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What's with the spandex armour?

User836User836 Member UncommonPosts: 117
When I played, I thought the game quite pretty and initially I liked the graphics and the art style. Then I started feeling that something about the characters was a bit off but didn't quite know what.. until I realized that armour is (except for certain armour parts) just a skin placed on top of the avatar's model. The waist circumference of the character is the same with a bare stomach as when wearing full plate. While my character had looked good during character creation, it looked super thin when in armour.

I'm not saying that this is a fatal flaw of the game, gamebreaking or any such thing (I didn't play on for long but for other reasons). I'm just wondering: was this just a way to cut corners or was this necessary to get good performance or something? As I said, overall the game looks good but this thing was a bit of an eyesore.
Is anyone else bothered by this?
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Comments

  • XiaokiXiaoki Member RarePosts: 3,287
    edited September 2015
    Double post
    Post edited by Xiaoki on
  • XiaokiXiaoki Member RarePosts: 3,287
    Performance

    The end game is mainly large scale PvP and when you have battles consisting of 100 or more people you don't care how fancy the armor is. 
  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035
    Painted armor is a performance optimization.  Some games hide this with relief shaders.

    Sample of a relief shader rendering.  The bumps aren't part of the model, they're done with textures that simulate 3d information.



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  • RidrithRidrith Member RarePosts: 540
    One of the main reasons I didn't enjoy the game.  If I can't create a character that looks interesting or is just as fun to look at as they are to play...  I lost interest and quickly.  I'm the type of player who generally chooses the 'fighter' or 'barbarian' archetypes in games, heavy plate armor and two-handed weapons are where it's at and this games armor was lackluster and disgusting to look at.  Felt drab and boring and nothing popped.  Obviously there were plenty of other issues with the game but the armor was something that drove me away.

  • svandysvandy Member UncommonPosts: 277
    The biggest thing for me with armor in ESO is that right there on the box and launcher I see guys with hooded cloaks, yet i have yet to see one in game. Really minor gripe, but I know I'm not the only one that likes the look and wishes I could have it in game :/

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  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    For the most part it's because they don't have an exceptionally well built engine and cut some corners out of necessity to preserve performance.

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

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • User836User836 Member UncommonPosts: 117
    XAPKen said:
    Painted armor is a performance optimization.  Some games hide this with relief shaders.

    Sample of a relief shader rendering.  The bumps aren't part of the model, they're done with textures that simulate 3d information.
    Really, the bumps are just texture? But they are clearly bumps when viewing the silhouette against the floor or background - does the texture have depth or is it several layers of texture placed upon invisible layers of the model?
    And either way, couldn't the same method be used to give thickness to the ESO armour?

    Also, thanks to everyone who replied.
  • KalmporosKalmporos Member UncommonPosts: 293
    I knew that something was wrong with armors in the game but I never realized what 'till now.
  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    User836 said:
    XAPKen said:
    Painted armor is a performance optimization.  Some games hide this with relief shaders.

    Sample of a relief shader rendering.  The bumps aren't part of the model, they're done with textures that simulate 3d information.
    Really, the bumps are just texture? But they are clearly bumps when viewing the silhouette against the floor or background - does the texture have depth or is it several layers of texture placed upon invisible layers of the model?
    And either way, couldn't the same method be used to give thickness to the ESO armour?

    Also, thanks to everyone who replied.
    The method utilized there is most likely tesselation. It's similar to parallax mapping, but instead of using a texture layer to calculate a relief, it subdivides the mesh and extrudes it to create a 3-dimensional form.

    You could use it on a character model and some games do, but it starts to complicate things with mesh deformation and throws a lot more polygons onto a model than if someone has constructed a similarly shaped model, meaning it'll rapidly bog down your machine if you fill the screen with characters utilizing such.

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

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035
    edited September 2015
    User836 said:
    XAPKen said:
    Painted armor is a performance optimization.  Some games hide this with relief shaders.

    Sample of a relief shader rendering.  The bumps aren't part of the model, they're done with textures that simulate 3d information.
    Really, the bumps are just texture? But they are clearly bumps when viewing the silhouette against the floor or background - does the texture have depth or is it several layers of texture placed upon invisible layers of the model?
    And either way, couldn't the same method be used to give thickness to the ESO armour?

    Also, thanks to everyone who replied.

    Yes.  It is done with textures.



    Guy on the left is base model.  Triangles usually, but this one happens to be quads (square faces).

    Next is the SAME guy smooth shaded (rendered so you don't see the triangles (quads) and with light and shading)

    Next is the SAME guy with the relief map applied.  You see tons of extra detail including shape.

    Last is the SAME guy with diffuse (color) texture added.

    A normal map looks like this:



    In the RBG channels, there is 3D information (a vector) encoded.

    A relief map (displacement map?) looks just like a normal map except it has one extra channel, encoded in A, which is the distance from the face of the real model to where the 'fake' 3D mesh is located in 3D space.  That distance is called the displacement.

    There are limits to relief / displacement mapping.  There are a couple different techniques, and some make nasty artifacts if you push it too far.  Some can also bog down a Graphics Card.

    Although it could add thickness, it might not.  Some shaders bump out, others bump in.  The bump out ones are the slowest, but they do add thickness to a model.

    My GUESS about ESO is using a shader (the program on the GPU that does the effect) that they felt was a good trade-off between quality and speed.  It looks to me like it might be bump-in, but that's tough to tell eyeballing screenshots.


    NOTE: I might be slightly off in terminology.  I'm an amateur at this stuff.


    edit:  I don't know  tesselation.  That's more advanced than anything I've touched.

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  • User836User836 Member UncommonPosts: 117
    edited September 2015
    @Deivos ; , @XAPKen
    That's good information, thank you.
    In the Witcher example, the base model is already "dressed" and so the finished result looks great. In ESO, unless I'm mistaken, the "dressed" character uses the same model as the "naked" one, which should be why it looks strange to me, am I right?

    I suppose they could swap base models for different body parts when you swap out gear and I would guess that that's being done in e.g. Age of Conan? What you save in going the ESO route then is not having to create as many models + the "naked" model is perhaps not very detailed which means it can be displayed easily?

    (I'm not well versed in this area but I hope you understand me even if I use strange terminology)
  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    Tesselation would essentially be a "bump out" method as you were putting it. It's become more common with the last couple generation of GPUs, but as it modifies the amount of polygons drastically at times, it's not terribly efficient.

    Parallax is inversely, one of the "bump in" methods. The styles that rely on using texture shading and point of view for creating the illusion of depth by skewing the surface texture.

    ESO doesn't do either of those, really. Mostly they just use normal maps, which only really defines depth in terms of how it maps shadows on a surface, rather than attempting to emulate depth or create it.

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

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035
    edited September 2015
    User836 said:
      In ESO, unless I'm mistaken, the "dressed" character uses the same model as the "naked" one, which should be why it looks strange to me, am I right?


    Yes, I think that's correct.  Normal and parallax mapping on naked character models with painted armor.

    Real 3D armor sometimes uses a technique called mesh hiding.  You pretty much take a single character model and put every possible piece of clothing on them (as a 3D model), and then set up each armor so it can be toggled off and on.  Only the armor being worn (turned on) renders so rendering speed is still okay, but it adds a ton of memory load (models get huge).

    Only seen it done once with the engine I use.  It looks like a boat load of work.  The rigging and animation looks like a nightmare.  Months of work per character would be my guess.

    Another technique for armor is mount points.  The armor is a model not part of the character, and then is attached to the model so the models animation moves it.  Shoulders, helmets and weapons are common with this technique.

    edit: cleanup
    Post edited by KenFisher on

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  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,555
    I like ESO for PvP (and gorgeous lighting in world maps) - but IMO the armor models are hideous in general. The painted on feel is one problem, the bigger problem is the general aesthetics (color combinations, general design) which make the vast majority of armors look terrible IMO. And yes this after the improves armor textures. 

    Bottom line - Performance and gameplay > anything so no big deal.

    Just my 2c.

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,069
    I've always wondered just who the players are that are bothered by the ESO armor. I know that it has been a common complaint by some players since beta. Yet it has been a total non-issue for me and many others as well.

    I do PVP a lot and performance in large sieges with 100+ players and multiple siege engines is nothing short of outstanding - if it wasn't, THAT would be a deal-breaker for me.

    Is it mostly PVE players who have played a lot of Asian PVE MMOs that are so bothered by this?

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  • User836User836 Member UncommonPosts: 117
    edited September 2015
    I don't think I've ever played an Asian MMO but sure I mostly (but not exclusively) PvE.  Might be "we" care as much about what our characters are as what they are capable of? Who i'm playing is (almost/at least) as important as what i'm doing?
  • Viper482Viper482 Member EpicPosts: 2,769
    edited September 2015
    Iselin said:
    I've always wondered just who the players are that are bothered by the ESO armor. I know that it has been a common complaint by some players since beta. Yet it has been a total non-issue for me and many others as well.

    I do PVP a lot and performance in large sieges with 100+ players and multiple siege engines is nothing short of outstanding - if it wasn't, THAT would be a deal-breaker for me.

    Is it mostly PVE players who have played a lot of Asian PVE MMOs that are so bothered by this?

    My guess is people who do not have ESO avatars are the ones who have a problem with it. Just sayin....

    The armor looks like crap. Everyone looks the same, bad. The reason cosmetic cash shop items are so succcessful in MMOs these days? Because most people DO care about how their character looks.
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  • HarafnirHarafnir Member UncommonPosts: 1,349
    Let us play "spot the people below lvl 30". Armor look bad... When you are fished out of the sea, and take two pieces of leather and saw together yes. Have you seen the high level armor?! Its flipping amazing! but true, no shoulder plates that rise above the helmet, I am sorry to say. So your WoW fix is not there.

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  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,069
    Harafnir said:
    Let us play "spot the people below lvl 30". Armor look bad... When you are fished out of the sea, and take two pieces of leather and saw together yes. Have you seen the high level armor?! Its flipping amazing! but true, no shoulder plates that rise above the helmet, I am sorry to say. So your WoW fix is not there.
    Yeah, That's what I meant by Asian MMO. Even though WOW is not Asian, they still go with an exaggerated armor and weapons style. None of the Elder Scrolls games, single player or MMO, ever have. Although the mod community for SP ES games definitely has with some addons.

    User836 said:
    I don't think I've ever played an Asian MMO but sure I mostly (but not exclusively) PvE.  Might be "we" care as much about what our characters are as what they are capable of? Who i'm playing is (almost/at least) as important as what i'm doing?

    I associate highly detailed armor with Square Enix and other Asian developers. Looks seem to be a big thing for them. 

    Viper482 said:
    Iselin said:
    I've always wondered just who the players are that are bothered by the ESO armor. I know that it has been a common complaint by some players since beta. Yet it has been a total non-issue for me and many others as well.

    I do PVP a lot and performance in large sieges with 100+ players and multiple siege engines is nothing short of outstanding - if it wasn't, THAT would be a deal-breaker for me.

    Is it mostly PVE players who have played a lot of Asian PVE MMOs that are so bothered by this?

    My guess is people who do not have ESO avatars are the ones who have a problem with it. Just sayin....

    The armor looks like crap. Everyone looks the same, bad. The reason cosmetic cash shop items are so succcessful in MMOs these days? Because most people DO care about how their character looks.
    My guess is that those who hate everything about ESO (but for some reason like to stalk those who don't share their hate) have no credibility on the topic whatsoever.

    Try mixing in some positivity with your hate... if you care about being credible, that is.
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  • User836User836 Member UncommonPosts: 117

    Ok, while WoW or GW2 or FFXIV are "pretty" in their own ways I really dislike their styles and actually that is the most important factor that keeps me from trying out FFXIV. Much prefer the Elder Scrolls style (although the implementation, as described earlier, doesn't impress me). Even better is the AoC visuals and armour design though, they're my favourite.

    Nothing wrong with liking FFXIV visuals but they are so not for me. I don't see any contradiction in wanting good character models and not liking mini van-sized shoulderpads, warriors in school girl outfits or kawaii animal player characters.

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,069
    User836 said:

    Ok, while WoW or GW2 or FFXIV are "pretty" in their own ways I really dislike their styles and actually that is the most important factor that keeps me from trying out FFXIV. Much prefer the Elder Scrolls style (although the implementation, as described earlier, doesn't impress me). Even better is the AoC visuals and armour design though, they're my favourite.

    Nothing wrong with liking FFXIV visuals but they are so not for me. I don't see any contradiction in wanting good character models and not liking mini van-sized shoulderpads, warriors in school girl outfits or kawaii animal player characters.

    Definitely agree with AoC - they did a great job.
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  • SlyLoKSlyLoK Member RarePosts: 2,636
    I mentioned on the official forums that they could offer options for players to choose higher quality armor models and possibly cloaks.

    1. Player Only - Higher Quality Armor and Cloak is render on their character only.

    2. Radius - Players within the set radius will display the higher quality models and cloaks.

    3. NPCs On / Off - NPCs use higher quality armor / cloaks.

    4. Everything On!

    Similar in how EQ2 does it... I would probably try the radius option first with the NPC option on and then if I had to Player Only + NPC option on.
  • BigdaddyxBigdaddyx Member UncommonPosts: 2,039
    Harafnir said:
    Let us play "spot the people below lvl 30". Armor look bad... When you are fished out of the sea, and take two pieces of leather and saw together yes. Have you seen the high level armor?! Its flipping amazing! but true, no shoulder plates that rise above the helmet, I am sorry to say. So your WoW fix is not there.
    I was wondering if anyone will throw in WOW's refrence to disregard OP and others who dislike ESO's paint on skin armor style. Thanks for being such a  cliche and not disappointing.

    But since you had zero interest in reading what others are saying. main point of criticism is that armor looks like skin itself and got nothing to do with exaggerated shoulder pads of WOW armor. And ofcourse usual fans ran to support your absurd argument.

    Life as usual on ESO forums.
  • ZardayneZardayne Member UncommonPosts: 66
    I can understand the previous posters feelings regarding cloaks/capes. We had cloaks way back in daoc but for some reason some of these new games just can't make it happen. Sometimes I wonder if MMOs are going in reverse...no auction house anybody..No names and guild tags visible anybody..sigh

    image
  • baphametbaphamet Member RarePosts: 3,305
    Iselin said:
    I've always wondered just who the players are that are bothered by the ESO armor. I know that it has been a common complaint by some players since beta. Yet it has been a total non-issue for me and many others as well.

    I do PVP a lot and performance in large sieges with 100+ players and multiple siege engines is nothing short of outstanding - if it wasn't, THAT would be a deal-breaker for me.

    Is it mostly PVE players who have played a lot of Asian PVE MMOs that are so bothered by this?

    i have to admit, i am a little bothered by it but it is by no means a deal breaker for me. i understand why they did it and i would take this over a highly detailed Asian mmo character model that looks pretty.

    i'm big about what my character looks like but i typically like dark, gritty, and menacing looking characters.....not cute Asian style.

    so eso wins in the long run for me.
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