I can really relate with this. I've got my graphic settings for character up at 100%, and yet most of the time I play now the game will significantly downgrade my textures to the point where they look more akin to a child's waterpainting.
Shoving it up to 200% makes no difference. I can end up doing a solo mission like, say, 'Wargames' on the Cardassian front, and most of the time I'll spend, my characters will show below-part textures. My graphical experience is essentially inferior after Season 4 than it was in Season 3.
What I'm missing now is graphical control. I, the end user, should end up having the choice of how good graphics I want vs. game performance. The game auto-adjusting (based on special effect presence, being in crowds, being in the character tailor) should be a toggle I choose to activate. Right now, when game graphics turn south like that, no amount of tweaking video control will restore it to the way I want.
It's really annoying.
For the record, my graphic card is a NVidia 8800 GTS and my computer runs on 2 gigs of RAM. Not the greatest thing ever, I know... but the point - to me - is how STO's graphics ironically appeared to be much better on a consistent basis before the patch because of this auto-adjusting thing. If the graphics should be 4 times better for the same amount of memory, I should not be experiencing this.
Im sure the poster was just trying to help. A fleet mate of mine who does nothing but build custom rigs and gets heavy sponsorship from all the major companies and specialises in water cooling came back to the game yesterday. Firsth thing he said to me is "what the hell has happened to the framerate - sto is eating more frames than crysis"
Hes running 3 nvidia 580s in tri sli. Im wondering if its an nvidia issue and ati users arnt seeing the issue. The silence from the devs is frustrating because THERE IS AN ISSUE here at least with nvidia cards and the lack of silence is ignorant. It would be appreciated if a dev coul;d at least say "yes we know theres an issue with nvidia cards right now and were working on it". This build on holodeck ISNT THE TRIBBLE build that had the potential for improved all round engine performance. I hope the devs can sort this issue because surely this must be affecting neverwinter as well. I think its a shaders issue and the shaders have been poorly coded for nvidia but optimised with ATI.