We don’t give out a formal end-of-the-year award for MMO graphics at Massively OP. It’d be almost impossible to come to a consensus. As we wrote a few years back, “Where some people aren’t satisfied until games are hyperrealistic, others require fanciful and dreamlike artistic rendering and still others can look at a cutesy retro game and squee. Some people juggle geese.” I fully admit I juggle geese; I’ve been happily playing a classic MMO for many months now, and while it holds up OK with mods, it’s not winning any beauty contests in 2018. However, I can still look at games like Black Desert, which saw a major graphics upgrade this year, and give it a hearty salute for pushing the envelope in a genre that doesn’t often put bleeding edge graphics first. If you were going to give out an award for best visual appeal in an MMORPG, new or old, as long as it’s live, which game would walk home with the prize? Every morning, the Massively … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the best graphical appeal as of 2018?
Pretty much any time that Project Gorgon comes up in discussion around Massively OP, a discussion invariably takes place among readers that weighs the game’s feature set against its graphical prowess (or lack of it). There’s your “the gameplay makes up for the looks” camp and then there’s your “I’m sorry, but I can’t get over the looks to access the gamplay” crowd. I think most all of us have some standards in how games appeal to us visually. If a game is truly ugly or looks off-putting, it can be difficult to force yourself to give it a shot or stick with it. For me, I don’t mind low fidelity and older-looking graphics as long as there’s some personality and style to them. But I cannot abide games with uncanny valley or plastic-looking characters (EverQuest II comes to mind) and have an adverse reaction to the bland green-and-brown landscapes that are covering many upcoming indie fantasy MMOs. Be honest with us today: … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: How much of an MMO graphics snob are you?
Earlier this week, I happened to see a mainstream website refer to ArtCraft as an indie studio, and it jolted me. ArtCraft, as anybody reading MOP knows, is working on Crowfall, which at least in my estimation is a high-quality, graphics-intensive MMORPG from hardcore MMORPG veterans who’ve been in the business as long as anyone alive. The game has raised at least $12M or maybe $15M, at least counting up what we know about. When I think of indie studios, I think of the tiny outfits working on games like Project Gorgon, Ever, Jane, and Ascent the Space Game. But of course Crowfall is also an indie, right? It’s not running a $500M budget; it’s not ensconced under a cozy AAA publisher umbrella. It crowdfunds. Then again, aside from the budget/wealth, its profile looks like a bit like Epic Games’ – it even has an engine to vend now. So is it really just about money? Is Star Citizen, with its multiple studios and AAA budget, an indie because of … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What exactly defines an ‘indie’ MMORPG studio?
As comments and tweets and nastygrams in my inbox have repeatedly demonstrated over the years, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve put in years of play in brutal gankboxes and done more than your fair share of time in endgame raiding and PvP: An hour in a guilty pleasure MMO renders you irreversibly contaminated in the eyes of a certain segment of the gaming population. You’re a filthy casual (or worse!). I don’t actually buy that idea for a second, but I can’t help but find it colors my ability to enjoy and willingness to gush over cutesy games, silly MMOs, and retro titles. Case in point? Trove. I’m consistently surprised by the depth I’ve found in Trove (in fact, the overall gameplay loop reminds me more of City of Heroes than Minecraft or Cube World), but the fact that people see neon voxel graphics and smirk it away as a kiddie game both irritates and squelches me. And yet it’s the MMORPG that’s got me logging in … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Do you have a ‘guilty pleasure’ MMO?
I’m a huge fan of Guild Wars 2’s Super Adventure Box, even if I am not the best jumper in the world. My kid loves it, I love the graphics, the rewards are fun – really, it’s something we look forward to every year since it became a permanent event fixture. On the other hand, when the update doesn’t change much from year to year aside from QOL fixes, some of the shine does wear off. I definitely felt that way in World of Warcraft in the years when Blizzard just put the annual events on repeat (it’s gotten better about giving those events refreshes in recent years, I’ve noticed!). Still, I hate to look a gift sparklepony in the mouth. It could be worse: I could be one of those Secret World players who are practically begging for the return of some of the events they miss from the old game in the new game because they’ve been cut off while Funcom slowly rolls them back out. Do you get grumpy over MMO events on repeat? Would you prefer them … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Do you get grumpy over MMO events on repeat?