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With less graphics, using today's tech, is it possible to do more advanced features?

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon

I been under the impression that Graphics come at the cost of resource power.

looking at graphical games like Aion and AoC, both which are far more limits than a low graphical game like WoW, 

Based on Illusory Correlation, I see a cause and effect pattern here. 

High graphics == Higher gameplay limits.

 

well tech is going up, I see major advances in Graphics, and only slow advances, (some would argue against any advances at all) in terms of gameplay.

 

since the tech is improving, would it be better to use the resource to radically develop gameplay features at the cost of perhaps low graphical art design like say WoW, or something older.

when I think of next generation gameplay in a MMO, I think of something like minecraft building, but with more detail.

but using today's "high graphics comes first" mindset, I can see that being very taxing on newer MMO, especially when the server also has to handle massive player bases.

but take that same game, and apply low graphics settings to it like say WoW, wouldn't it run more smoother, and allow much greater things to be done, than say if the same game had Aion/AoC/(Whatever high graphics MMO out there now days) kind of graphics?

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Comments

  • curacura WarsawPosts: 950Member Uncommon
    It is possible to have more advanced features and good graphics. The problem is, most people dont need more advanced features so noone want to invest time and money into them.
  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon

    No.  

     

    My thoughts are that technology only functions as good as it's weakest component.   Servers and PCs have improved greatly over the last 20 years, but transmission lines have not.  

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,394Member Uncommon

    The only high-tech MMO I can think of is TSW. Other games run on pretty old engines. For example, GW2 uses GW1's eight years old engine. It still looks good, but many of the meshes and textures it uses are clearly quite primitive.

    The reason why most modern games look good is that  modern tech lets you implement various post-processing features with relative ease and has enough horse power to handle high-poly meshes and high-res textures. Of course, lowering graphical quality a lot (Salem, not WoW) would make things easier, but then you'd have a game only a few would play due to how simplistic it looks.

  • ZeprimusZeprimus Southern MN, MNPosts: 40Member

    MMOs first and foremost are a business. Many people are going to look at a game with relatively bad graphics now and, even if it's got a ton of awesome features, say "That's all fine and dandy, but why does it look like crap?" Unless it's stylized and capable of looking great without pushing video cards, developers are going to have to put a lot of resources into their visual design. The more advanced graphics become, the more time consuming and difficult they become to create.

     

    That being said, I think MMOs are gaining more and more advanced features alongside beautiful graphics. There are countless more options for gameplay styles and varieties in the genre as a whole than ever before. I think they're just spread out between titles. For example, I would've never thought I'd be able to physically dodge attacks in an MMO until the past couple of years. Dodge was, for a long time, a stat rather than an action. That's just a small scale, minor change. There are loads of other major features in new games that are brand new to the genre and coexist alongside great graphics.

    image
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,895Member Uncommon

    The problem I see is that players are instantly turned off by less graphic intensive characters and environments.

     

    The gameplay over graphics concept is dead for many.  It's all about eye-candy now.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • LaromussLaromuss vancouver, BCPosts: 324Member Uncommon

    I can tell you from working in the industry many years that when a publisher especially one that has big part financially will look and place emphasis on visuals first.  That being said there is always a push to get the best possible shaders created to get the "next gen" look, a lot of that comes down to the usual normal map, specular, particles and post processing and pushing polygon count which takes focus away from gameplay since too much time is spent on visuals.   But now with the newer engines coming out Unreal 4 which is leading the way to creating a harmony between visual and gameplay and making the whole pipeline a lot easier to create  and with different rendering technologies both is now achievable for the "next next gen"  games.  

    edit:  Additiionally when creating huge worlds a lot of landmass is needed which requires more polygons = more rendering etc but with newer technology Terrain is calculated differently and a lot more optimized.  I.e in unreal 3 terrain was the current way of creating great land masses but the bigger the mass got the more rendering and GPU/CPU was required but with the implementation of the newer Landscape tools, Terrain masses can be 1000x time bigger and still be more optimized.  

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    What are these "advanced features" you talk about?

    I think the ready-made third party elements can cut developer's work load enabling them to focus more on what they consider important. They increase the overall quality of the game.

    Also, graphics is not a server side issue.

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

  • LaromussLaromuss vancouver, BCPosts: 324Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    What are these "advanced features" you talk about?

    I think the ready-made third party elements can cut developer's work load enabling them to focus more on what they consider important. They increase the overall quality of the game.

    Also, graphics is not a server side issue.

    it depends on the graphic issue, if its a static element it doesn't affect other players then its client side.  But if its a dynamic visual element that is dynamically changed due to player(s) interaction and affects or is seen by another player  then it is server side.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,047Member Uncommon
    Give me 2D pixel graphic MMO with advanced features (no less than Ultima Online) and I would be happy.

    image

  • DrakenoraDrakenora MsidaPosts: 89Member

    I think you are mistaken about the reasons for the stagnation of mmo's of late^^

    Firstly, idiots who think it's a good idea to build their own graphics engine for their game get important positions (SWTOR). I mean seriously, there are teams of experts that do nothing but invent innovative game engines: there is no way you can equal them with all-rounded programmers. And even if you can get some experts on your team, you will be very limited by the time you can give them, besides the problem of the best being probably busy doing their jobs lol.

    Secondly, alot of the programmers making todays games, the ones who get to lead teams due to their seniority, are basically the same guys that have programmed the first mmos (cause it's that recent). The problem being that they havent caught up with current technology: they often use outdated coding or simply have stopped learning new things. It's educating to look at the graphics quality and features of the new asian mmo's, where the programmers are much younger due to a later flourishing of the popularity of programming amongst the populace.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Laross
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    What are these "advanced features" you talk about?

    I think the ready-made third party elements can cut developer's work load enabling them to focus more on what they consider important. They increase the overall quality of the game.

    Also, graphics is not a server side issue.

    it depends on the graphic issue, if its a static element it doesn't affect other players then its client side.  But if its a dynamic visual element that is dynamically changed due to player(s) interaction then it is server side.

    I would not add such elements to an MMO. You already have all the information from the players to handle, you don't need anything extra. MMOs are quite unresponsive as it is.

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

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    Originally most mmorpg's had average or even below average graphics too allow people with medium powerful PC's to play them. 

    Big amounts of players since there were little to no instancing in them did put big strain on people hardware.

     

    Not sure what you mean by 'advanced features' though. You would have to be more specific.

  • LaromussLaromuss vancouver, BCPosts: 324Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Laross
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    What are these "advanced features" you talk about?

    I think the ready-made third party elements can cut developer's work load enabling them to focus more on what they consider important. They increase the overall quality of the game.

    Also, graphics is not a server side issue.

    it depends on the graphic issue, if its a static element it doesn't affect other players then its client side.  But if its a dynamic visual element that is dynamically changed due to player(s) interaction then it is server side.

    I would not add such elements to an MMO. You already have all the information from the players to handle, you don't need anything extra. MMOs are quite unresponsive as it is.

    I definitely wouldn't do it either but hopefully once Unreal 4 comes out I'd like to really test out its network capabiities, graphical prowess and refined pipeline tools.  

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member

    Graphics have next to nothing to do with what a server can handle or how advanced a game is.

     

    The difference is mainly this.

    The companies that can afford great graphics are huge AAA published companies. Meaning, they're shills, and they're going to crap out a WoW clone with minimal effort.

    Meanwhile, games that CANNOT afford great graphics, tend to be made by enthusiasts, and they make better game mechanics (like Darkfalls 100% real time combat in a world without zones or instances)

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon

    For the most part, they're not competing for the same resources.  Graphics can push a video card hard, but I'm not aware of games that use a video card for anything other than graphics.  Before you cite "physics", the physics computations that video cards can do are just a particular type of graphics.

    Graphics can also put a considerable load on the processor.  But on modern hardware, the combined processor load of everything except graphics added together is usually inconsequential.  While you could make complex simulations that put a considerable load on the processor, in an online game, that work would tend to be done server-side anyway.

    Graphics also put substantial strain on system memory.  But again, the system memory usage for everything but graphics tends not to be very much.

    Graphics make a game take more hard drive space, and more bandwidth to download the game initially.  But unless you're going way, way overboard with audio, the size of a game is almost entirely determined by graphics to store.  And I don't think that going way overboard with audio is what you had in mind by "more advanced features".

    More advanced features may put a considerable load on the servers.  But other than for downloading a game initially, graphics don't put any load on the servers at all.

    The only place that graphics really compete with anything else for resources is in development time.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakenora

    Firstly, idiots who think it's a good idea to build their own graphics engine for their game get important positions (SWTOR). I mean seriously, there are teams of experts that do nothing but invent innovative game engines: there is no way you can equal them with all-rounded programmers. And even if you can get some experts on your team, you will be very limited by the time you can give them, besides the problem of the best being probably busy doing their jobs lol.

    If a game team doesn't have anyone capable of creating a graphics engine, then it probably doesn't have any competent programmers at all.  And that's going to cause considerable problems elsewhere in the game, too.

    A graphics engine will want things structured a particular way.  If you write your own, you can make it do anything you want.  If you license a graphics engine from someone else, it will do whatever the "someone else" wanted--which may not coincide with what you want it to do.

    You don't necessarily even gain efficiency by licensing a graphics engine, either.  Even if it can do everything you want plus a bunch of things you don't, there is some overhead to handle the "bunch of things you don't".  A program built to do just one thing can often do that one thing much better than a general-purpose program adapted to do the same thing.

    If your goal is top end graphics, then yeah, your team probably isn't going to be able to compete with the best graphics engines available to license.  But that rather defeats the point of this thread.

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by XAPGames
    The problem I see is that players are instantly turned off by less graphic intensive characters and environments. The gameplay over graphics concept is dead for many.  It's all about eye-candy now.
    Then why is the most popular MMOs in the world the least graphically intensive?


    Why are MMOs like WoW, Maple Story and Lineage 1 so popular if players only want eye candy?

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member
    Yes gameplay has always been what makes or break a MMO. Without true gameplay and deep features you can never have a successful MMO. But todays games are designed for the casual gamer who has not interest in true MMO gaming.
  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon

    a better way to put this.

     

    So lets say we had a game like Minecraft in which each brick and item can be built into the world or changed at will, but with a server of 1000 players at a time logged into the game world like a standard MMORPG.

     

    But this game has Graphics of World of Warcraft.

    Lets call this above, Game 1.

     

    Now Game 2, is the same as Game 1, but Game 2 has graphics of Aion/Aion/Tera (well whatever the top graphical MMO is now days. you get the idea)

     

    Well on the same computer, with the same hardware, etc,

    Will which game will run best? Game 1 or game 2.

    Did Graphics effect anything in terms of the gameplay?

    Would there need to be an compromise for the more graphical game 2 than game 1?

    image

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon

    I'm not sure that you can build Minecraft with WoW graphics.  Minecraft uses voxels rather than your standard rasterization precisely because allowing players to greatly alter the game world is much easier with voxels.  You might be able to do something analgous in a rasterization-based game through the extensive and clever use of geometry shaders, but it would probably be tricky.  But even if you can do that, making the graphics inferior doesn't offer any real advantages.

    Minecraft uses OpenGL, but OpenGL is designed for rasterization rather than voxels, so I'm not sure how it works internally.

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