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Isometric vs. First Person?

grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon

Most of my experiences with Computer RPGs are from the overhead isometric perspective.  My first MMO had this as well.

The next MMO I played was EQ.  I felt something was lost in the transition.  Sure, the game looked good, it was first/third person, but the RPG element was lost on me.  At the time, I attributed as being that the isometric view lends itself better to the RPG setting.

Part of me still believes this as I have not been able to find an MMO matched in immersion as UO.

Does anyone else feel this?   Was moving the camera enough to break the immersion?  Should we go back?  Has the genre become too close to the FPS one?

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Comments

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    I'll take any camera angle except first person.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
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  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by grimal

    Does anyone else feel this?   Was moving the camera enough to break the immersion?  Should we go back?  Has the genre become too close to the FPS one?

    Isometric--mostly gone the way of the dodo, with a very few exceptions.

    Worst "adaptation" problem, for me, is Inverted Mouse, and different companies reversing (from each other).  Sometimes that little checkbox, always hidden away in options somewhere, can be a bloody bugger to hunt down...but it'll drive you insane, until you find it.

    Worst not too bad, right?  Now we start setting up the keyboard..

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • DewmDewm Soldotna, AKPosts: 1,341Member

     

    For us stupid people... what is isometric view?

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  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Dewm

     

    For us stupid people... what is isometric view?


    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • DrinkingbearDrinkingbear Flushing, MIPosts: 60Member
    Isometric-Think Fallout and Baldurs Gate for examples.
  • DewmDewm Soldotna, AKPosts: 1,341Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by Dewm

     

    For us stupid people... what is isometric view?


    Gotcha.

    Please check out my channel. I do gaming reviews, gaming related reviews & lets plays. Thanks!

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,716Member Uncommon

    I don't think it's about the 2.5D versus 3D that kills immersion. (even MUDs could be quite immersive). It's just that the genre has moved away from building worlds, and making players feel like they're part of it.

     

    Nowadays, everyone's a hero. You know that NPC you just helped take revenge for his wife's death by killing bandits? Well, that NPC must be some serious playboy because the players before and after you have all had to take revenge for his wife's death.  Or that evil boss destroying every village, you kill it and everyone hails you as a hero, only to do the same to other players again. It's quite hard to feel immersed in that kind of game.

     

    In games like UO, there was none of that "everyone's a winner" bs. You gained reknown amongst the players through your actions, you'd get thrills when PKing or getting PKed, you had an impact on the world around you. There's nothing more immersive than being part of something that only you or a select few can do because it gives a value to your actions. There's none of that in today's MMOs and it's not because the games are isometric or 3D, it's because developers have forgotten how to build worlds.

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  • RednecksithRednecksith Madison heights, MIPosts: 1,238Member
    Originally posted by Dewm

     

    For us stupid people... what is isometric view?

    Top-down, at an angle. Like Baldur's Gate, Fallout 1&2 (the ONLY two AFAIC), Ultima Online, etc.

    I honestly would love to see a new isometric perspective MMO. Lineage Eternal looks very promising in that regard. I was following LinkRealms for a time, but the absolutely glacial speed of development finally made me give up on it.

    Other than those two, not much going on, more's the pity I suppose.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Rednecksith
    I honestly would love to see a new isometric perspective MMO.

    The "omgoutdated graphics" folks would kill it before it hatched.

    I always read those guys as "I just spent $500 for a new GPU and I will justify it with all the bells and whistles!"  But that's ok :)

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by Rednecksith
    I honestly would love to see a new isometric perspective MMO.

    The "omgoutdated graphics" folks would kill it before it hatched.

    I always read those guys as "I just spent $500 for a new GPU and I will justify it with all the bells and whistles!"  But that's ok :)

    I wouldn't mind an isometric MMO either, if it was the kind of game I wanted to play I could truly care less, although I have my preferences.

    (edit: I know this puts me in the minority however)

    Also, Diablo 3 sold how many millions?

     

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  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,479Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MadnessRealm

    I don't think it's about the 2.5D versus 3D that kills immersion. (even MUDs could be quite immersive). It's just that the genre has moved away from building worlds, and making players feel like they're part of it.

     

    Nowadays, everyone's a hero. You know that NPC you just helped take revenge for his wife's death by killing bandits? Well, that NPC must be some serious playboy because the players before and after you have all had to take revenge for his wife's death.  Or that evil boss destroying every village, you kill it and everyone hails you as a hero, only to do the same to other players again. It's quite hard to feel immersed in that kind of game.

     

    In games like UO, there was none of that "everyone's a winner" bs. You gained reknowned amongst the players through your actions, you'd get thrills when PKing or getting PKed, you had an impact on the world around you. There's nothing more immersive than being part of something that only you or a select few can do because it gives a value to your actions. There's none of that in today's MMOs and it's not because the games are isometric or 3D, it's because they've forgotten how to build worlds.

    This is dead on imo.  Virtual worlds have gone away but that doesn't mean it's the only way you can build an mmorpg.  It just seems to be the more the VW is removed the more of a "everyone's a winner" appears.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,751Member Uncommon

    First-person view is what most of us experience in real life. As I'm part of that group, I find first-person view to be much more immersive.  As soon as you take the step back to third-person, you break that and there's really not much difference between that any any other non-FP view (although the more you pull away, the less immersive it tends to be.)

    While I criticize a lot of their gameplay elements for being really shallow, the Elder Scrolls games have been the most immersive RPGs I've experienced.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    First-person view is what most of us experience in real life. As I'm part of that group, I find first-person view to be much more immersive.  As soon as you take the step back to third-person, you break that and there's really not much difference between that any any other non-FP view (although the more you pull away, the less immersive it tends to be.)

    While I criticize a lot of their gameplay elements for being really shallow, the Elder Scrolls games have been the most immersive RPGs I've experienced.

     

    But an isometric view offers better tactical considerations for combat. It is easier to judge AOE radius, use terrain to hide, and so on.

    I like my RPG combat isometrics, better than 1st person (except Borderland). Moreover, 3rd person is also better in a RPG for me .. because i want to SEE all my gear on my toon.

    I am playing games .... it does NOT have to mimic real life.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member
    1st Person definately for me. I end up feeling detatched and disoriented in 3rd person, but I realize that's a personal quirk. Most MMO players seem to prefer 3rd person as it offers a better field of view. However there is no reason a modern MMO can't offer both and allow the user to switch between them based on whatever works best for them individualy at the moment.
  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    But an isometric view offers better tactical considerations for combat. It is easier to judge AOE radius, use terrain to hide, and so on.

    You can do that in most first-person-view MMO (including in the example of the OP, Everquest) by simply zooming out, it will pan the camera overhead. It's the same angle as an isometric view but in 3D.

    This is the same tactical advantage of isometric view, and on top of that you can pan the camera around setting it higher or lower or spinning it around to your liking.

    I would argue this system has more advantages over isometric, since first-person-view has advantages of mob tabbing and controlling adds.

    Most people will switch view depending on need.

    (this is EQ)

    I like my first-person-view it is much more immersive.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    To me, it doesn't matter if the view is Third Person or First Person, so long as I can move the camera. Diablo's static camera position really bugs me. I can play it, but I don't like it. The mobile camera mod for Torchlight was a big improvement over the static camera position.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by grimal

    Does anyone else feel this?   Was moving the camera enough to break the immersion?  Should we go back?  Has the genre become too close to the FPS one?

    I found that once I got used to a 3-dimensional world, it was very hard to go back to an essetentially 2-dimensional one.

    First person games give me vertigo ... something about not being able to see my feet.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Somewhere, KSPosts: 2,401Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by Rednecksith
    I honestly would love to see a new isometric perspective MMO.

    The "omgoutdated graphics" folks would kill it before it hatched.

    I always read those guys as "I just spent $500 for a new GPU and I will justify it with all the bells and whistles!"  But that's ok :)

    I don't think outdated graphics are a requirement for an iso game. D3 is still kinda lacking on graphics but it is a recent isometric game with fair graphics.

    I don't know if it would fly for anyone else but apparently Blizzard can still get away with it unless you think 10M copies sold is a low number.

  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 1,557Member Uncommon

    I can't stand Isometric games.  There is literally no immersion when I've view from the top down.  EQ was my first MMO and I can't imagine putting up with UO's iso view.  How do you immerse yourself in the world without 3D and the occasional first person view?

     

    When I see ISO view in a game I immediately skip it.  It may sound shallow but I need a 3d game world.  I'm not much of a graphics snob (I still log into EQ from time to time) but you have to be able to give me 3d and first person view.

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CalmOceans
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    But an isometric view offers better tactical considerations for combat. It is easier to judge AOE radius, use terrain to hide, and so on.

    You can do that in most first-person-view MMO (including in the example of the OP, Everquest) by simply zooming out, it will pan the camera overhead. It's the same angle as an isometric view but in 3D.

    This is the same tactical advantage of isometric view, and on top of that you can pan the camera around setting it higher or lower or spinning it around to your liking.

    I would argue this system has more advantages over isometric, since first-person-view has advantages of mob tabbing and controlling adds.

    Most people will switch view depending on need.

    (this is EQ)

    I like my first-person-view it is much more immersive.

    Too bad you are wrong and you can't play in an isometric view such as the one everyone is reffering too. Your screenshot only proves this. I am actually not quite sure if you are kidding or not. And if you try to argue it further, anyone with experience also knows the camera moves when you are up against a wall, it spins around and things block the camera (kinda like clipping issues).

     

    Also, you (and anyone else) may argue which is "better"... but again, whats with you people? Why can't there be both? Why can't there be more than one type of gameplay style? Why is there only one right way? One could argue that Tab-targetting is stupid. One could also argue that Isometric allows a better gameplay experience because it offers a more tactical view of the playing field. Thing is... both play different.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,751Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon 

    But an isometric view offers better tactical considerations for combat. It is easier to judge AOE radius, use terrain to hide, and so on.

    I like my RPG combat isometrics, better than 1st person (except Borderland). Moreover, 3rd person is also better in a RPG for me .. because i want to SEE all my gear on my toon.

    I am playing games .... it does NOT have to mimic real life.

    I'm not saying what's better.  Just what's more immersive.  I enjoy all games.

    Immersion clearly has value.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • RamanadjinnRamanadjinn Huntsville, ALPosts: 1,365Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    First-person view is what most of us experience in real life. As I'm part of that group, I find first-person view to be much more immersive.  As soon as you take the step back to third-person, you break that and there's really not much difference between that any any other non-FP view (although the more you pull away, the less immersive it tends to be.)

    While I criticize a lot of their gameplay elements for being really shallow, the Elder Scrolls games have been the most immersive RPGs I've experienced.

     

    i find first person in every game i've tried to be too distant from my natural non-gaming experience.

    for me third person more closely matches what i experience out of game and i find 1st person disorienting.

    different folks are different i guess.

  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member
    Originally posted by madazz

    Too bad you are wrong and you can't play in an isometric view such as the one everyone is reffering too. Your screenshot only proves this. I am actually not quite sure if you are kidding or not. And if you try to argue it further, anyone with experience also knows the camera moves when you are up against a wall, it spins around and things block the camera (kinda like clipping issues).

    No idea what you mean by that. In EQ, you can just pan the camera out to a view similar to isometric.

    Yes it's 3D, but the angle is static and you can get the exact same camera angle as in isometric and you get the exact same tactical advantage.

    The camera moving while you're up against a wall isn't an issue at all, since you can swivel the camera around whenever you want. And being up against a wall where the camera was blocked is something that rarely happens in EQ, all it takes is one flick of the mouse to adjust. Not to mention this now happens automatically in games, modern games realise when the viewing angle to your character is being blocked and will swivel the camera to the opposite side.

    Nor is isometric invulnerable to a character being out of view, I would argue it happens more in isometric games.

    This camera view is actually superior to isometric, since you can pan in and out, you can pick your own angle, you can choose the distance to your character to your liking and you can go in and out of first-person-view whenever you choose.

    A movable camera that lets you go in and out first person is far superior to a static isometric view. So many times I have been frustrated by old games like Landstalker where I couldn't judge distance correctly because the isometric view does not allow you to judge the scenery from more than one angle.

    A static first-person-view might be a good argument for tactical disadvantage, but many games let you use both overhead and first-person-view, overhead view in 3D is at least as good if not better than isometric.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    Isometric view always bugged me in games. I felt so restricted. I also dislike, immensely, driving behind trucks because they obscure my view :) I don't like the fact that walls and other obstacles block my view.

    When playing games, I prefer 3rd person. I spent time creating my character so I want to see him :) I also get a better field of view in 3rd person. It may not be realistic, but neither is 1st person. Looking at my screen right now, there is 1/3 of my view covered by the screen. 2/3 is peripheral vision and not covered by what I see on screen. I dislike running from place to place constantly holding down my right mouse button and swinging from left to right to see what I normally see with my "real" face straight forward. I do envy those gamers with the 3 screen set-up :)

    The bad thing about 3rd person is I have a tendency to "cheat" every so often :) I'll get next to a doorway and swing the view around so I can "peek" into the next room without actually showing myself :) I do use 1st person view when I am shooting at something. Looking down the barrel or bow is the only way I can feel accurate.

    Isometric just doesn't "feel right" to me.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CalmOceans
    Originally posted by madazz

    Too bad you are wrong and you can't play in an isometric view such as the one everyone is reffering too. Your screenshot only proves this. I am actually not quite sure if you are kidding or not. And if you try to argue it further, anyone with experience also knows the camera moves when you are up against a wall, it spins around and things block the camera (kinda like clipping issues).

    No idea what you mean by that. In EQ, you can just pan the camera out to a view similar to isometric.

    Yes it's 3D, but the angle is static and you can get the exact same camera angle as in isometric and you get the exact same tactical advantage.

    The camera moving while you're up against a wall isn't an issue at all, since you can swivel the camera around whenever you want. And being up against a wall where the camera was blocked is something that rarely happens in EQ, all it takes is one flick of the mouse to adjust. Not to mention this now happens automatically in games, modern games realise when the viewing angle to your character is being blocked and will swivel the camera to the opposite side.

    Nor is isometric invulnerable to a character being out of view, I would argue it happens more in isometric games.

    This camera view is actually superior to isometric, since you can pan in and out, you can pick your own angle, you can choose the distance to your character to your liking and you can go in and out of first-person-view whenever you choose.

    A movable camera that lets you go in and out first person is far superior to a static isometric view. So many times I have been frustrated by old games like Landstalker where I couldn't judge distance correctly because the isometric view does not allow you to judge the scenery from more than one angle.

    A static first-person-view might be a good argument for tactical disadvantage, but many games let you use both overhead and first-person-view, overhead view in 3D is at least as good if not better than isometric.

    Well my apologies. My memory stated that the camera did not stay static. One point I'd like to make though is it wasn't made for an isometric view. Really the 2 views offer 2 different play styles.

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