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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » FLOATING WEAPONS: Why are we still dealing with the primitive way weapons are holstered?

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74 posts found
  azzamasin

Elite Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 2623

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

1/02/13 12:36:02 PM#41
So we are talking about games featuring many unbelievable and fantastical things that make absolutely no sense.  Such as magic, elves, dragons, jumping/running like a boss, and being able to instantly materialize horses out of thin air.  Then you want to complain about somethign that is aboviously used to show of art style of the weapons.  Using a sheath is silly in the context of of a game because it hides the weapon models.

If your idea of a Sandbox is open FFA Full Loot PvP, full crafted world with minimal support for anything combat then your sandbox ideas are bad! Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1229

 
OP  1/02/13 12:41:02 PM#42
Originally posted by azzamasin
So we are talking about games featuring many unbelievable and fantastical things that make absolutely no sense.  Such as magic, elves, dragons, jumping/running like a boss, and being able to instantly materialize horses out of thin air.  Then you want to complain about somethign that is aboviously used to show of art style of the weapons.  Using a sheath is silly in the context of of a game because it hides the weapon models.

You are clearly missing the point.

 

However, you did bring up something interesting about the horses. You are right. They shouldn't just appear out of thin air. Instead, my character should whistle. After whistling, my horse should run to me from off the screen. That's much more realistic :) Seriously.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11829

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

1/02/13 1:00:49 PM#43
Originally posted by mmoDAD
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by BadSpock

Because take every weapon in the game and add +1 for every.single.one to create a model/texture for the sheathed version.

Well, you "could" cheat and have every 1H sword look the same when sheathed for example and reduce the workload by a whole hell of a lot, but people would complain about that too.

Would it be unrealistic to create maybe 3-4 sheathed models/textures for each weapon type?

I don't think so.

But when so many weapons have different handles as well as shaped blades.... you see the problem.

Damned if you do - damned if you don't.

It works in the Zelda example because EVERY player of Zelda has the same sword...

^^^^^ this, basically.

Making characters visibly sheathe and unsheathe their weapons is very doable, but it's a lot of work.  It's a question of priorities and where you want to put the work in developing a game.  Would a game be better if it only had 2/3 as many armor and weapon options, but had an animation to properly sheathe every single weapon in the game?  Would it be better if you had just as many armor and weapon options, but the options are just different textures on a few basic shapes, and in exchange, there are animations created to sheathe and unsheathe those few shapes?

That's a matter of opinion, and you could reasonably argue that yes, it would be better.  But my guess is that most players would disagree and want more varied weapons and armors.

It's not really a performance issue, as the performance hit is pretty minor.  The performance hit of drawing a sheathe or holster on every fighting character is probably in the low single-digit percentages.  The performance hit of having a separate animation to sheathe and unsheathe weapons basically consists of using a little bit of extra memory (both system memory and video memory), plus maybe a slight performance hit for switching vertex data an extra time or two per frame, but that's so small that it would be unmeasurable unless you put code into the game engine for the specific purpose of measuring it.

It can be done without much work.

 

Aion, although they don't have weapon sheaths, completely removed the complex character animations that are used to "holster" weapons.

Instead of having a series of holstering character animations, they instead used a few squiggly flashes of light when transferring the weapon from your hands to your back. It worked.

They can simply have two models for each weapon: 1 weapon and 1 sheathed version of the weapon. When you click "holster weapon", it will simply show the holstered version of the weapon on your back.

More 3D modeling? Not really. After the sheath is made, it can be used to fit a variety of swords. Just copy the hilt from any sword and place it on top of the sheath. Just copy the back of any gun and place it on top of a holster.

Part of the design of the weapon is to show off what it looks like so that others see it, want it, work toward getting one. Now, your answer is "Then make the holster a toggle."  Excellent answer! Well, more people rather their weapon show, so most would turn off the holster. From WOW's epic shoulderpads to its spectral mounts to the entire Play for Skins gameplay of GW2, players have consistently shown they want to show off what they have obtained or customized. It is one of the reasons that hoods (player created the face) are often toggleable in games. 

As a developer, you have to weigh the amount of work with the amount of return. Floating the sowrd and shield fills nneds for both the developer and the player. Holstering it would add little to the game for either party except satisfy a niggling need by a very tiny fraction of the playerbase.

Now, if there is some larger outcry from the playerbase to get rid of floating weapons, then the return would start creeping toward justification of the resources involved.

 

This is where you guys come in. Most developers find it a lot more expensive and to be a lot more work than you do, so we need you and some of the other posters in this thread to apply as Technical Artists for some of these MMOs and show them how its done!

 

EDIT: "Using a sheath is silly in the context of of a game because it hides the weapon models." - Azz

I just noticed Azz said it a lot more succinctly than I. :)

  Sukiyaki

Elite Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 1276

1/02/13 1:04:12 PM#44

I am for it, but there are many such things, one step after another advanced engines will be able to deal with it on default or it will become a standard.

See the classic floating feet in midair on uneven terrain. Barely any game ever fixed that.

The classic straight stand on slopes. ...

The classic pouch for arrows and bullets. ...

The endless magic bag slot space.

Once that is fixed player wil ask for more than flat waves, flat wall textures, flat grass etc. We are far away from realism, but seriously some stuff like sticks and swords floating behind your back or on you side should be kinda out of date by now and does look stupid. It shouldnt be that hard to come up with compromises like some set of default sheaths in multiple sizes and qualities.

  Teala

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 7429

"Really officer, they're herbs."

1/02/13 1:14:54 PM#45
It is called lazy.   When a team of 10 people can do what a 100+ fail to do it is called lazy.    Go play an indie game like Mount and Blade.    Weapons, shields and bows are slung and unslung.    Swords are sheathed.   Arrows are in quivers.   A team of 10 people made and produced Mount and Blade and I agree with the OP, why can't big budget game makers pay attention to detail like this when a small indie company like TaleWorlds can?

  MadnessRealm

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2690

Ignorance is Bliss.

1/02/13 1:34:21 PM#46
Originally posted by Teala
It is called lazy.   When a team of 10 people can do what a 100+ fail to do it is called lazy.    Go play an indie game like Mount and Blade.    Weapons, shields and bows are slung and unslung.    Swords are sheathed.   Arrows are in quivers.   A team of 10 people made and produced Mount and Blade and I agree with the OP, why can't big budget game makers pay attention to detail like this when a small indie company like TaleWorlds can?

Probably because of the production difference between Indie developers and larger developer studios. Indie games are all about gimmicks and special features so their attention is usually around polishing these things as much as possible. Where as high-budget game have money going where it's not needed (voice actors anybody?) and conserve the core of an already established model while focusing any additional development on a very select few areas, which often results in other areas to be lacking *cough* pretty much everything released in 2012 *cough*.

What it would take is to have a high-budget studio with the brain of indie devs, and I don't see that happening anytime soon (for financing reasons I suppose). A Valve-like MMO company would be a blessing however.

------
Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  Angier2758

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/05/09
Posts: 1060

1/02/13 1:49:54 PM#47

Who actually works in IT or in the game industry here?  In any capacity?

Honestly... when somebody calls it lazy because a feature wasn't implemented it smacks of "I have no clue what I'm talking about, but damn this sounds good so I'm gonna say it."

Scope Creep.

Go read about it.... and understand.... you never do everything and people thinking you can are probably why so many games blew in 2012.  I mean seriously even spot light posters fall into the category of just whining for the sake of it.

You cannot have everything.  Sheathing while being cool (along with so many other things) is not a core game issue..... games do not fail because they didn't sheathe weapons... they fail because the core game isn't fun.

  Jemcrystal

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 1256

Let em put a slave ring thru u're nose u're prob not going to like where they're taking you. Think.

1/02/13 2:02:36 PM#48
Someone needs to make computers into game stations and sell them cheap to everyone.
  joshuahalls

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/11/10
Posts: 59

1/02/13 2:13:58 PM#49
It depends on how many weapons the game has.  Take an example like WoW where it seems like every single weapon is a different weapon model and can have different sizes trying to create a sheath (which is just part of the armor mesh, another issue altogether) that looks proper without the weapon protruding through it is a challenge at best (to a very large waste of artist resources depending on how many variations you would need not to mention draw calls if it isn't part of every single armor type).  LoZ was used as an example, how many sword models are available?  

Joshua Halls
Co Owner-Lead Programmer The Repopulation

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13113

1/02/13 4:04:25 PM#50
Originally posted by mmoDAD
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by BadSpock

Because take every weapon in the game and add +1 for every.single.one to create a model/texture for the sheathed version.

Well, you "could" cheat and have every 1H sword look the same when sheathed for example and reduce the workload by a whole hell of a lot, but people would complain about that too.

Would it be unrealistic to create maybe 3-4 sheathed models/textures for each weapon type?

I don't think so.

But when so many weapons have different handles as well as shaped blades.... you see the problem.

Damned if you do - damned if you don't.

It works in the Zelda example because EVERY player of Zelda has the same sword...

^^^^^ this, basically.

Making characters visibly sheathe and unsheathe their weapons is very doable, but it's a lot of work.  It's a question of priorities and where you want to put the work in developing a game.  Would a game be better if it only had 2/3 as many armor and weapon options, but had an animation to properly sheathe every single weapon in the game?  Would it be better if you had just as many armor and weapon options, but the options are just different textures on a few basic shapes, and in exchange, there are animations created to sheathe and unsheathe those few shapes?

That's a matter of opinion, and you could reasonably argue that yes, it would be better.  But my guess is that most players would disagree and want more varied weapons and armors.

It's not really a performance issue, as the performance hit is pretty minor.  The performance hit of drawing a sheathe or holster on every fighting character is probably in the low single-digit percentages.  The performance hit of having a separate animation to sheathe and unsheathe weapons basically consists of using a little bit of extra memory (both system memory and video memory), plus maybe a slight performance hit for switching vertex data an extra time or two per frame, but that's so small that it would be unmeasurable unless you put code into the game engine for the specific purpose of measuring it.

It can be done without much work.

 

Aion, although they don't have weapon sheaths, completely removed the complex character animations that are used to "holster" weapons.

Instead of having a series of holstering character animations, they instead used a few squiggly flashes of light when transferring the weapon from your hands to your back. It worked.

They can simply have two models for each weapon: 1 weapon and 1 sheathed version of the weapon. When you click "holster weapon", it will simply show the holstered version of the weapon on your back.

More 3D modeling? Not really. After the sheath is made, it can be used to fit a variety of swords. Just copy the hilt from any sword and place it on top of the sheath. Just copy the back of any gun and place it on top of a holster.

If the weapon magically warps from your hand to the sheathe, both a 3' longsword and a 6" dagger fit the same 2' sheathe, and most of the weapon isn't drawn when inside the sheathe, then yeah, it wouldn't be that hard to do.  But do you think that's really what players are clamoring for?  A large fraction of players would probably think that was worse than what games do now with a weapon slung from your side or draped across your back.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13113

1/02/13 4:06:48 PM#51
Originally posted by Sukiyaki

See the classic floating feet in midair on uneven terrain. Barely any game ever fixed that.

Be careful what you ask for.  Fixing that (and its associated problem of feet stuck far into the ground) without harshly restricting the terrain is very, very hard to do.  A company that makes that into a priority is likely to make all places that you can stand completely flat.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11829

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

1/02/13 6:17:23 PM#52
Originally posted by Teala
It is called lazy.   When a team of 10 people can do what a 100+ fail to do it is called lazy.    Go play an indie game like Mount and Blade.    Weapons, shields and bows are slung and unslung.    Swords are sheathed.   Arrows are in quivers.   A team of 10 people made and produced Mount and Blade and I agree with the OP, why can't big budget game makers pay attention to detail like this when a small indie company like TaleWorlds can?

It's not laziness, it's different goals and different game designs. The point of the exposed weapon in most MMOs is to keep it visible because most MMOs are gear chasers. Mount and Blade isn't about big flaming swords and sparkly crossbows. Most other MMOs are.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11829

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

1/02/13 6:18:12 PM#53
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Sukiyaki

See the classic floating feet in midair on uneven terrain. Barely any game ever fixed that.

Be careful what you ask for.  Fixing that (and its associated problem of feet stuck far into the ground) without harshly restricting the terrain is very, very hard to do.  A company that makes that into a priority is likely to make all places that you can stand completely flat.

Check out GW2. They did some really nice work in standing characters properly on uneven terrain.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16942

1/02/13 6:25:09 PM#54

First of all, it's not primitive, it's just bad aesthetics.

Second of all I agree with you. It drives me up the wall.

  Quirhid

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

1/02/13 6:37:50 PM#55

I cannot express how unimportant this "problem" is in the face of other much more pressing concerns. You'd really want the developer to spend more of their time and resources on things like these? Do you really think it would be worth it?

Were you up at arms when in Baldur's Gate the character models for facing right is the mirror of the models of facing left - meaning your character is left-handed when walking right and right-handed when walking left. Did that bother you or didn't you even notice?

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Sukiyaki

Elite Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 1276

1/02/13 6:47:35 PM#56
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Sukiyaki

See the classic floating feet in midair on uneven terrain. Barely any game ever fixed that.

Be careful what you ask for.  Fixing that (and its associated problem of feet stuck far into the ground) without harshly restricting the terrain is very, very hard to do.  A company that makes that into a priority is likely to make all places that you can stand completely flat.

I dont think GW2 or ArcheAge are the prime examples of very flat terrains. And both games did try to fix it to a degree. GW mostly just adjusting feet and legs to a degree. In ArcheAge did the same just with much smoother effect on regular movement animations.

As said barely any games even try to fix these subtle matters, in the end its a matter of priorisation or choise of quantity over quality. I cheer for those who try to fix it.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13113

1/02/13 6:58:31 PM#57
Originally posted by Sukiyaki
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Sukiyaki

See the classic floating feet in midair on uneven terrain. Barely any game ever fixed that.

Be careful what you ask for.  Fixing that (and its associated problem of feet stuck far into the ground) without harshly restricting the terrain is very, very hard to do.  A company that makes that into a priority is likely to make all places that you can stand completely flat.

I dont think GW2 or ArcheAge are the prime examples of very flat terrains. And both games did try to fix it to a degree. GW mostly just adjusting feet and legs to a degree. In ArcheAge did the same just with much smoother effect on regular movement animations.

As said barely any games even try to fix these subtle matters, in the end its a matter of priorisation or choise of quantity over quality. I cheer for those who try to fix it.

I don't think ArcheAge is a good example of anything until it's out.

I haven't played Guild Wars 2, but if characters invariably stand on the terrain properly, then it's highly probable that they put substantial restrictions on what terrain can look like.  "Substantial restrictions" doesn't necessarily mean "completely flat", but it could easily rule out really jagged, irregular rocks or standing on top of narrow poles or fences.

There is also an intermediate option of merely having a few different stances and picking the appropriate one.  That's kind of like "fixing" major clipping problems by eliminating 80% of them while leaving the other 20% intact.

  aRtFuLThinG

Novice Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1000

1/02/13 7:07:56 PM#58
Originally posted by mmoDAD

FLOATING WEAPONS: Why are we still dealing with the primitive way weapons are holstered?

 Because for an mmo such pointless aesthetics wastes bandwidth and is irrelevant to gameplay.

 

mmos have to consider performance in terms of the everyday computer because it is about getting many people to play at the same time, and not just the super gaming rigs of the few fanatics playing by themselves.

  3-4thElf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/03/12
Posts: 451

1/02/13 7:13:10 PM#59
Originally posted by aRtFuLThinG
Originally posted by mmoDAD

FLOATING WEAPONS: Why are we still dealing with the primitive way weapons are holstered?

 Because for an mmo such pointless aesthetics wastes bandwidth and is irrelevant to gameplay.

 

mmos have to consider performance in terms of the everyday computer because it is about getting many people to play at the same time, and not just the super gaming rigs of the few fanatics playing by themselves.

Well it'd not be a bandwidth problem actually. All graphic and animation assets sit on the hard drive. All the network sees is the 1s and 0s that'd tell the world that you indeed drew your weapon from a scabbard then hopefully translate that on screen to other users.

a yo ho ho

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

1/02/13 7:46:23 PM#60
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Teala
It is called lazy.   When a team of 10 people can do what a 100+ fail to do it is called lazy.    Go play an indie game like Mount and Blade.    Weapons, shields and bows are slung and unslung.    Swords are sheathed.   Arrows are in quivers.   A team of 10 people made and produced Mount and Blade and I agree with the OP, why can't big budget game makers pay attention to detail like this when a small indie company like TaleWorlds can?

It's not laziness, it's different goals and different game designs. The point of the exposed weapon in most MMOs is to keep it visible because most MMOs are gear chasers. Mount and Blade isn't about big flaming swords and sparkly crossbows. Most other MMOs are.

Exactly. WOW used to have ammo counts .. and they took it away and replace with infinite ammo .. why? Because it is a chore (to many) to keep track of and stock arrows.

Many gamers are not going for realism .. but intense combat and fun. Personally, sheaths, and quivers don't add much fun to my games. I would much rather have a magical and good looking sword floating next to me ... after all, we are talking about magic here. If a sword can spew flames .. it damn well can float next to me.

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