EQ2 and Shaders 3.0
With EQ2’s recent content patch, the Shaders 3.0 were pushed live. I’ve been looking forward to them ever since they were initially announced and some example screenshots were posted by the devs. Unfortunately, their release isn’t going as well as hoped, as pointed out on this thread in the official EQ2 forums. Problems reported are things like “too dark” and “missing textures” and even completely black screens.
After reading that thread I went in to the game and enabled the Shaders 3.0 for myself. The next time I logged in they were active. My reaction is quite mixed, but overall negative. 1st off, I completely agree that they make the whole game too dark. I turned my ambient lighting to full, and it helped a bit but my characters still looked goth/emo with black circles around their eyes. I went ahead and disabled the v3 shaders and went back to “normal.”
On her other blog, Stargrace made this post about the shaders. In the comments she mentioned Profit UI’s “night vision” button which I’d completely forgotten about. And then I decided ot write this post so I logged back in to EQ2 and took a bunch of screenshots in Shader 1, Shader 3, and both states of using night vision buttons. I also took 1 shot where I simply turned the ambient lighting all the way up but didn’t use the night vision button. TBH it mostly looked to me like that’s all the night vision button did was turn the ambient to full, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Sorry about the graphical jaggies. I don’t take screenshots at full quality since it makes them in to huge files if I do. It does look better when I play. Really.
This 1st shot is my coercer wearing the “Opulent Gold Blouse” from the city status merchant and player-made Sandcloth Pantaloons. The shot was taken with Shaders 1.0 in normal lighting during the day. The 2nd shot is done with Shaders 3.0 in normal lighting. 3rd shot is Shaders 3.0 with maxed ambient light and the 4th shot is Shaders 3.0 with the night vision button from the Profit UI used.
I put on a few more outfits and took shots of them also. Sadly, by the time I turned off the Shaders 3.0 and re-logged, night had begun to fall so even the Shaders 1.0 start to look pretty dark. I should have taken the pics indoors next to a light source, I guess. Ah well. Next time.
As it is, as an fyi, all Shaders 3.0 shots from now on are using the night vision button. None of the 3.0 shots are left at “normal” light levels. All shots are in sequence of “Shader 1 normal light on the left, Shader 3.0 night vision in the middle, and Shader 1.0 night vision on the right.”
Here’s a fun one — I did not change the outfit at all in the next shots, yet the pants changed color to blue. Go figure. And the rightmost shot is in Shaders 1.0 with the night vision on so you can see how much more of a difference it makes in the 1.0 shaders vs 3.0. And isn’t it odd that the dark boots went to a light gray in the newer shaders? And yeah, her forehead does gain the black box when in night vision mode in the 1.0 shaders.
Next is the Robe Of Erudite Grace. I think it comes from the Erudin Library instance, in case anyone wants to farm for it 😉 Shader 1 on the left, 3 on the right, and you can see from the background (I hope) that the Shader 1 shot was taken at night vs the 3.0 shot being taken in day. In spite of that, the character model looks brighter in 1.0. At night. See what I mean about 3.0 being dark? Notice also that the white boots changed to gray in 3.0. And holy washout in night vision on 1.0, Batman!
Full night had fallen by the time I took these next 2 shots in 1.0 though, even with the nasty washed out night vision setting. This is the Robe of the Kage-Zonn from the Vigilant zones. Nice robe for pet users.
And of course, no series of shots of female characters in EQ2 can be considered complete without “the dress” so even though this is a quest reward in Sentinel’s Fate, it’s still using the “formal dress” model, so here ya go:
So. . . .whaddya all think? Shader 3 better or worse?