Visual Noise — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Visual Noise

Is there any progress in dialling down a lot of the boss effects? A lot of your cool bosses are being swamped by all the visual noise. Istan was horrendous, but the same issue plagues the simulcrams as well.

It isnt so bad with the djinn boss due to his size and bosses in previous seasons where populations can split up (vinewrath, HoT metas). Are plans in place to help deal with visual noise problems for future episodes?

What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

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  • Haleydawn.3764Haleydawn.3764 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    One of my main gripes with the simulacrums, is the Branded one which then targets a Ranger's Wyvern Pet (which as we know has horrendous scaling when it comes to buffs (look at a Wyvern Buffed with Aegis or Retaliation) So you have this HOOGE crystal blocking your entire screen.

    Another thing would also be the amount of effect that players have on any enemy, it's a lot of flashing and bursting and drowns out what you should be able to see when fighting an enemy. Should I dodge? Idk, is it attacking? Downed yep, that was an attack. ^^

    Better get a wriggle on.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah I know it is a player focused problem, although I do believe the problem is now reaching so great due to the increasing number of effects being available for players to obtain, that gameplay experience is suffering greatly in places.

    I'm a big fan of splitting the population. I find the boss fights more intriguing where it has been done and seems to allow a greater level of creativity with the design teams which is another plus. I appreciate that risks becoming a stale solution though if overused.

    I hope you do find a solution. I'm thoroughly enjoying LS4, but Palawadan and the Great Hall was a mess and the visual noise degraded the experience of the fights to the point that having them actually became detrimental to the game experience. And that's shame given how iconic Kamadan is and how largely unviewable it became.

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    That's a tough question to answer. We're constantly trying to think of clever solutions to this problem. Splitting player groups, creating spaced out objectives, designing encounters with less visual noise all move towards solving this problem. However, it's multi-faceted nature means there will always be some issues that can't be ironed out without a drastic overhaul of how our game draws player effects, or how the effects themselves are visually and mechanically designed.

    Regarding spaced out objectives, is phase 2 of Serpent's Ire a good example of this design at work?

  • Vagrant.7206Vagrant.7206 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    This is an ongoing discussion within the team - as the core of the problem may not actually exist where many would point towards (the boss' effects).

    The issue, as I see it, is the amount of effects created by players themselves, and the length at which they persist. In many other games, player skills that are flashy last for a short period of time, (or in some cases, such as a super attack, take up the entire screen, but can only be launched once or twice per encounter). In our game, players have access to many abilities whose effects last for many seconds at a time, and those effects are noisy.

    On their own, these effects don't look to take up that much visual real estate. However, once you have 50+ players all firing their abilities at once, it quickly compounds into a blur of camera shake, motion blur, and artistic flavor that overwhelms the individual player's line of sight. This is called "Overdraw".

    While creating encounters that split players into lanes, or force seperate groups to complete objectives in differing map spaces, etc, can alleviate this issue, it doesn't solve it. At some point, there is a cap on the amount of "Overdraw" that occurs in the game, and this can usually be reached with 20-25 players standing and attacking in a single spot. At that point, it's difficult to tell the difference between 20 players, and 100 players using abilities (other than that the Overdraw takes up more screenspace overall.), the saturation level has already reached it's peak.

    How do we fix this?

    That's a tough question to answer. We're constantly trying to think of clever solutions to this problem. Splitting player groups, creating spaced out objectives, designing encounters with less visual noise all move towards solving this problem. However, it's multi-faceted nature means there will always be some issues that can't be ironed out without a drastic overhaul of how our game draws player effects, or how the effects themselves are visually and mechanically designed.

    One thing I've noticed as well is that these visual effects scale with the size of the boss. Is there a way to prevent them from scaling with a boss's size? On large bosses, the effects can take up the entire screen, because they are the same effects on normal size enemies blown up to massive proportions (glitches from the electric wyvern particularly highlight this problem). If the effects would always occur at the player's scale, around the base of the enemy, it would go a long way to reducing some of the visual clutter.

    The great god Lagki demands sacrifice!

  • ovinnik.9216ovinnik.9216 Member ✭✭✭

    From what I've seen, it's not only players' skills, although they're certainly the main culprits. It's their gear, too. Some characters are flashy, some are large and flashy. Is an option to disable parts of everything, maybe gradually, truly not viable? I understand that this question might touch on not only mechanical, but also financial concerns which aren't a topic for discussion. Still, perhaps things aren't quite as dire.

  • videoboy.4162videoboy.4162 Member ✭✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    This is an ongoing discussion within the team - as the core of the problem may not actually exist where many would point towards (the boss' effects).

    The issue, as I see it, is the amount of effects created by players themselves, and the length at which they persist. In many other games, player skills that are flashy last for a short period of time, (or in some cases, such as a super attack, take up the entire screen, but can only be launched once or twice per encounter). In our game, players have access to many abilities whose effects last for many seconds at a time, and those effects are noisy.

    On their own, these effects don't look to take up that much visual real estate. However, once you have 50+ players all firing their abilities at once, it quickly compounds into a blur of camera shake, motion blur, and artistic flavor that overwhelms the individual player's line of sight. This is called "Overdraw".

    While creating encounters that split players into lanes, or force seperate groups to complete objectives in differing map spaces, etc, can alleviate this issue, it doesn't solve it. At some point, there is a cap on the amount of "Overdraw" that occurs in the game, and this can usually be reached with 20-25 players standing and attacking in a single spot. At that point, it's difficult to tell the difference between 20 players, and 100 players using abilities (other than that the Overdraw takes up more screenspace overall.), the saturation level has already reached it's peak.

    How do we fix this?

    That's a tough question to answer. We're constantly trying to think of clever solutions to this problem. Splitting player groups, creating spaced out objectives, designing encounters with less visual noise all move towards solving this problem. However, it's multi-faceted nature means there will always be some issues that can't be ironed out without a drastic overhaul of how our game draws player effects, or how the effects themselves are visually and mechanically designed.

    Is it possible to allow a player to either reduce or completely hide the effects generated by other players? (especially in Raids) I know that being able to do so would really increase the enjoyment for myself and my Raid group.

  • videoboy.4162videoboy.4162 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905

    I just appreciate that you're even looking into it. I can't see half of the VG fight. lol

  • PaladinVII.1647PaladinVII.1647 Member ✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    Visual noise feedback:

    Domain of Istan has an area that brings my hardware to its knees. I am running win10 on an Intel Core i7-6700k at 4ghz with 32GB of 3200 ram with a NVidia 1080. I usually run with settings maxed out. I get 36 to 50 FPS in LA with usual player traffic depending on how fast I spin my camera around. Idle at 50ish.

    Champion's Dawn brings my FPS to 34-40 sitting idle on a cliff with no player traffic. For comparison, the Corsair Flotilla idle is around 54-60 FPS. I suspect the flowing water in the area of Champion's Dawn is causing this.

    My FPS in Sandswept Isles seems to hover around 50-60 with light player traffic with myself moving around the map. The fight (Farm) leading up to the specimen chamber is around 36 at the low with 50 at the high.

    Specimen chamber idle before the boss even spawns is around 30. In addition, "Simulacrum of Varkesh, the Branded" summons these MASSIVE, Screen-filling crystals - I believe this is the same bug that makes aegis look monstrous on ranger pets. First fight with said boss at 28-34 fps. Simulacrum of Subject Beta fight 32-36FPS depending. Fighting both 28 (facing both bosses) as the low, 36 as the high. 29 was common when facing both bosses. These fights were not as visually "Clunkly" as the area in Domain of Istan, Champion's Dawn, as aforementioned.

    During the Story Instance "The Charge" there were two fights that caused nearly unplayable visual lag worse than Champion's Dawn the first time I went through with old NVidia drivers and initial release. I replayed this instance for data with current Video Drivers. Here are the findings as I replayed the story. Before ship on fire, on approach, 60fps. Ship on fire, 45ish. Same with looking at a lot of the area in the cube with the storm effects. Inside Southeast Lab, near constant 60fps. Inside Dragon Fusion Lab 57 FPS, saw low 50's during fight. Consumer Gate Research: Low of 53 facing door while fighting, usual 60 and even a 61fps. Gate hub low 50fps before fight, High 40's to 60FPS during fight. Hallways around 50fps. Basement Lab 60fps, 52 if I spin camera rapidly. Final boss first fight 50-ish fps, 52 low. Second fight DR: Near constant 60fps or high 50's. Third fight, Mt Malestrum : more stable than the first time I went through, lowest was 48 norm was low 50's. Final fight: this was the one that lagged me to death the first time - this time it was around 48-60 FPS. It was quite stable. I Either there had been a patch to fix this or the updated video drivers corrected these fights.

  • Leablo.2651Leablo.2651 Member ✭✭✭

    Would it be difficult to add transparency effects to player models? Such that if you are standing in a crowd, other players within a radius of your model will render as partially transparent so that you can still see where you are in relation to a boss/circle.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Nep Leet.5491 said:

    ...a drastic overhaul of how our game draws player effects, or how the effects themselves are visually and mechanically designed.

    I think its time. :)

    Oh i agree, although i am acutely aware this is a monster task. The problem is exasperated by being a very long standing one and instead of the issue improving over time, it has worsened by the increased graphics and huge number of over the top particle effects the gave gives players opportunities to get.

    I really hope we see an improvement soon before anymore fireworks get added to the game, because as with Istan, the problem is hurting the game/experience a lot

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • saloja.7920saloja.7920 Member ✭✭

    @Just a flesh wound.3589 said:
    Can y’all at least have the boss have an red outline around his body that shows up in front of the visual noise? That way we can see him move around and his gestures.

    This is imo pretty clever.

  • Raizel.8175Raizel.8175 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    This is an ongoing discussion within the team - as the core of the problem may not actually exist where many would point towards (the boss' effects).

    The issue, as I see it, is the amount of effects created by players themselves, and the length at which they persist. In many other games, player skills that are flashy last for a short period of time, (or in some cases, such as a super attack, take up the entire screen, but can only be launched once or twice per encounter). In our game, players have access to many abilities whose effects last for many seconds at a time, and those effects are noisy.

    On their own, these effects don't look to take up that much visual real estate. However, once you have 50+ players all firing their abilities at once, it quickly compounds into a blur of camera shake, motion blur, and artistic flavor that overwhelms the individual player's line of sight. This is called "Overdraw".

    While creating encounters that split players into lanes, or force seperate groups to complete objectives in differing map spaces, etc, can alleviate this issue, it doesn't solve it. At some point, there is a cap on the amount of "Overdraw" that occurs in the game, and this can usually be reached with 20-25 players standing and attacking in a single spot. At that point, it's difficult to tell the difference between 20 players, and 100 players using abilities (other than that the Overdraw takes up more screenspace overall.), the saturation level has already reached it's peak.

    How do we fix this?

    That's a tough question to answer. We're constantly trying to think of clever solutions to this problem. Splitting player groups, creating spaced out objectives, designing encounters with less visual noise all move towards solving this problem. However, it's multi-faceted nature means there will always be some issues that can't be ironed out without a drastic overhaul of how our game draws player effects, or how the effects themselves are visually and mechanically designed.

    Most MMORPGs I've played before GW2 had some shortcut to disable/enable every other character (and of course their (skill-) animations), so you just have yourself and the monsters you're facing (and also the name-tags of other people so you know that there actually are other people around). Can we please have something like that too in GW2? It would make stuff like Palawadan much more enjoyable. The Character Model Limit option isn't really a solution here since that can disable enemies and you always have to go to the options-menu to dis- and enable it.

  • Kite.2510Kite.2510 Member ✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    How do we fix this?

    That's a tough question to answer. We're constantly trying to think of clever solutions to this problem. Splitting player groups, creating spaced out objectives, designing encounters with less visual noise all move towards solving this problem. However, it's multi-faceted nature means there will always be some issues that can't be ironed out without a drastic overhaul of how our game draws player effects, or how the effects themselves are visually and mechanically designed.

    Here is a suggestion!
    Give us an option to make allied players appear transparent when more than a set amount around you are in combat. Even if you are a healer, you mostly check for lifebars anyway, so it will be easier even for them to make out the bars among the noise.
    The Idea solution would be for skills to have two versions. One impressive for when you are in small parties, and one puny for zerging.

  • witcher.3197witcher.3197 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    How do we fix this?

    That's a tough question to answer.

    Not really, you have already answered it. This has been an ongoing struggle in PvP too: the abundance of obnoxious player skill animations. It's even worse with legendary weapons added to the mix, and it's only getting worse. Compare core necromancer animations to reaper ones, and then compared reaper with scourge shades/their new elite skill. There is a crystal clear tendency and this increase of visual noise is becoming ubearable accross the whole game.

    So please talk to the guys in charge of elite spec design and ask them to pay more attention to this in the future. GW1 started out with such a clear design and GW2 is itching evermore closer to Asian MMO design which isn't good for a game meant for the western market.

  • @PaladinVII.1647 said:
    Visual noise feedback:

    Domain of Istan has an area that brings my hardware to its knees. I am running win10 on an Intel Core i7-6700k at 4ghz with 32GB of 3200 ram with a NVidia 1080. I usually run with settings maxed out. I get 36 to 50 FPS in LA with usual player traffic depending on how fast I spin my camera around. Idle at 50ish.

    Champion's Dawn brings my FPS to 34-40 sitting idle on a cliff with no player traffic. For comparison, the Corsair Flotilla idle is around 54-60 FPS. I suspect the flowing water in the area of Champion's Dawn is causing this.

    Same here - this area of Istan seems to have some kind of an issue causing massive FPS drops. I'm not sure it's the flowing water though, there are other areas in the world with flowing water and they don't cause anything like this. There's bound to be some hidden issue in this specific area that causes the FPS drops.

    Back to the topic: the visual noise is not specific to player actions in group encounters. Many boss fights in story missions suffer from this problem, including the very recent ones, like the Balthazar fight and even the Commander Lonai encounter. At times it's difficult to even say what's going on in front of me, it's like watching the whole New Year's fireworks in Sydney every second of the fight... I get it that the devs want to show the awesomeness and power of the bosses, but surely, there must be a better way than this.

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