MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
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Attempts to correct optimization issues found in PGI's mesh files, to produce a smoother, better-performing experience in MW5.

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TL:DNR version:  this changes a bunch of files in MW5, and improves gameplay performance a bit.  If your machine's god-tier, this adds smallish FPS.  For normal people, it may be more significant.

What Does This Thing Really Do?

People say, "a picture is worth 1000 words", so:

When I started working on this yesterday, I realized that explaining what this does to non-game-dev people- really, for the 5% of people who really care (or don't want to download a huge file like this unless it's amazing) would be hard.

Basically... PGI left Physics Volumes (AKA "hitboxes") on... every single weapon on every single 'mech.  This is non-visual stuff players can't see.  Physics volumes need to get checked by things moving through their space (like, say, projectiles or other 'mechs) and they're pretty expensive to check, per frame, on stuff that moves.

More to the point, these aren't at all vital.  They don't affect visuals or anything the player sees or does, but they bog the engine down.  The way hits on 'mechs are dealt with is through the mech's main hitbox. Hits on cannon barrels aren't really valid or important in this game, even if they did anything useful at all.  I tested, and weapons on a given body part take damage just like normal, etc. if the 'mech loses Critical Hits. 

So, basically, this is something that eats up a fair amount of CPU... it doesn't need to be in the files, but it's in the files.

There's also a mind-boggling amount of wasted space and memory and CPU with the way weapons are put onto 'mechs, in general.  Like, enough that I was like, "who in the heck does this and surely Upper Management is aware of the cost overruns this represents".   

It's ... eh ... there's a reason why this game runs a little slow.  There other things like that I found, like having per-polygon collision testing on a bunch of stuff that probably doesn't need it, but this was the "low-hanging fruit" and frankly, changes of this scope are kind of un-fun to build, so I thought I'd start with this.  

Anyhow, that's about it.  I'll put up pictures of what I found tomorrow, when I have sleep.  For people really struggling with FPS, this may help a bit.  For people like me, who really aren't, most of the time, it's just a little bit of extra smoothness.

What about 2.0?
Well, 2.0 has been about optimizing all those other assets that needed work.  Everything from buildings to rubble, even the little cars you see in the game.  Roughly 2,300 objects were manually edited, optimized and flat-out fixed.  It's a huge re-do of PGI's work.

To say that it speeds everything up is a mild understatement.


2.3 Minor point release. Adds a few DM2 meshes back in.

2.2c Bugfix for several things that weren't reacting to damage properly.  Also fixes Catapult not registering "arm" hits (i.e., on the LRMs).

2.2a Bugfix for Moon Radar (fingers crossed, wasn't expecting that) floating in midair.  Also, found ridiculous things in the Military Catwalks.

2.2 Improvements in Military Walls and several small detail meshes that had incredibly-complex prims for no apparent reason.

2.1b Small bugfix.  Let me know (and post pictures, please!) if you hit any more bugs.

2.1a Emergency bugfix; sorry about the space-junk that didn't obey the laws of moon-gravity, folks.

2.1 Fixes hitbox collisions of Infantry (I think), adds pretty much all of the content of the HOTIS DLC. Whew!  BTW, it appeared that Infantry were using mesh-based collisions, like Mechs... rather than much simpler capsule collisions, like something that small should!  Hopefully this fix speeds them up a lot.

2.0 First release of 2.0.

1.04: Caught one more SKL reference problem.  This is low-level stuff that is broken in PGI's files; I'm not touching it, though, because it might break things.

1.03:  Removed PHY meshes from 3 bushes, of all things.  I think this concludes the "Flora Expansion" for Mine- er Mechwarrior Five.

1.02:  Rebuilt the collision meshes for all of the SpeedTree trees in the game, so that none of them use the "Convex Mesh" colliders- these are much less efficient than capsules, so they're gone. Definitely getting a bit of a performance boost from this change here.  I'll probably work on the bushes / other stuff like this next.

1.01:  Removed a few SKMs for what looked like unused assets; these threw some odd errors in the Editor about missing Skeleton data.  Probably bugged in Vanilla MW5 as well, but I'm pretty sure these aren't used anywhere.

1.0:  Initial Build.