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Did modern graphics kill the seamless world?

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  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,758Member Uncommon
    Tech and bandwith issues have pushed MMO's away from seamless worlds. But they would have headed in that direction to make the games more solo friendly anway.
  • SchwaSchwa Lakewood, OHPosts: 29Member

    I have a sort of on topic question about zoning tech.

    Taking a look at WoW.  It's PRESENTED as seamless but does actually zone (as mentione several times earlier in the thread).  This is done by walking your character through corridors between zones.  i.e. mountain passes, gates, bridges, hallways.  This allows the zoning to happen wothout breaking (much) of player immersion.

    My question is How is zoning handled on flying mounts?  I would assume zoning is still happening, but there is no corridor.  Does anyone know how this is implemented?

    Other points in this thread:

    1) Somehow I haven't seen LotRO listed as a seamless world, it is with the exception of Hobbitland -> Elfland which have an unplayable land area between them.  (This would make my known list WoW, Vanguard, LotRO and Darkfall)

    2) Someone asked why I prefer seamless.  The answer is one word, immersion.  However I don't mind loading screens if done well.  GW2 is just one example of this (there are others, yes).  As  the whole map makes sense.  An example of one done bad is EQ2 (for me)  as that map required complicated flow charts to figure out where I was going.  Same with Warhammer, lots of zones that connected strangely ( I remember a zone portal that occured IN THE MIDDLE of a dwarf zone  that took you to another dwarf zone..... wuh?

    3) Someone mentioned Skyrim as a seamless world.  Um, single player tech != multiplayer tech.  MMOs have been way behind single player RPGs since the dawn of time. 

    And to add my 2 cents to the OP question.  I agree with others, it's all about hard drive texture loads.  As developer the choice is invisible corridors or load screens.  The end result is the same.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Scot
    Tech and bandwith issues have pushed MMO's away from seamless worlds. But they would have headed in that direction to make the games more solo friendly anway.

    Modern mmorpg's even those few that are seamless or close to don't use much more bandwidth than in past - so actually bandwith is not a problem.  You're not transferring  any graphics while playing anyway.

  • ultrastoatultrastoat Sacramento, CAPosts: 172Member
    Posted by Quizzical on 9/27/12 at 5:20:36 PM

     

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    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    High polygon models (sort of because the more polys kinda leads to more textures)
     

    That depends very strongly on how it's implemented.  If you have a separate texture for each triangle, you're doing it wrong.  It's pretty easy to wrap a single texture continuously across thousands of triangles in cases where it's appropriate.

     

     

    Yeah, it's called UV mapping. You can't have a 3D object without it. Texture loading and polygon rendering aren'y issues that contribute to smaller areas, because you can always reference level of detail meshes that are lower and lower poly the farther away from an object you get. The textures are also usually set up with "mip maps" that filter the texture down to 1x1 pixel so that they don't look odd when seen from far away, and it also reduces the amount of space needed by a texture relative to it's distance from the player camera.

     
  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Zones, and more to the point, loading screens, are a very different matter.  The only reason why any game would ever have loading screens at all is technical impediments that make it so that they have to stop to load things, or at least have serious gameplay problems if they don't.  Surely no game designers think, hey, this loading screen is really cool, so we bet players would like to sit there and stare at it for an extra five seconds every time.  You make the loading screen as short as you can.

    It is not only about loading screens and way to not have load another terrain.   In zoned games - zone is usually an indepenent piece of land that is not simply part of bigger whole just cut of.   You could not simply merge few zones and create a whole region.   

    It is like you would do an mmoprg that would have whole USA as an world. 

    (Technical and practical things aside for discussion) Seamless is like taking everything : mountains, villages, small and big cities, forests, lakes. etc

    Zoned could be simply above chopped to pieces with loading screens.  That's not how zoned games opeatae though.  Zoned mmorpg would be like taking part of few cities and part of few regions. 

    Comparing parts of few regions and parts of few cities would not create whole USA.

     

    I am talking about how zoned mmorpg's are done and not how technicaly could have been done. Because obviously it would be possible to take in example Ultima Online and simply chop it to few zones with like scissor cut. 

  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Thereiam, ARPosts: 2,697Member

    To the OP, graphics literally have nothing to do with a world being seamless or not.

     

    A seamless world doesn't load the whole world at once, it loads a couple blocks max away from the character and is dynamically loading and unloading depending on the direction of the character all the time. It has always been that way and that is specifically to keep the system load down.

     

    It is easier to build an MMO engine that has zones. You don't have to move players across server boundaries on the fly while trying to make it feel completely seamless (no pause or hiccup) as they do so. Instead you flat out say "Hey, take a rest for a second, we are moving you to another server).

     

    Some companies still build seamless, others think it matters little and since it is easier to not have seamless they go with that. Personally I always prefer a seamless world. I hate stepping across a boundary to cause a loading screen.

     

    The one exception to that is instancing, I can accept that and know why they do it so that groups can have a specific experience. Companies didn't have instancing back in the day which is why all dungeons were in real space and could have 200 people in them trivializing the whole thing.

     

    I do think a company could create an instance that you phased across so it felt seamless, but I think it would cause too much confusion to be worth it. People would try to run across it not in a group and wonder where everyone else went.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by Scot
    Tech and bandwith issues have pushed MMO's away from seamless worlds. But they would have headed in that direction to make the games more solo friendly anway.

    Modern mmorpg's even those few that are seamless or close to don't use much more bandwidth than in past - so actually bandwith is not a problem.  You're not transferring  any graphics while playing anyway.

    For Internet bandwidth, you're more or less correct.  For SATA bandwidth, PCI Express bandwidth, video memory bandwidth, and probably also system memory bandwidth, you're wildly wrong in most cases.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ultrastoat
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    Yeah, it's called UV mapping. You can't have a 3D object without it. Texture loading and polygon rendering aren'y issues that contribute to smaller areas, because you can always reference level of detail meshes that are lower and lower poly the farther away from an object you get. The textures are also usually set up with "mip maps" that filter the texture down to 1x1 pixel so that they don't look odd when seen from far away, and it also reduces the amount of space needed by a texture relative to it's distance from the player camera.

     

    You can do quite a lot without textures, actually.  A texture is just a lookup table.  It doesn't have to correspond intuitively to a picture.  Conversely, you can have pictures that don't correspond to any texture.  The pictures will be rather restricted, as you'd have to be able to get the color at every point from just vertex data, but there's an awful lot you can do.

    For example, if you wanted to use my icon as a picture applied to an object, you wouldn't need to create a texture.  You just mark vertices as yellow, magenta, or cyan, and then interpolate.  You could have done that even with the old fixed function pipeline, even.  Programmable pixel/fragment shaders let you do a lot more.

    Not all textures should use mipmaps, so for some, you have to load the entire texture right away.  For example, if you're using tessellation and using a texture to mark which vertices should go where in the tessellation evaluation shader (probably a "domain shader" in DirectX from its spot in the pipeline), mipmaps will do horrible things and make it look like your object is changing shape erratically.

    But if you have to load a texture off of a hard drive, it doesn't particularly matter how large the texture is.  If you want to load a single byte, you have to wait about 10 ms for the hard drive to physically move everything to the right spot.  If you want to load a 1 MB texture, it takes about 10 ms for it to move to the right spot and then another 10 ms to read it.  Thus, a 1 MB texture only takes about twice as long as a 1 byte texture.  So you might as well just load the whole texture up front and then let the video card worry about mipmapping.

  • Originally posted by asmkm22
    Originally posted by Axxar
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Originally posted by Axxar
    Obviously if it could be done back then it can be done now. Graphics are higher but computer power is astronomically higher as well. I want my MMO world to actually feel like one, so bring on the seamless games.

    Processing power actually hasn't really increased that much in the last 6 to 8 years.  In fact, it's decreased a bit.  Cores have increased, meaning programs can run more things at the same time more efficiently, but raw power (clock rate) has gone down.  Memory is dirt cheap though, but still bottlenecked with the slow rate of adoption for 64-bit OS's.

    So? Computers are still vastly more powerful. Really, really bad excuse.

    they really aren't that much more powerful.  I mean, the graphics cards are, for sure, but that's it.  Not saying they are worse, just that the power of the computer is not the limiting factor here.  It's the tech and software required to make a seamless world with modern graphics and features like people are asking for.  It's not as simple as just building something "bigger" because the hardware is a little better.

    Processing power has increased greatly as well. It's not just the graphics cards.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Zones, and more to the point, loading screens, are a very different matter.  The only reason why any game would ever have loading screens at all is technical impediments that make it so that they have to stop to load things, or at least have serious gameplay problems if they don't.  Surely no game designers think, hey, this loading screen is really cool, so we bet players would like to sit there and stare at it for an extra five seconds every time.  You make the loading screen as short as you can.

    It is not only about loading screens and way to not have load another terrain.   In zoned games - zone is usually an indepenent piece of land that is not simply part of bigger whole just cut of.   You could not simply merge few zones and create a whole region.   

    It is like you would do an mmoprg that would have whole USA as an world. 

    (Technical and practical things aside for discussion) Seamless is like taking everything : mountains, villages, small and big cities, forests, lakes. etc

    Zoned could be simply above chopped to pieces with loading screens.  That's not how zoned games opeatae though.  Zoned mmorpg would be like taking part of few cities and part of few regions. 

    Comparing parts of few regions and parts of few cities would not create whole USA.

     

    I am talking about how zoned mmorpg's are done and not how technicaly could have been done. Because obviously it would be possible to take in example Ultima Online and simply chop it to few zones with like scissor cut. 

    It depends greatly on the game.  In Guild Wars, for example, there's a world map, and most of the time that you cross a zone boundary, it's just loading what is on the other side of some line on the world map, such as from Old Ascalon to Regent Valley.  The zones may have nothing to do with each other in the internal code, but intuitively, they're right next to each other.

    But even when the zones intuitively aren't right next to each other, there's no game design reason to make players sit and stare at a loading screen longer than you have to.  If it were trivial to do so, they'd make it so that it went from drawing you standing there in one zone to drawing you standing there in the other zone mere milliseconds later, with no loading screen between them.

    Even if a seamless world internally uses zones, it doesn't have to be obvious where the zone boundary is.  The way to load things in a seamless world is that you load a little bit of data that says where everything is ahead of time (e.g., "there is a tree at (593.9534, 190.9843)"), and periodically look around and see if you're getting close to anything that needs to be loaded from the hard drive.  If you are getting close, then you load the relevant textures or sound effects or whatever, and if relevant, upload them to the video card.

    Even if you're going to do this, you still want to use zones internally to help you find what you need to load.  Otherwise, every time you check to see what needs to be loaded, you'd have to check on every single tree, rock, wall, and so forth in the entire game world.  But if you break things into zones, then you can only check the ones in your current zone and adjacent zones.  But the "zones" for this could be a simple square grid drawn on the map and not correspond to anything at all that players can see in the game world.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

    It is easier to build an MMO engine that has zones. You don't have to move players across server boundaries on the fly while trying to make it feel completely seamless (no pause or hiccup) as they do so. Instead you flat out say "Hey, take a rest for a second, we are moving you to another server).

     ...

    I do think a company could create an instance that you phased across so it felt seamless, but I think it would cause too much confusion to be worth it. People would try to run across it not in a group and wonder where everyone else went.

    Server boundaries aren't the issue.  All of the data associated with a player that a game world server needs to see at a given time might come to hundreds of bytes, or at most thousands.  Sending that over a LAN takes maybe a few milliseconds if that--and if it's in the range of milliseconds, most of it is latency waiting for something or other rather than actively transmitting data.  The part of actively transmitting data takes microseconds.

    In fact, moving your data from one physical server to another is so fast that, unless you live near the server (in real life), there may not be any particular moment in time that you can correctly say that it's transferring you from one server to another.

    Just to make a point, let's talk about something much harder that MMORPGs intrinsically have to deal with:  Internet latency.  If you're 1000 miles away from the server, then it would take light a little more than 5 ms to travel that distance in a vacuum.  That means that if there's one event that occurs on your computer, and another event that occurs on the server, observers at different points in the universe wouldn't necessarily agree on the time gap between them.  If the events occurred at close enough times, there might be disagreement as to which happened "first".  Even if they agree on which event came first, they could disagree with as to the time gap between them by as much as a little over 10 ms.  This isn't a measurement error or because the observers are stupid, either; it's the nature of the universe.

    So now, a player sitting in his house playing your game presses a button to attack.  At what time should the attack officially take place?  The time at which the event "occurs" in his house doesn't match your server, let alone any other players connected to your server.  And then actually transmitting it from the client to the server takes longer yet.

    The naive answer is, the attack occurs when the server finds out about it.  But that's the wrong answer.  That will make the game feel horribly laggy and players will complain.  You have to accept that attacks started before the server finds out about them.  But how long before?  Surely to a player, it shouldn't look on his own computer like the attack started before he pressed a button.  And what about other players that don't find out about it until later?

    And how do you synchronize the time between the server and the various players, anyway?  If it's 3:48 pm on the server and 3:47 pm on a player's computer because one of the clocks is slightly off, attacks that register on the server shouldn't take a full minute to appear on a player's computer.  But you can't perfectly synchronize time because, not merely does it take varying amounts of time to transmit data, but saying two events in different places happened "at the same time" is scientific nonsense, as discussed above.

    And yet, every event in the game world needs to appear to a player as though it happened at some exact time.  And it has to seem like it happened at a logical time, so that it doesn't look to the player like things are rubber-banding or it's taking a long time for the game to accept anything he tells it to do.

    There isn't a perfect solution to this.  But if you can't come up with a passable solution, you can't make a real-time MMORPG, whether seamless, heavily-zoned, or anything else.  You could still make something that is completely turn-based--not the real-time attack every 2.2 seconds that players sometimes call "turn-based", but really turn-based along the lines of Civilization.

    Taking a few seconds to move a player from one physical server to another and cover that up so that a player doesn't notice?  That's trivial by comparison.

    -----

    Creating an instance that the player phases across as you describe would be pretty trivial to do.  You run into the same complications of loading the stuff on the other side as you would in a seamless world, but nothing worse than that.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Zones, and more to the point, loading screens, are a very different matter.  The only reason why any game would ever have loading screens at all is technical impediments that make it so that they have to stop to load things, or at least have serious gameplay problems if they don't.  Surely no game designers think, hey, this loading screen is really cool, so we bet players would like to sit there and stare at it for an extra five seconds every time.  You make the loading screen as short as you can.

    It is not only about loading screens and way to not have load another terrain.   In zoned games - zone is usually an indepenent piece of land that is not simply part of bigger whole just cut of.   You could not simply merge few zones and create a whole region.   

    It is like you would do an mmoprg that would have whole USA as an world. 

    (Technical and practical things aside for discussion) Seamless is like taking everything : mountains, villages, small and big cities, forests, lakes. etc

    Zoned could be simply above chopped to pieces with loading screens.  That's not how zoned games opeatae though.  Zoned mmorpg would be like taking part of few cities and part of few regions. 

    Comparing parts of few regions and parts of few cities would not create whole USA.

     

    I am talking about how zoned mmorpg's are done and not how technicaly could have been done. Because obviously it would be possible to take in example Ultima Online and simply chop it to few zones with like scissor cut. 

    It depends greatly on the game.  In Guild Wars, for example, there's a world map, and most of the time that you cross a zone boundary, it's just loading what is on the other side of some line on the world map, such as from Old Ascalon to Regent Valley.  The zones may have nothing to do with each other in the internal code, but intuitively, they're right next to each other.

    But even when the zones intuitively aren't right next to each other, there's no game design reason to make players sit and stare at a loading screen longer than you have to.  If it were trivial to do so, they'd make it so that it went from drawing you standing there in one zone to drawing you standing there in the other zone mere milliseconds later, with no loading screen between them.

    Even if a seamless world internally uses zones, it doesn't have to be obvious where the zone boundary is.  The way to load things in a seamless world is that you load a little bit of data that says where everything is ahead of time (e.g., "there is a tree at (593.9534, 190.9843)"), and periodically look around and see if you're getting close to anything that needs to be loaded from the hard drive.  If you are getting close, then you load the relevant textures or sound effects or whatever, and if relevant, upload them to the video card.

    Even if you're going to do this, you still want to use zones internally to help you find what you need to load.  Otherwise, every time you check to see what needs to be loaded, you'd have to check on every single tree, rock, wall, and so forth in the entire game world.  But if you break things into zones, then you can only check the ones in your current zone and adjacent zones.  But the "zones" for this could be a simple square grid drawn on the map and not correspond to anything at all that players can see in the game world.

    Never played GW1 so I cannot say.  GW2 definately is made in a way I said though.  Zones don't even always have shape that would allow to think of them like just a world divided into fitting piece puzzles. 

     

    I know that even seamless world usually have zones, but in some games that zones are more technical rather than pure design term.    World of Warcraft is kind of hybrid. Open world in it in Vanilla was seamless (not counting instanced dungeons) - well actually it was two instances one for each continent, but for sake of simplicity.

    It had actual zones even design zones I would say.  I wonder if that game zones were also zones in technical terms.

     

    Anyway to end player - final result matter the most.  Unless technicalities can be abused to create exploits or are causing bugs / huge lags.

    I agree with "grid" thing. I even read it once about some world in mmorpg. Don't really remember which one it was though.  It was basically using same mechanism you said. Game loaded everything in "grid" player was in and adjacent ones.

     

    Basically zones can be purely technical term or can be design term.  Those two can correspond (like in GW2, it seem each zone is diffrent IP and thus propably diffrent machine , but I would guess on their server farm there is some dynamic load / virtualizaton going on as well so nowadays you cannot be 100% sure how it is physically  ) and design zone can be also technical one at same time.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by fenistil

    I agree with "grid" thing. I even read it once about some world in mmorpg. Don't really remember which one it was though.  It was basically using same mechanism you said. Game loaded everything in "grid" player was in and adjacent ones.

    There are technical details of how to implement it.  If you load everything for one zone as soon as you enter an adjacent one, then you're going to be loading a bunch of things at once.  You may be able to cover up the hard drive accesses just fine, but if you have to stop the rendering thread from doing anything while you upload a bunch of textures to the video card at once, you're going to get a rather nasty case of hitching.  Spread out the uploads from system memory into video memory and making several consecutive frames take 1 ms longer than "normal" sure beats making one frame take 50 ms longer than normal.

    What I actually said was to only check to see if you need to upload things in adjacent zones, not to actually upload everything when you cross a zone boundary.  But there are a lot of different ways to implement things.  Depending on internal details of the game engine, if you can squeeze the texture uploads into gaps when the rendering thread would have otherwise been idle, that would be ideal.   But it may not be possible.

  • SukiyakiSukiyaki GreenwichPosts: 1,398Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The problem is hard drives.  Or more to the point, loading times off of hard drives.  If you want to load too much stuff off of a hard drive too often, then a seamless world is impossible and you have to make the game heavily zoned.  Reduce the amount of stuff you have to load off of a hard drive and a seamless world is easy to implement.

    One way to do this is by requiring everyone to have an SSD in order to play the game.  While SSDs are seeing wider adoption, that would still greatly restrict your potential playerbase.

    The other way is to reduce what players have to load, period.  What are games loading off of hard drives so much?  Mostly it's textures as used in 3D graphics.  Don't give a game so many textures or such high resolution textures in a given area, and making the world seamless would be easy.  Alternatively, if the textures are procedurally generated rather than loaded off of a hard drive, then you can skip the loading times.

    It's not modern graphics in general that killed the seamless world.  A wide variety of high-resolution textures stored on the hard drive is the specific culprit.  Everything else in modern graphics is perfectly compatible with a seamless world.

    It's a rare pleasure for me to see someone who understands the backgrounds of these design concepts, as well as their limitations. I share the same sentiment but with apparently much less insight.

    While I would treat myself still as a laymen when it comes to this,  wouldnt want to group myself up with the people who make up all kind of irrational nonsense, why (their usually favorite) games have a seamless world (if at all) while other have not, or opposite have no understanding of the limitations like everything about the loading of assets.

    Though what I would like to hear from you is your opinion on games like Archeage, which both has astonishing high quantitiy and quality of graphical assets, but doesnt just offer a seamless world, but also quite a large seamles one at that too and as if that isnt enough offer slightly more advanced game and combatmechanics (inc. use of physics) with "massive" amounts of player in a single area, yet somehow the game runs smoothly on a computer with "good" hardware and of course good connectivity.

    Is it a technical leap or am I missing something out here?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sukiyaki

    Though what I would like to hear from you is your opinion on games like Archeage, which both has astonishing high quantitiy and quality of graphical assets, but doesnt just offer a seamless world, but also quite a large seamles one at that too and as if that isnt enough offer slightly more advanced game and combatmechanics (inc. use of physics) with "massive" amounts of player in a single area, yet somehow the game runs smoothly on a computer with "good" hardware and of course good connectivity.

    Is it a technical leap or am I missing something out here?

    Whether the seamless world is large or small has nothing to do with how hard it is to make it seamless, unless the world is so small that you can load everything in the game all at once.  For the latter, think stuff like Tetris or Asteroids, not RPGs.

    Physics has nothing to do with making it seamless.  Pick your favorite game and check the size of the executable file.  All of the underlying game mechanics (including physics) are packed in there, and it's easily small enough to load everything when you launch the game and keep it in system memory the whole time.

    There are a number of tricks that you can use to cover up loading, but there are drawbacks to all of them.  I haven't played ArcheAge, so I don't know what it uses or doesn't use.  Some options:

    1)  Load textures with a much greater lead time than most games would, so you start trying to load a texture well before it might plausibly be used.  Also, don't be as quick to delete them as most games would be, so that you don't have to reload it in case the player doubles back.  The downside of this is that you need a lot more system memory to hold all of the textures you've loaded there.

    2)  Have a thread where all it does is load stuff of the hard drive, and assume it will always have a processor core available.  This means extra stuff going on while the game is active, so your game probably won't be playable on a single-core processor, and even a dual-core might be dicey.  But for players with extra processor cores that you weren't going to put to good use anyway, there isn't much of a drawback.

    3)  Reuse textures really a lot.  Don't just have a texture and use it on one object.  Use it on a bunch of objects in the area.  You can put the same texture on different shapes, or with different lighting, so you don't necessarily have to have a bunch of identical objects.  But they will be similar.  If you use each texture twice as often in a given area, then you only have to load half as many of them.

    4)  Pack several textures into the same file, and then always use them together.  This lets you often skip the performance hit that results from finishing loading one file and waiting for the hard drive to physically spin to the right spot to start loading the next one.  This doesn't have to be several textures for the same object.  It could, for example, be a texture for a wall and a texture for a chair sitting next to the wall.  The downside is that your world design makes it so that whenever you use one of the textures, you have to load all of them, so in order to be efficient, you have to use all of them in the same place every time.

    5)  Go ahead and assume that loading will work right, even when you know that for some players, it won't.  You can leave things invisible when they aren't loaded, or have some generic textures that you use when the right texture isn't loaded.  For players with an SSD or even a relatively fast and properly defragmented hard drive, it will work.  But for players with a 5400 RPM laptop hard drive and/or a badly fragmented hard drive, there will be lots of problems with hitching, objects not appearing until they're close, or whatever your fallback option for when things aren't loaded right is.

    -----

    One thing I've been messing with lately is to say, don't store textures on the hard drive at all.  Instead, generate them on the fly on the processor.  You don't get AAA quality graphics that way, but it does make it pretty trivial to make a game world seamless.  It also has the drawback that most game companies can't do it at all because they don't have a good mathematician to write the code.  A quick picture, in case you want to see what it looks like:

    image

    The big rock you see in the front is, as far as the CPU knows, four triangles.  The tree trunks are also four triangles.  Each rock off in the distance is likewise four triangles.  And furthermore, they're exactly the same four triangles, just tessellated differently and with different textures.

    Aggressive use of tessellation makes it pretty easy to load all of the vertex data for the entire game and store it in video memory when you launch the game.  That means no need to worry about loading it later, whether from the hard drive to system memory or from system memory to the video card.  The problem is that it requires a bunch of graduate level mathematics, so most game programmers have no clue how to do it.

  • PresbytierPresbytier Phoenix, AZPosts: 424Member
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    Stop making excuses for lazy developers or blaming computer hardware.  Few developers want to invest the time needed to pull it off ITS THATS SIMPLE.

    Every other reason in this thread is just an EXCUSE period.

    The time difference in making a heavily instanced game like GW2 AOC TSW etc, and something like DF, RIFT, WOW is enormous.  Instancing should be reserved for dungeons only, but games like Vangaurd and AC have proved its technically possible in any development lifecycle.

    Lobby games even with big zones are easy mode to develop.

    This is just comepletely wrong a good example is FFXIV. In it they where going for a seamless world, but it seriously crippled the overall game.

    "Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game."-Guybrush Threepwood
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."-Hunter S. Thompson

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    @Sukiyaki

     

    Question was not for me, but anyway. 

    There are propably few things that AA do but that's what anyone can see on AA videos are:

    1. While graphic quality is real nice - there is less details in some parts of game than in other top notch games

    2. Ground has frequenly ( especially in terrain is very open ) also small amount ot details and additional things, in some places is just simple flat texture without anything.

    3. Part of high hills, mountains, placec in building where player rarely will be (like on top of high building), etc are really low-res

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Presbytier
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    Stop making excuses for lazy developers or blaming computer hardware.  Few developers want to invest the time needed to pull it off ITS THATS SIMPLE.

    Every other reason in this thread is just an EXCUSE period.

    The time difference in making a heavily instanced game like GW2 AOC TSW etc, and something like DF, RIFT, WOW is enormous.  Instancing should be reserved for dungeons only, but games like Vangaurd and AC have proved its technically possible in any development lifecycle.

    Lobby games even with big zones are easy mode to develop.

    This is just comepletely wrong a good example is FFXIV. In it they where going for a seamless world, but it seriously crippled the overall game.

    Seamlessnes is not a problem in FFXIV.  Problem is that they did bad game.  They did not spend enough resources, making cheap open world copy & pasting or maybe even using generator.  + they developed horrible horrible engine. 

     

    They just did bad game and it looked like it was totally rushed one as well.

  • NacarioNacario World Wide WebPosts: 217Member
    One of the main reasons are the amount of players, with the possibility of having too many at the same zone/spot at the same time. That's why they should make servers have like max 500 players and more servers (which would also remove channels). A key move to create a seamingless world.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by Presbytier
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    Stop making excuses for lazy developers or blaming computer hardware.  Few developers want to invest the time needed to pull it off ITS THATS SIMPLE.

    Every other reason in this thread is just an EXCUSE period.

    The time difference in making a heavily instanced game like GW2 AOC TSW etc, and something like DF, RIFT, WOW is enormous.  Instancing should be reserved for dungeons only, but games like Vangaurd and AC have proved its technically possible in any development lifecycle.

    Lobby games even with big zones are easy mode to develop.

    This is just comepletely wrong a good example is FFXIV. In it they where going for a seamless world, but it seriously crippled the overall game.

    They did not spend enough resources, making cheap open world copy & pasting or maybe even using generator.

    Lots of copy and paste means not having to load new stuff off of the hard drive.  That's what enabled a seamless world.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ayronamic
    One of the main reasons are the amount of players, with the possibility of having too many at the same zone/spot at the same time. That's why they should make servers have like max 500 players and more servers (which would also remove channels). A key move to create a seamingless world.

    Showing other players has no effect on seamless versus zoned unless the game doesn't have an open world at all.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by Presbytier
    Originally posted by snapfusion

    Stop making excuses for lazy developers or blaming computer hardware.  Few developers want to invest the time needed to pull it off ITS THATS SIMPLE.

    Every other reason in this thread is just an EXCUSE period.

    The time difference in making a heavily instanced game like GW2 AOC TSW etc, and something like DF, RIFT, WOW is enormous.  Instancing should be reserved for dungeons only, but games like Vangaurd and AC have proved its technically possible in any development lifecycle.

    Lobby games even with big zones are easy mode to develop.

    This is just comepletely wrong a good example is FFXIV. In it they where going for a seamless world, but it seriously crippled the overall game.

    They did not spend enough resources, making cheap open world copy & pasting or maybe even using generator.

    Lots of copy and paste means not having to load new stuff off of the hard drive.  That's what enabled a seamless world.

    Yeah, but you played a FFXIV?   I am not saying about copy & paste assets like same trees, textures, etc- I am talking like IDENTICAL places like identical valleys with exactly same trees, rocks, in exactly same places almost next to each other. 

    I doubt it was done to lessen strain on hard drive.  It looked like a cheap very fast way to make open world and push game through the door.

    NONE and I mean none seamless mmorpg game I played or even saw on videos looked like that.  

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by DavisFlight

    First issue. People need to stop saying instance when they mean zone.

    Second issue, it's purely design.

    Actually zone is an instance. 

    Totally seamless world is just one big instance. 

    Game composed of 10 zones with loading screens are just 10 instances.

    There can't be just ONE instance. An instance, by definition, is one of many. A single piece of a whole.

    ZONES, aren't instanced. You can have as many people as you want in a zone, with no player cap.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by DavisFlight

    There have been dozens of MMOs in the past and present that are not only seamless, but have no instances either. It's all about how you design the game. A game like WoW would break in half if there weren't instances. Meanwhile, a game made with much worse tech, dark age of Camelot, NEVER had issues with crowding, camping, or anything like that, and there wasn't a single instance in that game.

    Instances have some major gameplay advantages. I haven't found any. For starters, they let players see the world as it is "supposed" to be Er... not really, considering the devs made the game with the intention of having other players in it, so its not "supposed" to be a static world. Its a multiplayer game., rather than heading out to kill a mob only to find that someone else already did.  That's what makes it a virtual world. There are drawbacks, too, but even with no technical impediments, there are good reasons why a game might want to use instances in various ways Not if you want to make an MMO.

    You cite DAoC, but that game had instances, too.  It did indeed add instances in 2005, it was one of the things that made everyone quit. A "server" (as it appears to players, not necessarily a physical server on the back end) is an instance. Not in the traditional MMORPG definition of an instance, no. 

     

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by DavisFlight
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by DavisFlight

    There have been dozens of MMOs in the past and present that are not only seamless, but have no instances either. It's all about how you design the game. A game like WoW would break in half if there weren't instances. Meanwhile, a game made with much worse tech, dark age of Camelot, NEVER had issues with crowding, camping, or anything like that, and there wasn't a single instance in that game.

    Instances have some major gameplay advantages. I haven't found any. For starters, they let players see the world as it is "supposed" to be Er... not really, considering the devs made the game with the intention of having other players in it, so its not "supposed" to be a static world. Its a multiplayer game., rather than heading out to kill a mob only to find that someone else already did.  That's what makes it a virtual world. There are drawbacks, too, but even with no technical impediments, there are good reasons why a game might want to use instances in various ways Not if you want to make an MMO.

    You cite DAoC, but that game had instances, too.  It did indeed add instances in 2005, it was one of the things that made everyone quit. A "server" (as it appears to players, not necessarily a physical server on the back end) is an instance. Not in the traditional MMORPG definition of an instance, no. 

    1. Better performance
    2. More profound effects without disrupting other players' gameplay
    3. Prevent other players from griefing or disupting your gameplay
    4. Customzed content
    5. Difficulty can be adjusted
    6. No need for respawning mobs or anything of the sort
    7. You can choose your company

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

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