Tweaq187’s Graphics tweak for AOW

I decided to post this thread for those who don’t know that your AOW/AOK game can be played much better with your PC’s performance. Although the game has a Minimum and Recommended system requirements for the game to run smoothly,

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we can’t deny that there are still other players out there who lack some hardware components (or not even totally complied with the system requirements) yet still suffer with some graphics lag while playing the game for some other issues (like video card and RAM issues & etc) that slows down their system. Include me on the list of those players who suffer graphics lag for some graphics issue.

I will present to you some basic tweaks on how to enhance your pc’s performance while playing the game. I just found this tweak from Age of wushu’s forum and this works for me, I’m not sure if it works for you but there’s no danger in trying, just REMEMBER, TAKE YOUR OWN RISK! Don’t blame me! :p :v

 Credits to: Tweaq187 
Tweaq187: “As I normally end up doing with a new game, I have been messing around with the graphical settings to get see what improvements are there to be had. While this covers mainly increasing the graphics detail level, I havent been able to test optimisation or the fps impact these settings have due to not being able to get the game running higher than 60 fps. These settings are all done on an nvidia card, but they should pretty much translate directly to CCC or whatever 3rd party ATI app you use. If you’re using an nvidia card, I strongly recommend you get nvidia inspector, which is available through guru3d: http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/nvidia_inspector_tool_version_1_9_6_5_download.html

ANISOTROPIC FILTERING

Tweaq187: Usually one of the first things I look at is the in-game texture filtering. This can usually be the cause of texture blurring problems, even appearing like it isn’t actually running at 16x AF at times. This can be attributed to tri-linear optimisation and lower filtering quality to help give a FPS boost, but AF has little to no effect on most modern cards. Previously I have net a FPS gain simply from forcing AF at driver level, so even if you dont pickup image quality you might gain a few FPS.

To do this, you’ll need to start by completely disabling Anisotropic Filtering in-game. Easiest way to do this is to move the slider all the way left in video options. From there its a matter of forcing it at driver level.

Open nvidia inspector, and click the profiles button highlighted here:

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Select the AoW profile (Jiu Yin Zhen Jin)

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Then go to the texture filtering section and change the following options:
Anisotropic filtering mode: User-defined / Off
Anisotropic filtering setting: 16x (set lower if it has an impact on your fps)
Anisotropic filtering quality: High quality (set to quality if it impacts your fps)

An interesting option here is Anisotropic filtering – LOD bias. Setting this to a positive value will blur the image, but setting it to a negative will sharpen it. I set mine to the sharpest setting i could, -3.0 due to some of the low resolution textures the game uses. Having said that it wont magically turn low res into high res textures, but any gain in clarity at this point is win IMO.

ANTI-ALIASING

Tweaq187: AoW uses FXAA & MSAA. My experiences with FXAA is that its a last resort option, i personally dont like how it looks at all and only use it if you’re given no other option. It does require less resources so if you’re running a bit tight with requirements it might be a viable trade-off. It tends to blur the images and doesnt do a terrific job at removing aliasing (jaggies) either, having said that some people swear by it.

Setting anti-aliasing through the video options menu in AoW is a little confusing. It has 3 separate AA options, with no explanation on what each of those specifically does. With a bit of messing around ive been able to get some sort of understanding.

The main drop-box with a numerical value is the MSAA setting. It is limited to a maximum of 4 however, but you can squeeze 8xMSAA if you edit the system_set.ini (located in \bin\ folder) and change the “multisample” option to “multisample=8_SAMPLES”. I did try 16x but the game automatically reverts it back to 8, so thats a no go.

The checkbox below that window is the FXAA setting. Its either enable or disable, but for a sharper and better quality image i strongly recommend that you leave this unchecked and run 2xMSAA. I had an issue with the game not totally disabling FXAA too. To double check this, edit the system_set.ini file again and make sure the “FXAA_qualty” setting is set to 0. If its not, update that.

The third AA option is at the bottom left of the screen, with post processing settings. This is the checkbox for the “foliage blend” option, and enbabling that removes a lot of the shimmering you get from trees & grass whilst giving it a much fuller look to it. I use this setting, but if you’re low on GPU resources this might impact on your FPS too much. Give it a try, and if you’re looking to boost your FPS make sure this is disabled.

Heres a quick image of the 3 options:

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DRAW DISTANCE

There are 2 settings in the system_set.ini file related to draw distance. visual_radius & grass_radius. You can adjust these to a quite high setting like 1500 / 500 however it does introduce a heavy periodic framerate stutter which does not appear system dependent. Any higher than “visual_radius=500” & “grass_radius=200” caused this. I have a high end system running on a SSD and this made 0 difference so its an engine related issue. Its not a problem anyway if you dont go too far past 500 visual and 200 grass. Have a play around, you might need to run slightly less if you find it impacts heavily on your FPS.

There was one other setting in system_set.ini file named “grass_lod”. Seeing as though all the other settings maximum were 2 in this ini file, i changed it to 2 but i couldn’t tell a difference. Again have a look for yourself, i might have completely missed its effect.

WIP

Normally I try to run the game downsampled. Info on and how to downsample here: http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=346325

It effectively runs the game with 2x supersampling, however the game does not want to load with 2560×1440 resoultion and does its usual revert to its whacky 1920×1040 res. This is the same if you edit the resolution in the ini, or set it in the launcher.

Driver level AA could work still, it would just require a lot of experimenting. I’ve spent a bit on it but have not been able to find a compatibility setting that allows you to take control of the AA through nvidia inspector. If anyone has any success with this it would be great to know.

SweetFX. Not sure of the ToS issues here, but it seems to operate within them. Regardless the 5mins i spent on getting it to work were un-sucsessful. Any shared experience here again would be a help, although im somewhat reluctant to experiment with it until snail has ok’d the use of it.

There are some lighting settings at the bottom of the system_set.ini which i did not touch as lighting is not my thing. Im sure someone with experience might be able to get a bit more / tweak the palette a bit like you would with something like SweetFX.

And finally the SLI profile. Cant tell if SLI is working properly at the moment, but there isnt any use in using it until you can force AA through inspector.
TL;DR

FORCE AF AT DRIVER LEVEL:
* Move in-game anisotropic filtering slider all the way to left
* Set Anisotropic filtering mode: User-defined / Off
* Set Anisotropic filtering setting: 16x (set lower if it has an impact on your fps)
* Set Anisotropic filtering quality: High quality (set to quality if it impacts your fps)
* Set Texture filtering LOD bias: -3.000 (negative values give sharper filtering)
* Set Texture filtering Negative LOD bias – Clamp

DISABLE FXAA:
* Edit system_set.ini, change value to: “fxaa_quality=0”

INCREASE AA:
* Check Anti-Aliasing box on left of video options to enable foliage blend (may impact fps)
* Edit system_set.ini, change value to: “multisample=8_SAMPLES” (for 8xMSAA)

INCREASE DRAW DISTANCE:
* Edit system_set.ini, change value to: “visual_radius=500” (do not exceed, smaller value may increase fps)
* Edit system_set.ini, change value to: “grass_radius=200” (do not exceed, smaller value may increase fps)

OTHER:
* Edit system_set.ini, change value to: “grass_lod=2”
* In video options, disable ambient occlusion & bottom left anti-alising option to increase fps

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