Age of Conan ready for 4K?


Recently I had bought a new 4K monitor (SAMSUNG U28D590D). I faced quite a lot of problems to play Age of Conan in 4K resolution, just want to share the difficulties and my experience on how Age of Conan performs in 4K here.
**(The content below includes some huge 4K resolution pictures, watch out the data amount if you are using your phone. XD)

GUI Aspect

login
My first reaction after I open the game is “Oh shit,/facepalm”. If you scale my pictures to fit your screen, you will understand what I mean. The logon box is so small and the dam texts are tiny like ants. I don’t think I able to read them without a really close range.
character_list
Same on the character selection screen, no way to see the details of character.

UI
The nightmare is the in game GUI, there are so many problems:

1. Font Size: It is impossible to read any tiny texts from chat windows, quest logs, friend list, group list, debuff icon, combo cooldown timer, F10 setting menu, etc. It is not just a simple click on Font Size>Large in chat window to fix, cos it is still too small and it doesn’t affect anything outside the chat box.

To solve this, you have to edit the Fonts.xml and copy it into Customized folder. You need to double the sizes of all fonts at least. Below is an example, if the font size is 11, edit it to 22.

<Font name=”NORMAL” face=”verdana” size=”11” weight=”Normal” italic=”No” antialias=”Auto”/>

After enlarging the fonts sizes, you should able to read texts in most part of the game. However, some windows like character selection, feat, AA, itemshop, factions are not controlled by the xml. I find no way to fix and I must move close to screen to read them :/

2. Interface Graphic Size: New problem exists after fonts are enlarged. All the GUI becomes too small to show the big fonts, most of them are being cropped or has align problems. No way to read the cropped buffs stack/timer, hotkeys’ numbers are messing with the stack numbers, the left/right boxes area are too small, etc.

It will be painful if you want to fix this, cos you need to enlarge the UI tga files using software like Photoshop. The work load is huge like making a new UI and quite complicated…..  I am not gonna explain it but if you just want to make the UI playable at least, I suggest you to fix the below things first:

1. Slot size of Skill/ inventory/Hotbar
2. Size of Cast Bar/ Portrait Bar/ Group list Bar
3. Size of Buff/ Debuff
4. Size of rez window/ Bank window/ Minis window

Game Texture Aspect

I won’t expect an online game in 2008 has great textures, but Age of Conan really did a good job on it. Although it does have some specially bad textures on specific terrains and items, it is still a monster game in 4K. I took some 4K screenshots in the new Palace of Cetriss area, game still look fine and acceptable.

4K5

Palace Main Body: Overall is great except the two pillars

4K6

Palace Side Body: Same problem on same pillars

4K3

Wood Spikes: Specially bad textures in everywhere of the game

4K2

Guard’s Armor: Looks great

4K7

Ground Terrains: Relatively bad if you compare them with buildings.

4K1

T5 Portal: A barely pass on the statues

Hardware/Performance Aspect

I played AOC in 4K for a month with a GTX670 2GB, the fps is really low like 20-30 in minigames/raid. I can actually feel there is a delay between the monitor and the display card. I still wonder if VRAM size is that important for gaming performance in 4K. With similar clock rate, a 4GB GTX 970 has around 50% more fps than a 2GB GTX670.

GTX970

And here is the fps difference between my old 2GB GTX670 and my new 4GB GTX970 in 3840×2160. I am standing at Khemi harbor with 2or 3 players around, should expect a 20fps drop if I go to minis /raid.

4k

I notice that using SweetFX in 4K with GTX670 has a huge impact on performance. I don’t think SMAA of SweetFX really eats that much resource and memory. Therefore, I believe running AOC in 4K already use up most resource in GTX670 Kepler GPU. Workloads of AA just make the exchanges bewteen VRAM and GPU much slower. The result also shows how OP the new Maxwell architecture of 900 series is in running 4K resolution.

Conclusion

I won’t recommend you to play Age of Conan in 4K, the main problem is still the UI. Both official and 3rd party UIs have no support on 4K yet. I believe an UI scaling function is the best way to solve it but I don’t think Funcom cares. 4K monitor is not that good for AOC at all, unless you want a big screen for boxing.

12box

Good to boxing small resolution AOC on a 4K desktop

8K DSR Fun

Age of Conan in 8K

Age of Conan in 8K

Here is a 8K (7680×4320) Age of Conan screenshot using Nvidia Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) technology. Try download it and zoom in to watch my gauntlets and the birds in sky, it is crazy!

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2 thoughts on “Age of Conan ready for 4K?

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