64 Bit Client Possible?

Cordovan has teased that a 64 bit client may be possible for the future (HERE).  Before we all get too hopeful he goes on to say that it is as likely to happen as not happen.  With that said, the dialogue is promising.

What exact would a 64 bit client do to improve the game?  There are two sides to this; client (you) and server (SSG Games).

Let’s first take a look at what exactly the difference is between a 32 bit and a 64 bit software.

Computers operate in binary (1 and 0) numbers; each being a bit.  So there are 2 possible outcomes zero or one.  A 1 bit processor can compute 2 to the power of 1; or 2 outcomes.  A 4 bit processor would be 2 to the power of 4; or 16 outcomes.

32 bit processors can compute 2 to the power of 32; or 4,294,967,296 outcomes.

64 bit processors can compute 2 to the power of 64; or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 outcomes.

In a nutshell; 64 bit can process larger chunks of data at a time (which improves accuracy) and it can point to a larger portion of physical memory.

Client Side (you)

If you have a 32 bit operating system and SSG adds a 64 bit option, you will not be able to use it.  You will have to continue using the 32 bit version.  You will see no benefit in the client-server interactions.

Of course, if you have a 64 bit OS, you will see a benefit.

Essentially, both the client and server side need to be 64 bit to see improvements.

Server Side (SSG)

Upgrading to a 64 bit software on the server will allow the internal communications to increase in speed exponentially over the current 32 bit version.  It will boost the performance of the server.

A Final Word On Performance

LOTRO runs on an old engine.  The engine is not fully optimized for today’s computers.  This is not likely to get upgraded as it would me re-coding the game.

Many Devs have had their hands on the code that transforms those 1s and 0s in to the game which leads to inconsistencies and inefficiencies.  The code is not fully optimized; but it is something SSG continues to work on.

LOTRO can only make use of one core of your processor.  Think of two rooms connected by a single door.  Data flowing from one room to the other can only use that one door.  Traffic jams happen and this causes performance issues.  Now picture the same two rooms with 4 doors connecting them (quad core processor) or 8 doors (8 core) etc. and you start to see how games  optimized to utilize many cores perform at a higher level.  This is not likely to be upgraded.

Kudos to SSG for exploring this possibility as it will most certainly enhance the game for many !!!  **Fingers Crossed**

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One thought on “64 Bit Client Possible?

  • whmagill

    There are many issues which a 32-bit vs 64-bit client would address.

    The most important one would be crashes to the desktop related to memory management. Speed (lag) is not likely to be improved by any switch between a 32 and 64 bit client. To the extent that Graphics issues contribute to lag, then a 64-bit client may help, but not likely.

    I run the Mac Client on OSX – which has been a 64-bit operating system since LOTRO was released. There are still memory leaks in the Client, and in-particular, issues relating to Awesomium. There are differences between the OSX and Windows memory management models which are acerbated by the simple fact that LOTRO is graphics intensive. There are differences between OpenGL and DirectX Graphics technologies. Cross-compilers resolve many of those issues, but they also hide just as many.

    The biggest issue facing SSG when considering 32 vs 64 is how long they are willing to support obsolete hardware and software. It’s a marketing decision, not a technological one.

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