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Udonn Thanii
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PostSubject: Ini- Optimization   Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:07 pm

I. Overview
Vanguard is a game designed to last for a long while. Sigil Games Online wanted to design a game that allowed players to put the best technology to use in what could truly be considered a “next generation MMO.” At the same time, they wanted Vanguard to run in an enjoyable and stable fashion of the average gamer?s system. No small order to be sure. Before I walk you through how to configure Vanguard to work best for you, I want to cover a few simple terms so that you?re clear what I mean at all times.

1.WTF is an ini?: An ini is an initialization file, a type of file that has been around since the days of Windows 95. The purpose of an ini file is to start (or initialize) your settings for a program you run. Windows has its own ini file that sets things like fonts and languages. Vanguard?s ini file saves your settings for resolution and graphical display.
2.Performance vs. Quality: Performance in this guide refers to making Vanguard run as smoothly as possible. Performance is often measured in frames per second (FPS). Quality in this guide refers to making Vanguard look as jaw-dropping as possible. Quality is harder to measure depending on the health and sensitivity of your eyes, but it can be noted in details.
3.High End vs. Low End: A high end computer is one that has better than the recommended system specifications to run Vanguard. A low end system has only the minimum system requirements to run Vanguard. If you?re caught int he middle, tweak the settings until you find the balance of performance and quality you want.
One quick note: Many beta testers found it very useful to defragment their hard drives prior to installing Vanguard. You can access the windows tool to defragment your drive by going to the Start menu–>Programs–>Accessories–System Tool–>Disk Defragmenter.

II. Manual Tweaks
This section will cover the many settings available for Vanguard, both as they are accessed from the user interface (UI) in-game and their specific entries in the ini file. Each setting in this section will reference the name given to it by the UI and list the ini file correlative.

To access the settings in-game: Press the ESC key to bring up the main menu. Then choose the Settings button. The first tab of the new menu that pops up is the Video settings. This is the focus of this guide.

To find the ini file: Navigate to your Vanguard folder on your computer (C:Program FilesSonyVanguard by default where C = the letter of the drive on which you installed the game). Double-click on the bin folder and look for the file called vgclient.ini, which should open in Notepad when you double-click it.

Performance Settings

Render Quality
ini name: RenderQuality=

What it does: Render Quality has 5 settings (Highest Performance, High Performance, Balanced, High Quality, Highest Quality). Manipulating this option in-game enables default settings for everything else in the Video tab of the UI.

You can manually set RenderQuality in the ini file by changing the number that follows the equals sign (=). 1 is Highest Performance and 5 is Highest Quality.

High End: Set this bad boy to Highest Quality or 5 to make items draw in faster and smoother.

Low End: Set this to Higher Performance or 1 to make life easier for your graphics card and processor.


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Resolution
ini names: FullscreenViewportX=
FullscreenViewportY=

What it does: This is the resolution of the game in Full Screen mode. Limited somewhat by your graphics card, higher resolutions make the game look better but can slow down a low end machine. I highly recommend that you set the resolution to the exact same as your desktop. This way, you machine will not have to readjust if you press Alt + Tab while playing to access your desktop.

Vanguard supports a multitude of resolutions to fit different needs and capabilities. The X value in the ini file is the width of your resolution (the first number in a resolution measurement). The Y value in the ini file is the height of your resolution (the second number in a resolution measurement).

High End: Push it as much as you can, but keep it in line with your desktop settings to prevent lag when Alt + Tab-ing.

Low End: Try 1024 x 768 for starters and then gradually see if you can work your way up to 1152 x 864 or 1280 x 1024. Again, keep it in line with your desktop settings.


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Full-Screen Mode
ini name: StartupFullscreen=

What it does: Use this setting to toggle whether or not Vanguard runs in full screen mode. This is mostly a preference issue, but it can be a little taxing on a system to try to run a game in a window.

The ini setting reads as True when the bubble on the UI is checked. When the bubble is not checked, the ini settings reads as False.

High End: You can get away with running in a window if you want to, but I still don?t recommend it.

Low End: You should run in full screen, so make sure the bubble is checked or the ini line reads as True.


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Anisotrophy
ini name: AnisotropicFiltering=

What it does: This makes things int he distance look better, but it taxes your graphics card to do it.

When the bubble is checked, the ini setting reads as 1 (for on). When the bubble is not checked, the ini setting reads as 0 (for off).

High End: Turn on this feature if distant items are looking somewhat bland to you, but note that I hear of even high end owners disabling anisotropy because the difference can be so subtle.

Low End: Turn anisotropy off and give your graphics card a break.


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Hardware Occlusion
ini name: bUseOcclusionQuery=

What it does: Hardware Occlusion runs frequent checks (queries) to determine how much distant data your hardware (processor, RAM, and graphics card) can efficiently draw at a given time. The benefit of Hardware Occlusion Queries (HOQ) is that the game will adjust the visibility for you to meet what your hardware can handle at the moment the HOQ returned data. The downside of HOQ is that your processor has to handle the HOQ, which could be frequent depending on what you are doing.

The tool tip for HOQ recommends leaving it on, but I get better performance most of the time by leaving it off.

High End: If you have a good processor, especially dual cores, leave this on. If you think it?s slowing you down, turn it off.

Low End: If you have an older processor, and especially a single processor, leave this setting off.


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Character Settings
First-Person Rendering
ini name: unknown

What it does: This determines your perspective of the world to be in first person. Using first person or 3rd person is very much a matter of preference. Players can toggle between the views by using the mouse wheel (by default) to move the camera in or out or by pressing the F9 key.

High End: Play to your preference.

Low End: Moving to first person mode in a crowded town gives your machine one less body to render. It isn?t much, but it might give you 1 FPS.


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Show Names
ini name: bShowNames=

What it does: When this is on, the names of all players and non-player characters (NPC) will float above their bodies. Having all of those words on your screen can really slow down performance. This setting can be toggled in-game via the N key (by default).

The setting for on reads as True in the ini file. The setting for off reads as False in the ini file.

High End: Play to your preference.

Low End: Keep the names off unless you need them to find an NPC.


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Show My Name
ini name: bShowMyName=

What it does: When this is on, your names will float above your body whenever the Show Names option is turned on.

The setting for on reads as True in the ini file. The setting for off reads as False in the ini file.

High End: Play to your preference.

Low End: Keep your name off unless you frequently forget who you are.


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Hide Hood
ini name: HideHood=

What it does: When this option is on, you and other players will not see the hood of your cloak on your character. This is a purely cosmetic setting and does not alter performance.

The ini setting is True for on and False for off.

High End: Play to your preference.

Low End: Play to your preference.


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Hide Helm
ini name: HideHelm=

What it does: When this option is on, you and other players will not see the helmet equipped on your character. This is a purely cosmetic setting and does not alter performance.

The ini setting is True for on and False for off.

High End: Play to your preference.

Low End: Play to your preference.
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