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Minimize lag when building areas?

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 6:33 am
Author: Eldar
I was wondering if there are some kind of recommended maximum number of placeables in an area to minimize lag / loading time etc?

Are there any other things to think about when creating an area that can minimize lag?


PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 7:12 am
Author: Alustriel
Bioware said once that 3 to 4 placeabes on 1 tile is the maximum, if you use that as average you'll do fine.
If you need more, make smaller areas, 12*12 with a zillion of placeables is no good, a 5*5 area should be fine.

Also don't place placeables on tile seams, this will double - or more - the time needed for pathfinding of npc's and pc's.
If you have dark areas, caves, grotto's, dungeon, it is hard to see, so placables won't change much to the atmosphere, keep those to a minimum as well.

Check the Merchant Rest Inn in Elysia, the area looks lovely but has far to many placeables, it takes ages to load, and I can imagine people with slower connection can't load that specific area, although never had complaints about it, and therefor the area is as it is and not toned down or split in 2.

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 7:15 am
Author: Havoulov
Does the same count for non interactive placeables like bloodstains and the like?

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 7:56 am
Author: Alustriel
Yes, every placeable, you can't usually walk through them. Not sure with the ones you can walk over though, hard to test these things on a stand-alone machine, it usually only shows with many people in the same area.
But all little bits help.

The pathfinding scripts need to find a way past these obstacles so a pc/npc can walk.

Scripts play an important role as well, esp heartbeats. Caching scripts into memory does help a lot for scripts fired often, so look into that as well. Profiler is a major help in this.

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 1:04 pm
Author: Vichan Lyonsen
If you think of any single inn in Avlis this is broken, One table and 4 chairs is 5 placeables and often there is more than that on one tile - you will also not though that NPC's will almost never successfully negotiate that tile.

the one thing to realise though is an inn is a small area, compared to say a city marketplace...try to be reasonable with placeables - walkable one like rugs still take processing cycles to load but i dont think they effect pathfinding at all.

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 1:12 pm
Author: Krator
Just do whatever you like. The only thing that you should avoid overusing is placeables with lights and animations (I learned that the heard way: *points at Mennallin enterprises in Elysia*), and placeables of more than one tile big.

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 7:21 pm
Author: Eldar
Thanks a lot for the answers. I will use this as a guideline.