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[Column] General: Do Graphics Matter?



  • JedicowboyJedicowboy Mountain Home, ARPosts: 139Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bigsmiff
    Originally posted by tank017
     if my avatar was a giant block for a body and a bunch of smaller blocks to make up the limbs I'd be turned off a bit

    That's why I will never try minecraft.

    im sorry i have and will totally dissagree.  If Minecraft and TONS AND TONS of content and there was stuff to do, you beat your sweet a$$ i would be putting minecraft first before anything else.  Now if there was a game that had all the options content, gameplay so on so on, then i will see how the game is graphically but graphics doesnt factor in on if i will buy it or not.

  • JedicowboyJedicowboy Mountain Home, ARPosts: 139Member Uncommon
    LMFAO sorry for the triple post internet was acting stupid
  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 664Member Uncommon

    I like a game that has a good character gen. I like a game which has good animations. WoW graphics are fine. I don't need super detailed super real visuals.

    I think the question should have been "Do graphics matter to Gamers", because facebook and other games draw lots of people and they have crappy graphics.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 11,990Member Epic

    There is a lot to graphics and how much each part matters differs from person to person.

    Example Wow has horrible textures,the animations are good the lighting/shaders are bad.

    FFXi has low resolution textures but the texture work is very good,if they were high res  they would be among the best in the industry because of detail and realism.

    Some games have hi res but the animations are ridiculous,suepr fast that the eye can barely follow them,the textures although hi res look cheap nd lighting is usually weak in most games.

    I have noticed some people get excited over just the outer look.There is again another facet to graphics and that is depth or 3d quality.A perfect example i like to use is buildings.It is VERY easy to make a 2d model and cover the outside with a nice texture/s.However it takes at least 50-100% more effort to make insides to buildings and create all kinds of assests inside.

    Some games go even further,in some places in Archeage,yo ucan actually go through a window,most games windows are merely a fake texture,no realism to the window at all.Many houses are just instances.

    Thre is a heck of a lot of criteria to look for when talking graphics.I can accept what FFXI did ,good textures low res.if the textures looked cheap and unrealistic like many in wow and low res ,then no i would not be happy.I want a rock to look like a rock texture and a tree to look like a tree texture.

    Vanguard did a real good job for it's time,pathways and rocks looked realistic,buildings and bricks looked real and trees actually could be make a big difference in making textures look real,example cloth like or metal like.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • ThecowlordThecowlord Calgary, ABPosts: 10Member

    I myself am a graphics whore so yes they do matter but then again, I still play older mmo's like Asheron's Call and sometimes I'll return to Meridian 59. Those two have some nasty bad old graphics and yet they can still pull me back.  So it's not always about the shiny and new that draws me in.


    Here's a question for Pocket and anyone else. Would you get a older game with horridly old graphics yet so much content that it blows you away?


  • sanshi44sanshi44 BrisbanePosts: 1,167Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MaxJac   Aesthetics matter, not graphics.

    Agree here : P

    Ok this is how i see it great graphic will bring in alot of people because they think the game looks great visualy but they dont realy look into the gamplay. The problem with this though its will only hold people for a short period of time until they move onto something else because they got bored of gameplay.

    While great game play and adverage graphics will bring in a smaller crowed at launch however if they have amazing gameplay the game will grow due to people telling other how fun or great it is. This way is a much more viable way for MMOs to work imo its better to grow your player base over time then have it get swamped for a few months then drop continously therefor after. There also a benefite for this aswell if people notice the populatyion growing its a good sign, however if people notice it droppping they suddenly beleive the game is dead and the population drops further.

  • clumsytoes44clumsytoes44 portland, ORPosts: 463Member Uncommon

    Currently playing FF7&9, after the fiasco with GW2 and the lost shore's update i have no desire to play that game. Hell I remember when FF7 came out and I thought those graphic's were mindblowing. Graphic's do matter to a degree, but if a game lack's substance then it has no replayability.

    Another game i loved was summoner had a kickass story, combat was fun, hit a loading screen, go make a pot of coffee, grab a shower. Although the game had it's fault's the gritty graphic's actually enhanced the game imho.


    So in closing I guess it depend's on the game.

  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon

    Tough question to admit to.

    Yes, graphics are very important to the overall experience of the game and my enjoyment of it.

    No, graphics alone will not keep me from playing and enjoying a game.


    Or to put it another way - The better the gameplay the less "influence" the quality of graphics have.


    Take for example Mount and Blade Warband graphics -




    The are "meh" by anyones standards. But I could give a shit what it looks like, this is an excellent game with some serious depth to its combat, and its fun as hell.


    This game will never leave my harddrive.

    Same with the orginal XCom, same with Rome Total War and a few others.


    A good game is a good game, and graphics cant change that.


    And other good example is WoW.

    I personally hate the cartoony primary color graphics of the game. And even though I dont like the direction they have gone in the last three expansions, it was (is) a great game to play. It wasnt hard for me to "overlook" my dislike of its graphic-style and enjoy playing it for total of three years plus.


    But as another opposite example.

    If GW2 graphics (not animations) wernt as "pretty" as they are, I doubt I'd enjoy spending as much time it the world ArenaNet created as I do.


    Kind of like a nice paint job on a sports car. The paint doesnt change the performance, it just makes it more flashy to drive.




    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • RedempRedemp Absurdly HotlandPosts: 1,050Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan
    In the MMO market, graphics are not the be all end all.  Many of us look at gameplay and/or the systems embedded in the game.  I really get a chuckle when someone knocks a MMO game's graphics, it immediately tells me that they are not a true MMO player, but someone migrating over from console games or new to the genre. To give you an example, take Asheron's Call, very graphics dated, yet still a great game, I still go back and play it sometimes.  Then take a game like SWTOR, fantastic graphics, great lore, amazing vocals and cut scenes.  Yet the game had no magic, nothing pulling me back to the game again and again.   You can easily use Wow as an example too, as the graphics are nothing to speak of, yet it is the top game in the market. Good article Pokket

     I completely disagree with your post, I am an old school gamer, I cut my teeth on Muds. I've also evolved as a gamer and fully exspect my games to be graphically pleasing. You can't use older games as examples of " See this game had low end graphics yet was a sucess" because most of the examples released during a time when those graphics were good.

    Graphics matter ... thats the plain and simple truth.

  • TheBigDRCTheBigDRC Everson, WAPosts: 162Member

    Graphics are just one of the ingredients for a good game. It needs to be mixed in with the other ingredients just right to make a great dish, especially on what the recipe calls for. But if there's too much or not enough of an ingredient, one could easily ruin it, as we've seen many times already.

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  • ariasaitchoariasaitcho Rapid City, SDPosts: 112Member Uncommon
    graphics matter only in as much as they can make the difference between a good game that you'll play again and again and one that you'll try and move on. That said, top of the line graphics do not a good game make; there has to be a story, imersive game play, and yes even good sound effects and music. we've all played games that had the annoying 10 second loop music that only detracted from game play, not added to it. it's the same with graphics.

  • ScizyrScizyr Minneapolis, MNPosts: 15Member

    Graphics in games have been on a plateau for years.  There are some engines being worked on that improve graphics but the major studios are still using low polygon count trash and just putting new texture and lighting effects on top of it.

    Since they aren't really getting any better, they do not matter at all.  What is more important is the artwork, the overal visual theme and atmosphere.

    How to tell if you have a good game is if it follows these criteria in order:

    Gameplay > Rule Set > Music > Graphics

    Graphics will start mattering again once we get the realtime polygon render count issue resolved.

    The music of a game has become so neglected I'm frankly disgusted by the garbage we are forced to listen to, and end up muting anyways.

  • MueslinatorMueslinator AugsburgPosts: 78Member

    I'd say that graphics matter as a subsystem of atmosphere, and thus of immersion. TOR is a nice example: Looks nifty on any screenshot, has next to no atmosphere. WoW's graphics are meh by a technical standard, but they convey great atmosphere, and therefore immersion.

    Another way graphics can matter is if they enhance gameplay: Am I able to look at my game world for a gameplay hint, or do I have to look at my GUI? Example: Closed door. Does a hint pop up that says "You need the Pyramid icon to proceed", or does the door have a pyramid-shaped hole in it that tells me what I need through its mere presence? Another easy one: Does my character burn visibly when on fire, or do I only have a debuff icon in my GUI that tells me: "You are on FIRE!"?

    The more things are communicated without the extra layer of a GUI, the better.


    In short: If the game world with its shiny graphics feels like a mere backdrop, they can be as shiny as they want, they're useless (they'll still entice players to buy, but that's about it). If graphics enhance the gameworld, they're useful, even when they're mediocre.

    Of course it's best to have both, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather take a game with mediocre graphics and good gameplay/immersion than a sterile graphics wonder.

    edit: And yes, the sound is also very important, and sadly, often overlooked. Sound and music can be used to enhance gameplay and immersion just as much as graphics. Just take a look at Diablo 1 (anyone heard a ring drop when (s)he read that?) and its amazing score and sound works. Ah, fresh meat!
  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member Uncommon

    Since I am one of those poor cheap bastards who choose to game on a budget barely mid range PC, graphics aren't everything.. I usually have to play games on medium (sometimes high but never ultra everything), so I never get the full eye candy anyway and as long as the gameplay keeps me entertained and satisfied I don't have a problem..

    What bugs me more than having a downright ugly game, is having an overly ambitious future tech graphically overkill of a game that will not scale to meet my specs.. I could play a good game with stick figures, if I was given the option of performance over quality..


  • ErgoProxyDecayErgoProxyDecay a City, CAPosts: 1,453Member Uncommon

    Sadly I admit I am a graphics whore. I cannot play any game or mmo that doesnt pleases my eyes. I need the details, the vibrant "fantasy" realistic graphics. BUT if a game has everything that I look for, everything that I wish a graphic oriented game should have it, it is Final Fantasy XI. Maybe there wasnt much choices back then, but FFXI was the ONLY game I ever fell truelly in love with. And I probably would be STILL playing it if the game hasnt started pleasing the casuals. Maybe it isnt the graphics issue but the ease of play. Most game these days are EASY!! Childs-play!!! thats the problem. Its not that there is not enough content at release but its TOO F^&$ing easy. People can rush thru it in a matter of months, weeks and even days. Say GW2, people reaching max level in just the 3 early start days. Now that... is wrong. The idea of MMOs these days arent about the hard and frustarting journey we take to build a character that IS us. Sure its a MMO, but theres no RPGing. You dont feel or become a part of that character that story that Role. We are just playing a game. A game with some added gear progression, some stats. some new armor skins every 10, 20, 30 levels. We are technically playing a game that should be called MMOActionAdventureGame. Like Action Adventure console game that lasts 10-15hrs wth DLC. MMO should be hard, time consuming to get to the top, not Months, weeks, days. So do graphics matter? YES! Without even graphics, theres NO point in playing anything thats consider "MMORPG" that comes out these days. The society just wants easy games with lots of content.  How is that going work??

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  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member
    Originally posted by MaxJac   Aesthetics matter, not graphics.

    Correct. I can go back and play some old Megadrive / SNES games and still be impresed by the worlds and design. Its what you do with the graphics, not the graphics themselves.

    GW2 is a good example, the attention to detail is amazing, even though the pure grunt is less than that of TERA.  I just wish they would have taken some design ideas from GW1 Factions with elite dungeons and territory battles.

  • EleazarosEleazaros Neverneverland, WAPosts: 206Member Uncommon

    3 types of learning:  Visual, Aural and Kinesthetics.  3 aspects to game play - sights, sounds and tactile/movement interaction with your game world.

    If they fubar any of the 3, it's liable to hit issues.  How much so will depend on each individual.

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,090Member Uncommon
    Graphics don't matter as much as game play and innovation.  That doesn't mean I will play the greatest game ever made if it looked like UO, Asherons Call, Runescape or Maple Story.  Anything from WoW to Rift or SWTOR to GW2 is perfectly fine for my tastes.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!


  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INPosts: 5,035Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by orbitxo
    for me-yes-iam a graphic designer!-details details details!! for some friends -no.-they are coders. -go figure. apple dosent fall too far from the tree.  


    Interesting comment, and I agree.


    I had a similar experience talking with an artist who specializes in terrain work.  I prefer low-poly and cartoonish which makes graphical shortcomings more easily overlooked.  He's heavily into pushing the art toward ultra-realism with spectacular scenics.

    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • ManestreamManestream PrestonPosts: 714Member Uncommon

    For a subscription based game, yes graphics do matter as well as the gameplay. The only thing that you dont really need that much of is the multi-million £ voice overs (e.g SWTOR, Wingcommander 3 or was it 4) also proved this too as well as a few other big named games that failed to make the money back because of this sort of thing.

    Nice graphics (that are easily updated to move along with the time, good gameplay, many featires and free range world (not limited or walk down this path and this path only sort of thing).

    Well, question here has been answered, do graphics matter = yes for subscription and bought games, for free download and F2P games with an item shop, that does not matter as much, however having said that they would be wanting people to spend on their cash shops and stay in game (but i tend not to bother with these sort of games as its a proven FACT that subscription games are cheaper in the long run).

  • PokketPokket Candy Mountain, TXPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by Mawnee
    Why does everyone always discuss this subject like it has to be one or the other? I want BOTH!

    Because we are talking about the allocation of resources. The thing with MMOs is that they are not like regulary single player games. A lot of the resources go into make it pretty, question/story, making it multiplayer, pvp, and/or endgame pve. Quite a few MMOs will take away from endgame and "gameplay" in general to make a game have better questing and/or graphics.


    That's the point. If you don't have the resources, why waste them on graphics instead of gameplay? With a one-time purchase game it might work, but with a sub-based game it won't.

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  • PokketPokket Candy Mountain, TXPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by defector1968
    graphics = 40% class balance = 40% rest = 20%

    Ah, so for you graphics and "balance" make up 80% of the game, yeah? By that logic, I guess that's why some games have very linear and boring questing.


    aka:  RIFT. Or why some games have incomplete questing.


    aka: Age of Conan. Or why some games are far from polished.


    aka: Warhammer. Or why some games feel forced out before they are ready, missing key features of many MMORPGs.


    aka: Star Wars. Or why some games have mediocre dungeons and instances PvP.


    aka: Guild Wars 2 . Or why some games seem to lack pretty much everything.


    aka: Final Fantasy XIV. This list could go on...


    Just saying. 80% should go to everything else. 20% to graphics. And I'm not saying that the above mentioned games are failures, but I am saying that I feel as though resources put into some areas were half-arsed or almost completely neglected due to money getting put in the wrong places. I think that's something many of us (though not all) can agree on.

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  • FishmittsFishmitts doylestown, PAPosts: 227Member Common
    Graphics vs. The actual game its self?  Just look at DayZ, shit graphics, shit inventory control, Hackers,  learning curve is high for most that dont play Arma, but yet over a MILLION to play a mod?? That right there should you tell you people are more about the gameplay than the eyecandy.  
  • ForeverdreamForeverdream burkesville, KYPosts: 94Member

    We had this discussion 2 weeks ago, where were you?


  • risenbonesrisenbones Galesburg, ILPosts: 194Member

    Yes graphics matter not because stuff looks good but because if the graphics are done well it means the game runs better on my crap computer.


    Asthetics now thats a different kettle of fish and what you actually mean when you talk about graphics in the context of the article.  My personal opinion is if the gameplay is tight then the asthetics arn't something I notice as much.  However if there is something lacking in the gameplay department then evan small things in the asthetics jump out and make the game seam worse.  On top of that the closer you try and get things to look real the more all the little mistakes in implimenting reality jump out and take away from that mythical thing we call immersion.

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