In-Game Settings (Continued)
Music Volume, Announcer Volume, Effects Volume - These independently affect the volume of the background music, the in-game announcer's voice, and general effects like character voices, weapons fire and explosions respectively. Adjust to taste.
Audio Mode - The available options are covered below:
Software 3D Audio - This is the most basic audio in UT2003, and uses your CPU to process the sound. It's actually quite acceptable, and does provide good 3D audio. If you have a sound card or decent onboard audio, you can use that instead to provide better quality audio. However software audio will provide the best framerate performance.
Hardware 3D Audio - If you have a sound card, this option will make use of your sound card's hardware capabilities to extend the audio experience. It sounds better than Software 3D, but will reduce your fps slightly.
Hardware 3D Audio + EAX - Creative Labs, the inventors of EAX (Environmental Audio) have informed me that this option will only work correctly if you have a sound card which supports EAX 3.0. This means only Creative SoundBlaster Audigy and Audigy2 cards. For all other cards it won't do any harm, but you won't get any EAX and it is effectively like selecting Hardware Audio (See above). EAX adds special effects to the sound and gives you advantages such as being able to determine with greater accuracy where people are (true positional), and being underwater or behind walls will sound more realistic (occlusion culling). However with this option enabled, you may notice a slight drop in fps. Note also that you will have to update your drivers (See Device Drivers section above) for the Audigy to get proper 3D sound without problems.
Safe Mode - This option is only provided for those having sound problems with other sound modes. If your sound problems are resolved by switching to Safe Mode, then chances are you need to update your sound card driver, or in the case of some VIA chipsets, install the VIA Latency Patch (See Device Drivers above) to reduce crackling for example.
Note: If you're experiencing new sound problems after installation of the 2186 patch, go to your UT2003\System directory, find the file DefOpenAL32.dll, back it up by renaming it to DefOpenAL32.Real_dll and replace it with this one from the 2166 patch. This should resolve problems for those who had no sound problems prior to the current patch.
Reverse Stereo - Reverses the left and right audio channels. Leave unticked unless you really want your left speaker to put out sounds coming from your character's right and vice versa. Has no effect on performance.
Auto Taunt - Your character will automatically say a random taunt when he kills an opponent or with special moves/events. Usually this annoys other players after a while, so I recommend you leave it unticked. If you need to taunt, bind specific taunts to a key (See In-game settings or User.ini sections below), or use the speech key (default is V). Has no effect on performance.
Low Sound Detail - If ticked this changes the sampling rate of the sound, in effect lowering its quality. This might improve fps, but mainly on older systems and especially older sound cards, although it's not recommended for most people.
Message Beep - If ticked, produces a small beep whenever a text message is sent by any players in the game. Has no effect on performance.
Mature Taunts - If ticked, will allow the more "mature" taunts to be heard in-game. If you are a parent and don't want your kids hearing "Holy Sh*t!" in the middle of a UT2003 match, untick this option, otherwise the taunts are not that shocking for most. Has no effect on performance.
Play Voices - Here you can choose which type of character voices you hear. The options are All which plays everything, No Auto Taunts which only allows taunts which you or opponents manually select to be heard, No Taunts which blocks all taunt voices, and None which removes all character voices, including taunts and screams/grunts.
Announcements - The settings are None, Minimal and All. Some people may get annoyed with the somewhat obvious things the in-game announcer will say, so choose the types of things to block out. Minimal is recommended so you can hear the important announcements like time left in the match and whose flag has been captured. Remember that important announcements will also be shown as text on screen, so setting this option to None won't put you at a disadvantage.
Announcer Voice - Select which announcer you want here. If you haven't installed the Epic Bonus Pack (not the Digital Extremes Bonus Pack) the only choice you'll have is Default. If you have a choice, selecting a different announcer will change the voice used to announce in-game messages, and only then if the Announcements setting above is not set to None.
Name - Select your character name, limited to 16 characters in the box.
Preferred Team - For team games like Team DM or CTF and on evenly balanced servers, this will determine whether you start on blue or red.
Weapon - Select whether your weapon is visible or not in first person view (i.e only to you). Your weapon will be visible to others regardless of this setting. You can also select whether your weapon is held in your Left or Right hand. This makes no difference to your accuracy, only the appearance.
Default FOV - This setting changes your Field Of View, that is how much of your surroundings you can see at once. The default is 85, however you can increase this value, with higher values giving you more of a "fish eye" view of the world. Changing this setting is more for the hardcore players who want the advantage of seeing more of their surroundings and hence reacting faster to people approaching from their sides. This setting can also be changed in-game using the FOV console command (See Console Command section).
Character Skin - You can select your character appearance at the bottom of the screen. None of the characters are faster or more agile than each other, these are simply different "skins" which will represent what you look like to others, and the voice and taunts available to you when you play online. Choose one which reflects your online personality and playing style.