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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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48. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 19:55 PHJF
 
Are you gonna troll all day or offer some incite or opinion? Ignore feature is getting a workout lately.  
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47. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 19:25 Stanly Manly
 
PHJF wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 19:12:
I really don't give a shit about SC2 one way or another

Then you can shut up.
 
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46. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 19:12 PHJF
 
It's been mentioned here before, because UE3 is a deferred renderer engine, but no one here seems to care.

It's been mentioned here before, but I fucking hate UE3 and everything it's spawned.

Personally I never once turned AA on in a game, never felt it was worth the performance hit, but my computer is old now and my primary monitor is a 19" CRT so I'd get little out of it. Until I finally buy a new PC and 2 24" LCDs in a month or two I'll reserve commentary about how useful I find it.

Great for you, but just because you don't use a graphics feature that's been around for almost ten years doesn't mean nobody else does. I really don't give a shit about SC2 one way or another, but the lack of such a basic feature in their game has me worried about the state of D3. D2 was a horrible-looking game and aged about as well as the bad dude at the end of Last Crusade. I don't want D3 starting off with such a handicap.
 
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45. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 19:04 StingingVelvet
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 18:28:
Personally I never once turned AA on in a game, never felt it was worth the performance hit, but my computer is old now and my primary monitor is a 19" CRT so I'd get little out of it. Until I finally buy a new PC and 2 24" LCDs in a month or two I'll reserve commentary about how useful I find it.

I never cared about it much on a CRT but on an LCD it is pretty much essential to me. Every jagged edge is like a bullet to the head.

That said, this is one of the reasons I go nVidia... AA is always easier on nVidia through nHancer and the like.
 
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44. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 18:58 Donkey_Punch
 
No anti-aliasing control means it was designed for consoles. How long until we see it on XBox360? What a let down!  
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43. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 18:50 The Fox
 
Give me steam over this crap any day ...

I looked at it today... read the part about "internet connection required", "Battlenet account required"... thought about all that ReadID I've heard a bit about. I put the game back on the shelf.

I don't tend to play multiplayer online.

It may be FUD, or it may not be... but it's easier for me to not buy it than it is to bother finding out.
 
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42. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 18:30 Beamer
 

Put the control in your customers' hands, dummies. Perhaps ATI is trying to position themselves as the anti-enthusiast option.

No. No no no no no no no NO!

This isn't ATI saying "we feel you don't need it so you don't get it." This is ATI saying "Listen, our drivers are currently buggy and the performance hit is huge. We're not comfortable putting our name on this, it simply doesn't fit our standard of quality. We'll release it when we get it right."

I cannot fathom how so many of you (not all of you, so stop being dinks and saying "that's not what I'm complaining about," because in that case I'm not referring to you) think this is bad by ATI.

Had ATI put these drivers out there'd instantly be tons of benchmarks showing how poorly ATI handles this game versus NVIDIA and damage would be done. Beyond that, the exact people whining about ATI not giving them control would be whining for years about ATI releasing buggy drivers before they're ready.

This is the better option in a lose-lose situation.
 



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41. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 18:28 Beamer
 
The deferred renderer comment is spot-on.

It's been mentioned here before, because UE3 is a deferred renderer engine, but no one here seems to care. Much like UE3 is the poster-boy for "OMG ABANDONED PCSZ!" around here, but STALKER also failed to support anti-aliasing and people adore it here (it kind of faked AA, but not well.)

So it's not worth arguing. People here will see anything as a slap in the face. Sure, the move to deferred rendering improved things incredibly, but since it left AA behind, well, it must be the work of the console devil, evil marketing people, Bobby Kotick and pure corporate greed.

Personally I never once turned AA on in a game, never felt it was worth the performance hit, but my computer is old now and my primary monitor is a 19" CRT so I'd get little out of it. Until I finally buy a new PC and 2 24" LCDs in a month or two I'll reserve commentary about how useful I find it.
 



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40. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 18:20 Riker
 
Put the control in your customers' hands, dummies. Perhaps ATI is trying to position themselves as the anti-enthusiast option.  
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39. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 18:17 KilrathiAce
 
Maybe blizzard should hire some ID software vets and learn how to create proper graphical engines for their games. I know normally games dont include advanced graphics options such as anti aliasing or specific levels of aa because consoles cannot do this so they dont bother, but in this case Blizzard should really work their asses off to have this engine working with all the bells and whistles.  
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38. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 15:42 MattyC
 
LightAssassin wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 13:30:
Bumpy wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 13:03:
Ferrari with only an automatic transmission.

Funnily enough this has been brought up in the car world, and has been mentioned to be likely in the future. How things can change =)

Actually it has already been done. Quite some time ago. It was supposedly pretty good too. I think this was the first mass produced (by Ferrari standards anyway):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrari_456


Anyway from the sound of things it is as much an ATI issue as it is a Blizzard one. However, it really won't impact your enjoyment of the game all that much. If it does... well then don't buy it until it gets fixed. And seek help :p How you made it though the early days of 3D gaming if something as smooth looking as SC2 bothers you I have no idea

This comment was edited on Jul 27, 2010, 15:48.
 
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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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36. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 15:19 Mr. Tact
 
MeNameisMUD wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 13:53:
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.
I'm going to take your word for that, I have no idea if you are correct or not. Assuming you are correct, excellent information. While someone more versed in the subject might have a counter to your information, I don't. Hence, for now, I'll withdraw my previous complaint that Blizzard didn't include AA natively.

That said, I'd agree with those who would say it's probably not "really" needed. However, prior to the "deferred rendering" information it seemed like something which should have been available for those who do care, but wasn't.

Relatedly, while I did play some in the beta, I just managed to walk out of Best Buy without buying it. But I'll probably pick it up next week...
 



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35. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 15:00 Dades
 
Funny, you didn't quote everyone else, just paraphrasing the few trolls and lumping everyone together. You were the one up on the podium, I was just calling you out on it. I can love 99% of Starcraft 2 and still not like the fact that there is no native AA, deal with it.  
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34. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 14:57 Stanly Manly
 
Dades wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 14:45:
What are you talking about? You sound like the one with anger issues. Wanting a feature in a game doesn't mean you need to get up on a podium and play videogame politics. People can have a relatively minor complaint about a game without you blowing it out of proportion. You paint this stupid picture of people stomping their feet and acting like children when most people here have been very conservative and reasonable about it.

Terms such as "unbelievable, pathetic, ineptitude" etc, were used. So yes, people were stomping their feet and acting like children. Not sure which forum you were reading.

Dades wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 14:45:
Do you really live in a universe where if people like something then they can never have an issue with it? If they discover something that bothers them then they must immediately return the product and hate the company? That sounds like a pretty fucking stupid place to me.

What were you just saying about a podium?
 
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33. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 14:51 Bumpy
 
Stanly Manly wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 14:38:
I'm sure you won't demand refunds for the game.

I'd get a refund if it was an option but PC games are not returnable once opened where I'm from.

 
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32. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 14:45 Dades
 
What are you talking about? You sound like the one with anger issues. Wanting a feature in a game doesn't mean you need to get up on a podium and play videogame politics. People can have a relatively minor complaint about a game without you blowing it out of proportion. You paint this stupid picture of people stomping their feet and acting like children when most people here have been very conservative and reasonable about it.

Do you really live in a universe where if people like something then they can never have an issue with it? If they discover something that bothers them then they must immediately return the product and hate the company? That sounds like a pretty fucking stupid place to me.
 
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31. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 14:38 Stanly Manly
 
By all means then, don't buy Starcraft II if any of you have such a huge issue with no AA. Oh wait, you already bought it.

Well then, I guess you should stop playing it. Oh wait, its fun to play, regardless.

Dang, I guess all this sound and fury does signify nothing.

Carry on being loud hypocrites. I'm sure you won't demand refunds for the game.
 
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30. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 14:26 Ray Ban
 
To eliminate jaggies without AA you would need a display with a substantially higher PPI (pixel per inch) ratio than what is available today. We get displays with ever higher resolutions, sure, but always with a corresponding increase in display size (PPI stays the same).  



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29. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 14:16 Dades
 
Rhett wrote on Jul 27, 2010, 14:00:
Never really liked using AA due to the drastic performance hog it can become. Even when my computer was above and beyond said games, it wasn't necessary. Played the beta nearly maxed, it still looked fantastic without AA on a high resolution. Dunno why people are so obsessed about it.

For the same reasons people like PC games for higher resolutions and details over console games.
 
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