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Would you play a LoFi Elder Scrolls MMO?

BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,129
edited February 17 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
Simple question but feel free to add on any details for how you'd create a LoFi Elder Scrolls MMO if you like.

I am also using the term LoFi loosely by referring to games like Project Gorgon, RS OS instead of games like Dwarf Fortress or 8BitMMO just need to make that clear.

I was thinking the other day that IMO the greatest leaps in the MMO genre were made in games that weren't really intending to WoW(pun intended) anyone but did. All the games that were made pre-WoW had just intended to just get a few hundred thousand subscribers and not the millions that games today shoot for. I remember EVE being heralded as a great success of the industry because it maintained 300k subs over the span of a few years. How times have changed? eh?

Microsoft buying Zenimax and now controlling that IP to be able to do whatever they want with their huge pockets makes be wonder if a LoFi MMO could not only benefit them but also us - let me explain...

Microsoft obviously doesn't care about flashy games(visually top tier) when you look at the games they created or taken interest over the years like Minecraft, Gigantic, Sea of Thieves. While AGS is basing their entire game on nice gfx the same as many other studios just look at Anthem those games are often very shallow and lack any real depth. While ESO is visually beautiful and many aspects of the game like housing/crafting are top notch IMO the main faults of the game are the exact same parts of the game that old skool MMO's excel at like combat(skill + spell variety) and character progression.

Microsoft also does not like spending too much money on new development projects from looking at their history. Minecraft Dungeons and Sea of Theives are the main examples I'm thinking of. Hey! that's okay! make a LoFi Elder Scrolls MMO where the cost will be minimal.

That old gaming industry rule of never making a game that with take away players from another one of their other games also will work in this scenario because the people who can stomach ESO's combat and enjoy the PVP probably won't shift over to a LoFi tab target Elder Scrolls MMO with a bajillion spells cause 'dats too many hotbars and too many skills'.

Carlyle Group buying Jagex recently and right after announcing that RS OS will be added to Steam means that the oldies still have life in them yet. As the population ages and everything starts to fall apart(eyesight) that top tier visual + action combat becomes harder to manage no matter how much you love any specific game. I speak from personal experience because games in my youth that I viewed as 'not nice enough' or not enough of an adrenaline rush are now my main games and have been my salvation during this pandemic/lockdown.

To close out.. if two people can make Project Gorgon with all the features it has using Unity assets and minimal funding then how about Microsoft going that LoFi route and provide the old geezers and soon to be old geezers with a toned down Elder Scrolls MMO experience so that we may spend our golden years enjoying Tamriel and everything it has to offer.
Gdemami
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Comments

  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 8,010
    If it's like Daggerfall or Skyrim Elder Scrolls then yeah...if it is like ESO then no thanks.
    iixviiiix
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,869
    Project Gorgon? No. It's ugly and feels low budget. The systems are neat but my experience with it has been one of patience and overlooking all the kludge.

    OS:RS just feels dated and why do something dated just to cut corners?

    8-Bit MMO? Not really but it at least its aesthetic feels like it fits. It just isn't something I want to do. I already have a ton of old games with that look and feel I can play.

    That said, I do like pixel art and games that use it which is why 8-Bit is almost a pass. I love the look of Ion Fury and Amid Evil. I enjoy pixel art story games like Thimbleweed Park.

    Minecraft Dungeons is really nice looking and fits the aestethic of Minecraft. Saying Microsoft doesn't like spending money on new development and doesn't care about graphic fidelity is pretty silly. MS Flight Simulator is absolutely gorgeous and high fidelity. So all that crazy conclusion leaping about a lack of visual fidelity and production quality doesn't fly.

    The difference is that the Elder Scrolls series has set a standard. There is a graphic progression to the game along with its design evolution. If they put out something ugly and horrible looking like PG then it would just be Bethesda cutting corners. If they rolled back to a simpler visual presentation it would really need to be immersive and fit the game or it would flop.

    TL;DR - Hell no.
    Sovrath
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,838
    I do have a minimum standard for new games when it comes to graphics. Doesn't have to be great, im not a graphics snob, but it does have to look OK.


    Beyond that, it all comes back to gameplay.


    If the gameplay in this theoretical Elder Scrolls MMO was good, and it met my minimum graphics requirements, I'd play it. I doubt that would ever be the case, gameplay is not the strength of the elder scrolls games, their gameplay has always been pretty low quality. But, if they somehow improved it, added enough content and depth to keep the game intersting for months or years (compared to my usual 30hrs-and-done with most elder scrolls games)
    BruceYeeMMOExposed
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,518
    If I thought it was done decently, sure. I play Project:Gorgon, so the aesthetics wouldn't keep me away, though it would be nice if the game could avoid the odd performance issues P:G has in Serbule.
    BruceYee
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,129
    edited February 18
    I do have a minimum standard for new games when it comes to graphics. Doesn't have to be great, im not a graphics snob, but it does have to look OK.


    Beyond that, it all comes back to gameplay.


    If the gameplay in this theoretical Elder Scrolls MMO was good, and it met my minimum graphics requirements, I'd play it. I doubt that would ever be the case, gameplay is not the strength of the elder scrolls games, their gameplay has always been pretty low quality. But, if they somehow improved it, added enough content and depth to keep the game intersting for months or years (compared to my usual 30hrs-and-done with most elder scrolls games)

    What you wrote in the 2nd part basically sums up my thoughts on how a second Elder Scrolls MMO with deep character customization and lots of replayable content could possibly coexist with ESO. One gamer demographic would not overlap with the other cause of personal preference and all that.

    I know you're a LOTRO player which is for me now the game that is visually becoming too hard for my eyes to keep up with. I know it sounds crazy and 10-15 years ago I would've laughed if someone said that but when age caught up with me it really kicked and continues to kick my A.

  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,129
    If I thought it was done decently, sure. I play Project:Gorgon, so the aesthetics wouldn't keep me away, though it would be nice if the game could avoid the odd performance issues P:G has in Serbule.

    I'd imagine those problems probably wouldn't exist if Microsoft with all their resources were making the game. I don't play PG as much as I did a while ago but it's still one of my recent favorite MMO with everything it has to offer.
    Gdemami
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 9,077
    Lowkey what came to mind was.. Lofi Elder Scrolls, MMO game to relax/study to.
    (if you don't know what I'm talking about google lofi)
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • thelawoflogicthelawoflogic Member UncommonPosts: 763
    Sure why not
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,838
    BruceYee said:
    I do have a minimum standard for new games when it comes to graphics. Doesn't have to be great, im not a graphics snob, but it does have to look OK.


    Beyond that, it all comes back to gameplay.


    If the gameplay in this theoretical Elder Scrolls MMO was good, and it met my minimum graphics requirements, I'd play it. I doubt that would ever be the case, gameplay is not the strength of the elder scrolls games, their gameplay has always been pretty low quality. But, if they somehow improved it, added enough content and depth to keep the game intersting for months or years (compared to my usual 30hrs-and-done with most elder scrolls games)

    What you wrote in the 2nd part basically sums up my thoughts on how a second Elder Scrolls MMO with deep character customization and lots of replayable content could possibly coexist with ESO. One gamer demographic would not overlap with the other cause of personal preference and all that.

    I know you're a LOTRO player which is for me now the game that is visually becoming too hard for my eyes to keep up with. I know it sounds crazy and 10-15 years ago I would've laughed if someone said that but when age caught up with me it really kicked and continues to kick my A.


    It would certainly prove to be an interesting experiment to run basically the same game, but with a different approach to combat, depth, customisation etc, side by side with existing ESO.


    On the eyesight thing, can't comment directly on the age issue (im 35) but there are a couple of things I've noticed over the years that may be playing a part.


    First off is simply a tech issue, though i couldn't tell you what the issue is. Maybe lighting, maybe a colour palette choice, i don't know. Certain games I just find really hard to see clearly, my depth perception gets all screwy and I just can't pick stuff out on the screen.

    Best example of this for me personally is the Halo series (well, 1-3, haven't played more recent stuff). I just can't see shit! There can be enemies standing 10m from me and I won't see them, they'll just blend in with the background. Doesn't affect my brothers in the same way as me, so perhaps might just be some minor colour blindness thats never been diagnosed. Latest is example is Valheim, only put a few hours into it but despite being lofi, I really struggle to see stuff.



    Other thing I've considered is screen size and resolution. A couple of years back, I jumped from 22 inch 1080, up to 32 inch 1440. Generally love it, but the bigger screen size means certain things just disappear from view. Dawn of War 2 is best example, love the game but I can basically never find my cursor any more! So, I can imagine some things in MMOs would sort of disappear from view, simply because there is more on the screen to pay attention to so the brain cuts some stuff out.
    BruceYeeGdemami
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,518
    BruceYee said:

    I know you're a LOTRO player which is for me now the game that is visually becoming too hard for my eyes to keep up with. I know it sounds crazy and 10-15 years ago I would've laughed if someone said that but when age caught up with me it really kicked and continues to kick my A.

    It doesn't sound crazy to me. There are a lot of games I have trouble with visually now that I didn't when I was younger.

  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,518
    BruceYee said:
    If I thought it was done decently, sure. I play Project:Gorgon, so the aesthetics wouldn't keep me away, though it would be nice if the game could avoid the odd performance issues P:G has in Serbule.

    I'd imagine those problems probably wouldn't exist if Microsoft with all their resources were making the game. I don't play PG as much as I did a while ago but it's still one of my recent favorite MMO with everything it has to offer.

    I'm certain that Microsoft could make a similar game without these issues, but also pretty sure they wouldn't come up with as many unique elements as P:G has.
    BruceYee
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,111
    I started playing computer games in the early '80s when all graphics were 2D sprites on a background made up of alphanumeric characters replaced by redesigned blocks of color. I had fun with those games but I have no interest in revisiting them.

    I don't need games to have the highest cutting edge visuals to enjoy them - heck I still play some 10 year old games in the Mass Effect and Dragon's Age series and they look plenty good enough for me.

    But part of the fun for me in my 40 years in this hobby has been watching the evolution into near life-like 3D worlds which, IMO are orders of magnitude more immersive due to the visuals.

    I couldn't tell you where I draw the line and where the threshold is for me but I do have a visuals threshold below which I just won't play a game no matter how good it might otherwise be.

    I've been playing TES games since the original, Arena, and played them all at release. Currently Oblivion is my graphics baseline for that franchise - I just can't play the ones before that and even Oblivion's graphics I find distracting. And like @Torval said, part of the TES franchise is a steady progression in graphical fidelity so for me that progression is as much part of the franchise as any other part of it. I expect TES6 to look better than Skyrim and if that or any other TES product comes out that doesn't meet that standard, I'd be disappointed.
    Torval
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,518
    Iselin said:
    But part of the fun for me in my 40 years in this hobby has been watching the evolution into near life-like 3D worlds which, IMO are orders of magnitude more immersive due to the visuals.

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    BruceYee
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,129

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    I actually have to turn ESO's gfx DOWN.

    Which is why games like PG & RS OS are perfect for me.

  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,518
    BruceYee said:

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    I actually have to turn ESO's gfx DOWN.

    Which is why games like PG & RS OS are perfect for me.


    I've toned down ESO a bit as well. I've never played RS OS but found the chat font size of the newer Runescape pretty small. I think they changed that client to allows for larger chat fonts though.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,111
    Iselin said:
    But part of the fun for me in my 40 years in this hobby has been watching the evolution into near life-like 3D worlds which, IMO are orders of magnitude more immersive due to the visuals.

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    I don't get your point. Are you trying to say that better visuals is somehow intrinsically related to less environmental interactivity in game design? Those seem like two totally unrelated things to me.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,838
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    But part of the fun for me in my 40 years in this hobby has been watching the evolution into near life-like 3D worlds which, IMO are orders of magnitude more immersive due to the visuals.

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    I don't get your point. Are you trying to say that better visuals is somehow intrinsically related to less environmental interactivity in game design? Those seem like two totally unrelated things to me.

    Higher quality visuals are largely the reason behind the massive cost increase associated with making games.

    This massive cost increase has generally resulted in less willingness to take risks on the gameplay front, which is why devs have stuck with very familiar gameplay for a while now, hence a lot of complaining about stagnation. Its why we often have to look to the indie sector for innovative (immersive) gameplay, as they're more willing to take those risks and arent under pressure from publishers to play it safe and make some money.


    So, whilst not directly linked, there is an indirect causal link there.
  • eoloeeoloe Member UncommonPosts: 78
    To the OP:

    What is your point here?

    Are you on the verge to create such a game or is it just an empirical question to trigger a discussion?

    To answer your question, I think as long as the gameplay is good, the world consistent, and the artistic direction inspired, then the graphic quality does not matter that much.

    In fact even without a good DA a game can be a success (IMO minecraft).

    But for me it counts. I cannot stand minecraft for example but I gladly play Crying Suns.
    finefluff
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,111
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    But part of the fun for me in my 40 years in this hobby has been watching the evolution into near life-like 3D worlds which, IMO are orders of magnitude more immersive due to the visuals.

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    I don't get your point. Are you trying to say that better visuals is somehow intrinsically related to less environmental interactivity in game design? Those seem like two totally unrelated things to me.

    Higher quality visuals are largely the reason behind the massive cost increase associated with making games.

    This massive cost increase has generally resulted in less willingness to take risks on the gameplay front, which is why devs have stuck with very familiar gameplay for a while now, hence a lot of complaining about stagnation. Its why we often have to look to the indie sector for innovative (immersive) gameplay, as they're more willing to take those risks and arent under pressure from publishers to play it safe and make some money.


    So, whilst not directly linked, there is an indirect causal link there.
    That's a stretch, IMO.

    There are definitely trends in games development and I agree that large corporate entities are more risk adverse hence the opening for indies to take chances sometimes resulting in more creative design.

    But the budget lofi of indie games does not produce better games. If they had the budget you bet your ass they'd want to produce creative designs AND hifi visuals.

    There's no cause and effect happening there: large studios are risk adverse so they produce cookie cutter, tried and true features for their games. Indies don't. The visuals they can each afford to do are a separate thing.

    The association between visuals and quality of game play is just plain old gamer bias.


    Torval
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 4,352
    I can give some on graphics, but not as much on animations. 
    I took a look at some video's of Project Gorgon, and I'd say that those graphics, with much better animations, had better have a really great game to go with it. 
    But then, I'm just no longer interested in a game that isn't "really great" (somewhat loosely) for my wants. 
    There are to many other things to spend time with than a game that doesn't give me what I expect from an MMORPG world to take up residence in. 

    Once upon a time....

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,409
    I've had to think about this a bit, but I very well could play an older-looking elder scrolls game.

    Simply by the fact that I play Daggerfall from time to time.

    Having said that, I do have a few mods that make it feel more like a world such as making the land more rolling hills as opposed to just "flat."

    And, having said "that" I will note that the first two games that ever gave me a great sense of visual wonder were Myst and Morrowind.

    Oddly enough, Morrowind was the first game that I lived in.

    I did practically every quest, every faction, and explored as much of it as I could, find all sorts of neat and unexpected things.

    I remember watching the sun set and rise off of one of the Cantons in Vivec, which was an incredible experience.

    My preference would probably be a game that would be on par visually with Morrowind.

    Daggerfall give me no visual joy.
    BruceYee
  • fineflufffinefluff Member UncommonPosts: 235
    If it looked like this? Probably not. Art style is more important.

    Image result for low poly environment
  • remsleepremsleep Member EpicPosts: 1,967
    edited February 20
    Zelda Breath of the Wild is a perfect example of gameplay over graphics.

    If the gameplay was top notch - the graphics just have to be good enough to not distract away from gameplay.

    Quite often - companies will make graphics top notch to hide the poor gameplay - it's way so many games are all glitz and are as shallow as a puddle, but masses will buy shit on looks alone.

    BruceYee
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,838
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    But part of the fun for me in my 40 years in this hobby has been watching the evolution into near life-like 3D worlds which, IMO are orders of magnitude more immersive due to the visuals.

    Games have gotten more visually impressive, but I often find I can't interact with those more impressive environments as well as I could those of the past.

    To me, immersion has been both gained and lost over the years.
    I don't get your point. Are you trying to say that better visuals is somehow intrinsically related to less environmental interactivity in game design? Those seem like two totally unrelated things to me.

    Higher quality visuals are largely the reason behind the massive cost increase associated with making games.

    This massive cost increase has generally resulted in less willingness to take risks on the gameplay front, which is why devs have stuck with very familiar gameplay for a while now, hence a lot of complaining about stagnation. Its why we often have to look to the indie sector for innovative (immersive) gameplay, as they're more willing to take those risks and arent under pressure from publishers to play it safe and make some money.


    So, whilst not directly linked, there is an indirect causal link there.
    That's a stretch, IMO.

    There are definitely trends in games development and I agree that large corporate entities are more risk adverse hence the opening for indies to take chances sometimes resulting in more creative design.

    But the budget lofi of indie games does not produce better games. If they had the budget you bet your ass they'd want to produce creative designs AND hifi visuals.

    There's no cause and effect happening there: large studios are risk adverse so they produce cookie cutter, tried and true features for their games. Indies don't. The visuals they can each afford to do are a separate thing.

    The association between visuals and quality of game play is just plain old gamer bias.



    Well, a fair few developers over the years have come out and expressly said that graphics are the reason that gameplay has stagnated.


    I also agree that the low budget of indie games doesn't insure success, I generally hate the indie sector, 99.9% of the games are utter garbage. But, I cannot deny that they do experiment with gameplay way more than AAA studios, even if those experiments fail.


    Ask yourself this though: where do AAA studios get their "tried and true" gameplay from?



    The ideas for gameplay always originate lower down the food chain. Whether it was the indie studios of 30 years ago or the indie studios of today, thats where the ideas come from. 


    [Should note, I'm not trying to defend or glorify indie studios, as mentioned, I really dislike the indie sector. Just trying to point out that graphics are a large reason for the stagnation of gameplay, because graphics cost so damn much that studios have become more and more risk averse. Its also not just a personal opinion, im pretty much just parroting back what most devs have said on the subject]
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,838
    Just had a further thought, somewhat related.


    Graphics sell games. Big studios have told us this repeatedly, we know its true, its why they invest so much money in graphics and are therefore unwilling to take risks on gameplay.


    That's a business model that worked when you are selling a box, a one-off purchase.


    I wonder whether the shift to games-as-a-service will see a shift to more investment in gameplay? Whilst graphics sell, gameplay retains.
    BruceYee
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