Under review
Mr. Fusion 1 week ago in Graphics/Visual Performance • updated 4 days ago 2

I'm consistently getting noticeably degraded performance while being in the North-Eastern quadrant of the map, in the general area of the (possible) Hab location there. The most noticeable symptoms:

  • Transition time from hab interior to outdoors is about 50% longer than elsewhere, accompanied by constant drive activity for the whole duration insted of a "burst loading" behaviour observed at other locations.
  • Outdoors movement is sluggish/choppy.
  • Game frequently freezes for 5-20 seconds with constant drive activity for the whole duration. These freezes don't decrease in frequency / severity over time as they would in the case of OS level memory management / paging or background process management.

On one occasion the game also crashed the video driver during a transition attempt from hab interior to exterior at this location, then locked up and had to be terminated manually. I don't recall of having ever had a crash/lock up of any kind before this occurrence.

While my system is just around the minimum requirements of the game, I have no performance issues whatsoever elsewhere in the game world, save for a bit of transient stuttering upon "sector load" (when you get the "loadng" text while moving around outdoors). This is the only area where the game goes from "hey, it runs fine even on this toaster" to "ok, this is nearly unplayable" even though the terrain doesn't seem to be any more complex here than elsewhere, nor can I spot anything else that would warrant this level of performance drop.

I wonder if there's some world building issue involved; such things typically occur when there's something wrong with the map geometry, like clipping/culling panes are missing/incorrect, parts of the terrain is duplicated with a small offset one instance being on top of another, excess objects have been left under terrain level (thus loaded but not visibly rendered), LOD is not being applied correctly etc.

Under review

Part of me wants to list this as "Could not replicate", but that would mark it as closed and just because I'm not experiencing a performance drop in this region doesn't mean that you aren't. I've explored the area in the editor and tried to look for any rendering or processing differences from other similar regions and I just can't find anything. There aren't any hidden objects or terrain features. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the North-Eastern habitat either. All of the habitat locations cause a minor slow-down when they are within the camera bounds, but on most machines that is barely noticeable. I thought that maybe an entire terrain tile was getting loaded in twice, since I have had a bug with that in the past, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. I've entered and exited the North-Eastern habitat several times and can't tell what might be the problem.

The fact that your machine seems to be having drive activity during freezes might imply that there is a ram issue where the game is needing to use disk space rather than quick access memory. How many GBs of ram does your system have and are you running on a 64 bit OS? Perhaps the specific arrangement of map details in this region is just enough to push the game past your system's ram limit? I'm honestly not sure what else could explain it, but I'd love to hear if others experience the same slow down in the same locations.

I only have 4 GB RAM (+1 GB video memory) so my system is indeed a bit thin in that department. 64 bit OS.

I mostly reported this because it seemed very specific to this area only, while the game is running fine everywhere else, so I thought it might be caused by some mapping or related issue in this area that's worth looking into.

However now that that has been checked and ruled out, it indeed may be just that there's something about the terrain and other features here that doesn't look different, but is in fact more demanding than the rest of the map and thus causing problems for systems around the minimum requirements.

Another factor could be that the map is a bit more complex here, but not a problem in itself. However, when the habitat and its systems are also present, the increased scene complexity and additional data to be loaded adds just enough extra strain for a weaker system to start struggling here.