AO options weakened in 2.50a2?

Starting to familiarize myself with 2.5, mainly to check (by request) on the status of a bug I reported in 2.4x, using my current Othello project file as a test bed. The biggest issue I found so far is that the options for AO blending seem to have changed for the worse.

This is a frame from the sequence as rendered in 2.49b, using the Both option in the AO panel:

Opened in 2.50a2, the AO setting defaulted to Multiply:

Switching to the Add option in 2.50a2 makes things much worse – he’s not even a black dude any more :eek:

All the numeric settings from the 2.49 AO panel ended up in the Gathering panel for 2.50, same values, same labels, so I assume nothing changed except the Blending methods.

In 2.50a2. Multiply is much too intense, the AO shadow swamping all detail in the eyes and obscuring the teeth completely. The problems with Add are obvious.

Took a lot of tweaking and tests to balance the AO, SSS and raytraced lighting of the 2.49b version, it sorta sux that 2.50 can’t even come close. The Both option was an excellent compromise for times when just a touch of AO is needed – wonder why it’s gone?

Are there ways to correct for this in 2.50a2 that don’t involve increasing already-too-long render times (though 2.50 was a great deal faster than 2.49)?

Think thats already answered