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It's my Opinion, yours may vary!

Just my thought's on various games and ideas!

Author: vknid

Computer Killer MMOGs.

Posted by vknid Friday September 7 2007 at 8:27PM
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    Today, I just wanted to talk a little bit about the Comp Killer MMOG issue.  I define a Comp Killer MMOG as a game that has such amazing graphical capabilities that it will kill or effectively bring, what you thought was a high end computer to its knees  (i.e. lag, stutter or crash!).  More and more developers are producing games like this.

    While I can appreciate why they do it..  I mean look at some of the games coming out soon.  Oh my gosh, they are beautiful, truly amazing works of art.  There are a lot of good things about making games this way.  For example, being on the cutting edge of graphic technology means you’re going to get that realism never seen before.  This adds a lot to the immersion factor.
Also another reason Devs do this is for game longevity.  Meaning it’s probably going to still look pretty 5 years down the road.  So yeah, I can see the appeal to using cutting edge technology.

    But, and that’s a very large but mind you..  What good is it, if your computer can’t handle it?  All that technology and Dev effort potentially wasted simply because they made a game so far ahead of its time, they we (I would expect 75% of gamers, possibly more..) don’t have bleeding edge computer hardware.  I said “potentially wasted” because for those of us with fat wallets will have no problems with the game.  However those of us that might be on a budget, will either see the recommended system specs on the box, then set it right back on the shelf, or not check the min spec (which I think a lot of us do this), get home, load it up and it run like total crap even at the lowest graphical setting.  Now you’re out 50 bucks and cursing obscenities at the game box.

    I mentioned “lowest graphical setting” back there.  This is the key point of why I’m writing this blog.  It’s something that seems to be over looked in some of the newer games with amazing graphics.  So they have minimum specifications on the side of the box for running the game, but what does that really mean?  Lets say you meet the min spec’s on the box..  For a bleeding edge game, does that mean your client won’t crash when you start up it up?  Maybe it will run, but you have to use all of the lowest settings and turn off all the special effects, so when you run around the game you're just a blob of grey color fighting other featureless blobs?  Or it disconnect you out of the game every 10 minutes or so?  In most cases that’s all you really get.

    One thing that came to mind when writing this, a rumor I read a while back, which I sincerely hope isn’t true.  Allegedly one reason they make games with such high end graphics is because they make deals with video card companies.  Want that high end game?  Shell out the cash for new hardware!  Cha-ching for both parties!  A really evil scheme if you ask me.

    In spite of the above rumor, it’s my wish that Game Devs would take “min spec” a little more seriously when creating their worlds.  I would like to think that it’s not too hard for them to devote a little time to making the game look nice and run smooth for those that want to enjoy their game, but are forced to use low graphic setting.  I’m also willing to bet that the general gaming community would greatly appreciate it too!  Customer satisfaction should be looked at from all perspectives when making a MMOG (or any game for that matter!). 

    Maybe it’s the low end of the graphic settings, but tight budget gamers are not the low end of the market.


- vknid

Suo_Eno_1357 writes:

Good post!

And I share the same anxiety really, based on rising crapshots of attempts to push the bleeding edge of tech innovations by some titles. The power users' segment from both casual or MMO players' combo represents the most 'elite' few (don't blow this out of the water just yet, I'm getting there) and it doesn't make logical and economical sense for both business and consumer sides down the road.

I agree that devs NEEDS high end hardware solutions to cut down time and costs in terms of design efficiencies achievable by brute computing power. But they're getting sloppy at confusing their own needs from sales by forcing the customers to either follow suit or just be cast aside.

I can afford USD3k rig changes every year but that don't mean that it's A MUST for me? I'm not an idiot who can get easily excited by mere 50 frame rates increases that I have to wait out in between DirectX updates, the catch up game for drivers by GPU makers and price fluctuations?

A ridiculous ritual just to do something that you like when it can or should have been the other way round no?

Sat Sep 08 2007 4:11AM Report
go4broke writes:

Rather simply put, if you design a game for the Highest available graphics cards out there, at the end of the lifespan of your product it will run on fairly low end machines.  This is just the facts of life for computers and computer games, incidentally I can't help but think you are referring to crysis in this post. 


Sat Sep 08 2007 10:27AM Report
soulwynd writes:

When it comes down to online games, I'd rather have something with simpler graphics and cpu requirements that also can run windowed. Since I'm constantly receiving IMs, I like being able to alt-tab or do other things while waiting for anything in game.

Sat Sep 08 2007 12:04PM Report
TheUnionHall writes:

Maybe they should have different servers. One for low end gamers, mid level gamers, and high end gamers. Maybe that will help. B

I say this because, i know that when i started playing UO i was blown away. Now not so much. Which is what will hapeen to all games.

And yes i understand all the arguments for and against. This is just an idea. Hey, they do it for PvP and PvE and time zones. Flame on!

Sat Sep 08 2007 1:57PM Report
Kullision writes:

If they dont want to market to people with low end pc's thats theyre problem. Maybe they want to market to the older audience that can afford a high end PC. Plus some are coming out for Xbox 360. And why would he refer to Crysis. Crysis isnt an mmo.

Sat Sep 08 2007 6:51PM Report
soponyai writes:

I can see that some people love to see their games with the highest details and all but I'm pretty sure that most players turn those options down to get more FPS. Those that want to be better at PvP or anything else (even in other genres, like shooting games) must not get skippy or laggy.
So yeah, graphics are overrated. Some of the best games I ever played had average or worse graphics but they compensated it with awesome content. I think that should be the way, especially in MMOs.

Sun Sep 09 2007 8:23AM Report
Stuka1000 writes:

I am one of those gamers that is fortunate enough to have a very high spec PC, damn thing cost two arms and a leg but hey, it's what I do.  The games on the market at the moment and the upcoming games in which I have been lucky enough to get a beta invite all run smoothly on the highest settings.  That said however I do sympathise with the OP on this issue as some of the new title specs are outlandish and take in perhaps 3% of the home computers out there on gamers desks.  Sure, make the game as high-end as you like for that 3% but don't ignore the other 97% or treat them as the poor cousin of your fanbase, that poor cousin has the majority of the money to pay you each month.  One point that I think should be mentioned here however and has so far been ignored is that PC software is what drives hardware innovation.  Without all this cutting edge we would be as stagnated as the console market.  X360 or PS3 owners must wait for the next version of the console to be released to get an upgrade in game quality, PC owners get it month in and month out so there are arguments both ways.

Sun Sep 09 2007 10:47AM Report
Nihilx writes:

I have a high end pc, but not not the "summit ware" needed to run certain games on anything more than mid quality settings. Don't see how the devs have much choice in the matter -wouldn't make sense to design games for low end pc's if aiming at a reasonable lifespan-, but it is really annoying to only enjoy half of a game's graphic potential, because you don't have an extra 2000 dollars laying around.

Sun Sep 09 2007 2:48PM Report
Vortigon writes:

I agree with the point the poster made about making sure that the game is optimised at all graphic settings not just high end users.

Also a point about minimum specs listings; they are at best complete rubbish and at worst complete lies.  Companies should HAVE to list the level of requirements to actually run the game in a 'playable' manner, not just the lowest system requirements that won't crash or freeze when trying to play the game.



Sun Sep 09 2007 3:25PM Report
SippyCupXIII writes:

i agree with a lot of what has been said. i believe that gaming companies need to design games to run good on "all" pc's. i am one that likes to run games on the highest video setting possible however i have not had the money to blow on a new comp lately so my comp is now in the "mid to semi-low range" of pc's. i can run basically al the mmo's out as of right now all the way up (ex. wow, l2, lotro, eq2, etc...). however, the thing that gets to me is when you get go to buy a new game that should run on your comp but cant really. a few examples that i have had as of recent (some mmo's and some not).

take vanguard for instance (i like vanguard and am in no way trying to flame it), nowadays i can run it pretty well and it be one of the best looking mmo's that i have on my comp. but when i first bought this, it was not the case. i had to run on pretty low settings and then in towns i would get 5 to 15 fps max.

the second example happens to not be a mmo but it leads into the point i am trying to make. i reently dl'ed the "medal of honor airborne" demo for my pc. upon launching the game on 1280x1024 res. and mid graphics settings when the demo level started i had major freezes and maybe 10 to 15fps max. so i closed the game and set everything to the lowest setting and  set the res. to 640x480(lmfao). restarted the demo to get minor freezes and probably 40fps max but dipping into the teens pretty often. this make me pretty sick.

now to my point. i am very good with computers, i have built mutiple of my own and many more for friends/family, i am pretty decent with working with software and reconizing problems with computers also. so i a good grasp on how things work in a computer and game software. but i dont understand how gaming companies cant make games nowadays that can run good and still llok good on older systems. it makes me sick and pisses me off when i dl/buy a new game that looks worse and runs worse than a game that i got 2, 3 or more years ago. like i said, i know that programing is a lot different  now and there is a lot more that is going on in a game that can slow the performace down, but i would think that they can work on this section some.

so basically there is a lot of mmos coming out for the comp that i am not going to be able to run or not going to want to play because the textures/animation or whatever is going to look worse than a mmo that has been out for years (eq, daoc, ao for example, not trying to put down theses games, all great, just aged quite a bit). this goes for shooters as well (i am a huge fps fan as well) if they are pc exclusives i just wont play them i guess, if they are multiplatform, i will get them for ps3 or 360 sense i own both. (yes i know i could of spent that money on a new comp). i just wish there was something that could be done about this!!!

Mon Sep 10 2007 12:22AM Report writes:
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