In the Forums...
Posted: May 12, 2001
Written by: Dustin "TimmyC" Jones
Tweaking - Graphics Settings
The next menu is the Graphics menu. Herein you'll find the many eye-candy and effects settings. A good portion of these settings just waste CPU time and add little to the game play, but here's the list:
Terrain Detail: This is pretty straight forward. Moving the slider bar up and down increases and decreases the detail of the ground below you. If you've got a slower processor, consider lowering this a bit to save CPU cycles.
Gamma Correction: This setting adjusts the brightness of the game. This is more of a personal preference than a tweak.
Shadow Detail: Sliding the bar up and down increases/decreases the details of the shadows cast from player models. Low makes a blob under the model, high makes an actual shape.
Shape Detail: This setting controls the complexity and amount of polygons used in objects. This one is another CPU sucker, but it also depends on the amount of complexity you want. If you really want to sacrifice the CPU speed for extra detail in distant objects, then set it high; if you don't mind the lack of detail, go with low.
Interior Detail: This setting simply adds/removes little details and features inside buildings. Set this low, lose very little (visually), and gain speed.
Visible Distance: This setting can put a strain on both your CPU and Video Card in large battles or areas with a high polygon count. Once again, this is also a personal thing, so play the game and see how it runs at high visibility, then go from there.
Sky Detail: This setting controls the details and layers of clouds and sky effects that are added to the skybox of the game world. If you have a 32MB video card, set this to full, if you have less, set this down a few notches to one layer or even just skybox only. I wouldn't recommend no sky unless you're running really slowly.
First Person Draw: This setting changes the things drawn when in first person mode. When set to items only, your gun and items will be rendered. When set to player and items, your character's bottom half will be drawn when you look directly down. While cool, it's somewhat of a waste of resources. Set this to items only for better performance.
Precipitation: This setting toggles weather effects on/off. I don't like the weather effects and would gladly take the little frame rate boost. Your tastes may differ.
Dynamic Interior Lights: This setting toggles the dynamic light inside buildings and structures. If you want lots of pretty lighting and what have you inside the buildings, keep this enabled. If you don't mind flat lighting inside, then disable it.
Decals: Like the settings above I gave you, this toggles decals on and off.
Dynamic Terrain Lights: This setting toggles dynamic lighting on the terrain itself. E.g. Lighting from gunfire or explosions. If you prefer the extra realism and eye candy, keep it on. Otherwise, disable to improve performance.
Terrain Details: This setting toggles detail textures on and off. Detail textures add realism and detail to the ground when up close, making it look more 'alive'. I don't see why this shouldn't be on really.