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Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn Tweak Guide (Page 2/4)

Posted: November 8, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Configuration Program - Basic Tab

There are four different tabs to the Baldur's Gate 2 configuration utility: Basic, Hot Keys, Gameplay, and Graphics. The first of these tabs, the basic tab, has four sliders that need to be tweaked. The first slider is the difficulty slider - I know, not much of a performance tweak, but you'll want to set this to the appropriate setting. Then, you have the three sliders on the right - General, Graphics, and Sound. The general slider effects the these three settings:

- Frame Rate - This tells the computer how many frames per second to play back. If you set this lower, it will slow down the game and if you set it higher it will speed up the game. You will probably only want to set this below 30 if your computer is dropping frames due to lag - I have mine set up to 60 with no problems (and all the characters walk really fast now as well).
- Path Search Nodes - The higher the number, the better your characters will find the quickest route between two points. Turning this down will speed things up, but your characters might get stuck occasionally.
- Enhanced Pathfinding - Turning this on will also increase your characters chance of not getting stuck, but it slightly decreases performance.

The Graphics slider affects these settings:

- Game Resolution - 800x600 or 640x480 by default, I'll show you how to unlock other resolutions a bit later.
- No Translucent Shadows - Turning this on blends shadows with the background - definitely better looking than solid black, but slows the computer a bit.
- Disable All Static Animations - Enabling this will give you a performance boost but it'll kill a lot of the game's ambiance by turning off a lot of little features.
- No Large Static Animations - Same as above except this refers to large animations like water ripples and the like.
- 3D Animations - Turning this on looks a lot cooler and on 'some' computers can even give a performance boost - computers without a competent 3D card though should leave this off.
- Enable Brightening - This setting enables brightening spell effects.
- Mid Level Brighten - This setting tells the game to brighten spell effects when necessary.
- High Level Brighten - This setting will brighten all spell effects for visual quality.
- Force 50% Transparency - This sets fast transparency, which will speed up performance at the cost of quality.
- Disable Casting Glows - This turns off some of the casting effects in the game - disabling it will speed stuff up.
- Disable VEF Vid Cells - This setting disables some of the spell effects in the game.
- Tiles Precache - Turning this up will increase load times but improve scrolling speed within the game.

And the sound slider effects the following settings:

- Footstep sounds - Self explanatory, don't you think? Turning this off will increase performance slightly.
- Attack sounds - Another self explanatory one - wow, this really makes my job easy. Turning this off will increase performance slightly.

I would personally set all of these sliders to high and then go to the Gameplay and Graphics tabs and enable/disable the settings that you want (no, I won't make you read the same definitions again). Just for your information, the MHz ratings that they recommend for those slider settings are a little bit under-estimated - if you decide just to use those and not tweak anything else, you can still probably set the sliders one or two notches above what they recommend for your system and still get satisfactory performance.

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