Watch Dogs PC Modders Find Hidden "E3" Settings, Improve Performance - Update

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Watch Dogs PC Modders Find Hidden "E3" Settings, Improve Performance - Update


Users are reporting that as well as making the game look nicer, the "E3 mod" also improves Watch Dogs performance.

Update 2: Ubisoft has offered an official response to the story on the Watch Dogs official website [http://watchdogs.ubi.com/watchdogs/en-us/news/index.aspx], again, assuring fans that the PC version was not, "downgraded".

The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we've set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they're released, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality. Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game's visual fidelity in certain situations but also can have various negative impacts. Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.

Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago.

-The Watch Dogs Team

Update: An Ubisoft PR representative has taken to Twitter [https://twitter.com/UbiTessa/status/478622295662297088] to stress that the PC version of the game was not "downgraded."

"I recall replying saying that the game was not downgraded, i still stick to that yes."

Source: Twitter [https://twitter.com/UbiTessa/status/478622295662297088]

Original Story: When we finally got our hands on Ubisoft's delay-stricken Watch Dogs, a lot of PC users with beastly machines were somewhat disappointed that, even running on the "ultra" graphical settings, the game didn't quite look as nice, or run as smooth, as those E3 demos we saw back in 2012 and 2013. Now, PC modders scourging around Watch Dogs files have found some hidden "E3" options, which, when applied, make the game look nice, and according to some users, run better. A Guru 3D [http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=390114] user, "The Worse", has managed to compile all of these improvements into an easy-to-install mod for the PC version of the game.

The Worse has made massive discoveries/improvements. He has discovered that almost all of the shaders and improvements seen in 2012 and 2013 are still in the game files, such as the E3 2012 explosions. For now he has managed to implement dynamic shadows from headlights, the increased rain density, increased NPC density, as well as 2012 E3 bloom and lens flare.

You can check out just how pretty the mod's effect make the game look in these screenshots:

[gallery=2729]

The list of additions The Worse's mod adds to the game includes:

Changes to the default fog values
Enabled bokeh DOF for the main cameras
Stuttering Improvements
E3 2012 Bloom
Performance Improvements
Enabled Headlight Shadows
LoD Changes
Reflection changes
Added 3 new cameras to the game(closer, normal, further)
Rain changes(High quality rain drops, properly reacting to light, etc)
LensFlares(WIP)
Lighting changes(TESTING AND WIP)
Civilians density changes

Reddit [http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/289s7b/watch_dogs_original_graphical_effects_e3_201213/] users of the mod are reporting that installing the mod also brings with it a signifigant frame rate boost, especially when running the game on ultra.

We've reached out to Ubisoft for an official statement on why these features were removed from the PC version of the game.

GameFront is hosting the mod [http://www.gamefront.com/files/24297181/E3_Shaders_v06_rar] if you want to check it out.

Source: reddit [http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=838538]

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crimson5pheonix

It took 6 months to read my title.
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I hope this causes more than a few crashes for Ubisoft's sake. Otherwise they are going to look so bad when this becomes well known.

EDIT:

Ultratwinkie said:
Found some code in W_D:



snip
Welp. Nevermind then. Grab the torches and pitchforks.
 

Frozengale

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Sep 9, 2009
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5 bucks says they'll come out with a statement that says they changed the graphical settings of the PC version to be more in line with the console versions.

They probably won't say it, but I'm guessing they lowered the PC graphics because Sony or Microsoft (or both) wanted this game to sell consoles and so they incentivized to make all versions "equal" graphically.
 

Vault101

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Sep 26, 2010
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why would Ubi do this to themselves? if there wasn't some legit technical reason (and honestly are you going to belive them at this point?)

Frozengale said:
5 bucks says they'll come out with a statement that says they changed the graphical settings of the PC version to be more in line with the console versions.
everything I just said and an even bigger WHYYY???
 

RedBackDragon

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Ultratwinkie said:
Found some code in W_D:




Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit. I hope they hit Ubisoft where it hurts.
oh for the love of pete....

burn em down reddit.
 

St. Aidan

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It seems every time I turn around, Ubisoft is giving more n more reasons for me to hate them.
 

dragongit

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This is almost as bad as the whole Dark souls had the fix to their game written in their code, but this seems much worse. They are hiding complete graphical options away. On top of that, I've heard stories people have been seeing improved performance WITH said graphics. How do you take shit away, and make it perform worse at the same time?
 

St. Aidan

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It totally would not surprise me if the idea was to release a "patch" that turned all these features on, n optimized the frame rate. But , as I stated before I harbor a growing hatered for Ubisoft so, call me biased.
 

Asclepion

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So releasing bad ports are no longer enough, they must intentionally sabotage their own PC releases so that the consoles don't look leagues behind?
 

Rozalia1

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I love being proven correct, where are the usual suspects to tell me the big three are at fault? Ultratwinkie, Charcharo... and NuclearKangaroo wasn't it? Am I correct now or what? I hope you don't all now go all conspiracy theories on me.
 

iseko

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dragongit said:
This is almost as bad as the whole Dark souls had the fix to their game written in their code, but this seems much worse. They are hiding complete graphical options away. On top of that, I've heard stories people have been seeing improved performance WITH said graphics. How do you take shit away, and make it perform worse at the same time?
I'm no programmer but this one I can understand. Writing a code from the ground up. Very efficiently done can make something run very smooth. It is perfect. Then you get the order to fuck it all up and make it look like shit. You can completely redesign/rewrite it or just fuck it up. They chose the second option.

It's like building a perfect house. Then saying it is too high. But instead of just removing a level. Every level needs to lose 30cm. It's insane...
 

Saulkar

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Ultratwinkie said:
Found some code in W_D:




Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, chargebacks, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit. They are now trying to get to every single executive they can find and flood their inbox with complaints. I personally hope they hit Ubisoft where it hurts.

If Ubisoft gets slapped with a lawsuit and loses their W_D profits, I'd be so happy.

Or of course a huge multiplatform boycott that sends the message that consumers aren't idiots and they should stop lying to their customers.
This is gunna hurt, bad. You dun goofed and the deepest and darkest pits of the internet will let their hate flow forth and consume you in their wake. It will be trollific and I will be laughing at your corpse... while drinking tea with my pinkie extended. Cheerio!
 

black_knight1337

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Hanlon's Razor [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HanlonsRazor] fits this pretty well. The tweaks are impressive though, I've been able to up a few settings while keeping the same performance I had before.

Ultratwinkie said:
Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, chargebacks, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit.
Because they have legal grounds to do so...
 

Nurb

Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
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The fact it was intentionally done to keep focus on consoles and hide the poor performance on now new-gen consoles makes all of this more infuriating.

It makes me wish piracy actually had an effect on big publishers because this sort of monopoly needs to go bankrupt
 

Bindal

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black_knight1337 said:
Ultratwinkie said:
Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, chargebacks, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit.
Because they have legal grounds to do so...
I'm pretty sure that, if Ubisoft deliberately made the performance worse, they have the legal ground for a lawsuit and/or refunds.
 

Rozalia1

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Ultratwinkie said:
Rozalia1 said:
I love being proven correct, where are the usual suspects to tell me the big three are at fault? Ultratwinkie, Charcharo... and NuclearKangaroo wasn't it? Am I correct now or what? I hope you don't all now go all conspiracy theories on me.
How? I made 3 threads on how Ubisoft was a lying sack of shit. I constantly updated them with more evidence that ubisoft thinks its customers are idiots. How they always end up continually screw people over on all platforms with fake demos and dishonest advertisements. All the way back to Far Cry, Assassin's Creed, and Splinter Cell.

Its well known you never buy from Ubisoft. Their business practices revolve around promising everything under the sun and delivering a turd. Then slapping as much DLC and exclusive content to divide the market more. It ain't anything new.

And I was right again. Watch Dogs was the butt of every joke on Reddit for 2 weeks. Even on /r/ Gaming, and that place is console gamer central.

Then it came out that they were using a cancelled game as a base for Watch Dogs, most likely something from the Driver franchise, and that's why everything was so wonky. So we had our explanation that Ubisoft won't let a game die no matter what and that it will be rushed out to make any money it can.

Ubisoft is an awful publisher. I have been saying that for the last 3 months.
Referencing the fact that you (apologies if you actually weren't involved in that thread) were putting the blame of removed features, graphics, performance, and so on squarely on the shoulders of the big three of who to blame. I said that ultimately the developers are the ones to blame, and who make the choices and this proves me correct.
Watch dogs isn't worse because of console limitations, its worse because the developers purposely decided to make it so.