Completed - Resolved

Performance grinding to a halt

Glanten 5 years ago updated by anonymous 5 years ago 19

Performance takes a real hit for me. Halfway through a level my framerate plummets until there is visible, jarringly jerky motions of the camera, creatures, enemies, etc.

Trying to drop an imprisoned enemy into my torture chamber is becoming difficult because of the framerate/lag. You think your Hand Of Evil is hovering over the torture device, but once you click and the game catches up with everything, your mouse pointer was actually three rooms to the left or right. You can imagine how frustrating this is. The game progresses for a second, then halts for a second, then progresses, then halts, constantly struggling to catch up with itself.

I haven't tried this in multiplayer.

My specs are below:

CPU: Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4.00GHz

RAM: 16GB DDR 3 @ 799MHz

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

GPU: GeForce GTX 1070 4GB

Please find my output log attached.

Output Log

I've tried lowering the graphics quality, lower resolution, etc., etc. but the game just ends up staggering after a while. Grinding through the main campaign became a chore on the later, larger levels. I am currently trying to play Heart of Gold but the performance has put me off.

Game Version:
Steam Public
Satisfaction mark by Glanten 5 years ago

Hi Glanten,

Sorry to hear you're having problems. Thanks for taking the time to report the issue!

I will pass this onto the developers to see if they can debug the problem from your output log. Our office is now closed over the weekend, but they should be able to look at this early next week.

Thank you,


Hi Stefan,
Would you be able to take a look at this bug please?

Hello Glanten,

the log you uploaded contains an error which happens over and over and might well be the cause of the lag you encounter.

It's caused by at least one destroyed unit still trying to update and causing errors every tick as it looks.
Unfortunately we do not yet fully understand how this can ever happen and we need to investigate deeper.
We didn't see this issue before and wonder if this is always happening when you encounter lag.

Do you remember doing anything specific in all cases it started to lag which might help us to find the root cause?

In case you run into this issue again, can you upload another output_log just to see if it is indeed this same issue all time?

We will keep you updated when we find out more but further hints how to trigger the issue would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help in finding the cause!

Okay, I'll load another map and play it for a bit until it starts to slow down, then post you another output log!

Glanten, did you by any chance possess a unit which died while possessed before the lag occured?

No, I very rarely use possession.

I think it has something to do with spirits. I just played Llevel 12 with absolutely no slow-down until I tortured one of my own crackpots and turned it into a spirit. Then things started to stutter a bit. The more spirits I have, the slower things run.

This seems to happen regardless of whether the spirits were friendly or hostile creatures before they were tortured. I kind of like having lots of lost souls wandering about and spying on the enemy dungeon for me, so it would explain the slow-down on some of the bigger levels that feature lots of hero gates.


There's the latest output log, I hope that gets us closer.

I also noticed that sometimes I can't grab spirits with my Hand of Evil - as though they are busy in combat or something. Might be a separate issue.

I was also getting random "your creatures fight the enemy!" announcements on Level 12 when there were no hostile creatures nearby, but that might be a separate issue.

Hey Glanten,

the log you uploaded contains the same issue but not occuring that often as last time.

How long did you play before you stopped and uploaded the log this time?

Spirits are quite special, how many of them do you have before the game becomes laggy?
Maybe something is too costly about them, might be their scouting algorithm.

We'd need to profile these guys a bit to find out.

> I also noticed that sometimes I can't grab spirits with my Hand of Evil - as though they are busy in combat or something. Might be a separate issue.

You can only grab them while they are on your own territory. Let me know if it is something else but 99% of reports come from not knowing this.

> I was also getting random "your creatures fight the enemy!" announcements on Level 12 when there were no hostile creatures nearby, but that might be a separate issue.

Maybe it is triggered by spirits losing health for some reason, if you find further pointers what could be causing this please create a report for it here on user echo.


With the first output log I had about 8+ spirits.

For the second output log I only had 1 spirit.

I will test it some more tomorrow, confirm the spirit-grabbing limitation, and send you more logs.

We will profile if Spirits do anything too costly if you think your lag is related to their numbers.

Profiling revealed two things. 

1) Spirits can lower the frame rate when many of them are on screen.

 - this is due to their transperancy effects which are a bit more GPU heavy than other units

2) Spirits scouting is relatively expensive on CPU
 - this is because it considers quite many locations on the map which were not revealed for a while to select on to scout for

Now I would like to know which of these both issue impact you more.

I will take a look into the scouting algorithm, if there is anything we can gain without loosing too much scouting quality.

Do you know if the lag you encounter is caused mainly by looking at Spirits or maninly by just having many of them on the map?

We found a few improvements to speed up the scouting and hope this will reduce the lag you encountered at least a bit.

Viewing spirits doesn't seem to bother my PC, but I just played the Rhode level of Heart of Gold and kept torturing heroes until I had over 40 spirits... the lag was strong!


And the save game if you want to look at it.


Although bear in mind I had been playing this level for two hours total, experimenting with spirits and stuff.

I can definitely confirm one thing though - the reason I couldn't pick spirits up before was because they were, indeed, on enemy land. I didn't realise that was one of their limitations.

Thanks again guys, you're all awesome!

In future, if I'm running out of room in my prison, I'll just turn my prisoners into hero-gold.

Pending Customer

Thank you for the kind words! We try ;)

We were able to do quite a bit to reduce the CPU cost of scouting minions in particular the Spirit.

It might not do wonders but it will hopefully let you go further as this seemed to be the main performance hit caused by Spirits.

I would recommend to give it another test when next patch is out, but meanwhile avoid having a huge army of them, because they are indeed quite costly right now.

I just had this problem occur in one of my scenario games.  I think it occurred because a spirit worker was transporting a KO enemy to the prison, but expired before reaching the destination.  The unit resurrected in a doorway and was trapped.

Hey Geoffrey,

Do you have a save file/ output log from when this happened?

Completed - Resolved

For now I'm going to close this ticket as it has been pending a Customer Response for some time. Please feel free to contact us further if you still need support. (By replying to this ticket we'll be able to re-open it :))

Completed - Resolved