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Tech feedback from Buddy Key visitors

Fanndis Goldbraid
I am getting some feedback from several of the people that I have given out Buddy Keys to (I have four accounts and have given out 126 Buddy Keys). Some have come in, one has converted (so far), and several have sent feedback to my email the Buddy Key was given to. Here's what I got.

1) Some players couldn't get past "loading terrain"…stuck repeatedly and never could get logged in. I tried to direct them to the forums (Paizo from the Alpha and current Goblinworks Tech forums), but most didn't want to bother since it was a trial and there are lots for other game to play for free

2) Upon login they could not move… the video, even on pretty high speed computers, would not play the game. For whatever reason they were stuck in position and the graphics feed was so slow they couldn't move at all and gave up right after log in…most were still on the plateau of the keep in Marchmont

3) People with "nice gaming rigs" can't play the game for various reason. I do not know the technical details, not being a tech savvy guy (I don't text either) but this is a pretty consistent issue with a number of "Buddy"s

4) The tutorials are not very easy to follow, and it's almost impossible to read the text provided. I know that is a "known issue", but it should be pushed out pretty soon if the GW wants the Buddy Key visitors who are used to starting toots to stick around

5) Graphics are not optimized (GW knows this). The game burns hot in PCs and has reportedly fried some players PCs. The temp gauges in my own PC show it hot so I need to shutdown periodically to let the heat disperse

6) There are graphic elements that are "rough around the edges". Getting stuck on trees, stuck in objects… whatever the process is for "rounding the edges" might help

There might be more comments but I haven't filtered all the replies yet.
Dazyk of Phaeros
I will add, and not in an effort to diminish the feedback Fanndis has written above, that my ten year old son started playing the game and was easily able to follow the directions of the tutorials (he didn't do the crafting one). Granted, I was with him and he asked a few minor questions (that someone in Help could easily have answered).

Over all, I think that is a sign that the tutorials are heading in the right direction.
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Edam
Fanndis Goldbraid
5) Graphics are not optimized (GW knows this). The game burns hot in PCs and has reportedly fried some players PCs. The temp gauges in my own PC show it hot so I need to shutdown periodically to let the heat disperse

Both my and a friends laptop overheat and lockup unless we use cooling pads. This occurs even if you are afk and just leave the game running and your character is standing in a settlement/wilds with no active animations.

Another interesting glitch is some players get the town lanterns showing as flashing yellow/purple/green artifacts not glowing lamps on buildings. This is NOT hardware or driver related as on my personal machine I get this on my test server install but not my main game.
Tink says Stab
If your computer is running hot enough to fry a graphics card or CPU, then your cooling is substandard. A stable computer should be capable of running at 100% load for a 24 hour period with relative ease. That isn't an optimization issue, that is a hardware issue.

Less so for Laptops, because gaming Laptops are an exercise in massive tradeoffs either way.
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Ryan Dancey
I'm fascinated by the idea that the game is capable of actually shutting down a desktop computer. In my experience it's very hard to drive a normally configured Windows PC to the point where it will overheat. Not saying it cannot be done, just saying it seems incredibly unusual.

There's nothing going on in Pathfinder Online that should be generating crazy amounts of GPU heat. Optimization of the code isn't going to let the card do less work, it's going to let us do more stuff visually. There's no reason to think that we can "optimize" the workload away from the GPU. So if the game is somehow able to do something to a GPU now that makes it overheat, that's not something I expect will change.

Our standard office machine runs the game in Fantastic quality at a fairly high framerate (over 30 consistently). They use nVidia GeForce 650GTX GPUs - that's a $100 card. Absolutely nothing fancy about them at all - no special cooling, generic cases, etc. And they don't have any heating issues whatsoever.
Ryan Dancey
I suspect that any computer that sits on the loading screen and can't progress has a really old GPU. That screen is displayed while the GPU has various textures and shaders loaded into it so it can render the first scene. For new characters that first scene is Marchmont, which has a LOT of textures in it. So an old, slow GPU might appear to be hung up while it's just dealing with loading and processing textures.

On my MacMini, which has an AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB GPU, it takes about 3-5 minutes to progress from the loading screen to being in-game and able to play. I suspect that people are really getting "stuck", they're just losing patience and since there's no progress bar, they assume the machine is locked up.
Edam
Gudrun Grimfury
The Buddy Key requestors have been nice in their feedback (about 20-25% have posted some sort of feedback either in my email or on forums) but are adamant their PCs should be able to run the game. I guess they are used to WoW which seems to work on stone tablets too.

I think that is more the effect of consoles like PS and XBOX which stick with quite dated hardware for years at a time and are more or less guaranteed to run any game that is brought out for that particular model.

In the dim distant past (the 90's and early 2000's) upgrading your PC regularly to run the latest game was a popular hobby and demanding games that only ran on the latest hardware were often popular BECAUSE they needed good hardware and being able to run it was a source of much street cred.

In post-console world, people expect a PC game to run on anything - including that family PC that dad brought home when his work one was upgraded 5 years ago.

That said, this game is relatively undemanding. Yes it does overheat my I5 (dual graphics) laptop unless I use a cooling pad - BUT the fact that it runs on a 2 year old laptop at all is a good thing.
Doc
I am able to leave my computer on all night (upwards of 8+ hours) so that I can leave characters in place to AFk cap some towers for very early morning capture windows. I do this each time with two accounts online and running at the same time multi-boxing on my computer so I can increase capture rate.

Since there is no inactivity timer to log me out, they just sit there, and the game seems stable enough that it does not crash during the entire 8-10 hour period. I've done this many times.

My computer is a Windows PC, running Windows 7. It's about a 4-5 year old Dell XPS. Has only 8 GB RAM. I also play the game on low video quality.
Grip
Perhaps cleaning your heat sink and fan every now and then might help lol
Daeglin
I just built a PC. I've been monitoring my CPU and motherboard temp (haven't tracked GPU yet). My temp runs about 3C less running PFO cause fans ramp up in response to graphical load.
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