Found a fix for the notorious video-crash-music-keeps-going bug (on NVIDIA cards)
Hey all, i am posting this so it can get indexed in search engines and people experiencing the same problems i was might find it.
What's this all about: I've been having problems with GW2 since beta. Back then i thought it was because the game was still in beta and not optimised for all hardware. I held on buying it till recently, to give it time to develop, get patched, and see if the community will last etc. I bought the game last week, only to find out that the crash-bug remained, after all this time, multiple versions of drivers and hardware changes and patches applied to the game. I was very put-off, since the bug is extremely annoying and can have slightly different manifestations.
With me it was like that: the video would (seemingly) randomly freeze, with sort of green lines showing here and there on the screen. The music and sound would keep going, my keyboard and mouse would be active for about 1 or 2 seconds more, then shut down. The only way to recover was to hard-reset the system, which is -really- annoying because of the loading times.
Note: I've experienced this exact same bug with only 1 other game, ever - Sniper Elite v2.
I've spent a lot of time searching the net for info, i tried contacting the tech support of NCSoft, tried a lot of "solutions"... Finally i think i've found a solution to the problem, which i applied yesterday and the game has been stable since (tested it out for about 5-6 hours straight, not a single crash happened).
Here's the info on my rig:
OS: Win7 64bit Pro
MB: Asus P7P55D
CPU: i5 760 @ 2.8Ghz
RAM: 8gb DDR3
GPU: GeForce GTX 460
I read some rumours that the problem is related to the GTX series of NVidia cards. I cannot confirm if it's true, since i only have mine. I can confirm that my wife's pc which is running ATI has never had the problem.
In the NVIDIA Control Panel, you can set some options for individual applications. One of these options concerns power management on the GPU. By default it's on "auto", which enables the drivers to adjust the power state of the GPU according to the current/previewed load it's experiencing. Normally, games and other 3d-heavy applications keep the setting to "max performance" while they are running, but apparently, some applications have trouble with that option, which leads to switching states while running heavy loads and thus video crashes. The solution is very simple - You gotta go to the Nvidia Control Panel and set the option manually for GW2 to "max performance".
Here's how it's done:
Right click your desktop -> NVIDIA Control Panel -> From the tree to the left select Manage 3D Settings -> On the screen to the right select the Program Settings tab -> From the drop-down list select Guild Wars 2 (gw2.exe) (should be available in the drop-down list, if it's not click "Add" and navigate to where your gw2.exe is located) -> From the feature list on the same screen select Power Management Mode and set it to Prefer Maximum Performance -> Click Apply -> ??? -> Win
Note: The exact naming of the menus changes slightly with driver version changes, however the structure remains the same and the names are like 90% the same.
As said earlier - This fixed the problem for me. It might not work for everyone, especially if you are not using an NVIDIA card, since you may not have the same option. If you do have such an option in the ATI control panel, it might be worth checking it out though.
Here's a list of things that DO NOT work:
Various modifications to the Video options in GW2 (including shadows, AA, reflections)
Various modifications to the Sound options in GW2 (Quality, stability, etc)
Closing all other un-needed software on the PC
Setting the gw2.exe process to high-priority
Playing the game in a window or borderless window
Updating video drivers
Running the game as administrator
Smashing your face in the keyboard
Note: I read that for some people, setting the video options to low, removing shadows, AA and others helps in the way of extending the time before the game would crash. It does not resolve the problem though, just delays it. Also, in my opinion setting a game you could run on high to low just so it doesn't crash every 15 minutes (or even at all for that matter) is NOT a solution anyway.
K so there it is, hope it helps people who have been experiencing this annoying bug.