Ultra Mode is an optional graphics upgrade that will be available with the release of Issue 17: Dark Mirror. It was initially slated to be released with Going Rogue, but the developers stated early on that if they finished it early, they would release it early.
Note that the minimum requirements for a computer to run the game will not change. Ultra Mode is an optional feature. If a player's computer is not strong enough to utilize Ultra Mode, that doesn't mean the player cannot play the game. It simply means that the player cannot play with Ultra Mode features turned on.
- Real time, environmental reflections on all shiny surfaces including glass, metal, water.
- This includes shiny elements on a character costume, such as a goggles and armor.
- Reflections warp to the shape of the reflective surface. Glass windows will have imperfections which give realistic image distortions.
- Real time dynamic shadows that change with the time of day.
- Real time realistic shadows of everything in the environment, including all toons and critter that show a true projection of their shapes.
- Ambient Occlusion: Shadows are not one shade value -- they dynamically get lighter and fuzzier near light sources and they get darker in deeper corners and holes. Objects in the shadows get darker and harder to see.
- Angle-sensitive reflection and transparency: When viewed from on oblique angle, water surfaces are reflective; when viewed from above, the reflectivity diminishes and one can see into the water (at least at shallow depths).
- Shadows: Distorted shadows are cast onto the surface of the water and onto the floor of a water basin (at least at shallow depths).
And some other info:
- Minimum specs will remain relatively the same
- Preatoria was built with Ultra Mode in mind, but it is not required to play in Praetoria
- Will be available throughout the rest of the CoH universe as well
- It will all work on ATI cards, infact, the demo at Hero Con was run on an ATI card
- Nvidia 3D vision is coming...soon™ (Apparently the Nvidia rep said March?)
- After demoing the Ultra-mode at HeroCon, one of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving is “what are the video cards you recommend to get the most out of Ultra-mode?” With the holiday season coming up, we asked the programmers in charge of implementing the features of Ultra-mode what they would recommend. We would like to forward this information on to you so you can better work on your holiday shopping lists.
- If you are looking to spend under US$100, then an NVidia 9800 GT is your best bet. For AMD (ATI/Radeon), we don’t have enough of these cards at this price point to get you good data. This would be the minimum card for enabling all the features, only at reduced quality settings.
- If you are looking to spend between $100 and $200, the Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 260 will do you well. We don’t have numbers from the Radeon 57xx series yet to verify if that is better or worse though. This would end up somewhere in the middle of Ultra-mode quality.
- Finally if you are going to spend over $200, the GeForce GTX 285 is an excellent choice. We don’t have numbers from the Radeon 58xx series yet. This would be able to run Ultra-mode with the quality maxed out (except we have no data on Anti-aliasing, so caveat emptor when it comes to that specific feature).
- Note: This is based on our current internal testing and might change by the time Going Rogue is released. Also, a video card is not the ONLY thing you should take into consideration. Your PC having a decent processor and memory will also enhance your performance. As we continue to test and get more information available we will update you. I hope this helps, and happy holidays!
On February 10, 2010, Positron updated the hardware requirements post to add the following:
- UPDATE 2-10-2010: Spoke with our engineer today, and he said we were seeing excellent performance from the Radeon 5770 card, which is a mid-range card. We have not tested the 5870, but expect the performance on that card to be one of the fastest for Ultra mode. Also noteworthy is that Ultra Mode does not currently support SLI configured cards. We’re working with NVidia and ATI about this, but you all can speed up the process by contacting NVidia and ATI about updating things on their end to get it to work.