[1.0][Console] Block Allowance issues and idiosyncrasies

Discussion in 'TT Stable & Console Bugs' started by ZeroGravitas, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    Block limits are necessary for consoles and so this feature won't be removed altogether. However, some refinements or fixes may be in order, with respect to issues highlighted below. (Disclaimer, I don't have a console, so all my info is second hand. Mostly from @Heketea.)

    (1) Can't place down SCUs or anchors to collect loose blocks after block drops (for an example) put the player over the limit:

    (2) Resources count against the limit while on techs (on Collectors, Conveyors, Silos, etc), but not while on the ground. (Does this make a loose resource stockpiling style base an appropriate strategy?)

    (3) Anchors/anchoring takes up a big chunk of extra allowance (200). I don't understand the reasoning for this, seeing as techs on fixed anchors have physics optimisations that substantially reduce the processing burden of their blocks. Surely this shouldn't be discouraged? (Are there increased world loading overheads caused by them...?)

    Also, it sounds like this will make it virtually impossible to set up the kind of mining operations that would be needed to make crafting worth while.
    Is this definitely *per* anchor, and not per anchored tech, as a whole?


    (4) Block limit may be too low at early/mid stages of the game (I've no idea). The starting limit and gradient of increase could presumably be increased, without raising the max limit (which is a harder limit for the sake of performance).

    (5) Limit doesn't take into account substantial differences in capability between different console models:

    Information from this "Community Help" thread, and this "Suggestions" thread.

    Please try to keep comments on this thread specific to issues with the current implementation and avoid branching out too far into potential solutions and suggestions.

     
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  2. Heketea

    Heketea Well-Known Member

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    YES, ran it through several scenarios. Consistently, any anchored block will tack on the extra 200BA cost.

    Add onto this bottleneck the 'chunk' type handling of the zone. If you leave an area, haven't determined the range yet, production stops on mining until you reenter the area. Feels very much M***craft-y-ish.
    Separate problem to report maybe?


     
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  3. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    It's not a problem per say, and it's not console specific: any techs beyond ~500m are unloaded. However, the Auto-miners will play catchup when they are reloaded, outputting 1 resource chunk every 10 seconds, instead of 1 per 30 (until they're back to where they should have got to).

     
  4. Django

    Django PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Hey there, glad you're enjoying the game. I'll try to add some feedback to some of the questions and observations you've made

    Loose blocks shouldn't add to your allowance, but it's possible your tech itself has grown and put you on the edge of the limit.
    Placing a fresh SCU requires 224 free allowance, although you are allowed to break the limit once (press Continue when prompted) as long as you're placing the block on an existing tech.
    One workaround is adding the SCU to your own tech and then anchor to allow the SCU to do its work.

    Correct. This is because held resources have an intrinsic cost higher than being loose objects on the ground, but more importantly because their potential to turn into crafting operations which are more expensive.
    This is a trade off aimed at making the play experience consistent, at the cost of slightly less block/resource freedom. The alternative would be seemingly random fabricators not working due to block limit, and resources dropping off when changing anchor states.
    No, as loose resources are inevitably open to being cleared from the world. For anything you want to keep for later I'd recommend converting it to a resource block and storing it in the inventory.

    A deployed anchor counts as a 'tech' from a code point of view. This means there is additional code/logic associated with it that costs performance. Similarly because they are already tech (you can attach to it etc) they have the potential to change into full tech and unanchor at any point, removing any static optimisations available. See above - this again is a tradeoff for consistency in behaviour rather than randomly preventing actions and heavily fluctuating block allowance based on 'tech state'.
    The 200 BA cost is per _tech_, so per unique anchored entity. Adding an extra anchor on an already deployed tech only costs as much as the anchor block itself (usually 1), as you can see below.
    Keep an eye out for the tech marker and make sure the block you're adding actually attached to the same tech. Sometimes it's possible to put a block next to a tech that _looks_ connected, but isn't actually the same tech. You can see if this is the case if you've got multiple tech markers (and multiple entries in the block limiter).
    upload_2018-8-15_11-9-46.png

    Perhaps one for design to comment on. Typically you're not expected to be hitting the limit too hard in the earlier grades, but if this is a big issue it's possible to tweaks.

    The differences relevant to the block limit are actually minimal. For both console platforms the improvements are largely aimed at providing 4k support and as a result they have greatly increased GPU power. Unfortunately for us we're CPU bound (physics yay) and throwing more GPU at it doesn't benefit us. Only the highest upgrade tier of console (X/Pro) offer an increase in CPU power, and it's a relatively modest increase at that.
    Having a different allowance for each version makes things hard to communicate (are you running version X, Y or Z?) and also increases testing time. I don't think it's likely we'll change allowance based on such small factors, as they're outweighed by the cons.



    Whew.. I hope that all made sense.

     
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  5. kae

    kae PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Hiya, are you sure this is what you are seeing?

    I've given this a test on both the PS4 and XB1 and each anchor only adds 1 to the block limit if placed on an existing tech, they will only add the extra 200 BA when separated and used to create a new tech (See Djangos image uploaded above)

     
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  6. Zed

    Zed Well-Known Member

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    During the hunt for specific benchmarks for the various editions / variants of the XBOX One / Playstation 4 Forbes provided the following specs for XBOX / PS4 :

    Performance

    While the Xbox One X has only minor design tweaks compared to the Xbox One S, what is far more important is what Microsoft has done internally and here the new console shines:

    • Xbox One X - Custom CPU @ 2.3GHz, 8 cores; Custom GPU @ 1.172GHz, 40 CUs, Polaris features, 6.0 TFLOPS; 12GB GDDR5 RAM @ 326 GB/s
    • Xbox One S - Custom CPU @ 1.75GHz, 8 cores; Custom GPU @ 914MHz, 12 CUs, 1.4 TFLOPS; 8GB DDR3 RAM @ 68 GB/s

    Performance

    While the PS4 Slim keeps to the tried and trusted route of reboxing the original console into a thinner, lighter and more efficient footprint while retaining the same performance, the PS4 Pro has very different ideas:

    • PS4 - CPU: 1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar; 1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz); 8GB GDDR5 RAM
    • PS4 Slim - CPU: 1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar; 1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz); 8GB GDDR5 RAM
    • PS4 Pro - CPU: 2.1GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar; GPU: 4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon (36CU, 911MHz); 8GB GDDR5 + 1GB RAM
    Sony says the PS4 Pro delivers a 30% CPU and 100% GPU boost over the PS4 and PS4 Slim and its extra 1GB of RAM is specifically for non-gaming functionality so the full 8GB can be reserved for your gaming at all times.

    It seems worth noting that the Xbox One X also shares ~ 30% in raw clockspeed above its Stock / One S counterparts.however the main difference would seem to be the Xbox One X's vast ~480% increase in Memory bandwidth when compared to the Stock / "s" variants, which would account for the following observation;

    Based on the specs above, such lag / reduction of lag between PS4 vs PS4 Pro should be less noticeable, if even perceptible, given that both PS4's use GDDR5 and then increase from 8GB to 9GB (the extra 1GB for UI overhead mostly) Though the 30% CPU performance increase could easily justify increasing the PS4 Pro's BA.

    TL : DR

    Based on Specs, if 5000 BA remains the value for Stock XB 1 / PS4 then it is suggested that PS4 Pro's are upped to 7500 with the XB1X going to 10k BA

     
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  7. Django

    Django PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    I'm not sure how you see translating a 30% CPU clock speed would allow an increase of 50/100% in game complexity. At best, it's unlikely to be better-than-linear.
    At the end of the day any change would have actual gameplay implications, and we'd rather all versions of the game are as similar as possible.


     
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  8. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain these mechanics in some detail, @Django - some clarity was definitely needed.:)
    Hmm, it sounds like you guys have been very careful to construct a mechanism that is fully workable, technically... Once you've figured out exactly how it's working.

    But for new players trying to figure everything else out too, I can imagine it being confusing, frustrating and distracting. Somewhat similar way to it being technically possible to circumvent all the crafting bugs, once you've figured them all out (or read up). Having to be totally tidy while experimenting, etc, that one extra constraint may put things over the limits of one's cognitive flexibility.

    @Heketea seems very on the ball and yet apparently isn't understanding some of the mechanics. Assuming they are always working as intended... I assume there's been extra careful internal testing on these aspects, seeing as there could be no canary or unstable builds for mass testing.

    It's an extra enemy target and has UI interactions (and extra loading overheads when leaving/returning to an area?). That makes sense. But they can't become mobile unless they have a cab. So shouldn't that be the main BA expense? What is the allowance for player and AI cabs? (Is there extra on AI to allow for it's significant extra processing costs?)

    Are those numbers added automatically by an internal Unity game build?:)


    The FPS decrease there may be down to GPU limitations on the weaker Xbox, which is relatively unavoidable from the dev's perspective(?).

     
    #8 ZeroGravitas, Aug 15, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  9. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    Oh, I meant to ask...
    I think I heard that loose resources and blocks are de-spawned more aggressively in the console version. Is that right? What are the differences from PC's mechanics?

    Will blocks and resources be removed even next to your anchored techs? Or even while looking at them (if there really are a lot)?

     
  10. Nightblade Greyswandir

    Nightblade Greyswandir Nothing is good enough!

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    Ok... who told Payload to make TT for 4K? Top PCs have problem in late game with 1080 and going to 4K is ridiculous. Or make soft limit, with info screen "if you go over this number of blocks your framerate will drop for 5%" and put it on every 100 blocks over 5000... If player want to go over limit you are there to give them opportunity to do so.

    Second. Make SCU without attaching point specially for console versions and charge it 1 when anchored or make it indestructible and limit amount to one per savegame and charge it 0. SO players can always use it no matter how many blocks they have on ground. And with this limit it is more than ridiculous not to have SCU for material chunks. Just make it for console and forget blocks of material. You are making people frustrated with all limitations that have to be learned and they brake game immersion for noobs.

     
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  11. Django

    Django PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    There is a maximum loose item count on console to prevent excessive amounts from degrading the performance. When this limit is reached loose items will start getting removed, applying weightings to remove what we think are the least missed ones first.
    On PC this limit is not enabled, though it's been suggested to enable it for the lower quality settings, or even a slider in the options menu.
    The limit on console is set to 250, so you're not likely to start running into it any time soon.

    Nobody did, and TT isn't 4k.

     
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  12. Nightblade Greyswandir

    Nightblade Greyswandir Nothing is good enough!

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    OK, read it again and you whee talking about GPU power on consoles not about TT optimization for 4K... sorry.

     
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  13. crowfive

    crowfive Member

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    PS4 user here - Is there somewhere I can go to find out how to deal with the block limits. Just got the game last night and played the campaign for about 5 hours. I was having to deal with the block caps pretty much after finding my 3rd trading post with 2 factions unlocked, maybe 3 hours into the game. I get why they're needed, but there didn't really seem to be any clear instruction in the game as to how to go about managing block usage.

    For context, I had been doing a lot of the Crafty Mike missions, so there were maybe 3 of those little conveyor setups around the map and I hadn't condensed them down to a single location yet. Otherwise, pretty much everything else except for my vehicle was all stored in my inventory. I also had built one sentry type gun by one of the conveyor setups, but that's it. It was pretty frustrating to say the least. Any help is appreciated.

     
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  14. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    I was going to point you at this thread, but you're already here, of course...:oops::)

    Just try to:

    • Minimise the number of separately anchored techs you have (200 allowance a piece, before blocks).
    • Hold as few resources in Silos as possible.
    • Remember that anything over ~500m is unloaded from the game (so not counted, I think).
    • Otherwise, try to play nomadically, I guess.

    (None of this fitting at all well with mining for crafting or even money farming, sorry.)

     
  15. crowfive

    crowfive Member

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    Yeah, it's kind of a let down in all honesty. I had zero materials in silos. I'm pretty sure the multiple conveyor installations that you inherit from Crafty Mike screw you over unless you disassemble them right after you find them, since those are all anchored techs. There was also another conveyor installation I found from another mission now that I think about it. But regardless, it just doesn't seem like you can do anything worthwhile in the console version with the block caps. Thanks for the tips anyway.

     
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  16. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    To be honest, that is standard practice with all the play that I've seen. I guess youwanted to keep them around for reference? You could snapshot them instead. But yeah, the BA is going to make learning crafting even more cumbersome...:confused:

     
  17. Nightblade Greyswandir

    Nightblade Greyswandir Nothing is good enough!

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    I think that developers never thought that somebody will just leave them on the ground... so far i never saw that happened and if somebody asked me I would say nobody do that. So you are surprisingly different... do you stream? I would like to watch how you play and build. I like to learn from people who think differently.

     
  18. kae

    kae PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Hey Crowfive, once you reach the block limit the game should give you a pop up telling you you've reached your block limit, from that screen you can save a snapshot of a previously placed tech and recall it to your inventory. This should allow you to carry on putting blocks on your tech without worrying too much.

    Having a crafting base on console is going to be quite difficult without having the max block cap, even with the max block limit which can be obtained by levelling the corps, I'd advise you to not leave permanent crafting bases around the world.

    We've been discussing the block limit internally and there could be a few changes coming that should make things a bit easier, hot swapping techs should also be a big help when we're ready to release that too.

     
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  19. crowfive

    crowfive Member

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    Thanks for the responses. Sorry I'm probably not using the correct game terminology in my responses below. Still trying to figure it out.

    I don't stream, but I can probably give you a good idea of my thought process regarding those crafting stations and why I was leaving them where they were. Mainly, it was out of fear of losing the items if I picket them up and was then attacked before getting back to dump the parts into my inventory at one of the trading posts. I think for both of the first 2 Crafty Mike missions when I got to the mission site, there was a formidable looking vehicle sitting right on the edge of where it would start coming after me. So I quickly completed the mission and then got out of there. I don't think my vehicle was very shielded at the time, so that was part of why I didn't just engage the other vehicle. By the time I had gotten to a point of being more confident in my vehicles attack/defense capabilities, I was hitting block caps and could then no longer even pick up those crafting stations to do anything with them.

    Yes, I was getting that popup regarding the block limit and giving me the choices to make, I just don't think the messaging is exactly clear as to what each choice actually means. It could be I just wasn't taking enough time to read it clearly also.

    One thing I think that might help, but I don't know if you could add it in at this point, would be an activity that a player has to perform early on to take a snapshot of some tech and then have to retrieve that snapshot.

    I'll reload an older save from before I really started having problems with the block caps and see if picking up the 2 or 3 crafting stations makes a big difference or not. Thanks again.

     
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  20. kae

    kae PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Completely understood :)

    Good suggestion!
    We'll look into adding some form of proper tutorial or pop up hint for the block limiter/and or the snapshots. One thing to note is that if we decide to tweak the block limit in the future, we'll also be tweaking the block caps at each corp level, so your feedback is definitely important to us!

    Thanks!

     
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