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Posts with tag video-options

Your video settings have changed

Upon patching and opening up WoW today, many players were greeted with the only marginally helpful message "Your video settings have changed." The first question that leapt to my mind when I saw it was "what settings, and why?" It would have been nice to tell us that, I think.

Fortunately, Bornakk knows (I sometimes suspect he knows everything, with that manly beard of his). The answer is that the Projected Textures option, in Video Effects, now defaults to on. I assume players that had it turned off - like myself - had it turned on for us. What the option does is display things like the rune circles for Blizzard and Rain of Fire, which many players were confused to find disappear when patch 3.1 hit. So if you're wondering what the change was, or wondering why you suddenly see spell details that you didn't before, now you know.

Filed under: Patches

The limits of Video Mode Ultra


I think I've found the limits of Video Mode Ultra -- when we first hard in the 3.1 patch notes that Blizzard was adding in a superspecial video mode for high-end computers to use, I was excited. I just recently "updated" my PC (read: "it broke and I had to spend a lot of time and money to fix it"), and it's been running like butter, so I was interested in putting it to the test. The day after the patch dropped, I flipped the switch to Ultra, and had no problems -- until this past Saturday. While wandering around Dalaran, I noticed my framerate had dropped quite a bit. I lowered a couple of the environmental settings just a bit and I was fine again, but apparently even with a 2.5 GHz quad core CPU, 4gb of RAM, and a GeForce 9600GT, Video Mode Ultra is still just a little too hardcore for me.

What's interesting is that I ran Wintergrasp a few times before having those slowdowns in Dalaran, and never had a problem. But then again, Blizzard did say that they had spent a lot of time making sure Wintergrasp was streamlined enough to run huge battles with minimal slowdown, so maybe Dalaran didn't get that same makeover. And I should say as well that I had no issues anywhere else in the world -- even my Naxx run the other evening looked perfect with Ultra flipped on.

Having a "future" graphics mode on PC games is nothing new -- for most games, the highest graphics setting is usually "experimental," so there's a little leeway in terms of release time (the game looks good with current hardware, but even better with next year's gear). And Video Mode Ultra is just that -- Blizzard trying to send a shot across the bow at those who are already saying the graphics look a little dated.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Hardware

Fixing FPS issues with patch 3.1

A few people are experiencing slowdown issues with patch 3.1, and since our last bit of technical help went over so well, we figured we'd do a little troubleshooting for you on this one, too. If your computer is running slower since you updated into patch 3.1, the first thing to do is check your video options -- Blizzard has tweaked a few things in there, and chances are that by tweaking them again, you might be able to fix your problem (or at least make it a little better). Specifically keep an eye out for the new Video Mode Ultra setting -- that specifically is not designed to be used unless your computer is current and top-of-the-line. Shadows also are quite a drag on the video card and CPU, and turning them down won't affect gameplay that much.

If your options are already low, the next thing you might do is check your videocard's make and driver version (scroll down to the "manually" section there -- you don't need to run Intel's program). Nvidia, who makes the common GeForce series of video cards just updated their drivers to version 182.50 on April 2nd, so if you have an earlier version than that, running the update will probably help. If you have an ATI card, you can find the drivers over on their site.

And of course if all of your software is set up and you're still having issues, there's always the possibility of updating your hardware. That can be quite an ordeal, though, so if you're not so sure on how to install new RAM or can't recognize the difference between SATA and IDE, you might want to enlist a friendly techie for a little help. WoW is still very forgiving, but Blizzard has been slowly adding on the graphical goodness, so if you've been playing with the same PC since launch four years ago, it might just be time for an upgrade.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Hardware

New options button in beta

In the LK beta build that just went live tonight, build number 8905, there's a new Options button on the login screen, just above Cinematics, Credits, and Terms of Use. What lies behind its blue mystery? [Edit: apparently it was there in the last build too. I never noticed.]

Unsurprisingly enough, it contains some options that you might want to change before entering the game. Specifically, it has options for video resolution, video effect quality, and sound. For the most part, these are the same options currently available in-game. "Enable Reverb," "Headphone Mode," and "Death Knight Voices" have been added to the sound pane. "Disable Resize" has been added under "Windowed Mode" in the resolution pane; I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, though, unless you kept accidentally resizing the window (which I've never had an issue with, and I often play windowed).

The big innovation here (and yes, I realize innovations in option dialogs may not strike you as particularly interesting) is a master slider for video quality. Now you don't have to fiddle separately with terrain distance and ground clutter density if you don't want to; just drag the slider somewhere on the scale from "Low" to "High," whatever's prettiest without being too devastating to your framerates on your particular system. Of course, there's a "Custom" setting, so if you want to tweak all the little sliders, you are still free to do so. A nice change, and it will especially benefit people who don't necessarily know what all the options mean.


Filed under: Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

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