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Troubleshooting with lag in Infinity Engine games


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Greetings dear community.


I thought that the best place to ask this question would be you who share the best knowledge of the system of the infinity engine. Lag has made it impossible for me to play some dear Infinity Engine games and its the same for both of my computers. I've followed some guides found on google and lowered hardware acceleration, disabled software blt. This worked great in Planescape Torment (which I finished again the other day :p best CRPG ever) but it does not in Icewind Dale 2.


Latest drivers and updates for both my computers, the 2.0.1 official patch for IWD2. I also tried applying the Tweak Pack and NPC mod here on the forum to no better effect.

I was glad to be free of the lag in most of times in the beginning of the game thanks to the disabled hardware tip but as my play progressed lag has made the game nearly unplayable.


My computers are the following, both with 2GB of ram WinXP SP2.

CPU: Core Duo 1.86 Ghz | GPU: ATI x1600

CPU: P4 2.4 Ghz | GPU: ATI 9700


I even put up a short YouTube video showing how the lag looks like in game.


If any of you have any idea of improved performance I would be really welcome. I've tried about everything short of installing Windows 98 again.

:p :p :( :(


Kind Regards

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We need more info:


Which graphics adapter? (I see you added these above)

Which drivers version?

Settings for drivers?

Settings in baldur.ini? (just copy/paste all of it)

Which specific IE games and mods are you using, and in which order are they installed?

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Latest ATI catalyst driver. Ive also tried DNA drivers. Latest DirectX from Microsoft.

Latest OpenAL driver (does it even update anymore?), latest soundcard Realtek AC97 drivers.


I don't have any issues with other games, simply Infinity Engine ones.

As I wrote, the problem disappears for most areas simply disabling hardware acceleration.


Ive tried running WinXP compatibility mode for Win95, Win98. I have thought of installing Windows 98 on a Virtual PC emulation of Windows 98 but havn't gone so far yet.


Driver settings? Ive tried max performance from ATI Tray Tools to max quality.

VSync: on/off, MipMapping detail: lowest/max, flip queue size: undefined, 0-9

Tried under clocking my graphics card.


Ive tinkered with it quite a bit using all my possible guesses. I tried all combinations of Software BLT on/off. Setting cache to different sizes 175, 300, 500.


As for mods, I've run it without any at all, simply patched 2.01 and then added later mods.


If you have any other ideas please tell me. I've managed to get a lot of games working before but Infinity Engine is giving me a mess. Maybe I shouldn't have given away my old comp P3 400Mhz, Riva 32 MB :p


Im out of words for this problem.



[Program Options]
Volume Movie=85
Full Screen=0
Screen Position X=131485
Screen Position Y=4
Font Name=
Double Byte Character Support=0
3D Acceleration=0
16Bit Textures=1
Display Frequency=60
Maximum Frame Rate=30
Path Search Nodes=32000
Translucent Shadows=0
Sprite Mirror=0
Gamma Correction=2
Brightness Correction=0
Backwards Compatible 3d=0
Volume Music=100
Volume Voices=100
Volume Ambients=100
Volume SFX=100
Display Movie Subtitles=0
Strref On=0
First Run=0
NT Smooth Sound=0
GLSetup Driver=-1
Shaded Selection Box=0

[Game Options]
Mouse Scroll Speed=45
Keyboard Scroll Speed=150
Show Character HP=1
Maximum HP=1
Heal Party on Rest=1
GUI Feedback Level=4
Difficulty Level=1
Critical Hit Screen Shake=1
Show Quest XP=1
Duplicate Floating Text=1
Environmental Audio=0
Attack Sounds=1
Always Dither=1
Static Animations=1
Translucent Blts=0
Tiles Precache Percent=50
Grant 2000=1
Nightmare Mode=0
All Screen Shake=1
Locator Feedback Level=3
Bored Timeout=3000
Command Sounds Frequency=2
Selection Sounds Frequency=2
Effect Text Level=62
Tutorial State=1
Auto Pause State=16
Auto Pause Center=1
Quick Item Mapping=1
Terrain Hugging=0
Pause On Trap=0
Hotkeys On Tooltips=1
Suppress Extra Difficulty Damage=0
Hit Point Bar Sequence=0
Current Loading Hint=9




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The only thing that immediately grabs my attention is your sound hardware. In my experience, on-board sound is typically not as robust as an add-in board. I'm using Soundblaster X-Fi Gamer right now and will never go back.


Other things I note in your INI file:


- You're running in a window instead of full screen; this can cause performance issues on some systems.

- You're running 16-bit color, which is fine unless your desktop is 32-bit, in which case you might try 32-bit color.

- You have Footsteps enabled, and this can tax on-board sound systems.


Your video reminds me of issues I had in BG2, which were caused by three things:

1. Many overlapping environment sounds playing at once.

2. "Enhanced Pathfinding", which re-tests walk paths every few seconds

3. My inventory was full and the scripts that check for quest items were taking forever to locate certain items in my pack.


My old system (K6-2 400Mhz with Voodoo3 video) also had trouble playing the game with 3D enabled, so I disabled it. My current system (Athlon64 2.4Ghz, NVidia 7950GT, 1GB RAM, WinXP SP3, etc.) plays all IE games with all options maximized, although translucent floaty text in IWD2 causes severe screen lag (the bigger the message, the greater the lag). Perhaps recent drivers have fixed that; haven't launched the game in about a year.


I wish I could be more help.

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Thank you kindly for responding!


3. My inventory was full and the scripts that check for quest items were taking forever to locate certain items in my pack.

I found out the problem. I had gained about 5 bags which I kept in my inventory. Throwing them away one by one reduced and eventually removed the lag completely for that particular area. This makes perfect sense since there are no bags in Planescape Torment.


I had no idea that some scripts related to bags kept running in the background causing this slowdown. I encountered some error related to a quest item once in Baldur's Gate 2 long long ago but I forgot about it.


To proceed lag-free I will have to continue without any bags. Picking them up will return the lag once again. Odd but endurable.



Kind Regards

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You could try to ensure no quest or unique items are kept in bags, and use the bags for generic stuff like gems, scrolls and gear. Most scripts are checking for quest/unique items (even door keys), and there is poor/nonexistent optimization in the game code that looks into bags for these items. I can successfully use a "bottomless" bag of holding in BG2/ToB by keeping quest items out of it.


So perhaps empty your bags and try to place only generic items into them. That way you could possibly keep the extra storage space and still run lag-free.

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