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Implement DirectStorage to Ashes of Creation?

the new DirectStorage API is out now and upcoming PCIe vers.5 NVMe are right around the corner... With UE5 and an early adoption of DS can Intrepid be a massive pioneer in the gaming industry.

What do you think about it? Is it worth to risk a 3-6 month delay until the game comes out, in order to bring the lastes technology to Ashes of Creation, for a smoother gameplay?


  • unknownsystemerrorunknownsystemerror Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    You are just going to get their standard line. "We are constantly looking at new technology and ways to utilize it in Ashes of Creation, while we don't have an answer for you now, anything is possible." My take is that they need to get a working client that Steven is happy with out to testing this year. They can only bleed money for so long through pushing the functional dates back before the base gives up on them and they truly start to resemble another Star Citizen of creep.
  • Like unknown said, taking on stuff not necessarily needed at the moment and delaying by any amount of time is counter-productive. Moving to UE5 was largely due to better everything by a significant margin, actually multiple folds compared to what was being used before.

    The thing with technology is that it keeps on evolving and that too in very short periods of time which while good for consumers is annoying for developers if asked to change things constantly. Moving to new technologies and delaying the release will make it so that the game is never released. At some point Steven will have to say no and stick to whatever technology is currently being used to develop AoC. These things can be done at a later point too as AoC is mostly player driven rather than content driven like WoW and has a lot of meaningful horizontal progression associated with it which are good time sinks as well.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    At some point, you have to stop with the scope creep and just stick with what you already have.
    Otherwise, you just have vaporware.
    UE5 will continue adding new cool APIs. Eventually, we will have UE6 and UE7.
  • CawwCaww Member
    edited March 2022
    Interesting topic and a great future implementation item but I'm concerned about the "right now" aspect.

    First, "DirectStorage requires an SSD that conforms to the NVMe standard" (from

    CORRECTION: "Also, unlike previously reported, you don't necessarily need an NVMe-based storage device, such as an M.2 SSD with PCIe/NVMe interface. Even a SATA SSD with AHCI protocol will do. Microsoft is, however, recommending the use of an NVMe SSD for the best performance. "

    Second (from Toms Hardware article today):
    "Unfortunately, a crucial element of the tech - at least when it comes to gaming - isn't being included in this API release version as yet. In the announcement blog, Microsoft explained that GPU decompression still is't baked in, despite being next on the company's roadmap. That is likely the single most important element for gaming scenarios, which will allow game developers to take advantage of GPU's shading performance and advanced parallelism to directly decompress game assets. This provides the added benefits of freeing up CPU cycles that would otherwise be responsible for the decompression routines (freeing it up for other performance-sensitive duties), whilst also reducing data shuffling between storage, operating memory, the CPU and the GPU. That feature not being available as yet means that IO performance can still be improved due to the revised storage subsystem, but leaves a lot of performance on the table - and still requires the CPU to do the heavy-lifting in decompressing game world data."

    The absence of the actual gaming improvements mentioned above means it's not quite ready for prime time and I hate to be a Microsoft-basher but until its done, it ain't done so don't count on it.
  • TalentsTalents Member, Intrepid Pack
    So from a quick Google search, it's basically something that allows games to load quicker? I'm not really sure there's a point to that with Ashes. You'll have the first loading screen when you log in to the game, but it's not like FF14 where every area puts you into a loading screen, the entire game is open-world with the exception of a few story dungeons. The only other time you'll have loading screens is if you do a family summoning teleport or one of the Metro node teleports so I don't see the point in extending dev time for it.
  • Only adding in my voice to the comments above to show that their opinion is aligned with most of the community right now. Steven is sinking millions into the game, right now he has a budget and timeline set out, if he keeps extending it he will run out of money and either launch a partially done game or ask for crowd funding and secure the game as another nameplate of star citizen. So for now no, this shouldn't be done, lets see what they do between now and full launch, then after that they can go ham on new technology once they have the funding through their playerbase.
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    You are just going to get their standard line. "We are constantly looking at new technology and ways to utilize it in Ashes of Creation, while we don't have an answer for you now, anything is possible."

    Hey! You took my line! >:(

  • I think it's good for them to want to be innovative with technology, and we know AoC is using some new tech, even their networking sounds top of the industry, but for such a small fraction of people using nvme, I don't think it's worth it. Although 6 months is not an accurate time frame, I think. I would be curious to know what a realistic time frame for this would look like.

  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    As far as I can see, the biggest benefit for us would be increased draw distances in the game. It unloads decompressing textures from the CPU to the much faster GPU, which in theory could let us see detailed textures (and maybe foliage too?) from objects in the distance, that with current tech would be blurred out more. Maybe it can help performance in sieges too, similarly to the tech they already have that reduces the amount of Draw Calls the CPU has to handle. The initial loading of the game being slightly faster means very little, so that part is less interesting.

    I like new tech like this, so sure, if it's easy to implement, go for it. It boosts performance for people with SATA SSD's a little bit, but it massively improves I/O for those with NVME SSD's. By the time the game releases, I think almost every single player will at least have a SATA SSD, and a big chunk will run NVME.

    For example, implementing FSR 2.0 in the game is apparently completely free and pretty easy. A matter of days if what I read is correct. It's already a UE5 plugin and is thus easy to do. It also really helps users with older hardware get better performance. Well, the exception to ease of implementation would be if Intrepid for some reason already chose not to support DLSS, which uses similar temporal upscaling tech. This was already present in UE4 though, so I expect that to be in the current version as well.

    From this article we can see it's likely also coming to UE5 in the future:

    If, like FSR 2.0, it becomes easy to implement to a point where it only takes a few days, I see zero reason not to go for it. To me that's not scope creep, that's just keeping up with the times. If it starts requiring a months work or so, yeah, perhaps delay until after release.

  • DxMoMoDxMoMo Member
    I think it's a nice Backlog item that should be incorporated into the workflow once a stable and complete foundation is implemented and pushed to live servers as an update on the way. I don't see the benefit being significant enough to justify a delay of 3 to 6 months since the number of people that match the requirements won't be a majority.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    An explanation from LTT in March, that gives an overview of what this tech can do. It's not ready yet obviously, but since it's coming to UE5, I say let Epic handle the tech implementation so Intrepid can incorporate it easily down the line.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 25
    We're starting to see some results in loading times from the game Forspoken. Impressive as they are, for Ashes we don't really care about loading times of saves or to new scenes in the same way, because it's an open world without saves and scene changes.

    However, if one of you see any sort of benchmark or video detailing how it affects improved/increased draw distances and loading of objects, please post it here.

    I am hoping DirectStorage will drastically increase detailed viewing distance, and let us see 300 players at once in the siege when turning around, instead of culling it down to the nearest 100 after which the rest will pop in.
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