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Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

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Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Sarmanos » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:40 pm

So, I have a problem and one that from what I have heard is a bit hard to pin down. As I have upgraded my hardware and operating system through the years, my toolset has gotten slower and slower in places. Right now it's been frozen for two plus minutes just to edit the inventory of an NPC. I'd like to hear any suggestions, but right now the only other idea I maybe have is that I try to install a VM of Windows XP and hope that works. Compatibility mode selections haven't done anything to help the problem. Without a fix, I'll be mostly confined to only being able to do cosmetic area work in the toolset.
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Ronan » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:05 pm

I do a few things to try and speed up the toolset:

1) I use NWNTX instead of the packaged toolset.
2) When creating new content I start with a 'blank' Build module and do only finishing touches in the full module
3) when editing old content I tend to pull the areas I want to work with from the huge module into a smaller blank build module.
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Sarmanos » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:18 pm

Ronan wrote:I do a few things to try and speed up the toolset:

1) I use NWNTX instead of the packaged toolset.
2) When creating new content I start with a 'blank' Build module and do only finishing touches in the full module
3) when editing old content I tend to pull the areas I want to work with from the huge module into a smaller blank build module.


I already use NWNTX and work with a smaller module. Unfortunately, if they do help, the gain is too small to be substantial.
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Sarmanos » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:05 pm

Additional tinkering involving messing with CPU priority and affinity, compatibility modes, etc seem to yield no result and a VM has its own host of issues that prevents me from running the toolset. Running with the extender on or off also makes no difference. At this point the only idea I have is going with a dual boot solution just to run the toolset, though it'd be time consuming to set up and by no means a certainty. Even tried it on both SSD and non-SSD hard drives since I like to keep a few backups of the NWN folder.

Without any solution the best I can do at a timely pace is cosmetic area building. Editing properties on anything would remain an exercise in frustration and take minutes for every tweak.

For fun here's my system info.

Processor Information:
Vendor: AuthenticAMD
CPU Family: 0x15
CPU Model: 0x2
CPU Stepping: 0x0
CPU Type: 0x0
Speed: 4018 Mhz
8 logical processors
4 physical processors
HyperThreading: Supported
FCMOV: Supported
SSE2: Supported
SSE3: Supported
SSSE3: Supported
SSE4a: Supported
SSE41: Supported
SSE42: Supported

Network Information:
Network Speed:

Operating System Version:
Windows 10 (64 bit)
NTFS: Supported
Crypto Provider Codes: Supported 311 0x0 0x0 0x0

Video Card:
Driver: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

DirectX Driver Name: nvd3dum.dll
Driver Version: 10.18.13.6191
DirectX Driver Version: 10.18.13.6191
Driver Date: 8 Feb 2016
OpenGL Version: 4.5
Desktop Color Depth: 32 bits per pixel
Monitor Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
DirectX Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
VendorID: 0x10de
DeviceID: 0x1401
Number of Monitors: 2
Number of Logical Video Cards: 2
No SLI or Crossfire Detected
Primary Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Desktop Resolution: 3840 x 1080
Primary Display Size: 36.61" x 20.59" (41.97" diag)
93.0cm x 52.3cm (106.6cm diag)
Primary Bus: PCI Express 16x
Primary VRAM: 4095 MB
Supported MSAA Modes: 2x 4x 8x

Sound card:
Audio device: Speakers (Sound Blaster Z)

Memory:
RAM: 16348 Mb

Miscellaneous:
UI Language: English
Microphone: Not set
Media Type: DVD
Total Hard Disk Space Available: 7353919 Mb
Largest Free Hard Disk Block: 2082235 Mb
Game Controller: XInput Controller #1 detected
Vetinari: I have noted before that you have a definite anti-authoritarian streak, Commander.
Vimes: Sir?
Vetinari: You seem to have retained this even though you are Authority.
Vimes: Sir?
Vetinari: That's practically Zen.
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Sarmanos » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:21 pm

Annnnnd on a test of my far more underpowered laptop which is also on Win10...the toolset works better. Go figure.
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Vimes: Sir?
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: tizmo » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:16 pm

Have you tried re-installing the video drivers? Or getting the NVIDIA drivers tool?

Also, as a test, try to lower your display resolution a bunch and see if it makes a difference.

Have you tried running the process monitor while working with the toolset to see which process is being the problem. And see if disk I/O, CPU, memory, etc show any odd spikes?

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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Korennya » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:05 am

This threads a little old, but any head way on speeding things up other than using archaic hardware? (go figure). Script editor just took 8 mins to close :(
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: tizmo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:00 pm

I'm using Win10 on hardware (no VM).

I have the same issue with script editor taking 5-10 mins to close. It also takes for ever when I try to view the properties of a placeable or creature.

Because of that, I've mostly quit using the script editor. I just open the module in the toolset, and then I open the .nss files in Sublime Text3. When I'm done coding, I use the toolset to compile the scripts.

I added the NWScript code highlighting to ST3, which is very helpful. The only down side is that I do not have the function searching or function prototype preview. So, when I need to find a function, I'll either take the hit and open the script editor to do some searching if it's an Avlis custom function or I'll use Google to find what I need if it's a built-in NWN function. I've noticed that if I don't change any code using the script editor, it closes a lot faster.

I spent a good several days testing the toolset in linux+Wine as well as various VMs with Win7 and Win10. Each of those solutions had issues where the toolset would crash when I wanted to edit any complex areas or deal with large modules. So, I've gone to the full Win10 on 64-bit hardware solution. I suspect Win7 on hardware would probably run the toolset better given what some others have said.

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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Korennya » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:03 pm

Yeah I timed it last night. 6:40 secs with CPU affinity set to core 4. It pegs the core with zero disc activity for most of that time. Setting it to -2 net a 18 sec faster time. Interestingly it used 2 cores but didn't load them fully. Total usage was nearly identical. I wasn't able to get nwntx to run in comparability mode oddly. Had to run in just win10.
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Korennya » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:04 pm

You try a VM with win xp on it?
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:42 pm

We went through all this with Sarmanos at the beginning of this, but it never got linked in this topic for others, so this is just a recap if someone else needs it. Pretty sure you've already figured all this out, since the results wouldn't have changed if you didn't.

Setting the cpu affinity in the toolset uses a different setting and ini file than the game: Re: Today hates me I swear

All the other tips suggested for anything so far (the consolidated version post): Modifying nwn.ini and nwnplayer.ini
* That topic is always in my sig now, and hopefully will be updated if we ever figure this one out

More or better written descriptions of many fixes on the PC Gaming Wiki.

Now for some new ideas. The old Bioware forum has a topic specifically about at least some of these issues here: Slow Toolset or it just works this way?
* That is a link using the internet archive, since the forums are shut down now, so hopefully they got a real good backup before it went poof. It looks like it did a lot of the more recent ones with French as the language for the overall gui, so you may have to suffer through that if the English or other languages weren't done.

In that topic, a fix is posted a ways down for NWNTX by virusman and some slowness, but doesn't sound perfect (don't let his name scare you. He does amazing stuff for NWN). Give it a try though. Seems to be some sort of caching issue with a lot of files, which isn't surprising. This doesn't seem to be specific to NWNTX, but I doubt the old toolset will see any new updates. Some people have tweaked the gui and other things for bigger screens*, but they all work with NWNTX as well.

* NWN Toolset - Modification (NWNX Forum) is an old one I used for years, though the link to the file is dead. Backup copy here.
Something new I found today that I still haven't tried was posted on another board, but you'll need to login to get the details (or use Google's cache... nasty bots): Re: New Neverwinter Aurora Toolset Improvements
I'll add them to the tips and tricks stuff after I've had some time to test the last one, but you can use NWNTX Loader.exe with them same as always (remember to reset the compatibility mode on them, and maybe run as admin). BACKUP YOUR ORIGINAL nwtoolset.exe!!!


As far as not being able to use compatibility mode, are you changing the settings on the NWNTX Loader.exe as well as the nwtoolset.exe? Pretty much everything will need to run as admin and use XP-SP3 mode.

If there is some way to exclude the modules/temp0 folder from various file scanning as well, it might help (antivirus etc.). That's the toolset's working folder and all the module content being used will get edited in there. It also has to grab files from the haks, bifs (data folder), texturepacks, override, portraits... so many folders, but if those didn't slow you down before, I don't see it making a big difference with this now. I hate ever recommending turning off the stuff that keeps viruses away just for more speed, but in this case, it might be worth a quick test.

There is also one more things I'd suggest if any of you are just using a copy of your nwn folder on a new system (or different location). The game itself is happy running without setting up the registry settings for its location, but it appears the toolset does need them for at least the copy/paste stuff, to keep the clipboard happy with other apps. I doubt this is the cause of your issues, but you never know. Running nwconfig.exe may set them up for you without manually editing your registry, but if not, do back it up first. Also note the different locations between 32 and 64 bit versions there.

I'm like tizmo, and stopped using the toolset script editor long ago (function searching/prototype preview was useful, but oh well). Usually I'll use np++ witth a lot of tweaks for nwn scripting, but it is the same idea as sublime 3. Having all the resources extracted in a set of folders makes script searching quite nice, and the new compiler works fine externally (like the old PrC one), rather than having to compile them in the toolset. Unfortunately that is just one small part of what the toolset is used for.

I'll keep digging for more, but with so many old resources gone, like the Bio-boards, searching is not as easy with regular Google and other methods, though the new vault forums are looking pretty good now (with a back up of the Bio-ones). The Internet Archive is a great thing, but most forum searches break with it. Also, since this problem mainly seems to affect those working with pretty insane content counts (Avlis uses so many files), there aren't as many having issues with it.
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: tizmo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Korennya wrote:You try a VM with win xp on it?


No. I did not.

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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: tizmo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:48 pm

Other than what Gorgon said, here's what I've done to my Win10 host..

1. Put my NWN directory on the anti-virus program's scan exclusion list.
2. Disabled content indexing on my NWN folder
Right click on the folder -> Advanced -> uncheck all of the boxes. Click ok.
3. Disabled restore points on my PC
System Properties -> System Protection -> Configure -> Disable system protection. Click ok.

That combination has helped with the delayed UI a bit. It's still sluggish, but better than it was by default.

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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Korennya » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:44 pm

Just wow. So i tried setting up my first ever VM. Installed winxp pro sp3 onto a VM with just neverwinter in it. Toolset closed the script editor in 2:23 compared with running it native in win10 at 6:40. Quite the difference!
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Re: Toolset Getting Slower and Slower

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:31 pm

Ain't nothing like the real thing baby! I still use XP-SP3 for a lot of toolset stuff on my older box. Even with the ancient CPU and hardware, it runs great on the big mods. Before NWNTX, it sucked, but the improvements in speed are exponentially better on really old hardware using it.

Trying to do a full build with it is another matter entirely (would take a day probably), but that's why I have more than 1. :roll:

*edits* I probably wouldn't think twice about using a dual boot, or more likely a VM for it, if I had only 1 box with win 10 (or even 7-8), especially with multiple monitors. Skip the hassles and use what works.
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