- Decrease memory usage
- Decrease the burden put on the lighting system
- Decrease usage of computationally intensive effects
Decrease memory usage
- Don't use the highest render quality setting unless you have both 1 GB RAM in your system and on your graphics card
- Depending on the number of light sources, texture space for lightmaps can become pretty big. Usually "medium" lightmap quality is good enough and requires way less memory.
- Another way to decrease texture memory usage is to set "-model_quality 2" in d2x.ini.
Decrease the burden on the lighting system
This category actually might be split in two subdivisions: Decrease the number of light sources, and decrease the number of "entities" (vertices) to be lit.
- Decrease the lighting quality to standard or enhanced.
- Only use the weakest mesh improvement, or turn it completely off. Mesh improvement creates a lot more vertices, and with a lot of light sources around (like shots or powerups), can slow the lighting calculation down significantly.
- If this still isn't good enough, turn off high res models and 3D powerups and use the high res sprites for the latter instead (they still look great).
Decrease usage of computationally intensive effects
Most of these are related to using effects based on D2X-XL's particle system.
- Explosion shrapnel really can kill the frame rate. Turn it down, and if necessary off.
- High quality light trails are also very expensive to render. Chose basic light trails instead, they don't look shabby either.
- Reduce smoke quality, or turn smoke off.
- Using coronas will only be fast enough on good gfx hardware, as it does some more or less advanced render buffer and shader stuff (I found it to work well on ATI Radeon X850 XT and X1900 XT).
- Reduce lightning quality, or turn lightning completely off.
- Turn off real-time shadows. They may look cool, but are somewhat costly to render (and make people fire at the shadows instead of the robots anyway ... )
- Install and use hires sounds. Besides sounding better these actually cost less CPU power, as they don't need to be resampled by D2X-XL.
- If you have a multicore CPU, turn on multithreading. This will mostly avoid framerates dropping too much when creating effects that cost a lot of CPU power.
On a dual core Athlon 4400, Radeon X1900 XT w/ 256 MB VRAM system, I can turn on most of the stuff above and hardly ever experience lag. So contrary to what some might say, you don't need the latest high end machine to enjoy most of D2X-XL's goodness.