Since its release, the three-way struggle for Auraxis hasn’t been the only war waged in Planetside 2. The battle for Optimization has been a long fought one, filled with low frame rates and performance issues which have plagued countless players.
On the one hand, who can really blame SOE for the issues? Planetside 2 is a technical marvel, capable of housing two thousand concurrent players on a single persistent continent filled with physics and thousands of rounds of ammo being fired on a second by second basis. The very fact that it even works at all is a testament to SOE’s engineering prowess. On the other hand, as a Free-to-Play game, the entry requirements for playing PS2 at an even moderately decent frame rate are steep, like REALLY steep.
As reference, the current PC I use to play Planetside 2 contains an quad core I5 overclocked to 4.2GHz, 16 gigs of Ram and a GTX670. For most this would be considered a very high-end PC, yet it struggles to maintain 45 FPS in fights involving 40 players and anything beyond that brings the FPS to a sub 30 crawl. Reducing the game’s graphical quality does not appear to have a very noticeable impact on performance.
Back in August, SOE’s president John Smedley, took note of the issues and had the PS2 team shift their priorities to focus purely on optimization. It was according to Smedley “unnaceptable as it stands”. Two of the main issues SOE confirmed they would be tackling revolve around PS2’s poor performance with AMD chips and the implementation of Multicore support.
Since then there has been little word as to how the optimization efforts have been going. However, SOE recently unveiled “Operation: Make Faster Game!” a documentary style series of videos whereby SOE plans to show first hand their efforts to correct the performance problems. The introductory video is fairly dry, filled with lots of technical mumbo jumbo, but the gist of it all is; there are a lot of moving parts and each part has various things that can be done to it in order to improve performance.
SOE isn’t saying how much they expect to improve Planetside 2’s performance, but it is clear the developer is taking the job seriously and wants players to get to know the people behind the efforts as well as get a glimpse at the types of technological challenges and creative solutions that the team discusses and implements.