By Jonathan Charles | Aug 27, 2012 10:07 AM EDT
Playing Guild Wars 2 may require an initial period of trial and error optimize performance in-game. Tom's Hardware kindly provided a walk-through of the various options that impact performance, and Mobilenapps.com summarizes the coverage.
For players wanting to quickly adjust performance, three options are available: Best Performance, Best Appearance, and Balanced. If players are not concerned about how the game looks, just click "Auto Detect" to have the game automatically configure settings. Players should note that this tool may not be entirely accurate.
Best Performance uses low quality textures and details, no anti-aliasing (smoothing edges), and no shadow and post-processing effects. Guild Wars 2's art style takes the game a long way despite running it on the lowest settings, so the visual difference between low- and high-end machines may not be as great.
Balanced is the mid-tier option, and therefore provides a slightly better-looking game without sacrifing too much performance. Anti-aliasing is still disabled, though the game uses Medium texture detail, shadows, terrain, and sky reflections while using low-processing effects. Pressing F11 and looking in the bottom right-hand corner shows a frames-per-second counter, so below 30 in non-chaotic areas is probably a warning sign to adjust settings.
Best Appearance, as the final option, enables: FXAA anti-aliasing, high-quality textures, uses the Ultra shadows setting (a big-hitter on performance), and "All reflections". Mobilenapps.com is running Guild Wars 2 on Best Apperance and is getting a solid 30-40 FPS on a Radeon GTX 6850 graphics card and an Intel Core i5 2400 processor, at a 1920x1080 resolution, and the graphics card is just $100.
ArenaNet designed Guild Wars to work on a wide variety of systems, demonstrated by the fact Mobilenapps.com used a 2009 13" MacBook Pro and successfully ran the game. Granted, performance was around acceptable levels at the lowest graphical settings, the test demonstrated Guild Wars 2 does not require the latest hardware to run.
Guild Wars 2 will be released on Aug. 28 for PC. The Headstart weekend is underway, and here is a guide for players players to get 1-day access (3-day access is now over) before the Tuesday launch.
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