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The graphics for this game have been terrible for a decade

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55 minutes ago, CallumBH said:

 

By most gaming standards, SL graphics ARE intensely bad.

 

If you have a good computer and your preferences set appropriately, SL can look fantastic.  The problem is that SL has "user created" content that is seldom optimized worth a crap and some of that is very difficult to make look good regardless of your computer.  Mostly, all that user content negatively impacts performance because it all has to be downloaded constantly.  In other games, all their fabulous content has been optimized and is almost always already on your computer via the client that you installed.

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Posted (edited)

Usually, when a sim is laggy it is caused by a low spec pc an/or a poor internet connection. Some sims can be laggy due to the amount of avatars and scripts running that even good pc's struggle with to a certain degree, but nowhere near as bad as you are saying.

The graphics have got better over the years and not worse, if you're struggling then it is an end user issue and not a SL issue.

Edited by Carolyn Zapedzki
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There are a many things that can contribute to poor performance when it comes to platforms such as SecondLife.

Games made by professional studios are made to both look good, using rendering methods to improve model appearance and low-poly models to save on graphical strain, furthermore the models and textures are all stored locally, often on SATA HDDs and SDDs, or M.2 SSDs that can load data as fast as 3Gbps to 100Gbps.

SecondLife is a net-dependent platform that is always changing, nothing is the same and the data you load along with what's being rendered is always different. All textures and models are downloaded on a net connection that usually is as low as 10Mbps and can be as high as 1Gbps for those graced with fiber connections.

The content is user-generated and isn't optimized, this is seen with jewelry (as an example) that can be the size of a pixel until zoomed-in upon using the highest-resolution texture allowed by the platform, this bloats limited memory GPUs have and causes 'texture trashing' (you see this when textures constantly look blurry, or when they go from blurry to clear again and again as your GPU tries to decide which to render) and with such causes performance loss since your GPUs memory is at its limit.

Also, there's content creators who mesh in every tiny detail into their product instead of using the graphics options available (normal and specular mapping), using a normal map to get small details into a mesh product is far more efficient than using extra polygons. These options are only visible to those using 'Advanced Lighting Model' however, and many content creators refuse to add these to their products or don't even know it exists.

Furthermore, mesh is another, and possibly the largest contributor to lag, at least in populated sims, this applies to the various heads and bodies. Many of these heads and bodies have 'onion layers' since they don't have systems easily able to stack textures for makeup, scars, and other facial/body aesthetics, so instead of rendering the appearance of that person once, it's actually rendering them multiple times in succession (the mesh body/head they're wearing that is), eating limited GPU memory and causing lag. Bakes on Mesh is the answer to this, and I hope to see it soon.

Lastly, there is your hardware, what you have inside the box under your desk, beside you, or wherever it sits on your setup. Many people play on laptops, laptops are often under-powered and while they may play AAA title on medium/high, and more expensive ones high/ultra settings, SecondLife being the kind of platform it is, will have performance issues on higher graphics settings.

Personally, how I see it, SecondLife has virtually unlimited content, and with games, more content is better than amazing graphics, and that's what brings me back. Roleplaying, being what you want, and doing what you want, is far better than everything being pretty to look at (although it would be a plus). The higher graphics options to me are for photographers, and I dabble in it myself. If you want to see SecondLife with the best graphics available, you'll want to look into a third-party-viewer called Black Dragon, it only runs on Windows however, and do read what you can on the page you're redirected to before the download page if you choose to look into it.

I feel I may have merely scraped the tip of the iceberg here, but hope it can give some people insight into what SecondLife is, and what causes some of the problems it's plagued by, I also hope not to stir argument, and it's not my objective.

Good day to all, and sorry for the text wall!

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I kind of like the mishmash of good and bad graphics, it is absolute visual chaos in areas, and it is unique in such a way.  The Internet used to be the same, most of the web was user created, there was a lot of variety and it was a thing of beauty to behold, then social media came along as well as the larger sites and it made the entire web feel bland, I would say almost sterile in comparison to it's former glory.  Surely, the graphics look better, but the creativity of a millions of people, all doing their own thing is gone.

 

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On 1/9/2019 at 7:31 AM, CallumBH said:

Why all the hostility towards OP??

By most gaming standards, SL graphics ARE intensely bad.

SL's chief saving grace - body sliders. But even the wretched APB Reloaded had that, so they're hardly a unique SP.

Check out Carmen King's GTA 5 'anime girl gets arrested' video on YouTube.  SL simply can't compete - in terms of background, lighting, buildings, cityscapes, skies, clothing detail, vehicle look and performance, etc.

SL DID have the winning formula once, but it was about 11 years ago. Times have changed. Dumping on OP won't bring them back. Enjoy it if you like but, in realistic terms, SL graphics will soon look as dated as ZX Spectrum.

 

 

 

You can't upload your own 3D models, textures, animations, sound, make your own scripts and have them be parts of a persistent shared online virtual world on GTA V. Many mesh heads and mesh bodies on SL are much more high-quality compared to GTA V's character models (hence they are laggier, but still, they are of higher quality) 

Of course GTA V is better in things like physical simulation and shooting mechanics, but those aren't what SL is about, and the performance on GTA V is good because it's one of the most optimized games out there and doesn't have user-created content in it.

Most buildings on GTA V / Online is empty and doesn't have an interior model, while most buildings on SL are occupied and owned by people, with their furnitures and personal belongings in them 

I have over 500 hours in GTA V / GTA Online but as much as I like having fun with my friends playing GTA, it's no comparison to the depth of SL, what it represents and what it means for the users who use Second Life

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my PC have nvidia 9500GT, win 7 homebase and

GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard and graphics are good)))

 

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3 hours ago, Panteleeva said:

my PC have nvidia 9500GT, win 7 homebase and

GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard and graphics are good)))

 

I have a Commodore 64 *AND* an Amiga 500! :D

(I so love it when people cannot spot an obvious joke when they see it. LOL )

Edited by Alyona Su
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58 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

I have a Commodore 64 *AND* an Amiga 500! :D

 problem?)

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Professional and polished graphics does not mean good graphics. Utility and novelty count for a lot more. For example, those mesh (or sculptie) dirt paths one walks on everywhere are lovely, proficient, professionally made, but they're also mass produced. They were wonderful the first time. By the tenth time, I think: "Can't you think of something else?" Even something, home made that's less than perfect that's different from what you see everywhere earns kudos. I have a zinnia texture I hand drew years ago. There are zinnias in my yard growing on a four prim spiral. Flowers don't get old, and I know no one else has envy (lime green...There is such a thing in real life too!) zinnias, or who has tried a four prim spiral for texture plants.

Utility, works in a complementary direction. Every time my avie jumps over a wall, I cheer. I've done it a million times. She may not jump as well as an avie in some other game, but she can do it, and it's fun. It will always be fun.  If I still want something I built six months after I built it, I probably did a good job with the graphics. They fill a need. For example, a house on stilts built with green painted wood and with sturdy, easy-to-climb stairs made all the land on my 2048 useable at ground level and provided living space for a young, Zooby baby, and me for over a year. I liked the color. I never got tired of the house, which provided indoor space for bathing a baby and taking care of his bathroom needs. The  house' inspiration was a building used on academic sims. The original that was 64 prims. My house was 35. The original structure is also an excellent, though primitive (2006) piece of work.

If you want to see what can be done with simple graphics in SL, visit Studio Moya or Derpyland (Possibly Derpy Land).

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On 1/10/2019 at 2:11 AM, Marianne McCann said:

I'm not sure if this troll is successful, or failed. Pretty clearly a trolling, tho. 

Yep. “Terrible for 10 years” invites the question, “why in the world are you still here?”

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On 1/8/2019 at 7:31 PM, CallumBH said:

Why all the hostility towards OP??

By most gaming standards, SL graphics ARE intensely bad.

SL's chief saving grace - body sliders. But even the wretched APB Reloaded had that, so they're hardly a unique SP.

Check out Carmen King's GTA 5 'anime girl gets arrested' video on YouTube.  SL simply can't compete - in terms of background, lighting, buildings, cityscapes, skies, clothing detail, vehicle look and performance, etc.

SL DID have the winning formula once, but it was about 11 years ago. Times have changed. Dumping on OP won't bring them back. Enjoy it if you like but, in realistic terms, SL graphics will soon look as dated as ZX Spectrum.

The thing you forget is the 72GB download to play GTA 5. And the character models are still crap. And it has how many costumes? Heck, forget costumes, how many hairstyles? Whatever number I guarantee SL has more. For hairstyles, -I- probably have more.

The OP got pushback from me for being a gamergate douchebro. I love manbaby for breakfast.

SL's graphics on a decent gaming rig look fan-bloody-tastic.

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I suspect the poster of the OP is really complaining about the quality of a lot of the builds they might be seeing in their travels.

Especially if they are on mainland, there are large areas that haven't really changed in many years and some since the beginning even.
An awful lot of places both on mainland and some estates are still heavily using prims for buildings without really much, if any, mesh.
I am certainly not criticising that as I love to prim build myself but it does make me wonder if the poster feels that this creates a dated look and feel about a lot of builds.  Of course there is a lot of crap builds around too which might add to that impression.

I am speculating of course but I just got the feeling it wasn't really about the graphics capabilities of the viewer.

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The SysReqs page has been outdated for a while now.

Citing it for any reason other than pointing out how outdated it is ... is pointless.

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I ran SL on a GT 240 up until about three years ago. I’m pretty sure that’s less powerful than the graphics card an Xbone has and could still do ultra settings. A fair would make everything slow down to a crawl. Still, everything looked nice.

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On 1/10/2019 at 2:42 PM, Alyona Su said:

I have a Commodore 64 *AND* an Amiga 500! :D

(I so love it when people cannot spot an obvious joke when they see it. LOL )

One of my all time fav computers I ever owned was the Amiga 1200. My fav games were Lemmings, Zool, Sleepwalker and Globdule 😂

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It would simply be way too much effort to put in for very little end reward.

The reason not a lot of people play SL is because not a lot of people bother with any kind of social game at all. Theyre all pretty much dead, Smallworlds/Habbo/IMVU/SW/etc. If you wanted to count some similar games from a younger target audience, like Adventure Quest or even Club Penguin...

"making the graphics better" just isnt really that easy with SL, the engine this game is built on is ancient, it would pretty much have to be rebuilt from the ground up, and that comes with a lot of problems like:

1) will anyones content work in the new game from the old game?

2) how much of a bug infested mess will it be?

3) how long until someone finds a game breaking exploit?

Really to get this game "playable" at higher settings you dont need much hardware wise. You can still play SL on hardware from its launch day, you can play SL comfortably on hardware from over a decade ago, ive done it, way too many times. Its not that demanding but because it performs terribly on all hardware, people with PC's like mine who have no problems with any AAA game today would come to SL and see that it doesnt look as impressive but its giving them balls tier framerates are going to really notice something like that.

And on some level it really isnt acceptable at all, its not just user content, thats a huge part of it, the content on this game isnt optimized to run efficiently. Playing a game like say, Grand Theft Auto V or Fallout 4, those games run well at high settings on decent hardware, but that same hardware will struggle with SL. The reason is that every single little tiny thing in those games is designed to look the best it possibly can while requiring the minimal amount of system resource usage. 

If you take off the textures of many objects in a lot of AAA games that look super complex, you find that theyre actually very simple shapes hidden underneath a detailed texture. But then you notice the texture itself also really isnt that detailed, its low res and involves a small spectrum of colors if its an object thats generally one color. Its all designed to run as well as it can because the studios have massive dev teams to make sure that everything is optimized so their games will run on a large variety of hardware, which allows for a larger audience to buy and enjoy the game.

SL doesnt have that, its all made by other users, and while many people here are excellent at making 3D objects for this 3D world, they are god awful at optimization.

But its not just the fault of that, testing done by many users on this forums and myself has shown that SL really just bombs at using your hardware well. It does not matter what GPU youre using in SL as long as its moderately recent and not super low end. 8800GTX from 2006? Itll play, not maxed, but 1080p at decent framerates, itll play. Even with a matching Core2Quad Q6600. Hell ive got a windows vista machine i put together recently to play Halo 2, with a Core2duo E6550, 8800GT and 2gb of 800mhz DDR2. That wouldve been a high end but not enthusiast tier PC if it was still 2007. It still plays SL, 1280x1024, so around 720p. Generally medium settings, lots of avatars can crumble framerate but its smooth for the most part.

That is a 12 year old PC. There is no SSD, its running Vista, it is all 2007 inside and it still plays SL fine.

Next to me right now is my current SFF project with an i5 4570, 8gb of ram and a GTX 680, older stuff but nothing to be scoffed at even in 2019, and it plays SL about as well as you'd expect. But if you compare the difference in the overall playing experience you get from the Vista Machine compared to this PC or my main PC, its some really, really small jumps. You expect more. The Vista Machine can only play GTA V with 4gb of ram installed (i just dont because its not appropriate to the time), its terrible in 1024x768 basically all low settings and around 30fps. But it can play GTA V. But theres this massive jump going from that to this pc with an i5, and an even larger one to my main PC. Like complete night and day, suddenly im playing 1440p max settings 60+ fps all the time. Its a whole different experience.

SL being how it is, just doesnt run well on anything. And going from the vista machine to the i5 its just like, well i can turn ALM on and play in 1080p now. But overall the framerates are only marginally better in some places. So it looks a little nicer and its higher res but thats it. GTX 680 was 2012, so 5 years of technological advancement got me ALM and higher resolution. The i5 came out a year after that (so 7 years from the Core2duo at 2006).

Thats not SL content, thats the base game, thats the stuff in the background, the "engine" behind it all. Processors and GPUs are really just underutilized in every single way on this game. More cores != better in any way, people with Threadripper 16 core processors get about the same performance as people with decently modern dual cores. Got a RTX 2080ti? Dont matter much, your framerate will be minimal over someone with a 1060/1070.

 

So maybe one day in the future we will see if SL will get some large scale upgrade to the game that will make it look more appealing to a larger audience. I personally think it looks fine, not everything needs the complex lighting and shaders that you see a lot of in AAA games. But that also depends on if people would actually play it anyway. Sl is one of those weird relics of the past that somehow stuck around because it quickly built a massive playerbase that just doesnt leave. New players show up now and then, most quit but many stay, and chances are the only reason they stay is because theres a bunch of diehard SL citizens already here to interact with. That was the death of a lot of social games. Smallworlds died because the new players showed up to a nearly empty game and nobody stuck around, and the original players stopped playing because (well there were a LOT of things, mainly the economy that got ruined) they ran out of stuff to do.

You aint gonna run out of stuff to do in SL, i dont expect it to die anytime soon, but a large scale upgrade to the game wouldnt really draw anyone here since almost nobody is actively looking into playing games like SL these days. Its just not popular anymore.

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