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Multiplayer gaming and visual settings debate

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#1
This topic came up in another forum I frequent, and I thought I'd bring the discussion here as well, to get some more views on the topic . . .

Considering most modern FPS games, lowering the visual settings many times reduces some "level clutter" - whether it's vegetation, alpha textures, pointless objects, etc. As well as possibly removing in-game physics applied to objects and models (ragdoll), removing or reducing particle effects (smoke, fire, weather, explosions, etc.), and can even brighten lighting (forcing global lighting, removing dynamic lighting sources, etc.), amoung other things . . .

Do you feel that it's "ok" to lower your visual settings to give yourself an extra "edge," even if your rig can handle heavier settings?


IMHO, if your rig can't handle running heavier settings, I really don't see a problem with it . . . if it's the only way to make the game run smooth enough for the typical fast-paced action, no big deal . . . BUT, if your rig can handle heavier settings without any hiccup, but you reduce the visuals to give yourself an "edge," I personally feel it's fringing on the line of "cheating."

Now, I know there will also be those who say they would resort to such tactics to "level the playing field" because they know other's will do the same . . . but why do so? If you're playing better than most other players, with the visuals set high, can't you feel some accomplishment in that alone?

What are y'alls thoughts on this?
 
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#2
i play lots of battlefield 2 and modern warfare 2 and i used to run both games all max till i started talking to some people on battlefield 2 saying that i should lower my settings.

i tried the lower settings in battlefield 2 and now i am sniping people across the map (450m+)

i still play modern warfare 2 at max settings though.
 

JC316

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#3
If it goes to the max, then I set it to the max. Plain and simple. I am out to have fun when playing a multiplayer game. Get my ass handed to me, or come out no. 1, I want fun. Not willing to reduce the effects just to win, or get an edge.
 
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#4
We have a guy in our clan that lowers his setting all the way down for that reason, now if he jumps on or i see him in game i leave or dont play lol. If it can do max then it should be at max, he does it to get an edge
 
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#5
I lower my settings in CoD4 to minimize the load on the GPUs, and thus, minimize heat. It can make a significant difference to turn off decals, brass, etc. I play at 1920x1200, 4x AA, max AF.
 

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#6
I crank things up as far as they'll go and play smooth. I know some people utilize lower settings for smoother 60+ frames, smooth to my eye might be lower, I don't really care..I wanna see good eyecandy in SP and MP, the way the game was designed to be seen imo. If some people wanna use lower settings for an edge, then maybe they need the help. I could care less if I'm the worst player in a game ever if I enjoy, if not I'll move on.
 

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#7
IMO, its a failure of a game when players can tweak visual settings to cheat.
 

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#8
yup i think detail level should be reduced but objects should remain so to clutter the "playing field" Only determining factor in any game should be latency and skill, you cant really control latency but you can control skill. Only reason detail level is reduced is so to get more FPS, but there is a limit for the latest video cards, if they had detail level reduced the FPS would be the same as a inferior card
 

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#9
I would always keep my screen native resolution, and reduce other settings to playable framerates.
 

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#10
What ever happened to the good ol days, when you reduced the effects, the draw distance was the first to go, then it was just fog? Tribes 2 was like that.
 

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#11
Reducing settings will always net performance if your rig has an issue with something, it's never the max frames that matter, or even the average, it's the minimum fps that matters. If that dips too low, and you want to remain competitive with every single ounce of your soul, then time to lower somethings, now for those people out there like the guy Boneface knows, lowering everything is just stupid, you need view distance, and why drop everything if you don't have to.

I'm more the person that will play with a bit of choppyness to see the great visuals though.
 
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#12
on MW2, I crank up the resolution, add in 8xAA, make it brighter and I turn off Depth of view.

but way back on the first Counter Strike, Id do a lot of console client side modifications (forgot the commands) to the render to make the textures of the map plain white, remove gun model (r_drawViewModel or something like that), etc. lol.. that really gave me the edge.
 
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#13
IMO, its a failure of a game when players can tweak visual settings to cheat.
Its no more of a cheat than drilling holes in a car frame to reduce weight. With that being said I didn't buy a 5850 to play with mud.
 

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#14
when i play a game i play it to be entertained, i dont feel its a competition. i treat it as if Im sitting down to watch a movie and i dont wanna watch a movie with VHS quality.

the only time i get competitive is if its a racing game or TF2.. but in TF2 there isnt any need to adjust graphics, irrellavant to the game and any edge.

but as for a game like BC2, I wouldnt sacrafice visuals for a few more kills over the experience of the game and how it was meant to be played.. oh god did i just do that/
 
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#15
A very competitive friend at a LAN party who kicks everybodies butt told me this. The higher the FPS the better you play (unless you just suck).

I cant remember exactly what he said but i do know he uses the lowest settings possible when he plays MP. He says something like he gets the edge over people using high settings because he dosent get micro-lag. Saying that while playing Quake 3 (for example) if hes running 250fps he has an edge over somebody playing with say 100fps. He says its not a matter of eye candy, lag or visual quality but a matter of reaction time or something. Idk, hes also one of those guys who has an extremely huge mousepad and uses sensitivity all the way low and literally uses huge swings to turn. Some say its retarded but he still kicks everybodies ass and everybody hates him for it too.
 

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#16
so we can start calling people that lower settings to gain an edge "Mark Maguires"?

$%@#|}{L33t: i pwn you
tpu shev: dude, you hax?
$%@#|}{L33t: nah im stock
$%@#|}{L33t: setting on low tho
tpu shev: on low? why?
$%@#|}{L33t: makes game smoother, a boost in frames
tpu shev: ic
$%@#|}{L33t: ya it make my response time instant, shoots faster
tpu shev: mark maguire
$%@#|}{L33t: ??

tpu shev has disconnected
 
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#17
A very competitive friend at a LAN party who kicks everybodies butt told me this. The higher the FPS the better you play (unless you just suck).

I cant remember exactly what he said but i do know he uses the lowest settings possible when he plays MP. He says something like he gets the edge over people using high settings because he dosent get micro-lag. Saying that while playing Quake 3 (for example) if hes running 250fps he has an edge over somebody playing with say 100fps. He says its not a matter of eye candy, lag or visual quality but a matter of reaction time or something. Idk, hes also one of those guys who has an extremely huge mousepad and uses sensitivity all the way low and literally uses huge swings to turn. Some say its retarded but he still kicks everybodies ass and everybody hates him for it too.
Personally, I think such an excuse is BS. When playing MW, I have the visuals maxed out, and my FPS never drops below 60, but rarely break 100FPS - and I have no micro-lag or stutter at all (except those induced by the connection). Even still, I play much better than the majority of players I'm up against, even with visual "limitations." Once you're out of the 60-80FPS range, it doesn't matter how fast it's actually running, you're out of the range where it makes a difference . . . it's just cheating at that point, IMHO; an unfair advantage over others. If one thinks they're really skilled, they should be able to accomplish the same level of ass-kicking with all visuals in place . . .

This topic originally came up after I was given this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1o_7IzS1Vg&feature=related - and it shows just how much of a difference can be had when some aspects of the visual LOD are removed . . .

Personally - I love playing games with visuals maxed, and there's not much my rig can't handle as it is . . . I believe that if I'm getting the upper hand over those who have to lower their IQ to be competitive, it makes me the better player . . .
 
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#18
Its not a matter of visual fps but more than a reaction fps. Cant really explain it the way he explained it to me. I guess best example i can come up with is the difference between low sensitivity with a high dpi setting on your mouse. In this case, low visuals and higher fps on the pc. Please take in mind that this is the kinda guy that sports a 21" crt to LANs.
 
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#19
I turn the settings as high as it can possibly go. I don't pay for the hardware to not make use of it, and although a less eventful graphics setting (less effects/explosions/dust/etc) probably does make the game easier , it's not worth it to me.

If you take the game that seriously, chances are I'll leave and find another server anyway. I'm playing a game, not life or death where I need every advantage to survive. People who take it too seriously and resort to that type of stuff make it less enjoyable, imho.
 

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#20
Its not a matter of visual fps but more than a reaction fps. Cant really explain it the way he explained it to me. I guess best example i can come up with is the difference between low sensitivity with a high dpi setting on your mouse. In this case, low visuals and higher fps on the pc. Please take in mind that this is the kinda guy that sports a 21" crt to LANs.
At a guess, understanding what you are trying to say, I would think that the higher the detail level, the greater the compute when a trigger is pulled to fire off a shot, for example, the CPU (I imagine) has to compute the weapon, distance etc etc and merge that with the detail and scene and then pass to the GPU at the same time as sending and receiving all that info down your broadband connection, at a guess, the more info/detail involved, the slower the info hits the server and therefore "perhaps" it takes a few milliseconds longer for the bullet to hit the enemy...... not sure if that makes the remotest sense but I know what I am trying to say! :eek:

Having said that, I am a max eye candy kind of guy!
 

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#21
It's kinda sad to lower the settings if the system can handle more which brings to games to mind ones TW PGA 08 with the shadows as when your playing with them on expert a shadow ( from a tree ) can have you reading the green totally wrong.

The other would have to be Arma 1/2 with the grass as it can be turned off to allow you to see 10 fold better.

But to me to lower my settings to take advantage over others i may as well sell my comp and build a cheaper one.

Maybe games\dedi servers need such options to force a required amount of detail so it filters those who can and cannot.
 

Mussels

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#22
one thing that stands out for me, is far cry.

we had a LAN pretty much dedicated to it, and wondered why the people with weak rigs were kicking ass.

Why? we were hiding in shadows and such, being stealthy and sniping. They were looking at bright colored blobs in direct light... they turned shadows completely off.

It goes beyond being a 'preference' or machine limitation, and turns into a balance issue
 

shevanel

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#23
exactly, the "world" as we perceive it isnt the same as the other persons perception. hiding in something that isnt on the other players screen is like a bird sticking his head in a hole to hide itself from predators only to get knife raped from behind.
 
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#24
If you are hardcore enough to do it, then you care about winning. If you're not, then you are more there just for fun. So for those of you complaining about it making the game unbalanced, I'd say either change the settings yourself to compete, or have some cheese with your whine, stfu and have fun, or gtfo.
 

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#25
well what about people that dont even do it on purpose? they do it because they stepped into the game playing the settings that their PC allowed..

i dont know whats worse, camping in bushes/shadows or playing on low res low tex