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During my time here at mmorpg.com I have posted many screens from EQ2. I get a lot of e-mail asking me how I get game to look so good. So I thought I would post some information that may help some get a better look and still get great performance. These are things I have tried over the years on different systems to tweak EQ2’s graphics.
EQ2 is a bit tricky to get setup right for a great look and good performance. There are a few settings that are more important for graphic and some for performance. I will list a few things that may help some of you get a better look in EQ2 with good performance.
Under option/display check these things this may help.
Unless needed turn off both synchronize refresh and triple buffering.
Use vertex buffers if your card supports it.
Max both graphic res. and lighting res, these are very important to the over all look.
Set rendering distance to 700 to max depending on your fps.
Complex shader distance is a huge processor hog. Set it low to about 30 at 30 it looks great then experiment by raising and check your fps. (In case you did not know F11 will bring up a fps monitor)
Under texture, resolution Max both Texture res and character texture res both very important to the over all look.
Set LOD to medium or low this has very little impact on the look of game.
Atmospheric effects I never like bloom so I have both blooms turned off but have heat shimmer on it has a nice look.
Under water, Experiment but if possible max all of them. If not set cube map to fast or fastest.
Under particle effects, set quality very high and put all the rest of the sliders about half way. Again experiment a bit with higher setting.
Under lighting, set light quality to high or very high but there is little difference between the look of them.
Number of torches to 1 intensity is a matter of choice but I do not like torches the light looks fake so I have them turned off.
The big hog is bumpy point distance set it no higher then complex shader distance so if that is at 30 set bumpy point distance to 30. If all goes well move both up a bit and find the distance you like for the performance you want. Those two really hog the resources.
Shadows are the biggest hog of all! If you PC can handle it max them all however this is rare, you need a great processor to do this. EQ2 is processor heavy not video card.
Now if you have trouble with shadows turn all shadows off accept character shadows. This will have huge impact on performance. Game still looks fantastic without environmental shadows.
Under model detail set all the slider to about the middle, again if all goes well play with bumping them up a bit.
Animation settings are important to the look and feel of the game.
If you can max settings and check cloth sim and cloaks.
Under flora if you can max sliders and check all boxes this really makes the world look great. However uncheck displacement and set both radius and density to about 3/4 if performance suffers.
With the above settings you should have good performance and a good look. You then can tweak them to see what you like. The most important settings to the over all look of EQ2 are: flora, animation, lighting quality, particle quality, texture Res, Character Texture res, graphic res, lighting res, and of course the overall res. which mine is set to 1920 x 1080. I hope this helps and other please post your tweaks to graphics here since EQ2 offers so many choices to adjust graphics it can be confusing. Good luck everyone! EQ2 is worth the effort and set right it is still one of the best looking mmos out.