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

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

1 - ygbegng

Users are reporting that as well as making the game look nicer, the "E3 mod" also improves Watch Dogs performance.

Update 2: Ubisoft has offered an official response to the story on the Watch Dogs official website, again, assuring fans that the PC version was not, "downgraded".

The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we've set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they're released, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, 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.

Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago.

-The Watch Dogs Team

Update: An Ubisoft PR representative has taken to Twitter to stress that the PC version of the game was not "downgraded."

"I recall replying saying that the game was not downgraded, i still stick to that yes."

Source: Twitter

Original Story: When we finally got our hands on Ubisoft's delay-stricken Watch Dogs, a lot of PC users with beastly machines were somewhat disappointed that, even running on the "ultra" graphical settings, the game didn't quite look as nice, or run as smooth, as those E3 demos we saw back in 2012 and 2013. Now, PC modders scourging around Watch Dogs files have found some hidden "E3" options, which, when applied, make the game look nice, and according to some users, run better. A Guru 3D user, "The Worse", has managed to compile all of these improvements into an easy-to-install mod for the PC version of the game.

The Worse has made massive discoveries/improvements. He has discovered that almost all of the shaders and improvements seen in 2012 and 2013 are still in the game files, such as the E3 2012 explosions. For now he has managed to implement dynamic shadows from headlights, the increased rain density, increased NPC density, as well as 2012 E3 bloom and lens flare.

You can check out just how pretty the mod's effect make the game look in these screenshots:

The list of additions The Worse's mod adds to the game includes:

  • Changes to the default fog values
  • Enabled bokeh DOF for the main cameras
  • Stuttering Improvements
  • E3 2012 Bloom
  • Performance Improvements
  • Enabled Headlight Shadows
  • LoD Changes
  • Reflection changes
  • Added 3 new cameras to the game(closer, normal, further)
  • Rain changes(High quality rain drops, properly reacting to light, etc)
  • LensFlares(WIP)
  • Lighting changes(TESTING AND WIP)
  • Civilians density changes

Reddit users of the mod are reporting that installing the mod also brings with it a signifigant frame rate boost, especially when running the game on ultra.

We've reached out to Ubisoft for an official statement on why these features were removed from the PC version of the game.

GameFront is hosting the mod if you want to check it out.

Source: NeoGAF via reddit

Permalink

I hope this causes more than a few crashes for Ubisoft's sake. Otherwise they are going to look so bad when this becomes well known.

EDIT:

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

snip

Welp. Nevermind then. Grab the torches and pitchforks.

Found some code in W_D:

image

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.

5 bucks says they'll come out with a statement that says they changed the graphical settings of the PC version to be more in line with the console versions.

They probably won't say it, but I'm guessing they lowered the PC graphics because Sony or Microsoft (or both) wanted this game to sell consoles and so they incentivized to make all versions "equal" graphically.

why would Ubi do this to themselves? if there wasn't some legit technical reason (and honestly are you going to belive them at this point?)

Frozengale:
5 bucks says they'll come out with a statement that says they changed the graphical settings of the PC version to be more in line with the console versions.

everything I just said and an even bigger WHYYY???

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit. I hope they hit Ubisoft where it hurts.

oh for the love of pete....

burn em down reddit.

It seems every time I turn around, Ubisoft is giving more n more reasons for me to hate them.

This is almost as bad as the whole Dark souls had the fix to their game written in their code, but this seems much worse. They are hiding complete graphical options away. On top of that, I've heard stories people have been seeing improved performance WITH said graphics. How do you take shit away, and make it perform worse at the same time?

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

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.

They were really so stupid as to leave something like that in the code and then release the game to a playerbase famous for scouring through code for just about anything under the sun? Did they really think that was gonna go unnoticed?

It totally would not surprise me if the idea was to release a "patch" that turned all these features on, n optimized the frame rate. But , as I stated before I harbor a growing hatered for Ubisoft so, call me biased.

So releasing bad ports are no longer enough, they must intentionally sabotage their own PC releases so that the consoles don't look leagues behind?

I love being proven correct, where are the usual suspects to tell me the big three are at fault? Ultratwinkie, Charcharo... and NuclearKangaroo wasn't it? Am I correct now or what? I hope you don't all now go all conspiracy theories on me.

dragongit:
This is almost as bad as the whole Dark souls had the fix to their game written in their code, but this seems much worse. They are hiding complete graphical options away. On top of that, I've heard stories people have been seeing improved performance WITH said graphics. How do you take shit away, and make it perform worse at the same time?

I'm no programmer but this one I can understand. Writing a code from the ground up. Very efficiently done can make something run very smooth. It is perfect. Then you get the order to fuck it all up and make it look like shit. You can completely redesign/rewrite it or just fuck it up. They chose the second option.

It's like building a perfect house. Then saying it is too high. But instead of just removing a level. Every level needs to lose 30cm. It's insane...

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

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.

This is gunna hurt, bad. You dun goofed and the deepest and darkest pits of the internet will let their hate flow forth and consume you in their wake. It will be trollific and I will be laughing at your corpse... while drinking tea with my pinkie extended. Cheerio!

Hanlon's Razor fits this pretty well. The tweaks are impressive though, I've been able to up a few settings while keeping the same performance I had before.

Ultratwinkie:
Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, chargebacks, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit.

Because they have legal grounds to do so...

well theyre either fucking assholes or fucking idiots. Either way, fuck'm.

Rozalia1:
I love being proven correct, where are the usual suspects to tell me the big three are at fault? Ultratwinkie, Charcharo... and NuclearKangaroo wasn't it? Am I correct now or what? I hope you don't all now go all conspiracy theories on me.

How? I made 3 threads on how Ubisoft was a lying sack of shit. I constantly updated them with more evidence that ubisoft thinks its customers are idiots. How they always end up continually screw people over on all platforms with fake demos and dishonest advertisements. All the way back to Far Cry, Assassin's Creed, and Splinter Cell.

Its well known you never buy from Ubisoft. Their business practices revolve around promising everything under the sun and delivering a turd. Then slapping as much DLC and exclusive content to divide the market more. It ain't anything new.

And I was right again. Watch Dogs was the butt of every joke on Reddit for 2 weeks. Even on /r/ Gaming, and that place is console gamer central.

Then it came out that they were using a cancelled game as a base for Watch Dogs, most likely something from the Driver franchise, and that's why everything was so wonky. So we had our explanation that Ubisoft won't let a game die no matter what and that it will be rushed out to make any money it can.

Ubisoft is an awful publisher. I have been saying that for the last 3 months.

The fact it was intentionally done to keep focus on consoles and hide the poor performance on now new-gen consoles makes all of this more infuriating.

It makes me wish piracy actually had an effect on big publishers because this sort of monopoly needs to go bankrupt

black_knight1337:

Ultratwinkie:
Reddit is planning to flood ubisoft with refunds, chargebacks, lawsuits, and a shit load of other shit.

Because they have legal grounds to do so...

I'm pretty sure that, if Ubisoft deliberately made the performance worse, they have the legal ground for a lawsuit and/or refunds.

Ultratwinkie:

Rozalia1:
I love being proven correct, where are the usual suspects to tell me the big three are at fault? Ultratwinkie, Charcharo... and NuclearKangaroo wasn't it? Am I correct now or what? I hope you don't all now go all conspiracy theories on me.

How? I made 3 threads on how Ubisoft was a lying sack of shit. I constantly updated them with more evidence that ubisoft thinks its customers are idiots. How they always end up continually screw people over on all platforms with fake demos and dishonest advertisements. All the way back to Far Cry, Assassin's Creed, and Splinter Cell.

Its well known you never buy from Ubisoft. Their business practices revolve around promising everything under the sun and delivering a turd. Then slapping as much DLC and exclusive content to divide the market more. It ain't anything new.

And I was right again. Watch Dogs was the butt of every joke on Reddit for 2 weeks. Even on /r/ Gaming, and that place is console gamer central.

Then it came out that they were using a cancelled game as a base for Watch Dogs, most likely something from the Driver franchise, and that's why everything was so wonky. So we had our explanation that Ubisoft won't let a game die no matter what and that it will be rushed out to make any money it can.

Ubisoft is an awful publisher. I have been saying that for the last 3 months.

Referencing the fact that you (apologies if you actually weren't involved in that thread) were putting the blame of removed features, graphics, performance, and so on squarely on the shoulders of the big three of who to blame. I said that ultimately the developers are the ones to blame, and who make the choices and this proves me correct.
Watch dogs isn't worse because of console limitations, its worse because the developers purposely decided to make it so.

Well this is certainly an interesting debacle. Even the cynic in me wouldn't have guessed that Ubisoft would actually sabotage the PC version of their game.

Nurb:

It makes me wish piracy actually had an effect on big publishers because this sort of monopoly needs to go bankrupt

What monopoly?

Halyah:

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

They were really so stupid as to leave something like that in the code and then release the game to a playerbase famous for scouring through code for just about anything under the sun? Did they really think that was gonna go unnoticed?

I seriously doubt they did. No way decompiled code would look like that, the comment wouldn't be there, and that #else stuff is specifically compile-time logic that would vanish in the final files (that's literally the point of that syntax). So either W_D shipped with uncompiled C knocking about (veeeeeery unlikely), the source code leaked (which might be the case, but the coders would have no reason to expect it and sanitise their comments), or that snippet is made up/from somewhere else.

Rozalia1:

Ultratwinkie:

Rozalia1:
I love being proven correct, where are the usual suspects to tell me the big three are at fault? Ultratwinkie, Charcharo... and NuclearKangaroo wasn't it? Am I correct now or what? I hope you don't all now go all conspiracy theories on me.

How? I made 3 threads on how Ubisoft was a lying sack of shit. I constantly updated them with more evidence that ubisoft thinks its customers are idiots. How they always end up continually screw people over on all platforms with fake demos and dishonest advertisements. All the way back to Far Cry, Assassin's Creed, and Splinter Cell.

Its well known you never buy from Ubisoft. Their business practices revolve around promising everything under the sun and delivering a turd. Then slapping as much DLC and exclusive content to divide the market more. It ain't anything new.

And I was right again. Watch Dogs was the butt of every joke on Reddit for 2 weeks. Even on /r/ Gaming, and that place is console gamer central.

Then it came out that they were using a cancelled game as a base for Watch Dogs, most likely something from the Driver franchise, and that's why everything was so wonky. So we had our explanation that Ubisoft won't let a game die no matter what and that it will be rushed out to make any money it can.

Ubisoft is an awful publisher. I have been saying that for the last 3 months.

Referencing the fact that you (apologies if you actually weren't involved in that thread) were putting the blame of removed features, graphics, performance, and so on squarely on the shoulders of the big three of who to blame. I said that ultimately the developers are the ones to blame, and who make the choices and this proves me correct.
Watch dogs isn't worse because of console limitations, its worse because the developers purposely decided to make it so.

Microsoft proves that decisions that console makers choose has a profound effect on games.

Xbone's ESRAM is the prime example. Devs need to use mega textures, a tactic from the 90s that makes the textures look worse than last gen, to get around the xbone's lack of RAM. Something that is already biting the PS4 in the ass, and it looks like only exclusives will take it to its full potential.

Developers are not the sole cause for badly made games. Sometimes console makers force them into it. Ubisoft however has chosen to make a bad game. Which not many developers do. A lot of the time its the way the consoles are made that stops them. They don't do what Ubisoft does.

Illessa:

Halyah:

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

They were really so stupid as to leave something like that in the code and then release the game to a playerbase famous for scouring through code for just about anything under the sun? Did they really think that was gonna go unnoticed?

I seriously doubt they did. No way decompiled code would look like that, the comment wouldn't be there, and that #else stuff is specifically compile-time logic that would vanish in the final files (that's literally the point of that syntax). So either W_D shipped with uncompiled C knocking about (veeeeeery unlikely), the source code leaked (which might be the case, but the coders would have no reason to expect it and sanitise their comments), or that snippet is made up/from somewhere else.

I'm guessing it's the latter in that case. The source code leaking wouldn't surprise me given the odd behaviour from ubisoft over the past years... Guess we'll see if they start doing some spindoctoring about it.

Ultratwinkie:
Found some code in W_D:

image

Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear...

This is the kind of dickery that I usually associate with EA or Activision. I guess we can confirm that Ubisoft is on par with those two publishers.

Also, is this Ubisoft's admission that PC beats consoles?

Everyone is over reacting. The game has female character models in it and, as Ubisoft's PR engineers have scientifically proven with science, you just cannot have female character models and their associated animations in a game with nice graphics. It's one or the other. To have both would require billions of dollars of investment in quantum cloud computing and thousands of man-hours animating each polygon! But hey, look. Assassin's Creed Unity guys. Look over there. Assassin's Creed!

Ubisoft really aren't having a good time this week are they?

I mean seriously, it makes the game look and perform better? I'd love to know why Ubisoft decided it'd be a good idea to remove these features.

I've tried to avoid the line of thinking that consoles only serve as an anchor to slow down graphical advancement, but damn, what reason could there possibly be for deliberately sabotaging the PC version?

Either Ubisoft has just been caught with their pants down, or they like walking around without pants a lot.

I wonder if what happened with EA in the wake of Battlefield will happen to Ubisoft?

OOOOOH NOOOOO, They used the hacking knowledge from Watchdogs and time-travel-pirated the Watchdogs HD version that was supposed to come out next year!
Or the HD DLC that was supposed to come out next year!

Also, I don't think it's malicious intent or anything. I wouldn't be surprised if the Console Manufacturers paid them quite some money to make it look like the current console generation isn't already obsolete Hardwarewise, and somehow produces the same graphics as PC.
That backfired nicely.

Ultratwinkie:

Or of course a huge multiplatform boycott that sends the message that consumers aren't idiots and they should stop lying to their customers.

Who are we kidding? That will never happen. Most consumers are idiots and will simply respond with "who cares?" as long as they get what they perceive, and what they were tricked into thinking, to be their money's worth.

The "smart" people are those that haven't made a purchase for a while now.

Surely there's a rational and reasonable explanation for this, right?

EDIT: Meanwhile I'm just enjoying the bokeh in that mod. Aaaah.

Some of the effects are real nice, while others like the DoF were clearly meant for trailer making as it makes the game damn near unplayable by defocusing almost everything 5 feet away from you.

Ubisoft is proudly marching down Fuckup Avenue straight to EA's backyard.

I've straight up stopped wanting BG&E 2 since I know Ubi will make it terrible.

Welp, I'm going to enjoy the internet's reaction to this.

Engage slow clap processor

I mean come on, why hide settings that make the game look better and perform better, even if there may be some issues with them you could always pop up a warning that this is not the "recommended" settings or whatnot.

And that comment ? Strange. Usually a de-compiler cannot find comments in the code as the compiler skipped over them but they may have used some setting in the compiler to preserve the comments in the binary file, possibly so it could be de-compiled later on so they can make a "HD" version for the PS5 and XBOX next one. What i find strange is a company as retarded as ubisoft has the good sense to comment there code in the first place.

I don't know who is at fault console makers for forcing ubisoft to also downgrade the PC version, ubisoft for listening to them or setting there sights too high for hardware that is already out of date by a good few years, or the customers for still paying for ubisoft to screw them over. If you want to play the game (and it does look like fun) wait a few weeks or for the first steam sale this will send a bigger message to ubisoft than any amount of spam to the directors.

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