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Tharoz

Load Times

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Pillars of Eternity has some ridiculously long load times.  I noticed this issue at launch and after playing for a while I moved on to other things, expecting the devs to get around to some necessary optimisation once they had ironed out the more game breaking bugs.  However I have recently returned to the game and find the load times just as ridiculous.

 

There seems to be little difference between the load times of entering any of the different zones, big or small they all take far too long, and far longer than they have any right to given the modern PC power and the fairly modest requirements this game should have if properly optimised.

 

So, my question is, is this going to be fixed, or is it just going to be left in this sad state?

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Having reached Defiance Bay this week for the first time, the load screens have become very noticeable.

I wouldn't be too concerned about them if there was much more interesting content presented each time.

 

I'd prefer the screen to also show a random playable character's sheet with mouseover details enabled. Using that loading screen time to get a better understanding of my party and have details sink in over the adventure would be great way to immerse ourselves in the variables that matter.

 

Also, showing the detail sheet of any random skill or talent currently accessible (even those not taken at level-up) would be another way to get to know the game and inspire good theory crafting on skills we'd normally overlook.

 

Finally, any random entry from the ingame lore book/dictionary would be nice. Much better than the <20 or so info cards we cycle through currently.

 

Without interesting and distracting content in those loading screens, travel and adventure becomes quite odious. :(

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Hello, all.  We are aware of the issues with load times.  Really, it comes down to how Unity handles loading levels.  The longer you play the game, and the more areas you discover, the longer the loading times are going to be.  This is inherent in the Unity Engine.  Other games that also use the Unity Engine, such as Wasteland 2, also suffer from longer than usual load times.  I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your ongoing support and patience with this issue.   


- Refer to this thread if you are having trouble finding any information I requested http://forums.obsidi...eport-an-issue/

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Hello again.  I will bring that suggestion to the proper team.  I'm honestly not sure how all that works or if it is possible, but will make sure that our team knows about the suggestion.  Thanks for your support!

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- Refer to this thread if you are having trouble finding any information I requested http://forums.obsidi...eport-an-issue/

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Personally, I found my load times greatly shortened after updating from the first 1.0.6 hotfix to the second one. I'm on Mac and using GoG. The first load after launching the game doesn't seem noticeably shorter, but subsequent ones definitely do, which is much appreciated. I also seem to be getting a lot less crashes on load (either from a saved game or from changing zones), so the devs did something right at least for some players!

 

At the same time, the text got more pixellated (another issue that's been discussed: hopefully 2.0 fixes it). But make sure you have the latest hotfix for this load time issue.

Edited by Nobear

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can someone give some insight how does the loading occurs? I mean we have game temporary memory: we put here a map that is loaded, we must store the changes applied to other maps, but do we load all the adjacent maps too? if yes - is it simple thread running when the map is played or how is it managed... does it occur only on map change?

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Hello, all.  We are aware of the issues with load times.  Really, it comes down to how Unity handles loading levels.  The longer you play the game, and the more areas you discover, the longer the loading times are going to be.  This is inherent in the Unity Engine.  Other games that also use the Unity Engine, such as Wasteland 2, also suffer from longer than usual load times.  I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your ongoing support and patience with this issue.   

 

I do not necessarily believe this is the porblem for all of us.  My load times just to get to the loading screen are absurd.  I also just loaded a fresh game in the first area and it took nearly a minute to load the area. Between the 45 seconds or so to get to the load screen and then the minute to load the first area I am thinking there is something that is wrong than just loading of data.  I do not have a super awesome computer but it loads other titles quite well.  The loading issue is also sporadic as in about 1 out of 5 times it is fairly fast to load.

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Time to bust out dtrace/profiler and see just what in god's green earth is going on in there.

 

Here's a set of IO read/write timings from the main menu, to my current progress in game. That's getting into the load game menu, followed by the level load.

 

It's the output of the command 'sudo iosnoop -p <PID> -A | ts "[ %Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S ]" | tee ~/iosnoop.log.0', where <PID> is the running game's pid. This is something you should be able to run on OSX, and maybe linux. Probably not on windows :(

 

If you want to get a rough feel for what's happening, it's still a little challenging. There are file reads, and lots of file writes. Maybe all the levels you've ever played in the save file are being extracted? I'm not sure what the null file descriptors are pointing to. I'll try some other dtrace scripts.

 

For those of you following along, all I'm doing is loading the game to main menu, opening a terminal, trying out scripts that measure system performance while loading into my newest (largest) save. I'm just poking around based on reading http://dtrace.org/blogs/brendan/2011/10/10/top-10-dtrace-scripts-for-mac-os-x/

Edited by epu
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Time to bust out dtrace/profiler and see just what in god's green earth is going on in there.

 

Here's a set of IO read/write timings from the main menu, to my current progress in game. That's getting into the load game menu, followed by the level load.

 

It's the output of the command 'sudo iosnoop -p <PID> -A | ts "[ %Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S ]" | tee ~/iosnoop.log.0', where <PID> is the running game's pid. This is something you should be able to run on OSX, and maybe linux. Probably not on windows :(

 

If you want to get a rough feel for what's happening, it's still a little challenging. There are file reads, and lots of file writes. Maybe all the levels you've ever played in the save file are being extracted? I'm not sure what the null file descriptors are pointing to. I'll try some other dtrace scripts.

 

For those of you following along, all I'm doing is loading the game to main menu, opening a terminal, trying out scripts that measure system performance while loading into my newest (largest) save. I'm just poking around based on reading http://dtrace.org/blogs/brendan/2011/10/10/top-10-dtrace-scripts-for-mac-os-x/

 

Have you found anything interesting that we could do to decrease them or even to figure out why they are so sporadic?

 

Because right now my only solution is flipping around the priority until it seems to take precedence.  It also seemed to help to actually alt tab and start other programs.

Perhaps its a hyper thread issue. 

 

The times when it takes an absurd amount of time to load it generally apphangB1s then goes active and then apphangs again.  Then when it gets through its apphang the second time it will likely load. 

 

When it loads fast the time between these things is insignificant and I even get a flash to desktop at times during the first and second apphang.  The difference between the faster load time and the one in which it seems to just freeze up can range from 1 to 2 minutes.  If I factor in the time it takes to actually get to the load screen from the Obsidian intro that time is increased.  This is one of the most bizarre problems I have encountered with loading a game and I can not replicate it consistently.

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I haven't correlated anything yet on OSX. Is that your platform also? I just noticed the new update (I don't think steam news feed items have been updated in awhile, the last entry is 6/9/15), I haven't tried 2.0.2 yet. Those timings were for 2.0.1. I'll poke around at this again tonight.

Edited by epu

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