Happenings from Aeternum is all about the community. Explore community Q&As on topics like New World's client performance, view community spotlights, and discover new content creators. This month features the Summer Medleyfaire. Learn how to get involved or just enjoy what’s happening.
We’ve started additional community Q&As in Discord as a result of community feedback. Join the conversation to find more answers and ask your own questions in August. Here’s the latest Q&A episode of Forged in Aeternum, followed by some responses from our July thread:
Is there a planned Inventory/storage overhaul coming? The storage shed system is very frustrating in terms of organization.
We agree strongly with your point of view, and are actively looking into it. I'm sure you can imagine there are technical constraints to work around. We are still exploring!
Any plans for separate PvE and PvP balance?
Yes, this is something we've discussed in the past and think is important so we can push for exciting and strong PvE experiences without breaking the balance of PvP. The first part of it will come in Season 3 when we use this new system to replace some of the balance we achieved through "required" perks. We will then build upon this system over time to include more aspects of combat.
Any plans for solo Expeditions?
There are no plans for solo Expeditions at the moment. Those experiences are built for multiple players and designed with support and tank classes in mind. However, we want to make sure everyone can easily participate in Expeditions, so we're making some changes in Season 3 to the difficulty of base Expeditions to make them easier for all. We want players to be able to experience the fun and story of our Expeditions in a low pressure setting. If players want a challenge they can participate in Mutators.
New World's Client Performance
We caught up with Mike Boccieri, one of New World's AZoth Engine team leads, to answer your questions about DX12, performance optimization, and DLSS:
What are your plans for DX12? When the game came out you said the game would move to DX12 after a few months. We are missing out on better graphics and potential performance.
As Rich Lawrence mentioned in 2021, New World's AZoth Engine team has had in the past - and currently has - active development towards supporting DX12. While any new platform technology has the potential for improvements - both in areas of graphical fidelity as well as performance - the ability to leverage new technologies effectively is heavily dependent on both the upfront cost to develop the implementation, as well as the downstream costs to the game's content creators.
As a result, when we consider against the broader portfolio of things we can do as an engine team on behalf of New World players and New World developers, those costs weigh heavily in our calculations. Thus in consultation with New World leadership we've taken a longer-term approach to supporting new render platform technology, and instead have spent much of our time supporting the team with a host of new tools and technologies that we think have greater immediate value to players - more efficient developer workflows for making new game content, new shaders and character rendering tech, etc.
Many of these tech changes go out as part of the game content updates, but are otherwise not called out as standalone engine technologies because they don't have much player-value without the paired content that uses it. Expedition bosses, for example, were built with and heavily benefit from new graphics technology in our Brimstone Sands update. In Season 2 you may notice that more characters on screen simulate their cloth apparel, from further away. These are just a few examples where we made strategic investment choices to support specific game content rather than rush out support for a new renderer.
A DX12 update alone - to the contrary of some online opinions - is in no way a "magic bullet" for performance optimization. If anything it can present new challenges toward performance optimization because the core technology leaves much of the control of the system hardware in the hands of the graphics engine. Previously, a game could reasonably rely on the DirectX11 API to handle giving you resource allocations at the OS level. With DirectX12, now you have to build your own methods for handling those resources within your game engine.
“With great power comes great responsibility" is the quote that comes to mind or the arguments for manual versus automatic transmissions: in theory manual shifting gives you "more control," but with the trade-off of now having to "think about" and "do" gear shifting as the driver. In a lot of cases those trade-offs will be worth it; but if you've driven an automatic car for years, the switch to manual can be very jarring. Therefore as we've been working on implementing our DX12 support we've spent a great deal of time and effort trying to make that transition comfortable for New World developers.
What are you doing concerning Performance optimizations?
One of the things I really like about working on New World is that Ownership is one of the Leadership Principles at Amazon as a company, and an ideal that all developers on New World aspire to. When we talk about performance optimization for New World, we are talking about a shared responsibility across all of New World's development team. In an MMORPG there are so many moving parts - from the engine tech that brings data to the screen to the game systems that dictate the rulesets for all of your world interactions.
Degraded or improved performance in any one part can have a cascading effect to all other parts of the game experience. While AZoth Engine team can and does deliver incremental changes to our engine tech on behalf of New World, one of our primary jobs is helping other contributing teams identify and measure the performance impact of their changes whenever we release a new update. We coordinate as well with our data analytics teams to monitor the live health of the game product and try to respond to any variance in performance as quickly as possible, as well as assist in investigating player feedback when you note framerate issues.
We also evangelize for continuous improvement in game performance - not only in service of new game content and features - but also in ensuring that, wherever it is reasonable to improve existing game content, we fold those plans into our development plan. As with DX12 however, there is no buzzword I can provide to say "we are enabling X feature and that 'boosts the game' 10%" or something like that.
What I can say is that for our game clients, when we see performance reaching its limits, the game is often "CPU bound". This means that game optimizations that target the CPU cores are going to typically be more impactful for more of the audience than optimizations that attempt to improve GPU performance for New World.
Our past optimizations include code and content changes to move some computation from the PC's CPU to the GPU when feasible, as well as multi-threading (able to distribute their computation to more CPU cores at once) various engine and game systems.
We plan to release some significant changes to the game client's streaming technology to go along with upcoming content releases. Following the Season 2 release, our 2.0.2 update will address hitched frames. We hope players will be happy with these changes in particular.
How difficult would it be to add DLSS? Do you have any plans to do so?
DLSS support is dependent on implementing DirectX12 support, so we will investigate DLSS support in greater depth once we've brought DX12 to at least a beta-ready state for players. We have several technology possibilities that we can unlock on the other side of our initial DX12 delivery: DLSS, ray-tracing support, etc. These are both possible and of interest to us.
But if I can close out with one thought, I just want to say that so much can and is still possible in terms of performance optimization and improved visualization, regardless of whether New World is running with DX11 or DX12. Equating good/poor performance or good/poor visual quality to one or the other API is over-simplifying the narrative. Both great games have and poor games been delivered with either method.
Our hope is that you can feel the love and effort we've put into New World's engine reflected in the quality of the game updates, season over season. In the meantime, if and when something in New World isn't performing the way it used to, please keep sharing those reports. You are all an invaluable part of making New World an even greater game. Knowing it brings players enjoyment is the reason so many on our AZoth Engine team do what we do.
Summer Medleyfaire Spotlight
We asked you to share your best Summer Medleyfaire images in celebration of the festivities. Here are some of our favorites:
SastlE - Nysa
JakeL - Castle of Steel
Vince Varden - Valhalla
Gatup0jk - Barri
Lady Aki - Aaru
Kimber Mckay - Castle of Steel
Discover New Content Creators
Here are three New World content creators worth checking out on Twitch:
Looking for a new comfort stream? Himboandy is relatively new to the category and enjoys all aspects of New World, especially fishing.
Summer Medleyfaire Highlights:
I was so happy to get my first Legendary fish, the Sturgeon. It changed how I played the game. Instead of just logging in for Outpost Rush or Expeditions I really wanted to explore the world more and fish.
I loved that I was incentivized to farm content outside of combat. I really wanted to unlock everything I could and loved the music system too.
Tune into vXBlackSwanXv for a mix of PvE and PvP content, plus community engagement.
Integrating my community into content is always my top priority. Being able to invite them to my server, Company, and activities is what makes New World special. They’re absolutely family. I end every stream with "I love you. Stay safe please."
Summer Medleyfaire Highlight:
I am an avid crafter. The Medleyfaire patterns will make even the most inexperienced PvE enjoyers get out there! I also seek the rush of crafting BIS gear for people. These patterns help achieve (with ease!) those happy little Legendaries everyone hopes to roll.
Relax through varied content and comedy with German content creator Sema.
Summer Medleyfaire Highlight:
Dancing and playing music with the community felt like a cozy family gathering! Together, we celebrated the wholesome vibe of the Summer Medleyfaire. It’s so much fun.
Let us know what you’d like to see in future installments. Thanks for your support! We’ll see you in Aeternum.