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Why don't they ever get forests right!?

13

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  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elikal
    Originally posted by Majinash
    The same reason most towns in MMOs have 2-3 homes and a store or two.  We don't play in full sized worlds, we play in scaled down versions.

    Why then did WOW and LOTRO at least halfway get this in their age old graphics?

    And should that not be a point of development? Should not symbolic worlds be a matter of the past?

    If you are still playing lotro check out fanghorn forest. They didnt' do a bad job. It's closer to original Great Forest.

     

  • dinamsdinams Muriae, VAPosts: 1,362Member
    WoW gotta have the worst depicitons of jungle I have ever seen

    "It has potential"
    -Second most used phrase on existence
    "It sucks"
    -Most used phrase on existence

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member

    I've posted about this in the past.  Most mmo games barely try to have any atmosphere at all in them these days.  For being around ten years old, I still find the forests on planet Dathomir of Star Wars Galaxies to be one of the few that pulls off being dark and scary, and this is with ancient graphics.  Especially with so many bad ass mobs like Nighsister witches running around.

    http://starwarsfuerza.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/dathomir.jpg

    This is daytime.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • LeGrosGamerLeGrosGamer Canada, QCPosts: 210Member
     Watch Man VS Wild for a few years and you'll be able to walz left and right all you want, and drinking your own piss will save your life once in a while. image
  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elikal
    Originally posted by Majinash
    The same reason most towns in MMOs have 2-3 homes and a store or two.  We don't play in full sized worlds, we play in scaled down versions.

    Why then did WOW and LOTRO at least halfway get this in their age old graphics?

    And should that not be a point of development? Should not symbolic worlds be a matter of the past?

    Because they were able to get away with using less polygons & simpler textures.

    It's a simple matter of density. Most games can't handle tightly packed geometry + lighting, texturing ,etc. on a realistic level. That kind of stuff is known to kill even the best machines, and artists spend years learning how to trick & decieve people into thinking an area is more dense then it actually is, because there is no viable alternative.

    Even the movies that do it correctly, often take days per-frame to render that kind of detail.

    That kind of details is insanely expensive (both in hardware, software; and monetary resources)

  • ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,561Member Uncommon

    MMOS should use a engine thats similar to the engine the game RAGE used.  Because everything in that game was hand drawn and nothing was a copy and paste of each object and the game looked amazing.  Thats how they would get a forest right in mmos.  Stylized graphics can get away with dense forests because of the low polygon count which is why WoW and lotro had them.

     

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Trees are expensive to draw.  Big trees with lots of branches are really expensive to draw.  Drawing lots of trees at once is really, really expensive to draw.  And if you want them to be lots of different trees, rather than lots of copies of the same tree, then, well, I hope you like single-digit frame rates.  On high end hardware.  At low graphical settings.

    I think it may be possible to ease up on the computational burden of drawing complex trees somewhat by having a handful of leaves or small sections of branches and drawing lots of copies of them in geometry shaders.  But that's tricky to do, and only partially ameliorates the problem.

    The reason forests are dark is that if you look in a random direction and draw a straight line, it might go through ten different things before it goes off into space (or into the ground).  But having to run pixel/fragment shaders 10 times for each pixel rather than one or two will kill your performance.  If you're using any sort of transparency to draw your trees, you can't ease the computational burden with early fragment tests, either.

    What about the approach SOE is taking with EQN and using noise to generate LOD, which fleshes out as you approach into models? It sounds like it would be a painstaking process, yet by their claim it requires little to naught in terms of system resource to generate.

    A tree needs to look the same from one frame to the next, and that necessarily means storing a fair bit of data into video memory.

    But the bigger problem that a dense forest might make you run a pixel/fragment shader 10 times per pixel on the screen, and that's expensive to do.  That doesn't depend on where your data came from.  It's kind of like saying that rendering a game at a resolution of 3820x2160 is expensive:  it's because you have to run pixel/fragment shaders so many times, not because of how the data got to the video card. 

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,549Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by botrytis

    Sorry guys, you want fairyland forests not real forests. There is a huge difference. An old growth forest is not as dark as you gents want it to be. Here is a pic from the Olympic National Forest in Washington State - a temperate rain forest. It is old growth but not as dark as you would expect.

     

    http://www.thesouthsounder.com/images/OlympicForest.jpg

    Ever been in a real forest at night? It's fucking DARK in there, you don't see anything further than a couple of feet away, if you have a light source. That's not a fairy tale forest, that's a real one.

    PS: some posters, like the one just above my post, should consider that having read "Java for the Dummies" doesn't make you a professional graphic developer. Just saying.

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    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

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  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by botrytis

    Sorry guys, you want fairyland forests not real forests. There is a huge difference. An old growth forest is not as dark as you gents want it to be. Here is a pic from the Olympic National Forest in Washington State - a temperate rain forest. It is old growth but not as dark as you would expect.

     

    http://www.thesouthsounder.com/images/OlympicForest.jpg

    Ever been in a real forest at night? It's fucking DARK in there, you don't see anything further than a couple of feet away, if you have a light source. That's not a fairy tale forest, that's a r

    eal one.

    Yes I have, many a time. Growing up, family did summers up in Northern Wisconsin forests. The point being there is a huge difference between old growth forests and the forests burning in the SW now.

    image

    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
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  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon

    This is modded, but I wish MMOs had forests like Skyrim has...

     

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y149/Vendayn/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics/ARealSkyrimForest.jpg

     

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y149/Vendayn/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics/TheBeautyofRiverwood.jpg

     

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y149/Vendayn/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics/LookingDownARiver.jpg

     

    Then again...barely anyone could play said MMO if it looked like that. My PC is pretty good, and is "just" able to run that. But still, it would be nice to see something similar.

     

    And that was always a huge pet peeve of mine in a lot of MMOs. Only GW2 and Vanguard have done cities right...every other city is so tiny and feels like a fishing village and not an actual city. Dunno why most MMOs even call them cities, when they are more like towns at the very most.

    image
  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    Good post, I've been annoyed with the lack of more realistic forest for years. I LOVE the idea of ambushing someone in a forest but the only games that I ever played that had good forestry are Darkfall and some planets in SWG.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by botrytis

    Sorry guys, you want fairyland forests not real forests. There is a huge difference. An old growth forest is not as dark as you gents want it to be. Here is a pic from the Olympic National Forest in Washington State - a temperate rain forest. It is old growth but not as dark as you would expect.

     

    http://www.thesouthsounder.com/images/OlympicForest.jpg

    Ever been in a real forest at night? It's fucking DARK in there, you don't see anything further than a couple of feet away, if you have a light source. That's not a fairy tale forest, that's a real one.

    PS: some posters, like the one just above my post, should consider that having read "Java for the Dummies" doesn't make you a professional graphic developer. Just saying.

    A professional, no.  But I have actually tried to draw trees in a game, so I do have some idea what is involved.  While there could be large, clever improvements that I haven't considered, if it's so easy, then why don't any 3D games have dense, realistic forests?  Surely it's not that no one ever thought it might be cool to do.

  • GrayKodiakGrayKodiak Nada, FLPosts: 576Member

    It isn't just MMO gamers who, for the majority, do not want to deal with the problems of dark dungeons, most single player games have more than what you would consider, realistic, light in dungeons. Skyrim, vanilla, has very bright dungeons...I actually agree that I personally like dark nights and dungeons...I run mods in Skyrim that make everything more dim...dungeons are black and the night ranges from full moon dark to inky black during rainstorms....but  I don't know if I would have liked that in my first run through...it does involve more work just like the Hypothermia mod I use and the more dangerous dragons...

    but you know that is an advantage of single player games, I also use better forest mods, higher resolution textures and a variety of other things an MMO couldn't get away with without hackers taking advantage of it somehow.

    TSW has one PvP dueling area (in london I belive) that is PITCH BLACK, these are just testing grounds that you go into for friendly duels but it changes the way fights work....hiding becomes very possible and you normally catch a glimpse of your friends indicator light on his high tier gun or the glow of his magic talisman...right before he shoots you...I always wondered why they didn't do something like that in the actual game world or a dungeon or a real pvp battle ground as it was awesome in its own way.

  • CecropiaCecropia Posts: 3,472Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    [mod edit]

    My home backs onto a gorgeous part of the Rouge Park in Toronto Canada (biggest of it`s kind in North America), and it would like to have a serious word with you. It`s beyond dense and the darkness it produces prevents me from having any sort of backyard garden other than ferns or hostas etc. And that`s on the edge of the valley. Forests can become much more than what you seem to be aware of, and I`m guessing this is due to your concrete jungle existence. Paths, LMFAO ;)

    [mod edit]

    "Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  • Beoelf21Beoelf21 Atascocita, TXPosts: 91Member
    OP your talking about forests on earth, almost all games are not set on earth. who knows..maybe magic fairies make paths for us in other worlds.

    image
  • twruletwrule Daly City, CAPosts: 1,251Member

    I think it's pretty hard to conjure any lasting sense of 'fear' or 'danger' in someone who knows they are at no real risk except for losing time, and I think it's possible to make exploring a world more of an 'adventure' without it being entirely about fear of dying or something.

    That said, aesthetically, I would love to see dark, dense forests in games. MMOs seem to have technical issues with them though. Maybe we should all go play Monster Hunter or Dark Souls...

  • PyndaPynda Posts: 738Member Uncommon

    The only MMORPG forest - or single player RPG forest for that matter too - that I have a memory of ever getting (a little bit) lost in was somewhere in Albion, Dark Age of Camelot. I wonder if DOAC did not have a compass or a minimap? It was a long time ago and it's hard to remember. But as for the drawing problems that Quizzical was talking about, I do remember that all the densely packed trees there were of the same type.


    In general, though, I'd say that I am for some forests being disorientating. And able to possibly hide enemies until you get very close to them. Differing types of challenges are usually a good thing in these games (IMO). But with terrain maps being stored client side, I'd suppose it could be very easy to cheat. At least as far as navigation is concerned.


  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,481Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elikal

    Yeah, you'll say, what's wrong with the man?

    I am speaking about FORESTS. I know city folks used to electric lights may have a hard time to imagine how a REAL forest is. Most MMOs are set in fantasy or medivial settings. And in those days forests were NOT like our cultural forests, especially if you are European, likely you never saw a real forest. Or if you are a city slicker or live in a prarie area, too.

    A REAL forest, is FUCKING DARK and FUCKING DENSE! There ARE no paths! Even in daylight, it is gloomy and you can't see very far. The trees and underbush essentially form a WALL left and right to the path and you can not SEE and you can not WALZ between them, unless let your clothes ripped off!

    And even worse wrong are the nights. People, night time in a pre-lightbulb era is PITCH BLACK FUCKING DARK. You city folks have no idea how dark an area is. In most of Europe the entire continent was DENSE with forest. Read the reports of the Romans about Germany. A land covered 95% with thick, dense, dark forest. Impossible to conquer, because of the forests. Meadows in between exist because of men, because they used to have cattle and chop wood. But a fantasy world, most of the world should be closed woods. (Unless it is desert or prarie or ice.) And the night times are so unrealistic. Just walk in any wood, away from cities, in the night, and carry a torch. You see 2 meters around you and the rest is PITCH BLACK NOTHING. End of story. It is spooky, terrifying and dense nature all around.

    Why does't any MMO ever get that? I have only seen two forests halfway real, the Old Forest in LOTRO and the Duskwood in Azeroth, WOW. They felt halfway real. (Which is odd, given both are more cartoony.) I guess it is a matter of placement, colours and atmosphere, much less than of realism.

     

    THIS is how REAL forests untouched by humans get over centuries:

     

    You DONT just walz left and right into these!

    /rant over

    No paths eh?  Can anyone on this website tell us what a deerpath is and why it exists?

  • TheRealBanangoTheRealBanango Fairfax, VAPosts: 75Member
    Just like actors are told to exaggerate emotion so that we can better understand them through the television or the stage, Developers should exaggerate forests so that we get that we are in a forest. If  im in a peaceful forest then make it so i feel like im actually in it, make me feel safe. If it's a dangerous forest, make it so I have to change my playstyle so that im more cautious. If a forest is named Death Forest, I better be fearful of it.

    image
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    I tried looking for pictures or videos of the Perez Park zone in City of Heroes, but did not find what I was looking for. Maybe this one will do?
    image

    Perez Park was a dense forest zone in the city of Paragon City, home to many super powered heroes and villains. On the ground, it was constrained and had few paths through it with many dead ends. The canopy above was solid, with a few areas where a player could get above the tress with flying, teleporting, or jumping. A player could actually run along the treetops they were so dense, though they could fall through an opening in the canopy :)

    It was not really as dark as it should have been, but there was a significant difference. The trouble was that the trees were basically walls with a forest texture used instead of stones or rock walls. Many a time was my mission marker just on the other side of some trees from me and it took awhile to find the right path get there. It was very maze-like in this respect.

    Doing the forest this way (as a wall instead of separate, individual trees) was good on systems and not too stressful on a player's sensibilities, though truly life-like. Creating a forest with individual tress and populating it like a lush real world forest with lots of undergrowth would be so system intensive I do not think it would work well. I am only guessing as my programming/artist background is almost zero.

    - Al

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

  • barasawabarasawa Eugene, ORPosts: 274Member Uncommon

    There are lots of reasons

    Design resources

    Graphics resources

    Playability restrictions (if you can't travel through it, it's nothing more than a green & brown wall)

     

    On top of that, I've been through a large variety of forest, many of which haven't been altered by humans. Some are like you describe, but in no means all. First, almost all forests have lots of paths. Funny thing about animals, they like paths as much as humans, they just don't go into paving like we do. 

    Others have been easy to travel through and filled with dappled light. Which is one of the points you should know, the more complete the canopy, and thus darker the ground below, the less undergrowth there is. Funny thing, most plants like sunlight. It's almost as if they thrive on it like it's food for them or something.

    As to forests in medieval Europe, did you know that they have a lot of forest that were planted by humans? Sure, not all at once, but as parts were cut down (or burned), the lords (landlord or whatever) had the foresters and others go out and plant more. The land was the basis of pretty much all wealth, even a forest. There was no way they'd leave it a barren and useless stump filled vista. 

     

    Do games get forest right, after you take into the limitations of game design? 

    Sure, at least as much as horse riding and a million other things.

     

    Remember, it's a game, and any locational game asset that the play can't traverse, is no longer an asset, it's a wall.

    (Just like inventory items that do nothing and can't be used for anything are just vendor junk, or if they can't be sold, the first thing to be trashed.)

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

    They can't get MMO worlds right, so the forests don't have much chance. If you do not have a large world, everything is squeezed into the land that is left. But the OP is also highlighting the lack of choice, in modern easyMMO's your path is known, you can't get lost in the forest.

    Some posters on here think that's not a concern, it would seem to me they would be happy having the forest represented by one tree. :)

    If you like big forests I would recommend Lotro. If you like getting lost go to the Old Forest. Not really that dense, but there is not a lot of choice out there.

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

    TL;DR:

    It is more the feeling of safety in today's MMOs which I feel is WRONG. In a MMO walking through wild lands should always feel dangerous and not easy like a city park!

    I've spent quite a bit of my time hiking and camping, and where I come from I would be much more worried about the elements or starvation rather than any dangerous fauna.

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

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

    There are lots of reasons

    Design resources

    Graphics resources

    Playability restrictions (if you can't travel through it, it's nothing more than a green & brown wall)

     

    On top of that, I've been through a large variety of forest, many of which haven't been altered by humans. Some are like you describe, but in no means all. First, almost all forests have lots of paths. Funny thing about animals, they like paths as much as humans, they just don't go into paving like we do. 

    Others have been easy to travel through and filled with dappled light. Which is one of the points you should know, the more complete the canopy, and thus darker the ground below, the less undergrowth there is. Funny thing, most plants like sunlight. It's almost as if they thrive on it like it's food for them or something.

    As to forests in medieval Europe, did you know that they have a lot of forest that were planted by humans? Sure, not all at once, but as parts were cut down (or burned), the lords (landlord or whatever) had the foresters and others go out and plant more. The land was the basis of pretty much all wealth, even a forest. There was no way they'd leave it a barren and useless stump filled vista. 

     

    Do games get forest right, after you take into the limitations of game design? 

    Sure, at least as much as horse riding and a million other things.

     

    Remember, it's a game, and any locational game asset that the play can't traverse, is no longer an asset, it's a wall.

    (Just like inventory items that do nothing and can't be used for anything are just vendor junk, or if they can't be sold, the first thing to be trashed.)

    image

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

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

    They can't get MMO worlds right, so the forests don't have much chance. If you do not have a large world, everything is squeezed into the land that is left. But the OP is also highlighting the lack of choice, in modern easyMMO's your path is known, you can't get lost in the forest.

    Yes, by design. Most players don't think shallow play like getting lost and reading a map is fun.

    Personally i used to graph my own map on paper back in the Might and Magic (first one) days. It is easy-mode, no challenge, tedious, and boring. I am glad those days are over.

     

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