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11-24-2009 @ 1:48PM
I'm not sure that making new character models will cause a huge rise in re-subscription numbers - it seems like a leap of faith to make another investment into an MMO because of something so superficial. One of WOW's strengths has always been that whilst it's never looked stunningly detailed, the cartoon style isn't something that goes out of date easily. Contrast that with other MMOs that came out at the time - like Everquest 2 and Guild Wars - and WOW still has it. Now, I know of a few people who play WOW who really wouldn't benefit from a graphical overhaul. Since this is a specialist gaming website, full of the more hardcore type of fans, I'm willing to bet that people put more stock into PC maintenance and its associated factors than a lot of the user-base of WOW. So people here have better PCs, and know how to keep them chugging away better, too. Not everyone does.The performance difference on my PC between Azeroth and Northrend is absolutely astonishing. I mean, in 2005, I used to lag, lag and lag in Ironforge, so much so that I'd fall in the holes in the middle of the circling corridors. Now it's all about the lag in Dalaran. Having an upgraded PC hasn't meant that I'm free of lag. It just means I'm free of lag back in the old world.But if the entire place is being redesigned, then what then? I realize that Dalaran is a rather extreme example, but some of my worst lag is encountered whilst flying over Grizzly Hills. In some zones, you'll just hear people in /general or /guild or elsewhere saying "FFS, it doesn't stop lagging", and that's without the big 25man raids. It's kinda cruel too, to suggest that WOW's graphics -aren't- in this decade. I mean, it's an MMO, right? MMOs, like RTSes used to be before DOW, are allowed to be a bit crappy in the graphics department. Because they're processing so much stuff, and they're meant to be as accessible as possible. Age of Conan's focus on high-detailed graphics didn't do it many favours in the end, did it? And it's worth pointing out what graphics used to look like last decade. Half Life being one of the games with better graphics? http://members.aye.net/~gharris/blog/halflife04.jpg Hmm?One last factor is armour. That's already pretty good, and it's mostly what you see all the time anyway. Yes, the faces mightn't look great, but facial expressions are hard to get right for games anyway. Half Life 2 probably did them best out of games out now, and that was, what, 5 years ago? Either you get the plasticised stuff coming out of the Unreal engine, or the stiff-bodied RPG type you see in Dragon Age. I wonder even if WOW's engine could handle much of a difference in expression. New character models WOULD be nice, but yeah, an on/off switch would be the best option - and failing that, trying to optimise them so it doesn't cause too much of an FPS decrease. Because having 50 or so people in a room together already kills PCs enough, thanks. :(
11-24-2009 @ 2:03PM
11-24-2009 @ 3:50PM
You know what, I never found the "If they update all the models, we'll lag real bad" argument plausible.Here's why: I can tell no difference in lag between running around with 30-60 blood elves, and running around with 30-60 tauren, in similar settings (I RP character of both races in "family" guilds... thus the comparison).
11-24-2009 @ 4:01PM
I don't think Guild Wars is a very good comparison, to me it's better than Warcraft graphically in every way - and that's without even mentioning what GW2 is showcasing, which puts GW1 to shame.Now, you could say that WoW has a better art style, sure - but from a technological standpoint there's just no way it will match GW or Aion without a complete graphics engine overhaul. Hell, when I can play Aion and get a faster framerate in Pandaemonium (the Asmodian city) than I can in Dalaran, you know there's something severely wrong.
11-24-2009 @ 4:15PM
@Tim: Yeah, I get that. I was more railing against a complete overhaul than anything else. But once again, PCs are notoriously broad machines. What works on yours might not work on somebody else's. It's worth considering that. @Shawn: Yeah, Guild Wars was just sommit I plucked from the hat. Though great graphics from a technical standpoint is never Blizzard's aim. Look at Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. Neither are better technically than games that came out even two years ago. Though GW2 is irrelevant in this case, given that it's a game that hasn't even been released yet. When you've still got people playing Counter Strike 1.5, and in large numbers, in an era of MW2 and L4D, should WOW really be attempting to compete technologically? For what reason? Interesting note about Dalaran's performance next to Aion, though. Presumably Aion's cities are better optimised and rely on different hardware.
11-24-2009 @ 4:19PM
yeah, maybe not a on/off, but a real level managerlike: low, average, nice, and pro qualitythat way everyone would be happyFor example, I would be switching from "average" to "low" just to perform better in 25 man raids :P
11-24-2009 @ 5:34PM
I guess what it comes down to is that old argument of art style vstechnology. Personally, I'm a fan of the art style of WoW, but I'malso of the opinion that eventually you have to upgrade the graphicsform a technological standpoint, because the game will look sohorribly dated in time that even games with lesser art direction willlook better. And I believe that's the case with WoW now. It doesn'tneed to compete with Aion, but to drag back the GW reference, even ifit was on par with Guild Wars 1 while retaining the same art style, itwould be enough to breathe some life into the game and make it lastalongside GW2 and Aion in the future, (and/or until Blizzard's "nextgen" MMO comes out).I admit graphics aren't, and shouldn't be, the main draw of a game,but when one of the most common complaints I hear about Warcraft whenI try to get other (gw players) to play with me is that they're unableto justify paying monthly for a game which has such dated graphics andvirtually non-existent character customization. Though the bashing isusually not on the race models themselves, but mostly on the lack ofdetail on the armors, along with the inability to dye it differentcolors to have some semblance of a matching set
11-24-2009 @ 5:44PM
The armour dye was a lovely feature of GW when I played it (before WOW, in fact!), definitely.
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