How much more can performance improve? Compared to the lackluster gaming performance on my MacBook Pro, LiquidSky seems amazing so I don't actually know what high-end gaming is supposed to look like. From what I understand, we're at the top tier of performance at 1080p and until LS allows higher resolution streaming higher resource packages are meaningless.
I haven't tried Tomb Raider or any of the Batman games on LiquidSky yet. I've played the Assassin's Creed series, DA: Inquisition, DBZ Xenoverse 2, Tyranny, No Man's Sky, Elder Scrolls Online, WoW, Diablo 3 and LoL. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure if what I'm getting is great performance or not. My baseline for how these games run is much lower than what you have. I'm going from playing some of these games on a MacBook with integrated Iris Pro graphics to LiquidSky and there's a massive difference between the two. I can actually play games at 1080p with no frame-rate stuttering and slowdowns.
Also, I thought a higher resolution than 1080p was required in order to see any difference from the max/ultra settings?
You are exactly right. Brand new games like games that are coming out in the last of this year just aren't running great with the ultra. I already pay $39.99 which if you think about it; that is a lot of money invested into a single online service. I pay that fee monthly and I expect top-tier performance of course. If I am lagging; I am going to be like what the hell why do I need ultra. I think they really need to just make upgrades for both plans where the current is high performance and ultra; we should be getting ultra performance on the high performance and A LOT better performance on the ultra plan.
I have AC:Syndicate which I can test (haven't yet) but I think I can safely assume the performance on max is going to be similar to Tomb Raider.
I am in the opposite camp. I can notice when things aren't looking as good as I think they can or should be. Within reason, many styles of games have graphics profiles/art styles that are well suited to them. That being said, a game like ARK looks terrible on low but amazing on ultra/high and the same can be said for most AA/AAA's. Switching between low and medium or medium and high is much less noticeable I'm sure.
In terms of hitting some kind of 1080p ceiling on graphical fidelity, I'd be curious to see some sources that claim that. There is a valid argument that 1080p resolution itself is indistinguishable from say 720p when you scale the screen size down small enough but higher textures, better post-processing, more effects, high quality shadows, particle effects, advanced physics, etc are all very noticeable regardless of the resolution.
Settings like Anti-Aliasing on the other hand can be much less noticeable depending. There's also a separate issue where Nvidia has more or less forced some developers into over tessellating certain geometries beyond what is noticeable.
If you look as closely as I do you can usually spot the differences when you change the settings. After enabling TressFX on Tomb Raider for hair (looks amazing) normal quality hair looks terrible by comparison. Perhaps I've been spoiled.
I was looking this up after I posted. When 4K gaming was first introduced, AnandTech had an editorial on relative benefits and the graphical ceiling of 1080p and how we were starting to hit it. The most noticeable ceiling at 1080p is with distance-scaling. 4K allows for more space and improved depth-of-field when compared to 1080p.
Textures, effects, shadows, particles and lighting are all supposedly more visible at 1080p than at 4K. The expert consensus seems to be these things should look better at 1080p as we move closer and closer to machines that can do true 4K. There really shouldn't be a fidelity ceiling. I was absolutely wrong on that bit. If anything, textures, effects, etc could be considered resolution independent to a certain degree.
Our baseline perceptions are too far apart for me to even comprehend what games should look like. Its like I went from riding a bike everywhere to using a car for the first time. No matter how terrible the car is, its significantly faster and smoother than what I'm used to so it seems like a massive upgrade.
On a slightly different note, I'm not sure if offering higher tier plans is a great idea. Personally, I really do want to max out games and see what they're actually supposed to look like. But LiquidSky has only just gotten to the point where anyone that wants an Ultra instance can login without hassles, and there's still moments where its impossible to get anything except for a High instance. Some servers end up so overloaded that you can't even get a High instance. If they start allocating more resources to each instance, then the total number of people that can be on a server reduces.
Until LS can get to a point where they can guarantee that every subscriber can get whatever instance they want whenever they want, the current 'high' and 'ultra' plans seem to be the most functionally balanced.
I mean there is no doubt that you can see more with 4k provided the screens real estate is also increased. 1080p vs 4k both on say a 27" monitor on the other hand will still have some noticeable benefits but at that level your definitely not taking full advantage of 4k.
Great analogy lol. As an experiment, assuming you have a nice 1080p+ screen on that macbook (I'm sure most do), what if you find some top quality recordings on YouTube for a game you have looked at. Theoretically, assuming the video recording bit rate is high enough and the resolution is large enough, 1080p+, you ought to be able to get the gist of what ultra settings look like. Of course maybe that will ruin you for future gaming so beware
Yeah I can attest to the woes of not being able to get Ultra when I want it. I think if the credit requirement is scaled up suitably, the supply/demand curve will balance out however. LS has to make those judgements on their own from a business perspective. I'd certainly be willing to pay more for better graphics and I think many others would too.
What really complicates the issue is the current unlimited Ultra plan. Would the new Ultra+ require a new Ultra+ premium of $80/mo ? Maybe. I mean for double the performance I would expect to pay about double for the server time.
For me however being on a gamer plan with a growing credit pool, I don't care how many credit/hour I need to spend because I use LS rarely enough that I'm sure it would balance out for myself.
Just wanted to say that I have done some research on how Liquid Sky works and what the servers consist of. Basically these servers are made up of numerous graphics cards that work together. They also have CPUs with double digit cores and threads. This basically describes most servers, but I found proof that this stuff is brand new 2016 technology. Very powerful and expensive equipment, but just like all servers that power is divided up for it's users. The more users using each server equals less power for everyone. If less users use each server, then more servers are needed.
I'm thinking the user-to-server ratio could be a possible dilema at the moment. As well as the issue of users who are quite far away from the nearest datacenter.
I'm going to stick with Liquid Sky for as long as I can afford it. It's how I feel I can support the progress of this technology without giving my money away.
While every user may not share the same experience as you, and there are many factors outside of LiquidSky that can be influencing your performance, I am happy to share with you that we will be introducing increased graphical performance in the future
Gamers want, what gamers get and we are dedicated to giving you guys the most powerful hardware to experience high performance gaming on any device
I'm a little disappointed that the current ultra plan is unable to max out today's AAA games. (Or so I'm led to believe—I have no personal experience with current AAA games.) In practice, it doesn't really affect me much because I'm catching up with older games. Besides, with LiquidSky in beta, it's perfectly understandable if ultra is a little less powerful than it should be post-beta.
But, part of the appeal of LiquidSky (to me) was that it would be upgraded regularly so that existing plans would scale up to meet the demands of new games as they arise. As such, I'm somewhat disappointed to hear that a new higher tier plan is in the works. That suggests that ultra won't be able to max out the latest AAA games. Again, that's unlikely to affect me directly since I will probably always be behind in my gaming. But in principle, I thought the ultra plan would be the go-to plan for maxing out the newest AAA games.