Check your graphics settings are configured!

I should know better, I was until just over a year ago an IT Manager. I spent many years fixing people’s computers, building my own and generally fighting with the sloppy handiwork of Microsoft and other developers.

But when it came to home and gaming I always needed a break from the day job, so I’m very lax about game performance optimisation. I’ll check out the frames-per-second value in game to see if I’m getting something vaguely good but I have zero interest in playing for hours with arcane settings.

So I randomly realised yesterday, reading an article on Massively with a screenshot from Tera that the game I’d played for 26 levels looked very different from the screenshots. Exhibit A – my view of the world of Tera before:

TERA_ScreenShot_20130121_201655

I looked into the graphics settings, and noticed it was set on minimum, anything in the distance was so basic texture-wise. This is on my relatively new Alienware gaming laptop which copes with all games at high FPS on at least medium high settings. Some games can play with everything on max. Astonished that Tera’s auto-detect system had condemned my hardware so thoroughly I dialed the graphics from zero (zero!) up to the highest setting of six:

TERA_ScreenShot_20130128_214306

All of a sudden I can understand why people say it’s a beautiful game. Now I’m remembering the gameplay videos from the beta era and realising I’d forgotten completely what the game *should* look like. I suspect there’s a bug in the auto-detect routine somewhere, all MMOs do this automatic default configuration when you first launch them to set the graphics at a level to balance play performance with graphical quality.

As I said before, I should know better. But my first 20 levels were in the original trial and I assumed it was the ‘low res’ client download, like LoTRO used to have for trials. The character animations were always great, but the backgrounds were super ugly and bland. Not anymore! It’s always worth checking graphics settings in any game…

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