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Narrowing down the "problem" with Character Graphics

salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon

Hi everyone,

 

So far, I've liked almost everything that has been revealed. Everything, that is,  except the Character Art. I just feel that in some cases,  the art is way too over-the-top for what is necessary. 

 

Please note the exception of environmental graphics in my statement - because I really do like the world engine and think it will age quite well.  I think it's important to point this out, because I want to differentiate myself from the threads that seemingly complain about all the graphical elements in the game when my only real complaint is certain aspects of the characters.

 

Being that I only have an issue with Character Art, I decided to narrow it down: why would I like the environment but not the characters? After all, it is the same art style in general is it not? Actually, it's something a bit different. Because having colorful art with a certain expression is one thing - but it's the exaggerated "heroic" elements that we've seen time and again in modern MMO's that are a beast on their own.  And I feel that a significant number of people who are dissuaded by (what  would appear to be) the entire Art Style in the game might actually be persuaded to change their minds by a few minor tweaks to characters regarding these seemingly "heroic" features.

 

Of course, I'm talking about over-sized shoulder-pads, bracers and massively disproportionate muscles, hands and feet. It's the stuff that we all know originates  from "a certain" game. I don't think EQN would be compromising the art style whatsoever to pull back on these features. After all, some of the character art shown does look relatively normal. But some of it just looks outrageously overzealous and plagiaristic of another title. Note the the two EQN characters below:

 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

Notice the difference between the two charcters. The wizard on the right actually looks somewhat proportional, where as the Kerran on the left has been exaggerated extensively for dramatic affect.  The shoulder-pads alone will be covering a large portion of the Kerran's body. The hands are larger than the characters entire head. We end up with a character that actually has very little "character" - rather, he's turned into a mess of blocky armor pieces and gigantic hands. Also note that though these are only two examples - there have been other characters shown that have the same extreme exaggerations as the Kerran. Even human characters have this problem.

 

I'd like to hear some thoughts and feedback on this. Would people be willing to consider and/or desire (as I do) a change regarding the exaggerated "heroic" features on the characters without compromising the general theme of the art?

 

Disclaimer: this is my first post here - but I assure you that I am a passionate fan of Everquest and my intention here is merely to have a productive discussion.

Also, I put "problem" in quotations because I wanted to acknowledge that not everyone agrees that the Character Art is an issue. Everyone's opinion is welcome - just please be civil.

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Comments

  • BeyornBeyorn Canton, GAPosts: 249Member Uncommon

    The gear really doesnt bother me but the lions head is just silly looking imo.  I hope all of the kerrans dont look like that.

    I liked the human model

  • fyerwallfyerwall Posts: 3,155Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Beyorn

    The gear really doesnt bother me but the lions head is just silly looking imo.  I hope all of the kerrans dont look like that.

    I liked the human model

    I think the biggest problem with the Kerran is the prince valiant hair. It just doesn't seem right on that model.

    As for the rest of the character, nothing looks wrong about it to be. Then again I haven't really run into any humanoid lions in real life to have formed an opinion otherwise...

    The human looks fine to me.

    There are 3 types of people in the world.
    1.) Those who make things happen
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    image

  • KiyorisKiyoris BejingPosts: 964Member Uncommon

    For me it is not just the "heroic" element, or the "shoulderpads", but they are part of it.

    It's the fact that I felt 0 fear looking at this world of EQNext. I didn't feel like it was me against the elements.

    It felt like a casual strawl around the block, even with the boss...it felt "lame"

    EQ made  you FEAR. HOLY $%@^@ Terris Thule. I got nightmares just running through the maze!

    And the fact you could lose your lvl or die somewhere or have to restart a 2 hour clear. I felt my heart bounce in my chest just playing this game sometimes.

    I want to shiver and fear in my game. The art direction needs to allow for that

    But....maybe this isn't the game for that....maybe it is a casual console game, and that's fine, but not sure why it is called EQ then.

    Sure, fixing the shoulderpads might work, but ok...that's like a tiny problem out of the whole art style.

    ]

  • Shadowguy64Shadowguy64 Rohnert Park, CAPosts: 848Member
    If they swapped the sizes between the Kerran's hands and the Human's boobs they'd be on to something....
  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Shadowguy64
    If they swapped the sizes between the Kerran's hands and the Human's boobs they'd be on to something....

     

    Strangely enough, that actually would seem proportional to me . . . oh forums, how I love you.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member

    The models I thought were fine, and sort-of in-line with other EQ models, although more simplistic looking, like cereal box characters.

     

    Still though, I think art design is not really on your mind right now.  What's on your mind is what you can say to make SOE happy and proud.  Were you a veteran ??

     

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you are not a EQ1 player?

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • KhebelnKhebeln BelfastPosts: 727Member Uncommon

    I understand that some people might not like heroic character models ( i like them ) but there are 100001 games that done use them. Its still better than having a game with very plain races that only have different heads and everything else is same about them. Because they are realistic. 

    I mean whats realistic about made up races in the first place ? They could tone up the Kerran a bit as it feels to big, but other than that i love all the other character models so far, and i love their facial and overall animations even more.

    Problem with A LOT games this days esp with realistic setting is lack of style or soul. They all look the same, and boring.

    So... yeah i like what i saw so far, i only hope that there will be high resolution textures. Ones we saw where a bit low, but then again at this stage its kinda normal to not have them in game yet.

    image
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  • ThorqemadaThorqemada BerlinPosts: 1,277Member Uncommon

    The Lion is absurd, everything about it is absurd.

    The Wizard has a typical weird Diney-Pose and Look and if you would show it to me without giving knowledge of the game or movie it is from i would expect it is a female character of "Treasue Isle" or something Pirate-Themed.

    "Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

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  • TicklepinkTicklepink Ferrum, VAPosts: 119Member

    the eyes on the human female are HUGE..her nose is a pimple.Ive always tried to plump lips on my characters...and never in any MMO have I ever played would I be able to get my lips as big hers and that mouth as wide as it is.

    The male characters have barrel chests as wide as their legs are long..and their heads are the size of a pectoral muscle?...wow

     

    image
  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    The models I thought were fine, and sort-of in-line with other EQ models, although more simplistic looking, like cereal box characters.

     

    Still though, I think art design is not really on your mind right now.  What's on your mind is what you can say to make SOE happy and proud.  Were you a veteran ??

     

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you are not a EQ1 player?

     

     Yes I am an EQ1 player, who still plays Project 1999 actively to this day.  I agree that things have come far since the days of  EQ1 and my complaint regarding the characters may seem small to some - but I think fixing these small issues is more realistic than asking SOE to redesign their entire art theme.

     

    And again, I'm ok with the art theme. It isn't bad at all.  I'm just not wanting feelings of World of Warcraft being evoked when I'm playing - I really want this to be unique. I don't think it's too much to ask that the characters be somewhat proportional.

     

    And of course there are other things on my mind - but I made this thread because I felt that it hadn't been sufficiently explored yet and I wanted to contribute something new to the discussion on EQN. Trust me, I'm far more interested in gameplay than graphics.

     

     

  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kiyoris

    For me it is not just the "heroic" element, or the "shoulderpads", but they are part of it.

    It's the fact that I felt 0 fear looking at this world of EQNext. I didn't feel like it was me against the elements.

    It felt like a casual strawl around the block, even with the boss...it felt "lame"

    EQ made  you FEAR. HOLY $%@^@ Terris Thule. I got nightmares just running through the maze!

    And the fact you could lose your lvl or die somewhere or have to restart a 2 hour clear. I felt my heart bounce in my chest just playing this game sometimes.

    I want to shiver and fear in my game. The art direction needs to allow for that

    But....maybe this isn't the game for that....maybe it is a casual console game, and that's fine, but not sure why it is called EQ then.

    Sure, fixing the shoulderpads might work, but ok...that's like a tiny problem out of the whole art style.

     

    I completely understand where you're coming from. I loved the attempted realism of Everquest 1/2 - it really immersed me into the world.

     

    I also would probably "prefer" a more realistic graphical approach, but I'm satisfied with the  general theme of the art. I think it's important to realize that SOE probably can't and won't change the general theme of the art at this point. The best we could hope for is to get things somewhat proportional and perhaps tone down the "heroic" elements. That's why I made this thread - to explore and gauge the communities feelings on these possible changes.

  • KiyorisKiyoris BejingPosts: 964Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by salaciouscrumbs
    I think it's important to realize that SOE probably can't and won't change the general theme of the art at this point. The best we could hope for is to get things somewhat proportional and perhaps tone down the "heroic" elements. That's why I made this thread - to explore and gauge the communities feelings on these possible changes.

    Maybe also adjust the color theme a bit.

    Using baby blue isn't exactly "adultish" (lmao that's the best word I could come up with)

    Anyway, did a quick change:

    ]

  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kiyoris
    Originally posted by salaciouscrumbs
    I think it's important to realize that SOE probably can't and won't change the general theme of the art at this point. The best we could hope for is to get things somewhat proportional and perhaps tone down the "heroic" elements. That's why I made this thread - to explore and gauge the communities feelings on these possible changes.

    Maybe also adjust the color theme a bit.

    Using baby blue isn't exactly "adultish" (lmao that's the best word I could come up with)

    Anyway, did a quick change:

     

    Great job - I really like the darker color theme. I think that's another area that SOE could explore as a possible change. I honestly don't think it would be too hard for EQN to compromise a tad regarding the character art. In the least they will diffuse any animosity from a large portion of the players. At most, it will appeal to the vast majority.

  • KarbleKarble San Diego, CAPosts: 741Member
    Originally posted by salaciouscrumbs

    Hi everyone,

     

    So far, I've liked almost everything that has been revealed. Everything, that is,  except the Character Art. I just feel that in some cases,  the art is way too over-the-top for what is necessary. 

     

    Please note the exception of environmental graphics in my statement - because I really do like the world engine and think it will age quite well.  I think it's important to point this out, because I want to differentiate myself from the threads that seemingly complain about all the graphical elements in the game when my only real complaint is the characters.

     

    Being that I only have an issue with Character Art, I decided to narrow it down: why would I like the environment but not the characters? After all, it is the same art style in general is it not? Actually, it's something a bit different. Because having colorful art with a certain expression is one thing - but it's the exaggerated "heroic" elements that we've seen time and again in modern MMO's that are a beast on their own.  And I feel that a significant number of people who are dissuaded by (what  would appear to be) the entire Art Style in the game might actually be persuaded to change their minds by a few minor tweaks to characters regarding these seemingly "heroic" features.

     

    Of course, I'm talking about over-sized shoulder-pads, bracers and massively disproportionate muscles, hands and feet. It's the stuff that we all know originates  from "a certain" game. I don't think EQN would be compromising the art style whatsoever to pull back on these features. After all, some of the character art shown does look relatively normal. But some of it just looks outrageously overzealous and plagiaristic of another title. Note the the two EQN characters below:

     

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

     

    Notice the difference between the two charcters. The wizard on the right actually looks proportional, where as the Kerran on the left has been exaggerated extensively for dramatic affect.  The shoulder-pads alone will be covering a large portion of the Kerran's body. The hands are larger than the characters entire head. We end up with a character that actually has very little "character" - rather, he's turned into a mess of blocky armor pieces and gigantic hands. Also note that though these are only two examples - there have been other characters shown that have the same extreme exaggerations as the Kerran. Even human characters have this problem.

     

    I'd like to hear some thoughts and feedback on this. Would people be willing to consider and/or desire (as I do) a change regarding the exaggerated "heroic" features on the characters without compromising the general theme of the art?

     

    Disclaimer: this is my first post here - but I assure you that I am a passionate fan of Everquest and my intention here is merely to have a productive discussion.

    I am going to say this and hopefully it will make sense. So here goes.

    Player character models in the original EQ didn't really have any realistic body movements. Sure they went to sitting, they put hands out or a book or the weapon you were holding. But the overall feel that your character was actually interacting in a fluid manor was not telegraphed in any way by the characters.

    This obviously was a draw back of the tech at the time. Since then there have been quite a large group of games that tried different versions of establishing the feeling of your character actually performing many things, but the success has been narrow overall.

    Sure the characters may have overly dramatized parts here and there. But the pic you show clearly has his hand closer to the camera. Look at his other hand and suddenly it becomes proportionate. It's basically the same effect as you get when you hold a pen right up to your eye versus farther away. It becomes bigger or smaller.

    So basically I believe the direction they went is so they can pull off far more animations in character attacks and movements which will in turn make the characters feel more alive than ever before. The other plus side to it is all this at no expense to your hardware.

    This is one thing WoW did correctly that EQ 2 did not do is to diagnose what pc's and possible consoles will be able to run the game at launch and how the grapchics would age over time. WoW ran smoothly while EQ2 ran sluggish on pc's that were not out that same year of release. Even dialing back the settings which made the game not nearly as apealing still couldn't save my friend's frame rates and so he jumped ship to WoW and I went with.

    In my opinion they are doing the right thing at the right time. This will be the come back of the EQ franchise in a good way.

    The fact they are letting loose the full art kit for players to create parts of the world and share in the prophet is epic as well. What you see as oversized would also be popular to anyone that enjoys a powerful hero figure from the disney franchise or others. I see this whole direction as opening up new doors for other franchises that sony can dip into and further grow more successful games from.

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,496Member Uncommon

    I dislike the models a lot - as they don't remind me of Everquest at all, they remind me of Disney characters.

    I'd love to see them redone completely from ground up.

    Stylized is ok - but make it at least have the flavor of EQ - the kerrans armor is WAY WAY over the top, it's imo absurd.

    Also the Kerran's face is silly, and body proportions are just ridiculous.

     

  • SahrhynSahrhyn Atlanta, GAPosts: 49Member

    OP - since you shared your opinion on the graphics.. please let me share mine.

    Me, I don't have a "problem" with the Character Graphics.

    I rather like them.  I like the characters in EQ and EQ2.  I like the characters in AC and in DAOC.  I liked the characters in Age of Conan, Star Ware Galaxies and The Old Republic.  I liked the characters in World of Warcraft and I even like the characters in Wildstar. 

    In fact, I don't ever remember trashing any game's character or art direction.  I guess I was raised differently, taught to have an opinion but to keep it to myself till asked, and even then to use a gentle hand in criticism.  I don't feel its our place to trash the work of others. 

    If they were asking for input - so be it, but I don't think they were.  Can't wait till some of you "artists" work your "masterpieces" in Landmark - only to have it trashed on the voting block by all these "critics".... course the most harshest critics are usually the ones without talent themselves.

     

    And its not just this thread OP - there are many many threads posting the same crap.  Forgive me if my opinion is harsh and offends anyone with its stink.  /2 cents.

  • killahhkillahh calgary, ABPosts: 437Member
    If you can do better I suggest you get off your high horse and do so.
    According to the 20plus polls, made by complaining types like you, over 75 percent of the people like what they see.

    So therefore you are in the minority, and as such I suggest you deal with it

    And i Am a long term player of EQ, EQ2.

    Gonada Dahung,over 20 years of mmorpg's and counting....Please Lord, let someone make a game that had all the awesomeness of UO, EQ and EVE...

  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by killahh
    If you can do better I suggest you get off your high horse and do so. According to the 20plus polls, made by complaining types like you, over 75 percent of the people like what they see. So therefore you are in the minority, and as such I suggest you deal with it And i Am a long term player of EQ, EQ2.

     

    I have no idea what you're even addressing here (and with such fiery passion *sizzles*), because it certainly isn't anything from my original post . . . I never stated an opinion on any of the things you're ranting about. Hehe . . .

  • TicklepinkTicklepink Ferrum, VAPosts: 119Member
    Originally posted by killahh
    If you can do better I suggest you get off your high horse and do so. According to the 20plus polls, made by complaining types like you, over 75 percent of the people like what they see. So therefore you are in the minority, and as such I suggest you deal with it And i Am a long term player of EQ, EQ2.

    and this is why I'm actually considering applying for beta. My BF hates the models as well but stated this way he might be able to give more round table feedback that made a difference..You've convinced me.

    image
  • AdokaumAdokaum CardiffPosts: 83Member

    Nice to see that other people are actually looking at what the problem is rather than screaming childish, cartoony, immature.

    Looking at that abysmal kerra model again I noticed that the skin barely has any textures. The head is literally a solid yellow then black for the nose and some black dots for whiskers. It reminds me of coloring books where you have a harsh black line drawing and then just fill in the colors with a marker.

    Now that I've noticed that I can see what was wrong with the armor. All those basic shapes just pop out at me without even trying to hide it by adding more realistic textures instead of solid colors. That cell shaded look really pops out in this environment. It's like putting borderland characters into skyrim.  There is some serious style clashing going on between the world and the characters. The soft cloth looks pretty good on the female mage but the hard surface modelling on the plate armor is obnoxious.

  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member
    The bottom line is that the art style isn't going to change. You can round table other things all you want, but this is set in stone. If its a deal breaker for you, just don't play. Its obvious the majority is fine with it or even prefer it.
  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by evilastro
    The bottom line is that the art style isn't going to change. You can round table other things all you want, but this is set in stone. If its a deal breaker for you, just don't play. Its obvious the majority is fine with it or even prefer it.

     

    You make a good point and I agree with you. I mentioned in the OP and some subsequent posts that I don't feel the art style is going to change in general. However, changing character armor and hands / feet / muscles to proportoinal sizes is not a difficult thing to do.

     

    I remember during the Star Wars: The Old Republic development that when people saw the size of lightsabres (they were incredibly large o0), the developers listened to the fans and significantly reduced their size.  And that team didn't even have a round-table.

     

    Who knows what will happen - this is just a discussion after all, not the round-table itself.

  • cmorris975cmorris975 San Jose, CAPosts: 186Member
    Originally posted by Kiyoris

    For me it is not just the "heroic" element, or the "shoulderpads", but they are part of it.

    It's the fact that I felt 0 fear looking at this world of EQNext. I didn't feel like it was me against the elements.

    It felt like a casual strawl around the block, even with the boss...it felt "lame"

    EQ made  you FEAR. HOLY $%@^@ Terris Thule. I got nightmares just running through the maze!

    And the fact you could lose your lvl or die somewhere or have to restart a 2 hour clear. I felt my heart bounce in my chest just playing this game sometimes.

    I want to shiver and fear in my game. The art direction needs to allow for that

    But....maybe this isn't the game for that....maybe it is a casual console game, and that's fine, but not sure why it is called EQ then.

    Sure, fixing the shoulderpads might work, but ok...that's like a tiny problem out of the whole art style.

    You said it best.  I agree with you 100%.  This new Pixar art style does NOT fit my idea of EQ at all.

  • FoeHammerJTFoeHammerJT Broken Arrow, OKPosts: 148Member

    While I am not a fan of the art style being used for this game I would like to add the following:

    -This game is being made with the next gen console in mind and while they are fairly powerful machines, they are new. Look at what Last of Us did with the PS3 compared to early games there. They are probably using small texture files and trying to keep this smooth running on new consoles.

    -Can you make an art style like this and then realistically proportion everything? It's fantasy right?  I'm trying to phrase this so it isn't about taste its about consistency. Who really knows how large a Lion's Paws would be if they had opposable thumbs capable of holding a shield. Doesn't massive armor and features mes more appropriately with a 2 legged Lion than delicate fingers and strictly utilitarian shoulder pads? Its stylistic and whether a person likes it or not, can't the artists get some artistic interpretations on the world?

  • KiyorisKiyoris BejingPosts: 964Member Uncommon

    changed his armor a bit too now, not sure if it's better:

    ]

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