2008. május 29., csütörtök

Graphics Pains with Age of Conan

Late into the US holiday weekend, I was finally able to register/activate my game code so that I could play Age of Conan (AoC). I quickly found out that my inability to register wasn't going to be my only problem.

I knew going in that the graphics requirements were pretty steep. I did however, think that my computer, Dell XPS gaming system was up to the test. My only real concern was reading that some players with AMD graphics cards were having issues, which meant that my Radeon 850 XT might give me a problem related to performance. Unfortunately, what I had was bigger than performance problems. First I had the black screen issue which I found an answer for on MMORPG.com. Then there was the screen stutter which I found an answer to on some other web site. After a couple of hours I finally got into the game and created a character.

To even move around reasonably, I had to have everything on low which left the visual absolutely unacceptable to me. I must have good looking graphics. They don't have to be realistic but they have to be high quality or I just can't be bothered. I pushed on anyway to get a feel for the game and then I started getting over heating warning from my graphics card. At first it happened once in an hour, then twice then every few minutes. I would stop playing for a while and turn the PC off. Unfortunately, that didn't resolve the issue for long the messages just kept coming. The card's fan was running and the air flow fine. I went back to the internet, did some research and downloaded some tools. By this time it's Monday midday and I've spent more time on the internet trying to resolve problems than playing.

Finally, I said, 'Screw it, let me go buy a new graphics card before Best Buy closes. Not wanting to jack around, I grabbed the best thing they had to offer since I didn't want to have to come back. I bought the GeForce 9800 GTX and raced back home to install it. I got the thing in and loaded up the game expecting to seem some really nice graphics. Uh not quite what happened. With graphics on high I could barely move. Set on medium it was okay but I had to go into the settings and dial a few things down and remove grass, water reflections and the alike. After doing that I was still sort of lagging and was like WTF? That's when I noticed my frame rate was only 9. My son's computer which also a Dell but not XPS and different graphics card, wasn't having any issues on Medium quality and getting 30+ FPS.

By this time I was annoyed and not very interested in playing anyway. Later that night I did some more research and found an article on GameSpot stating that using High with some very specific changes is actually better for the FPS than using the Low setting. The AoC servers are down right now but as soon as they come up I'm going to give this a try. If this doesn't work I won't be a happy camper. At this point I've been on the internet trying to figure out why I couldn't register my game code, then why I couldn't see anything and now why my FPS sucks, etc more than I've spent time playing. Grrrrrrr.

Source : notadiary.typepad.com

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