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How Much Do Graphics Really Matter in MMORPGs? | OGR |

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 11,024

imageHow Much Do Graphics Really Matter in MMORPGs? | OGR |

In the ever-evolving world of gaming, graphics have always been a hot topic. As technology continues to advance, Steven found himself asking whether graphics still matter in MMORPGs?

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  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 20,361
    edited March 18
    We certainly can't insist on the best graphics in MMO-land, and with no 2.0 versions of classics like Lotro coming out we have to put up and shut up.

    That said I put too much importance on graphics in games and can't shut up. :)

    I accept that everything does not have to be as good as BDO, but that game is telling us it can be done. What I won't accept is going back to 2D or isometric toy figures to make a MMO work, anything like that.

    Lotro is actually my minimum graphics standard for a MMO, so it has done well over the years, being cartoony but not too cartoony is a big help there I think.

    However I accept that the more building and so on you can do yourself the less we can expect graphics wise. Trove is still too low bar for me, but Archage or FO76 look fine.
  • DarkhawkeDarkhawke Member UncommonPosts: 141
    Gameplay and in depth systems matter much more IMO .
      Latest example this would be New World , pretty game impeded by a host of very shallow and broken systems..Hence why it is carrying only 2% Retention rate at this time.
     People want more than pretty .
  • McSleazMcSleaz Member UncommonPosts: 265
    I can play Minecraft for days. I wouldn't care if an MMO was pixelated 8 bit, If it's good, It's good & I'll play it.
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member LegendaryPosts: 9,511
    I think UO and MInecraft were the only two I couldnt play because the ugly graphics were the problem.....but there were also several that felt like the graphics were all they had to offer (BDO comes to mind)....In general I dont want too high level of graphics because it often affects other things like lag and ping......Gameplay is much more important.
  • MendelMendel Member LegendaryPosts: 5,587
    I like graphics, I can tolerate older games like EQ and LotRO on a nearly daily basis.  But more important to me is polygon count.  About the only thing I would change in either is to put more polygons in the landscape.  EQ still has visible angles on the ground where the segments meet.  A pretty simple 'smoothing' filter on the ground would go a long, long way, at least for me.

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  • slowz2secretslowz2secret Member UncommonPosts: 294
    "I don't care about graphics" that's a lie, if the game looks like sh!t I won't touch it not matter how good it is.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,975
    The goal of graphics is to make something that looks good, is cheap to make, and runs efficiently.  Cheap to make is important, as the cheaper it is to make each model, the more of them you can make.

    I'm not going to say that graphics don't matter, but I will say that looking good isn't so important that it's acceptable to run poorly or to have little content in the game.

    To some degree, there are trade-offs between looking good, running efficiently, and being cheap to make.  But more skilled programmers, better tools, and better artists can make all three improve at once.
  • LTBKLTBK Member UncommonPosts: 24
    MMOs are games that are meant to last several years, many aiming to at least last for a decade or even more (unless they flop, of course). Knowing that, it's not unreasonable to design them with an art style (which is not directly related with the graphical quality as some folks think) that makes the game easier to stand the test of time without having to keep upgrading old assets as new technology and hardware capabilities arise, as it's both unreasonable and unfeasible on the long run. Or at least to be able to keep it to a minimum, like doing engine upgrades to update the lighting/shaders or add other options. This is especially true for smaller companies, but also for triple A studios. We must keep in mind that these games are not static, and that over time they have more and more content that would need to be revisited to be updated (i.e. textures, meshes, background population, etc.).

    We have the perfect example in BDO, as while the game might look fine nowadays for many folks, we also have to keep in mind that the amount of new assets that they've pulled out has been minimal when comparing it with other games like FFXIV. And the latter is only doing a partial graphical upgrade now, on its 10th anniversary, but clearly at the expense of the current expansion cycle (longer wait between patches, and less new assets being released when compared with previous expansion cycles). Of course, as I mentioned earlier, we can't even try to hold smaller companies to the same standards as these big studios. And that's why choosing carefully an art style is important for the long term success of both the game and the studio.

    So, to make it short, and just as any other piece of software, it's important to design MMO games in a way that it makes it easier to keep them going while, at the same time, looking as up to date as possible. Aiming for ultra realistic models, for example, is a sure way to make them deprecated within just a couple of years after better engines, hardware, and graphical capabilities become available, which will inevitably push forward the realism to which our game would be compared. And it would also make it harder to keep the game updated in a way that said models still look fine, or least okay, when compared with the current gen. Choosing that design would put the studio in a hard place on the long run.

    Just compare which kind of older games stood the test of time better, and it's very obvious that those that had a less realistic art style are the ones that still look graphically enjoyable (or at least acceptable) even for today's standards. And that includes many 2D games.
  • LaterisLateris Member UncommonPosts: 1,803
    I enjoy pixels or amazing graphics. There is room for both when it works with a great game design. Code is very essential, Art is essential, and graphics are essential to me. I see the quality in games like Valheim. Minecraft Eve Online, Rust, etc, and even New World (bad engine version and lack of scrum). But after 2 decades of the Wow formula we need more experimental MMOs and to move forward with new tech for graphics that is less demanding on a PC but moves forward.
  • QbertqQbertq Member RarePosts: 458
    I think people need to admit that graphics matter.  Otherwise, you could just have colored squares moving around instead of pixel people.  You might be more 'tolerant' of poor graphics (Whatever your definition of good/bad is), but it matters.  With graphics capability, we often take good graphics for granted.  Gaming graphics are almost like painting..  You got different schools and styles.  Pixel School...Anime School.

    I think for most, graphics fall in the middle and don't affect your decision on whether to play or not.  It's the graphics style that you really really dislike that matters.  Going back to my painting analogy, it's like going through a museum.  Most rooms, are ok and you enjoy it.  Some Rooms you really enjoy and take your time (For me ancient).  On the other hand, there are rooms that you avoid or go through, but you have to grit your teeth (For me modern art.  For me, Modern Art = Anime style graphics.  I really dislike them as a rule and I have to grit my teeth.  On the other hand, simple, yet well-done graphics like Albion, I really enjoy.
  • mcrippinsmcrippins Member RarePosts: 1,605
    Not much to me - I routinely go back and play games like UO and SWG, and the graphics are never a problem.
  • OG_SolareusOG_Solareus Member UncommonPosts: 585
    Graphics for me 50% why i play a game.
  • Deathkon1Deathkon1 Member RarePosts: 892
    edited March 20
    Generally as long as your game doesn't look like path of exiles or league of legends or something other that can be ported to a phone your worth a go for me.

    If you look like any of the stuff I mentioned above sorry not sorry you aren't worth my time as a game.
    Post edited by Deathkon1 on
    I don't care if your game is in beta alpha or early access your not a game until you fully release nor should you be considered one
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  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 31,083
    I suppose I'm more interested in art design. "Graphics" or how shadows and light and reflections are dealt with, are important.

    "Polygons" were mentioned and there is definitely something to that as well as how animations are created.

    but if the art design is compelling I can forgive a lot.

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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 41,813
    What do Graphics matter?  To this guy

    Me, not so much, sort of middle of the road on their importance.

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    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing New Worlds atm

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  • lothariclotharic Member UncommonPosts: 31
    I think games spend too long on textures for weapons (which you basically never see) and not enough time on nice animations and on the terrain graphics.
  • RemaliRemali Member RarePosts: 904
    For SP games graffix dont matter much to me
    If the game is good I will play it
    But when it comes to mmos its a different story
    I expect an other level of immersion from mmos and graffix do play a big role for that
  • XNL00XNL00 Newbie CommonPosts: 7
    edited March 18

    Sovrath said:

    I suppose I'm more interested in art design. "Graphics" or how shadows and light and reflections are dealt with, are important.

    "Polygons" were mentioned and there is definitely something to that as well as how animations are created.

    but if the art design is compelling I can forgive a lot.

    A good part of our world is visual, so in the end what matters is how visually appealing it is and for this reason Korean, Japanese and Asian games in general call our attention even though they are generic and do not present anything innovative. The graphic itself and the art style already bought us and for that same reason American games like New World and Crucible are a failure, because in addition to not showing anything innovative, they are extremely ugly and carcinogenic to the eyes and for that same reason more and more people are abandoning american and european games to play asian games and even these eye cancer creators are starting to buy asian games because they know they are not able to create something that has quality or that is visually appealing.
  • SmashembroSmashembro Member UncommonPosts: 16
    not much i have been back and looked at TR and the game stands up unlike SWTOR what a total load of crap graphic's suck game content suck's there is much more to a game than just graphic's
  • XiaokiXiaoki Member EpicPosts: 3,634
    Variety and customization matters more to me.

    The Korean MMOs with awesome graphics but the only playable race is humans are very boring looking.
  • DarkZorvanReturnsDarkZorvanReturns Member RarePosts: 712
    Graphics matter for new games. Sure, I'll play LotRO, Anarchy Onlione, EQ, etc. because i was there when those were modern graphics. So seeing them today is just seen as "normal" by my brain.

    But new stuff? No, I'm not playing your new RPGMaker game that's straight from 1996. No, I will not touch anything new that uses "retro" or "pixel graphics" as a supposed selling point. I will not play your new Diablo clone that looks like OG Diablo. I don't invest what little cash I have into my system as needed just to play crap that should be limited to Facebook.
  • SirPacoSirPaco Member UncommonPosts: 358
    Could you answer that question by how much people spend on their PC?

    Spending real money for better graphics sounds like a good way to judge how much people care about their graphics.

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,975
    SirPaco said:
    Could you answer that question by how much people spend on their PC?

    Spending real money for better graphics sounds like a good way to judge how much people care about their graphics.
    Sometimes it's spending real money for higher frame rates.  Sometimes it's spending money so that you can play whatever game shows up rather than sometimes not meeting the system specs.  And sometimes it's spending real money for a computer that is also used for things other than gaming.
  • AkulasAkulas Member RarePosts: 2,958
    You can be an ASCII character headbutting a rock and it doesn't matter as long as it's done right.

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  • HJ-NavarreHJ-Navarre Hero's Journey GMMember UncommonPosts: 89
    There's nothing like walking around New World in 4k with Ultra graphics settings. Excellent audio too! (If only the game lived up to the beautiful world, imo.)

    But, I spend most of my days.. thousands of hours.. in Project Gorgon.. where the gameplay is mud-old-school-mmo-excellent and the graphics aren't much better than Minecraft. *shrug*
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