So I wanted to report this basically since the launch of the game in October but decided to wait because of all these very similar complaints about bad performance coming in all at once, thinking maybe it might be all fixed by the time Book Two comes around.
Well, Book Two came around and while I enjoyed it very much content-wise (really, thank you for this wonderful game ) I had to realise that performance hadn't gotten better for me yet but (in some areas) actually worse. I know that what I'm saying is nothing new, that the game doesn't like AMD setups very much and also that turning down shadow distance helps a lot, but this is not my point. My point is that I don't think I should be getting the performance I'm getting at all which leads me to believe that there's some kind of underlying issue here.
But first things first - Here are the basic system specs I'm running DFC on:
- Windows 7 64bit (Freshly installed just about a month ago)
- AMD Phenom II x6 1100T (overclocked from 3.3 GHz to 3.6 GHz)
- 8GB RAM
- Sapphire HD 6990 with 4GB VRAM
- All drivers are up to date
While this is obviously not the best rig in the world, I'm used to playing games more demanding than DFC at highest settings with ~24fps.
Before writing this post I actually monitored the performance in alomst every area of the game because I found that they vary quite heavily. For this, I ran DFC at highest settings, 1080p and no V-Sync like I usually do. Here's what I found:
- Intro Scene: 15-35 fps, depending on the camera angle - Gets really bad whenever the singing Dolmari girl is on screen
- Storytime: 25-80 fps, mostly around 40 - No problems here at all
- Friar's Keep: 15-35 fps, mostly around 20 - I've read somewhere on the forums that this scene is heavy because of all the real-time lights
- Dr. Zelenka's Office: 10-35 fps, mostly around 15 - Becomes almost unplayable as soon as I start facing Zelenka / the windows behind him
- Propast: 15-35 fps, mostly around 20 - This area actually benefitted from one of the early patches
- Ada's Laboratory: 5-25 fps, mostly around 10 - That's what I'm talking about
- The Hand That Feeds: 10-20 fps, mostly around 15 - Not as bad as the laboratory, but still...
- The Pandemonium: 5-15 fps, mostly around 7 - This is clearly the worst part of the game. I think I read something about a shader bug in this scenery that was supposed to be fixed in one of the patches?
- Zoe's Apartement: 20-35 fps, mostly around 30 - Now that's alright :-)
- The House of All Worlds: 15-35 fps, mostly around 25 - I'm okay with that
- The Enclave: 10-45 fps, mostly around 25 - Gets really bad when you're facing the roundtable in the middle of the main room
- Marcuria: 15-30 fps, mostly around 20 - Only place in the game where the framerate is actually somewhat stable; only gets a bit lower on the Magic Market and a bit higher at the Harbor
- The Mole's Cellar: 20-45 fps, mostly around 30 - Gets bad once you face the Mole
- The Rooster & Kitten: 10-25 fps, mostly around 15 - I don't understand why?
- The Border Mountains: 15-35 fps, mostly around 25 - It's okay, I guess?
- Hanna Roth's Hideouts: 15-20 fps - Again, why? There's almost nothing in them?
- Azadi Cutscene Areas: 20-45 fps, depending on the cutscene - Nothing to complain about here
As you can see, the areas that I'm having trouble with are the interior ones. I'm not expecting any miracles, I would be fine if the game ran at somewhat steady 20 fps like it does in Marcuria, it also didn't ruin the experience for me, but still... Some of these numbers can't be right on an average system like mine.
What I also realised while playing around with the visual settings was that even the lowest settings do practically nothing (maybe a 7 fps gain) to the two main exterior scenes Propast and Marcuria, but will somehow boost the performance in interior scenes towards 130+ fps. This can't be right, can it?
I've also seen that Dreamfall will never use more than 30% of my CPU in exterior scenes and never more than 24% in interior scenes. I have no clue how Unity and engines in general work but wouldn't it make more sense for the game to take up more CPU power in areas that don't run as well?
Again, I know how to get around this by tuning down shadow distance and SSAO in interior scenes, yet I wanted to bring this to your awareness since I'm sure that this can't be normal for the kind of setup I'm using. Hopefully it will be useful
Anyway, thanks again for the great game!