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Thread: Essential tweaks and fixes for the PC version.

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    Thumbs up Essential tweaks and fixes for the PC version

    Announcement from Nixxes:

    We have decided to make this a sticky thread to keep it within easy reach of everyone. That said, we do like to underline the fact that these tips come from helpful community members. This means that these tips do not come from the official developers and that we have not validated them to work. Please stay aware of that.

    As always make sure to backup your files before attempting any of the methods found in this thread, and if you are unsure of any procedures described that require you to change game or system files; do not proceed before asking help from someone experienced in making such changes.

    Thank you for your attention!



    Hey there PC taffers!


    I've noticed a lot of you have various problems running the game and/or encountering bugs, stuttering, missing sounds, etc. Until Nixxes release patches to address all of these issues, I've decided to provide you with a list of temporary tweaks and fixes, which I will constantly update as myself and others discover new ones as we play.

    These fixes can also be found on THIEF's own PCGamingWiki page: http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Thief_(2014).

    As a rule of thumb, it's best to create backups before you modify any file, just in case anything goes horribly wrong!

    THIEF's configuration files are to be found here: <path-to-game-folder>\Thief\ThiefGame\Config

    And all of your saved games are stored here: Steam/userdata/<your-user-id>/239160/remote


    That being said, here we go!


    I. Fix black screen/crash on start-up or on loading

    Make sure Windows pagefile is enabled (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/w...#1TC=windows-7).

    A custom pagefile of 200 - 1024 MB enabled on your primary hard drive should prove enough!


    II. Fix stuttering/poor performance

    Turning SSAA to low or even off is GUARANTEED to free up a significant amount of performance, with minimum loss to image quality!

    Turning both contact hardening shadows and screen-space reflections off MIGHT also have a positive effect on framerate, once again with little to no loss in image quality. See the explanation below for more details, courtesy of Targa:

    "The PC version is not well-optimized and some higher-level shader functions only serve to kill your framerate. The number one thing you can do to speed up the game is to ~disable~ contact hard shadows. They actually don't have a use in the game (the parameters necessary for the feature aren't set on any given light sources) yet it almost quadruples the GPU power and doubles the vRAM needed to render all real-time shadows.

    The other useless feature is screen-space reflections. Close to all reflective surfaces in the game aren't given the SSR shader option. The ones that do are puddles, but usually with non-SSR puddles right next to them. This makes SSR look out of place, along with barely being used and in my opinion never being used in an artistically appealing manner. The hit when enabling this is that those surfaces ALWAYS RENDER even when occluded (double-rendering some things in the process!). Also to facilitate the screen-space cloning, there is a permanent reflective plane below the map that always renders the SSR shader. This means the rarely-used and costly reflections are always eating up graphics resources. Killing this option may in some cases ~double~ your framerate (notably if you are close to your vRAM limit without it enabled)."

    Modifying Texture Memory Pool Size:

    This a tweak that usually improves framerate smoothness with all Unreal Engine 3 games. You need to change the "PoolSize" value in the game's engine.ini file to [your GPU's VRAM amount in GB] x 600. This translates to the following values:

    1 GB => PoolSize = 600
    2 GB => PoolSize = 1200
    3 GB => PoolSize = 1800

    ... and so on!

    1. Navigate to your ...\ThiefGame\Config folder
    2. Backup your ThiefEngine.ini file
    3. Open the ThiefEngine.ini file with a text editor
    4. Change

    "PoolSize=0"

    to

    "PoolSize=[the value appropriate for your GPU, calculated as shown above!]"

    5. Save the file and set it to "read-only".

    6. Go to your Steam library, right-click on Thief > Properties > Set Launch Options > Type in "-ReadTexturePoolFromIni" > OK (apparently this step is optional; thank you for reporting back, CiroConstantino!).

    That's it, you're good to go!

    Using the 32bit version of Thief can help eliminate stuttering and other performance-related issues:

    In the game Launcher of Thief version 1.2 or higher, select Options, check '32-bit'. This forces the 32-bit version of the game even on 64-bit capable systems. The 32-bit version has some features disabled that reduce memory usage, and as such can improve performance.

    The trick of copying files from the Win32 to the Win64 folder of the game is no longer needed in version 1.2. Use the 32-bit option in the launcher instead!

    For Nvidia SLI users, courtesy of Targa:

    "The Nvidia SLI compatibility bits 0x000540F5 run the exact same FPS as the default Thief SLI profile made by Nvidia that uses 0x000100F5. That is: On benchmark 71 max and 36 average. Compare this to single-GPU mode of 67 max and 44 average (for my system).

    My tip to everyone using Nvidia SLI mode: Nvidia Control Panel > Manage 3D settings > Thief > SLI Rendering Mode - Single GPU. Disabling SLI mode on my computer made all the stuttering vanish. I was even able to increase the graphics quality settings and it still runs very smooth."


    III. Missing voices, subtitles, music and some other sound effects

    Install/move all game files to an internal drive!

    If the game is on an external drive, voices, subtitles, music and some other sound effects like lightning may not play during the game. This can easily be observed in the prologue cutscene, where Garret should be speaking. If you installed the game on an external drive, try moving it to an internal drive (it does not have to be the C: drive necessarily, expect if you're using Windows 8.1 - then the game NEEDS to be installed on the C: drive to avoid the audio bugs!). Thanks, Ugh-Tech!


    IV. Disable the shroud/white flash/proxy light effects

    Follow the instructions below, courtesy of Mavros and Witness from the ttlg forums! These hex edits are for the latest version of the game (i.e. v1.3 build 4118.5) and represent true fixes that stay on and remove the shroud and white flash effects permanently, or at least until edited otherwise!

    There are two ways of disabling these effects, based on whether you want to hex edit the compressed or the decompressed thiefgame.u file!

    Decompressing thiefgame.u and hex editing (Mavros):

    "Components listed to disable here are:

    Shroud = the black vignette around the screen's edge while in shadow
    White flash = the screen-wide flash upon entering light
    Proxy light = brightness increase when in shadow (N.B. disabling proxy light can make it very difficult to discern objects in the dark!)

    They made some changes with the patch but I managed to figure it out, sorry about having to decompress thiefgame.u, it saves me having to launch the game 500 times trying to find the right hex values.
    There seems to be two "proxy lights" now, (thats what its called in the game files).
    An "in shadow" and an "in light" proxy light, it's as if Garrett has an LED lantern with him.
    If you disable these, the game will be dark....Make backups and try it out to see if you like it!

    1. Go to Steam\steamapps\common\Thief\ThiefGame\CookedPCNG\
    2. Make a backup of thiefgame.u just in case
    3. Download this utility: http://www.gildor.org/down/37/umodel/decompress.zip and unzip decompress.exe, put it anywhere
    4. Drag thiefgame.u onto decompress.exe you should now have a new thiefgame.u in \Steam\steamapps\common\Thief\ThiefGame\CookedPCNG\unpacked\
    5. Open \Steam\steamapps\common\Thief\ThiefGame\CookedPCNG\unpacked\thiefgame.u in a hex editor. (I used HxD: http://mh-nexus.de/en/programs.php)

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    To disable shroud:
    Search for Hex-value: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 CD CC 4C 3F 36 3D 00
    Replace with Hex-value: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 36 3D 00
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    To disable white flash:
    Search for Hex-value: 3E 9C DE F4 3E 9C DE F4 3E CD CC CC 3E A4 3D 00
    Replace with Hex-value: 3E 9C DE F4 3E 9C DE F4 3E 00 00 00 00 A4 3D 00
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Tweaking "in shadow" proxy light:
    Disabling "in shadow" proxy light is not recommended, so I added tweaks to reduce the range of the light instead!

    Search for Hex-value: 00 00 00 00 00 B4 43 14 38 00 00 00 00 00 00 28
    for half range (180), Replace with Hex-value: 00 00 00 00 00 34 43 14 38 00 00 00 00 00 00 28
    for 1/4 range (90), Replace with Hex-value: 00 00 00 00 00 b4 42 14 38 00 00 00 00 00 00 28
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    To disable "in light" proxy light:
    Search for Hex-value: 00 00 00 00 00 96 43 14 38 00 00 00 00 00 00 28
    Replace with Hex-value: 00 00 00 0A D7 23 3C 14 38 00 00 00 00 00 00 28
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    6. Save and fire up the game.

    When you start the game, it will notify you that its using thiefgame.u in the unpacked directory and not your original one, just hit ok and the launcher should start!"

    Hex editing the compressed thiefgame.u file (Witness):

    "In Steam\steamapps\common\Thief\ThiefGame\CookedPCNG\

    Make a backup of thiefgame.u and then search the hex values for:

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Disabling the shroud
    02 CD CC 4C 3F 36 CC 66 36 BC 00 01 9C DE F4 3E
    Replace with: 02 00 00 00 00 36 CC 66 36 BC 00 01 9C DE F4 3E
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Disabling the white flash
    33 33 33 3F 36 18 4D 01 CD CC CC 3E 38 A9 4C C0
    Replace with: 33 33 33 3F 36 18 4D 01 00 00 00 00 38 A9 4C C0
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    ATTENTION: It works only on the original thiefgame.u without decompression (and thus without notification at start of the game). You have to delete or rename the 'unpacked' folder if it exists!

    If one tweaked everything correctly, one would get something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tYQOLSZDkY/. Thanks a lot, Mavros, Witness and Cloakedfigure!


    V. Disable framerate smoothing

    THIEF natively supports high frame- and refresh rates when "Exlusive Fullscreen" is turned ON. However, the "Borderless Windowed" mode (i.e. "Exclusive Fullscreen" turned OFF) employs framerate smoothing within the values of 22 and 62, effectively capping your overall FPS. Disabling framerate smoothing as following will remove this cap and unlock the extra performance:

    1. Navigate to your ...\ThiefGame\Config folder
    2. Backup your ThiefEngine.ini file
    3. Open the ThiefEngine.ini file with a text editor
    4. Change

    "bSmoothFrameRate=TRUE"
    "MinSmoothedFrameRate=22"
    "MaxSmoothedFrameRate=62"


    to

    "bSmoothFrameRate=FALSE"
    "MinSmoothedFrameRate=0"
    "MaxSmoothedFrameRate=0"


    (For "MinSmoothedFrameRate" and "MaxSmoothedFrameRate" you can write any values you want, they won't be taken into consideration if "bSmoothFrameRate" is set to FALSE!)

    5. Save the file and set it to "read-only".


    VI. Fix the "Timed Fade" option for the in-game HUD

    When Health, Focus, Ammo and Inventory are set to "Timed Fade" in the Game & HUD menu, they only fade to around 50% opacity. This fix will make them completely disappear after a short while of inactivity, relieving the HUD of clutter!

    1. Navigate to your ...\ThiefGame\Config folder
    2. Backup your ThiefUI.ini file
    3. Open the ThiefUI.ini file with a text editor
    4. Change

    "mInvSelectionAlphaMin=0.3f"
    "mHealthAlphaMin=0.5f"
    "mFocusAlphaMin=0.5f"


    to

    "mInvSelectionAlphaMin=0.0f"
    "mHealthAlphaMin=0.0f"
    "mFocusAlphaMin=0.0f"


    5. Save the file and set it to "read-only".

    (No in-game settings override these, but going into the "Options" menu of the THIEF Launcher DOES restore these settings to their original values, so it's best to also set ThiefUI to "read-only" just like every other .ini file you tweak!)


    VII. Disable mouse smoothing

    1. Navigate to your ...\ThiefGame\Config folder
    2. Backup your ThiefInput.ini file
    3. Open the ThiefInput.ini file with a text editor
    4. Change

    "bEnableMouseSmoothing=TRUE"

    to

    "bEnableMouseSmoothing=FALSE"

    5. Save the file and set it to "read-only".


    VIII. Skip intro videos

    1. Navigate to your ...\ThiefGame\Config folder
    2. Backup your ThiefEngine.ini file
    3. Open the ThiefEngine.ini file with a text editor
    4. Change

    "StartupMovies=PROG_GUI_Video.StartupVideoPlayer"

    to

    ";StartupMovies=PROG_GUI_Video.StartupVideoPlayer"

    5. Save the file and set it to "read-only".
    Last edited by Verrenus; 04-16-2014 at 12:38 AM.
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyPerfection View Post
    Try the 32bit and the problems are gone. Wanna bet? (:
    Go to:
    \SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Thief\Binaries
    DELETE the "Win64" folder
    COPY the "Win32" folder, so it should be "Win32 - Copy" and RENAME it to "Win64".
    Now steam will use the 32bit Version which maybe solve your problems.
    I don't know why but I do know that it fixed my bad fps and stuttering etc.
    Seems to be working for quite a few people. Wishing I had tried it before I switched out my dual core for a quad core (though it was long overdue anyway :P )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meji View Post
    Seems to be working for quite a few people. Wishing I had tried it before I switched out my dual core for a quad core (though it was long overdue anyway :P )
    Thanks, I will update the OP with it shortly!
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verrenus View Post
    Thanks, I will update the OP with it shortly!
    Wrote it down a bit more clear
    _______

    Using the 32bit Version of Thief ('cause of performance / stuttering / etc. issues):
    a) Go to: \SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Thief\Binaries
    b) RENAME the "Win64" folder to whatever you want e.g. "Win64Backup"
    c) COPY the "Win32" folder, so it should be "Win32 - Copy"
    d) RENAME the "Win32 - Copy" folder to "Win64"
    _______

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/239160...9190724137672/

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    Nice.

    2 questions:

    -what is "framerate smoothing" and why disable it?
    -what is "Exclusive Fullscreen". And which of both options is better to reduce input lag?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NIB View Post
    Nice.

    2 questions:

    -what is "framerate smoothing" and why disable it?
    -what is "Exclusive Fullscreen". And which of both options is better to reduce input lag?
    Framerate smoothing is a feature of the UE3 engine which attempts to smooth out gameplay by restricting your overall FPS to a certain interval. This might sometimes be beneficial to people with really low-end machines, but for everyone else I would recommend disabling framerate smoothing and, consequentially, the limit cap on your overall FPS.

    By unticking "exclusive fullscreen" you get a "borderless windowed mode". By ticking "exclusive fullscreen" you get your typical fullscreen experience and also the ability to change your refresh rate.
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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    Any chance to select desired refresh rate and disabling exclusive fullscreen ?

    Also, i tried to make a fps cap, and those Thief.ini files doesn't work, they are locked down.

    For example to put a fps cap to 80fps i need to put

    MinSmoothedFrameRate=80
    MaxSmoothedFrameRate=80

    Save and exit, and it doesn't work !!!

    Also there is a usercmds.ini file, i think there the tweaks must go.

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    Did you make the edited files read only?
    signature imagehmmm, STILL meh tho

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    I tried the "framerate smoothing" tweak some minutes ago but haven't seen any improvements .
    I'm desperate.

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    Yes and they DONT work, they are locked down.

    Only disabling stuff, not mod values !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalinTM View Post
    Any chance to select desired refresh rate and disabling exclusive fullscreen ?

    Also, i tried to make a fps cap, and those Thief.ini files doesn't work, they are locked down.

    For example to put a fps cap to 80fps i need to put

    MinSmoothedFrameRate=80
    MaxSmoothedFrameRate=80

    Save and exit, and it doesn't work !!!

    Also there is a usercmds.ini file, i think there the tweaks must go.
    You might want to try first disabling exclusive fullscreen, then going to ThiefEngine.ini (I think) and edit the refresh rate manually to whatever you want it to be. Just search for a "RefreshRate" line in one of the .ini files, since it might not be ThiefEngine!

    I'm not sure you can set up a framerate cap by editing the framerate smoothing values, but you can definitely do that in NVIDIA Inspector (http://www.guru3d.com/files_details/..._download.html) or RadeonPro (http://www.guru3d.com/files_tags/radeonpro.html). Just install, look up the game profile for THIEF and edit the framerate cap to whatever you want it to be!

    Quote Originally Posted by CalinTM View Post
    Yes and they DONT work, they are locked down.

    Only disabling stuff, not mod values !!
    Try editing "BaseEngine.ini" then, in the "My Documents" folder for THIEF, and see if that works. Check the FPS difference in-game using FRAPS!
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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    ^ I cap the fps on RTSS, but i know all ue3 games can be capped with modified fps values in the .ini file, seems on this game they dont work !!

    EDIT: Tried everything, base engine, default engine, thief engine, they dont work.

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    You made some mistakes in VII.

    The main reason for using the 32bit version is to greatly increase the performance and get rid of the stuttering, too. This may has something to do with black screens / startup crashes / freezes.

    Alternatively, you can just create a shortcut on your desktop for the 32-bit THIEF executable and just use that instead of starting the game through Steam, which defaults to the 64-bit executable. Note that Steam will also start automatically when you use the 32-bit executable, so no problems there!
    This is wrong. If you start the game with the 32bit-version ... steam will close it and start the 64bit instead. So you can not just create a shotcut, that's why i wrote this "tutorial" (:
    _______

    To give you some insight in the difference fps-wise 64bzt vs. 32bit.

    OS: Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate Edition
    CPU: AMD XII 220 (2x2.8Ghz)
    GPU: SAPPHIRE RADEON HD 7750 1GB DDR5
    RAM: 4GB DDR2 800MHz

    64bit Version
    Preset: Very Low
    Menu: 12-21fps
    Ingame Benchmark: avg 6,3fps
    New Game 1st 60sec: 1-19fps

    32bit Version
    Preset: Very Low
    Menu: 35-41fps
    Ingame Benchmark: avg 17,9fps
    New Game 1st 60sec: 31-61fps

    I've played the tutorial, the 1st chapter and the 1st challenge map with an average of ~43-45fps. No AA, Shadows Low, Textures Very Low, AFx4 and everything else turned ON. (It is so well optimized ... but you have to use the 32bit version atm for whatever reason. During March the mantle support will be included and i will get even more frames *g)
    Last edited by MyPerfection; 02-28-2014 at 10:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyPerfection View Post
    You made some mistakes in VII.

    The main reason for using the 32bit version is to greatly increase the performance and get rid of the stuttering, too. This has nothing to do with black screens / startup crashes / freezes.


    This is wrong. If you start the game with the 32bit-version ... steam will close it and start the 64bit instead. So you can not just create a shotcut, that's why i wrote this "tutorial" (:
    _______

    To give you some insight in the difference fps-wise 64bzt vs. 32bit.

    OS: Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate Edition
    CPU: AMD XII 220 (2x2.8Ghz)
    GPU: SAPPHIRE RADEON HD 7750 1GB DDR5
    RAM: 4GB DDR2 800MHz

    64bit Version
    Preset: Very Low
    Menu: 12-21fps
    Ingame Benchmark: avg 6,3fps
    New Game 1st 60sec: 1-19fps

    32bit Version
    Preset: Very Low
    Menu: 35-41fps
    Ingame Benchmark: avg 17,9fps
    New Game 1st 60sec: 31-61fps

    I've played the tutorial, the 1st chapter and the 1st challenge map with an average of ~43-45fps. No AA, Shadows Low, Textures Very Low, AFx4 and everything else turned ON. (It is so well optimized ... but you have to use the 32bit version atm for whatever reason. During March the mantle support will be included and i will get even more frames *g)
    Got it, will update the info in the OP! Thanks!
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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    U could also put those in the thread

    MipFadeInSpeed0=0.3
    MipFadeOutSpeed0=0.1
    MipFadeInSpeed1=2.0
    MipFadeOutSpeed1=1.0

    And change them to 0.0

    If put on 0.0 they load textures more fast, for example when stealing something behind a texture, then opened the texture loads more fast. They worked for Borderlands 2, when looting items behind chests.

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    Could there be some correllation?

    If (low end quad core OR dual core)
    {
    Use 32bit exe
    }
    else
    {
    Use 64bit exe
    }
    signature imagehmmm, STILL meh tho

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalinTM View Post
    U could also put those in the thread

    MipFadeInSpeed0=0.3
    MipFadeOutSpeed0=0.1
    MipFadeInSpeed1=2.0
    MipFadeOutSpeed1=1.0

    And change them to 0.0

    If put on 0.0 they load textures more fast, for example when stealing something behind a texture, then opened the texture loads more fast. They worked for Borderlands 2, when looting items behind chests.
    Will do! Where can you find these lines, is it ThiefEngine.ini?

    Quote Originally Posted by taff View Post
    Could there be some correllation?

    If (low end quad core OR dual core)
    {
    Use 32bit exe
    }
    else
    {
    Use 64bit exe
    }
    Nah, it shouldn't work like that. Sadly, I think only Nixxes can fix the performance issues related to the 64-bit version.
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

  18. #18
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    yeah thief engine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verrenus View Post
    Nah, it shouldn't work like that. Sadly, I think only Nixxes can fix the performance issues related to the 64-bit version.
    It shouldn't, but that appears to be the gist of it for now.
    signature imagehmmm, STILL meh tho

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalinTM View Post
    yeah thief engine
    Thanks, updating now!
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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    Also these


    "bUseBackgroundLevelStreaming=FALSE"
    "UsePriorityStreaming=FALSE"
    "OnlyStreamInTextures=TRUE"

    Crashes the game for me, i leave it default !

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalinTM View Post
    Also these


    "bUseBackgroundLevelStreaming=FALSE"
    "UsePriorityStreaming=FALSE"
    "OnlyStreamInTextures=TRUE"

    Crashes the game for me, i leave it default !
    Yup, changing "bUseBackgroundLevelStreaming" to FALSE does result in a crash if you're trying to load a game which started with the value on TRUE. The same is true for the opposite as well (starting a new game with the value on FALSE will crash the game if the value is changed to TRUE along the way), therefore tweaking this specific line only works when starting a new game from scratch and should not be tampered with afterwards!

    However, returning "bUseBackgroundLevelStreaming" to the original value it had when you started your game can let you continue with that particular save, so there's no worry of losing your in-game progress!
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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    I tested with background streaming on and off, doesn't look different, only placebo.

    Seems theres no tweaking to be made, the game runs slik.

    Only if nixxes wants to patch the game further more regarding the stutterings, when loading new areas, and to manage better the VRAM usage, because the game sucks without any AA 2gb vram and most of GPU's runt out of vram and stutter occurs.

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    I know I've said it before but THANK YOU VERRENUS for the helpfulness, expertise and all-around brilliance you bring to any PC discussion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freyja View Post
    I know I've said it before but THANK YOU VERRENUS for the helpfulness, expertise and all-around brilliance you bring to any PC discussion!
    Hehe, thank you very much! Though if you remember correctly, I DID promise I would make this thread once the game launched. What I couldn't expect was that I would be working alongside the Nixxes support team in trying to fix any lingering issues and bugs in an otherwise stellar PC version!
    "When the progress of time ceases, the evil one will be pointed out for all to see."

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