  • General Info. Next RIFT Livestream next week on 3.6 info; Developer PC Specs; Possible chance of Hellbugs; Patron UI Changes coming to PTS; and Daglar is still around.
  • Livestream Giveaways.

As always, any additions or changes mentioned below can be subject to change prior to hitting Live.


Multicore Support Info

Something mentioned a few times now over the past few weeks is that Trion is working on adding true multicore support for rendering to the game, allowing you to take advantage of all your CPU cores, instead of just one.

In short, better performance – higher fps.

The Addon

There’s currently a bunch of testers who are actively checking out the current alpha iteration of multicore support for RIFT. They are able to test through the use of an addon.

By typing “/debug”, they are able to open the addon console. This command only works for testers who have the special addon.

RIFT Trion Debug Tools Multicore Addon 1

Of course as multicore support is still in alpha, anything can happen.

The 4 Buttons

After hitting “Accept”, testers are given four buttons: Serial, Validated, Parallel and Separated. [Unfortunately as I don’t really know much about this stuff, I’ll mainly be quoting ZorbaTHut.]

RIFT Trion Debug Tools Multicore Addon 2

Serial

Serial is basically how the game is right now – rendering in one thread from beginning to end. This is the default and what non-testers currently experience in the game.

Validated

Validated is:

…where we turn on a lot of our Parallel things but we also do a lot of double-checking. This is kind of meant as a developer tool to see if things are breaking. – ZorbaTHut.

Validated gives diagnostics when running the dev client – It’s slower than Serial (normal mode).

Parallel

The Parallel button is:

…where we do most of the processing for the graphics card commands in multiple threads. All of that is handled in parallel. Then we kind of just wait until the graphics card has received everything, and that can take a while because there’s a lot of data to send up there. – ZorbaTHut.

Separated

Finally comes the Separated button, which is the true multicore support.

[Separated] does all the calculations in parallel, and then it starts sending things up to the graphics card while it continues the rest of the computation. It’s actually calculating the next frame while it’s rendering the current frame. – ZorbaTHut.

About Live Version

When multicore support goes Live for everyone, there won’t be an addon and there won’t be these multiple settings – everyone will be on the ‘Separated’ setting. There will just be a checkbox to turn multicore support on or off.

  • There’s also ways to set how many cores RIFT will use.
  • Multicore will scale up to the number of CPU cores you have, although you’ll get basically all the benefits at about 4 or 6 cores. Beyond that, additional cores won’t see much additional benefit.

Performance

During the livestream, Red Hawk traveled through Goboro Reef and into Margle Palace, Draumheim to test the fps gains.

Note: He was using Ultra graphics settings. Since the computer was also being used to stream the game, that might affect FPS as well. Using GeForce GTX 770.

  • 45fps in Goboro Reef – Atragarian Well with some players and a bunch of Guard NPCs (that despawn after you first get to the area).
  • 42-44fps with 10+ players following him along the main path in Goboro Reef at Seasong Copse.
  • 40fps around Blackwater Forest with more players joining.
  • 37fps at Vale of Dreams in Draumheim with even more players joining the train.
  • 27-30fps at Gemini Bluffs in Draumheim – still moving around/rotating. 15+ players.

Margle Palace:

Without multicore:

  • 24fps in Margle Palace in Draumheim whilst not moving and no camera movement.
  • 19-23fps in Margle Palace in Draumheim whilst spinning around. Lots of players. 16 players in party + a bunch of other players.

With multicore:

  • 27fps in Margle Palace in Draumheim whilst idle (but with different camera angle panned at more players. Approx. 30 players + some NPCs). Also had fireworks and a snow storm.
  • 23-26fps whilst spinning around.

Testing ETA

There’s currently a very small number of testers for multicore support, from both NA and EU.

  • New, small invites either later that day (Friday) or early next Monday.
  • No direct applications will be accepted – instead Trion is currently looking at players who have provided good feedback over the years and have tested other features before. (+ via livestream giveaways).
  • Larger tests are planned in the future.
  • Snedhepl mentioned that they hope to have more open beta testing, early March. No promises and will depend on how stable the build is at that time.

As for those who won one of the Multicore Alpha invites over the past week or two, Archonix mentioned that you’ll receive information in your Twitch Inbox (or Other tab) once the next set of invites goes out – which might be as soon as next Monday.

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 Alpha Invite Info Archonix

Other Multicore Tidbits

  • Since RIFT will be able to use more cores, this could potentially reduce the performance of other programs you have running the background whilst you play RIFT. However, you can always manually set limits to the amount of cores that RIFT will run on.
  • Current multicore support doesn’t work too well with low-quality renderer graphics. Trion is trying to get it working, but focusing their efforts for now on the overwhelming majority of players who don’t use low-quality renderer.
  • 64-bit support is in a very early stage. Trion is working on it, but won’t really talk about it anytime soon.

Call to Arms Event V2

There’s currently a “Call to Arms” event happening this weekend that includes free 3 days of Patron for anyone who logs in between 12-14th February 2016. You can speak to Planar Commanders in Sanctum and Meridian to get daily/weekly quests (patron-only), and there’s an increase in zone events spawning in Freemarch and Silverwood zones.

CM Ocho mentioned that due to some bugs with zone event reward drops, the event reward drops have been disabled.

Instead, next weekend there will be another “Call to Arms” event with the correct rewards. For the 19-21st Feb 2016, the Planar Commander quests will be available to all players, not just patrons.


Class/Soul Changes

During the livestream, Red Hawk briefly mentioned some class/soul changes in the pipeline.

Upcoming Soul Changes

  • Red Hawk indicated that there might be something on the PTS next Monday to test out, although he didn’t mention what exactly.
  • Beastmaster is getting some usability changes, but not ready for testing on Monday. “Effectively stays the same, but less of a pain”. – Red Hawk.
  • ‘Very Soon’ there will be changes to Warlock, Chloromancer, Beastmaster and Ranger. Some others being worked on in the future.

About New Soul Packs

Archonix previously mentioned that there would be 5 new souls (1 for each Class) coming in the RIFT 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended patch cycle – slated for an early April release.

Today on the Livestream chat channel, Archonix also confirmed that this is separate from the new souls slated for Primalist that Vladd previously talked about.

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 Separate Packs Archonix

The additional Primalist souls (besides the one included in the April pack) will be available as a separate pack later down the line.


General Info

Next RIFT Livestream

CM Ocho revealed that we’ll be getting another RIFT livestream next week (that’ll be 3 in a row!) and this time the topic will primarily be about RIFT 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended content!

Red Hawk might also appear on another livestream in the near future.

Developer PC Specs

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 Trion PC Specs Anony

Just an interesting tidbit: Senior Game Designer Anony mentioned in the chat channel that the devs use a GeForce GTX 770 graphics card and an i7-4930k CPU @ 3.4GHz.

Possible Hellbug Week

At some point the livestream chat conversation turned towards mounts and Hellbugs. Game Director Archonix ‘might’ be looking at adding some of the old Hellbug mounts back into the game at some point, and will look at the Ghost Hellbug mount.

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 Possible Hellbug Event Archonix Daglar

Patron UI Changes PTS

In the chat channel, RIFT Producer Gingers mentioned that she had a bunch of UI changes slated for the PTS ‘soon’ in regards to Patrons.

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 PTS Patron UI Changes Gingers

In short:

  • New Patron Tab in RIFT Store where you can buy Patron, and which lists all benefits.
  • New Patron icon on your screen for non-Patrons that links to the Patron tab in the RIFT Store.
  • Patron abilities will be viewable in the Abilities window to all players. Non-Patrons will have the abilities grayed out.

You can check out the thread with full info here, including screenshot previews of the new UI changes.

Daglar Still Around

RIFT’s ex-Game Director-turned-Producer Daglar made a rare appearance on the RIFT Livestream chat channel today. He mentioned that he was still around, although he is not directly involved with RIFT.

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 Daglar Stuff

[I’m unsure if Daglar is still a Producer as Gingers was promoted to Producer a while ago.]

Players attempts to turn Archonix to the dark side failed once again…

Seastone Best Stone


Livestream Giveaways

Livestream Channel Giveaways

During the Livestream, a handful of livestream chat channel viewers received:

  • 1x Multicore Alpha Invite to 10 livestream viewers.
  • 1x Lovely Levitation Mount to 5 livestream viewers.

Congratulations to all the winners!

You should receive information about your prizes in the ‘Inbox’ or ‘Other’ Tab in your Twitch inbox within the next few days.

RIFT Livestream Summary 12th Feb 2016 Livestreamers

(From Left to Right: Red Hawk, ZorbaTHut, Snedhepl and CM Ocho.)


A bit more info revealed about multicore support, including that it ‘might’ be open to the public for beta testing as early as March. There’s also some soul changes and patron UI additions upcoming, so keep an eye on the PTS next Monday.

Be sure to tune in next Friday as we’re in for another RIFT Livestream, this time about 3.6 content!

Past Livestream Summaries can be accessed here.

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Categories: Archives, Livestream Summary

2 Comments on “Livestream Summary: Multithreading”

  1. February 18, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    I’m excited about the multithreading. One of the main things I read online from people about why they won’t play this game is performance… Which is a big thing when you talk about actual rifts, it can become horrible.

    My experience is that it’s almost entirely tied to the CPU. I’ve updated my GPU with little change, but I recently went from a fairly new AMD chipset to an Intel i7 that had really good ratings for single core performance and my FPS in this game went up a lot (between 10 and 30 FPS depending where I am).

    So I hope it helps in general and I’d not mind if it helped me even more too :3

  2. Krillarbran
    March 14, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    Low FPS is one of the main reasons why I stopped playing as soon as I hit Nightmare Tide content. I was not impressed at all. I am coming back this month, starting a new character. I really hope multi-threading will fix this issue for me as I have an Intel i7 that is wholly being underutilised and essentially bottle-necking the performance. 10fps during an event boss was the worst experience coming into the latest expansion where in other mmo’s (I just left Wildstar due to reasons some of you may know but there I get 50+ fps in the faction city and during large raids on max settings) I do not have such low fps issues. Hoping for the best.

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