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[Column] General: Why No HD Remakes?

13

Comments

  • Mr.KujoMr.Kujo SwinoujsciePosts: 383Member
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Help us old/less hip gamers out here, I had to Google "HD remake" to even know what this was talking about.

    Was it that difficult to put High Definition in the opening paragraph before using the abbreviation?

    image


    What is this MMO everyone is talking about in here? I've been 60 years in the industry, and I had to Google it to know it wasn't about Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. Can't you all just stop using that abbreviation for less hip gamers out there?

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon

    Trying not to sound mean here but as a few have posted already, how is it that someone who writes professionally or semi-professionally on a gaming site  be so completely unaware of basic costs vs reward?  To put it differently; do you honestly think SWTOR would keep that thing they call an engine if there was even a remotely economical way to replace it?

     

    Even Blizzard who has money to burn isn't going to bother.  Please do a little research next time.

    image
  • Kaelaan21Kaelaan21 Woburn, MAPosts: 349Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    ..snip..

    The expansion you're thinking of came before DR. It was Catacombs, and it greatly changed the gameplay.

     

    EDIT: You are correct that the graphics engine was updated for catacombs. All it really did though was to allow for higher quality textures to be used in game. They did not update the existing classic textures until much later after release. Instead, they released the new character textures.

     

    Catacombs did include new models for each of the player races; along with "some" new textures of very ugly looking armor (your freebee lvl 50 armor). All of the ToA and most of the SI armor was not changed. The texture updates I was referring to occurred about 3 months before DR. DR finished it off with releasing the new textures of the three capital cities.

     

    Catacombs did include random generated dungeons (which were fun for about a week) and a handful of new classes. The new classes (as usual) became FoTM until the balancing hammer came down.

     

    However, none of these were game changing as far as game mechanics were concerned. In fact, this is why the banshee couldn't be effectively balanced in RvR. The core mechanics of the game ignored AoE spells and abilities with solid walls. This means that you could spam AoE abilities through the walls of a gatehouse and have no LoS to your enemy. Making it nearly impossible to kill without sacrificing at least some of your team to high damage attacks. This was one of the reasons of the nerfs on Anamists and became a real issue with the banshee's focused AoE (i.e. cone attacks).

     

    Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "game play" as it's kind of an ambigous term - I'm specifically talking about the core mechanics that everything else is slapped on to. Very little of the DAoC game engine was updated other than the visual elements. Instead, it was constantly added on to. For a programmer, it becomes very difficult to add to an engine that wasn't designed to be modular. Keeping on track with the article, simply updating the graphics and adding some new sounds will not bring new life to an MMO. Changes down to the very core need to be made, allowing for both the existing content to be added back in and a modular system allowing new content releases with calculated, expected results.

     

    EDIT: I would also like to say that I eagerly waited for the race/class model updates. They were very cool but looking lacked fluidity. I'm not sure how to explain it, but the animations for WoW, for example, seemed to be very smooth and blended in to the environment while playing. Where the DAoC update reminded me of what I didn't like about EQ2, which I see as kind of stiff and doll like.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,668Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Help us old/less hip gamers out here, I had to Google "HD remake" to even know what this was talking about.

    Was it that difficult to put High Definition in the opening paragraph before using the abbreviation?

    image

     

    w...t...f

    What? I've never seen that expression before, ever, anywhere, so had no frame of reference.

    Never assume your audience knows what a specific abbreviation means, first rule of proper reporting at my firm.

    It's also seems an odd term to use for PC games since they aren't at a fixed resolution. I had to look the term up as well, because I figured HD meant something else there as high-definition doesn't make sense in that sentence. 

    The term 'HD remake of FF7' has been around for years and SquareEnix hates money so they'll release a 'HD remake of FF10 and FF10-2'.

    That's because that was a console game, and consoles have fixed resolution.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon

    Updating a new game, that doesn't need it, to higher resolution textures might be easy, even if it is expensive. Updating older games to higher resolution textures, especially where character models are concerned, can be more complicated and affect gameplay.

    New character models, meshes, and animations means a combat overhaul because those are directly tied together. That can affect the entire feel of the game and how it plays. You're really not playing the old game after that.

    Then there are engine limitations, so updating the graphic might require a complete engine overhaul or a new engine. You're not playing the same game after either one of those.

    I think games should mostly be left as they are and taken for what they offer. Minor polish updates, like Turbine did with Bree, or performance optimizations make sense. Complete graphic overhauls do not. A lot of the time I hear calls for complete reworks, what people really want is return to an earlier point in time before some xpac or patch ruined the game for them.

     

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    If you want a game to toss out its art assets and redo them to all be much higher quality than the originals, you might well be asking them to spend more on some graphical upgrades than it cost to make the original game.

    It's also not entirely clear what you mean by "HD".  Support for a higher monitor resolution (the usual meaning of, say, an HD television) is fairly trivial and probably already implemented in many games.  Higher texture resolutions or higher vertex counts in artwork could easily bring a massive expense if the company didn't use higher quality models and then map things down.  And if a company does have high resolution textures laying around, why didn't they offer them as a graphical option years ago?

  • Sassy_Gay_UnicornSassy_Gay_Unicorn Mobile, ALPosts: 149Member
    Very well written and thought provoking read! I would visit the original Norrath again if it got a graphics overhaul for the novelty if nothing else.
  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,036Member Uncommon

    Even with prettier textures, many of these games still feel clunky and obviously it doesn't help with polygons, lighting, etc.

     

    I like the efforts DAOC has made, but it's not enough.  The sounds are shrill, lifeless.  And you can see through the thin veneer of graphics updates.

     

    As soon as an mmo is released, the company should plan an entirely new client to be released 3-4 years later.  Wait 1.5 to 2.5 years while you add content, and then shift gears to keep your game relevant.  Make it so the server can interact with both versions so people who want to keep the old client can.  But make it so the new client can act as a new box release and put a small media campaign with it. 

     

    MMO's aren't meant to wither and die due to stale UI and graphics.  They are meant to grow and flourish, but they can't do that without engine revamps.

  • KarahandrasKarahandras Sible HedinghamPosts: 1,674Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by aleos
    still patiently waiting for Anarchy Online's update that i really don't ever expect to happen.

    +1

  • KarahandrasKarahandras Sible HedinghamPosts: 1,674Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa

    There's a much MUCH larger issue here.

     

    A big reason even veterans don't play those games anymore is because the core of what made them good is long gone.

    If an HD remake came about, would it be the current live version of the game, but with better graphics? If so, I would NOT play.

    I wouldn't play SWG, because we'd be playing the NGE version.

    I wouldn't play DAoC, because that stopped being great in 2003.

    I wouldn't play UO, because it barely resembles the game it used to be.

    The only one I MIGHT play, is Asheron's Call.

    image.  Also it won't be just the graphics that need a bit of an overhaul, things like the ui will need to be looked at aswell and that can be slippery slope to start on.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,668Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sassy_Gay_Unicorn
    Very well written and thought provoking read! I would visit the original Norrath again if it got a graphics overhaul for the novelty if nothing else.

    That many people would visit for the novelty is a given. The real question is how many would actually stay, as that is what really determines whether such an overhaul would be worth the investment in it.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,453Member Uncommon

    The answer is simple>>>GREED.

    I never realized just how greedy developers are until i started to notice how bugs and quests would be left broken for weeks,months and yes years.

    I was part of that crowd that simply loved FFXI,but everyone wanted a nicer shinier version,NOT a new game.Square wanted no part of a new texture pack claiming first,can't be done,then too costly.This is how the whole FFXIV debacle started,they figured if they rush out a somewhat similar FFXI but with better graphics it would make them rich....wrong.

    It doesn't help when so many devs are former Blizzard devs,the leader of selling old tech and ugly and/or cheap graphics.

    I commend any developer that does it RIGHT,they get huge bonus points in my book,but don't expect it to happen too often.

    What i actually EXPECT if a developer cares at all,is for devs to make a low end version and an updated HD/high end version and/or a version that can be easily scaled.Instead what are we seeing absolutely horrible effort by developers,not only low budget graphics but nothing that scales up to suit those that might want to enjoy pushing their high end machines or looking at nicer graphics.

    EVERYONE likes nice looking,nobody goes out in real life and says "I want the ugliest chick  or guy on the planet" or" i want  a car that looks god awful" or i want the ugliest looking pants money can buy,it doesn't happen.

     

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,453Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Pigglesworth
    I would definitely play an updated and optimized vanilla EQ or WOW. Unfortunately EQNext will not be this and Blizzard is moving Titan to something comepletely different.

    I would have accepted Wow with better graphics but ONLY if the hand holding was also tossed out the window.

    As for Titan,we will get to see the true face of Blizzard and if they have learned to care about their  games and integrity as a developer.They licensed  a quality game engine for Titan,something Blizzard is not used to doing.In my eyes i cannot see another crap looking game,why would they license a better game engine and still put out the same old crap ,would make no sense.

    So we will wait and see if Blizzard is finally ready to put some FULL quality effort into Titan or more of the same old,cartoon graphic syndrome.

    NOBODY and i mean nobody can use that lame excuse game play>graphics,i pay for a triple A game,i want a triple A game,that means COMPLETE,not just graphics or just game play or just social,i want a complete package as a triple A developer should be doing.


    Samoan Diamond

  • TibernicuspaTibernicuspa Amherest, MAPosts: 1,198Member
    Originally posted by Wizardry
    Originally posted by Pigglesworth
    I would definitely play an updated and optimized vanilla EQ or WOW. Unfortunately EQNext will not be this and Blizzard is moving Titan to something comepletely different.

    I would have accepted Wow with better graphics but ONLY if the hand holding was also tossed out the window.

    But WoW has always been about the handholding. It was the most casual, solo player centric and linear  MMO on the market when it launched.

  • DeivosDeivos Mountain View, CAPosts: 1,789Member Uncommon

    Not really fond of saying this, but that rather was a badly written article as it presented a lot of conjecture and no valid support.

     

    I mean you have  picture of DAoC on that article and you mention it at the end, but fail to note the fact that it's the one MMO that's gone through the biggest notable face lift so far?

     

    You have Entropia which went through an engine and asset upgrade as well.

     

    It doesn't examine either the issues with, details of, nor cost for rebuilding a game's engine or assets.

     

    APB:Reloaded is working on updating it's engine to Unreal 3.5 for example. Not trying to rebuild all the aseets or anything else, and they already launched on a version of the Unreal 3 engine.

    It's still a costly endeavor though simply because, while there's a large amount of assets that can simply port over, there's a lot of code that still ends up having to be rewritten, and some aspects of the assets probably needs to be rebuilt due to tweaks and changes in the updated engine.

     

    Doing a HD version of a game can circumstantially scale from an asset pack update to an almost complete rewrite that's essentially going through the entire production process all over again. Even a resolution upgrade to an old game might not be practical because the engine just can't perform. An entirely new engine, while powerful, also means that there may be tons of foreign aspects that have to be rebuilt to be compatible.

     

    It's got a lot to do with what the original engine was capable of versus what's trying to be implemented.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners."
    - Thomas B. Macaulay

  • mysticalunamysticaluna Scotia, NYPosts: 265Member Uncommon

    Yeah, I wish we could have updated Everquest 1 then it would almost be what Vanguard could have been with more developers and money. 

    Star Wars Galaxies should be remade with the budget of Star Wars ToR. The game basic design mechanics were fun, it just needed some more moolah and a lot of technology to get rid of bugs/glitches... more developer time... 

    Why can't we get Everquest 3 , the true successor to EQ1? 

    Or, failing that, can we at least get a graphical hi definition remake to EQ1 now that it has had 20 expansions. Shadows of Luclin was very long ago, I remember how awesome everything looked back then, however, time passes, and now several years ago its badly dated again. 

    It would be a lot of work, and people are spoiled with all these good brand new games anyway. Yet, one can always dream, alas... 

  • mysticalunamysticaluna Scotia, NYPosts: 265Member Uncommon

    Everquest Next is basically supposedly better wow graphics, just hopefully it will have very in-depth sandbox gameplay. 

    Let us all pray for challenge and group heroic quests, instead of a boring dead deserted land full of endless solo content!! Where everyone hangs out in instances, and you barely ever run across anyone!! Lol ) . 

     

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Rusque
     

    This is impossible. I literally don't know a single person (regardless of age) who doesn't know what HD is.

    lol. well now you know two. Well, we NOW know what it means.

    But "yeah" never saw that in relation to video games before.

    Though, come to think of it, someone to wipe the drool and replace my bib would probably makes sense. image

    Although ive always known what "HD remake" meant, every time i see HD (without the remake) i always think of Hard Drive first and then High Definition.

    image
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Wizardry

     

    EVERYONE likes nice looking,nobody goes out in real life and says "I want the ugliest chick  or guy on the planet" or" i want  a car that looks god awful" or i want the ugliest looking pants money can buy,it doesn't happen.

     

     

     

    Nope...never happens.

  • giggalgiggal ChesterfieldPosts: 116Member Uncommon

    the issue isn't just around graphics, we all hold nostalgic memories for games long gone. But in some instances going back to those games even if they had a complete graphic overhaul is a let down.

    Some very early decisions in dark age of Camelot led it down a path of no return. Now people will cite trials of Atlantis as the reason why the game started to fail. but in reality it wasn't the farming for hours for artefacts and scrolls or the even retarded levelling process for those artefacts.

     

    Most players had done everything in their realms killed the dragon cleared the dungeons done the epic runs. and the game was no longer epic PVP turned into a grind of running into the same people over and over. Power guilds would form hog the game for a couple of weeks then disappear.

     

    Dark age of Camelot went through a lot of graphical transitions they updated the engine a few times but they couldn't do very much with the "classic" aka vanilla zones because every rock tree slope had to be compatible across the spectrum of gamers.

    NOw I think I understand what the feature was about. What he really means is instead of buffing up the game and saying "hey here is a new engine and graphics" instead doing a rerelease of that MMO with new graphics all those nigly release day bugs gone and certain decisions removed.

     

    The problem is that's a lot of investment for a game that may only have a few thousand players still playing the old game. I do remember mythic saying they would release a "vanilla" game version but they never did too many versions of the game can end up diluting the remaining populations.

     

    Some games maybe could benefit from a HD overhaul or a complete remake but some of those very games went the way of the dinosaur not due to being poor visually but by being poor with design decisions or even with content.

     

     

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,998Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wizardry

    EVERYONE likes nice looking,nobody goes out in real life and says "I want the ugliest chick  or guy on the planet" or" i want  a car that looks god awful" or i want the ugliest looking pants money can buy,it doesn't happen.

     

    While everyone would like to wear Armani suits, date super model looking women, and drive a Ferrari most people also learn that there are other important factors that come into play in each of these and usually end up being realistic  and settling for something less than the ideal.

    Same thing with MMORPG graphics, for a number of good reasons developers either can't or intentionally don't chose to focus on delivering the best possible, and other factors such as game play really are more important at the end of the day.

    WOW taught the industry one big lesson, if you want to make the most money, make sure your graphics will run on the broadest, lowest common denominator of hardware out there currently.

    I recall in 2004 when WOW launched, it would play on my work laptop and it's built in, cheap as possible graphic adaptor.  Contrast that with Vanguard or almost any of the earlier titles where I had to purchase a fairly expensive video card just to play them. (DAOC in the early days would only promise to run on about 10 tested video cards, and I went out and had to buy one in order to play it properly)

    At the end of the day, you really can't have it all, no matter how much you want it to be that way. Always compromises that need to be made and a decision on whether or not they were worth it or not.

     

     

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • RusqueRusque Las Vegas, NVPosts: 2,229Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rojo6934
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Rusque
     

    This is impossible. I literally don't know a single person (regardless of age) who doesn't know what HD is.

    lol. well now you know two. Well, we NOW know what it means.

    But "yeah" never saw that in relation to video games before.

    Though, come to think of it, someone to wipe the drool and replace my bib would probably makes sense. image

    Although ive always known what "HD remake" meant, every time i see HD (without the remake) i always think of Hard Drive first and then High Definition.

    But Hard Drive is not HD. It's HDD and always has been. Because it's Hard Disk Drive not Hard Drive. Hard Drive is just short for the full term.

  • General-ZodGeneral-Zod Zod, CAPosts: 743Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    If you want a game to toss out its art assets and redo them to all be much higher quality than the originals, you might well be asking them to spend more on some graphical upgrades than it cost to make the original game.

    It's also not entirely clear what you mean by "HD".  Support for a higher monitor resolution (the usual meaning of, say, an HD television) is fairly trivial and probably already implemented in many games.  Higher texture resolutions or higher vertex counts in artwork could easily bring a massive expense if the company didn't use higher quality models and then map things down.  And if a company does have high resolution textures laying around, why didn't they offer them as a graphical option years ago?

    This.

    I dont normally get caught up in semantics but "HD remake" is a horrible way to communicate "Graphic overhaul". Im not surprised that few posters didnt understand the reference.

    Also stated earlier giving a classic mmo like DaoC, lets say "Guild wars 2 graphics" would cost 30 million + when the cost of Daoc and its entirety was only around 2 million.

     

    image
  • greenstonedgreenstoned asd, ALPosts: 20Member

    id play anarchy online even without a graphic revamp if only there was enough ppl left on it  ive been hearing about the remake since like 2007 so i dont even expect it to happen anymore but it would be a grand game once again.

     

    today's mmo have been so dumbed down they are plain boring or get there very quickly, ive been wanting a game with proper depth for a while now

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon

    The reason people don't do it is because the bean counters estimate that the amount of increased revenue from a graphics overhaul would not offset the massive costs such an overhaul would incur.  That is all.  If the bean  counters thought there was money in it, they would do it, plain and simple.

     

    Also I laughed at the statement about reinstalling old games that went F2P because of the "increased profile".  LMAO.  It doesn't have anything to do with the increased profile, if you were talking about new subs maybe.  People that have already played the game don't care about the "increased profile", they care that even though the game wasn't worth $15 a month they played it because they liked it and free is a pretty appealing price point for something they used to like.  That said even though I have a lifetime membership for LotRO, the game puts me sleep and leveling takes far too much time to hold my interest.  AoC turned me off with their F2P model, and I just can't be assed to log in despite still having it installed.

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