The one thing that will keep me from subscribing to Fallen Earth is…

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The one thing that will keep me from subscribing to Fallen Earth is the horrific lag I get in cities/outposts.   I do not believe I’m the only one getting it, but from my questions in Help chat and the lack of response it appears that I might be in the minority.  Whenever I enter a city I am immediately hit with this horrific stuttering and lag.  I think it could be memory leaks but something else has to be affecting it.  I know that it’s not a problem on my end because the game doesn’t look good enough to lag like this on my rig and I get amazing FPS anywhere else but cities.  I’m also noticing that the game is a system resource hog and even more so after I suspect a memory leak has set in.

Aside from a few things I would have done to make the game better, this is my only real complaint with the game.  I believe the last time it was this bad for me was in SWG when I was bouncing around in Thede.  It’s bad enough that when I tap an arrow key my character will spin around and have gone several yards in a different direction.  Trying to conduct business in a town, pick up quests, etc. just becomes downright frustrating.   Relogging fixes the lag momentarily then it kicks in again.

This will definitely factor into my decision of whether or not I’ll be subscribing.  I have 6 more days to make up my mind.  Modern Warfare 2 being just around the corner, my itch to get to 35 in Aion, and other factors will also be weighed.

If any of you have found a fix for this lag please let me know.  I’ve tried the Nvidia tweaks and the usual tweaks to fix mmo performance that we’ve been passing around for years — none have worked.

  • I was in Alpha and I had this problem from the very first time I logged into alpha, all the way through the end of beta. It was a hitching that would really really ruin my gameplay. The graphics settings didn’t seem to effect it either.

  • Runs fine on my systems including both gaming laptops , and that’s with everything maxed.. I head with nvidia some people have had to set render frames ahead to 1

  • I get the same thing and we’re definitely not in the minority. Massively ran a piece a while back titled something like “updating the apocalypse” that talked about Icarus being aware of it. It has to do with memory, you’re right. In an upcoming patch, they’re updating building/structure models in a way that uses less memory and adds detail. To me, that spells coding issues.

  • It runs well, most of the time, for me and looks good. I’m also working with less computer than some.

    I seem to be able to get it to run better and look better than most people. I think its just a matter of using the right settings. Maybe a Vista issue at play?

    I will admit it could do with some major optimizing.

  • After trying to play this last time around with the free trial, after about an hour in I got a BSOD error and my video card is toast now. I’m currently in the process if getting an RMA. (Evga 8800 GTS )

    It probably was just a coincidence and was going to happen anyway, though this is my first Nvidia to do so 🙁

    Either way, I wasn’t planning on subbing for the reasons above, and mainly I just overall could not sink my teeth into it from a few tries previous. I really wanted to like this one too.

  • I had this issue too but disabled post processing and anisotropy in the video settings and it fixed the majority of my city lag. I still get framerate drops in cities, but it’s nothing worse than what I get in major hubs in other mmo’s. (Aion, WoW, etc…)

    They do have some optimizing to do with the engine though. It’s way better now than what I remember from the little I played in beta, but they still have a long way to go.

  • That’s to bad. I’m not experiencing the lag you are encountering Keen. I subscribed to get the Mask and am just really impressed with this indy MMO. In beta I thought the game needed another 6 months, and I had no intentions of buying the game. But the recent 15 day trial key gave me enough time in game to see how far Fallen Earth came in just a month. Loving my time in the wastelands!

  • Okay we’re not talking just about framerate here, we’re talking the hesitations and stutters in populated areas. It’s not caused by memory leaks, it’s mostly just the usual swapping textures & models issue, just on a larger scale than we’re accustomed to. Remember the old days of this in IronForge? Same problem, just scaled up.

    Fallen Earth not only displays more articles of gear (a ton of slots for armor, plus 8 weapons displayed on each character), but the textures and models are layered on the NPCs as well and the high detail of textures on buildings, etc..

    It may not look as spectacular, but if you really take a good look at the details, their engine is doing a lot of heavy lifting. It’s also designed completely for stream loading (after the tutorial, I’ve never seen a loading screen, not for instances or zone changes even).

    I know that Icarus hired a few people specifically to optimize art, parts of the engine have already been changed for how they load textures, it’s improved, but I don’t expect there’s a magic fix. This is just so subject to their design.

    The best way to reduce the problem on your end is RAM, both system RAM and graphics card RAM. I notice a significant difference here between two nearly identical PCs with the one that has more RAM on the videocard. Newer GPUs will also benefit from having full post-processing on, since effects on textures will be done in less passes.

  • No lag for me, but i do drop to about 20-30 fps in the towns. I am very happy with Fallen Earth atm. I have bought and subbed to the game after canceling Aion.

  • Oh and yeah, Vista with its just plain awful memory swapping, really sucks with this game. The last thing you need is an OS that thinks it can optimize by moving large chunks in and out of RAM while you’re playing. Go with XP or Win 7.

  • I’m playing FE on an off-the-shelf Dell PC that’s 3 years old and was mid-range when I bought it, so it’s very far from state-of-the-art gaming. My graphics card is an uninspiring Nvidia 9500GT. I have 2gb of RAM and I’m still using WinXP.

    I hear people in /help complainng about the issues you’re having in cities, but I’m not seeing any of it myself. I get the standard slow-to-a-crawl when entering an area full of players as the PC struggles to load all the textures etc for their gear, but that’s the same as I get in any busy MMO. It takes maybe 8-10 seconds to do that and then I can move around the busiest town with no hitching or stuttering at all. I left the video options all set at whatever the game defaulted to when I first logged in, which appears to be medium/high on most settings. FE is more about the gameplay than the looks anyway, I think.

    I bought this PC specifically to play Vanguard and when so many other people found that game unplayable at launch, I was fine. Mrs Bhagpuss has a PC that’s even less up-to-date than mine and hers also runs Fallen Earth without problems. It has seemed to me for a while that I get fewer problems with MMOs on this less powerful system than people who have rigs that cost two or three times as much. I wonder if, for MMOs specifically, it doesn’t really pay to slap on all the bells and whistles?

    I’m pretty much decided on subscribing to FE now. Have hardly played anything else since I downloaded it and wake up thinking about what I’m going to do there next. That said, I think it will be a much better game in 6-12 months, so it would make some sense to leave it til they finish their optimizations. This is a game that’s going to be around for the long haul, I reckon.

  • Yeah I don’t have that kind of problem either but I am running 7 and I have 4GB and 1GB of VRAM. Aside from FPS dropping to 20ish in busy cities, I haven’t seen any of the issues you describe. How much RAM and VRAM you have on your PC?

  • I only get some slowdown for a few seconds as things load in a city then all is fine. I play with two others as well and they don’t get any major lag either. We got into the trial after reading about it on your blog and have already subscribed.

  • Playing on Win7 (x64), 4gb ram, 8800 GTS. Framerate in towns is usually 40-50, 100+ outside. I only had a lag/stuttering issue once last week, bad enough that I logged out. Was fixed the next day.

  • Only time I’ve experienced that is when the server is about to lockup. dual core, 9800×2 and 4gb ram so nothing special. I can hit Embry on my motorcycle and run through town with no problem.

    On a side note if you’re experiencing this only on Sundays this seems to be a bad time (whole weekend with no server reset, maybe?).

    The only things I do, since graphics take a back-burner for me, is I do run at lower settings and always do a /timesync as soon as I log in. Not sure if any of those play their part but hardly ever experience lag. Any system spec reveals so we can see what may be causing it?

  • This heavy lag effect within cities is something that occurs within WoW as well, particularly when standing in a city after a new patch. It has nothing to do with your graphics card at all but is instead related to your router, particularly a wireless router. In effect, if the game utilizes stream loading extensively as Rog mentioned, your router’s wireless memory cache can be overloaded by small bits of data all being downloaded at once (versus a few bits of large data, i.e. a video download). That’s because it’s downloading the information from the people standing around you. Best thing to do is not to move for at least a few minutes. Just let the info download. Once it’s cached, you should be able to move around normally.

    To confirm if it is your router or not, trying hooking your computer up to your router using a LAN cable rather than using your wireless card. If you enter within cities and notice the lag reduced considerably or completely gone, then more often than not your router’s wireless memory cache is cheap and insufficient. Note that adjusting the wireless settings on your router may help somewhat to reduce the problem (but probably won’t alleviate it completely).

    The above problem happened to me when I used to play WoW. I circumvented it by turning off the wireless capabilities of my ISP’s router and utilizing an Apple Airport Express wireless connection instead (which was connected to my ISP’s router via a LAN cable).

  • BTW what I mentioned above is just an alternative possibility, it’s not always the case. For example, in LOVE right now, whenever I enter an enemy AI base, the graphics reduce to a crawl or sometimes stop completely. More than likely that’s a graphics related issue (and just one of the reasons why I won’t be continuing with the game).

  • Just to clarify: A ‘memory leak’ occurs when a programmer is using a memory resource, but does not ‘free it up’ when done with it (which you have to do). This causes your program’s memory to be full of these ‘holes’ which the program thinks are in use (even though they are not), so they are never used for anything until the program ends.

    I wouldn’t say that stuttering and lag are direct consequences of memory leaks, those are usually attributed to (unless hey are caused by the environment) either bad netcode (that swamps the program when other clients are around), or poorly optimized caching of 3d models/textures/etc.

    You could run into the scenario where you have enough memory leaks, your program starts using file swapping for memory usage, but you should already have disabled this if you’re a gamer.

  • Imagine the initial lag you get when entering a city but it never goes away. That’s what I am getting in cities.

    I have 4gig ram
    1gig vram

    Graphics stop completely at times. A complete lockup and even make sound loop (people on vent will start looping until it starts moving again). Again, this only happens in towns. Outside of town I’m at a steady 60-70 frames with zero sudden drops. It plays smooth outside of towns.

    I’m suspecting a memory leak is at work, at least in part (not the part where graphics stop) because I get a slow but steady performance degradation. Sometimes it leaks to the point of a CTD. The game will start running slower and slower and my rig will have to work harder and harder — eventually feeling like I’m playing on a computer from 2001. When I’ve suspected this type of thing as a memory leak in the past with other games (like Vanguard and DAOC, for examaple) it has turned out to be the problem.

    Could you tell me how I can verify that “file swapping for memory usage” is disabled? And can others confirm that they have this disabled please?

  • I have learned two things about performance in Fallen Earth.

    First do no use the AA that you can turn on from the FE login screen options. Instead turn on AA from your graphic cards Control Panel. This made a big difference for me.

    Secondly a developer made a post on their boards about turning on Windows indexing for the Fallen Earth folder. All gamers know to turn off the indexing service so it is not taking CPU cycles from your games. For some strange reason apparently Fallen Earth uses the Windows created index to speed up searches it does of files in game. I followed the developer steps to do indexing of just the FE folder. Hard for me to tell if this has really resulted in an improvement.

  • I guess I am indeed a Vista noob. I had the “Windows Search”, aka Indexing I guess, service active. It is now disabled.

    Should I enable the FE folder search? If so, can I get a link?

  • Disabling it had no effect. Still 1-5 fps in town with complete stops/lockups for several seconds and 100+fps outside of town.

  • I know I have zero programs running in background, sounds like our systems are close/similar. You mentioned having vent running, anything else? Def not excuse, you should be able to run what you want, especailly vent, while playing…just a possibility.

  • Nothing is running in the background. I have a Quadcore processor. 4 gig ram. 1gig vram.

    I really believe the key here is that this only happens in cities.

  • I had the 1 to 3 fps inside the crowded banks until I turned off the AA in the FE login screen options.

    Here is the link of instructions I followed for the indexing. It only applies to XP. As I said I don’t think it changed my performance much if at all. I did it after verifying turning off AA in the game option gave me much better results in town and by turning on AA instead in my nVidia control panel did not give near the performance hit.

    I wrote about these two issues because they are so strange. I know of no other game where the in game option for AA gives much worse results than forcing it through the control panel. I also know of no other game that recommends turning on indexing services.

  • Have had maybe 1-2 crash to desktops now and again but haven’t seen the lag in cities you mentioned. I have felt the server wide slowdown that signals an upcoming crash on a sunday or 2. GTX 260, i5 750, win 7 4 gig.
    AA is disabled on the FE options screen. I subscribed right off the bat and have been soooo impressed with the developer patch rollout schedule. It’s nice that they fix things as they can instead of waiting for huge monolithic patches. The graphics improve almost daily. I have no serious complaints now and can’t wait to see what the game becomes over time. Stay Stay!!!