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xanthus

Xanthus's WWIIOL Settings Guide

6 posts in this topic

Since quite a few people seem to be struggling with FPS or are unclear about the settings and what they do, I thought I would repost this guide from it's original location. I hope someone finds it useful.

Xanthus's WWIIOL settings

PART 1

It's been done before by lots of people, including DOC, but here's my personal take on the settings. It's been done a million times....so instead of just telling you WHAT to set it to, I'm gonna try and explain exactly what everything does in detail, make a recommendation, and then you can try it out and test it for yourself....because I generally don't think there is one RIGHT setting for everything that works for everybody.

If you UNDERSTAND in detail what every setting does, you can try different choices yourself, and see how they work. For example, Because my hardware can handle it, I like to keep the settings fairly high rather than some other people....because I've tested and retested many different configurations and my current settings provide the best balance between graphics and framerate, and that is how my guide is tilted; balance between graphics and framerate.

I'm not a RAT, but I am a lifelong tweaker...and I've been playing WWIIOL for three years.

Info panel

Click "Visual and Performance" because it is a very good starting point. We won't keep the options it sets, but we will use it as a middle point from which to adjust.

Video panel

Video card: Some people may have more than one option here. Make sure that the actual name of your card is selected, and if you have more than one, that it is does not say "SECONDARY".

Resolution: If you have an LCD monitor, I strongly recommend you set this to the highest possible resolution. LCDs are different because they have "native" resolutions, and all other resolutions are sort of artificially "stretched" to fit. The highest resolution of your LCD monitor is your native resolution, and you will notice that games look MUCH sharper in this resolution. If you have a CRT monitor (a box), then the resolution is less important. I recommend going no lower than 1024x768; use it as a starting point, and adjust the other settings...then try a higher resolution and see if it's worth the FPS cost, if any.

No Frame Run Ahead: In my personal experience, having this checked seems to reduce "warpiness" and "laginess" of OTHER players as percieved on your screen. (Warpiness/laginess = You shoot an ei and then he stands there for one second, shoots you back, and then you both die.....or a tank turret skips ahead to the future and traverses to look right at you even though it was facing another direction a split second ago).

The setting seems to reduce FPS slightly, however I find it's worth it in the long-run. If warpiness is not an issue for you, then don't check this.

No Lock to Refresh: Most monitors have refresh rates between 60 and 85 hz (and higher). If the FPS of your video game exceeds your refresh rate, you might experience "tearing"....it's hard to describe but very noticable for some people. Basically it's like a minor discrepancy in two halves of your screen as your monitor refreshes and you move to the next frame...

This setting MIGHT aleviate that by capping your FPS at whatever your monitor refresh rate is (also known as "V-SYNC").

If you check this, and your refresh rate is 60, your FPS will never go above 60. I personally prefer to leave this unchecked; you will generally gain performance on average, and there is no limit to your FPS (I sometimes go up to 100+)....supposedly the human eye can't notice the difference, but I've always felt that if I have 90 FPS and my enemy has 60, that extra FPS might mean the difference between life and death....thought that's just purely my point of view.

Sound

Sound Card: Make sure the actual name of your sound card is selected, and not "Primary Sound Driver". The name of your sound card may be followed by a short series of numbers.

Sound Options: It's self-explanatory in the settings- 3D sound is better quality, and will give you better situational awareness, at the cost of FPS. 2D sound is lower quality, less SA, but you may gain performance. Obviously this depends on your hardware....I would say definitely choose 3D sound to begin with, and only if you think you need the FPS, switch to 2D sound.

Maximum sounds: It can be very important to be able to hear what's happening around you. If you've ever seen a tank shooting an MG but not heard the MG go off, this is probably why. Generally I recommend either 32 or 64. 32 was long considered a "medium" sound setting, and 64 a "high" setting. This does affect FPS. I would start with 64 (because it is important for survival)...and as before, play the game, and if you think you don't need it, try 32 (although not recommended). If you can REALLY afford to lose FPS, try 128...though I personally find it an unecessary loss of FPS because you rarely need to hear that many individual sounds (and if you do, they'll usually either be far away, or it'll be the MG of one of the fifty tanks that's camping your barracks).

Gnasche Edit:If you have too many 3D sounds enabled in WWII Online Settings, then it will dramatically eat away your CPU power. You should check the specifications of your soundcard to know what your maximum settings are. Soundblaster Live cards can handle 32, while all Audigy cards can handle 64.

Ambient sounds: Only for immersion purposes. Set to infrequent for realism. As far as I can tell, it does not affect performance, but the "ambient" sounds are part of the "Maximum" number we just set, so they may replace sounds of shooting etc on the battlefield (rarely).

SPECIAL FX

Clear Viewport: "This option reduces visual anomalies by clearing the z-buffer for each frame. This can be unchecked and to reduce the time required and video driver cycles used to create each frame. This could yield a small performance increase."

You know how sometimes you're flying and you see the horizon looks like square tiles on the edge of the sky? Clear viewport addresses that, and other issues overall to some degree. Generally recommended to leave on.

Shadow Size: NONE!!!! You don't need them! They're totally unnecessary. Wait until CRS employs a better shadow rendering method. In the mean-time, the shasows are just FPS hogs and I personally see no difference in realism with them on or off. To be frank, the shadows were designed with ancient technology, and in fact a great many aspects of the game have totally exceeded them in the years of dev work on this game. I tend to look at the shadows as leftovers of 2001.

In fact, I think CRS should disable them all together to stop certain people from doing certain exploits, but that's another story.

View Distance: Though it's been claimed this can cause drastic changes in FPS, I have personally found VERY little framerate difference between the far and near settings, though this will vary from system to system. You can change this at any time in the game with the F10 key, so experiment with it. If you can afford it, keep it at distant (far), otherwise use medium (far) (very little visual difference). I don't recommend going any lower than that.

Bullet Holes: Immersion and possible gameplay enhancement (you can see where shots land...though technically they're not landing there). This is personal preference obviously....32 or 64 are good options, with 64 being recommended.

Suppress.... : These are pretty self-explanatory, and will give you performance boosts if checked. Experiment with each, though I recommend leaving "Suppress Muzzle Light" UNCHECKED because it is part of your situational awareness and survival.

LOD... : The first setting alters the LOD of images within your field of view, meaning that if a tank is in front of you, it will appear at a higher LOD than a tank behind you (that you can't see), rather than using a general radius. This may cause blocky-looking or poor quality LODs that will switch in front of you to sometimes appear when you turn or look around. Checking this will improve your FPS: It is recommended if you're struggling for FPS, not recommended if you can do without it.

The second setting limits the number of objects, visible and non-visible, which are affected by the first setting (only applies if you have the first setting checked), and I *think* it attempts to correct the issue of transitioning low quality LODs. I recommend that if you have the first setting checked, also check this setting.

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Xanthus's WWIIOL settings

PART 2

Visual / Visual Limits

Dithering: Dithering only applies to people running at 16bit color depth (as was selected in your resolution option in the Video tab). If you run 16bit, leave it checked. If are running 32bit, I recommend that you UNCHECK it for a slight overall performance increase.

I repeat, if you are running 32bit color depth, this setting is USELESS for you.

Texture reduction: This setting generally affects the texture LODs of all objects in the game so that they look poorer quality at shorter distances. Checking it will improve your FPS. Some people may not even notice the image quality difference, but I definitely notice it, and I recommend leaving this setting UNCHECKED unless you are struggling for FPS.

Anti-Aliasing: This smooths out the edges of all objects in the game to remove "jaggies", or ugly jagged edges that are natural in 3D rendering in games. I tend not to notice the jagged edges, though they are noticable in iron sights for rifles. This setting comes at the cost of a significant amount of FPS, but if you have a good system, experiment with it.

I recommend leaving it unchecked, it is generally not worth the cost of fps.

Specular / Multi-Texture... : Leave these both checked, unless you are EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EXTREMELY desperate for FPS; the image quality will be significantly reduced.

Water: Most decent modern systems with up-to-date video card hardware can run the water shaders, and they are definitely an awesome piece of eye-candy, though they come at the cost of FPS. If you can afford the FPS, check "Enable Shaders", as I think the eye-candy is worth the cost, but if you can't spare the FPS, set it to disabled. Note that some video cards may not be able to use the shaders at all.

Visible player limit: This all has to do with CPU, not really video card. If your CPU is 3ghz or more, I recommend setting it to high (important for situational awareness and survival). If your CPU is less than 3ghz, set it to medium.

This is becoming an important setting these days, as brigade play has made battles bigger, with more players concentrated in an area.

Sadly, it does have a big impact on FPS, and even if you have a 3ghz CPU, you may not think it's worth the FPS loss. If you have the hardware, I recommend setting it to high and instead lowering other settings to compensate if you really need FPS.

Miscellaneous

Radial Clutter: Personal prefence has a lot to do with it, but I personally like the radial clutter a lot. It can help make the terrain look less like "golf fields" and much more realistic, IMO. Some people hate it...go figure. Radial clutter does have significant FPS impacts at higher levels.

For overall balance I recommend keeping the "Density" low and the "Radius" high. For a good performance balance, try the "Density" at about the third notch, and the radius at about the fifth notch.

Better hardware can tolerate more, but generally keep the radius higher than the density, it will look great and cost you less FPS.

For immersion, I do not recommend you turn it off unless you are absolutely struggling for FPS.

Trees

Distance... : Always move the sliders so that both move at the same time. By moving the "high detail distance slider" to the right, the "low detail distance" slider moves right, and vice versa. These set how far away from you the trees will stop being 3D and change into 2D (which with the current trees is pretty noticable...the 2D LOD of the new 1.19.5 trees is of better quality, IMO)

Keeping the sliders in the dead center is a good trade-off on image quality and FPS. For realism and immersion, I like to set the sliders as far right as possible, and I recommend you do the same...as far right as possible until the FPS loss is unacceptable...everyone will have a different drop-off point.

Tree Resolution: If you have an Nvidia card, you can set this to enhanced for higher quality, sharper looking trees at close range. After testing I did not notice an FPS difference whether it was on or off, but I assume that this setting does influence FPS. If do not have an NVIDIA card, this setting might be available anyway, but if you check it, it will have no effect.

Vertex Shaders: As with the water shaders, up-to-date video cards will be able to handle this, and the vertex shaders are worth it for the eye-candy. If you are absolutely gasping for FPS, uncheck this setting and you will notice an FPS increase. Note that you may not be able to enable the shaders at all if your video card does not support them.

Render Options: It is pretty self-explanatory, but I was confused about the performance impact of this setting in the past, and did a few experiments. I personally noticed no discerbable FPS difference whatsoever, but that will change depending on your hardware. It seems to me that in general it would usually be better to have SYSTEM RAM selected, and I strongly recommend you have it checked, no matter what your hardware is. I believe selecting the Video RAM may possibly cause CTDs, though I have no evidence of that.

The size of your system RAM will almost certainly exceed the size of your video ram, and though the video RAM may be faster, memory space and availablity is very important for a game like WWIIOL, and your video RAM would be better served by being totally devoted to the other parts of WWIIOL rather than share another burden with the system RAM.

Recommend leave at System RAM, unless you have a monster video card with 256+mb of vram (in which case you may see an FPS boost, I think).

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UPDATED OPTIONS for v.1.22+:

VIDEO:

- Noframerunahead has been removed from the options, possibly because enabling it causes too dramatic a loss in FPS. Now that WWIIOL uses a new infantry predictor/movement code, the affects of this setting may be slightly different. It can be found in your WWIIOL.cfg file; you can type "true" or "false" next to it. "True" will stop framerunahead, and "false" will keep framerunahead.

Experiment with each and see what is preferable for you.

SPECIAL FX:

- Clearviewport has been removed. I believe it is now enabled by default and cannot be changed.

VISUAL / VISUAL LIMITS:

Water Reflections- This option will enable realistic reflections in the water, that are fairly subtle but add immersion and realism. These can cause significant reduction in FPS, particularly when you are around bodies of water. However, the FPS impact can be influenced by the next setting...

Time between updates (seconds)- This is the amount of seconds inbetween reflection updates on the water surface....0 is real-time (meaning you will see the reflection of a tank crossing a bridge in real-time for example), and 5 means it will take 5 seconds inbetween each reflection update.

For the purposes of ambience, the difference is nearly unnoticable between 0 and 5, and 5 will give you a large FPS gain.... Though when individual objects, even clouds, move, it can reduce the realism because their reflections are not updated on the surface in real time. Adjust to taste and experiment to see which option works best for you.

Post Render Filter- Originally controversial in its initial implementation, this filter has been heavily tweaked, and now in my own opinion it basically adds a lighting effect to the game which simulates realistic sun lighting, and the "glow" that this lighting causes when it is cast on objects. Enabling this filter will make the game environment appear more realistic; day time will appear like a sunny day, and at night time the moon will glow eerily casting a light blue-ish glow on the ground. In my opinion, the game looks far more realistic with it on than off. In my testing, I had no noticable FPS impact with it on or off.

Enable grass shaders- This causes the new tall grass/flowers to appear more realistic in the light, and adds to realism. The difference may not be noticable, and there may be a slight FPS impact; adjust to taste.

Normal Maps- This adds a very cool effect to almost all brick buildings and surfaces. The bricks will appear to be slightly 3D, with each brick having high definition, jutting slightly outward. It greatly adds to realism and is a very nice visual effect, though it may or may not be that noticable to your eyes. It does have an FPS impact, though the impact may be very slight depending on your hardware.

GENERAL OPERATING SYSTEM TIPS

-----------------------------------

Windows XP users-

http://www.tweakguides.com/XPTC.html

Use this guide, follow the instructions thoroughly. At the end of tweaking, your OS and hard drive(s) will be well optimized for game play. For me, this guide is an absolutely ESSENTIAL foundation for an optimized, healthy PC system.

Drivers

Though user experience will differ, OVERALL it is generally accepted that using the latest set of *official* drivers is best for all of your hardware components. Updating your drivers is very important.

As a side-note, I've been a user and supporter of third-party unofficial drivers in the past, but recent experience has shown that nothing beats official WHQL-certified drivers when it comes to smooth, bug-free, reliable performance.

Motherboard drivers

www.intel.com

www.via.com.tw/en/index.jsp

www.nvidia.com

www.sis.com

Video Card drivers

www.ati.com

www.nvidia.com

Sound Card drivers

www.creative.com/

www.realtek.com.tw/

www.m-audio.com/

Video Card settings tweaks

Your video card has a software control panel which will change graphics quality settings. Basically, it's a see-saw; Better performance (fps) = Lower image quality, and vice versa. Here are some guides that will help you understand your video card control panels

http://www.tweakguides.com/NVFORCE_1.html

http://www.tweakguides.com/ATICAT_1.html

Background services and startup programs

If you read the XPTC guide in full, you already know this. Suffice it to say, programs are constantly running in the background when your operating system is running. Some are necessary and some aren't; these programs DO affect your game performance because they take up CPU and memory resources.

Go to Start, then Run, then type "msconfig" and go to the Startup panel. These are programs starting up with Windows.

- look at the name of the program in the lefthand column, then type in that name in the search box at this site-> http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php

It will tell you whether or not it is ok to disable that program.

- the other issue is your Services. Again, go to Start, Run, and then type "services.msc". You will get a list of all the services which may or may not be running in the background. They can have three settings "Disabled", "Manual", or "Automatic". DON'T FOOL WITH THESE without reading the following guide->

http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm

Look up each service in the index and see what is recommended. The less services running, the better it is for your performance.

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Krieger's General PC Upkeep and Performance Tips (by Krieger)

Updating your Drivers

It’s always a good idea to use the most recent ‘certified’ drivers for your particular hardware. This insures your hardware is performing optimally.

Video: Ati Drivers

Nvidia Drivers

Others

Sound:

Soundblaster

Others

Always follow the instruction provided by the manufacturer when installing/removing the drivers for your particular hardware.

It’s generally important to make sure the drivers you are using are WHQL certified. That indicates they have been tested and certified by ‘Windows Hardware Quality Labs’ to operate correctly with the Windows operating system.

Scanning and Defragmenting your Hard Drive

Scandisk (win98) and Chkdsk (winXP) are applications that scan your hard drive for errors.

It’s important to run these prior to performing a defrag. As they will likely repair errors that may cause defragmentation to fail.

To run Scandisk (win98)

Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click ScanDisk.

You will want to perform a ‘thorough’ scan and select the option to automatically fix errors.

For WinXP

Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. Click the Analyze button, and then click Defragment after the analyzing has been finished.

Defragmenting

The more fragmented the data on your hard drive becomes the longer it takes to access it. This can cause performance issues. Defragmenting your hard drive on a regular basis will help to make sure your disk performance is optimal.

Defragmenting can take some time to run depending on the size of your hard drive. So you may want to do this during a time you don’t plan on using your system, like before going to bed, etc.

To run Defrag (win98)

Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click Defrag.

For WinXP

Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. Click the Defragment button, Remember to click the Analyze prior to Defragmenting.

Microsoft Chkdsk Guide

Microsoft Defragmentation Guide

Spyware:

Spyware is software that is designed to secretly collect and relay information on users. They are generally intrusive and can affect system performance. So it’s a good idea to regularly scan for and remove these types of applications. There are several programs that identify and remove spyware applications. Two common ones are Ad Aware and SpyBot..

Task Bar and Background Applications:

Applications running on your task bar and in the background can cause you system to perform poorly. It’s a good idea to keep on top of what’s all is running on your system. A good way to manage these is to go to Start/Run and type msconfig. This will bring up the System Configuration Utility. From here you want to click on the Startup tab. This will show all the programs that load when you start your computer. Now you can uncheck programs that you no longer wish to load at startup. Be careful here if you don’t recognize a program, you may want to find out what it is before un-checking it. In general avoid un-checking any “System” files like systray or scan registry or anything that has a C:/windows path. *** (Use at your own risk.)***

Video Card Tweaks:

There are many adjustments you can make to your video card settings to improve performance.

Below I’ve linked to a couple of comprehensive guides. There are a couple of quick settings you probably want to adjust even if you don’t bother with the guide.

Nvidia: In your Nvidia display tool select Performance and Quality category, then click on show advanced option and find ‘Image Settings’ and move the slider towards performance vs. quality.

Comprehensive Guide to Nvidia settings

Ati: In the ATI display settings under the 3D tab you should find a ‘Standard Settings’ option with a slider to adjust for performance vs. quality.

Comprehensive Guide to ATI settings

Memory:

Buy More Ram!

Newegg

Mwave

CompUsa

BestBuy

WWIIOL Settings Guide:

The World War II Online Settings application has many options for you to customize the way the game performs on your system. Some of these options can greatly improve or diminish your in game performance, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various settings. For the purpose of this article we are just going hit the highlights. More detailed descriptions for each setting can be found in your WW2 folder in the “Settings” help file.

Video Tab:

Here you select your video card and game resolution. Make sure your video card is the one displayed, also for better performance have your desktop resolution match your game resolution.

No frame run ahead: Selecting this option places special code inline that tries to reduce or eliminate the frame run ahead performance of the card and driver. Frame run ahead can cause lag and cause your game play to be out of sync with other player’s experiences.

No lock to refresh: Selecting this option will free the rendering pipeline to run totally asynchronous to the video refresh rate. This usually provides higher frame rates and better overall playability.

Sound Tab:

The most important thing here is to ensure your card is selected in the drop down menu and not ‘Primary sound device’. Setting 3d or 2d sounds and the maximum number of sounds will depend on your sound card if you have an older sound card you may achieve better performance by lowering these settings.

Special Effects Tab:

Clear view port: This option reduces visual anomalies by clearing the z-buffer for each frame. This can be unchecked and to reduce the time required and video driver cycles used to create each frame. This could yield a small performance increase.

Shadows Size: In general if you’re looking to improve your frame rate set this to none.

Visual Distance: You can get much improved performance by lowering this at the cost of the distance your able to see. You can do this on the fly in game with the F10 key. This is the better option since its benefits are very much situational.

Bullet Holes: For better frame rates lower the amount.

Suppress Smoke/Light/Tracers: For better frame rates suppress these.

LOD Field of View/LOD Limit per Frame: These can improve performance by only changing the Level of Detail of objects you actually see and setting a cap on the number of objects effected.

Visual/Visual Limits Tab:

Dithering: If a player is using 32 bit color mode, there may be a performance savings associated with turning off this option.

Texture Reduction: If you are using older or low memory video cards, you will see improved performance by selecting this option.

Visible Player Limit: Lower end systems will see a performance increase by lowering the amount of visible players. Medium is a good option here for most systems.

Miscellaneous Tab:

Radial Clutter: Disabling this option will provide a slight performance increase.

Trees Tab:

Detail Distance sliders: Lowering these will provide an increase to performance.

Tree Resolution: If you have a NVIDIA card use the enhanced option.

Tree vertex shaders: Most modern video cards will support this option so it’s a good idea select “Use Vertex Shaders”.

Rendering Options: Setting this will depend upon the amount of ram on your video card, and the amount of system ram you have. You may want to try both options and see which performs better for you.

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This is great stuff.

Unforunately, the programmers like to change the Settings ap around a lot. When we get the full wiki kicking, it will be easier to update.

In the meantime, I've put up some pictures of the current settings ap with a few comments.

http://bloo.playnet.com/settings.htm

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