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MMORPG.com's Garrett Fuller fills in for columnist Jon Wood this week, talking about the trend toward Eastern and Western art styles in our MMOs.
When looking at an MMO, what is the first thing that strikes you? Is it the game play, the genre, the world and characters? For me it is the artwork and concepts. Although I do look very closely at the game play and make my final decision on whether or not to play in the end, it's always the visuals the strike me first. Lately with more MMOs being designed in Asia we have seen a trend toward Eastern style or Anime style artwork. Aion is the perfect example of this style, yet TERA which is coming out soon and is made by the old Lineage team seems to be trending back to a more Western style of artwork to appeal to an overall audience. It's not that I am against Eastern style art in MMOs; it is that many times I miss the Western style of design in games. We'll go through some examples and try to explain why art and design can have such a huge influence on a gamer's decision.