Casey on SoH Alpha Feedback/PC Req/Optimization

Note from The Consultant (Casey McGeever) about the computers used for testing:

You can see it on the thread on the official website.

"We have a few other comments about using the lower power computers. First, we will likely give an option to turn shadows off. This actually doubles (or more) FPS without doing much damage to the player experience at all. Also, simply choosing 1280x720 (which a lot of games are built for) also doubles (or more) FPS on my laptop. Also it is important to realize that we see much higher levels of performance from desktop 970GTX than from the laptop versions, except in some circumstances. So the other elements of the hardware (like the CPU) do matter, as does your connection speed.

And we will have pull-down menus for helping with lower power computers, which UE4 enables now. And we are looking at the option of turning off the FX from other players (whether your computer is robust or not -- it seems some people like this option because they have used it in other games, so it has become a matter of personal play-style, and we are about enabling personal play-styles).

But finally, we also need to remember that we are putting a lot of effort into optimization, and we are not done yet. All of the pieces are not in place at this time. Just since we made the Night of the Clones video we've implemented a bunch of additional changes to enable higher speeds, and more importantly, more players in the game simultaneously.

Most dev teams really spend the last few months trying to optimize in a sudden rush before launch. We're working on these issues throughout development. This extra work kind of annoys our coders and artists, to be honest, but we think it is important to plan and implement our plan as we go, and not to rely on fixing under-performing systems and processes at the last minute. We will likely end up fixing things at the last minute anyway, but the year+ that we've been focused on optimization already gives us a better starting point than many MMOs.

If we were making a single player game, or accepting that only 20-25 players could be in a city zone at once, we would not need to do all of things we're doing. But that is not our aspiration."