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  1. #1

    Unhappy Plugins kill my frame rate.

    I have found an interesting problem with plugins. Whenever I load plugins my frame rate immediately drops by 20 to 30 FPS. Unload them and the frame rates go back up to normal. I have a Radeon 6970 and can reproduce this on any of this years Catalyst versions including the pre-release 11.4 that is available.

    Because of this I have had to stop using plugins all together.

    Am I alone in this? Anyone else seeing it?
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    Grand Patriarch, High Satirist, Clan Sarcasmo.

  2. #2

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate.

    You should also take this up with the authors of the plugins you use. They might be doing some work during the OnUpdate event that's slowing you down.

  3. #3

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate.

    I'm going to get a little more granular and try to isolate better what causes what. But the funny thing is that I didn't have this problem with my older video card, 2 HD 4890s in CrossfireX. But the new card and the latest LotRO updates were pretty close to simultaneous. And of course the older cards didn't support DX11, only DX10.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinsDad View Post
    I'm going to get a little more granular and try to isolate better what causes what. But the funny thing is that I didn't have this problem with my older video card, 2 HD 4890s in CrossfireX. But the new card and the latest LotRO updates were pretty close to simultaneous. And of course the older cards didn't support DX11, only DX10.
    Honestly, hardware stats are nice and all, but we need to know what plugins your using. If someone did something stupid while coding, it's theoretically possible for a plugin to bring a supercomputer to it's knees.
    Maley Oakensage, Captain of Elendilmir

    Alas Elendilmir, may you *jingle jangle* forever in the Forgotten West

  5. #5

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate.

    Plugins used:

    Plugin Manager
    Palantir
    BuffBars, only the BuffBar itself used others features disabled
    TonicBars,
    Ctime
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    Grand Patriarch, High Satirist, Clan Sarcasmo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,628

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinsDad View Post
    Plugins used:

    Plugin Manager
    Palantir
    BuffBars, only the BuffBar itself used others features disabled
    TonicBars,
    Ctime
    We need to start weeding out variables before continuing. Between each of the steps, do a full client reload (log out, exit game, close launcher, reload everything). Some might say it's overkill, I want to eliminate as many variables as possible.

    First things first, need to verify that your set up is stable. Go play for a while (being at least 15 minutes) without any plugins loaded. This should validate the obvious, that it's the plugins that are loaded. On the off chances, if you are experiencing slowdowns without plugins loaded, you need to address those issues before continuing. Once the system is shown to be stable, we can procede.

    Since you have a bunch of plugins loaded, we need to identify which plugin is causing the slow down. Each of the following steps are from a fresh client load. Before we can start testing you HAVE to turn off all of the auto loading features of the plugin manager.

    First plugin to verify is the plugin manager itself. Honestly, I doubt there's a problem with the manager, but again, load it (and make sure it didn't load anything else) from a fresh client load, and play for a while. If everything appears normal, and frame rate is good (I would expect it to be), then we can start focusing on where the problem most likely is, with Palantir, BuffBars, TonicBars, or Ctime.

    To test each of these, use the Plugin manager to load exactly one of them, play for a while, and see if you have a slowdown. If you do, we know it's that plugin, because the client itself, and the manager are known to not cause the slowdown, because we have eliminated them with the prior steps. When you are convinced it's not that plugin, set the manager to load the next one, while not loading the current one, close out of the client and launcher, then reload everything. Rinse and repeat until you've tested it with client + Plugin Manager + <plugin> for each plugin.

    Come back with the results of the above 6 tests, and we'll proceed from there.
    Last edited by Almagnus1; Mar 29 2011 at 06:52 PM.
    Maley Oakensage, Captain of Elendilmir

    Alas Elendilmir, may you *jingle jangle* forever in the Forgotten West

  7. #7

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate. Palantir and Ctime...

    I went ahead and loaded each plugin I use individually and have found two of them are without question having negative impacts on my frame rates.

    Ctime when loaded dropped my FPS from roughly 160 while stationary to about 80 FPS. This is while standing still in Ost Haer with only one NPC and no player characters.

    Palantir dropped them from the 160 down to about 100 in the same area and circumstances.

    So when both are loaded and I am in a high traffic area like Bree my normally healthy 80 to 90 FPS falls into the mid to high 20s, or worse.

    At least now I know what not to load. But it still seems strange that I did not seem to have this problem prior to the new video card and/or the latest content update.

    And since first discovering the problem I have completely removed LotRO, including user specific config files and reinstalled fresh. With no change in the symptoms.
    ****************************** ****************************** ********
    Grand Patriarch, High Satirist, Clan Sarcasmo.

  8. #8

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate. Palantir and Ctime...

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinsDad View Post
    I went ahead and loaded each plugin I use individually and have found two of them are without question having negative impacts on my frame rates.

    Ctime when loaded dropped my FPS from roughly 160 while stationary to about 80 FPS. This is while standing still in Ost Haer with only one NPC and no player characters.

    Palantir dropped them from the 160 down to about 100 in the same area and circumstances.

    So when both are loaded and I am in a high traffic area like Bree my normally healthy 80 to 90 FPS falls into the mid to high 20s, or worse.

    At least now I know what not to load. But it still seems strange that I did not seem to have this problem prior to the new video card and/or the latest content update.

    And since first discovering the problem I have completely removed LotRO, including user specific config files and reinstalled fresh. With no change in the symptoms.
    Although I'm not going to hand wave this, do make sure you have the latest version of Palantir - as there was one release not too far back that caused a huge hit on framerate.

    That being said, I'm not going to lie either - there is plenty of room for improvement on Palantir's efficiency; but even still, considering that Lua graphics are not hardware accelerated, any plugin that "draws" graphics on the screen on a frequent basis, is going to negatively impact the frame rate to some degree. By "draw", I mean every time a single graphic has to be redrawn by the game - whether that be moving it, animating it, hiding/showing it, etc.

    Currently Palantir updates a lot more often than it really should - most of the original blame goes back to some issues with events in the past; however, the main reason why I haven't put changing that as a priority, pretty much boils down to lack of complaints.

    That being said, Palantir is getting a complete rewrite for the next version. While I'm working on this, I will be concentrating on efficiency, without sacrificing function or features. By its very nature, it is still going to affect frame rate; but the goal is to reduce this as much as possible.
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  9. #9

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate.

    D_U, thanks for the reply. Part of my consternation is that I didn't not have, or at least did not notice this issue until reasonably recently. I've been using Palantir since it was first posted to LotRO Interfaces. But somewhere in the process of changing video cards, which included moving from DX10 to DX11 and going from Catalyst 10.12 to 11.2-3 and 4, and the content update I started having this issue, or at the very least it became a big enough change to be noticeable.

    I find it rather beleiveable that the root cause could even lie in the support for the 6970 card in the newest AMD drivers. That would not be a first. It may well bee that the issue is only being exposed by Palantir and Ctime and not actually being caused by them.

    Having said all of that I will be all means double check what version I am running and update accordingly.
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    Grand Patriarch, High Satirist, Clan Sarcasmo.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    290

    Re: Plugins kill my frame rate. Palantir and Ctime...

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia View Post
    That being said, I'm not going to lie either - there is plenty of room for improvement on Palantir's efficiency; but even still, considering that Lua graphics are not hardware accelerated, any plugin that "draws" graphics on the screen on a frequent basis, is going to negatively impact the frame rate to some degree. By "draw", I mean every time a single graphic has to be redrawn by the game - whether that be moving it, animating it, hiding/showing it, etc.
    I am going to be nit-picky and disagree with this though. Lua functions can be completely implemented in C (or other hosting languages). This means that the UI elements used in plugins could be hardware accelerated. Of course we would need a dev to confirm if this is true, but I consider it quite likely.

    Of course, if a plugin does have a lot of UI elements, it could bring it down a bit. But I look at my plugin, and sometimes drawing around 100 UI elements (labels, checkboxes, shortcuts, etc....) I only drop about 1-2 FPS.

    I really only bring this up because I really do believe the single biggest issue with some plugins is their update method, and authors need to realize how much it can affect the client. It may not even be bad programming, but just trying to do too much at once.

    Anyways, that's my thoughts on the matter.

    Edit: One other thing occured to me. I have no idea how custom graphics are managed in memory, and that is something that could cause a drop is FPS outside of the update loop.
    Last edited by D.H1cks; Apr 01 2011 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Additional thought
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