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[MOD] The Sins Optimization Project: Rebellion 1.1 (Updated 11/19/12)

Because we KNOW that Rebellion NEEDS IT.

By on July 8, 2012 3:21:01 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Major Stress

Join Date 05/2006
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Rebellion.. The Fourth, and Final Expansion for SotSE....

For all that do not know what TSOP is, or have not been keeping up with current events at all for the last four years. Check this topic. The Original TSOP for Trinity topic.

TSOP was originally created to fix the very annoying 2 gig hard coded crash bug that plagued Trinity. IT WORKED. Without changing any game play aspects of Sins. Without changing the quality of the game itself. During the time we worked on TSOP we found many bugs, and errors that the Dev's missed over time, or that were created with the relentless Sins patches of the past, and new expansions. With the Diplomacy 1.32-1.34 series of patches some elements of TSOP: Trinity were incorporated into Diplomacy. Mainly the Errors, Typo's, and Particle fix's. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. A company as small as Ironclad was bound to make some mistakes. Especially on their first game. I want to make it clear once again that this project in no way is a disrespect of Ironclad, or Stardock. Quite the opposite. You guys made a great game! There is no denying that. We wouldn't be here right now if you did make a bad game.

The goal of TSOP:R Is to add what was NOT incorporated from the Diplomacy TSOP incorporation. We will Bug Hunt, Look for errors, and typos that were not seen before, and Fix it. Just like we did for Trinity. We will convert the TGA formatted textures to the highest quality DDS format possible (This includes the UI textures). Just like we did for Trinity. We will try to put back into Rebellion what was taken out from Trinity (the varying planet types). We will also look into optimizing the new rebellion shadow system some more (if it is at all possible).

Rebellion reduced the size of the ship textures (mainly all of the frigates) to the next size down (by a power of 2). So frigates that had a 2048 resolution texture now have a 1024 resolution texture in Rebellion. Which is brilliant, It is hardly noticeable, and it made lots of room for more Rebellion features. TSOP:R will expand upon that, and bring back the "Strategic Particle Texture Reduction" of TSOP Trinity. There is much more we can do to optimize if we look for it. However, the goal is to optimize without changing the quality of the game, or if there is to be a loss of quality. make it as minimal as humanly possible. Just like we did for Trinity.

We also plan on bringing the Trinity versions of TSOP up to date.

All of this, and more that TSOP:R will do will free up more Ram, and improve your Graphic Performance. So you should be able to run Rebellion on a slightly lower end system, or a not so hot video card. CPU lag is still, and will always be a problem. We tried to deal with it by reducing poly counts on meshes in Trinity. That failed. Poly counts surprisingly have very little impact in Sins. It is the sheer number of units on the map that a Single Core of your CPU has to deal with that causes the lag. The only way i can think of to deal with the Late Game CPU Lag issue is to remove, and/or lower the number of units on the map. We WILL NOT do that. We WILL NOT change any game play, or balancing aspect of Rebellion. Just like we did not change it for Trinity. Let the developers deal with the Game Play, and Balance. We only wish to improve upon the game itself. We Bring..

The Sins Optimization Project: Rebellion

So.. Here we are once again.. 

 TSOP for Rebellion is more of a Graphic Optimization mod than it was for Trinity. Many of the issues that plagued Trinity were fixed by Ironclad/Stardock for Rebellion. So there is no need for any GameInfo folders any more. Also the 2 gig crash issue that TSOP was originally created for has also been fixed. TSOP:R is more intended as a performance improvement mod than anything else.

 TSOP, and TSOP:R is an open community project. Anyone who wishes to contribute is welcome to do so. Also anyone who wishes to use TSOP/TSOP:R in their mods, or other projects are also more than welcome to do so. No Questions Asked. This project is for you. Use it!

 Do not run TSOP with other mods. TSOP is intended to be a Stand Alone mod. Running other mods with TSOP. Especially Graphic Enhancement mods. Will defeat the entire purpose of TSOP. TSOP is intended to improve your Vanilla Sins experience. Other mods like Distant Stars have incorporated elements of TSOP into their mods.

 I will ask that we please DO NOT discuss Multi Core support, 64 bit, or LAA on this topic. It is a dead horse issue that has been beaten down so many times that people are beating the dust on the ground where the dead horse was laying. Its not gonna happen! EVER! The Dev's said its not gonna happen. DO NOT DISCUSS THE ISSUE!!... please.

 

TSOP:R Release 1.1

All mesh, and particle bad file path names fixed.

Mesh fix's (Unnecessary team color entry's removed)

GameInfo files fixed by Stardock/Ironclad so it is no longer needed in TSOP

All particle, and UI textures converted to DDS format. Some very large texture resolutions reduced.

Optimized Sounds, Music ported from TSOP Trinity.

Optimized Trade ship, Strike Craft, and Constructor meshes ported from TSOP Trinity.

Game holds steady at 1.6-1.7 gigs ram usage using Random Vast Competitive map. Max settings for everything. 9 vicious AI's Results may differ for you depending on your system. No Dev.exe errors were present. No crashes. Late game lag still an issue, but game is playable much longer than vanilla.

See various "Fixed" text's for complete list of changes, and fixes.

Thank you Myfist0 for ModDB link

 

 

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July 17, 2012 1:58:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Major Stress,
You can still do sounds right? I am sure no one would mind if you optimized a few rebellion sounds for the cause.

I second this!

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July 17, 2012 1:59:52 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Those needless bits I would not worry about as they are not called by any entity link and never used.

The missing meshpoints I would also not worry about as the above center and aura points are only standard places to attach effects. Who would put an effect on the bottom of a moon? So, if anything, you are adding unneeded text.

Biggest part I would focus on is the textures. There is loads of unused space that I managed to get rid of almost 50mb of textures by moving them to empty spaces of other textures and relinking the brush. Gas giant darkside texture has no lights, try black-da.dds. One of the SBs is 2048x2048, shrink that to 1024x1024. If I owned I would go through myself but I know you will manage

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July 17, 2012 10:23:08 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Got the textures part covered. It might an interesting study to compare vanilla Trinity, and Rebellion textures. Trinity starbase textures were 4096x4096 res. The Advent starbase texture always crashed my photoshop it was so big lol. If the SB textures are now 2048x2048 res then i am not gonna touch them, because IC already reduced them. Just like they already reduced a some of the particle textures. Which is why the TSOP:R textures are gonna be a little different than TSOP Trinity.

I kinda figured if a file wasnt called for, then it aint loaded. There was a time when i thought everything in the textures folder was loaded. Reaalize that is not the case. Everything is loaded when it is called for, but it still remains loaded until end game.

My only concern about the mesh points was if it causes problems in game. If not then i am cool with it. Totally agree that, map objects don't need auras. However don't the spawned turrets get effected by buffs and debuffs too? Would be nice to see it if that is the case. Last thing i want to do is add to the problem. just trying to make it all work right.

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July 17, 2012 10:58:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

On the subject of little bits and pieces that can be removed--it makes a little more room for modders to squeeze in new things--not so much a performance add.

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July 17, 2012 2:35:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

ya, forgot the size of that huge texture, just remembered it was in the devs "worst textures" list.

The turrets may be effected by buffs but do the buffs have an effect attached? If it does it may be on an ability-x point. The debug log is pretty good at showing missing meshpoints if they are called. The trinity weapon jammer also has none.

Planet textures are a real waste, 2:1 UVs can cut the texture size way down and a few talented people have fixed the pole pinch. Even with the pole pinch, it is still worth going 2:1 UV as all the planet textures fill the worst texture list and you cant scroll that list, I had to attach tiny textures to all the planets to see what else was bad. Top of that list is the race icons sheet. For my mod I separated that into 2 sheets and dds the big ones and left the tiny ones tga.

If you want to upload the Sound folder somewhere, I will do it. Don't use the SVN though as it keeps all the files in memory even after we delete so 5 years from now we can recover. Like a recycle bin that never gets emptied. I will do those huge textures that crash you as well, add them or compare with trinity to see if they changed. The soa2@hotmail.ca skydrive is setup with you as an editor but you cant create a folder unless you log in as soa2@hotmail.ca with our forum password

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ded21cf070d59b46

I will make a folder called SoundRebellion and share with you. Don't want this one public.

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July 18, 2012 5:45:32 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Currently having a bash at writing a shell script to check for some of these errors.

First stage reads the list of entity files from entity.manifest, then checks that the string IDs in each entity file in String/English.str exist.

There's quite a few missing in the Rebellion v1.03 ref files:-

 

IDS_FRIGATE_TURRETCOMBAT_COUNTERDESC from GameInfo/FrigateCombatTurret.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PIRATEANTIFIGHTER_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/FrigatePirateAntiFighter.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PIRATEHEAVY_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/FrigatePirateHeavy.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PIRATEMEDIUM_COUNTERDESC from GameInfo/FrigatePirateMedium.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PIRATESIEGE_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/FrigatePirateSiege.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_XENO_TRADE_PACT_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_XENO_TRADE_PACT.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_XENO_TRADE_PACT_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_XENO_TRADE_PACT.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_COMMON_FUTURE_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_COMMON_FUTURE.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_COMMON_FUTURE_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_COMMON_FUTURE.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHREBEL_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHREBEL.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHREBEL_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHREBEL.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHLOYALIST_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHLOYALIST.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHLOYALIST_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_TECHLOYALIST.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASEREBEL_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASEREBEL.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASEREBEL_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASEREBEL.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASELOYALIST_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASELOYALIST.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASELOYALIST_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PHASELOYALIST.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSIREBEL_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSIREBEL.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSIREBEL_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSIREBEL.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSILOYALIST_NAME from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSILOYALIST.entity is not defined
IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSILOYALIST_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION_PSILOYALIST.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PHASEASSAULTNANITESWARM_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/FrigatePhaseAssaultNaniteSwarm.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PHASESUPPORTNANITESWARM_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/FrigatePhaseSuppotNaniteSwarm.entity is not defined
IDS_FRIGATE_PHASEGREATERNANITESWARM_DESCRIPTION from GameInfo/FrigatePhaseGreaterNaniteSwarm.entity is not defined

I suspect the IDS_RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION... string IDs were from the original Rebellion concept where your race chose it's faction via research instead that of being chosen upfront.

If that is the case the RESEARCHSUBJECT_DECLAREFACTION*.entity files could probably be removed from entity.manifest.

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July 18, 2012 11:11:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The pirates are probably not defined because you dont "build" them. There is no build menu for them so they have no need for a description. Those lines may need to be there to prevent other errors.

Declare Faction was from the earliest of Rebellion betas. It was planned for all factions to start "neutral". then you researched certain techs to declare your loyalist/rebel allegiance. the idea obviously was rejected, because it made things more tedious, confusing, and plain not fun. I am pretty sure those lines, and files do not need to be there now if those researches are no longer linked in the player entitys.

speaking of tedious.... 50% done with the particle fix's, and texture conversions. Would be done faster if i didnt work a RL job 15 hours a day.

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July 22, 2012 12:38:50 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Progress update:

About 75% done with the particle optimization, and with the particle optimizations, and DDS conversion alone the game is already showing a great improvement in performance in my tests so far. Mass phase jumps dont lag near as bad now. and combat is much smoother. I didnt reduce the resolutions of near the amount of particle textures that we reduced in Trinity, because the dev's already reduced the texture resolutions themselves. So there was no need to reduce them even further. However there were a few mind boggling texture resolutions. Like the Coronata Titans ring effect. Several 1024 res textures just for that particle effect. There were a few other 1024 res particles i was going to reduce then i realized that they were used for the gravity well ring.. Nope left them alone All together i reduced only a couple of textures. The rest dont need it. With the few mind boggling exceptions Stardock did a good job with the texture optimization.

Yay! i managed to remove an unused material from a vanilla mesh in XSI without screwing it up!

I am not sure if this was discussed before, or i just dont remember..

I know if the entitys pariticles etc. are in text format they take longer to load, but if they are in binary do they use less resources in game, or more, or is it about the same? I am thinking the game has to convert the file from binary anyway. I dont really know for sure that is why i am asking.

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July 22, 2012 7:27:30 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ya know...they really do need to give you a complimentary--and signed--collector's edition, Major.

I am really excited to kick this into the game.

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July 22, 2012 7:37:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

My tests with the binning of the mesh folder show less ram used. It is the biggest folder for binning, therefor the easiest to see the change in-game. I see no reason why the engine cant read bin, if anything the long load is converting the txts to bin.

 

Quoting Major Stress,
Yay! i managed to remove an unused material from a vanilla mesh in XSI without screwing it up!

Are you not just deleting the material from the mesh and changing the count? Importing the mesh to XSI means you lost the tangent map.

EDIT: Side note of optimizing SOA models, 1 example

The result of unwelded models welded and with unseen polys inside the ship being deleted.

You can see double edges in XSI because they are blue, really thick white lines is a triple edge indicating unseen polys inside are attached to the outer polys. With these doulbe edge blue lines, you will never get a proper tangent, not to mention the almost 1000 points and edges the engine is not calculating anymore.

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July 22, 2012 2:21:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I fixed the Frigate_PhaseEnvoy mesh as a test subject. Imported it to max, and yes i lost the tangent maps. However when i worked on it in XSI i redid the tangents myself. The way it should be done, but in constant view the colors dont update when i change the tangents (does this with every version of XSI i have). So i did the tangent map anyway "blind". Mapping to what i thought would be best. It worked. You cant tell the difference between the original mesh, and the fixed mesh in game. Huzzah i finally figured out tangents.

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July 22, 2012 4:55:15 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Do you have the UV editor open with the second UV showing?

I do get this the odd time when I flick back and forth between UVs. With the model selected, choose Selection as you do when applying a new tangent map. In there is the orange icon "Tangent", double click and it brings up the tangent UV pick window again and updates the tangents.

 

However, this does not work with any of the SOA scenes. I delete all the tangent properties and apply a new one to the second UV and fix from there. 

I would be interested to see what you did with that scene.

If you want to try a real challenging tangent map, try the sovereign, that was a real bitch.

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July 22, 2012 9:39:30 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

No doubt. What i did was where the textures were mirrored i mapped the tangents as if it was a whole section healing the seam along the way.

Anyways i am finally done with the particle optimization.

Vanilla Rebellion uses about 1.7 gigs of ram on max settings. However the 2 gig issue is not why i am doing TSOP:R because that issue is fixed. There is a major lag, and dump issue when people use max settings on large games AFAIK. That is what TSOP:R is trying to fight this time. I couldn't say why Vanilla random dumps, but i can say i did a 6 hour, large map, 6 AI (one of each faction) test on max settings with TSOP: R, and it ran like a champ. Late game lag issue is there, but no other issues that i can see. The combat was as smooth as glass until late game. The game never went over 1.4 gigs. Even with mines Strike craft and trade ships all over the place, and i hardly reduced any textures at all! Shaved off about 300 megs of ram usage just by eliminating the bad file path name issues in the particle files, and converting the particle TGA's to DDS. I haven't got to the rest of the game yet. No meshes were changed yet. The UI wasn't touched yet. One thing i am certain is that Rebellion is hitting the hard coded particle limits, and quite possibly the texture limits too. (the number is 2000 particles displayed at any given time IIRC). Towards late game half the effects do not show at all. The Rebellion particles use a LOT of textures.

anyways an old saying Proof or STFU.. Here is the proof. Tested on an i5 3 gig, 6 gigs of ddr3 ram, but was running WindowsXP so it only saw 3 of those 6 gigs, and a gforce gt520 2 gig video card. Took the pic towards the end game when a few of the AI factions were about to be wiped out.

 

 

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July 23, 2012 12:41:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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July 23, 2012 2:23:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Major Stress,
Anyways i am finally done with the particle optimization.

 

BTW I found another potential ability optimization. Each race has its own version of detect mines on its scout because they have different HUD icons, but they also have their own set of buff that make it work, even though these buffs are identical. If you were to set all the abilities to use "BuffDetectMinesPhaseSelf", you could get rid of the 2 buffs each for the Advent and TEC versions.

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July 23, 2012 6:13:26 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,
"BuffDetectMinesPhaseSelf", you could get rid of the 2 buffs each for the Advent and TEC versions.

 

Orrrr....you could give them the Tech version.

 

Silly alien loving Goa.

 

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July 23, 2012 10:55:27 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Didn't think there were any PrioritizeNewBuffs left in periodicActions, but found one in InstantBuildFighters.

periodicAction
actionCountType "Infinite"
actionIntervalTime
Level:0 1.000000
Level:1 1.000000
Level:2 0.000000
Level:3 0.000000
buffInstantActionType "ApplyBuffToLocalOrbitBody"
instantActionTriggerType "AlwaysPerform"
buffType "BuffInstantBuildFightersTarget"

....

BuffInstantBuildFightersTarget.entity

onReapplyDuplicateType "PrioritizeNewBuffs"

 

 

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July 23, 2012 5:53:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I am not very good with ability's. If you guys want to whip up fixed versions so i can test them go ahead. PM me with a link to the file. Of course you will get credit for the work., Put how the ability worked before, what you changed, and why you changed it. So we can keep track.

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July 23, 2012 6:08:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Major Stress,
I am not very good with ability's. If you guys want to whip up fixed versions so i can test them go ahead. PM me with a link to the file. Of course you will get credit for the work., Put how the ability worked before, what you changed, and why you changed it. So we can keep track.

Sure. sounds good.

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July 26, 2012 10:37:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

TSOP: R Test build is finished, and undergoing internal testing as i type. If you got fixed ability's you want to add. Now would be a good time to send them my way.

Some test screens. Random huge multistar map, max settings for everything, 9 vicious AI's. Smooth as glass until usual very late game slowdown. As you can see by the task manager, never went past 1.5 gigs ram usage.

ATest of all DDS particle system

 

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July 27, 2012 12:38:35 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Very nice!

 

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July 27, 2012 8:05:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

And one more from the very same game. It is very late game, A little choppy, but still very playable. It did random crash though. So whatever is causing that issue is not graphic related, or it is just something that we haven't seen yet.

Anyway i leave you with TSOPR's particle test of the Coronata Titan getting very angry.

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July 29, 2012 5:55:51 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Nice - "Revenge Awaits!", although I don't think the Coronata is anything other than very angry.

In cinematic mode, that would have made a good advert screenie.

It's good to see that progress is going well, keep up the good work.

 

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July 29, 2012 1:33:23 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Could it be possible that the random crashes are Steam related? I got Rebellion holding at 1.5 gigs of ram usage on the largest map, 9 AI's. and Max Settings. So it is not the 2 gig crash issue. Anyone have any thoughts?

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July 29, 2012 1:49:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Are you running tests with the DEV on?

Did you maybe delete a quote when fixing bad addresses?

Skimming recent post I see some MDs reported but don't read the posts. Or if you added some abilities discussed, try individually testing them.

Side note: Did you add Sivs opt models? http://soase.x90x.net/tsop/

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