Ubisoft may already be cutting graphical effects from 'Tom Clancy's The Division'

An unnamed developer working on "Tom Clancy's The Division" in the graphics technical division at Ubisoft, had recently revealed to What If Gaming that they're unhappy with how the final product is beginning to look, after showing off high quality demos of the game at events. Similarly, it was unearthed by a PC modder that Ubisoft had taken away many of the graphical effects used in the "Watch Dogs" E3 2012 unveiling video, which lead to the lackluster visuals on consoles and PC. Knowing how they've done this in the past, Ubisoft could be at it again.

In an excerpt taken from the report, he explains that:

Right now we already took out quite a lot of screen space reflections from the game and are working on asset management the best we can given consoles have that great unified memory. Naturally we will also be using online servers and have to produce a synchronization that higher graphics add to the latency so it had to be turned down. To me it still looks good, but not as good as the original reveal. I am sure as we get closer to launch and the actual console versions of the game featuring SD (Snowdrop) that it will start to seem all too obvious to people especially those on PCs.

We have reached out to Ubisoft for comment regarding this report and will update if we receive any additional information.

Source: What If Gaming | Image via Dual Shockers

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This is why I always take the E3 trailers with a barrel of salt. They build you up, then the result is nothing like what you saw. I haven't even seen Watch Dogs yet, but I know enough to know it won't be quite like what I've seen. Sadly, The Division is going to have the same fate... :(

EDIT: I just woke up, and I realise that comment gets a tad confusing. I've seen Watch Dogs E3 trailer, not the game itself yet. That was my point there.

Not surprised by a bit at all. The only way to differentiate it from console will be using mod to improve the overall graphical effects that can only achieve through PC.

well at least they are lowering the expectation now, instead of creating a massive hype that lead to a disappointment

its unrealistic to have both demo on consoles, and having something like xbox one which its even weaker as the main platform really kill anything that we can expect for multiplatform games...

so this its expected at least they are honest.

eilegz said,

so this its expected at least they are honest.

No this is not. There's no reason to downgrade the PC version because the consoles can't handle the game at the maximum setting.

I personally wont touch any Ubisoft PC games again unless they are 5$. They are on my do not buy blacklist with Bethesda and others.

I can be wrong, but I think that ubi meant that both: PS4 and Xbox One will be equivalent to the maximum settings on PC.

Jose_49 said,
I can be wrong, but I think that ubi meant that both: PS4 and Xbox One will be equivalent to the maximum settings on PC.

Which means Ubi wont support proper AA on PC which means i wont buy it and after Ubi will blame piracy for the low number of sales on PC while the lack of proper support will be the real reason.

PS4 and XBox One can't be like ultra high on PC because neither of them can properly do MSAA 4x in gfx intensive games at the 1080 res. FXAA on PC for another 7 years AWESOME. Thank you "next gen" consoles.

AA aren't everything. Field of Vision, Texture resolution and Shadows (HBAO+) are more important. I don't believe the consoles have enough power to run true Far Cry 4 at 1080p, with good volumetric shadows and with max textures.

Well doesn't really matter what is more important. I don't think you can say you run a game at ultra quality setting if you are using FXAA ... unless FXAA is the best AA algo found in the in game setting like it is too often the case lately.

Well, after Watch Dogs PC, I'm not paying for a Ubisoft product ever again without thorough testing and reviews. My system runs a GTX780ti and should be more than enough power, but Watch Dogs stutters and slows to a crawl every few seconds making it unplayable for me...it's not even worth pirating ;-) if you haven't tried it yet.

Why would graphics affect the latency of an online connection? You aren't passing the textures back and forth, that's all local, you are just telling the game basic data of where things are.

LightEco said,
.... You aren't passing the textures back and forth, that's all local, you are just telling the game basic data of where things are.

There is an interesting WebGL demo done by MS where all of the particle effects are computed on the server and sent to the client for rendering.

That's a lot of positional data moving around which can result in framerate issues.
The world is changing.

deadonthefloor said,

There is an interesting WebGL demo done by MS where all of the particle effects are computed on the server and sent to the client for rendering.

That's a lot of positional data moving around which can result in framerate issues.
The world is changing.

Agree cloud computing can result in some really cool stuff, however I've never heard of it hurting the title's performance. If anything it should improve the graphics, not cause them to be reduced.

well if the fidelity of the image that needs to be rendered is based on data that needs to pass over the connection (positional elements) then the renderer cant render it until its got the position, so it could make sense. Although I feel this is simple muddying the water (on purpose) because Ubisoft knew god dam well that this game will never look that good on todays gen consoles - EVER! they made strategic decisions to get everyone to turn their heads and start the hype train.

This was running on PC, most likely a monster of a PC but a PC none the less, the code hasn't even been made yet for consoles and this is where the stripping begins.

1: Build for extremely powerful PC for E3 demo
2: start testing on todays consoles
3: Start stripping (I'm talking steamer and massive scraper here)
4: see what it looks like and plays like
5: Start strategic damage control and series of 'leaks' blaming xyz
6: watch the arguments and fanboys go mental
7: profit

duddit2 said,

1: Build for extremely powerful PC for E3 demo
2: start testing on todays consoles
3: Start stripping (I'm talking steamer and massive scraper here)
4: see what it looks like and plays like
5: Start strategic damage control and series of 'leaks' blaming xyz
6: watch the arguments and fanboys go mental
7: profit

Nailed it ;)

What companies should do is to release demos, as well of screenshots advertising their products, reflecting what the games will offer not what it could have been.

I sniggered a little when I saw comments in the forum thread after some amazing screenshots were posted, people thought they were form a console?

I'm not part of the PC super race brigade but I am very much aware that these games are made on the PC and early demos run on the PC and that the PC is far more powerful a platform than any console can ever be.

Those screenshots could very well have been taken from a monster rig - quad GFX cards.

As the dev said its not even running on consoles yet, that's where they need to start to remove bits and pieces to keep the FPS smooth. No point in a gorgeous looking slide show.

Ubisoft have always treated PC like a 2nd class citizen, with poorly optimised, shoddy ports coupled with crippling DRM. The "always on" DRM may be gone now, but you still need an internet connection during first installation for ubisoft games, and when the servers burn out like they did with Watchdogs, many people on PC couldn't even install the game.

Of course Ubisoft will downgrade the game graphically, they don't want certain people on consoles complaining their version doesn't look as good as the PC. And DICE has confirmed there are people stupid enough to complain about that. They claim they had to deal with a large volume of complaints by people whining that the PC version of BF3 and 4 looked better. And have publically accused Ubisoft of "taking the cowards way out"

McKay said,
Ubisoft have always treated PC like a 2nd class citizen, with poorly optimised, shoddy ports.

Driv3r comes to mind here, although it was MORE buggy on the original Xbox than PC! Parralel Lines was fine on console & PC.

Driv3r had so many hilarious glitches it was side splittingly funny!

Considering Turn 10 demonstrated Forza 5 running on a Titan and not keeping up the 60 fps during all the demo in the DX12 presentation, I doubt there is any problem with the hardware in both consoles. This sounds like a project management issue. The game has already been delayed for 6 months, so to prevent another delay, lets cut graphics, so there is less need to optimize and test.

tomasse said,
So, Ubi is "Pulling a Ubisoft" again, (yes, that's a thing, google it)...!

Should it not technically be "Pulling an Ubisoft?"

I heard there is a way to turn on some of the graphical things they turned off on Watch Dogs. I wonder if that will be the same for The Division?

Hellcat_M said,
I heard there is a way to turn on some of the graphical things they turned off on Watch Dogs. I wonder if that will be the same for The Division?

The Worse mod 0.8

The_Decryptor said,
You can turn them back on, but they're buggy, that was the whole reason they were turned off in the first place.

there not actually, the game runs better with them turned on. The dynamic headlights were flickering in 0.7 but thats only becuase it wasnt a feature that wasnt in the game in the first place, he added it.

At least The Division doesn't have to run on the PS3 or Xbox 360. Being "held back" by the Xbox One and PS4 is a heck of a lot better than being "held back" by the PS3 and 360.

coth said,
Though GTA 5 looks much better, main problem of War Dogs was gameplay, not graphics.


Watch-Dogs gameplay was just fine driving was fine as well tho course nothing like GTa it was fine and the rest of the game was fine. i find myself on my friends Ps3 wanting to do stuff in GTA 5 that only can be done in WD while in WD i find myself not haveing the same thing happen as it is natural i guess

coth said,
Though GTA 5 looks much better, main problem of War Dogs was gameplay, not graphics.

And it has some pretty damning visual glitches which are difficult to "un-see" whilst trying to complete the storyline.

notuptome2004 said,


Watch-Dogs gameplay was just fine driving was fine as well tho course nothing like GTa it was fine and the rest of the game was fine. i find myself on my friends Ps3 wanting to do stuff in GTA 5 that only can be done in WD while in WD i find myself not haveing the same thing happen as it is natural i guess

I guess you haven't gotten to the part of Watch Dogs where the main character learns about punctuation.

Skwerl said,

I guess you haven't gotten to the part of Watch Dogs where the main character learns about punctuation.

his punctuation was fine there was a period that was fine and the rest of his comment was fine tho nothing like a college thesis but it was fine

>.> <.<

Joshie said,

his punctuation was fine there was a period that was fine and the rest of his comment was fine tho nothing like a college thesis but it was fine

>.> <.<

I <3 Joshie.

If I'm reading the statement properly, at least some things have nothing to do with what platform the game is running on, but is a result of some server side computations that affect the visuals (and they were adding latency)

Melfster said,
Because they don't want PC graphics to better then console platforms.

I don't really think that's the case. the features were probably too demanding for a big chunk of pc gamers,so they went with the cheaper effects. more people running the game = $$$. sure they could have given them as an option, but why waste time supporting something for a small group when the game was already delayed 6 months?

vcfan said,

I don't really think that's the case. the features were probably too demanding for a big chunk of pc gamers,so they went with the cheaper effects. more people running the game = $$$. sure they could have given them as an option, but why waste time supporting something for a small group when the game was already delayed 6 months?

I'm not a game developer, but why completely remove the better visuals? Why not keep them and just scale down the quality on systems (low-end PCs or consoles) that can't handle it? Or if it isn't something that is able to scale down, substitute it with lower quality visuals on lower performing systems. They've already done the work on the higher quality visuals. If it was the other way around and they started on a lower quality set I'd understand it might not be worth the investment for the fewer systems that could handle the high quality.

Obviously I'm missing something...

Skwerl said,
It costs money to *maintain* and *test* all that code- a lot more than you would imagine, too!

Yet other companies do it. I don't know what is the worst. What Ubi did with Watch Dogs (and will do with the Division) or the fact that people still defend them.

At the very least if Ubi can't deliver they should stop to market their games with gfx that wont see the light of the day even for those having sli 780ti.

TBH, I don't even think most single GPU PCs today can truly handle consistent performance with today's technology. Not en masses. Maybe with Skylake, DX12, and the next gen GPUs. The Nvidia 800 series is supposed to outperform the 700 series for lower cost.

We'll see. BTW, where's all the G-Sync monitors?

Sraf said,
but is a result of some server side computations that affect the visuals (and they were adding latency)

Which everyone knows is complete BS.
SimCity, anyone?

Sraf said,
If I'm reading the statement properly, at least some things have nothing to do with what platform the game is running on, but is a result of some server side computations that affect the visuals (and they were adding latency)
Which if you ever worked on a multiplayer game, knows that that is a load of bull.

Multiplayer games don't report back and forth with every detail. The information transferred between servers should be the same at minimum detail as maximum. All that needs to be communicated the the position and other attributes of the given models.. details like fog, grass, leaves, etc would all be done client side.


I think the real reason is they don't want the PC version to look better than those on the next gen of consoles.

And this is all true, I was just restating what the guy said, but slightly differently.

Hell, there's only one thing that I can think of at the moment that would increase latency and that's by have a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) number of server controlled, client synced AI characters. And this game doesn't have enough AIs on screen at a given time to do that

So unless they are literally rendering parts of the scene on the servers, I to am uncertain as to what they are talking about

panacea said,
ok, i understand they cut in out of consoles release.

Why did you have to cut it out of PC release then??????

Didn't you know...new gen consoles are just as good as PCs! /s

Lord Method Man said,
Because they don't want people to see how absurdly underpowered these next-gen-in-name-only consoles are compared to even a mid-range gaming PC.

This.

Lord Method Man said,
Because they don't want people to see how absurdly underpowered these next-gen-in-name-only consoles are compared to even a mid-range gaming PC.

Why? What does Ubisoft have to gain by this? I would understand If it was Microsoft or Sony, but Ubisoft is going to release this game for PC too correct?

sagum said,
Don't worry folks, I'm sure ubisoft will be nice enough to let us have full graphics back via DLC.

Season Pass = 1/2 of RRP
- First installment: Fog
- Second installment: Sky
- Third installment: Grass

sagum said,
Don't worry folks, I'm sure ubisoft will be nice enough to let us have full graphics back via DLC.

UBISoft...because you thought EA was the worst gaming company ever...someone's always trying to one up the next guy.