This setting alters how many objects are shown and the depth of shadows at distances near and far.
When moving from Low to Medium, the key change is added shrubbery on the far left side on the scene in the distance. When moving from Medium to High, more grass near the player is seen, as is much more in-depth shadowing throughout the entire scene, mostly precisely on the building in the distance.
In line with the visual scaling, testing shows this setting has a steady, moderate impact on performance when moving from each setting to the next. The visual impact is far from severe, so this is a good candidate for tweaking. Keep it at High if you can afford it, but if you need the frames, feel free to drop this all the way to Low (Medium isn't worth it).
Depth of Field
This setting is typically intended to blur distant objects and terrain to put nearer objects and terrain in greater focus.
Dragon's Dogma is no typical game, though, and implements DOF very aggressively, affecting the entire scene. Normally I would say turn it off for this reason, but as it's based on a 2012 console game, the underlying textures aren't always pretty to look at, so you may want all that blur.
Benchmarking makes the decision a bit tricky because disabling this setting grants you an extra 2-4 FPS. This is down to preference and how desperate you are.
One of the more popular but sadly often left out settings, Field of View (FOV) lets you adjust how 'wide' your perspective is. At the high-end, you see more, but depending on your setup, you may get 'fisheye.'
Dragon's Dogma doesn't offer extremely high FOV unfortunately, but it does give you an extra 15, which should prove plenty for most gamers. Certainly, it's much better than the cramped default setting.
Happily, increasing FOV has no definitive impact on performance, so be sure to crank this one up, at least if you're on 1920x1080 resolution or higher.
The big ticket items for tweaking in Dragon's Dogma are HDR, Texture Detail, and Shadow Quality. To a lesser extent, Distance Scaling should also be considered. If you are on a high-end system, I strongly recommend enabling VSR/DSR and cranking up your resolution to 3200x1800 for an appreciable added level of detail you can afford for once.
PRICING: You can find Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC retails for $50 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC retails for £25 at Amazon UK.