Difficulty transitioning from HD

I really want to love this game but I am struggling to make the move from HD. The biggest problem for me is the graphics. I mean I have the enhanced graphics pack installed but I find it does nothing at FHD, and I’m not able to play at 4K. Things look blurry zoomed in.

I turn off all of the post processing effects because frankly they’re a distraction. I’d love to be able to turn off the zoom? Is that weird? I just never felt like I needed it for 20 years so why would I use it now. I dunno I just find the visuals are not consistently sharp at FHD and it annoys me, am I alone here?

I want all the updates though, to the civs and everything else and I appreciate the devs efforts. I just keep dipping my toe in, not feeling like it’s quite right and going back to HD.

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These are known issues, the game has a higher resolution but is not as sharp as the classic game. There are many reasons that contribute to this. And why those graphical settings are left on by default is a mistery to me. And yeah, zoom in an RTS… Wait until you try the default right click drag feature :joy:

The game kind of expects you to understand and turn off all these features before getting an optimal RTS experience.

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You can unbind the Zoom hotkeys and set a default zoom in the options if that’s to your liking. I personally find that zooming can sometimes help micro small groups of units.

You can probably turn off the enhanced graphics pack if you’re not using a resolution above 1080p, maybe that’ll be more to your tastes, it will let you zoom out more as well.

If things look blurry and you’ve turned of the sharpness, maybe try that?

The units take a little getting used to especially after 20 years of the classic AoC unit graphics, but eventually they become just as recognizable.

This feature also existed in HD, turned it off immediately lol.

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This feature also existed in HD, turned it off immediately lol.

To clarify, I mean the right click drag “acceleration” feature. It was proudly introduced by Adam Isgreen as his contribution. It is less responsive and slower to use, no one uses it for these reasons but it got defaulted anyways.

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Yes, that’s the feature I’m talking about, it was a default in HD as well.

That feature does not exist in HD 100%. Compare in DE the legacy vs default. The default does not exist in HD. HD only has one type (legacy in DE) which you can turn on and off.

What’s wrong with zoom? I don’t know any modern RTS that doesn’t have that. I feel there’s not even enough zoom available in this game sadly.

Supcom 2 and planetary annihilation had nice zooms, you could see the whole map/whole solar system.

Zoom makes the game filesize ~3 times as big, for something that is not needed in gameplay. When the graphics in a game are good, you don’t need to zoom to view things clearly. When you zoom in on DE the graphics are sharper than on normal zoom level, my hypothesis is that the graphics were designed zoomed in. This can explain why the game looks out of focus. Zoom promotes a less efficient way of playing instead of proper hotkey use and can degrade the twitch viewer experience if it would ever become popular. It can only increase variables between players in what they see. Zoom is probably also one of the reasons why we have 4k which did not turn out great, it could have been nice and sharp but looking at what we have now they spent many resources while I still prefer the classic look for many reasons.

I agree it might be nice to sometimes zoom out and take it all in. But in retrospect I think time and resources could have been spent in far better places. Like many things it feels like something that looks good on the box, but is not beneficial to the core gameplay.

There have been times I’ve actually wanted to zoom in so I could better marvel at a unit… but for gameplay purposes I don’t need to zoom in anymore than in HD or original, but the zooming out has actually been beneficial to me. Especially on the larger maps.

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Let me add this video just to visualise what I mean with the game looking unsharp on normal zoom level. When Nili zooms in there is a small delay where the new zoom level is loading and only then it becomes sharp. I assume zoomed in is how they expected the game would look, but it looks unfocussed on normal zoom level. I think I am seeing this right, looks like a major design error.

It doesn’t do that in game, that’s a video/twitch artifact.

Not sure what you mean by this, when developing for 2D game engines, this kind of feature is needed to support higher resolution monitors.

Zoom is a godsend for us on larger-than-normal monitors (I play on a 34" at 4k resolution), playing HD is impossible on resolutions higher than 1080p, everything is too small and nothing scales, not even the UI.

This feature is highly beneficial to the core gameplay when you take various display setups into account, if they had not implemented this and kept it the same as the original game, then the game would be very uncomfortable to play for me and many others who are not running 24" 1080p monitors.

It doesn’t do that in game, that’s a video/twitch artifact.

Yeah you’re right.

In that video, what do you think about the clarity of eg the militia when normal and zoomed in?

Zoom is a godsend for us on larger-than-normal monitors

They could also just support popular resolutions in the settings. I’m trying to understand why the game doesn’t feel sharp, maybe the game is more optimized for certain zoom levels.

Personally I don’t see the use for zooming in game, and would not like it if streamers started zooming in and out al the time to move around or get a look over the map. Maybe it will evolve into some nauseating behaviors over time :joy:

Personally i uninstalled the enhanced graphics pack. It’s a huge upgrade visually even without the pack. The game runs very smoothly without it. I never really used the zoom in anyway.

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Looks perfectly fine in-game, the new unit graphics take a game or two to get used to (just like they would if I were playing aoc for the first time), but after that everything feels natural.

Virtually every modern 2D game that supports multiple resolutions does it the same way: by creating high quality graphics for the highest supported resolution and scaling them down with code. DE actually went a step further than this and provided two sets of assets rendered at different resolutions in order to reduce the file size of the main installation (aka enhanced graphics DLC).

If the game doesn’t feel sharp there are a multitude of graphics options you can tweak to make it look the way you think is best. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to grasp a sense of how “sharp” the game looks by watching twitch streams or youtube videos because of compression artifacts, the game DOES have a sharpness slider, mine is set at 30%.

The fact that the game supports zoom doesn’t have very much to do with this, I don’t think, as the process would be fairly similar in either case.

The case for using zoom is simple - players can choose whatever zoom level they feel most comfortable playing, instead of being stuck with one or two preset options.

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I am glad I’m not the only one to remember him proudly announcing it was one of his demands. I immediately thought “oh ok it’s that kind of director”. Was not surprised to see it was a poorly implemented feature.