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TechAngel85

Tech Enhanced - Mass Effect

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Tech Enhanced - Mass Effect by TechAngel85



This is just a simple guide to enhance the graphics of Mass Effect (the first game). I have planned for guides for the other games as well; however, I have no idea when I'll be able to complete them. For now, please enjoy this guide!

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From what I recall of the trilogy... The first game could use some mods to make the fighting better.  Mass Effect 1 was great, but there were some very annoying aspects of combat (particularly with teammates) that got so much better in ME 2 and 3.

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All this guide does is enhance the graphics. I didn't include any mods that required TexMod because of how unstable it is.

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First of all, I'd like to thank you, TechAngel85, for this guide. It's very easy to understand and together with CDAMJC's mod, the game looks like a complete remake. Stunning!

 

I do have one question: in the section Software Hacking (Easy Dencryption) -> BIOEngine.ini, the first changes are made at the location [Engine.GameEngine]. I do know that parameters can have multiple locations, as you've mentioned it in the guide. However, many of the parameters that are mentioned below it aren't at this location at all but in [Engine.Engine] instead.

 

Now to the question: am I supposed to leave [Engine.Engine] untouched and add the parameters to [Engine.GameEngine] manually?

Edited by Arkana

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hey gr8 guide m8 i r8 8/8

 

However...I have a few questions most about INI tweaks that you probably don't remember the answers to but if you could answer them you'd make the next 30 hours of me playing this game a lot more enjoyable!

 

DepthBias=.008 This parameters determines the way Dynamic Shadows appear. Higher values will reduce the number of shadows shown; whereas, a value of 1.0 will totally remove dynamic shadows on objects. Lower values will increase the number of shadows; however, values too low can result in glitches. As of the 1.02 Patch, the DepthBias value may default to "0.030". This will remove dynamic shadows. Setting it to "0.012" to restore all dynamic shadows. The recommended value is .008 for this guide.

For DepthBias the recommended setting from MEUITM is .006, but you have it set to  .008, what was the reason for this?

 

 

MinShadowResolution=16 MaxShadowResolution=4096 These two parameters determine the minimum and maximum values for shadow resolution and may have a performance impact on some systems. Higher minimum values result in darker and richer shadows. Lower minimum values result in less distinct and grey shadows. Too low or too high of values for the two parameters may also result in visual glitches. The upper threshold for MinShadowResolution and the lower threshold for MaxShadowResolution varies from system to system. Raising the minimum higher than 32 may result in missing shadows. The recommended values for this guide are above.

For MinShadowResoultion the default setting is 32 and MEUITM recommends to keep it at 32 as well but why do you change it to 16?

 

 

PoolSize=564 This should be changed to the value above to help reduce texture glitching. This is 4x the default value of 140.

For PoolSize the default value is 140 and you say to change it four times the default to 564 but four times 140 would be 560 not 564?

 

 

Finally, I'm pretty sure you've seen this video because you talk about turning on Ambient Occlusion in your guide near the beginning, but it's not actually in your guide. He enables AO and SuperSampling in the video and I was wondering if you there was a reason you didn't include those in the guide, or if you just didn't know about it.

 

 

Thanks for any help m8.      

Edited by SynthetikHD

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hey gr8 guide m8 i r8 8/8

 

However...I have a few questions most about INI tweaks that you probably don't remember the answers to but if you could answer them you'd make the next 30 hours of me playing this game a lot more enjoyable!

 

For DepthBias the recommended setting from MEUITM is .006, but you have it set to  .008, what was the reason for this?

 

 

For MinShadowResoultion the default setting is 32 and MEUITM recommends to keep it at 32 as well but why do you change it to 16?

 

 

For PoolSize the default value is 140 and you say to change it four times the default to 564 but four times 140 would be 560 not 564?

 

 

Finally, I'm pretty sure you've seen this video because you talk about turning on Ambient Occlusion in your guide near the beginning, but it's not actually in your guide. He enables AO and SuperSampling in the video and I was wondering if you there was a reason you didn't include those in the guide, or if you just didn't know about it.

 

 

Thanks for any help m8.      

DepthBias...can't remember, but it came from testing. The difference here is so small, you'll likely not notice any difference.

 

MinShadow is set at 16 because anything higher could cause missing shadows for the smaller shadow casting meshes.

 

PoolSize, bad math? Not enough sleep? Haha! This can be set to even higher numbers, but the difference in 560 and 564 isn't going to matter. I think this was added in because of an issue of getting stuck and the game freezing in certain areas on the Citadel. I really need to play this game again. I don't think I've ever finished it 100%.

 

Actually, I had never seen that video before. Thanks for the link! Looks like he's using mostly the same setting as I am in the Guide. The AO is user choice. Not everyone can handle the performance hit from it, though that is unlikely with any video card that is GeForce 500 series and up. Some of the 400 series could probably even play it without issue. The Guide was made with I had my laptop with a GTX480, so the AO would be a nice addition. I have touched it in a very, very long time so it would be good to go through it again.

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Hey Tech,

 

Thanks for the guide. I finally decided to see what Mass Effect was all about.

 

One thing I noticed is that there is a hotfix available on the MEUITM page that fixes some females having no eyebrows with the original file. It is not installed via an installer like the main file; instead this patch needs to be installed manually.

 

Also, a few things to point out regarding the Origin installation - you mention downloading the v1.02 patch, but that is not needed if downloaded from Origin. Also, you might want to mention that the Origin version automatically comes with both DLCs...it is a pain in the ass to get them working on the Steam version from what I have read. Both were originally being given out free, but the official download for one of them was taken down by EA earlier this year. Lastly, I have read that it may be necessary to force Origin to not automatically update games, or it will completely screw with the changes made (I have not tested this myself).

 

Besides that, this small guide seems great. Just what I was looking for. :-)

 

Thanks again.

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Just letting everyone know that I went back through the guide during the last couple days polishing and updating it where appropriate. Now if I can only manage to completely finish playing the game...

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Going through this thread, there are a few things I'll add to the guide (like forcing AO). I will start playing the game again soon in some of my free time and will update it where I see it needs it. I'll add the graphic card tweaks tomorrow.

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A few updates:

  • Added in a video card section. It's not tested yet. I simply provided minimum settings based on my experience from other games.
  • Changed the PoolSize to 1024 based on recommendations I've read.
  • Changed Anisotropic Filtering in INI to 0 since we'll be forcing it through the video card now.
  • Changed MinShadowResolution back to the default of 32 since I could not find my reference of why I originally changed it.
  • Changed the DepthBias to .006 to match MEUITM's recommendation. As I mentioned above, the difference between .008 and .006 is so small that no will will notice any difference in-game.

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