New Character Models and Graphic Performance

90 Tauren Warrior
12335
I know that the art department there for WoW is working to update all the character models for Warlords of Destruction.... I mean Draenor. (This is what I get for listening to Koltrane on CTR). With the greater detail to the character models, there is expected to be an increased demand on the graphic performance of the computer. My question is, do you have any idea at this time what that demand is going to be? I have signed up for Beta and my computer specs are listed there, but I also know that I get lag in raids and high graphic environments, like flying through heavily colored areas. My computer is a little over a year old, I purchased it because the laptop was not able to run Mists, and this computer was doing fine until SoO raid tier with the graphics demand. I am trying to figure out what is going to be needed for my computer, be it an upgrade on some hardware or a whole new CPU.
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90 Undead Death Knight
7950
New character models will reduce your performance in places like Goldshire to the same as places like Halfhill or Dawn's Blossom.
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1 Undead Rogue
0
There should be no impact as the new models will be hided by armour 99% of the time. Basically, the new models are just to bring them up to the poly count of the current armour.
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90 Gnome Priest
15020
01/23/2014 02:21 PMPosted by Tempcharac
There should be no impact as the new models will be hided by armour 99% of the time. Basically, the new models are just to bring them up to the poly count of the current armour.


You have no idea what you're talking about. The vast majority of armour is just a two-dimensional texture plastered onto our models. The only exceptions are helms, shoulders, and some boots, gloves, and belts. Your model is never "hidden." You're essentially naked with spray paint all over your body. Your characters polygons and animations are always rendered, meaning if you increase polygon count, it's going to affect performance significantly. 3D models are very taxing to render as it stands. You can bet it's going to significantly affect performance when you triple their bones and polygons.
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90 Undead Death Knight
7950
01/23/2014 02:47 PMPosted by Vanarela
3D models are very taxing to render as it stands. You can bet it's going to significantly affect performance when you triple their bones and polygons.
Less than you'd think.

It'll only be significant if your computer is already struggling to run with the old models. Textures have probably the least impact out of any graphical component and polygons aren't going to bring your rig to its knees unless they number in the hundreds of thousands per character. What tortures systems is visual effects that need to be calculated in real time--shadows, reflective water, dynamic lighting, particles.
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90 Pandaren Rogue
13105
Walk into a town full of pandaren, observe what happens.

If you're fine then, you should be fine with the model refresh too!
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6 Undead Warrior
0
01/23/2014 02:57 PMPosted by Frosthawk
3D models are very taxing to render as it stands. You can bet it's going to significantly affect performance when you triple their bones and polygons.
Less than you'd think.

It'll only be significant if your computer is already struggling to run with the old models. Textures have probably the least impact out of any graphical component and polygons aren't going to bring your rig to its knees unless they number in the hundreds of thousands per character. What tortures systems is visual effects that need to be calculated in real time--shadows, reflective water, dynamic lighting, particles.

Not necessarily true... when you have a bunch of characters and creatures on the screen at the same time, it can add up quickly. This is why Blizz is working on a model toggle to allow players with older spec/lower performance computers to use the current models to avoid performance impact from the increase in poly-count/texture map size increase
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90 Undead Warlock
9335
It is going to take a hit on low end systems for sure, if you are running at Ultra now with high FPS you won't even notice it.
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90 Troll Hunter
10795
Blizz is leaving the option to toggle new and old model for performance purposes so you can enjoy them then shut them off when you need to do stuff.
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Community Manager
01/23/2014 02:18 PMPosted by Aldirick
My question is, do you have any idea at this time what that demand is going to be? I have signed up for Beta and my computer specs are listed there, but I also know that I get lag in raids and high graphic environments, like flying through heavily colored areas.


We don't, and we tend not to have updated system requirements/recommendations until most content is in, most big changes and engineering are done, and we're looking like there isn't going to be anything else that would greatly affect performance. So we won't really know absolutely until some point through the beta. We're keenly aware of the system requirements the new character models may require, and how that could impact client performance. No further details yet on how they'll be supported on lower end systems, if at all.

Fun fact, the game still supports processors and graphics cards that were released over 8 years ago. To put that in other terms, modern day systems are in some cases 50x more powerful than the lowest end systems the game still supports. Moving us forward graphically in such a dramatic way with the new models is going to require a lot of testing, tweaking, optimizing, and determination of what we can realistically support going forward, but we just don't know what that will look like yet.
Edited by Bashiok on 1/23/2014 3:16 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
4610
Good to know it's firmly on your Radar. Thanks.
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90 Night Elf Monk
10550
01/23/2014 03:12 PMPosted by Bashiok
My question is, do you have any idea at this time what that demand is going to be? I have signed up for Beta and my computer specs are listed there, but I also know that I get lag in raids and high graphic environments, like flying through heavily colored areas.


We don't, and we tend not to have updated system requirements/recommendations until most content is in, most big changes and engineering are done, and we're looking like there isn't going to be anything else that would greatly affect performance. So we won't really know absolutely until some point through the beta. We're keenly aware of the system requirements the new character models may require, and how that could impact client performance. No further details yet on how they'll be supported on lower end systems, if at all.

Fun fact, the game still supports processors and graphics cards that were released over 8 years ago. To put that in other terms, modern day systems are in some cases 50x more powerful than the lowest end systems the game still supports. Moving us forward graphically in such a dramatic way with the new models is going to require a lot of testing, tweaking, optimizing, and determination of what we can realistically support going forward, but we just don't know what that will look like yet.


Would it be possible to include the old models as a option so that users with older computers can opt out if the new models do cause some frame-rate lag.
Edited by Monkdim on 1/23/2014 3:36 PM PST
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1 Undead Rogue
0
There should be no impact as the new models will be hided by armour 99% of the time. Basically, the new models are just to bring them up to the poly count of the current armour.


You have no idea what you're talking about. The vast majority of armour is just a two-dimensional texture plastered onto our models. The only exceptions are helms, shoulders, and some boots, gloves, and belts. Your model is never "hidden." You're essentially naked with spray paint all over your body. Your characters polygons and animations are always rendered, meaning if you increase polygon count, it's going to affect performance significantly. 3D models are very taxing to render as it stands. You can bet it's going to significantly affect performance when you triple their bones and polygons.

Good point. Must have gotten confused with some other game where the armour completely covers the body "for real".

"3D models are very taxing to render as it stands."

I think you might be over stating things a bit ...

01/23/2014 03:29 PMPosted by Monkdim
Would it be possible to include the old models as a option so that users with older computers can opt out if the new models do cause some frame-rate lag.

... or just hate the look of the new models.
Edited by Tempcharac on 1/23/2014 3:36 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
13140
01/23/2014 03:12 PMPosted by Bashiok
My question is, do you have any idea at this time what that demand is going to be? I have signed up for Beta and my computer specs are listed there, but I also know that I get lag in raids and high graphic environments, like flying through heavily colored areas.


We don't, and we tend not to have updated system requirements/recommendations until most content is in, most big changes and engineering are done, and we're looking like there isn't going to be anything else that would greatly affect performance. So we won't really know absolutely until some point through the beta. We're keenly aware of the system requirements the new character models may require, and how that could impact client performance. No further details yet on how they'll be supported on lower end systems, if at all.

Fun fact, the game still supports processors and graphics cards that were released over 8 years ago. To put that in other terms, modern day systems are in some cases 50x more powerful than the lowest end systems the game still supports. Moving us forward graphically in such a dramatic way with the new models is going to require a lot of testing, tweaking, optimizing, and determination of what we can realistically support going forward, but we just don't know what that will look like yet.


This is one ofthe reasons wow is still so popular. You can play it on a older system. My question is how many more yrs do you all think that will be availible to gamers that have lower end machines for gaming. eventually they will have to upgrade.
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Community Manager
01/23/2014 03:29 PMPosted by Monkdim
Would it be possible to include the old models as a option so that users with older computers can opt out if the new models do cause some frame-rate lag.


That's of course something we've considered as a fail-safe, but again just don't know quite yet.
Edited by Bashiok on 1/23/2014 3:37 PM PST
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80 Human Warrior
3030
01/23/2014 02:59 PMPosted by Jialian
Walk into a town full of pandaren, observe what happens.


Don't! It's a trap.
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1 Undead Rogue
0
01/23/2014 03:36 PMPosted by Bashiok
Would it be possible to include the old models as a option so that users with older computers can opt out if the new models do cause some frame-rate lag.


That's of course something we've considered as a fail-safe, but again just don't know quite yet.

It will be a fail-safe in more ways than one - fail-safe against both technical and artistic failure.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3955
01/23/2014 03:33 PMPosted by Tempcharac


You have no idea what you're talking about. The vast majority of armour is just a two-dimensional texture plastered onto our models. The only exceptions are helms, shoulders, and some boots, gloves, and belts. Your model is never "hidden." You're essentially naked with spray paint all over your body. Your characters polygons and animations are always rendered, meaning if you increase polygon count, it's going to affect performance significantly. 3D models are very taxing to render as it stands. You can bet it's going to significantly affect performance when you triple their bones and polygons.

Good point. Must have gotten confused with some other game where the armour completely covers the body "for real".

"3D models are very taxing to render as it stands."

I think you might be over stating things a bit ...

01/23/2014 03:29 PMPosted by Monkdim
Would it be possible to include the old models as a option so that users with older computers can opt out if the new models do cause some frame-rate lag.

... or just hate the look of the new models.


I have a hard time believing that you have the slightest idea what you are talking about..
Like at all.
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90 Undead Warlock
9335
Fun fact, the game still supports processors and graphics cards that were released over 8 years ago. To put that in other terms, modern day systems are in some cases 50x more powerful than the lowest end systems the game still supports. Moving us forward graphically in such a dramatic way with the new models is going to require a lot of testing, tweaking, optimizing, and determination of what we can realistically support going forward, but we just don't know what that will look like yet.


The biggest problem this game has in performance is being limited to using two cores of a CPU. This requires you to buy the fastest CPU from Intel who has the best single threading performance and instructions per cycle(Haswell) to try and compensate for the bottleneck in Cities and Raids where it is very CPU bound doing all the calculations.

I understand you don't just make a single threaded engine much older then 2004 multi-threaded like BF4 in 2014, but I can dream.
Edited by Sockthief on 1/23/2014 3:45 PM PST
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