View Full Version : Screen resolution...finding the enemy?

01-14-2005, 07:10 AM
Hey all--

It used to be that running at 800x600 was considered the best resolution, as enemies would become visible (as big fat dots) earlier than at any other resolution.

I used to play at 1600x1200 (I like eye-candy) and everyone would always spot the enemy before I would. I then switched to 800x600 and I was spotting the enemy before everyone else! For online full switch settings, this was an imperative switch.

But from what I understand, the visibility modelling has been changed. If this is true, can I switch back to the higher resolution and still detect aircraft just as well as at the lower resolution?

I miss my eye candy and pretty screen shots http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

I'm running an Nvidia GeForce4 Ti4600 (128 Mb).

And yes, I'm too lazy to do a whole bunch of testing. I'm hoping some of you have already gone through the process.


* _54th_Speeder *

01-14-2005, 07:16 AM
man, i thought it was the other way around higher resolution better you saw http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

i like to know to, i have allways so hard spoting enemies maybee i should test 800x600 if that is the case

TgD Thunderbolt56
01-14-2005, 07:26 AM
I'm certain that's the way it used to be...but I still simply left my res at 1024x768. The game is optimized for that res and with decent AA and Af it still looks very good.

Not sure if it's changed, but for me it doesn't matter. I'm gonna use the settings I prefer. If it costs me a few kills (or deaths) so be it.


01-14-2005, 09:21 AM
The best way to find out is just to test it and see how it works for you. Lower resolutions will still make the distant dots larger though, as I doubt those were enlarged any at all.

01-14-2005, 01:21 PM
1200x1600 on a GF4 4600.. wao! you like to torture your eyes..

01-14-2005, 04:18 PM
Can ANYONE answer the question?

I've got one "thought it was the other way", one don't care, one do-it-yourself (even though I said I don't want to), and one calling me a masochist.

Has anyone gone through the process of changing resolutions to see how it affects aircraft detection at a distance, especially since PF + patches? Or, does anyone know of any changes made?


* _54th_Speeder *

01-14-2005, 06:43 PM
you are right, the lower resolution the faster you will spot the enemy, and thats whats realy sucks in this game. I have 6800 Ultra card, but I have tu use lower resolution just to be able to spot the enemy.

01-14-2005, 07:31 PM
The answer is that there are three factors involved in seeing the enemy first :

- The server setting that dictates how far away enemy planes appear as "dots", and

- Your screen resolution. Lower resolutions result in the "dot" being larger than it would be at higher resolutions. (Quite logical if you think about - lower resolutions make for "blockier" graphics). and,

- Your monitor's quality, calibration and colour settings. A properly set up monitor will show dots as true black whereas an incorrectly one will show them as grey which MAY be less visible against certain backgrounds.

Personally I run at 1024x768 and I have no trouble spotting planes as quickly as or sooner than anyone else.

01-15-2005, 06:56 AM
I disagree with the myth that you can see dots earlier with lower resolution. Maybe that was the case a year ago or more (I don't think so though), but it certainly isn't my experience now. And even the arguement that you can see the dot much more clearly at lower resolution doesn't hold true on my system (although I would agree the LOD is more blocky at short distance)...

-ti4600 (ForceWare 71.24 drivers)
-both planes 3000m high, tracking the enemy against blue sky and wisps of horizon cloud.
-clear weather, time 14:00
-any QMB map
-tracking one bf109-G6late

First faint, but trackable, sighting of the dot:

mp_dotrange = DOT 14 (the default DOT setting)
wide view 8.7km
zoom view 8.2km

mp_dotrange = DOT 25 (the maximum DOT distance, and my preference)
wide view 16km
zoom view 14km

Now keeping these views paused in the QMB and cranking the resolution up in steps, on my system the resolution makes no noticable difference to the visibility, size or colour of the dot that I first saw at 800x600.

I agree with wombat that there are many more factors.
I think the following affects the dot more than resolution:

-antialiasing and anisotropic settings.

-dynamic lighting settings
(probably only at lower distances though, when the dot has seven or more pixels).

-Internal graphics card settings. Eg. texture compression (setting Geforce 'intellisample' to 'performance' makes planes disappear and reappear at strange, close distances. Note you need 'RivaTuner' to adjust the 'intellisample' algorithm).

-how good your card is at rendering in the first place
(which also probably changes depending on what driver version you use).
Eg. does every card render the horizon with the same 'haze' effect? No.

-monitor size and gamma/brightness/contrast settings.

-room lighting.

-how long you have had to adjust to the light or dark
(astronomers wait 30 minutes before even attempting to look through a telescope)

-and not least your own eyesight (tested recently?).

Also note that spotting planes is a skill. Astronomers train their gaze so they aren't looking directly at a star cluster or galaxy, but use the light/movement receptors at the side of their eyes instead to pick out the details. I expect lack of these types of skills could also be part of the problem when people are complaining about spotting planes last in their group. But of course people are going to blame their system or the game first, aren't they?

01-15-2005, 09:02 AM

You have a good testing method. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Now keeping these views paused in the QMB and cranking the resolution up in steps, on my system the resolution makes no noticable difference to the visibility, size or colour of the dot that I first saw at 800x600. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My original concern was viewing from above (for BnZ tactics), but the more I think about it, level viewing should probably work similarly (duh on me).

So, without further ado, I tested http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

However, using my setup, I disagree with your conclusion. I started off at 1600x1200x32 and set up four flights of four enemy aircraft (all different fighters), altitude 3000m on the Okinawa QMB map. At approximately 8 km, I could see the dots...very small, very faint.

Switching only the resolution to 800x600, the dots were HUGE in comparison--probably 4x as large. Is that what you mean by LOD?

I didn't test whether they physically show up earlier (so your conclusion of "I disagree with the myth that you can see dots earlier with lower resolution." may be true), just that when they show up, how big were they? Well, they are bigger at lower resolution. The reason (as I understand it) is that the one pixel representation at the long range is just bigger relative to the screen at lower resolution, which makes sense.

In real combat, many ace pilots spoke of the reason for their success. With approximately 90% of the kills coming from surprise attacks, superior visiblity and farsightedness are quoted as being the most important. The one who could find the enemy first had a huge advantage in preparing for the fight (or more typically, bounce).

For now, I'll leave my settings at 800x600. The larger the dots, the easier they are to see for me.

Thanks for the good discussion!

* _54th_Speeder *

01-15-2005, 10:48 AM
What I meant by 'myth that you can see planes earlier', is that if the DOT is set to 14km, that is the absolute maximum distance that a dot is even rendered. It is impossible to see any plane past the DOT distance, no matter how good your equipment or how low your resolution.
I also currently believe (although I reserve the right to change my mind later http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) that the fade-in is hard-coded into the game, and is not determined by the video card. In other words, with DOT=25, a one-pixel dot will appear at about 16km for all players. I don't believe having better equipment will make that first pixel appear sooner.

So I feel the issue is not 'at what distance do the dots appear', because I think they appear more-or-less at the same distance for everyone.

'how clearly do they appear?' is probably the real question.

I didn't notice how huge your monitor resolution is, because you put the height first. I only can go up to 1280x1024, which I thought meant 'hires'. Obviously now there is 'super hires'! But I wouldn't be suprised if the game doesn't work well at those extremely high resolutions when it was designed for 1024x768 or a little more. Have you tried something inbetween, rather than go from one extreme to the other? 1152x864 might be a good compromise?

By the way, LOD is when the dot stops being a dot and starts being an actual rendered aircraft. No idea what the letters stand for. It usually happens around 4-5km in zoom view.