@thewonderlemon Do you have stuttering if you turn down the graphics?
That's the thing-- Besides the resolution, this is as low as the graphics will go
If memory serves, 6-10 overlapping lights in Unreal will tank the framerate of a PS4. Obviously our PCs are more powerful than those, but for optimization purposes, low quality settings ought to mean that lighting should be simplified and polycount and textures should be heavily reduced (3-6 lights just for one room is going to tank performance on min spec machines).
But yeah, the graphics aren't the hugest reason for a framerate drop, it just certainly doesn't help out when something in the script/blueprint causes a cpu bottleneck
I might not have a top of the line rig, but with an 8 core AMD chip at 4.0 ghz, an nvidia 1080ti, and 16 gb of ram, I still get regular performance stuttering in game and besides the 1920x1080 settings, everything else I've got is set to as low as it can go (I mostly play coop checkpoint)
That said, this is the same engine that runs Fortnite on mobile devices and on the Nintendo Switch relatively smoothly, so it's not like UE4 is incapable of running large, multiplayer maps. Obviously, NWI isn't Epic Games and this is their first go with Unreal as a studio (i.e. cut them some slack, let's not turn this into a "GET UR CRAP TOGETHER DEVS" thread-- as someone familiar with Unreal and games development, making games is NOT easy, nor is it elegant), but it might be helpful to get some extra eyes on moments where we hit lag or stuttering that can be regularly reproduced.
As for me:
Map and lighting optimizations
The maps are HUGE and there are many, many, many lights within each map. Looking around some maps, there are places where multiple lights overlap, and sometimes there are area lights that are strung up right next to each other:
If you look at the hot spots on these lights in particular, you'll notice that there's 3 of them, i.e. there's 3 overlapping lights here. Add to that the skybox lighting and the sun and that's 5 overlapping lights right there, plus whatever other ambient lights they have in the area.
On top of this, add on how complex the geometry is (overall, Sandstorm has a LOT more geometry to its maps that Insurgency 2014) and figure out how each poly needs to calculate its lighting based off of all the lights in the area and that's a LOT of calculations for a LOT of lights. Maybe this isn't such a huge problem like I think it is? Again, I don't do lighting in unreal professionally so there's a fair chance I'm wrong about this. But maybe it'd be more optimized to have one bigger light provide the actual lighting for light sources that are close together to save on some processing power?
Map geometry and overdraw
I tend to run around 100 fps on interiors (again, I'm running low graphics with my machine), but that drops to about 70 fps when looking at vistas. I think part of the problem here is overdraw, especially when it comes to foliage:
There's a ton of grass, foliage, and leaves here. It looks like the way they did foliage was to have flat planes with transparent leaf textures on top-- that all adds to the overdraw. A ton of overdraw tanks performance (and, with the previous lighting comments I made before, take a look at how dense the grass is and how each grass sheet reacts to lighting).
The obvious caveat here is that without being able to look at the shader complexity view, I could be completely wrong (but I'm pretty sure all those transparent planes on top of each other isn't helping out with the performance)
Checkpoint objective state change stuttering, plus stuttering when shooting at bots or getting shot at
This is the biggest pain point for me right now playing checkpoint. Stuttering for me most often occurs when an objective is captured, or if a bot spots me and starts shooting, or if I start shooting at a bot-- almost as if there's some kind of hang up on state or changes or on event starts? I did notice this as well on local play (not nearly as bad as on live multiplayer coop).
I wish I had a better description of this or a better way to break down what the actual problem is, but for me it's lag at the most inopportune moments-- usually when I spot an enemy or if I'm getting shot at
I guarantee this 3-4 shot kill with rifle rounds mess will be absolutely gone on my server within 4 hours of the modding tools being released. (If it's possible.)
The questions of will it be possible and when weigh heavily on me too.
I'd love to see a poll conducted across everybody who has put 20+ hours into Sandstorm. From my interactions with strangers ingame the TTK seems to be a problem for 95%+ of people yet the forums disproportionately reflect the casuals.
Most of my experience with Insurgency (2014 Standalone) and Insurgency Sandstorm is from the Checkpoint modes (though I did play a good deal of the INS mod. I still have nightmares about the original Sinjar)
It seems like most people here are talking about bullets not doing enough damage, but for me the other part of the equation is overall weapons handling. Sandstorm seems to have a LOT more recoil aim displacement, a lot more screen shake and camera animations, and a much slower "settling time"
In the INS Mod and Insurgency 2014 standalone, it was really easy to double, triple, or magdump guns on semi auto, with each shot quickly settling back on your original point of aim for a fast follow up shot.
In Sandstorm, it feels like not only does the recoil feel twice as high for every gun, but the time it takes for your sights to settle back to its original position (and with Sandstorm having larger maps overall and longer engagement distances, this recoil definiitely feels more exaggerated). As a result, player rates of fire are way down.
If you have both the standalone game and Sandstorm, try this out:
In both games, grab an M16A4, switch it to semi, then go into any random level and try shooting 5 shots accurately into something as fast as you can. You'll probably notice that you can do this much faster in INS 2014 than Sandstorm. I'd be totally fine if I had to triple tap everyone with 5.56 to kill them if it didn't take so long to get my sights back on target every time I fired. This is where most of my frustration is, personally
As far as a stun state would go for getting a door to the face, I'd be curious how gameplay would feel if, as a placeholder, NWI were to use the same 'Flashbanged' state and then reorient the player in a random direction. This would give the door kicker an advantage over the kickee in that the kickee can't just immediately open fire and waste anyone coming in through the door (without at least risking hosing any nearby teamates down with bullets), but it also doesn't completely remove agency from the kickee and allows for either a teammate to save them from the breacher(s).
I'd also be a fan of leaving the insta-death mechanic in the game as is, but requiring the use of an explosive to do so (either a door breaching charge, c4, or an M203 impact), which suddenly really incentivizes keeping your breacher or demolitions alive (yay teamwork!)
Small bit of feedback-- Especially in coop, getting insta-killed by a door being kicked does not feel good
From the realism perspective, in a game where getting double tapped by 5.56 NATO rounds is a survivable thing, being in the path of an door flying off of its hinges shouldn't be an instant death.
From a gameplay perspective, instant door deaths are untelegraphed, provide no opportunity for counter play, and given the claustrophobic nature of the maps, altogether unavoidable (especially in coop bot matches). This mechanic just feels bad and is right up there with getting hit from a molotov thrown from 500+ yards away by a bot who just so happens to know you're prone in a room with no direct line of sight.
I'm all kick-in-the-door style adventures, but I think some kind of knockback or stun would be a little more appropriate****
(that is, unless it's established that security and the insurgents NEVER skip leg day and can leg press a train, then I'd buy that they'd be able to Sparta-kick anyone to death with a single blow)
****As someone familiar with games development and UE4, I say this full well knowing that designing, implementing, and balancing a new player state is, to say the least, not an easy task to do. Whatever the fix is, I'd like to mostly just point out that as a player, instant deaths to door kicks are not fun to play against
When the first Standalone version of Insurgency came out, I absolutely fell in love with the coop mode. Something about the linear (albeit, slightly open) routes of the maps funneled players together and subtly encouraged teamwork, moving cover to cover and leapfrogging. Even with a team of random players on a random server people seemed to know how to work together and it made for some incredibly fun times.
Overall the map design of INS:S feels way different than the first standalone game. In the coop modes, maps feel way more open and like you can get hit from any side-- understandably this is more realistic, but as compared to the first game:
-It feels like I have less awareness of my teammates at all times, which deeply hampers any kind of spontaneous teamplay
-In every coop map, there's little to no strategic positions to hold where I can support my teammates by providing overwatch with an MG or sniper rifle
-Maps are way less linear now, and while I'm all for open map designs, it means that my team of random players tends to split up and charge onto the objective on their own. This would be totally fine if each "route" to the next objective provided some kind of opportunity to cover one another but for the most part, coop feels like a solo mission where I don't shoot a certain amount of people
-Due to the more claustraphobic nature of the map design, holding a position during a counter attack feels more like sitting inside the corner of a room and shooting any bot that happens to come inside of it (compare to point C of Burhiz of the first standalone Insurgency game, where everyone on your team would aim out of windows to cover 4 potential routes to the objective you have to hold)
Overall I understand that INS:S may be going for more realism but so far the open map design doesn't feel like it encourages teamplay like the original standalone game did, nor does it really provide any opportunities to do so
As an older school gamer, I enjoy hiding in a corner and typing out the first chapter of Moby Dick. Reminds me of my Counter Strike days (it's a great way of learning how to type fast!)
Alternatively, there are some times in which I can't make a lot of noise so my preferred method of communicating with the team is by spamming intimidate or typing
Small quality of life bug that was introduced with the last patch:
When attempting to type in a message using all-chat or team-chat, the text box is now de-selected by default, preventing you from typing any message until you manually mouse over and select the chatbox.
- Enter typing mode by hitting the all chat key (I have mine bound to Y)
- Observe that you can still move using WASD, but cannot turn using the mouse
- Observe that typing doesn't add any characters to the chat box
- Observe that the UI mouse has now appeared on the screen and can be controlled by the mouse
- Move the mouse cursor over to the chat box and click to be able to type
- Type out a message and hit enter to submit the typed message
I wouldn't call this game breaking but this has actually gotten me killed a few times or prevented me from typing a warning to my teammates, which got them killed. This behavior was definitely not in the last patch (maybe it was something introduced with 4.20 engine update?)