How did your computer cope?
Or are the days long past that an asteroid field like this caused the dreaded 3fps madness?
It wasn't my computer, but it was coping more or less ok. To put things in context: It was a PC at an internet cafe I found myself in a few weeks ago. As soon as I realized that I was seated at one of the few "gaming spec" PCs they had there (Intel i5 with NVidia GTX 970), I thought it was a great opportunity to fire up Oolite and try to see what it would take to bring it to its knees on a high end system.
So I downloaded the game, my fav oxps and the almighty debug console and went for it. I set it to 1920x1080 fullscreen res and spawned a silly amount of asteroids and many fighters just to see at which point it would start affecting the game. This is what things were looking like when the earlier shots were made:
Some comments: We are at 30 fps on a GTX 970 high end gfx card, but we also have 1036 entities active on the system, which is really a lot of entities requiring update per frame. However, the main performance hit in my opinion is related to collision detection: there is an unholy amount of collision checks going on (317192 when typically it rarely exceeds 1000) and, considering this, I think that 30fps should actually be quite ok. It is possible that the real bottleneck was the CPU, but unfortunately did not think of profiling the universe activity to be able to confirm. Another thing to note is that I found the AI very able in avoiding collisions with the asteroids, which resulted in a really interesting, high suspense battle.
So yeah, overall I think that a medium system would find itself in difficulty in such a scenario. High ends should be playable, but maybe not optimal. But I think that only lower-end ones would have to live with the 3fps nightmare.