Crysis DirectX 9 & 10 MP Performance

Total Crysis offers an update on how multiplayer will work in Crysis (thanks Voodoo Extreme). A number of topics are covered, including how DirectX 9 servers will be limited compared to DirectX 10 servers, not because of software, but hardware:
DX9 vs. DX10 – The endless question
To shed some light into one of the most discussed topics regarding Crysis multiplayer I would like to explain you the differences between Crysis MP DX9 and DX10.

As for the DX9 version we won’t have physics and day and night cycle in-game. That means you won’t be able to shoot down trees and/or alter any other objects than vehicles on the map. Additionally the time of day setting doesn’t change dynamically. This is caused due to the tremendous server load such physics might cause on crowded gaming servers. Still you will be able to experience maps with different time of day settings since the maps can be altered in the Sandbox2 Editor.

Rather than providing the community partially working features we limit this for the DX10 version only. Due to the strong hardware available with DX10, server load is less and performance is increased. This ensures the pure physics and day and night cycle experience without any limitation.

Gamers with a DX10 card are able to play on DX9 servers, but with the limitation of the respective server. Vice versa it is not possible for gamers with DX9 cards to play on DX10 servers due to the limited features.
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Sep 14, 2007, 09:37
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Re: ... Sep 14, 2007, 09:37
Sep 14, 2007, 09:37
 
this move strikes me as unnecessary and it sounds like they've received a nice fat cheque from Microsoft.

I think Crytek's explanation needed more meat to it , so techies could get their head around it.

Almost every developer that does a DX10 path gets compensated, so what. The problem is most other games have very little benefit or tangible differences (no extra assets) to use between DX9 or DX10, they just add it as fluff and call it DX10. The reason DX10 cannot take off, is because of req'd DX9 support currently and being able to keep them MP friendly online forces devs to keep DX10 support limited. To be able to make DX10 and DX9 MP friendly requires that your DX10 changes are nothing tangible as to changes in the gameworld (most games). Frankly, I am tired of some of these recent DX10 paths, they are a joke and don't take advantage of the API's or offer anything really beneficial at all.

Crtytek is being faulted because they have built in enhancements into the engine for higher end HW, and chose DX10 as the line of demarcation. Now someone that is a programmer of some years of experience may see why this whole dilemma comes up this way and realizes why they can't just add new functionality based on HW. Which BTW, no developers give real tangible extras to high end HW, you get the same limitations as the 4 year old HW to the tangible game world in most games.

They added enhancements for higher end physics, but can't you just seperate by HW(multicore or GPU) as easy as that sounds?
Can you just detect a fast enough CPU and GPU on either API and switch on the extra effects?
How exactly?
Where do you make the cutoffs in HW for each possible platform combination?
That is also two major codepaths for each render path and API and is a huge potential bug fest and makes tracking them down, very difficult.
How do you then seperate servers then for the people that have more objects and assets due to their HW cutoff?
How do people know which server to join if they reached the higher HW level?
Their is also likely DX10 API functions used to handle more objects in explosions, where DX9 would choke on some of that.

For once, someone looks to be actually leveraging DX10!
The penalties of having to do it are you can't play MP with those effects, which other devs avoid by making a vanilla weak DX10 render path.

DX10 as a cutoff, makes this easiest for developer and user really.

The major reason this is coming up now is that Crytek seems to have gone farther with their DX10 renderer and has actually had to face the ultimate problem that any other developer will have to, who implements anything in DX10 beyond the usual crappy effects we have seen thus far(which could really be done in DX9), and that is, that DX9 and DX10 will not be compatible online if you really take advantage of the DX10 API enhancements and change the game worlds assets between the two API's. If I see a fallen tree which is hiding an enemy, and the enemy sees no tree. it's a problem.

I applaud Crytek for looking like a developer that is actually trying to really leverage DX10, for once! As well as give people with higher HW some benefits, something no other developers do beyond the usual basic crap of enhanced shadows, lighting, textures.

Props to Crytek, but they need a better explanation to the reasons.


This comment was edited on Sep 14, 09:49.
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