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Video And Performance Tweak Guide

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IntroductionEdit

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has stunning vistas and fascinating characters in abundance. To see it in all it's glory takes a pretty current system. But FEAR NOT! This engine is highly scalable and even with a somewhat weak system (like mine) you can still see sights to make your jaw drop in sheer wonder. LotRO @ Curse has developed this Video and Performance Tweak Guide to help you do just that. We've compiled the information provided by Turbine and tips from fans around the world to help you see the true beauty of Middle-earth.

RecommendationsEdit

Today's technology can get quite confusing quite quickly. While you don't need a super-computer to play LOTRO there are of course certain items that help more than others. This is what Turbine recommends as of December 19, 2013.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Pentium® 4 3.0 GHz or equivalent
  • Video: At least 128MB Onboard graphics memory
  • DirectX® 9.0c
  • OS: Windows® XP
  • RAM: 1GB ( 2GB for Windows® Vista )
  • Disk Space: 12GB available ( +3GB for international clients )
  • Internet: Cable or DSL Connection


Recommended System Requirements:

  • Processor: Dual Core 2.66GHZ
  • Video: 512MB Dedicated discrete card
  • DirectX® 9.0c
  • OS: Windows® Vista 64-bit
  • RAM:  2GB
  • Disk Space: 20GB available ( +3GB for international clients )
  • Internet: Cable or DSL Connection

For the most impact for your money, RAM is the best place to enhance your game. So, any way you can increase your RAM, up to what can be utilized by your operating system, it's worth it. Installing RAM beyond the Recommended System Requirements means you can increase your texture cache to maximum, causing fewer loads. Additionally, players with computers having integrated graphics will find it advantageous to add the fastest compatible RAM their system will support. 

Next would of course be the video card. Video Card memory up to 2GB can be of use. It is generally considered that 4GB is not necessary, unless you do additional activities, such as video editing or a live Twitch® broadcast.

After these two areas have been updated, installing LOTRO on a partition on a solid state drive with a 64-bit Windows® 7 on a second partition has been shown to reduce load times and generally provide a much more responsive experience.


The following suggestions have been made by players who stress their systems a bit more and/or who run with higher settings.

Non-Official High Performance System Suggestion

  • Processors: 
Core i7-2600, -2600K, -2700K, -3770, -3770K, -3820, -3930K, -3960X, -3970X, -4770, -4770K
Core i7-965, -975 Extreme, -980X Extreme, -990X Extreme
Core i5-4670K, 4670, 4570, 4430, 3570K, -3570, -3550, -3470, -3450P, -3450, -3350P, -3330, 2550K, -2500K, -2500, -2450P, -2400, -2380P, -2320, -2310, -2300
  • Video:
Nvidia (or branded):  GeForce GTX 690, 780 Ti, 780, Titan, 590, 680, 770, 670, 760, 580, 660, 660 Ti, GTX 295, 480, 570, 650 Ti Boost, Go (mobile): 680M

Radeon: HD 7990, R9 290, 290X, HD 6990, 7970 GHz Edition, R9 280X, HD 5970, 7870 LE (XT), 7950, HD 7870, R9 270, 270X, HD 4870 X2, 6970, 7850, Mobility: 7970M


  • DirectX®: 9.0c and 10.0 (you can switch between these using the game settings)
  • OS: Windows® 7 64-bit (32-bit is not recommended and Windows® 8, while it usually works ok, is not officially supported at the end of 2013) LOTRO is also run by some players on Linux® (unsupported) and a Mac® client, however Windows® 7 64-bit is recommended for your primary playing setup.
  • RAM:  8GB 
  • Disk Space: 20GB available ( +3GB for international clients ) on a Solid State Drive of 120GB (larger suggested)
  • Internet: Cable or DSL Connection

Graphics TabEdit

DisplayEdit

Full Screen: When checked, the game runs in full screen mode. Otherwise it runs in a window on your desktop. You can also press ‘alt + Enter’ to toggle full screen mode at any time.

Full Screen Resolution: Allows you to select from a list of supported full screen resolutions. Higher resolutions typically look better at the expense of performance. We recommend using at least 1024 x 768.
Options: 800x600 1024x768 1152x864 1280x720 1280x768 1280x800 1280x960 1280x1024 1360x768 1360x1024 1400x1050 1440x900 1600x1024 1600x1200 1680x1050 1920x1200

Windowed Resolution: Select your display resolution when running the game in a desktop window. Higher resolutions typically look better at the expense of performance. We recommend using at least 1024 x 768. You can I also resize the game window by dragging the edges of the window border when running in a desktop window.
Options: 800x600 1024x768 1152x864 1280x720 1280x768 1280x800 1280x960 1280x1024 1360x768 1360x1024 1400x1050 1440x900 1600x1024 1600x1200 1680x1050 1920x1200

Aspect Ratio: You can override the aspect ratio for the game’s graphics with this setting. Selecting ‘auto’ will choose an aspect automatically based on your display resolution. In some resolutions (where pixels are not square) you can override the aspect ratio by changing this setting to match your monitor’s aspect ratio.
Options: Auto 4:3 5:4 16:9 16:10

Anti-aliasing: Enables anti-aliasing and configures the anti-aliasing quality level. A large number of anti-aliasing samples will increase visual quality but may greatly decrease performance.
Options: Disabled 2x 4x 6x

ColorEdit

Brightness: Adjusts the brightness of the colors displayed on the screen.

Contrast: Adjusts the contrast of the colors displayed on the screen.

Gamma Level: Adjusts the intensity curve of colors displayed on the screen.

Advanced Graphics TabEdit

ObjectsEdit

Object Draw Distance: Adjusts how far away characters and scenery objects are rendered. Set this to ‘low’ to improve performance.
Options: Low Medium High Very High Ultra High

Model Detail: This setting controls the distance at which complex 3D geometry will be rendered. Set this to ‘low’ to increase performance at the expense of visual quality.
Options: Low Medium High Very High Ultra High

Animation Smoothness: This setting controls how smoothly distant characters are animated. This doesn’t affect your own character. Using a lower setting will increase performance.
Options: Low Medium High

Material Detail: Adjusts the quality of certain surface shaders, such as tree leaves. Set this to ‘low’ to significantly increase performance.
Options: Low High

SceneryEdit

Landscape Draw Distance: Adjusts how far away landscape geography will be rendered. Lower distances can increase performance and will significantly decrease load times.
Options: Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Frill Distance: Adjusts how far away landscape ‘frills’ are rendered (foliage and ground clutter). Use a lower setting for better performance.
Options: Disabled Low Medium High Very High Ultra High

Distant Imposters: Enables trees and other objects to be rendered over distant landscape. Disable this to increase performance.

Atmospherics Detail: Sets the quality of atmospheric effects such as rain and snow. Use a lower setting to increase performance.
Options: Low Medium High

TexturingEdit

Texture Detail: Adjusts the overall resolution of textures. Higher quality textures require more video memory but will greatly increase image quality. In order to use the highest setting, you must have ‘high resolution textures’ installed and up-to-date.
Options: Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Texture Filtering: Changes the method used to filter textures in the game. Use ‘trilinear’ for best performance. ‘Anisotropic will yield the highest visual quality but may greatly decrease performance.
Options: Bilinear Trilinear Sharp Very Sharp Anisotropic

Anisotropic Filter Quality: When texture filtering is set to anisotropic, this adjusts the quality level of the anisotropic filter. Higher values yield better image quality at the expense of performance.
Options: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

LightingEdit

High Quality Lighting: Allows for high quality lighting and shadow features, such as normal mapping, glow mapping and specular highlights. Disable this option to significantly improve performance.

Specular Lighting: Increases visual quality by adding specular highlights to shiny surfaces. Disable this to increase performance.

Surface Reflections: Adjusts the visual quality of water reflections and mirrors. ‘Post Processing Effects’ must also be enabled. When set to ‘low’ only the sky will be visible in outdoor reflections, ‘high’ will reflect most nearby scenery, and higher settings will allow more distant objects to be visible in reflections. Disable this feature to greatly increase performance.
Options: Disabled Low High Very High Ultra High

Landscape Lighting Quality: When set to high, enables specular highlights on the certain types of terrain. When set to very high, bump maps are enabled for certain terrain surfaces as well. Set this option to low to improve rendering performance.
Options: Low High Very High

ShadowsEdit

Landscape Shadows: Enables soft shadows to be cast from buildings and other architecture on to the landscape. Uncheck this option to slightly increase performance.
Options: Disabled Low Medium High

Blob Shadows: Blob shadows will be rendered for characters when more detailed shadows are not available. You can disable this to increase performance.

Stencil Shadows: Enables shadows for characters and certain indoor props and architecture. This setting also controls the distance these shadows will be visible from. Use a lower setting to improve performance, or disable this to greatly increase performance.
Options: Disabled Low Medium High Very High Ultra High

Environment Stencil Shadows: Enables shadows cast from certain indoor props and architecture. Uncheck this option to increase performance.

Post ProcessingEdit

Post Processing Effects: Enables graphics post-processing such as motion blur and bloom. Turn this off to greatly improve performance.

Glow Mapping: Enables emissive surfaces to ‘bloom’ over foreground objects. ‘Post Processing Effects’ must also be enabled for this to work. Disable this to increase performance.

Overbright Bloom Filter: When enabled, very brightly lit sufaces will always ‘bloom’ over foreground objects. ‘Post Processing Effects’ must also be enabled for this to work. Disable this to increase performance.

Blur Filter Quality: Sets the quality of the pixel blur filter that’s used for various effects such as light bloom.
Options: Low Medium High

Bloom Intensity: Controls the intensity of the dream-like glow effect that brightens the scene and blurs pixels together. ‘Post Processing Effects’ must be enabled for bloom effects to be visible.

PerformanceEdit

Player Mesh Combining: When enabled, distant players will render faster, allowing more characters on screen at once. However, this feature requires extra system memory and video memory. Uncheck this option to free up more system resources.

3D Object Portraits: Displays player and target portraits over vital bars. Set to false to improve performance.

Texture Cache Size: Adjusts the amount of system memory the game will use for graphics resources. Using a higher setting may reduce load times and improve performance on computers with plenty of memory. Lower this setting to free up memory for other resources and potentially improve performance.

Player Crowd Quality: This option controls the graphics quality of characters and scenery when a large number of players are nearby. Use a lower setting to improve rendering performance in crowded areas.

DisplayEdit

Refresh Rate: When running in full screen mode, this setting adjusts the monitor refresh rate. We recommend you set this to ‘auto’ which will use a safe refresh rate for your display configuration.
Options: Auto 56hz 60hz 70hz 72hz 75hz 85hz

Sync to Refresh Rate: Enabling this option may eliminate horizontal ‘tearing’ artifacts in at the expense of some performance. This only works when running in full screen mode.

Triple Buffering: Enabling this option may slightly increase your maximum possible frame rate in full screen mode, but uses more video memory resources. We recommend leaving this setting disabled.


Throughout alpha, closed beta, and open beta many issues have been found and addressed by players with tweaks and fixes. Below you'll find an ever growing list of tweaks that have worked wonders for others. This guide is not comprehensive and we will continue to add more tweaks and information as we find them. If you have any tweaks not mentioned please add them!


General TweaksEdit

Run comprehensive spyware and virus detections programs regularly (even if you have protection).

Ensure you have more than 25% hard drive space available on the drive your swap file resides (pagefile.sys). Typcially this is your boot drive.

Defrag the hard drive that carries your pagefile.sys. (Never defrag an SSD)

Adjust the setting of your virtual memory to optimize pagefile utilization. Information on how to do this can be found here.

Turn off any third party programs including firewalls (ie: ZoneAlarm).

Update all your video drivers and any Core Duo fixes provided by the manufacturer.

Uncheck the post-processing effects box to gain up to 20-30 frames per second (FPS).

Disable Anti-aliasing.

In the Options window, click the button troubleshoot and turn down the engine speed and/or FPS rate to improve your performance. You may need to try a few times to find a balance of performance and graphics quality that best works for you.

For SLI configuration owners:
Make sure you have Performance in your display settings in windows set to the proper lotro.exe file. NOT launcher.exe or turbinevoker.exe but the lotro.exe. Using global driver settings for SLI configuration will effect performance, so you MUST switch your SLI configuration to the proper LotRO executable file.

For Jerky Movement that is not affected by changes to the graphics setting this temp fix was found back in closed beta and has worked for many:

  • Open: ..My Documents/Lord of the Rings Online/UserPreferences.ini
  • Edit: AllowFakeFullScreen=True to equal False
  • Save and close file

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