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 Improving Your Graphics Experience 
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Joined: 11.2012
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Post Improving Your Graphics Experience
This is a minor guide for those using mXI & Ashita clients to connect to our server (however the first part of the guide will work with ffxi-boot as well)- these clients use what is known as the unofficial windower if you're familiar with it from your experiences it on retail. If you know what you're after you can skip below straight to step #3

Both clients can be found here: [ post335.html#p335 ] or a direct download to mXI here [ ... p&can=2&q= ] and offer an enhanced experience not offered by the lower resource ffxi-boot that launches the game in default mode. If you have a low quality PC you should still be able to handle these adjustments with little to no latency difference. Windower offers a variety of plugins for user side only experiences but we'll focus on the ones that provide a USER experience and not increase server lag.

Since the purpose of this thread will focus primarily on GRAPHICS adjustments and improvements, I will only focus on the following of these plugins. However make sure to delete LightLuggage.dll to avoid issues with these clients its really bad for servers and earns you the ban hammer located in the plugins folder.
  • DrawDistance - allows you to adjust the distance away from you that graphics begin to be rendered.
  • SSOrganizer - organizes your screenshots.
  • Recast - Shows your ability timers on screen and their recast times.

FFXI has very dated graphics in comparison to the MMO market out there today. Using this guide. will get you a more up to date look. But it can be a little convoluted and slightly out of date. So I'll break it down on a simple person to person basis.

What we'll hopefully do is get you from something below and more pixelated than this.
File comment: DrawDistance 1.0 Default.
ffxi_2012.12.20_04.08.51.jpg [ 590.91 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]

To something a little sharper for your screenshot purposes that will help you memorize your time on FFXI like this.
File comment: DrawDistance 20.0 Enhanced.
ffxi_2012.12.20_04.09.04.jpg [ 893.3 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]

There have been massive improvements to the Final Fantasy XI Config tool - for a lot of this you can go there first to get your settings out of the way ahead of time.

1.) 0000 - Turn MipMapping Off - it reduces the rendering quality at a distance to give you that mirage/fading in effect as you get closer to a destination. I suppose this could be a good thing by preference but overall I find it lowers the quality of screenshots and graphics in game play because of the way things render in.
2.) 0001 & 0002 - FFXI Config Tool has seperated these two properly now, this is for the menu overlay and graphics overlay - basically the size of your chat, if you make this too large a resolution you're going to get unreadable and very small chat boxes and menus. So these should always be equal to or slightly less than your monitor resolution. If you play at 1680x1050 for example, you should keep the Menu & Graphic overlay the SAME number as this.
3.) 0003 & 0004 - FFXI Config only allows these 2 digits to go up to 2040x2040 - this is the background resolution, your character model, the environment around you, everything underneath the GUI relies on this - the closer to the original resolution of your monitor this is, the more you start to notice that FFXI starts looking a little bit clunkier - the trick here is in the compression by 'oversampling' anything above 2.0x isn't as extremely noticeable - but from my perspective if it isn't hurting it, it is probably still helping it a little bit. Start at 2x your overlay & menu resolution though - then work through whether you see any improvement by going up in resolutions. Its important to note opening FFXI Config Tool after this point will reset large values to 2048x2048

Only values 004 and 005 are going to need to be changed by hand at this point.
Go here and type regedit:
File comment: StartMenu
Guide1.jpg [ 11.35 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]

then go through to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\PlayOnlineUS\SquareEnix\FinalFantasyXI
Right Click>Modify...>Change the value to decimal and type in the numbers you wish to double.
File comment: RegEdit
Guide2.jpg [ 232.35 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]

== this part of the guide is a little more specific to mXI & Ashita (Windower)
Go into your \scripts\init.txt and change/add the following.

this is going to hide your plugins when you take a screenshot avoiding the ugly numbers and UI all over your screen. Where bmp is the format, you can change this to PNG for lossless compression on large photo files if you're looking to upload your quality shots or JPEG for more compressed format instead of BMP if you wish - bmp is lossless as well and can be saved into different formats to upload.
bind sysrq screenshot bmp hide

Next go into your Recast.ini in your \plugins\ folder and change the visibility to 0 to get rid of the blotchy black square in the background.

The screen's 0,0 coordinates are the top left corner. X values going higher will move it to the right, lower will be left. Higher Y values will drop it lower on your screen, lower brings it towards the top.
An example value of this - sets it to the center top of your screen in 1680x1050 resolution, and to the right corner rather nicely in 1024x748 - you can change this accordingly from within the game with ` tilde key "`" and using .recast pos 710 50 - where 710 and 50 are the values to move it around - play around with this until you find something you like then save that in your .ini

For Drawdistance there are various settings combined with the screenshot commands - you can actually set it up nicely to flick on and off WHEN you take a screenshot - change the default value that it starts in and other such things. Typically 5.0 is the average setting for drawdistance, but you can set it up to 20.0 with little change in your own lag and absolutely no impact to the server as all of these active plugins are client side only.
Default, the highest setting is 5.0 - to change it up to 20.0 go into your init.txt and add in where your ctrl+f lands you on 'drawdistance set'
drawdistance set 20.0

to have it fading in and out on screenshots go back to the init.txt and add in - I've pulled these various bits & pieces off old BG threads so credit goes to them.
bind sysreq console_fadedelay 0;drawdistance set 20;input /names off;screenshot png hide;input /names on;drawdistance set 10;console_fadedelay 3500

in init.txt:
bind sysrq exec screenshot.txt

and in screenshot.txt:
input /localsettings shadows high
.drawdistance set 5
wait 0.1
screenshot jpg hide
wait 0.2
.drawdistance set 1
input /localsettings shadows off

End results of all this should land you closer to these results.
ffxi_2012.12.20_04.10.12.jpg [ 479.18 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]

ffxi_2012.12.20_04.10.21.jpg [ 655.94 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]

20 Dec 2012, 12:23
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