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Tech Tips

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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 12-11-99
   

Tech Tips - MailBag for Quake 2 Tweaks from 12/04/99

This is where your gaming and hardware needs are met.  Be all that you can be or get out of the game!  This won't be a forum for techno-geeks to find more ways to impress their non-technical friends, it's for plain folk who need help to better their gaming experience. But don't blame us if you blow your machine sky high; we're offering tips, not the Bible on computers. The mailbag is alive and well - send in those questions to TechTips.

by Love2Play



12/11/99: Tweaks? why?

 

Subject: Tweaks and netplay
From: Soul Colossus

i thought client side options, including graphics, didn't effect netplay, and how does it effect netplay? also, IM going to be getting an A-Bit motherboard, a nVida GeForce, and a new sound card, pretty sweet stuff, no more slowdown problems for me!

-Soul Colossus

Simply put: Your modem sends and receives info on the Internet. The speed of your computer is how fast that will be sent. Then, your modem chokes on it if your computer is too fast for the modem (and your connection). And receiving is the same issue. Your modem has to receive, andthen your computer has to "translate" what it just received and show it to you on the monitor. And you will be suffering from a delusion if you think a faster machine will make your online performance faster; that all depends on your modem and connection. A faster computer does not guarantee a faster online game (review the choking modem thang). It does, however, make the need for tweaks greater. <g>

Subject: Teaks on LAN?
From: Rusty


Are these tweaks necessary if i am on a lan and have one of those overpowered computers? What are the best settings for lan play (i.e. What rate setting and should lag be worried about?)

On my LAN I use the same tweaks less the rate and maxfps. There is no real reason to limit those if you are playing on a two computer LAN. If you are playing with more on the LAN, you may want to go with a rate setting so the players don't suck all the juice out of the server. This would be especially true if the server computer is also used for playing.

 

Rate settings

Subject: Rate
From: Mike

I saw your recommendations for the rate settings depending on the modem. How much of that is related to the sign on speed? i sign on at 19200 and if i set my rate to 3000 i get packet loss, even at 4000 there is some so just messin around i set it to 5000 and i don't get as much packet loss if i do get it its because i got a ping spike or something like that.my fps is set at 31 also.

The recommendations are for modem speed because the modem is the first stopping point of your "transmission". Then it goes through the connection. You can have a connect speed of 19200 that is more stable than someone connected at 44000, if your ISP is supplying that 19200 more reliably than the guy with 44000. There are many users who get a connect speed of 44000 but it drops to 19200 and bounces around. There are so many variables in your connection that we can't give a specific setting.

Between the ISP and Modem articles then the Tweak guide, we just try to supply enough info for gamers to be able to find the right settings for themselves. What makes it hard is the different machines, different ISPs, different modems, and different phone lines. It's really a personal crap shoot. We can't give the exact settings for every gamer.

Subject: Ping?
From: Bill

i have a home built computer 500 P3/ 128 meg of 100mz ram/ asus board 13 gig ibm 7200rpm hard drive and a usr v90 2x modem .i get on the internet at 50.666 when i play quake 2 on line every game room i go in i freez up THIS IS PISSING ME OFF . can you tell me how to slow down the ping rate mine is to high all the time over 1000 all the time .

This is a perfect example of the belief that the faster the machine, the faster your game will be online. NOT! The first thing you need to do is make the suggested changes to the config. You won't see any changes in gameplay without turning that bad boy down in your config. That is way too much machine to try to stuff through a 56k modem. Sorry to cause you guys pain, but trying to game on that much machine on 56k is like trying to pee a bowling ball...it's slow and painful.

Next, return to our ISP and Modem articles and review. I will also say that you are on a huge provider that has a lot of users. That is probably a large factor in your lousy ping.

Pissed about particles

Subject: Particles set to "0"
From: SPH

Last TechTips included a tip to set cl_particles to 0, thereby saving on lag. Small problems - rocket, blaster and grenade trails are all invisible, making your job that little bit harder. The biggest problem, though - Railgun shots are absolutely invisible, so if you're being hunted by a mad railgunner, you're most likely not gonna know until you see another player disintegrate or you get a slug up yer ass. Bad news, when the saving on lag would most likely be very small (since particle effects are most likely done client side (that's why it has the cl_ prefix, rather than sv_ for server), therefore it shouldn't go through the modem and eat bandwidth (although being primarily a LAN player, my experience with lag is limited, and cl_particles could make a huge difference for all I know). Still, the prospect of unseen railgun slugs flying around me doesn't appeal, no matter what the benefit may be...

Thanks for that one disclaimer on our behalf that you are primarily a LAN player. <g> And you are one of two people that were upset with this suggestion. The other guy was just plain rude so he doesn't get his e-mail up in lights - heh!

The deal is that particles, a.k.a. gunspray, are a lot of graphics for your card to render. And you are already online and running the game...that's hard work for your computer. Lag is not just about Internet lag. it's also about computer hardware trying really hard to do something like show all those crazy grunts running around in highly graphical environments and shootin' off their rockets (ooh). And then there is your own gun sprayin' stuff everywhere (messy, messy). That is a lot for your computer to do. Turning off your particles will make your viewing smoother. Ever notice how much slower your viewing is when there are more people in the map and all shooting at each other? Your computer/video card has to show you all of that action, and sometimes it's too much. Same with gun spray particles. We did make a note that it is more difficult to aim and you have to make a choice on what works for you.

Last note on this: try it with particles off. You don't like it? Turn 'em back on! Doh!

One more for the road

Subject: Voodoo3 PCI
From: Bob

Hello, I was reading up on tweaking the bios settings, and I have a question about the setting for the video card. I do have AGP on board, but My Voodoo3 3000 is a PCI card ( I don't have an AGP slot ). Should I still set the Bios to first detect AGP or PCI ? Thanks, Bob

Ok, lets back up. What you have is a motherboard with no AGP slot. However, your BIOS lists AGP settings. Those are two different things. The BIOS was written for many motherboards. It is not specific to yours. If there is no AGP slot, then there will be no AGP function nor will there be any AGP cards put in. Or, you are saying you have an onboard AGP video card(yuck) and if that is the case if you don't disable it, you can run into problems trying to run both since the Voodoo3 is both a 2D and 3D card(and probably better than a built-in video card). And if you are using the Voodoo3 3000 PCI as your video card, there is no use for ANY AGP settings.




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