Normal Map bakes always come out wrong(In need of major help!)

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  07 July 2013
Normal Map bakes always come out wrong(In need of major help!)

I'm trying to create an Oil barrel using a highpoly -> low poly bake. When I get the normal map, it always comes out weird. The top and bottom of the barrel on the map are very very sharp in the Normal map and have weird colors. For the ridges, they have strange shadows in the Normal Map.

Now for a sword I made, it comes out strange too. When you zoom in on the model in CryEngine, it has places on it that look like it turned the model into clay and you smashed it together(You can see this in the normal map if you look close.. In addition, smooth, cylindrical places like the grip are not smoothed or normal'd at all. In fact, the normal map makes it more low-poly looking. Here is its normal map:

I've been trying to figure this out on my own for several months, experimenting with 3DS Max, xNormal, looking up solutions and tutorials on google, etc. I cannot figure out why this is happening and I've been trying to make a good-quality normal map for months with no avail. Of course, my highpoly(and low poly) look different from what I'd expect to be the final result.
  07 July 2013
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