So there’s some good news for PC Warframe players coming up this month. Digital Extremes has announced a series of three patches that will reduce the download and storage sizes for the game’s files. The added benefit here is that the game will also enjoy a mild bump in visual quality. The goal for DE is that they’re redoing all the games image files, think JPG and PNG, and recompressing them with a new texture engine that will make them smaller and the compression is only mildly lossy.
That all means that the patches being issues soon, while they’re large in size at first, will confer some major benefits down the line.
“Although it isn’t a perfect analogy it’s similar to the trade-off between image-quality and file-size you get with different image formats: PNG is lossless but can mean very large files, JPEG files can be very small but may contain visible artifacts of the compression,” the studio explained in the post. “The technology we’re using is called Oodle Texture and we’re extremely pleased with the savings we’re getting: our files are roughly half the size on disk and the visual differences are negligible.”
The reason behind this update is simple. Players will get a nice little push towards much better file compression for one thing. The better compression will reduce file sizes of the textures and other items in the game significantly. By redoing the files, DE will also be able to bring the game into a new level of visual fidelity. According to the reveal of this plan, the idea is to reduce the game’s install size by 15 GB. The system requirements indicate that it requires 50GB of free space, so chop a fair chunk off of that post-patch.
The need to reduce file sizes is something that any gamer has felt. The nightmare of download 50-100+ GB of game files is an absolute chore, even on fast broadband. On limited rural connections, digital distribution in this manner can be nothing more than a pipe dream. So while this change won’t make the free-to-play space ninja game much more accessible, the change is still welcome.
The first 6.5 GB update will be delivered soon, and will cover a specific element, lightmaps. This first update will improve the quality of shadows, shader effects and more. Here’s how Digitial Extremes described the new patch: “We spent a lot of time carefully analyzing the quality of the results and we doubt anyone will even notice anywhere but the harshest of tests,” the studio said, adding that it can “easily tweak where needed” with this new system. “The game can default to the compact and fast format and we can increase resolution to preserve the quality of special assets (like that shelf in your quarters).”
Here’s a quick preview of what the update will look like when it changes things over.
The first patch in the series will land sometime this month, possibly this week or next. The first of the patches will be 6.5 GB in size, and to get the full effect of the remaster, you need to get all three. Players will be able to save plenty of space though, so that’s good.