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John S

Slowwww Load of Saved Games???

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Following up on my last post.  Thanks to Ian L for responding.  I am playing a SMALL scenario/Quick Battle.  It takes 4 Minutes and 30 seconds to load a SAVED game.  This system is on the 4th iteration of its second generation and I honestly cannot believe that there is nothing that can be done about this incredible slow load.  Are there any tips???  Does the Battlefront Tech Staff have any suggestions at all?  Does McAfee interfere?  Are there any known ways to speed load ups of saved games (I understand how an initial load could be a problem but cannot understand why loading a saved game takes nearly five minutes).  Is there anything in Windows 10 causing this.

Obviously, very frustrated. 

 

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Mea Culpa.  I am an idiot.  It suddenly dawned on me.

My problem has been with Red Thunder (I put my question on the Final Blitzkrieg forum because I thought this was probably where people were in terms of reading and responding these days).

As I read your response for some reason it all came together for me...nothing you said but somehow a lightbulb went off that should have gone off days ago.

I played a lot of Red Thunder about two years ago and then put it aside for a while.  I just remembered that as I was finishing up with it two years ago I had downloaded a bunch of Mods and put them into the "Z" file.  Went in, pulled everything out of the "Z" file.  That was causing the delay.  Opens in 90 seconds or so now...not great but not five minutes.

IanL --- Thank you for your responses.  Sorry to have wasted people's time. 

 

 

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I spoke too soon.  I tried loading a scenario and it opened fairly quickly.  Then I set up a small quick battle on Red Thunder.  Played a turn saved, quit and immediately loaded the saved game and it took 4minutes and 30 seconds.  I reinstalled 1.3 patch and then loaded the saved game and took 4 minutes and 19 seconds.  It hangs up forever at the 28% level.  I looked at the earlier posts that say that it used to hang up at the 23% point.  Saw your responses there but I guess it is not really fixed yet.

I play the latest versions of Total War, numerous John Tiller titles, Matrix Games (Barbarrosa Decisive Campaigns, Scourge of war, etc.), numerous other strategy and war games without anything remotely like this  -- plenty of RAM, plenty of hard drive, absolutely nothing like this pain in the a-- within my memory.

I may trying uninstalling and reinstalling but more likely I will move on to another game.  Sad and tiresome, I am not a technical guy but I can't understand why a substantial part of the saved game ("data" - where it hangs up) doesn't seem to be left in the RAM when you quit and go to saved game, would seem like it should load quicker than a new scenario.  

 

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Lets start by putting the mod thing to rest.  Yes, there is a small effect but it is minuscule as you found out again.  Long ago some of us did some testing:

16 hours ago, John S said:

I spoke too soon.  I tried loading a scenario and it opened fairly quickly.  Then I set up a small quick battle on Red Thunder.  Played a turn saved, quit and immediately loaded the saved game and it took 4minutes and 30 seconds.  I reinstalled 1.3 patch and then loaded the saved game and took 4 minutes and 19 seconds.  It hangs up forever at the 28% level.  I looked at the earlier posts that say that it used to hang up at the 23% point.  Saw your responses there but I guess it is not really fixed yet.

So, there have been at least one case where a save would not load - that was fixed.  In that case it was not slow to load - it never loaded.  Different problem.  The sticking progress bar is not the cause of the problem and the fact that the progress bar sticks for a long time at one point does not, in and of itself, indicate a problem.  It is the inerrant problem of progress bars.  For a progress bar to work you have to know when the task will end - which the game does and the tasks that the program perform need to be discreet and offer places where progress reporting can be done - which is hit an miss.  Any task that cannot offer the game a chance to report progress will result in a sticking progress bar.  I would rather have an imperfect progress bar than the fake, what I call twiddle bars, that just spin and give you a fake idea that work is being done. 

Don't get hung up on the sticky progress bar.

16 hours ago, John S said:

I play the latest versions of Total War, numerous John Tiller titles, Matrix Games (Barbarrosa Decisive Campaigns, Scourge of war, etc.), numerous other strategy and war games without anything remotely like this  -- plenty of RAM, plenty of hard drive, absolutely nothing like this pain in the a-- within my memory.

I have no idea of how resource intensive those other game are.  I don't know if you are making a valid comparison or not - no idea. 

What are your machine's specs because my old machine was waaaay slower than my current one.  With my old machine there were steps that could be taken to lower the background consumption of memory and the processor etc. that improved things greatly.  We should also discuss what anti virus software you have and what settings it is using as well.

16 hours ago, John S said:

I may trying uninstalling and reinstalling but more likely I will move on to another game.  Sad and tiresome,

Reinstalling is extremely unlikely to make a difference. 

16 hours ago, John S said:

I am not a technical guy but I can't understand why a substantial part of the saved game ("data" - where it hangs up) doesn't seem to be left in the RAM when you quit and go to saved game, would seem like it should load quicker than a new scenario. 

Yeah, sorry I get the temptation to say "here is the solution - just do X" but I guarantee that leaving stuff in memory is way simpler to say / write than reality.  Most likely that would be totally unhelpful to even pursue as a programming task.  Much of the data loaded and processed is scenario / map specific so there is nothing to keep if you are loading a different map

 

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System - Dell XPS 7100  \

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Processor (Quad Core Processor) 2.80 Ghz. 

8 GB Ram. 

Card = AMD Radeon 270X (2GB Memory)

System is older but has had added RAM and new (last 24 months) video card (2015) and brand new hard drive (2014). 

Using Windows 10.  McAfee is the virus controller BUT - I have taken to turning Real Time Scanning off whenever I play the game.  Also - have disabled Cortana for a lot of reasons.

I did an experiment with Task Manager, don't know whether it is "valid" in a technical sense.  Loaded a Final Blitzkrieg Saved Game from an initial entry into the game (McAfee turned off) and watched Task Manager as it loaded - "CPU" usage during loading averaged around 20% with high of 23%.  "Memory" usage averaged about 32%  - generally using 350MB  or less.  Load time - 3:30. 

Then I played the game for a while.  Quit without fully exiting from the game and immediately loaded a saved game.  Results were largely the same - CPU around 28% and Memory around 31% with 400 -466 MG range of usage.  Load time not materially different -- 3:14.

This is better than the 4:30 and 4:45 load time that I was getting with Red Thunder - probably the result of turning McAfee off. 

If you have any tips, much appreciated.  Otherwise I have pulled out copies of Strategy and Tactics (subscriber since 1972), World at War etc. and will simply catch up on unread articles.  No longer as ticked off as I was.. it is what it is - good game with its own faults.

 

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Surprisingly AMD video cards and their drivers are responsible for a very significant slow down in loading times for a lot of users. I'm not certain of the exact difference, but I wouldn't be surprised if your load times would be cut in half if you had a Nvidia GeForce video card instead. Unfortunately this isn't quite the 'tip' you were hoping for.

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That is a bit better spec'ed machine than my older one which also used an AMD graphics card but only had 4Gb of memory.  Going to 8Gb will have made a difference too (adding even more memory will likely not).  With 4Gb on my machine the game was competing with the OS for resources sometimes - sigh.  Note: the task manager is not really reporting all the memory used - if you use process monitor it will report a larger foot print (warning the game will not start with that program running since it is part of a tool set that could be used the defeat DRMs so the game's DRM prevents start up when it detects tools like that).

Turning off the real time scan and getting more memory (either installing more or reducing the number of running programs) were the suggestions that helped with my older machine.  Those 3min load times are what I was seeing with larger scenarios though not small ones like you are talking about.  Other than @Schrullenhaft's comments about replacing video cards you can try, as an experiment, totally turning off your anti virus sw for a bit and see if that helps.  If that helps make the game directories (all of them) exempt from virus scanning.  Just in case there is a difference between having real time scanning turned off and having the entire game install dir exempt (which is what I do).

Sorry we cannot be more help but I don't see a place to aim a silver bullet.

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Sincere thanks for the info and the tips. 

The Radeon AMD graphics card really improved the play of a number of games so I do not begrudge the possibility/likelihood that it does not work well on this one set of games.  Odd though - you'd think there be a fix that Battlefront would want to implement for such a widely used product.  That's life and product economics.

Thanks re the tip of exempting the startup file from virus scanning.  I had not thought of that and have now implemented it.  Problem might be that you are accessing not only the startup file but also the saved games and they are in a separate file and McAfee lets you turn off this type of scanning only on a file by file basis -- thus trying to go beyond the startup exe file does not seem practical.  I will also continue to try turning the whole McAfee thing off and see what happens.  Have worked hard to turn off other unneeded programs and have pushed this envelope about as far as I think I can.

Again - thanks for the help.  Not being sarcastic - I have some articles that I can read and will do so whenever I have to wait.  sad though that I expect that I will need to avoid anything higher than a "small" game.

Hopefully things will somehow improve whenever the third generation (or is it the "fourth"?) of the game comes out.

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19 hours ago, John S said:

Sincere thanks for the info and the tips. 

Sure, we all want to see you and others get the best performance that you can.

 

19 hours ago, John S said:

The Radeon AMD graphics card really improved the play of a number of games so I do not begrudge the possibility/likelihood that it does not work well on this one set of games.  Odd though - you'd think there be a fix that Battlefront would want to implement for such a widely used product.  That's life and product economics.

I don't think that BFC has the ability to fix this kind of thing.  CM uses Open GL which has, over time, become less common in games and graphics card makers spend less time working to make the Open GL experience as good as possible.  Sadly AMD has a particularly poor rep for supporting Open GL. Although I am not sure how much this plays into your slow game loading though.  The Open GL problems have typically been UI behaviour bugs, problems with shaders, problems of runtime performance etc.

 

19 hours ago, John S said:

Thanks re the tip of exempting the startup file from virus scanning.  I had not thought of that and have now implemented it.  Problem might be that you are accessing not only the startup file but also the saved games and they are in a separate file and McAfee lets you turn off this type of scanning only on a file by file basis -- thus trying to go beyond the startup exe file does not seem practical.  I will also continue to try turning the whole McAfee thing off and see what happens.  Have worked hard to turn off other unneeded programs and have pushed this envelope about as far as I think I can.

Again - thanks for the help.  Not being sarcastic - I have some articles that I can read and will do so whenever I have to wait.  sad though that I expect that I will need to avoid anything higher than a "small" game.

I hope that it might make a difference.

 

19 hours ago, John S said:

Hopefully things will somehow improve whenever the third generation (or is it the "fourth"?) of the game comes out.

It depends on how / what you are counting.  These games we are playing are the second generation of their tactical war games.  First was what we now call the CM1x series - CM Beyond Overloard, CM Afrika Corps and CM Barbarossa to Berlin.  Next is CM2x series CM Battle for Normandy, CM Red Thunder etc. the stuff these forums are about.  That CM2x series has had some engine upgrades that added features but is still based on the same basic architecture.  Those upgrades are referred to as engine v2, v3 and Steve hinted at a v4 in the works each of which added new features and have been ported to all the CM2x games which is kinda cool that the CM2x games have all been kept up to the same feature level.

Sorry, I am ignoring the first two CM2x games CM ShockForce and CM Afghanistan because they have not been kept up to date with the upgrades.

 

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Again thanks for your help.  Funny - I tend to write my acquisition date inside the manuals and keep the manuals together.  Makes for an interesting history seeing a very well-used Barbarossa to Berlin Manual dated May of 2003, Beyond Overlord (undated but bought after B to B), much less used Shock Force Manual dated December of 2007 and the Manual for Version 3.00 dated September of 2014.  Long history.  Slow load is not an issue.  If nothing can be done about it that is the answer and no big deal.

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