Posting this here because I can embed screenies.
With the new engine, not only have (many of us) gotten a better performing game, and more built-in shiny effects (plus....ugg....FXAA....really guys? FXAA?), but with the move from DX7 to DX9, we also have the ability to use 3rd party software to make the game assets look a whole lot better - and lets face it, Michi and the crew don't have the time or funding to remake all of the game assets, so really, why not do what we can on our end?
One such piece of 3rd party software, which many of you may be familiar with, is called SweetFX - to put it simply, it's basically a piece of code that sits between the game and your GPU that adds in extra effects and fun little toys. It doesn't involve the modification of any of the game files or code, so A) it doesn't break the game in any way, and B) Doesn't break the TOS (for any other MMO out there - I do not know FCs policy, and if this thread is taken down, I will not argue)
Using SweetFX is actually pretty gosh darn simple:
Download the core files here: http://www.guru3d.com/files_details/..._download.html
Download the configurator here (not really necessary, but the easiest way to use it): http://sweetfx.thelazy.net/
Unzip the core files into the AO folder EXCEPT for dxgi.dll - it is only used for DX10/11, and will crash the game at the launcher - if you have issues, check to make sure you didn't accidentally unzip that file into the AO folder.
Open the configurator (unzip it wherever you want), and "Add new game" - navigate to the AO folder and select AnarchyOnline.exe. That's basically it, you are done.
However, if you start AO at this point, you won't see any difference, simply because you haven't enabled any effects yet. Now, if you are of a mind to, you could go through manually and create a wholly custom setup for AO - and I would love to see people do that (I personally am to lazy to actually do it). The easier way is to find a premade profile to use as a starting point, and then tweak from there.
You can find profiles here: https://sfx.thelazy.net/games/
To uninstall SweetFX, simply delete the files that you unzipped to the AO folder, simple as that.
Note, that for some reason the Anti-aliasing options are not currently working for me, but the ingame setting is tolerable (and less resource intensive anyway) for most users.
Any questions, ask them here - any custom profiles, post them here!
Currently, I am using the "Sweet, Subtle, and Sharp" profile for GW2, with only very minor tweaks to the ingame contrast and gamma to suit my taste - here are some screenies - vanilla on the left, SweetFX on the right.