DDUT2004 Tweaks and TipsDD

Basics Settings and Preferences

I thought I'd start with all the settings accessible from the menus and do not require any direct alteration of configuration files.

Some these settings come down to preference so I'll cover only the ones that can improve gameplay.
World Detail: Low
This cuts the extra junk out of mainly stock maps things you won't miss like a small potted plant or a vine, this setting makes nearly no difference on most user maps. The instagib bean no longer has a coil around it too, no big difference.
Physics Detail: Low
Depending on the map this can make a huge difference, by setting this to low it replaces the water volumes with a basic plane. On maps were the mapper was lazy and put one big water volume across the whole bottom of the map this can really crap out frame rate without adding anything to the game.
Dynamic Mesh LOD: Highest
This is the most important setting, you can ignore the rest of this thread but make sure that you have this set to highest or you will be at a quantifiable disadvantage. This setting determines when to place the lower poly characters when the they are x units away. Lower poly == less detail == less pixels on screen to tell if its a target or a wall. The screen shot is comparing lowest setting to the highest setting, as you can see there is a difference in the appearance at far distances.
Coronas, Foilage, and Weather Effects: OFF
Mostly just annoying details that add nothing to the game and are distracting.

Monitor wise I started with a salvaged NEC DiamondPro 930SB 19” CRT, after dropping the monitor while moving I got a pair of Samsung 226bw 22” LCD monitors. The LCD monitors suck compared to that old CRT I miss it. First thing to do with new LCD monitors, TURN OFF DYNAMIC CONTRAST!!! Dynamic contrast is the stupid features that all LCD monitors advertise it dims the back light to make it appear to have a higher contrast ratio when in fact its more like guy in a room turning on and off the lights while you are trying to read!! Turn off color enhancement junk as this also ruins the colors.
Video cards I've gone through three video cards in two systems. The older P4 had a Ati 9800 Pro. The newer quadcore system started with a Nvidia 8800GT but it burned out earlyer this year, I just replaced it with a Nvidia GTX 460 1GB. On a driver level I force anisotropic filtering x16 on the last two cards.

Not much here to talk about, I've messed with the different audio drivers and the default sounds the best at least on telling directions and not sounding like you are fighting in a cave. Most this is preference the real audio tweaks need to be done in the .ini but I'll go over those later
I use Sony MDR-V6 headphones and an old Audigy 2 ZS sound card. Headphones for this game are required especially for sniping. With good headphones most built-in sound usually have noticeable hums and artifacts from the system operating, look into getting a real sound card if you notice and it bothers you.

Default FOV: 100 (110 via console)
The screen shot shows FOV ranging from 80-120 overlaid on each other. “Widescreen gamers” recommend an FOV of 105 on 16:9 for “correct aspect ratio”. I think the whole aspect ratio argument is stupid however I do prefer the higher FOVs such as 110 over default.
WARNING: the following information is provided as is I am not responsible for any misuse or bans that might occur for using this tweak!!
The game allows FOV to exceed 100 but be no lower than 80 online. To allow the FOV to go above 100 just open the console ~` and type fov 110 I recommend setting this offline so that it takes as anti-tcc is sometimes setup to not allow FOV changes mid game to prevent people from “bumpzooming” where they have a keybind that goes from 130 to 80 then back to 130 on release. This bind is stupid for sniper as you already have a scope. I mention that people might ban you if you do this because the old [PSI] rifles' “anti-tweak” looked for values over 100 and would notify all of its usage when caught and it was up to the admins whether or not to do anything further. This is the only UT2004 community that I am aware of that is this hostile against this tweak, ladders and leagues typically allow all FOV from 80-130 and those are the limits I follow. Much higher than 130 and your eyes will likely start bugging out anyway.
Weapon Hand: Hidden
The weapon hand has no purpose other than taking space up on the screen, it helps tell what gun you have out but you can to that with the custom crosshairs and the weapon bar making the weapon redundant.

Weapon Bob: OFF
Ya if you have the Weapon Hand hidden why even bother with the bob? Weapon Bob is bugged and needs to be turned off so you can turn off footsteps later. I'll explain that in a later thread.
Landing Viewshake: OFF
This is the jump in the gun when landing from heights, If I can remember correctly keeping it on leave it so that you can see the trajectory offset while turning it off makes it that the view will not shake but the shot is still off, this is more a preference than anything I know some people that told my to leave this on, toggle it and see what you think.
Speech Recognition: OFF
Did you know you can issue commands to the bots with your voice? Ya that is stupid, turn it off.
Preload all player skins: OFF
This will load all the skins into memory before a match so that the game doesn't hitch. However I found that it decreases load times keeping it off and the hitching from dynamic loading is negligible. This will sometimes make skins load wrong the first spawn might see players with the Jacob skin on a different model until they get killed or whatever.

This one is almost all preference, I'll likely write something explaining the logic of my setting but its all based on opinion and I know that there are good players that use nearly opposite tactics so I'll show you what I have set here and just move on.

I currently use a Logitech g500 and a nostromo n52. Previously I used a mx518, g7 mice as well. If you don't already get a 5 button mouse, get one. The thumb buttons make a huge difference. The n52 is an acquired game controller, I find it more comfortable than a kb after a while as long as you bind the jump to the directional pad down instead of space key. The n52 can be setup to do some awesome macros however I never figured out any effective ones in UT2004 beyond item timers (worthless in sniper). I couldn’t get the drivers working right in Windows7 so I've been using as a generic HID device since then. If anyone is interested I may still have the old nprofiles from over a year ago.

There isn't much to cover here that is just on the GUI level, I'll likely just repost what I wrote about custom crosshairs again later with the rest of the .ini tweaks.

Misc Information
Buddy Browser Wildcards
Most people I think know this but I'll mention it again for anyone who has missed it. * adds a wildcard to the buddies you add meaning you can just add clantags to track entire clans. So to follow all ODC members that have ODC tags just add (ODC)* to your buddies.

Making Server Shortcuts
You can make shortcuts to your favorite servers and put them on your desktop.
1. In UT2004 right click on the server you want to shortcut and select “Copy server address”
2. Now on your desktop right click goto New → Shortcut
3. Paste (ctrl-v) the server address into the prompt hit next and give it a name
4. Done. Now clicking on that shortcut will launch the game and join the desired server.
Sometimes it will connect you as spec, its been a while and I can't remember how to fix that x.x

That and one other thing that I forgot to mention about using center/hidden view, THE GUN SHOOTS STRAIGHT!!
If you use left handed or right handed the gun shoots off center, however I believe this is "mostly" fixed while scoping as the gun is hidden anyways by scoping.
This may be just the animations and effects being off client side when in fact its the same online but I am not 100% sure about that.