In the Forums...
Posted: August 30, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Fade - This setting controls how bright the automap is in comparison to the actual game. There are three possible values for this setting; no, center, and everything. No and everything are the best settings - the only difference is that setting this to no is brighter than setting it to everything. Center, as a general rule, because it recalculates the brightness of the automap all the time, slows the computer down a bit and I wouldn't recommend it. I personally find it ugly anyway.
Center When Cleared - The automap, as you might already know, can be moved independently of the character. When this is enabled, if you turn the automap 'off' and then back on again, it re-centers the map on the character. This is a personal preference setting so do as you will, but I have it enabled.
Show Party - This setting determines if your party members (and NPCs) are shown on the map or if they are invisible to you. Disabling this might give a very slight performance increase, particularly if there are a lot of people in your party in a multiplayer game, but otherwise I see no reason not to leave this enabled.
Show Names - This setting shows the names of you, your party members, and any significant NPCs on your map. Just like the above setting, during a large multiplayer game I could see how this might cause a very minor speed impact, I personally don't think it is significant enough to worry about so I recommend leaving this enabled.
I've heard of a few other tweaks that may specifically improve performance, but I haven't verified them so these tweaks should be taken with a grain of salt. The first tweak is to increase the swap file size to at least 256 MB. Personally, I have no idea why this would affect performance if you already have a permanent swap file, but it has worked for some people. Another tweak includes turning down the read-ahead optimization for the CD-ROM drive (system applet in the control panel) to half or no read ahead optimization. This seems like something that should do the exact opposite of what we want, but it has worked for some people (they may have old CD-ROM drives). As I already said, use these tweaks at your own risk - I have no idea how well they will work. When I tried them they didn't help, but at least they didn't break my system.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you improve the performance of Diablo 2 on your system. If you are still having problems with the speed of your system, you have a couple of options. The first, best, and cheapest option would be to tweak out your entire system using our tweak guides. If you have already tried that and things are still not running the way you would like, you might consider adding more RAM to your system or possibly upgrading either your CPU or video card. Now, I personally wouldn't recommend upgrading your system for one game, but if you play a lot of games and you really have to work with them to get them to run well that is definitely an option. As always, feel free to e-mail me with your comments and questions - I can't always promise a response but I do read every email I receive.
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