Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4 - SOLUTION FOUND

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nico.venuti
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Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4 - SOLUTION FOUND

Postby nico.venuti » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:49 pm

Hi.
After practicing for a while in sp battles i decided to move to mp.
Before doing that i tested the preformance for 3v3 and 4v4 as i had not done those before.
I know my laptop is not gaming-oriented, but the performance curve puzzled me a bit:
On 1v1 and 2v2 I habitually use the following settings:
-shader:3 high
-texture:ultra
-units: high
-particle effects: high
-texture filter: anisotropic x4
-units size: medium
-shadows: medium
-everithing else on the lowest setting (or unchecked boxes)

And i get smooth performances. The only difference is that the 4x speed (fastest) is not smooth on 2v2.

Turning to 3v3 I noticed some bad fps, so i tried to scale down the setting expecting to find some optimal point.
I did trial after trial without noticing any difference, and eventually decided to find the sweet spot from the bottom up.

I put all settings on the lowest possible value (really all of them, save for units size) and turns out.... I can barely notice any difference in performance from where i started!

Tried 4v4 and it's the same thing, only with worse fps.

Even tried to lower resoluton, but it's no different. (besides things become whay out of scale so ... not the ideal solution)

I have never noticed this issue in vanilla because of its puny little armies.

Has anyone had this issue before? Just want to gather feedback...

P.S.
I have a Acer Swift 3 with i5-8250u quad core as a CPU, 8GB of RAM and nvidia mx 150 as a graphic card.
While handling the game the ram sits comfortably at 60%, the overall CPU usage is something between 55% and 65% (with 2 cores nearly maxed out) and the nvidia card seems to fluctuate between 40% and 80%.(Values taken from Windows resouce monitor)
Last edited by nico.venuti on Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby Kevin » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:54 am

Experiencing low fps during big battles is fairly common, even with good rigs (especially when zooming in). If you tested the performance in SP, you might want to consider the lag caused by the AI controlling such a vast amount of units on the field - I've seen it cause extreme lag before, to the point of rendering battles unplayable.

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby Retyn » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:00 pm

Kevin wrote:Experiencing low fps during big battles is fairly common, even with good rigs (especially when zooming in). If you tested the performance in SP, you might want to consider the lag caused by the AI controlling such a vast amount of units on the field - I've seen it cause extreme lag before, to the point of rendering battles unplayable.



Yes, as you may know from SP games, when playing Empire:Total War with Darthmod especially, (the engine is the same), the Frames can drop as low as 10 fps and you will have to play 10 minutes like this because of the massive 1v1 fight scripts happening. It really doesnt matter on the rig, the game engine sometimes just cannot handle a large amount of units, and especially if its stacked up in a massive blob in one place (Which is the AI's #1 favorite tactic)
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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby Lord Davn » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:05 pm

Kevin wrote: If you tested the performance in SP, you might want to consider the lag caused by the AI controlling such a vast amount of units on the field.

Good point from Lord Kevin, that's why we recommend playing with medium size units on normal difficulty settings. Here are some more tips for players that Lord Cosak posted last fall with the release of NTW3 v7.6: https://www.thelordz.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=138&t=16526&p=173561#p173561
“This was their finest hour!” ~Winston Churchill

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby nico.venuti » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:40 pm

Thanks to all for the info.
If you tested the performance in SP, you might want to consider the lag caused by the AI controlling such a vast amount of units on the field

In a MP battle this problem would disappear, right?
Just to be sure, does the following situation come from the AI struggling?
Consider two different battles:
1) 4vs4 on small units size, 31 units per army, total men on battlefield: 4152.
2) 1vs1 on huge units size, 31 units per army, total men on the battlefield 31832.
The second battle was more fluent than the first, something like 7 fps vs 15, which would seem completely bollocks at first sight.
(The performance does not change between the first moments and full engagement)


Another strange thing I noticed is that when I see the game progressing at 5 fps, the Steam fps counter says 25-35. I know that the steam fps counter is supposed to refresh slower, but the bad performance is actually constant, so I'm still trying to understand why the numbers shown are different from what you see...could this point to the source of the problem?

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby Kevin » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:19 am

in MP, there is no AI unless someone crashes. The problem occurs, as far as I'm aware, when there are several AI armies with many units each. I don't know why exactly this causes the massive lag, but putting it simply: yes, the AI struggles with the command of so many units.

I don't think your issue is coming about from the amount of soldiers on the field. it's most likely due to the AI, as stated above. That is also what your tests seem to confirm. As for the fps, it could be that the graphics card is rendering images faster than the game can handle the AI calculations, causing the game to appear sluggish and laggy, regardless of fps (I'm merely speculating, I don't know this for a fact). Remember that the game has a set amount of memory it can use. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same for processing power (which might be why none of your hardware showed peaking on the resource monitor).

Your best bet would be to hop into a multiplayer game (preferably 3v3) and find out.

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby Lord Davn » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:11 pm

We've reduced the cost of Generals in the campaign game so they're recruited more often.
Having Generals in the AI armies does help them organize their units more efficiently.

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby nico.venuti » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:19 am

Having Generals in the AI armies does help them organize their units more efficiently.

Thanks for the useful tip, but does this make the AI "smarter" or does it actually affect game performance?

Remember that the game has a set amount of memory it can use. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same for processing power (which might be why none of your hardware showed peaking on the resource monitor).

Is this related to the video memory value on the preferences_script.txt?

To be fair i've checked again and the graphics card does actually max out when looking at a big dense group of men all zoomed in
But i still get 28-30 fps (actual ones in 2v2 and "nominal" in 3v3 because of stuttering), which is actually perfect.

Further reading across the web has led me to conclude that there is no universal fix for this well known "stuttering", tried some of the solution proposed around but no one proved worthy.

Given that my graphic card is recent there are not many drivers that support it... nonetheless I may try to change that.

Your best bet would be to hop into a multiplayer game (preferably 3v3) and find out.

I'll certainly try, given that I find available people to take the chance.

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby Kevin » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:38 am

I've never noticed any performance changes after fiddling with the video memory setting, so I left it to be as is. But others claim they have. The rendering of all the soldiers in their uniforms heavily impacts performance when zooming in, especially when there are several units next to each other, or even, on top of one another. Graphics settings should have an effect on lag caused in this way though (especially unit detail, etc.).

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby nico.venuti » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:28 am

Well, for me it doesn't make the slightest difference on experience, it only changes the fps counter from 30 to say 60 and the graphic card usage.
Don't know what to tell you.

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Re: Performance pitfall on 3v3 and 4v4

Postby nico.venuti » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:24 pm

I'm writing this last post for anyone experiencing the aformentioned problems that will come here looking for an answer. I'm sorry if this puts to the top an unwanted post.

First of all, the units stuttering DOES go away in multiplayer battles, do not fear.

Secondly, I've actually found a solution that works SP battles as well. I've used Rivatuner statistics display (a program that comes with MSI afterburner, i don't know if it works alone) to limit the fps of the game to a reasonable amount. I know there should be an analogous option in the preferences.script, but that wasn't doing anything.
Having set the value to 25 or 30 I get an almost seamless experience on big battles with multiple ai, there are still some feint and fleeting drops due to throttling, but completely ignorable.


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