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Doom 3 Tweak Guide

[Page 6] In-Game Settings (Pt.2)

Advanced Options

High Quality Special Effects: With this setting set to Yes, Doom 3 will use a range of advanced graphical techniques to increase your immersion in the game. For example, looking at a column of fire will produce a highly realistic heat haze effect. These effects take some graphical power to produce, so disabling this option (setting it to No) will improve your performance at the cost of realism and immersion.

Enable Shadows: This setting determines whether you see any real-time shadows cast for objects in the game. If set to Yes you will see most objects casting very realistic shadows, which move with dynamic sources of lighting (such as swinging lamps for example), however your FPS will be lower as your system has to do more calculations to determine where shadows are cast at any point in time. This is particularly noticeable when there are multiple characters/enemies on the screen, as they cast very complex shadows. If set to No, these shadows will disappear, although this doesn't mean all the areas of darkness in the game will be removed. Your performance will improve, but the atmosphere of the game may suffer somewhat. If you feel comfortable turning this option off, then the performance improvement (which is significant on many systems) may be worth it.

Enable Specular: If set to Yes, specular lighting gives the surfaces of objects, ranging from metals to skin, a realistic sheen. When combined with Bump Maps (see below), this option creates a very plausible illusion in Doom 3 that your surroundings are real. However obviously it reduces performance, so if you're after more FPS and don't mind the drop in realism, set this option to No.

Enable Bump Maps: Bump mapping is an effect which makes 2D textures appear as though they are 3D, with depth and grain. If set to Yes, surfaces will appear much more realistic, especially when light shines on them, however your performance will be lower. Again, if you can do without this effect turn it off.

Vertical Sync: Vertical Synchronization (also called Vertical Sync, or simply VSync) is the synchronization of your graphics card and monitor's abilities to redraw the screen a number of times each second (measured in FPS or Hz). If VSync is disabled (set to No), you may see some image "tearing" as your monitor and graphics card go slightly out of synchronization when the refresh rate exceeds the monitor's abilities, however your FPS can now exceed your monitor's refresh rate. For more details, read my Gamer's Graphics & Display Settings Guide. There is something important to understand when talking about VSync and Doom 3 though - the Doom 3 engine is specifically capped at 60FPS, so normally you cannot exceed this framerate regardless of your VSync setting (you can exceed it by using the com_fixedtic -1 command - see Advanced Tweaking section). You can still have a refresh rate higher than 60Hz, it's just that your monitor will simply show some frames more than once. It is always recommended that you have as high a refresh rate as possible to ease eyestrain (See Advanced Tweaking section). Whether VSync should be on or off in Doom 3 is not set in stone - it differs by system. Some people have reported to me that they get better, and more importantly smoother framerates with VSync enabled (Set to Yes). Others show through their Timedemo results (See Neat Stuff & Conclusion section below) that having VSync off improves their average FPS. You will need to experiment, but to begin with I recommend firstly checking your graphics card control panel to ensure that the Vertical Sync option there is set to 'Application Preference', and then in Doom 3 set VSync Off. If you are happy with it, keep it off, however if you find the image "tearing" too annoying, or want smoother FPS, then set VSync back to On. Also run a Timedemo with VSync on and off and see what your particular results show.

Antialiasing: Antialiasing is a method of smoothing the jaggedness of lines in 3D graphics. For more details see my Gamer's Graphics & Display Settings Guide. This setting has (up to) five options: Off, 2x, 4x, 8x and 16x. When set to Off, there is no additional Antialiasing used, unless you have forced Antialiasing enabled in your Graphics card's control panel. Antialiasing set to Off provides the fastest performance. When set to 2x Antialiasing, this uses your graphics card to smooth out jagged lines at the cost of some FPS. Higher levels of Antialiasing will reduce FPS even more, but smooth out jaggedness considerably, particularly for distant objects. Note that if you have any level of Antialiasing enabled in your graphics card control panel, they will override these settings. If you want to use Antialiasing in Doom 3 I recommend selecting 'Application Preference' (not '0x') in your graphics card's control panel and then setting the AA level in-game here. For most people however I recommend setting Antialiasing to Off since it is a major performance drain, and Doom 3 is a game which really doesn't require antialiasing at any resolution - the jaggedness of lines is barely noticeable.

Once you're done with these options click 'Close Advanced Options', then click 'Apply Changes' to put them into effect.

Defaults: If you want to return to the default settings for the game, click this option. Note that doing this will mean you will lose all your existing customized in-game settings.


Find Multiplayer Game: In the Game Browser screen you can look for a Doom 3 Multiplayer server to join. At the top of the screen, select Internet or LAN (Local Area Network) depending on where you wish to play. Then click 'Get New List' to bring up a list of all available Internet or LAN servers you can try to join. If playing on the Internet, try to join a server with the lowest Ping, as the lower the ping the lower the online 'lag' you will experience. Once you find a suitable server, highlight it and click 'Join Game'. Note, if you have an invalid Doom 3 CD Key, you cannot play Doom 3 online.

Browser Filter: If you want to refine the list of servers displayed, you can do so under this section. Select the Gametype of the servers you wish to display, whether you want to see Password protected servers or not, and finally in the 'Servers' setting, whether you want to Hide Full (hide servers which are full), Hide Both (hide servers which are full and those which are empty), or Show All. Click the 'Apply Filter' button to use these filter settings in the main Game Browser window.

IP Connect: If you know the IP number of the specific server you wish to join, enter it here then click 'IP Connect' to join that server, otherwise leave this area blank.

[Create Server]

Server Name: Enter a name for your server. The default server name is 'Doom Server', however since your server name is what other players will see in the Server Browser, give your server a unique name.

Game Map: Select the particular map you want the server to run.

Server Type: You can select whether your server is seen on the Internet, or whether it is only meant to be visible to those on your private LAN.

Game Type: Choose the game mode for the multiplayer server, that is either Deathmatch, Team DM (Team Deathmatch), Last Man (Last Man Standing), or Tourney (Tournament mode).

Team Damage: If set to Yes, teammates can hurt each other with friendly fire in Team Deathmatch mode.

Frag Limit: Set the number of frags (kills) the highest scoring player must reach before the round ends.

Time Limit: Set the maximum time limit for each round in minutes. If a player hits the Frag Limit first, the round will end earlier, otherwise at the end of the time limit the highest scoring player will win. If there is a draw the game will continue until a winner is decided.

Max Players: Choose the maximum number of players allowed on the server. This is limited to 4 by default.

Do Warmup: If this option is set to Yes, at the start of each round there will be a 'warmup' period before the start of the actual match, allowing players to join and prepare for the upcoming game.

Allow Spectators: If set to Yes, spectators (people who aren't playing) can join your server and watch the proceedings. Spectators draw bandwidth just like players, so if you're on a limited bandwidth connection note that additional spectators can lag your server.

Dedicated: Select whether you want this server to be a Dedicated Server. This provides optimal performance for the server, however you cannot play on a machine which is acting as a dedicated server.

[Advanced Server Options]

Use Password: If set to Yes, you can set a password (in the Password setting below) which players must enter before they can join the server. This effectively restricts your server to individuals who know the password, and no-one else can join.

Password: If the Use Password setting is set to No (See above), this option will be unavailable, however if set to Yes, this option allows you to enter the password required to join the server.

Remote Console Password: If you want to access this server from another machine, then the password required to access the server using a remote console is set here.

Reload Engine on Map Change: If set to Yes, whenever a new map begins the server will reload the Doom 3 game engine. This can help prevent any engine data corruption and crashing and can improve memory usage, but increases the load time between maps depending on the server's specifications.

Allow Server Side Mods: If set to Yes, this allows the server to run unofficial mods for Doom 3.

Map Cycle Script File: You can specify a script file to determine the order and behavior of map cycling on the server. For example, create a script file called 'mapcycle.scriptcfg'.

Pure Server: If set to Yes, this checks to make sure that people connecting to your server have identical original Doom 3 files.

Configure Server Rate: Determines the maximum data rate which the server provides to individual players. Set it here, and then see the Advanced Tweaking section to modify the data rate more precisely.

Once you've finished adjusting all these settings to your satisfaction, click the 'Create Multiplayer Game Server' button to start your server and it should be viewable to other players.

[Multiplayer Settings]

CD Key: Your CD Key is vital to being able to connect and play Multiplayer Doom 3. The key displayed here is the one you entered when you first installed Doom 3, and it can be found on the back of a sticker on your game manual, or in the game's CD case. You should never need to change it, and of course you should never share it with anyone (See Troubleshooting Tips), however it can be edited here if necessary.

Data Rate: This setting has a major influence on how smooth your gameplay will be online. Make sure you choose the appropriate connection type here. The options, in order of lowest bandwidth to highest, are: ISDN, DSL/LAN and T1/Cable. See the Advanced Tweaking section for more details of how to fine-tune your data rate for even smoother gameplay.

Always Run: If set to Yes your character will run by default when you move around online. This is recommended given the fast pace of Doom 3 Multiplayer. Note this setting doesn't affect Single Player.

Player Name: The player name you entered in the Main Menu should be shown here, and is the one which will display when you play online. See the Advanced Tweaking section if you want to insert special characters or color codes into your player name.

Player Skin: Choose a skin color from the options provided. The color you choose helps to differentiate you from other players online, but only in certain game modes.

Once you've made the appropriate changes, click the 'Save Settings' button, then click on the 'Main Menu' option at the top of the screen to get back to the main menu.

We're done with all the settings you can adjust using the In-Game Menus. Come back and adjust them as necessary, but for now we move on to Advanced Tweaking - the heart of the Doom 3 engine.