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No Man's Sky Beyond VR by Tbone
[September 24, 2022, 04:47:52 pm]


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randomness by Jeyk
[September 22, 2022, 10:35:54 pm]


Quest 2 Link Best Settings (Finally Better Than Rift S) by Tbone
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Quest Headsets Will No Longer Require Facebook Account by Tbone
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Been AWOL by Tbone
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The Matrix: Resurrections by Lithium
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Topics - Tbone

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1
VR Gaming / Zenith (VR MMO)! Come join us!
« on: January 31, 2022, 07:22:13 pm »
We're on shard: Waverider_US_EAST

It's a classic WoW circa-2005 style MMO with pretty good VR mechanics for combat, climbing, flying/gliding, cooking, etc. We're playing nightly 9-11 p.m. EST. Make sure you hop in Discord when you jump in and make sure you get added to the guild in-game!

Join Zenith's Discord to learn more!

2
VR Gaming / Quest 2 Link Best Settings (Finally Better Than Rift S)
« on: December 15, 2021, 04:09:59 pm »
I've had a Quest 2 and Rift S for a long time, using the Rift S for PC gaming and Quest 2 for when I go out of town. I had tried Air Link to compare and the quality was horrible, so I stuck with Rift S. Well, there's been a few patches since then and I've finally sat down and tried to tweak the Quest 2 for PCVR. The Quest 2 has the better screen, so if you can get everything else out of the way, the Quest 2 can become one of the best PCVR headsets you can own. Getting there is a bit of a journey, but here's how...


  • Use a Link Cable, not Airlink
Yes, yes, I know. You want the freedom of wireless. You can do that, and you can THINK the quality is good enough, but be aware there are big tradeoffs. What we're attempting to do is crank up the bitrate to remove any and all artifacts, crank up the resolution to take advantage of Quest 2's pixels, and crank up the refresh rate to improve the overall experience. There's no way to do all three with Airlink, and certainly not at the threshold we need to meet. I got a cheap Link Cable for $16 and so far it's working great!

  • Oculus Device Advanced Settings
And so our balancing act begins. Let's get this out of the way. 120Hz refresh rate is great and can feel very smooth, but it's experimental for a reason. In my opinion the tradeoffs are NOT worth it. You'll have to lower the resolution to try to get a steady 120fps, and it actually drains the Quest 2's battery quicker (more on that later). I have a 3080 and still decided against 120Hz. As a result, my settings are:

Oculus Desktop Menu - Devices - Quest 2 and Touch - Advanced - Graphics Preferences

Refresh Rate (90Hz)
Render Resolution 1.5x (5408x2736)

You want to crank that resolution as high as your computer can stand. This is the best place to supersample, though you can push it further using OTT or ODT. 90Hz is a higher refresh rate and, therefore, an improvement over the Rift S, but you can lower it as a compromise if you have trouble getting the frames.

  • OTT or ODT Settings
Ok, here's where we're gonna get rid of the Link artifacts. You have two options. I recommend downloading Oculus Tray Tools but you can also browse to your Oculus installation and find the Support folder, Oculus Diagnostics folder, and use OculusDebugTool.

In OTT click "Quest Link" on the left menu. You'll find similar settings in ODT:

Distortion Curvature: Low (more detail in the peripherals)
Encode Resolution: 3970 (may need to be lower if lesser graphics card)
Bitrate: 550
Link Sharpening: Enabled

Having the bitrate at 500 is important here. It gets rid of all streaming artifacts and achieves the same fidelity as if you were plugged into the graphics card itself. Any lower and you'll notice an annoying shimmering blockiness, especially on things in the distance. Even 400 will not cut it. Priority is to keep this at 500! OTT will default back to 300 when you restart it, so I would check ODT to make sure it's staying at 500 and, if not, make sure to set it in ODT so that it sticks.

In OTT go back to Game Settings. You can optionally set Default Super Sampling here if your graphics card can handle it. This will multiply with the resolution you set in the Oculus settings, so be very conservative here. I've set my default to 1.2, but for games such as HL: Alyx or Lone Echo 2, I'm leaving this at 1.0. If you click "View & Edit" under Profiles you can change the super sampling per game using OTT. This requires a bit of trial and error, but it allows you to really tweak the fidelity per game.

  • SteamVR Settings

The above settings will kill your performance in SteamVR as any attempt at supersampling from Steam's software will multiply what you've already done, tanking your performance instantly. Our goal here is to set the SteamVR settings as close to baseline as possible and let the Oculus software do all the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, it's a little counter-intuitive and took some trial and error and Googling on my part, but here's what you want:

SteamVR Settings - Video

Refresh Rate: 90 Hz (should be automatic)
Render Resolution: Custom
Resolution Per Eye: 62% (2556x2580)
Advanced Supersample Filtering - Off
Overlay Render Quality - Medium

Your impulse is going to be to leave "resolution per eye" to 100%, but this is actually supersampling what you've already done. 62% is the closest real resolution to the Quest 2, and so you want to force that setting. I'm not certain what "Advanced Supersampling" does, but I'm just getting rid of any supersampling Steam is attempting. "Overlay Render" probably doesn't make a difference, but I'm just trying to avoid any hiccups when menu hopping.

You could stop right here and be good to go. Your settings may differ from mine, but I believe the priorities are:

Bitrate 500 > Render Resolution > Super Sampling > Refresh Rate

If you're sensitive to a lower refresh rate and really want that feeling of smooth presence, you may want to sacrifice super sampling before refresh rate - just remember 120Hz is currently a trap. There are also other ways to make the Quest 2 closer to feature parity with the Rift S...

  • Comfort
This is actually pretty important as the default headstrap for the Quest 2 is abysmal. I personally recommend a Halo style 3rd party strap for the Quest 2 to get it feeling like the Rift S, but I've also heard positive things about a simple head pad for the back of the strap as well. Some sort of counterweight on the back of the strap is also helpful, but this is where things get complicated. I had to 3D print an external battery mount that would be compatible with a Halo strap since the adjustment dial is directly on the back, but I believe there are now options of getting a Halo strap with battery holder already included.

Both the Rift S and Quest 2 lack headphones, and I recommend getting some Porta Pros and zip tying them to the sides of the strap (works for Halo - not so much of the OG strap of Quest 2). This improves the audio quite a bit! I also recommend feeding the Link cable to the back of the strap and attaching it there so that the weight of the cable pulls at the back of your head and not the side of your face. It's a lot of work, but the end result is a HUGE improvement in comfort!

  • Downsides
There are a few caveats to using the Quest 2 as your primary PCVR headset instead of getting an expensive one designed solely for that purpose. One major drawback was already mentioned - the amount of modding needed to make it comfortable and improve the audio. This, however, would be an issue even if you were using the Quest 2 as standalone, so it's something you'd want to deal with either way if you already have one.

The other glaring issue is the battery life. Despite the Quest 2 being plugged directly into the PC, it seems it still doesn't charge fast enough to stay at 100%. Your headset will still slowly drain while playing and plugging it into the PC takes up the charging port, so there's no way for you to have an all day marathon session. This is another reason to avoid 120Hz, as it drains even faster. I still need to do more testing to see how much it drains, but after 2.5 hours of watching a movie it was at 49%.

Finally the Link cable itself can be a bit of a crap shoot when looking for third party. This one has worked well for me so far, but they can be fickle and the official one is still a whopping $80. If you have trouble, try Google for a solution (I had to disable Air Link on the Quest 2 to get regular Link working).

3
News and Announcements / New Matrix Online? "Matrix Awakens" UE5 Demo
« on: December 10, 2021, 06:53:12 pm »
There's finally a new Matrix game! Well...a Matrix demo. And, well...not for PC. But man it looks good! Epic Game released a new demo for Unreal Engine 5, and it takes place within the Matrix! The city itself will be given away to developers to do with as they please, which makes me think that they won't actually turn it into the new MxO, but maybe someone else will! Check it out!

https://venturebeat.com/2021/12/09/epic-games-shows-off-unreal-engine-5-realism-with-stunning-the-matrix-awakens-demo/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU0gvPcc3jQ

4
Oculus Quest VR headsets will no longer require a Facebook account.

Quote from: Zuck
As we’ve focused more on work, and frankly as we’ve heard your feedback more broadly, we’re working on making it so you can log in into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account. We’re starting to test support for work accounts soon, and we’re working on making a broader shift here, within the next year.

It's still unclear exactly when the change will happen and what it will be replaced with, but you can assume you'll probably still need some sort of "Meta" account. You'll just no longer be required to tie the account to a social media account like Facebook.

If you already have an Oculus account, you can get a Quest headset without fear of eventually needing to link a Facebook account to it (2023 WAS the deadline). If you don't have an Oculus account, however, currently a Facebook account is still needed to create a new one. This will eventually change - we're just not sure when.

5
Today was the start of Oculus Facebook Meta Connect.

Most of it was talking about their dream for the Metaverse and how they plan to connect people in VR, AR, and a mix of both and create everything you think of when you think of the Metaverse. All of this is 5-10 years away, though they do have a few launched apps (their Horizon stuff) that is the initial building blocks. They're so dedicated to the cause of building the Metaverse that they are renaming their company to "Meta", so...there ya go. No more Oculus but also no Facebook branding either.

They did tease the launch of a new "high end" headset coming sometime next year, titled Project Cambria for the moment. All we know is it will have face and eye tracking, new optics using "pancake lenses", and additional sensors for a better passthrough that will be in color and allow for Mixed Reality. More details coming next year. They basically said this will be a separate product line that's more expensive that the Quest product line but will have more features.

No real announcements on the AR front other than to say they have a two pronged approach of seeing what they can fit into a glasses form factor now while working on features that they hope to get to a glasses form factor sometime in the future. Their only launched product are glasses that can take pictures and videos and play music (no screen).

The other thing to note is a VR port of GTA: San Andreas which will be coming, I believe, EXCLUSIVELY to the Quest 2 (similar to Resident Evil 4 which was just released). It seems if you want the best of what Oculus Facebook Meta has to offer, you'll eventually have to commit to their product line instead of depending on workarounds like ReVive.

6
General / "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: September 09, 2021, 02:19:59 pm »
Please base your theories off of officially released footage and, of course, MxO storylines! Don't post leaks or spoilers.

Ok, I just watched the first official trailer and the big thing that stood out to me is the color palate. As we all know, the Matrix was shown in a green tint and the real world in a blue tint. The trailer footage, however, was almost entirely yellow. So what's up with that? Well, when Neo gets close to and interacts with the Source, it's all in yellow code.

The yellow to me is a pretty clear indicator that Neo is not in the Matrix but in the Source. There's a clip at the very end of the trailer where Neo is talking to someone and he says "After all these years...to go back to where it started...back to the Matrix." This would heavily imply that they aren't currently IN the Matrix.

So Neo is being kept plugged into the Source and is living a successful life in some way (he seems to be in a nice bathtub). His subconscious is trying to wake him back up, however, and my guess is that he is subconsciously creating a part of his reality - young Morpheus, young Oracle, following the white rabbit - his subconscious is trying to recreate what woke him up the first time, so he's going through a lot of familiar steps and throwbacks.

As for Trinity, my initial guess would be of course that Neo is creating her from code as well, but we see a flash of a real life Trinity plugged in, so...it's possible the Machines kept her alive and deploy her as a means to keep Neo contained at the Source instead of trying to wake up again ("The only thing that matters to you is still here.") So even after Neo becomes aware, he isn't going to leave until he can also get Trinity out.

There's also shots of both Neo and Trinity seeing other versions of themselves. Neo looks in a mirror and his RSI is shifting around to completely different looks. Trinity actually screams and splits into different looking versions of herself. I don't know if this means they are programs like Agents where they are inhabiting others, or it's just different iterations of themselves/remembering past lives (we know that that The One has been reincarnated/created several times). Along those lines this could be the machines trying to re-assimilate The One back into the Matrix but he refuses to be "reborn" because of his attachment to Trinity. I think the film will play with the idea of identity and how we see ourselves. It also seems to have themes of dealing with mental illness, and I think a lot of the movie will be representative of Neo's internal struggle.

Of course it is possible that this is a newer or older version of the Matrix (we are watching the next iteration or a previous iteration), but the yellow code and the line about going back to the Matrix makes me think that this movie doesn't take place in the Matrix where all the remaining humans are plugged into but instead a private Matrix closer to the Source (maybe a Matrix still in beta testing lol).

I know MxO played with the idea that Neo and Trinity were still in the Matrix as sentient programs - reconstructed code. The fact that we see a RL Trinity plugged in makes me think we aren't seeing just the "code" version, though there could be "constructed" versions of many of the main characters (including Trinity and maybe even Neo) along with the real versions of our two main characters.

Overall I'm extremely excited for the movie! I like the idea of it being a smaller-in-scope script focusing on Neo's internal struggle. I am onboard for the fan service of possibly going through a lot of the same things that happened in the original Matrix as a means for Neo to "wake up" again and am interested to see how meta that gets (young Morpheus appears to be showing Neo footage of The Matrix movie inside of a theater). I'm very curious to see if this will be the definitive ending to the Matrix, the beginning of a new trilogy (a la Star Wars), or a soft reset to introduce new characters for potential spin off movies/shows. Either way, the trailer looks amazing!

7
VR Gaming / Population: One
« on: October 29, 2020, 06:23:39 pm »
We've been playing this nightly and are quickly getting hooked. It's a battle royale game for VR - cross platform with Steam, Oculus PC, and Quest/Quest 2. Join us on Discord. We are gaming most nights around 9 p.m. EST.

8
General / Nvidia 3070/3080/3090 Releasing this Month!
« on: September 06, 2020, 12:46:54 pm »
Maybe not worth a news post but at least a discussion. These cards leap frog over previous generations in terms of performance while keeping the price relatively low.

3070 > 2080 Ti at $499
3080 = TWO TIMES a 2080 at $699
3090 has no comparison at $1499

This should make VR gaming much smoother. I'm personally going to upgrade from my 980 Ti to the 3080!

9
If you'd like to take a trip down memory lane and see how The Furious Angels all began, DeaconBlue has released an episode of his podcast, Datanodeone, interviewing Tbone. Have a listen!

You can also find interviews with previous FA members Fuse and Manicvelocity!

Tbone interview: https://anchor.fm/datanodeone/episodes/Episode-11---Tbone-Interview-ed8d7f/a-a21d3e1

Other interviews: https://anchor.fm/datanodeone

10
You can now load the 48 GBs of Half-Life: Alyx! The game itself won't be available to play until this Monday at 1 p.m. / noon Central! If you're like me, you don't have anything else to do and are stuck at home anyway! You should be able to play the game on the Rift, Rift S, Quest+Link, Index, and probably a few other VR HMDs as well.

11
Trailer:



Half-Life 3 1.5 confirmed! It's predicted that this will be a major boost for VR in general.

12
General / MxO Emulator
« on: October 06, 2019, 08:43:49 pm »

13
VR Gaming / No Man's Sky Beyond VR
« on: August 09, 2019, 12:09:04 am »
Who else is jumping in this next week? I'm really interested to see how it runs in VR and the grouping capabilities. We would love to have more people join us! You can play pancake mode if you currently don't have VR.

14
No Man's Sky is On Sale!

If you already own No Man's Sky, a free DLC is releasing August 14th that enables full VR support. According to press previews, the game has been fully revamped for VR and it's not just a quick port.

No Man's Sky's original release was controversial, since many of its promised features never made it to the live game. Since then, however, Hello Games has been adding updates that improve the game. No Man's Sky Next update that released last year apparently brought the game into it's proper form, including a four-man multiplayer. This VR update, labelled "Beyond", also promises improvements to the online multiplayer aspect of the game.

I know me and a few others plan on jumping in starting August 14th, so find me on Steam if you want to join up for the space exploring in VR!

https://www.nomanssky.com/2019/08/beyond-date-announce/

15
Oculus has opened up pre-orders for both the Rift S and the Quest. Each headset costs $399 and will ship May 21st. You can order from Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft Store, and probably Oculus themselves.

Meanwhile Valve released details on their Index headset. It will cost $999 for the headset, controllers, and tracking stations.

Personally I've already put my order in for Rift S and Quest!

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