The Division 2 Promises “Even Better” DX12 Support Than The Original

The Division 2 Promises

The Division 2 Promises “Even Better” DX12 Support Than The Original

Tom Clancy’s The Division was a graphical showcase at the time of its release, showcasing the huge potential of Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine by providing steady performance on both PC and consoles while offering visuals that were better than many of the game’s peers. 

With The Division 2, Massive plans to push things one step further, especially on PC, revealing plans to offer improved DirectX 12 support and improved anti-cheating mechanisms. 

AMD teamed up with Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment to help improve The Division 2, helping the developers of the game deliver HDR support and enhance the DirectX 12 version of the game. With DirectX 12, The Division 2 will offer “even better” performance, with the developers citing the game’s use of Asynchronous Compute in a recent interview with PC Games Hardware. 

In the future, Massive Entertainment also plans to utilise variable rate shading, a feature that is known as “Rapid Packed Math” on AMD’s Radeon Vega architecture. This feature can double the shading rate of FP16 calculations, which can be used to boost the performance of games if implemented. FP16 is less accurate than the FP32 calculations that are commonly used in today’s games, which means that it cannot be applied to all aspects of a game.  

    Yes, we are still very much supporting DX12 and in TCTD2, DX12 performance over DX11 should be even better. This is in large part due to us making better use of Async Compute to parallelize more graphics work to ensure maximal GPU utilization. When it comes to performance, we are not pulling any punches and will make use of all tools in the toolbox. The only thing we do not yet have is variable rate shading, but rest assured that is an active area of research for future performance improvements.

In The Division 2, Massive uses Lidar and GIS data to create an accurate representation of Washington DC, the city where the game is based, with the game’s new lighting model and HDR capabilities promising to deliver better visuals than the original game. 

The latest version of Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine also supports better-looking water, improved reflections, fog, sky rendering and skin shading, resulting in a final product that is a lot more graphically impressive than the series’ last entry. 

   We have improvements to the engine in more ways that I can possibly remember. Among the stand-outs are support for GIS and LIDAR data, allowing us to use real-world data like that used in GPS’s to reconstruct Washington DC accurately. We updated the render pipeline to support HDR displays and, while doing so, also changed the internal lighting model leading to more accurate, better looking visuals. We also added support for great looking water, terrain, reflections, skin shading, fog/volumetrics, better skies, etc.

The core of the fully procedural destruction tech remains very similar. We will make sure that destruction for The Division 2 is more consistent and that everything can be shot at and will break in an appropriate way. I wish we could take it even further, but the online aspects of The Division 2 put some physical speed-of-light type limitations on what we can realistically do. For example, sending enough data to accurately represent large scale destruction events is simply not feasible due to the lack of end-user bandwidth for most users.


The Division 2 Promises

On the topic of anti-cheating systems, Massive Entertainment’s Calle Lejdfors stated that The Division 2 has been designed from the outset with better cheat detection in mind. Tracking on the server side will be improved with this release, and new methods have been employed to detect client-side tamper detection, with some of these efforts also serving to optimise the game’s networking performance, which is great news for all PC gamers. 

     We are taking cheating very seriously, and if there is something we have learned running The Division live it is that effective anti-cheat is something that needs to be considered at every step of the development process. For The Division 2 we are taking great care to strengthen our cheat detection. I cannot go into extensive details, but we will have more accurate server-side tracking, better technology for dealing with individual skills, and improvements to client-side tamper detection. A lot of these efforts have the added bonus of also improving lag and over all tolerance of network behavior.

The Division 2 will release on March 15th on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with the PC version releasing on both Uplay and the Epic Games Store. The game’s PC system requirements are available to read here.  A private beta for the game will be available between February 7th and February 10th (more info here). 

You can join the discussion on The Division 2’s promise of “even better” DirectX 12 performance on the OC3D Forums.