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You might have noticed that load-times got slightly worse with Update 14; I know I have -- especially when you are flying to a mission and you have to wait for one of your squad members’ laptops to divert all auxiliary power to the engines to catch up. This is the story of how the load-times got worse in Update 14 and how they are going to get better in Update 14.5!

 

It turns out that a bunch of things were optimized in Update 14 to reduce memory footprint and improve stability. When Warframe was first released we kept all the assets for all equipment loaded all the time so no matter who you were running with the game would have their loadout in memory (textures, meshes, animations, sounds, etc). After a year of updates there was so much new gear added that the memory footprint began to pose a threat to stability for people running 32-bit Windows and something had to be done; with Update 14 we optimized it to just load the gear needed for your squad.

 

Unfortunately by keeping a lot less stuff in memory all the time and loading it on demand we traded game stability for slightly longer of load-times.

 

After I had spent a good chunk of time playing Update 14 with random people and had spent enough time glaring at the loading-bar for the slowest squad member I decided to see what could be done to improve the load-times. Once again a weekend project yielded some pretty exciting results.

 

Coming in Update 14.5 is a new and improved cache optimizer. The optimizer does a couple of things but the most important thing is that it improves level-load times by organizing how data is stored.

 

The optimizer also reclaims disk-space by compacting the cache to remove gaps left by deleted or resized assets; this is normally triggered by the update process whenever the launcher detects that the cache has a certain amount of wasted space. Usually major updates will change enough content to trigger this but if you want to make sure your cache is optimized you can manually activate it using the ‘defrag’ option in the launcher:

 


uzk5PP2.png



 

Some people have asked if they should bother with this if they have installed Warframe to a Solid State Drive (SSD). It turns out that while defragmenting the file-system on an SSD is generally unnecessary you still want to do this occasionally for Warframe because aside from recycling wasted space it also does a bunch of smart things to organize the data to improve the density (in some sense the “defrag” button is poorly labelled -- we should probably change the label to read “optimize” instead).

 

The PS4 version does not optimize the download cache in the same way as the PC version but rest assured that we are working on a way to get this exciting change out on PS4 as soon as possible! 

 

I wish I could give you solid numbers for how much faster it might be; unfortunately because levels in Warframe are generated procedurally it is extremely unlikely that you would load the same mission twice (this also makes the optimizer very tricky to tune!).

 

I am limited to testing my changes using simulations because I play Warframe off of a SSD on both my laptop and my workstation -- on paper the numbers look really fantastic but I am going to need you guys to tell me if you can see an improvement.

 

After Update 14.5 please post your impressions. I am particularly excited to hear from people playing off of laptop HDDs -- if you can feel the improvement let me know!

 

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After Update 14.5 please post your impressions. I am particularly excited to hear from people playing off of laptop HDDs -- if you can feel the improvement let me know!

 

Sure after 14.5....

AARRGHH WHEN IS IT!!!! ( >.<)

So many teasers! Hype train is live!

Edited by NetSlayer
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Optimization & better performances = Always welcome!

 

Current most complete staff replies top 5 :

#1 [DE]Rebecca

#2 [DE]Adam

#3 [DE]Glen

#4 [DE]Drew

#5 [DE]Steve

Edited by unknow99
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I hope this Defrag doesnt cause bugs and crashing that will end up requiring complete installs.

 

The actual defrag mechanism hasn't changed in over a year -- what's changing is the optimization strategy that decides what order to put the assets in. In fact you don't even run the tool that generates the plan -- we do this for you and you download the instructions. I doubt very much there will be any new crashes caused by a more sophisticated plan. 

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Top work Glen, thank you!

Blitzing some Void caps with my credit booster was painful, we were running the mission faster than it took to load!

 

Keep on tuning :)

 

Edit: Anyway to force a defrag on large updates if this works as intended?

Highly suspect many will never run it...

Edited by Egg_Chen
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uzk5PP2.png

wait... Glen, both DX10 and DX11 are checkboxes. do make sure you can't actually try to run multiple versions of DirectX on a piece of software at the same time... i don't think that'll end well.

 

though i think it'd just be easier for there to be Radio buttons for DX9/10/11. it would simplify it for less tech savvy people.

 

 

on topic:

yay! loading optimizations are always welcome. less time that i spend just waiting for other people :D

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Speaking as somebody with 64 bit windows and 8 gigs of system memory...  Can you please use more of my memory? I mean, it's wonderful that effort is being spent to optimize the game for low-spec machines, but for those of us with slightly more modern PCs are you still allowing the game to stretch out and make itself comfortable?

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Speaking as somebody with 64 bit windows and 8 gigs of system memory...  Can you please use more of my memory? I mean, it's wonderful that effort is being spent to optimize the game for low-spec machines, but for those of us with slightly more modern PCs are you still allowing the game to stretch out and make itself comfortable?

 

The OS disk cache will eat that up and you'll load fast; you can probably also turn up texture streaming memory -- in 64-bit mode we actually budget more.

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Nice work Glen, i actually moved Warframe from SSD to mechanical drive because i find the load time is reasonable and i often run Defrag after each update/hotfix, game first load slow on a fresh OS boot but after an ingame run it cached, HDD activity light rarely blinks at full.

 

However there was one thing i notice if EE.log size increased to 16MB and it cause huge delay on load time, this which can also be the factor some user load much slower. Since the game is 100% stabe on my end i now put up an empty EE.log and set properties to Read-only to prevent size increment.

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I hope this Defrag doesnt cause bugs and crashing that will end up requiring complete installs.

when me or my friends experience odd bugs or connection issues i generally tell them to verify and [DE]frag the game cash. so no it dose not cause bugs but instead it fixes them :3

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I wish I could give you solid numbers for how much faster it might be; unfortunately because levels in Warframe are generated procedurally it is extremely unlikely that you would load the same mission twice (this also makes the optimizer very tricky to tune!).

 

A PRNG produces the same stream of numbers if you start it with the same seed. Doesn't that mean, same seed = same level?

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[DE]Glen

First of all I hope you did get the kubrow egg yestarday ;]

Second i did this defragmentation, and my game lags more often now than it did before.

Don't know if this optimization algorithm did something funny or is it that I just have really bad luck joining random games now.

See this : even my poor carrier can't collect resources

 

http://dai.ly/x24qhz8

Edited by tocorro
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[DE]Glen

First of all I hope you did get the kubrow egg yestarday ;]

Second i did this defragmentation, and my game lags more often now than it did before.

Don't know if this optimization algorithm did something funny or is it that I just have really bad luck joining random games now.

See this : even my poor carrier can't collect resources

 

http://dai.ly/x24qhz8

 

1) The new cache optimizer is in update 14.5 which you don't have yet.

 

2) Load times don't have any impact on your frame rate, your network lag, in-game bugs, or premature balding. 

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