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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 12:25 am
Posts: 3
Hi!

I'm new to Nasomi. I played retail FFXI on and off sometime between 2003-2006. I had it on both PC and PS2 back then. Recently, as a way to play great co-op games with my kids, I found Nasomi. My child(ren) and I are having a wonderful time together.

After some experimentation, I thought I'd give some help on graphics improvement as things stand here in 2020. There are some online guides, video tutorials, and whatnot on this subject, but most of them are not Nasomi-specific or they are outdated. So, I wanted to provide some help.

First, there is a guide on this forum that is mostly accurate. So, we'll be working out of that guide, but I'm going to provide some commentary on it that will help get around some of the problems with that guide.

So, here's the guide we'll be working from: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6128
This is an excellent guide, but as stated above, it's not entirely accurate with respect to how NasomiXI works in 2020 (particularly that NasomiXI still uses Ashita2). I'll give section-by-section commentary that will help you navigate the guide linked above. I recommend opening the guide linked above in a new tab and following it side-by-side with my comments below.

RE: Setting Up

The information here is fine, but you don't need to find the ToolsUS folder. Just use the NasomiXI Config shortcut that was installed in your Start Menu and/or on your Desktop.

RE: Configuring Ashita

All the information here is good until you get to the "Game" tab that he shows in Ashita. That is an Ashita3 feature and you won't find it in Nasomi's launcher (Ashita2). The good news is, all of those settings are in the NasomiXI Config tool that you used above.

Except...

You can only set Mip Mapping to 1 in the NasomiXI Config tool. If you want to try setting it higher as the guide says, you'll need to edit your Windows registry. It's a little scary, but not too difficult.

Press your windows key + 'R' together and you should get a window that says "Run." Type in "regedit" and press "OK." You'll be prompted to elevate to administrator permissions. Click "Yes." In the registry, expand this tree:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->SOFTWARE->WOW6432Node->PlayNasomiUS->SquareEnix->FinalFantasyXI

This is where all the settings from the NasomXI Config tool are actually stored. The one you want to change is (probably) second in the list. Its "Name" is "0000". Double-click on those four zeros and a little window will appear. Click on "Decimal" over on the right and then enter the number you want in "Value data." Any number from 0-6 is valid (6 being the best mip-mapping, but at a performance cost). After you enter the number click OK. Then close the regedit tool and you're done with that part.

RE: Loading Addons and Uncapping FPS

All of the information in here works just fine. The only thing I'd comment on is the two lines where he sets /drawdistance setworld 20 and /drawdistance setmob 20. Those are very aggressive settings. If your computer can handle them (mine can), fine. But instead of '20,' '3' is nearly as good and will give you a significant performance improvement.

You'll also want to be aware that with the framerate uncapped to 60fps, you'll get some strange visuals in-game if your character is very close to a wall or other obstacle and you position the camera between your character and that wall/obstacle. Due to the camera wanting to maintain a certain distance both from you character and from the obstacle, the camera jumps toward/away from your character every frame, causing a funny zoom/un-zoom flicker effect. When the game runs at 30fps you don't see it because one of those frames is always being dropped so the camera appears to be staying in the same place (even though it's actually hopping back and forth).

I've found that you usually have to try and make this happen but in normal gameplay it's almost never an issue.

RE: Setting Aspect Ratio

Follow the guide linked above. Note that there is a similar setting in the main menu (before you pick your character), but that setting only affects the main menu and not the game itself. So make sure you change both.

RE: In Game Settings

Follow the guide here. It's accurate.

RE: Configuring Chat Logs

Follow the guide here if you wish, although these are largely a matter of personal preference and not really a graphics improvement thing.

RE: Macros and Equipsets

Again, this is more of a gameplay thing than a graphics improvement. Set this up according to your own preferences.

RE: Mod Installation

Here the guide provides a number of options, but it's missing a new one which we'll address shortly. In my opinion, you get a lot of improvement for minimum invested time by sticking with these:


According to the general directions in the guide linked above and the directions in the READMEs of each mod, I would install all of the above in the order listed. The AI Upscale packs are basically the same textures as the game, but AI software has been used to recreate them as sharper, higher-res textures. I wouldn't exactly call them "HD", but they do look nicer. Those provide a "base" on which to install the Megapack, if you want it. That way anything not covered by the Megapack still looks a little nicer. Or you can stick with just the AI upscale for a very "vanilla" look.

If you do choose to install the Megapack, I highly recommend installing ReShade as well. I'll cover that below as it isn't in the original guide linked above.

Also note that if you install the Megapack, there will be a long-ish loading time added to the main menu right after you click "Accept" on that very first dialogue. After that, though, I've never had any issues with long loading times (granted, I haven't explores many zones yet, though).

As for the other mods and/or mod sources listed in the guide linked above, use at your own discretion. I've only installed the ones above. Later, I may play around with some of the HD stuff from his "Miscellaneous HD mods" link. But you can really get into the weeds and spend lots of time modding and little time playing.

RE: Fixing Lag for Laptop Users

The original author never updated this. Also, I suspect the problem could exist on desktops that have motherboard graphics, not just laptops. The problem amounts to a perfect storm that causes the game to use the weaker motherboard-based GPU rather than the dedicated GPU. Here are the elements of the perfect storm:
  • Windows 10
  • The fact that FFXI is a Direct3D8 game
  • The fact that the Nasomi launcher (Ashita2) launches the game as a full-screen borderless window rather than a "classic" full-screen app (where the display is entirely hijacked by the game).

Combined, these three things cause the motherboard GPU to get used instead. The fix is fairly simple: use a D3D8 wrapper that causes FFXI's D3D8 calls to be run using D3D9.

The creator of Ashita has just such a wrapper available for download.
Here's the thread: https://forums.ashitaxi.com/viewtopic.php?t=142
Here's the direct link: https://forums.ashitaxi.com/download/file.php?id=9

Download the file, extract it, and place the files in this folder:
c:\<your-path-to>\NasomiXI\SquareEnix\Ashita\ffxi-bootmod\

Now FFXI will basically become a D3D9 game. To ensure that your laptop (or desktop with mobo graphics??) uses the dedicated GPU, go to your Nvidia or Radeon settings and make sure that the global settings of your computer are set to use the dedicated GPU for 3D applications.

If you have problems with shadows flickering in your game after you use this, you do need to make two small changes to the d3d8.ini that you placed in the folder above.
  1. Open the .ini file in Notepad and scroll to the bottom.
  2. Under [Fix_ShadowZFighting] change "enabled = 0" to "enabled = 1"
  3. Under [Fix_ShadowZFighting] change "dbias = -0.000005" to "dbias = -0.00005" (notice that you are deleting one of the zeroes after the decimal point - the original setting doesn't go quite far enough to fix the issue).

Note that I have an AMD graphics card. I'm not sure if Nvidia cards need the fix above or how they respond to the dbias setting that is there to begin with. Fiddle around with it as needed.

RE: Dualboxing Performance Increase

Isn't dualboxing not allowed on Nasomi? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the term. I recommend ignoring this.

Update: See Arzt's reply below. I probably did misunderstand the term "dualboxing." Either way, be cautious in following the server rules.

RE: Swapping Between Servers

Useful information, I guess, if you plan to do this. I haven't and don't plan to.

ReShade

The last piece of the puzzle is ReShade, which is not in the guide linked above.

If you want to use ReShade, make sure to first follow the instructions I have above under RE: Fixing Lag for Laptop Users, because that is absolutely necessary to make ReShade work regardless of whether you have a laptop, motherboard graphics, dedicated GPU, etc. Basically, ReShade only works on D3D9 and later, and the instructions above wrap FFXI's native D3D8 calls with D3D9, enabling us to use ReShade.

You can download ReShade here: https://reshade.me/

When you run the installer it will ask you which game you want to install ReShade for. Choose "Browse" and go to c:\<your-path-to>\NasomiXI\SquareEnix\Ashita\ffxi-bootmod\ and then in that folder choose "boot.exe". At the appropriate window, make sure Direct3D9 is selected. Otherwise choose all the default options along the way.

Once it's installed, copy the .ini file from one of the Amelila packs into c:\<your-path-to>\NasomiXI\SquareEnix\Ashita\ffxi-bootmod\ - as of this writing it's called "FFXI - Beautiful Lens FX 2020.ini".

When you launch the game, ReShade will run you through a tutorial the first time. Choose the .ini file from the Amelila pack and you're ready to go.

That said, as of this writing, the "FFXI - Beautiful Lens FX 2020.ini" uses a film grain effect you may not like. In my humble opinion it works very well with Amelila's HD Overhaul Megapack because it takes what are otherwise overly bright textures (again, imho) and kind of "re-mutes" them back to the original "feel" of vanilla FFXI.

However, some people really hate film grain, and I understand that, too. If you don't like it or don't want it, you can simply uncheck that post-processing effect and it's gone. ReShade will remember your settings on future launches.

And, of course, you can always go hunting the internet for other ReShade .ini files you like better. Have fun experimenting.

Done!

OK, that's it. I found the original guide linked above very helpful, but it just had a few things that weren't quite right for the current state of Nasomi. Therefore, I thought I'd help the community out by writing up this little commentary. I could have written my own guide from scratch, but frankly I would have been copying a lot of the information linked above, so I didn't feel that was necessary (and I wanted to avoid plagiarism).

Hopefully you found this helpful. Happy adventuring!


Last edited by gammaleak on Sun May 31, 2020 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:24 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Philippines
Finding this thread to be very useful. Tho I feel like I need to raise a possible clarification here, tho I need solid supporting evidence for this:

gammaleak wrote:
RE: Dualboxing Performance Increase

Isn't dualboxing not allowed on Nasomi? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the term. I recommend ignoring this.


I believe you are referring to this part of the rules:
https://na.nasomi.com/rules.php wrote:
Game Balance Issues
• Controlling two characters at once through any means at all is prohibited.


Dualboxing (opening two Nasomi apps with different logged characters) IIRC IS permissible. The one that is not allowed is using any sort of tool (e.g. controlling your main while your alt is following an auto-pilot tool) that will make you control both main and alt at the same time. This can be backed up by the Online Status page (https://na.nasomi.com/status/) showing differences between the population and distinct IPs logged in, as well as the fact that alt-tabbing switches your control between main and alt.

_________________
A player from the Philippines? Please check the NasomiPH thread here.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 12:25 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense and I was thinking there was a possibility I was wrong, but I wanted to give cautious advice rather than reckless advice. I'll update my original post.

Arzt wrote:
Finding this thread to be very useful. Tho I feel like I need to raise a possible clarification here, tho I need solid supporting evidence for this:

gammaleak wrote:
RE: Dualboxing Performance Increase

Isn't dualboxing not allowed on Nasomi? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the term. I recommend ignoring this.


I believe you are referring to this part of the rules:
https://na.nasomi.com/rules.php wrote:
Game Balance Issues
• Controlling two characters at once through any means at all is prohibited.


Dualboxing (opening two Nasomi apps with different logged characters) IIRC IS permissible. The one that is not allowed is using any sort of tool (e.g. controlling your main while your alt is following an auto-pilot tool) that will make you control both main and alt at the same time. This can be backed up by the Online Status page (https://na.nasomi.com/status/) showing differences between the population and distinct IPs logged in, as well as the fact that alt-tabbing switches your control between main and alt.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:56 pm
Posts: 7
Thank you so much for this. Coming back on a fresh install after a year away and this was perfect!


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