DAoC is an older MMORPG. However, with some simple tricks (provided that your video card can handle it) you can increase the visual quality by leaps and bounds. Below is a step-by-step guide to make DAoC beautiful again.
You don't need a cutting edge video card, mind you. On one of my boxes, I have a 8800GTS (with only 384 megs of video ram) and I am able to do this with ZERO video lag. Because of this, I am confident that cards even older than that will be able to accomplish this.
This is a guide for people that are not very familiar with their video settings. If you consider yourself advanced, you can most likely just skim this guide. However, I always believe that you can find hidden gems in the midst of things you already know. I'll try to keep things brief yet informative.
Please Note: This will work on many other games as well. Be warned though, some games will actually cough and wheeze with these settings. It is entirely based upon each individual games' developer and how they went about interacting with video. If you apply this to other games, be prepared to change it back if your FPS drops tremendously.
Dark Age of Camelot does not have its own video settings beyond resolution and game-specific visual options. In particular, it does not have settings for Anti-aliasing or Anisotropic Filtering. By using this guide, you can FORCE DAoC to utilize these, thereby making it look as good or better than newer games on the market today.
Disclaimer: The navigation instructions in this guide are based on Windows XP. Sorry – Though I own Vista, I'm waiting for Windows 7. Hopefully you will be able to get there in Vista using these steps as a point of reference.
Onto the guide!
STEP 1: Open your video card's Control Panel. For example, “NVIDIA Control Panel”.
How to do this: If you have an icon in the notification area of your task-bar, right-click it and tell it to load the control panel. If not, you need to right-click on your desktop and load it.
If there is not an option in the context menu on your desktop, you will need to do as follows:
Right-click on your desktop, click properties
Select the Settings Tab
Click on Advanced
Click on the tab labeling your video card
Start the control panel.
ATI Video Card owners will have slightly different steps. It's been years since I used ATI, so I don't have a step-by-step for you. You should be able to find it, though, by basing your actions on getting into the nVidia control panel.
One way or another, we should be in our video control panel.
STEP 2: Navigate to the 3D Settings area of the video control panel.
STEP 3: ANTI-ALIASING
We are now going to alter the Anti-aliasing MODE. This is very important: Set the mode to Override Application Settings. NOT Enhance. Override. For some games enhance may be the right choice, but not for DAoC.
Now for the Anti-aliasing SETTING. Place this as high as you think your card can handle it. My 8800GTS (and better) are set at 16x. If you end up taking this too high, you can always reduce it later.
STEP 4: ANISOTROPIC FILTERING
Again, set this as high as possible. I am able to run at 16x for this as well. You may need to run at a lower setting if your card is older.
That's it! As simple as that. This may seem obvious to some people, but I know there are those out there that don't yet understand all that jazz. This guide's for you.
What are those settings anyway?
Are you wondering what the heck those settings do? It's actually fairly simple.. On that note, these are very basic definitions of these settings.
Anti-aliasing: The primary job of this setting is to lessen or remove the jagged edges around objects in the game – including but not limited to buildings. By default, DAoC is plagued by these nasty jagged edges everywhere. It's even apparent in the official screen-shots for the game (unfortunately)!
Anisotropic Filtering: This setting primarily makes the land (ground) in games come alive with detail. With no such filtering, things are blurred more and more the further they are from you. If you look straight down, you can see the detail of the ground. The further you look at the ground away from your character, the more blurred (or detail-free) it becomes. The higher this setting, the further out from you the ground stays detailed. At a setting of 16x, it is truly an amazing difference!
Simply applying these tricks will bring DAoC alive and make it look as good as other games on the market today (and in some cases much BETTER). Without these settings, you are truly missing out on the beauty of this game.
I sincerely hope that I helped some of you with this guide. If just one person adheres to this guide and is hit with the extreme difference it makes for DAoC, it will have been worth it.
I would like to mention that I do not normally write guides. I have no doubt that this guide is rough around the edges and could use some polish. Keep in mind that I didn't write this to win any awards. I simply wanted to help others see Dark Age of Camelot as I do. =)
Until next time,
EDIT: Further Visual Improvements
I also intended to mention that something as simple as a UI Mod can make a huge difference. The one I am going to mention, "Bob's UI" is much more than a mere UI Mod though.
He has combined MANY UI Mods in one download. It includes an Option Interface that allows you to view ALL options for every aspect of the UI, allowing you to pick and choose what you want in your UI.
Here's a screenshot of just one of many examples:
Here's a link to his website:
I'm serious when I say that using this collection of mods to create your own personal UI makes DAoC look like a game that came out this year. It's amazing what it does for your gameplay in general.
NOTE: I am not affiliated with this mod in any way. I have never even spoken to him. I just love the mod and would like to share it with you all.