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Dark Souls 2 Lighting changes/Downgrade

sub_o

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Oct 15, 2011
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Honestly, I'd rather they spend time and budget on the gameplay first, then graphics. Maybe the only thing I want from the graphics side, is for them to lock the game at constant framerate.
 

Pie and Beans

Look for me on the local news, I'll be the guy arrested for trying to burn down a Nintendo exec's house.
Apr 23, 2010
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*sigh* So my fears they had just seemingly switched the lighting engine off that assets had been crafted around was founded. Now they've flatly lit stuff that will no longer look dynamic at all.

I have no idea why they didn't stick to Phyre engine and THEN make a next-gen engine for the game they actually fucking release on PS4/Xbone that could handle it.
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,097
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Besides the change in art direction (which I believe is for the best), it looks to me like the before shots have ambient occlusion and the bottom shots don't.
 

Psycho_Mantis

Banned
Jul 28, 2012
26,651
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To all the people thinking or wishing it to be PC footage its not. Me and many others have played that ps3 version at expos where we can confirm that it was a PS3.
 

Theecliff

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Jun 22, 2013
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Is this really a downgrade or maybe just changes in art direction?
The lighting looks worse in the more recent footage, though. There were loads of dynamic shadows in the older footage that seems to have gone in the more recent stuff.
 

bob_arctor

Tough_Smooth
Jun 7, 2004
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Truly, the franchise has arrived. Once under the radar, now under the microscope. It's been interesting to see it reach somewhat of a critical mass in that regard. If it was next-gen, then the fireworks would really begin.
 

kinggroin

Banned
Sep 4, 2006
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Looks like the dynamic lighting responsible for the crazy shadow casting is out.

If you guys watch at 55 seconds from the old vid, I can understand why they removed it.

Dark Souls is gameplay first, and it looks like the way the shadows behaved with the old lighting was not going to allow you to tackle enemy encounters without having a seizure. Honestly, it looks like it got in the way.
You guys don't think it could simply be for gameplay reasons like I stated earlier?
The lighting looks worse in the more recent footage, though. There was loads of dynamic shadows in the older footage that seems to have gone in the more recent stuff.

Again, maybe its because the flickery crazy dynamic shadows interfered with concentrating on your enemy. Watch at 55 seconds in original video and see how the shadows react dynamically to the light source. That shit would drive me bananas and make a hard game artificially harder.
 

Mlatador

Banned
Jun 28, 2011
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So both screenshots are from the same console (PS3)? Publishers and their bullshit marketing.
 

Grisby

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Mar 4, 2008
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Yeah, it's a shame. I do wonder if they might put it back in on the other versions.
 

Dictator93

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Jun 29, 2011
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last gen consoles. The game was pretty obviously demo'd on a PC the first time around given the SSAO and shadow mapping.
 

AU Tiger

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Jan 16, 2014
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Again???

I mean.. we all sort of expected poverty graphics with DS2 to a certain extent but why mess with a perfectly good thing? Was it not running smoothly in the beta or something?

Durante pls

 
Nov 14, 2013
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Previews have already stated that some of the environments look really awful and flat while others look very good.

I honestly don't know what happened in development, but I'm of the opinion that several elements of this game are were rushed through production a la Lost Izalith. They wanted to pump out DS2 before last-gen officially passes on since they already had the engine to support a last-gen release versus building for the current-gen.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
19,552
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Space is the Place
I believe a gaffer who has the PS3 version says that in some real time cut scenes the shadow and lighting maps turn back on, then click off when the player takes control.

Just a month ago the PS3 build was being demoed that had those settings turned on during gameplay. They apparently are set differently in the current retail build, as if changed just before the discs went gold.

This has led speculation that there could be an optimization patch but of course don't hold your breath.
 

Akuun

Looking for meaning in GAF
Nov 10, 2004
13,342
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Again???

I mean.. we all sort of expected poverty graphics with DS2 to a certain extent but why mess with a perfectly good thing? Was it not running smoothly in the beta or something?

Durante pls

I wonder if there were some areas in DS2 that made the PS3/360 just keel over with the lighting turned on, and they couldn't tone down the lighting for that one area without making it stand out like a sore thumb.
 

Arelaz

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Jun 16, 2010
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Looks like the dynamic lighting responsible for the crazy shadow casting is out.

If you guys watch at 55 seconds from the old vid, I can understand why they removed it.

Dark Souls is gameplay first, and it looks like the way the shadows behaved with the old lighting was not going to allow you to tackle enemy encounters without having a seizure. Honestly, it looks like it got in the way.
Re: @0:55 Yeah, those shadows were crazy as hell. It looked really bad, and quite disorienting.
 

eot

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Apr 13, 2012
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Again, maybe its because the flickery crazy dynamic shadows interfered with concentrating on your enemy. Watch at 55 seconds in original video and see how the shadows react dynamically to the light source. That shit would drive me bananas and make a hard game artificially harder.
They could've just toned down the shadows from players / enemies though, doesn't explain why the environments can't be more interestingly lit.
 

EvilKatarn

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Dec 17, 2012
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How do you propose one mods a lighting engine into a game which won't even have any mod support? You people need to realize that changing rendering resolution and modding in a lighting engine are two entirely incomparable things.

This downgrade is very disappointing. I'm sure the game will still look great in many points and I was never expecting a technical showcase but rather a sequel to one of my favorite games ever made. Shame on FROM for pulling wool over our eyes though. I do hope they patch it in but it's kind of delusional.
 

Theecliff

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Jun 22, 2013
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Again, maybe its because the flickery crazy dynamic shadows interfered with concentrating on your enemy. Watch at 55 seconds in original video and see how the shadows react dynamically to the light source. That shit would drive me bananas and make a hard game artificially harder.
Hmmm, I'm not convinced that's the sole reason. In that specific example it looks kind of annoying, sure, but there's no denying that certain areas looked much better with the older lighting. The Mirror Knight fight in particular looked spectacular in the older footage, imo.

Also, it could just be me or does the older stuff have more/better AO? Removing/downgrading that doesn't really fit in with that theory, since it's not really something that would be distracting during encounters.
 

Bedlam

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Oct 4, 2011
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I believe a gaffer who has the PS3 version says that in some real time cut scenes the shadow and lighting maps turn back on, then click off when the player takes control.
Whoa, that would be utterly jarring and therefore even shittier.
 

kinggroin

Banned
Sep 4, 2006
14,211
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They could've just toned down the shadows from players / enemies though, doesn't explain why the environments can't be more interestingly lit.
Who's to say HOW the shadows were tied to the lighting in this engine. Maybe it wasn't very forward thinking of them and so its not as simple as disable ONLY this one effect.

I could very well be wrong, but a massive change like this seems weird, especially when it was already running fine.
 

Kysen

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Oct 6, 2012
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You want it to run at a suitable framerate on last gen then this is what you get. I don't see a problem.
 

njean777

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Mar 12, 2009
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The real bait and switch is that the footage shown is from the ps4 version!!! But seriously I am not to bothered about this change, I haven't been following the game as I have been on media blackout.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
19,552
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Space is the Place
You want it to run at a suitable framerate on last gen then this is what you get. I don't see a problem.
Actually, for everyone saying this, the game wasn't a technical powerhouse with the shadow maps and lighting turned on. It looks great artistically with them. But there are other PS3 games with better technical graphics that run well.

This seems like From's limited technical ability showing its head again. They couldn't optimize their own engine by launch, so quickly turned off a bunch of settings to try and improve the framerate.
 

double jump

you haven't lived until a random little kid ask you "how do you make love".
May 7, 2012
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This has led speculation that there could be an optimization patch but of course don't hold your breath.
praying so hard for this. Didn't they push back the embargo time as well ?
 

doofy102

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Nov 21, 2013
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Apparently the good graphical effects are there during real time cutscenes (e.g. boss intros). They deactivate in actual gameplay.

This could imply that the dynamic lighting etc is still right there on the disc. Meaning it could be patchable on PS3 (?)

And this game clearly wasn't ready for release -_- I doubt FROM is satisfied with the state of this product, anyway.
 

kinggroin

Banned
Sep 4, 2006
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Go to 9:30 seconds in new video. The dynamic shadows are still there :)

From just toned the contrast down a lot so it doesn't look like your GPU is malfunctioning when inside smaller areas.

If there is any other change that could be considered a downgrade, its that I'm noticing a drastic degradation to bump-mapping on textures in these same tight corridors. The environment itself doesn't look at harshly lit or react to light sources the same way.
 

Schweinehund

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Jan 15, 2012
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Waiting on pc version before I render judgement.

I think parts of Demon's Souls impressed me more than Dark, there certainly wasn't any blighttown slow downs in Demon's Souls. So long as the game doesn't look worse than DaS then I won't really mind.
 
Feb 27, 2013
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I know they said the initial footage was on PS3, but does anyone have any proof of that? I never believed it, the lighting was well above the standard I see on console games, and From were never known for their technical prowess.

At any rate, if there's a fancy ass lighting option in the pc version I'm not gonna be surprised at all.
 

Regulus

Neo Member
Jan 23, 2008
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I notice that they've also re-implemented that awful radial light from the last two games that was centered on your character. It really flattens everything out, like bad flash photography.

It wasn't present in the network test. I wonder what made them decide to resurrect it.
 

Durante

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Oct 1, 2006
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Hmmm, I'm not convinced that's the sole reason. In that specific example it looks kind of annoying, sure, but there's no denying that certain areas looked much better with the older lighting. The Mirror Knight fight in particular looked spectacular in the older footage, imo.

Also, it could just be me or does the older stuff have more/better AO? Removing/downgrading that doesn't really fit in with that theory, since it's not really something that would be distracting during encounters.
I noticed that in the most recent screenshots there was no AO, while it was very prominent in the initial release. That at least should be easily restored.
 

Stone Ocean

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May 27, 2013
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Is this really a downgrade or maybe just changes in art direction?
No, some of the enviroments are flat out bad.

I'm talking PS2 textures here. No mapping or anything, just low res textures spread around polygons. Game looks uglier than Demon's Souls at times, for crying out loud.
 

Moongazer

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Nov 20, 2013
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It looks closer to Dark Souls 1 to me, which means it looks very flat and muddy : /

I liked the art direction of DsK1, but It wasn't a technical masterpiece on consoles by any means. I liked the new lighting engine they had implemented before and it sucks that they've had to take it out, especially so close to release.

Could it possibly be related to framerate issues? I'm sure they're being extra careful of the framerate in DsK2 considering the issues FromSoft had with the framerate on consoles.
Hopefully the pc version could still retain the lighting they had previously, because that would be a big reason to get that version now.
 

justjustin

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Sep 17, 2011
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I mentioned this in the Dark Souls 2 thread:

I don't think the graphical changes are that odd. If a game is being developed to look and perform as well as possible it seems more efficient to start with more, then subtract elements little by little. I also got the sense from interviews that this new engine is designed to be modular, so maybe they can add and remove graphical elements and techniques in a flexible way.

I do the same sort of thing when I play PC games. I max out settings then bump them down in efficient ways to get the game running well. Maybe the same philosophy was applied to Dark Souls 2. With everything needing to be accounted for in the final build, they trimmed elements that were too taxing.

That in-game cutscenes have better lighting than their respective playable areas supports my opinion, as well as reading that some areas use better lighting tech than others. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I have a good feeling about the PC version's graphical capabilities. I think it'll be like any other PC game where you can toggle global lighting options, shadows, ambient occlusion, etc. on the fly.
 

Raven77

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Jul 4, 2012
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I think it's about time that we, as consumers, started holding publishers and/or developers accountable for blatantly misleading us.

If this truly is a bait and switch, I'll be waiting till they release the initial reveal version, if that never happens, then I'll simply never buy their game.

Same goes for Watch Dogs.
 

jett

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Jun 6, 2004
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Downgradeaton II: Bullshitting Boogaloo

It's pretty clear to anyone not blinded by dem fanboy goggles that shenanigans are afoot. It's too bad though, the dynamic lighting showcased before was the only thing keeping this game from being ugly as all fuck.
 

Gbraga

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Aug 6, 2009
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I believe a gaffer who has the PS3 version says that in some real time cut scenes the shadow and lighting maps turn back on, then click off when the player takes control.
Wait a minute, I may be wrong about this, but doesn't that mean that maybe mods can just switch that back on if they don't add it to the PC version?
 

Rey

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Sep 8, 2009
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This is very disappointing. I was on a media black out and found out about it in another thread. The lighting in DS was on of the most impressing things of DS graphically. I'm holding out for a next gen version and hopefully this gets sorted out by then but still very disapponting to hear :(
 

Servbot24

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Feb 14, 2012
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Is this really a downgrade or maybe just changes in art direction?
It's the latter. There's the same level of details in all the assets. GAF just wishes there were controversy.

So both screenshots are from the same console (PS3)? Publishers and their bullshit marketing.
When developers work on games, they change. This seems like a fundamentally obvious thing to me.
 

Buggy Loop

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Jun 9, 2004
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Is this really a downgrade or maybe just changes in art direction?
I think its a bit of both. The early demo was probably thrown together really quickly. Throughout the game you always have the art director tweaking things to have a coherent world.

In the screenshot with the orange tint everywhere, there's supposed to be fire like nearly 3 stories down from where he is. Not lava, just fire. But the scene looks as if the fire is 2 freaking meters from the wall, its exaggerated. Also walls aren't supposed to have a layer of oil covering them.

Also the fact that peoples' minds love orange colours, so if they go for a more realistic/gritty look, they'll fight against it :p

The lighting engine seems fine to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR1QCzJHk8s

3:14
6:05
9:40 (whole area is awesome looking)

The character still has its shadow cast but its very soft as we see in 9:40. It seems the old version of the engine had very dark shadows ala doom 3. I didn't see the new version of the mirror knight fight scene (animated), so if the lightning strikes still dont illuminate and cast shadows of the full environment, then yes then its a big downgrade and not just artistically.

Again, maybe its because the flickery crazy dynamic shadows interfered with concentrating on your enemy. Watch at 55 seconds in original video and see how the shadows react dynamically to the light source. That shit would drive me bananas and make a hard game artificially harder.
Good point. I dont think they could fix that easily, carrying a torch with dynamic lighting and casting shadows all around you, i dont see an easy way out of a psychedelic shadow dance around the character when he's fighting.