Assassin's Creed Unity's Frame Rate Issues Not Related To Crowd Sizes

Ubisoft says game's huge NPC crowd sizes aren't to blame for technical troubles.

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The frame rate issues some players are experiencing with Assassin's Creed Unity are not related to crowd sizes in the open-world game, according to Ubisoft. The publisher expanded on the issue today as part of a wide-ranging post on the game's Live Updates page.

"Though crowd size was something we looked at extensively pre-launch, it is something we continue to keep a close eye on," Ubisoft said. "We have just finished a new round of tests on crowd size but have found it is not linked to this problem and does not improve frame rate, so we will be leaving crowds as they are."

Unity supports up to 10,000 simultaneous on-screen NPCs, the most ever for an Assassin's Creed game.

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Ubisoft went on to say that it has received "a lot of feedback" about Unity's performance since launch last week, and explained that it takes these comments "very seriously." The company stressed that it understands technical performance is an important issue and "we want to see it resolved as much as you do."

The publisher has been investigating performance issues since launch, which has been no simple task, the company says, as it requires "attention and care" in isolating the causes and then resolving them. However, some positive progress has been made.

"We can tell you that we have detected a distinct discrepancy between what we observed in the pre-launch versus post-launch environment," Ubisoft said. "In spite of our testing, it looks like the instruction queue is becoming overloaded and impacting performance. We have several fixes we are exploring right now and will continue to update you with our progress of what is working and how quickly we can implement these fixes in the game in the weeks ahead."

In the meantime, Ubisoft published a list of action items that it plans to address through upcoming patches. The following revisions should improve frame rate stability for everyone, Ubisoft said.

  • Streamlining some technical aspects of navigation: We've fixed a number of edge cases with our detection system to smooth certain behaviors during parkour. We've fixed a few objects which were improperly tagged to smooth navigation.
  • Improving task scheduling: We've tuned the way the computing tasks are prioritized and parallelized by the processor cores to improve frame rate in certain edge cases.
  • Tweaking performance for Reach High Points: We've optimized the reach high points, during the camera swooping sequence to improve framerate a little bit.

These changes will be included in Unity's upcoming Patch 3. However, Ubisoft cautioned that the update might not be released as soon as players might hope.

"As we're still testing our fixes we need to be conservative with any estimates as far as ETA is concerned," the company said. "We hope to have further updates on this topic before the end of the week."

Ubisoft also recently explained that Unity's "No Face" bug, which was not very widespread to begin with, has been fixed through a patch. Unity's troubled launch has led to Ubisoft announcing last week that it will change its policies with regards to how it operates with critics and gamers alike.

For more on Unity, check out GameSpot's review and what other critics are saying.

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