In-Game Settings (Continued)
Connection - Choose the type of internet connection you have available on your machine. Your connection will determine how "laggy" your online experience will be. When you see a list of servers, a setting called Ping will be displayed in the server details. The lower this number, the less delay in milliseconds (ms) there will be between any action you perform in UT2003 (such as firing a gun) and the actual impact it has on the online world. For example, with a ping of 500, it would take 250ms (or a quarter of a second) for a bullet I fire from my gun to actually register as a hit on the target, and another 250ms for me to see that hit. In that time the target may well have moved three inches to the left on the screen. This is known as lag, and is a part of all online action games to some extent.
To fine-tune your network connection speed in UT2003 see the UT2003.ini section below. Optimal connection speed helps reduce lag, particularly for slower connections such as Modems.
UT2003 Global Stats - Just like a real sporting tournament, UT2003 provides a means of recording your game statistics such as overall online ranking, kills, deaths, time spent playing etc. To make sure that only you can record this information for your character, the game has username and password fields which you must fill out to protect your stats. If you tick the Track Stats option, every time you play a game on a server with statistics enabled, relevant statistics will be recorded, and can be viewed by clicking the View Stats button. Note also that some servers require that this option be ticked before you can join, so if you can't seem to connect to a particular server, tick this option and try again.
This section is fairly self-explanatory. Click on the key assignments you want to change in the Key1 column and type in the new key you wish to use. I cover binding taunts to a key in the Speech and User.ini sections below.
Mouse Sensitivity (In Game) - The higher the number, the more sensitive your character movements will be to mouse movements. This setting only applies to the actual game movements and not moving the mouse around the user interface. There is no "correct" setting...it all depends on your mouse, the surface it's on, your general Windows mouse speed and your preference.
Mouse Sensitivity (Menus) - Just like the above option, the higher the number, the more quickly your cursor will move in response to a mouse movement in the user interface (menus, settings screens, etc.).
Mouse Smoothing Strength - This setting lets you change the extent to which mouse smoothing occurs on your movements (If Mouse Smoothing is ticked). I experimented with various values but didn't notice any difference on my optical mouse. If you are experiencing problems with your mouse smoothness, try varying values up to 1.00.
Mouse Accel. Threshold - This value affects the acceleration of your mouse and can increase or decrease mouse precision. The higher the setting, the more movement of the mouse is needed before mouse acceleration kicks in. That means the higher the value, the more accuracy you'll have with the crosshairs, but your mouse will feel slightly slower for smaller movements.
Dodge Double-Click Time - With dodging enabled (See in-game settings, Game) this setting controls the length of time in seconds during which a double-click of a keyboard movement key is registered as a dodge. That is, with dodging enabled, and at the default setting, if you press A (default move left key) twice within 0.30 seconds then it will register a dodge to the left. Higher values mean more time during which two presses of a key will register as a dodge.
Auto Slope - Ticking this option means that whenever your character runs up (or down) a sloped surface, the view will automatically tilt to be level with the surface.
Invert Mouse - Ticking this setting will mean that pushing your mouse forward will make you look down, and pulling your mouse backward will make your character's view tilt upward.
Mouse Smoothing - As the name implies, ticking this setting will mean your mouse movements will result in a smoother movement of your view on screen. Ticking this option will not affect your framerate (whereas Reduce Mouse Lag will), so tick it unless it gives you problems.
Reduce Mouse Lag - If you have issues with your mouse "lagging" on screen, then ticking this option will help resolve them. Unfortunately it will also reduce your performance to some extent, so if you have no mouse lag problems leave it unticked for a slight increase in fps.
Enable Joystick - Fairly obviously, if you have a joystick connected and wish to use it with UT2003, you'll need to tick this option, otherwise leave it unticked if you're using the default mouse and keyboard configuration.
TouchSense Force Feedback - If your mouse supports Force Feedback then you can tick any or all of the four feedback areas to give you more of a "connected feel" to your environment. Using this option shouldn't affect framerate noticeably, and of course if your hardware doesn't support this feature, untick these options.
Weapon Priority - Lists the available weapons in UT2003 in order of priority, from highest priority through to lowest. The priority list only has an effect on gameplay if you have Switch On Pickup ticked (See below). You can change the weapon priority order by clicking on a weapon name, and selecting either the Raise Priority or Lower Priority button to shift it one space up or down on the list. Rearrange the list until you have your favorite weapons near the top and the weaker/less preferred weapons at the bottom. Clicking the Default button will set the priority list back to the default priorities when you first ran the game. When you click on each weapon you also get the same weapon description as is in the manual displayed in the box on the right of screen.
Switch On Pickup - With this setting ticked, as you pick up different weapons during a game, if your current weapon has a lower priority (based on the Weapon Priority list - see above) then it will be replaced by the higher priority weapon as your active weapon. After a while you may decide it is simply easier to switch off this option and manually select the best weapon based on the circumstances.
Swap Fire Mode - Highlighting a weapon in the weapons list and ticking this option will swap that weapon's Primary and Secondary firing modes. For example, if you highlight the shock rifle and tick this option, left-clicking your mouse will shoot an energy ball, right-clicking it will shoot the beam (the opposite of the shock default).
The HUD is the Heads Up Display, the display around the edges of your screen which show your health, ammunition etc.
Hide HUD - Ticking this option completely removes the HUD. The information displayed on the HUD is very important and at least some of it is best left showing. Use the options below to select which parts you wish to show.
Show Weapon Info - Ticking this will show the current weapon you've equipped and how much ammo it has (bottom right of screen).
Show Personal Info - Ticking this will show your current health (bottom left).
Show Score - Ticking this will show your ranking in the current game (top left).
Show Weapon Bar - Ticking this will show the weapon bar at the bottom of the screen.
Show Portraits - Ticking this will allow the brief display a small portrait of any character who says something important (like an order) during the game in the mid-left of the screen.
Show Enemy Names - This option is ticked by default, so that putting your crosshair on an enemy will show their name beneath the crosshair. Unticking the option removes this name display.
Max Chat Count - The number you enter in this box determines how many in-game chat messages will be displayed at one time on the screen (maximum 8).
Chat Font Size - The number in this box will determine the size of the font (how big the text will be) for in-game chat messages (maximum 8).
Message Font Size - Similar to Chat Font Size, this number will determine how big the in-game messages (other than chat) will be (maximum 4).
HUD Scaling - Determines how big the HUD items are on the screen, starting at 100% (default size) to a minimum of 50% of default size.
HUD Opacity - Determines how "see-thru" the HUD items are, with 0 being invisible.
Screen Flashes - Ticking this option allows your screen to briefly flash as you take damage from weapons. It can be a useful reminder of the "pain" your character is experiencing, but may bother some people. Has no effect on fps, so set to taste.
Weapon Bob - Ticking this option makes your movements seem a bit more realistic - the weapon you're holding will bob up and down slightly as you run. You may want to untick it to maintain a smoother view, again with no impact on fps either way.
Reduce Gore - As the name implies, cuts down on the blood and guts (and partial body pieces!) flying around during a game. Turning gore off is against the UT spirit of unbridled carnage, but ticking this option may improve fps slightly so on older systems the sacrifice might be worth it.
Dodging - Ticking this option will allow you to perform the special dodge moves (See the Special Moves section below). If you double tap a movement key quickly your character performs a rapid "dodge" in that direction. The only reason you may want to untick this option (as it has no effect on fps) is that some people accidentally cause a dodge while rapidly moving around and find it annoying or off-putting.
Auto Aim - This option will help you aim at targets (other characters) better, but if ticked will only work in the offline Single Player matches. It has no effect on fps and will not work in online games.
No Console Death Messages - As the name implies, turns off the reporting of characters' deaths in the console area. Has no impact on performance.
Crosshair - Select a crosshair shape/size from the drop down list provided. You can also alter the color of the crosshair using the red, green and blue sliders, as well as the opacity (how see-thru the crosshair is). These options have no impact on fps and are for taste purposes only. Quite obviously it is recommended you don't hide the crosshair (opacity of 0) for greatest accuracy.
This screen allows you to assign taunts to specific keys, so you won't have to press several keys to access individual taunts. This can also be done through the User.ini file (See User.ini section), but doing it here is much more convenient and is recommended.
That covers the in-game settings available to everyone and anyone who plays UT2003. The next section covers more advanced tweaking as we get down and dirty in the .ini files.