View Full Version : Dear Ubisoft

11-19-2014, 08:52 AM
I am posting this in response to the update you posted at the following address.


I should have known this novel was going to be too long to post in the comments so I moved it here.

Crowd size isn't affecting performance huh? I find that rather hard to believe considering I get barely any frame rate difference between low settings at 720p and high settings at 1080p. (If there is a difference it's like 2 FPS!) I still don't get above 40 FPS either way and it usually hovers around 30 FPS sometimes dipping as low as 15 to 20 FPS during cutscenes. I get that you guys probably checked polygon count and NPC counts but have you checked your crowd AI to see if you could make it less processor intensive because I think that may be one of your problems.

In my experience usually when lowering graphics settings doesn't improve performance it's because the CPU is bottlenecking. My 3.7 ghz Intel i5 should not be bottlenecking and the people with i7 processors definitely shouldn't be bottlenecking but they are. I personally think you guys tried to go too big too soon. If you're bottlenecking quad core CPUs then your game is a little ahead of it's time IMO. You're like the Crysis of this generation except it just killed peoples GPUs when it came out and they weren't unrealistic enough to try to put it on consoles. Had your crowds been smaller or used simpler crowd AI you probably wouldn't have had to cap the FPS at 30 on the consoles. It also probably doesn't help that you guys probably didn't retopologize your photogrammetry models enough. Lower the poly count on environments and people so you can have better LOD models to view at distance. Especially important when your view distance is so high. Maybe even replace a few of the larger structures with 2D renders when they are far enough away. Also you should provide a medium resolution texture setting. I know it's hard to do because High is just the resolution of low doubled most likely (like 1024 and 2048) and anything in between would probably affect your UV wrapping but you should give us the option if possible. I only have 2GB of VRAM but I don't want to look at pixelated low res textures. A middle ground between high and low would be nice. Getting back to the LOD models though. Why would you have one version of an LOD model not have a hat on when the higher poly version all of a sudden magically has a top hat that just popped into existence on top of the NPCs head right in front of my character? Versailles or whatever it's called is especially infamous for this. People appearing and disappearing right in front of me as if they were phantoms. (Floating through the air and clipping through walls like phantoms as well!) Having a person who's close to my screen appear to completely change from one really generic outfit to something crazy, detailed, and completely different. These kinds of things really break immersion for me. Also double NPC spawning where they clip each other or you see the same two people standing directly next to each other is a problem as well. In the lecture hall where you're trying to deliver the note to De La Serre or whatever his name is there are two guys clipping through each other standing on the base of a column at the back wall. Happens 9 times out of 10. (I have restarted my game several times while trying to tweak it.) Just stuff like this that I don't understand how you guys could have possibly missed. There's even a bug in the first sequence as Arno as a child within the first minute after the cinematic ends. Sometimes if you run after the girl and enter the room with the cutscene you don't hit the guy with the suckling pig, the cutscene never plays and Arno and all the NPCs will just freeze in place and you can rotate the camera but it just snaps back to a certain position when you stop moving it. Then when you hit start to quit you are greeted by the inability to do anything because it's a cinematic pause and not an in game pause. So all you see is "Paused" in the lower right and the only way to fix the bug is to Alt+F4 the game and start over. Also shadow popping even with Shadows on High is a major thing too. When viewing large crowds from above half the crowd has shadows and the other half does not and then some of the shadows will disappear from one NPC only to appear on another NPC. IMO it would look better if you just did away with NPC ground shadows in large crowds viewed from above.

Possibly after you fix your CPU usage and the low frame rates you could look into LOD view distances and the option to customize said distances to more than 5 feet from Arno's face. Game is fun despite the poor performance and bugs. You really should have released an alpha first with a game this big though. Maybe next time huh?

Oh and something you might try to get your cutscenes to run smooth as butter would be to use pre-rendered video cutscenes like they did in Shadow of Mordor. Even if the game was running horribly at 15 FPS in game you could always depend on the cutscenes to look amazing and run at a solid 60 FPS. I release this would be difficult with the amount of custom armor and weapons in the game but even in AC3 when I would equip the black armor the videos would show me wearing white so it's really not that big of a deal. Plus you could have it switch from CGI video when it's not showing Arno to in game video when it is and then back to CGI when he's not on the screen again. Also all the Versailles cutscenes would be easy to do in pure CGI because of the inability to customize Arno until you get to Paris. I know you guys can do it because you did it with the burning of Jacque de Moley cutscene. I have 3 monitors and was watching my GPU usage on my right monitor and when that cutscene came on the FPS shot up to 60 constant and the GPU usage dropped to an extremely low level. It was the best looking and smoothest video in the game so far and it's unfortunate that you guys didn't do the rest like that. :/ Shadow of Mordor ripped off enough of the gameplay mechanics from the AC series so you guys should feel free to rip off the way they did their cutscenes! ;)

Also I don't know why some people are having problems syncing or getting online. Or for that matter playing Co-Op. I have had no such trouble on my end here in the states. I have been disconnected a few times but connectivity was restored quickly and I was able to keep playing through it.

Also if you guys would like video clips of all the bugs I have encountered to help replicate them I just so happen to have all of them recorded because I'm in the process of recording a Let's Play of the game. Haven't uploaded any of them to YouTube yet because I wanted to get your go ahead first. I'll make you a deal though. I provide bug testing with video clips and you guys give me permission to do my Let's Play of the game. Don't worry I'll cut the bugs out of the finished product. I also don't monetize my videos. It's a hobby, not a career. Also I don't plan on showing the whole game. I just wanted to show some of the gameplay, maybe a few missions and cutscenes. Just enough to keep people wanting more hopefully. I'd also be willing to post links to places to buy the game and season pass. I also will be showing in my videos how cool it is to use a tablet with the companion app while playing because it's like a GPS so you never have to enter your map in game. I find that very neat. Definitely worth the $2.40 I paid for it.

Overall though Ubisoft I am truly enjoying the game, flawed as it may be. It is quite playable at 30 FPS and the few in game drops aren't too bad. The cutscenes are annoying but I can live with them for the time being. It'll just give me a reason to go back and play it over again later on when you've fixed it. I hope to god you guys can fix it. I have a feeling the bottlenecking CPU and LOD popping is going to take you several months though having programming and 3D modelling experience myself. Of course that all depends on how many people you throw at the problem. ;)

Oh I almost forgot. I encountered a bug using your companion app. If you unlock a Nomad Chest while you aren't up to date on your sync with your game and then you sync it after unlocking it Arno is unable to open the chest and is greeted with play nomad missions to unlock these chests. So then one of my assassin's is basically tied up getting the chest for 24 hours and I can't do anything about it. Normally I would have kept my app synced with my game but I was having trouble connecting to my PC with it for most of the day yesterday.

Also incase you guys wanted to know the app works really well on my Amazon Kindle Fire HD despite you guys not releasing it for the Kindle Fire. You should think about releasing it for it though. The only way I was able to get it on my Kindle was to root it and install the Play Store on it. One thing that does need fixing to get it to work flawlessly on the Kindle though is that the smaller popup dialogs when you click on stuff like the chests only display the window background texture and you can't see any of the text. Obviously this is either Kindle or Tablet specific though because it worked fine on my Galaxy S3 but I like using it on my Kindle since my S3 has a cracked screen at the moment.

Sorry for the novel. I would love to help out if you guys need it though. Bug testing, retopologizing, texture resizing. Whatever you guys need to get this game working well. Not all of us have lost faith in you guys. I personally think that you guys are just following the trend these days which is to put games out early, get feedback, and fix problems afterwards. Half the games on Steam these days do that with Early Access. I mean I gave the Dayz developers $30 for a game that is broken and boring as all heck and I'm starting to think they won't ever finish it. You guys may not have labeled it Early Access or Alpha but unlike a lot of the early access developers out there I know you guys will take the time to make it right because while a lot of the indie early access developers take the money and run I know that you guys can't stay in business like that and losing customers on future products would hurt your company. So I have faith you'll fix it, if not for us then for the almighty dollar. ;P

Oh and I almost forgot. Why can't I gain levels on AC Initiates and why does everything say coming soon despite some people online saying they've been completing AC Initiate missions and stuff?

Oh and djxlegend-88 is right. Arno grabbing onto invisible walls during parkour or sometimes even glitching inside of walls like when climbing the destroyed stone tower sync point is a problem as well. Again I have every single time it's happened recorded at 1080p HD so let me know if you need them.

Oh and thank you so much for providing the stretching option! Now I can play on my 16:10 monitor at 1200p with stretching off and then edit out the 60 pixel black bars to put a 16:9 1080p video on YouTube. Very convenient. Had to play at 1080p on Alien Isolation while doing my let's play of that since it didn't have that option and everybody looked super tall and skinny. Was very annoying. >.<