SCREENSHOTS HERE: http://imgur.com/a/ToHLo – Each shot taken with both shadows very low, and medium. I play very low shadows. (Remember screenshots degrade quality a tad)
This is my second guide i've posted so far, first being a performance guide / recommendation at the time for how I played the game on my higher end system.
Today i'm updating that, and found a balance that in my opinion yields a game that is very beautiful still, yet not gimped much if at all in the visibility department in my personal opinion.
My computer setup is:
4930K @ 4.5Ghz + 1080 Asus Strix OC'ed etc.
Framerate wise this tends to make me lie where I normally do – the biggest cities can still take me down to high 40s, but otherwise the normal tends to be 70-100+ depending on which angle you decide to analyse the framerate on.
Note: These have been chosen in order to compromise between what I find good looking, and what gives me good visibility, and as always are optional since for a lot of people they see no performance benefit regardless of setting.
Fullscreen – Other settings should in theory run worse / may introduce some input lag.
Screenscale: 100 – I used to run 120, but found that testing this setting putting it up to 120, and back down is actually a sneaky one, since until you restart the game, the game will seem way more blurry at 100 after putting it up to 120 than it actually is. I make sure to always put it back to 100.000000 screenscale in the GameUserSettings if I fiddle with it, since it likes to give it weird values like 100.812902.
AA: High (No visual difference from Ultra – so no need to go higher than High, plus these two are the least blurry of the AA by default) – With the rest of the settings this will not be that blurry compared to what might be seen as the gimping factor of AA usually due to the reshade adaptive sharpening we will be running, and this eliminates our need to deal with flickering jaggies, which in my eyes are even more distracting.
Shadow Quality: Very Low OR Medium – For maximum visbility, and FPS I will say go Very Low – I still find the game appealing. If you want some visuals out of your shadows, go for Medium since you will be rendering all the main shadows in fair detail. For me personally the lowest lows will be the same between these two, but on average a lot of angles lose 10fps with Medium, compared to Very Low – so this is what I will be running – at least until possibly the optimization patch if Medium runs better down the line.
Post-processing: Low – This introduces all the basic effects that makes the game even prettier once running the reshade, without it seeming blurry. You get a crisp image, with gorgeous colouring, without introducing too many extreme effects. Take care of using the high-ultra settings of PP as they introduce long distance blurring – you can test this on the main menu.
Texture Quality: Depends on V-ram, but as there's no difference visually between High – Ultra, to just be on the safe side of saving a few FPS occasionally opt for High regardless if you usually run ultra fine.
Effects: Very Low OR Medium: Not an FPS hit for me, but this is preference. Medium introduces the reflections that the other levels also do, and I couldn't find a visual difference beyond medium. I find these reflections distracting, especially on the main rap, so I prefer the matte look on Very Low. Totally preference.
Foliage: Very low, or you gimp yourself.
Motion Blur: Off – Test it, some will find it makes the overall game more smooth at low fps (Seems higher when it is isn't) – others will hate the effect, and prefer to turn it off.
View Distance: Very low – Only affects extreme distances, no point keeping it higher – may give frame boosts for no fidelity loss.
So in terms of ReShade, i'm going to go out and assume you can already install this yourself, or find a guide for it. It's simple, just go find the .exe of the game, and choose the DX10+ option for the shaders. Download the presets, and untick them all besides Adaptive Sharpening, and Technicolor 2. Once these load up with your game you will have to configure them to best suit your own preferences. My monitor comes with some basic sharpening so I only have sharpening strength 0.3, and same for technicolor strength. My best reference point is look at the wall behind, to the right of your character in the main menu, tweak sharpening until it is pleasantly sharp. Remember to put your reshade into performance mode once you are happy with your settings (Also test it in the in game lobby) – and voila a gorgeous non-blurry game, that is still competitive.
If anyone is unaware, adaptive sharpening sharpens the game by x amount, and technicolor 2 creates greater contrast between colors (Basically like VibranceGUI)
I use absolutely no launch options. USEALLAVAILABLECORES is default built into launching when the game does, and the commands such as malloc=system is placebo from arma. The only command to run in general if you're on very low everything settings, and potentially want more fps, or remove sun glare / all shadows is -sm4, don't use the others.
Additionally, ensure all your power settings in both Nvidia + normal are set to high performance. Personally in Nvidia I always make sure to change to single display performance optimization mode + highest performance + highest refresh for the chance it ups the performance in game even by a little.
Hope this would at least help someone, and remember tweaking your game too much can cause more issues, than benefits! There is no magical fix to improve your games fps by some insane number, it is unoptimized, and we will have to best make do with what we have currently.
If any questions, feel free to ask. (Even if just about a setting, i've been testing way too much in general to figure out differences, and what I personally prefer)