EQ 2 has always been a fairly complex game, mechanics wise, and it’s only gotten more complex over the 10+ years of development. That said, there are a lot of little tweaks you can make to the options that will make your gaming experience better. So lets dig in to those options and make a few tweaks to get us to a good starting point.
First you need to open the options window so either press ALT-o or by going to the EQ2 menu and selecting options. Before we go to far there is a button in the upper right corner that says either Basic or Advanced, if it says Advanced click on it so you can be sure you’ll see all of the options available to you.
Even after 10 years EQ2 can bring just about any computer out there to its knees of you have all of the bells and whistles turned on. There are a ton of performance impacting settings spread throughout the options screen including things like water, particle effects, lighting, shadows etc. If you just want a quick and dirty setting that will improve your frame rates just go to the Performance section and choose a Performance Profile that works on your system, High Performance or Very High Performance will work well with most systems while still keeping a lot of the visual goodness.
One other option to check in this section is to make sure that Multi-Core Support is checked if you have a multi-core box, and most of us do these days.
Next stop is the Controls section. In here you can tweak things like your mouse/keyboard settings and what keys are bound to what actions. One thing to note on key bindings – EQ2 will allow you to bind multiple actions to the same key. Sometimes this can be handy but it can also create problems for you if you’re not careful.
For now all we’re interested in is the View Options section.
- Max Camera Distance to Far (you can also do this by typing /ics_maxcameradistance 50 in the chat window). This will allow you to use the scroll wheel to scroll the camera as far out as possible, very handy when trying to get an overview of the fight though how far back you can go is limited by the layout of the dungeon indoors.
- Target Nearest with Autoattack Checked. This allows you to use your autoattack key (default is the ` key next to the 1 key) to both turn on autoattack and target the nearest NPC. There are a couple of things to be aware of though.
First off it will target the nearest NPC visible in your camera and that might be that mob down the hall and not the one hitting you in the back. The easiest way around that is to move your camera so you’re looking straight down on the fight. This is also where that Max Camera Distance setting can come in handy since you’ll be able to see more of the battlefield.
Next is that it considers all of the NPC’s the same so if the next nearest NPC is some non-aggro mob it will still target and attack them so be aware of your surroundings.
Lastly, you might be surprised at some of the things the game considers NPC’s. For instance harvestables and shinies can be targetted. Again just be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your target window when you’re changing targets this way.
The advantage to this is that it allows you to just mash your autoattack key when you’re in the middle of a scrum and cycle between targets. This is especially useful for tank types as it allows them to cycle through all the targets and tag them once to make sure they keep up on the aggro. If you follow some of the other guides for setting up your UI then you’ll be able to see what your target is attacking and make sure you have the aggro before switching off to the next target.
- Combat Auto Face Camera Unchecked. If this option is checked your camera will spin around to face the target you’re attacking. In a fight where you’re switching between a lot of mobs this can be dizzying as well as upsetting your careful placement of the camera to give you the view you want of the fight. The only time you ever need the camera to actually be facing what you’re fighting is if you’re in first person mode.
- Combat Auto Face Avatar Checked. This one will keep your avatar facing whatever you have targeted which should keep you from seeing the dreaded “Can’t see your target” message. The good news is if you’ve carefully positioned your camera using Free Look (default left mouse button) then it won’t spin around with your avatar and you’ll still be able to see the battle the way you want.
Next up is the User Interface tab. There are a couple of different sections on this tab that we’re going to want to make some changes to.
- Game Windows:
- Keep Main HUD Windows Visible – CHECKED. This will keep you from accidentally moving one of your important windows off the screen and not being able to find it when you need it.
- Show the Auto Attack timing bar – CHECKED. This will allow you to use your spells/CA’s and not delay your auto attack firing. Depending on your class a large chunk of your damage will come from that auto attack so it’s important that you don’t delay it.
- Always Show Threat Window – CHECKED. This is most important for the main tank, especially in raid/heroic content, but it’s useful to other classes as well since you need to be aware if you’re about to pull aggro off of your tank from over nuking.
- Name and Chat Bubble:
- Show Distance to Target – CHECKED. The further away you can be and still hit the target the better off you usually are so knowing how far away the game thinks he is is a vital piece of information.
- Show Name for Self – TARGET OR MOUSE OVER.
- Show Healt & Power for Self – TARGET OF MOUSE OVER.
- Sho Name for Other Players – TARGET OR MOUSE OVER.
- Show Healt & Power for Other Players – TARGET OF MOUSE OVER.
All of the above help to remove the clutter from your screen which helps with performance.
- Combat Bubbles:
- Show Third Party Damage – UNCHECKED. This reduces the combat spam and, again, helps improve performance. If you really need to know what kind of damage others are doing load up ACT and parse the fights.
With these settings you can use your mouse wheel to scroll out to see as much as the dungeon will allow you. Then you can use your mouse – click & hold the left button – to spin the camera around to get you the best view of the battle. For the majority of the trash fights in a dungeon this probably won’t come into play but for the named battles it can be a lifesaver.
You’ll want to learn how to use your arrow keys to move your character in conjunction with using your mouse to move the camera around as well as strafing as that can make your life easier.
These settings also get rid of a lot of the useless clutter on your screen so you can focus on what’s important.
The main feature of this setup though is the combination of the ` key auto targeting the nearest NPC in your view, turning your avatar to face it and attacking it while leaving your camera where you set it so you can keep an eye on what’s happening around you.