SWTOR's confirms that high resolution texture setting is a lie
Many players of Star Wars: The Old Republic are crying foul after discovering that the game does not offer high-resolution textures, a feature which was stripped out following the game's beta. The removal of this feature was not immediately noticed, as the game's settings still gave players the option between "high" and "low" texture quality. However, some savvy persons dug through the game's code, discovering that what the final release toutes as "high quality" is equivilent to what was termed "medium quality" during the beta.
Given this absense of a much desired graphical feature, players took to the forums to call Bioware out on their apparent shenanigans. Community Manager Stephen Reid responded with a lengthy technical post, which despite explaining the reasons for this, left many feeling unsatisfied.
"There are only supposed to be two texture choices, 'Low' and 'High'. This replaces the original three-choice preference of Low/Medium/High because in reality, there was never supposed to be a 'Medium' choice - that was a bug" Stephen claims, going on to mention how high quality textures affected game performance so badly that a compromise was made, the high quality setting resulting in high resolution textures during cinemas, though not actual gameplay. "Yes, we had a small UI bug that unfortunately caused confusion over how the game is intended to work. The textures you're seeing in the course of normal gameplay are optimized for that mode of play. The textures you're seeing during cinematics are also optimized for that mode of play(...)The development team is exploring options to improve the fidelity of the game, particularly for those of you with high-spec PCs."
Although Bioware claims to be looking into the possibilitiy of restoring the high resolution texture support seen in the beta, the real problem now is that high-resolution screenshots of gameplay were used to promote the game, despite the fact that such graphical settings are not actually possible in the final product. Many are accusing Bioware of false advertising, and they do seem to have a point, the ethics of showing beautiful high-res screens and then delivering a low-res product severly suspect.
We'll be keeping an eye out to see if Bioware comments on this further, and whether a fix is actually planned. Until then, enjoy the slightly less than perfect looking world of The Old Republic.