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

JediMB

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Oct 25, 2008
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So apparently a comprehensive Settings menu is an entirely foreign concept to the devs at Ubisoft?

It's funny how they can even defend their actions with "higher quality = decreased performance."
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

Better Red than Dead
Aug 5, 2009
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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.

Seriously, WHO DOES THIS? There will be those players who don't even know what code is or how to access it but certainly the modders (who look through everything anyway) would find this. That was a shot across the bow to all hardcore PC gamers and now they're on a march. Whoever put that in the code is likely gonna get a talking to.

Meanwhile, I'mma just watch. Wasn't going to pick up Watch Dogs anyway so I'm just an amused bystander.
 

synobal

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Heaven forbid they give PC users the option to lower their graphics settings if it preforms poorly. I mean it isn't like we haven't been doing that since forever...
 

kurupt87

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Mar 17, 2010
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Steven Bogos said:
I suspect this situation is something akin to on-disk DLC.

Ubi downgrades the PC release so that it has visual parity with the console versions, then 2-3 months down the line releases a small DLC/patch (perhaps even free) that upgrades the PC version.
 

Zydrate

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Apr 1, 2009
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I hope to get access to this at some point. Haven't played WD in a week or so. Would be neat to come back to it when it's all shiney.
 

TiberiusEsuriens

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Steven Bogos said:
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.
TotalBiscuit, while angry at ubiSoft for hiding the settings, actually completely agreed with this reasoning. Primarily, as much as the Bokeh depth-of-field makes screenshots pretty, the foreground focusing is SO sharp that if there's a garbage can next to you the camera focuses on it, making it near impossible to see ANYTHING else on screen. He recommended turn it on for pretty, off for gameplay.
 

Colt47

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What I'm trying to figure out is what kind of overworked idiot makes a comment in their own code bashing on PC gaming in the released version? It's fine to have an opinion on something like that, but people are going to read the comments in the code whether they are programmers or not.
 

Trishbot

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May 10, 2011
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To repeat a phrase I've heard before...

"Either they're evil or incompetent. Which is worse"?

Sadly, those 4 million sales they've had probably means the only lesson they've been taught is they can get away with it.
 

Klaw117

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Apr 28, 2013
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*reads Update 2*

Bullshit.

It would've been believable if the game actually ran better while unmodified, but the fact that the mod actually IMPROVES performance just shows how full of shit Ubisoft is right now.

Also, no one answered my last question: How good are Ubisoft PC ports on average? Don't take into account if they use DRM, I just want to know their performance.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Trishbot said:
To repeat a phrase I've heard before...

"Either they're evil or incompetent. Which is worse"?

Sadly, those 4 million sales they've had probably means the only lesson they've been taught is they can get away with it.
bad publicity is never going to benefit them tough, so they better think it twice before doing like this again, because honestly, this smells like a parity deal, the mod hardly affects performance, so either their internal tests were horribly inaccurate or like a said, they handicapped the game on purpose, likely to please one of the console manufacturers, because now that ubi has their own digital distribution platform and even using just steam, they get a bigger cut out of every sale compared to console sales, in fact any sale made via Uplay means ALL the cash goes to them
 

elvor0

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Rabid_meese said:
Ultratwinkie said:
Rabid_meese said:
The settings in question that were in the code weren't there for launch probably because of stability issues. The mod that fellow released does, if what I've read, contain files that he also created.

And as for that line of code that's going around - bullshit. A screenshot is literally useless. That could be from anything from anywhere. A little more proof is required before demonizing a company.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=838538&page=21
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=4843210#post4843210


Its a real screenshot from the shader files, specifically deferredambient.inc.fx located in the shaders.dat file. A compressed file that can be unpacked into readable files. Anyone can go and unpack that file and see it. Its been confirmed.


A simple google search can find it.
"Hey, this guy is saying screenshots are meaningless bullshit. Lets show him he's wrong by showing him more screenshots"

Again. A screenshot of the code means nothing. Is there proof this is from the game Watch Dogs? How would this code have leaked? A few people have brought up that the code, in this manner, would not be shown unless Watch Dogs had its source code leaked as well. If it was leaked, where is the proof that the people put in the comment "for the PC, who cares".

Authenticity is something that is nearly impossible to prove in this manner, short of cracking the code yourself and taking a look. And even so - what is the context of the line? How are you sure that it wasn't a joke? Can you prove that these files were not embedded into the code for a future HDR download, and not enabled by default because it needed optimization work? The default PC launch has been plagued by performance issues, which seem to be mimicked with this mod, as well as even further drops on machines that aren't high end.

There is no definitive proof of the authenticity or proof of malice. The downgrade could have happened for a plethora of reasons - from optimized performance, aesthetic choices, or for later optimization purposes, and a single screenshot does not make for damning proof in an age where anyone can edit anything.
Well he did just tell you how to look at the file yourself. What more do you want? Go look it yourself if you don't believe him. If you're not willing to do that, then you can't say he's wrong, because you didn't bother to check. It's up to you to prove that image is faked, not him. He even told you where to look. There is literally nothing more he can do to prove it's real. In this instance, if you really don't believe him, you're going to have to check yourself, in the unmodded game files.

Also, authenticity is not impossible to prove in this case. There are people who could easily explain that code, what it did, how it's linked and anything else you'd like to ask. I could buy that it could be for a future HDR download if Ubisoft wern't so adamant that they didn't kneecap the PC version or that using this mod will break the game, which it doesn't and we all know it's been downgraded from the original.

Besides, there presumably wouldn't be an HDR download in the works if they're adamant there isn't a downgrade from the E3 version to begin with, an HDR download that brings it inline with E3 would be admitting they're wrong and lying.

Futhermore, of course there are going to be drops on machines that aren't high end with this mod enabled. What sort of statement is that? This mod enables higher graphics settings. If you can't run it well on (for arguments sake) "High" graphics settings, it should be obvious it's going to run even worse on "Ultra". For the people that /can/ run Ultra, people have been reporting better performance than before.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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There's almost no explanation Ubisoft could give that would make this look good for them. Even if we take Ubisoft completely at their word that they deactivated these features because they lead to problems with game performance, caused glitches, etc, it would still mean they spent time on features that they never used (for a significantly delayed game) which they scrapped instead of fixing, even though they had already advertised them as part of the game. I'm sure this type of thing sometimes happens in game development, but not to this degree for a title advertised so much on graphical fidelity to begin with.

Best case scenario they look like a studio that got far ahead of themselves and accidentally misjudged their own competence at getting their own features to work properly, and then didn't bother to fully remove the things that they never got working. And that's giving them the benefit of the doubt.

If the features even work partially, Ubisoft should have made them available in the game's settings, rather than try to hide them completely.
 

PoloniumFist

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Aug 30, 2011
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In my honest opinion; I think that after an already lengthy delay to get the game out the door, some higher-up made the decision, upon discovery that the game couldn't run the way they wanted on the consoles, ditched efforts to get the higher end effects and features working on PC. I've run the mod and I can tell you my performance is still the same variety of ass as before, but there are plenty of effects that make the game looks nicer, many of them very glitchy and clearly unfinished.

It's all very frustrating to think about.

My two cents.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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so new the update from ubisoft basicalyl read as "yes we know there are settings that improve graphics and performance but we still dont want you to use them because we said so". yeah this wont end well for Watch_Doge.
 

devotedsniper

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Dec 28, 2010
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To be honest at this point i'd just like it to work properly. The game constantly crashes for no apparent reason and stutters on a 780 3GB JetStream... same story on my old 660ti 3GB Ex OC.
 

sXeth

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TiberiusEsuriens said:
Steven Bogos said:
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.
TotalBiscuit, while angry at ubiSoft for hiding the settings, actually completely agreed with this reasoning. Primarily, as much as the Bokeh depth-of-field makes screenshots pretty, the foreground focusing is SO sharp that if there's a garbage can next to you the camera focuses on it, making it near impossible to see ANYTHING else on screen. He recommended turn it on for pretty, off for gameplay.
Going through the mod

-The depth of field is really slow to adjust, and can make it very hard to see other things. Its also sometimes headaache inducing in fast moving firefights as it keeps shifting trying to keep up.
-The car headlights can get laggy as hell when there's a ton of them (MP free roam cop wars)
-Dynamic light is severely delayed when it hits people and other non-static objects. The sun will move onto a guy and they'll suddenly light-up noticeably behind.
-Lots of shadows seem overdark, sometimes concealing important objects.
-Going indoors seems to completely disable outdoor lighting, going back out turns it back on.

Not to let Ubi off the hook for not doing the work, but a lot of the settings are not ready for prime time and can impair gameplay across the whole experience. It looks pretty for a fair number of situations, and certainly makes nice screens and limited trailers, but rears up in myriad situations.
 

Denamic

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Seth Carter said:
TiberiusEsuriens said:
Steven Bogos said:
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.
TotalBiscuit, while angry at ubiSoft for hiding the settings, actually completely agreed with this reasoning. Primarily, as much as the Bokeh depth-of-field makes screenshots pretty, the foreground focusing is SO sharp that if there's a garbage can next to you the camera focuses on it, making it near impossible to see ANYTHING else on screen. He recommended turn it on for pretty, off for gameplay.
Going through the mod

-The depth of field is really slow to adjust, and can make it very hard to see other things. Its also sometimes headaache inducing in fast moving firefights as it keeps shifting trying to keep up.
-The car headlights can get laggy as hell when there's a ton of them (MP free roam cop wars)
-Dynamic light is severely delayed when it hits people and other non-static objects. The sun will move onto a guy and they'll suddenly light-up noticeably behind.
-Lots of shadows seem overdark, sometimes concealing important objects.
-Going indoors seems to completely disable outdoor lighting, going back out turns it back on.

Not to let Ubi off the hook for not doing the work, but a lot of the settings are not ready for prime time and can impair gameplay across the whole experience. It looks pretty for a fair number of situations, and certainly makes nice screens and limited trailers, but rears up in myriad situations.
That's likely because they were made for the E3 presentation and was never polished to actually be used. They could have, but they didn't. Likely related to the "This is PC only, who cares" comment in the code of one of the shaders.
 

Vicarious Reality

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Anyone with the slightest waryness can tell that a game will be compromised if it is released on consoles first/at the same time
One particularly amusing, most likely related incident is the camera movement acceleration in TOR
Yeah, the old repulseblic
 

crazygameguy4ever

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Jul 2, 2012
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does anyone else besides me think Sleeping Dogs looks way better then the released graphics for Watch Dogs? i mean just look at this game compared to Watchdogs.

here's sleeping dogs on PS3





and here's watchdogs on PS4





obviously watchdogs is better looking..