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On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing

Today is launch day for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Blizzard's real-time sequel that's been a dozen years in the making (or waiting, at least). There is a Known Issues - Technical Support related list and a Current list of bugs on the StarCraft II Forums outlining issues with the game (thanks Big Download). Also, since there turns out to be no option within the game to activate anti-aliasing, there's a post on PC Games Hardware explaining how to turn this on in the control panel for NVIDIA graphics cards. As there is no corresponding option for ATI owners, they have word from ATI on why, saying: "third parties found that 4x AA led to a reduction in fps rendering at lower screen resolutions, which only became more noticeable at larger resolutions. After evaluating our options, our engineering team opted not to provide AA support for StarCraft II within the Catalyst Control Center, even though the competition has included AA support in their driver at launch. We are committed to making AA perform at an acceptable level before we release it to our customers. We will continue to work with Blizzard on this matter and hope to offer our customers an acceptable AA solution at a later date." On a related note, PC Perspective has an article on this topic that includes benchmarks for NVIDIA accelerators showing what sort of performance hit this entails. On a semi-related note, there is a StarCraft II Q&A with Blizzard's Rob Pardo on USATODAY.com discussing the game in general terms.

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37. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 15:34 Zyr
 
MeNameisMUD wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 13:53:
I just wanted to clear up a misconception...

SC2's rendering engine is what they call a defered renderer. More and more developers are using this technique because it simplifies the renderer and minimizes shader bloat (among other things).

It is NOT possible to support AA natively in a defered renderer using DX9 (which SC2 is). the only real option is control panel AA or moving to DX10/11.

This. This needs to be read and acknowledged by some of you guys.

And honestly, this is not something they hid. Beta was open for a long time and there were no AA options right from the beginning, and the DX9 engine was given as the reason. One of the benchmark tests Blue reported on a while back (Hardwarecanucks.com, I think) specifically mentioned that only Nvidia cards currently could flip on AA. Considering WoW is finally getting additional DX 10/11 support in Cata, it could be possible that's something they could add in for the expansions. Maybe?

The real news is ATI not planning to allow it to be turned on manually without the bioshock renaming trick, which is kind of...weird. I turned it on during beta and the performance hit was perfectly acceptable at 1920x1200 ultra settings. It wasn't a huge difference in graphical quality, but I stayed above 60 FPS so why not?

This comment was edited on Jul 27, 2010, 15:43.
 
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