The Eternal Debate Over Graphics Settings

My post about turning off shadows in DayZ brought in a lot of love/hate. The vocal few in opposition and support sure feel strongly about the subject. I think most people however are in the middle. They understand that he beauty (and curse) of PC gaming is that we all have different hardware, and the software has built-in functions to customize the game to fit your system. I have a feeling that too many gamers these days were weaned on “one size fits all” console games. They might think that all of gaming is an even playing field, but it simply is not the case.


This is Me After the Shadows Post – pic by Joss


The fact is that there is a broad range of different possibilities for performance and game experience. If you really think about it, every single person playing a PC game has a different experience. There is nobody else in your exact location, with your connection, your exact hardware, the same version drivers. If I am wrong than that means you are playing in the same house, with identical rigs. Bless the husband and wife, or friends and family that game together. Maybe you two have a fair fight.

For the rest of us, gaming is about taking what you are given and making something out of it The people with the top end systems should be able to run everything at max settings. With their cooling, processing, RAM, SSD and just pure electronic horsepower they should be able to beat anyone on the planet. If not, then maybe they just aren’t very good. Everyone else is going to have to lower their expectations, and graphics settings. They are going to have to come down to those of us in the slums.


Click read more below to finish reading the blog post and see another amazing pic by Joss.



I don’t have an i5, or i7. Hell, I don’t even have an iPad! If you had to play on my system you would have no choice but to give me props for even ATTEMPTING to play a game like DayZ. It’s just so violent and instant. Sometimes I should have my head examined, running through the industrial area in Cherno at 15 FPS. I do it because I love the rush, and the mind games. And the guns. I love my guns.

I deal with the pain of low-tier broadband and a normal size square monitor. Some of us need to step our game up, we know. Not everyone has the funds to really be at the top hardware-wise. Computer graphics cards, monitors, accessories, RAM, SSD’s, those things are really expensive to some people. You would be totally shocked if you saw some of the countries that this blog has readers in. India, China, Mexico, Oman, Columbia (over 50 countries total). Imagine what those guys have to go through to play them some Zombies?


Hatchet? Check. Zombie? Check. Scary-Ass Lighting? Check. – pic by Joss


Is changing the video settings hacking or exploiting? Of course it’s not. “Hacking” or scripting is changing the game code, exploiting is using glitches or bugs to do something that the developer had no intention of you being able to do. All we are doing is picking choices off of a menu that is presented to every single player. The ones that are locked out by the developers are not affected by the choices, such as view distance allegedly. If they are not meant to be used, they would not be in the vanilla/base game or the mod. How can someone argue that putting a setting to off constitutes cheating?


Is there hope for us? How can we over come this problem? Are you saying to yourself: “I couldn’t care less”? Let’s hear what you have to share. I have not disapproved  a single comment besides 1 or 2 that my spam filter missed.  As long as you are civil I promise your voice can be heard here.


10 thoughts on “The Eternal Debate Over Graphics Settings

  1. I think the point that those who are against your advice is that you aren’t entering into the spirit of the game.

    Whilst you aren’t exploiting a bug or hacking you are advocating gaining an advantage by manipulating the game in a manner that its not designed for. This is the definition of ‘exploit’.

    Graphics options are there to allow people with lower end systems (like you and I) to still play, albeit with a weaker experience. What you are advocating is for everyone to manipulate their systems to allow an unintended advantage.

    The developers have made this game to look as nice as they can, part of this is that it adds immersion and depth. Its the way the game is supposed to be played, seeing snipers is difficult, Z blend in with the back ground. A noob running round in circles is obvious. What you are doing is artificially removing this depth. You are taking a game and removing its subtlties.

    Your point that ‘the menu is there to allow you to change these settings so change them!’ is invalid. Its a completely normal part of any PC game that you can Alt-F4. I can do it in any game. The developers don’t restrict its use, its a feature thats there. In fact Rocket has included the hive to maintain a persistent game state state for players logging off and on in this manner. Therefore by your reasoning its fine for people to Alt-F4 in the middle of a firefight, they aren’t exploiting a glitch or hacking, they are simply utilising an included feature. However I suspect that you won’t agree that this is an acceptable use of the feature.

    I cannot disagree with your position more. Its indefensible. You are here as a vocal and visible mouthpiece for the DayZ community and yet you choose to promote and defend the indefensible and you choose to claim that you are right in doing so.

    You’re a massive dick for doing so. You cheat and yet you proselytise your cheating as being the correct way of playing. You have chosen to place yourself in the limelight therefore you _have_ to take the moral high ground and represent the game in the way that it is meant to be played.

    A shame, I came here and it looked like you were beginning to create a new and interesting community portal for this great game, and it turns out that your nothing but a simple cheat who has the audacity to try and self justify even in the face of overwhelming opposition.

    • First of all, the opposition is not overwhelming, just vocal. You say “manipulating the game in a manner that its not designed for” yet the developers spent time and money building those features in. Please show me some official documentation where the developers explicitly forbid changing graphics settings. It doesn’t exist.

      Let me ask you, if I delete this post will the problem go away? You seem to imply that it it totally my fault that people change the settings given to them in the game. Every game to come out for my whole lifetime has had the same options. That’s just absurd.

      You also say you can ALT-F4 in any game. You have obviously never played EvE Online. You can quit, but you are punished, just like you should be in DayZ. If you engage in PvP combat there is a PvP timer that will not let you log out until it is over. You have to stay in the game world, able to be shot for 15 minutes. If you are shot at within that time, your timer restarts. Link

      One of the main points of a blog is to express an opinion, a viewpoint. It would seem that you would want me to copy/paste news, or regurgitate the popular opinion from the forums. I will not do that. If you want to know what the hive mind thinks than this blog is not for you. This blog is for looking at the OTHER side of thing. The unpopular, the “uncool”.

      The final point stands. Customizable software settings have been, and will be around for a long time. Get used to it. You are confusing immersion with performance. They are not the same thing. If you have to rig to pull it off, then enjoy it. The majority of us have to sacrifice just to play the game.

      You are lumping people who explicitly cheat and hack to ruin the game for others with people that want to get the most frames per second from their computers. They are simply not the same group of people, no matter how much you want them to be.

    • His position is absolutely not indefensible – you just think it is, which does not make it so. He does not have to do anything the way you want him to, because he is already making an active contribution to the community (like it or not) – as opposed to you. And to be fair, in calling him out for a “massive dick”, you pretty well demonstrate that you yourself are completely clueless as to where any moral high ground might be… How petty?

      Being able to alt+F4 yourself out of a sticky situation was never meant to be a feature of the game, the developers disapprove and they’re trying to fix this error. The latest patch has measures to stop people from exploiting it. Graphics settings, on the other hand, are implemented pretty much in their final conception. They serve their purpose admirably, and people with low-end rigs can play the game by turning down details where people with high-end rigs can leave them on. We all want as many people to be able to play with us as possible. And if a side effect of a player being on a low-end rig is that he has to disable shadows, giving him an ever so slight advantage? Well, then we have to make that the base line. If you care about winning more, you turn off your shadows. If you, like me and the majority of people who don’t have whatever-the-hell-issues, care about immersion and the game experience more, you crank your details up as high as you can while still running the game playably. Because it’s more fun.

      The fact of the matter is that the advantage to be gained is marginal – if you lose because the other guy has turned shadows off, practice more or – if it actually upsets you that much – turn off your bloody shadows too. If winning is more important than having fun, that option is always right there for you. The advantage is tiny, and it does not make a bad player mediocre or a mediocre player good… That’s why it’s been like that in just about every single game since the advent of first person shooters.

      • Thanks for defending my position. I just want everyone to know that there are many options. Why would I approve a negative comment, even one attacking me? Because I know that I have don’t nothing wrong, and I am not the only one that shares my view on this issue. Seems that the “OMG shadows off = hacker” crowd is the minority, but they are very vocal. Probably very young as well and have not seen the video game evolution like we have. They are used to consoles where everything is locked out.


        Give me a .cfg file any day.

  2. There is a huge difference between tweaking the game settings to your liking and exploiting game mechanics flaws (the fact that there is no log off timer in the game being one of these flaws). Lowering the graphics settings has nothing to do with cheating, it is just the way every PvP oriented game is played. And the main reason behind it is that in PC games your whole FOV is in focus all the time. Your eyes don’t work this way and it actually makes it way harder to see anything than in real life.

    Speaking of “the way the game is meant to be played”… well, it is defined by:
    – Game mechanics (you can’t jump in this game)
    – Server settings (you can’t use 3d person camera on this server)
    – Server rules (the admin has clearly stated that he will keep anyone caught killing newly spawned survivors at the shoreline).

    The point I am trying to make here is that the “SO I CHOPPED MY RIGHT LEG OFF WHILE HAVING FUN WITH A CHAINSAW TWO YEARS AGO, SO FROM NOW ON EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY SOCCER IN A WHEELCHAIR” nonsense you are talking is stupid. Your problem is – you make up some weird rules for yourself and wonder why aren’t everyone playing the game the way you want.

        • Oh I know, I agree with what you are saying too, just trying to show the “other guys” our perspective.

          “it is just the way every PvP oriented game is played”

          Some people have not experienced this I guess? Not too sure where everyone is coming form you know, that’s why I try and write as a seasoned participant, not an expert.

          Keep the comments coming


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