It is possible to that some graphics cards may interact with how certain file types are displayed and equally possible some file changes have introduced a marginal effect on quality here and there.
I do graphics design and I have noticed minor differences in quality in some areas playing TSOP. One map I had showed a greyed out deadspace at a certain level of zoom--but when the mod was uninstalled and the same space viewed in the unmoddified game, the same dead space was there was just a tiny bit more warmth to the color.
I am also an audiophile but I listen to mp3's--as I bet nearly all of you do. The convenience, portability and interoperability of them make it a fair trade. When I rip my own cd's I rip them to ogg and have for several years but I have a duplicate folder of mp3's made or accumulated at different times for different reasons. I have Bose speakers on my comp and a set of noise cancelling hi-def headphones but I listen to Youtube as much as to my own collection and the instant availability of any song I want makes it a fair trade--and not all of them are good quality recording.
It would be easy to get into a purist argument but the fact is, TSOP began when crashes and minidumps were rampant, the biggest topics on the boards were along the lines of, "Why another %$%##%% expansion when they haven't fixed the core!?" and general rants and complaints over online playability issues with many, "Why Sins are dead..." and "Why I am leaving Sins..." posts.
TSOP made the game more playable (and still does) and was provided as an OPTION for people who needed it. If you don't need it, don't use it. I could just as easily rant about Distant Stars or any other mod, "breaking game balance" or "destroying the purity of the designer's intent" or "Fragmenting the player community by drawing people away from "True Sins" when in fact, it (and other mods) make the game more varied and more appealing.
TSOP is the same thing and if you read through the history of responses to it you will see Major Stress constantly taking the moral high ground, striving to not put anyone down with his efforts and it is those very qualities that drew the people that are helping him into the project...and he wasn't too proud or controllingh to welcome anyone in.
And to be more to the point--at a time when I was reading many old timer views that, "Sins is really over, time to move on" Major Stress actually did something positive to improve play.
Nothing to be offended with in any of this--always room for improvement and I've noticed Major Stress will usually be the first to say that.
Well done post above Rus. Great presentation of something that might be improved and great documentation.