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  1. #1

    Lightbulb 5.1 sound + visual upgrade 2018

    Some of you might have heard or already used previously some of the stuff I'm going to list here, but I wanted to summarize what I could achieve after a bit of searching / fine tuning to have better visual & audio experience out of the game in 2018.

    5.1 sound (setup time: 2 minutes)
    It used to work, then there were driver problems, and the SSG (Turbine) now sticks to 2.0 or 2.1 sound by default. You can still achieve 5.1 with a bit of tweaking:
    1, Download "openal-soft-1.19.0-bin.zip" from this site: http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html#download
    2, Extract and search for <extract dir>\bin\Win32\soft_oal.dll
    3, Create a copy from it and rename it to "OpenAl32.dl_"
    4, Copy the newly created "OpenAl32.dl_" to your Lotro install folder (where the "lotroclient.exe" is)
    5, Create a new batch file (e.g. "Lotro OpenAl overwrite.bat") on the desktop and write the following line into the file:
    xcopy /r "c:\Games\The Lord of the Rings Online\OpenAL32.dl_" "c:\Games\The Lord of the Rings Online\OpenAL32.dll" /Y
    What this basically does is that it overwrites your SSG delivered "OpenAl32.dll" with the downloaded one.
    6, After you log in to the launcher let it check and update files, then run the batch file you've created before logging into the server.

    The trick here is that the launcher detects that your file is not the original one, and will set it back, but you can freely overwrite it after the process again. In case of any problem, just delete OpenAl32.dll from the Lotro folder, and the launcher will reset it for you upon restart.

    Positional sound works perfectly both on new and old areas in the game - at least on my setup.

    Visual upgrade (more vivid colours, sharper textures, no "greyish layer" on your monitor anymore - setup time: 5-10 minutes)
    1, Download latest ReShade from here: https://reshade.me/
    2, Install it, select Lotro install folder ("lotroclient.exe", when asked), click OK everywhere, let it install everything
    3, Copy this file to your Lotro install folder: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tgC...ew?usp=sharing
    4, Start the game, let also ReShade initialize
    5, Log in with your character
    6, If ReShade doesn't open automatically, press Shift+F2, and go through the tutorial
    7, From the drop down list select the file you've downloaded and enjoy your updated graphics

    Before picture:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xPQ...ew?usp=sharing

    After picture:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y3n...ew?usp=sharing

    What I did here is that I searched for available configurations for the post processing effects, and finally tweaked one to have optimized fps but all the effects that improve the visual experience.

    The original file I used can be found here:
    https://mega.nz/#!otpVGJAb!AF3mXWgE-...ncGZsM7v4JfsLU

    There is another preset I could get, which can help you determine the settings suits you the best:
    https://steamcommunity.com/app/21250...8927838885601/


    ADVICE: Before starting tuning post processing effects, adjust the in-game graphics settings to your needs. They are nowhere near optimal. And you can avoid getting a good look from post processing which requies additional gpu power, that could be achieved with proper in-game settings too. My settings:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_GW...ew?usp=sharing

    ADVICE 2: You might probably want to consider switching off Lotro in game anti-aliasing, and enabling it directly in the driver 3D settings. If your card already supports CSAA than you can gain much more detailed anti-aliasing with much less cost in fps. My setting for Nvidia:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RE2...ew?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w87...ew?usp=sharing

    ADVICE 3 - from CaerArianrhod: Remove not used Shaders from install folder (or move them to a sub-folder like "your game install path"\reshade-shaders\Shaders\not-used) and to switch to performance mode after done with adjustment.

    ADVICE 4: You might also consider switching off in game v-sync, and enable adaptive v-sync in the driver settings (like nvidia control panel - see advice 2). This handles screen tearing more sophisticated than in game one, and might give you performance benefits.
    Last edited by Lampion-Snowbourn; Oct 03 2018 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
    CaerArianrhod's Avatar
    CaerArianrhod is offline Rohirrim Scout
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampion-Snowbourn View Post

    1, Download latest ReShade from here: https://reshade.me/
    Reshade takes a bit more time that 5-10 min, but it is still worth it. Reading the "install manual" should be done.
    However: you need to tell the version of Reshade you used, because Reshade has the objectionable practice to change the Shaders (for example split one into many or create one from many), so their setting are not every time compatible with previous version of Reshade.
    Important to say: remove not used Shaders from install folder (or move them to a sub-folder like "your game install path"\reshade-shaders\Shaders\not-used) and to switch to performance mode after done with adjustment.

    In your with-reshade version: for me it is a bit too much vibrance & colorfulness, but it is of course a matter of taste ;-)

    Here are my stetting for DX9 with Reshade 3.0.7.180
    http://falkennest.org/armory/test/LOTRO-DX9.ini
    http://falkennest.org/armory/test/reshade.png
    http://falkennest.org/armory/test/lotroclient-1.png
    http://falkennest.org/armory/test/lotroclient-2.png

  3. #3
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    It has been years, but I seem to recall that there is a way to install OpenAL Soft system-wide so that it will be available to any games that use OpenAL (like LotRO) and you won't have to keep overwriting LotRO client files. If I get time, I'll experiment and document. . .

  4. #4
    Thanks both for the replies and suggestions.

    Regarding the unused shaders I've updated the original post, so it doesn't get lost.

    Regarding the 5.1, let's see what you find, but I've checked all these forum post, and this was the only solution I found out there working. The problem is that SSG uses it's own dll irrespective of what you install on your system. Whatever file you have in the system32 folder, Lotro will ignore it and use its own one.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lampion-Snowbourn View Post

    5.1 sound (setup time: 2 minutes)
    It used to work, then there were driver problems, and the SSG (Turbine) now sticks to 2.0 or 2.1 sound by default. You can still achieve 5.1 with a bit of tweaking:
    1, Download "openal-soft-1.19.0-bin.zip" from this site: http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html#download
    2, Extract and search for <extract dir>\bin\Win32\soft_oal.dll
    3, Create a copy from it and rename it to "OpenAl32.dl_"
    4, Copy the newly created "OpenAl32.dl_" to your Lotro install folder (where the "lotroclient.exe" is)
    5, Create a new batch file (e.g. "Lotro OpenAl overwrite.bat") on the desktop and write the following line into the file:
    xcopy /r "c:\Games\The Lord of the Rings Online\OpenAL32.dl_" "c:\Games\The Lord of the Rings Online\OpenAL32.dll" /Y
    What this basically does is that it overwrites your SSG delivered "OpenAl32.dll" with the downloaded one.
    6, After you log in to the launcher let it check and update files, then run the batch file you've created before logging into the server.
    Re: sound, I tried this. It made no difference. [edit] - I DID change the file path in my .bat file to my situation.

    I miss positional sound...it was done really well and added a lot to the game. More than most of the music, IMO, which I almost always turned off to enjoy the ambient sounds. The only exceptions were/are in my houses, where I have selected tunes like Bombadil's Theme.

    It's a shame that SSG decided to just dump positional / 5.1 sound when it apparently got harder to implement for some reason.

    [2nd edit]: 1st time I ran the batch file after logging into the server but before picking a character. No change.
    2nd time I ran the batch file before logging into the server, and everything just closed when I picked the server.

    I probably have a typo somewhere, although when I look at the .dll files they are all dated at the time of the copying. I'll just keep trying.

    Reminds me of the 90's when I had to edit autoexec.bat and config.sys for each game to get them to run in DOS . Not really in a good way for a game in 2018, which frankly should just have 5.1 sound as a selection by default....especially since it did when it was launched 11 years ago. But I guess that's along the same vein as having a 32-bit client and having to drop to DX9 and low graphics around Minas Tirith.
    Last edited by Occum; Oct 03 2018 at 11:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Changing OpenAl dll worked fine for me. Positional sound worked perfectly, but i started having another problem - quite often audio dialogues started cutting off at the end. So couldn't really use that dll.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marxlne View Post
    Changing OpenAl dll worked fine for me. Positional sound worked perfectly, but i started having another problem - quite often audio dialogues started cutting off at the end. So couldn't really use that dll.
    I hate to suggest that anyone spend any money. But since the Creative pci-e (true) X-fi went screwy in LotRO and lost its ability to play back hardware-accelerated OpenAL positional audio without gradually losing sounds, I began using Rapture3D as a substitute OpenAL wrapper. So I'm still able to use my crisp/clear X-fi, and I get (actually superior) positional 5.1 audio in LotRO. It's about $40 USD though.

    Edit: $40 aside, it's easy to use. Download, install, launch LotRo and choose "Rapture 3D" under the in-game sound options.
    Last edited by Hurin; Oct 04 2018 at 04:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin View Post
    I hate to suggest that anyone spend any money.... I began using Rapture3D as a substitute OpenAL wrapper. So I'm still able to use my crisp/clear X-fi, and I get (actually superior) positional 5.1 audio in LotRO. It's about $40 USD though.

    Edit: $40 aside, it's easy to use. Download, install, launch LotRo and choose "Rapture 3D" under the in-game sound options.
    Thanks for this! It works like a charm for me...it's great to have 5.1 back!
    $40 is worth it to me to have high-quality positional sound back.

    FYI, I don't have a dedicated sound card anymore ... but this works fine with on-board sound.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Occum View Post
    Thanks for this! It works like a charm for me...it's great to have 5.1 back!
    $40 is worth it to me to have high-quality positional sound back.

    FYI, I don't have a dedicated sound card anymore ... but this works fine with on-board sound.
    Glad you like it. It really is pretty awesome. The 3D sound stage actually seems superior to what the x-fi provided when processing on its own hardware.

    --H

  10. #10
    Hi all,

    The option to choose Rapture3D now appears to be gone if you switch to the 64-bit client.

    Back to front speakers only, unless I go back to 32-bit and keep crashing in Gondor. Since I'm not in Gondor these days, I think I'll go back and enjoy the sound.

    Unless someone has an idea on what I may be missing?

  11. #11
    Hurin (who is no longer permitted to post to these forums) sends word. . .

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry for the trouble! Especially after I steered you towards Rapture3D!

    First, please confirm that you do not have 5.1 sound working in-game already with the 64-bit client (good testing spot: The Dwarven smiths and their hammer-falls in the forges of Thorin's Hall). I have found that my x-fi is now generating 5.1 sound with the default "Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)" in-game Sound Playback option selected. There are two identical choices and they sound identical.

    Best of all, there is no longer any "disappearing sounds" issue while getting full 5.1 sound on the full-fledged x-fi.

    Your mileage may vary. Perhaps only hardware OpenAL is now working. . . and not all sound cards (and not even all x-fi cards) have hardware OpenAL decoding.

    Or perhaps there's some replacement for OpenAL working. . . perhaps it's all being done in software (similar to Rapture3D). All I know is that it sounds great in my case with no need for Rapture3D.

    However, for those who *do* need Rapture3D, I've found a work-around and tested it. It works!

    THIS IS COMPLETELY UNSUPPORTED

    1. Make sure you have the latest version of Rapture3D installed. You can submit a request at the Blue Ripple Sound website to have them email you the latest versions.

    2. Go to C:\Windows\System32 and locate the "rapture3d64_oal.dll" file. Make a copy of it in a safe place (on your desktop).

    3. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\StandingStoneGames\The Lord of the Rings Online\x64 and find "OpenAL32.dll" file. Make a copy of it, too, in a safe place (though the launcher will just replace it if it finds it missing or that there has been tampering).

    4. Launch the LotRO *launcher* and log in *without* choosing a game world. The trick is to get past the file verifications and then have a moment to work.

    5. Before choosing a world and actually launching the client, copy the rapture3d64_oal.dll file into the game's x64 directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\StandingStoneGames\The Lord of the Rings Online\x64), delete the existing OpenAL32.dll file there, and then rename rapture3d64_oal.dll to OpenAL32.dll.

    6. With those file shenanigans done, you can now select your game world in the launcher and launch the actual game client. You should have full sound, Rapture3D should be the (only) option for sound playback in game. All should be well. I tested for a few minutes and noticed no ill effects. Your mileage may vary.

    Note: The next time you launch the game, the launcher will notice the tampering and replace the OpenAL32.dll file. You need to do this at each game launch. A batch file could be pretty easily written that you could run before and after playing the game to automate this process.

    But. . . again, make sure it's even necessary first!

    --H

  12. #12
    Well, thank you Mouth of Hurin !

    It appears that I did in fact jump the gun, and 5.1 now works on its own. An undocumented advantage of the 64-bit changeover!

  13. #13
    Hmm, mx x-fi titanium fatality pci-e not work whit full surround in 64bit.
    In 32bit mode i have surround for exact sound location from water, npc`s, monsters etc...
    (SB X-FI Audio [0001])
    In 64bit that not work, the npc, water...allways come from the frontspeakers, only rare sounds come from rear.
    Sound are the same as in the 32bit Generic Software-Mode.
    Unterzeichnet: Fangar Thoranan
    Hauptmann des Nachtsturm
    Belegaer (DE-RP)

 

 

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