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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Do Graphics Matter?

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117 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 7/17/12
Posts: 163

I popped too many blood vessels to give a damn anymore.

11/20/12 9:55:06 PM#61

Graphics are just one of the ingredients for a good game. It needs to be mixed in with the other ingredients just right to make a great dish, especially on what the recipe calls for. But if there's too much or not enough of an ingredient, one could easily ruin it, as we've seen many times already.

. . . I want a cookie now. Don't know why.

You know what's fun about chaos? I do, but I won't tell.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/12
Posts: 112

11/20/12 10:03:26 PM#62
graphics matter only in as much as they can make the difference between a good game that you'll play again and again and one that you'll try and move on. That said, top of the line graphics do not a good game make; there has to be a story, imersive game play, and yes even good sound effects and music. we've all played games that had the annoying 10 second loop music that only detracted from game play, not added to it. it's the same with graphics.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/10/04
Posts: 15

“Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.”
-Nikola Tesla

11/20/12 10:42:24 PM#63

Graphics in games have been on a plateau for years.  There are some engines being worked on that improve graphics but the major studios are still using low polygon count trash and just putting new texture and lighting effects on top of it.

Since they aren't really getting any better, they do not matter at all.  What is more important is the artwork, the overal visual theme and atmosphere.

How to tell if you have a good game is if it follows these criteria in order:

Gameplay > Rule Set > Music > Graphics

Graphics will start mattering again once we get the realtime polygon render count issue resolved.

The music of a game has become so neglected I'm frankly disgusted by the garbage we are forced to listen to, and end up muting anyways.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/08/11
Posts: 78

11/20/12 10:44:05 PM#64

I'd say that graphics matter as a subsystem of atmosphere, and thus of immersion. TOR is a nice example: Looks nifty on any screenshot, has next to no atmosphere. WoW's graphics are meh by a technical standard, but they convey great atmosphere, and therefore immersion.

Another way graphics can matter is if they enhance gameplay: Am I able to look at my game world for a gameplay hint, or do I have to look at my GUI? Example: Closed door. Does a hint pop up that says "You need the Pyramid icon to proceed", or does the door have a pyramid-shaped hole in it that tells me what I need through its mere presence? Another easy one: Does my character burn visibly when on fire, or do I only have a debuff icon in my GUI that tells me: "You are on FIRE!"?

The more things are communicated without the extra layer of a GUI, the better.


In short: If the game world with its shiny graphics feels like a mere backdrop, they can be as shiny as they want, they're useless (they'll still entice players to buy, but that's about it). If graphics enhance the gameworld, they're useful, even when they're mediocre.

Of course it's best to have both, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather take a game with mediocre graphics and good gameplay/immersion than a sterile graphics wonder.

edit: And yes, the sound is also very important, and sadly, often overlooked. Sound and music can be used to enhance gameplay and immersion just as much as graphics. Just take a look at Diablo 1 (anyone heard a ring drop when (s)he read that?) and its amazing score and sound works. Ah, fresh meat!

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/07
Posts: 1467

Celebrated pariah of

11/20/12 10:58:14 PM#65

Since I am one of those poor cheap bastards who choose to game on a budget barely mid range PC, graphics aren't everything.. I usually have to play games on medium (sometimes high but never ultra everything), so I never get the full eye candy anyway and as long as the gameplay keeps me entertained and satisfied I don't have a problem..

What bugs me more than having a downright ugly game, is having an overly ambitious future tech graphically overkill of a game that will not scale to meet my specs.. I could play a good game with stick figures, if I was given the option of performance over quality..


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/01/11
Posts: 1353

11/20/12 11:00:16 PM#66

Sadly I admit I am a graphics whore. I cannot play any game or mmo that doesnt pleases my eyes. I need the details, the vibrant "fantasy" realistic graphics. BUT if a game has everything that I look for, everything that I wish a graphic oriented game should have it, it is Final Fantasy XI. Maybe there wasnt much choices back then, but FFXI was the ONLY game I ever fell truelly in love with. And I probably would be STILL playing it if the game hasnt started pleasing the casuals. Maybe it isnt the graphics issue but the ease of play. Most game these days are EASY!! Childs-play!!! thats the problem. Its not that there is not enough content at release but its TOO F^&$ing easy. People can rush thru it in a matter of months, weeks and even days. Say GW2, people reaching max level in just the 3 early start days. Now that... is wrong. The idea of MMOs these days arent about the hard and frustarting journey we take to build a character that IS us. Sure its a MMO, but theres no RPGing. You dont feel or become a part of that character that story that Role. We are just playing a game. A game with some added gear progression, some stats. some new armor skins every 10, 20, 30 levels. We are technically playing a game that should be called MMOActionAdventureGame. Like Action Adventure console game that lasts 10-15hrs wth DLC. MMO should be hard, time consuming to get to the top, not Months, weeks, days. So do graphics matter? YES! Without even graphics, theres NO point in playing anything thats consider "MMORPG" that comes out these days. The society just wants easy games with lots of content.  How is that going work??

  User Deleted
11/20/12 11:26:43 PM#67
Originally posted by MaxJac


Aesthetics matter, not graphics.

Correct. I can go back and play some old Megadrive / SNES games and still be impresed by the worlds and design. Its what you do with the graphics, not the graphics themselves.

GW2 is a good example, the attention to detail is amazing, even though the pure grunt is less than that of TERA.  I just wish they would have taken some design ideas from GW1 Factions with elite dungeons and territory battles.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/10/08
Posts: 206

11/20/12 11:43:15 PM#68

3 types of learning:  Visual, Aural and Kinesthetics.  3 aspects to game play - sights, sounds and tactile/movement interaction with your game world.

If they fubar any of the 3, it's liable to hit issues.  How much so will depend on each individual.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 3098

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

11/20/12 11:49:58 PM#69
Graphics don't matter as much as game play and innovation.  That doesn't mean I will play the greatest game ever made if it looked like UO, Asherons Call, Runescape or Maple Story.  Anything from WoW to Rift or SWTOR to GW2 is perfectly fine for my tastes.

Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!


Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4736

I don't Forum PVP. If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.

11/20/12 11:50:38 PM#70
Originally posted by orbitxo

for me-yes-iam a graphic designer!-details details details!!

for some friends -no.-they are coders.

-go figure. apple dosent fall too far from the tree.



Interesting comment, and I agree.


I had a similar experience talking with an artist who specializes in terrain work.  I prefer low-poly and cartoonish which makes graphical shortcomings more easily overlooked.  He's heavily into pushing the art toward ultra-realism with spectacular scenics.

Realm Lords 2 - October 1st, 2015 - Retro-Styled Old-School Graphical MUD with Public Dungeons


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/10/03
Posts: 626

11/20/12 11:59:26 PM#71

For a subscription based game, yes graphics do matter as well as the gameplay. The only thing that you dont really need that much of is the multi-million £ voice overs (e.g SWTOR, Wingcommander 3 or was it 4) also proved this too as well as a few other big named games that failed to make the money back because of this sort of thing.

Nice graphics (that are easily updated to move along with the time, good gameplay, many featires and free range world (not limited or walk down this path and this path only sort of thing).

Well, question here has been answered, do graphics matter = yes for subscription and bought games, for free download and F2P games with an item shop, that does not matter as much, however having said that they would be wanting people to spend on their cash shops and stay in game (but i tend not to bother with these sort of games as its a proven FACT that subscription games are cheaper in the long run).


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/11
Posts: 80

Conquering tomorrow, one today at a time.

11/21/12 1:36:26 AM#72
Originally posted by Mawnee
Why does everyone always discuss this subject like it has to be one or the other? I want BOTH!

Because we are talking about the allocation of resources. The thing with MMOs is that they are not like regulary single player games. A lot of the resources go into make it pretty, question/story, making it multiplayer, pvp, and/or endgame pve. Quite a few MMOs will take away from endgame and "gameplay" in general to make a game have better questing and/or graphics.


That's the point. If you don't have the resources, why waste them on graphics instead of gameplay? With a one-time purchase game it might work, but with a sub-based game it won't.

Youtube: PokketProductions | Twitter: @Pokketsays | Facebook: Pokketsays


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/11
Posts: 80

Conquering tomorrow, one today at a time.

11/21/12 2:03:58 AM#73
Originally posted by defector1968

graphics = 40%

class balance = 40%

rest = 20%

Ah, so for you graphics and "balance" make up 80% of the game, yeah? By that logic, I guess that's why some games have very linear and boring questing.


aka:  RIFT. Or why some games have incomplete questing.


aka: Age of Conan. Or why some games are far from polished.


aka: Warhammer. Or why some games feel forced out before they are ready, missing key features of many MMORPGs.


aka: Star Wars. Or why some games have mediocre dungeons and instances PvP.


aka: Guild Wars 2 . Or why some games seem to lack pretty much everything.


aka: Final Fantasy XIV. This list could go on...


Just saying. 80% should go to everything else. 20% to graphics. And I'm not saying that the above mentioned games are failures, but I am saying that I feel as though resources put into some areas were half-arsed or almost completely neglected due to money getting put in the wrong places. I think that's something many of us (though not all) can agree on.

Youtube: PokketProductions | Twitter: @Pokketsays | Facebook: Pokketsays


Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/09
Posts: 239

11/21/12 2:06:30 AM#74
Graphics vs. The actual game its self?  Just look at DayZ, shit graphics, shit inventory control, Hackers,  learning curve is high for most that dont play Arma, but yet over a MILLION to play a mod?? That right there should you tell you people are more about the gameplay than the eyecandy.  

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/30/10
Posts: 95

11/21/12 2:08:01 AM#75

We had this discussion 2 weeks ago, where were you?



Novice Member

Joined: 3/08/09
Posts: 195

An opinion once stated is no longer humble.

11/21/12 2:56:30 AM#76

Yes graphics matter not because stuff looks good but because if the graphics are done well it means the game runs better on my crap computer.


Asthetics now thats a different kettle of fish and what you actually mean when you talk about graphics in the context of the article.  My personal opinion is if the gameplay is tight then the asthetics arn't something I notice as much.  However if there is something lacking in the gameplay department then evan small things in the asthetics jump out and make the game seam worse.  On top of that the closer you try and get things to look real the more all the little mistakes in implimenting reality jump out and take away from that mythical thing we call immersion.

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

There is nothing more dangerous than a true believer.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/06
Posts: 70

11/21/12 3:21:29 AM#77

I have a very simple answer, 


It would be the same a the Hot girl VS the girl with personality, does not matter how insanely awesome a girl is, if you are not attracted to her in the first place it ain't happening.

Simple xample would be, like miss pocket here, if she was ghastly, would we read her blogs?

No hate 2 you btw, just stating the obvious :)


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 2142

11/21/12 3:30:36 AM#78
Originally posted by InFlamestwo
Yes it matters unless the gameplay is superb like in many old games.

WAS superb, at THAT time. As was Pacman once no.1. Not any longer. Tried to play, but had enough after few minutes. There are many many games that are superb to TODAY standards. Hardly can top car from 1900 compare to any average car NOWADAYS. Games with superb gameplay, imo of course, for today's standards: wow, gw2, swtor, tsw, rift, ... And all have great graphics. I'm not saying to latest standards of graphics industry. Wow is dated to 2004, there have been very small corrections, but essentially is the same. And there is no need to change anything. In mop I'm again suprised, scenery is breathtaking.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 204

11/21/12 3:35:55 AM#79

For me?

Yes, graphics matter, alone with good content and gameplay, combat has to be pure fps type, giving you total controll in combat based on your personal skills not on lock-on skills and calculated resaults based on your armor and weapon damage. If a person with light armor and good " personal " skills can defeat fully armored oponent who make mistakes, that is more then enough for me.

Rift has nice graphics, but it is tab targeting. ( not my type )

Tera, has nice graphics and more engaging combat, but it lacks team encouragement ( spacifically, when it come to loot share ), has lock-on skills ( I don't like that )  bad reward ( as in slaying mobs and most of them don't have any loot drop ) even if you chalange hard bams your self, and expect risk vs reward, which is false in tera.

Just a small example in my point of view.

Graphics alone won't make a difference.




Novice Member

Joined: 12/07/04
Posts: 11

11/21/12 3:46:56 AM#80
They're both important but in different ways. The graphics are what sells the game in the first place but without good game play behind it the graphics may as well go home. It's a bit like a company. You can have the greatest sales team ever bringing in the orders for your product but if the product itself is garbage or customer support none-existant you're not going to be around for very long.
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