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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why don't they ever get forests right!?

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86 posts found
  SirBalin

Warmonger

Joined: 11/22/06
Posts: 939

8/18/13 9:49:04 AM#41
Originally posted by Elikal

TL;DR:

It is more the feeling of safety in today's MMOs which I feel is WRONG. In a MMO walking through wild lands should always feel dangerous and not easy like a city park!

Come take a walk in the woods of Darkfall...see how safe you feel. 

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  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17961

8/18/13 12:23:01 PM#42
Originally posted by Kaledren
Originally posted by crack_fox
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Because real forests are not fun in a game.

Gamers don't want to spend 90% of the time trying to clear bushes so that they can go from point A to B. 

This gamer wouldn't mind spending a somewhat lower percentage of his time clearing bushes if there was the prospect of revealing something interesting behind them. 

Not Nariu...and he will keep rallying against it. He wants it all NOW NOW NOW. Perfect recipient for the quoted below.

 

Yeh. I would mind. It is not fun for me clearing bushes. I wouldn't spend even a min on it. If there is something interesting, just reveal it without requirement of any work.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17961

8/18/13 12:23:48 PM#43
Originally posted by lizardbones

Because most games just aren't made for people who want realistic or difficult worlds. They are made for the majority of people who want entertainment.

Yeh.

And from this perspective, they got forests "right". Games don't have to be "realistic" to be "right".

 

 

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 14375

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

8/18/13 12:57:43 PM#44
Originally posted by Quizzical

Trees are expensive to draw.  Big trees with lots of branches are really expensive to draw.  Drawing lots of trees at once is really, really expensive to draw.  And if you want them to be lots of different trees, rather than lots of copies of the same tree, then, well, I hope you like single-digit frame rates.  On high end hardware.  At low graphical settings.

I think it may be possible to ease up on the computational burden of drawing complex trees somewhat by having a handful of leaves or small sections of branches and drawing lots of copies of them in geometry shaders.  But that's tricky to do, and only partially ameliorates the problem.

The reason forests are dark is that if you look in a random direction and draw a straight line, it might go through ten different things before it goes off into space (or into the ground).  But having to run pixel/fragment shaders 10 times for each pixel rather than one or two will kill your performance.  If you're using any sort of transparency to draw your trees, you can't ease the computational burden with early fragment tests, either.

What about the approach SOE is taking with EQN and using noise to generate LOD, which fleshes out as you approach into models? It sounds like it would be a painstaking process, yet by their claim it requires little to naught in terms of system resource to generate.

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  Mr.Kujo

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/23/12
Posts: 345

“Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it.”

8/18/13 1:12:45 PM#45

All the issues with forests and cities are the result of modern technology.

The proportions between quality and realism are getting worse and worse with every new game.

 

Back in the days it was all about world details, like actually having rooms in a house full of people, or having some visible drainpipes on a house, some dirt on the road, missing bricks, more dense forests etc. Now it is about making a building with four walls, a roof and a door, but with 5million pixel textures and billion different lights from every direction. And we have such nonsence like few sun rays from different directions in a scene, I thought we have one sun... I don't know if people are stupid enough to accept those crazy mistakes, or just don't care.

  Kaledren

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/24/11
Posts: 131

8/18/13 1:25:24 PM#46
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by lizardbones

Because most games just aren't made for people who want realistic or difficult worlds. They are made for the majority of people who want entertainment.

Yeh.

And from this perspective, they got forests "right". Games don't have to be "realistic" to be "right".

 

 

I think that maybe those in favor of  "Getting forests right" are simply explaining it wrong.

I don't think many want to have to take a sword and/or axe...or use fire spells, etc to actually clear brush in a forest setting. Perhaps having certain areas where this was possible to uncover something of interest (I.E. A hidden cave entrance behind some ivy growing over an old mind shaft hidden in the forest, a hidden treasure chest, etc.). But other than that...having to clear all the way through would get monotonous and annoying.

What I THINK they may mean...which is how I myself feel about it...is giving you the feeling of being in an actual forest in an actual living world. Pre-cut paths everywhere don't give that feeling....overly open areas don't give that effect and/or feeling.

You can still have paths...but make them worn, over grown in areas making them more difficult to make out, but still passable....areas off paths thicker...yet still passable if he player wishes. The trees should canopy the forest and cloak it in thick shade even in the day time...and be pitch black at night. And not all forests in the game need to be this way based on the setting (I.E. Snow covered areas could be pine dense forests which give a different look and feel and ARE more opened to daylight. Especially since regular trees in such areas would be few..and if there...devoid of leaves).

 

Anyways...again...I think it's more about making the settings feel like the settings in question. Not really having to be completely realistic based on graphics. Cartoon settings such as in EQ Next and WoW are fine. But make them somewhat correct in nature (I.E. Maybe some mirages and heat distortion looking at things at long distance in desert settings, more brightness in snow covered areas, etc.)

 

Seems as of late most games just throw a setting in there to give a setting to rush through and nothing more...but have lost that touch of making it so you stop and actually say "wow that is cool or beautiful!" and encourage you to explore every nook and cranny to see what you can see and/or discover.

 

Really, there is no right way to "getting forests right", nor any other setting for that matter. But there are subtle things that can be done to these settings to set them apart from all of the other games settings on the market and make them interesting and worth traversing.

  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1480

8/18/13 1:32:52 PM#47

Night isn't that dark, it's actually quite bright compared to indoors with the lights off. Not only that, but myth busters did an episode of the pirate eye patch to see in the dark myth, and your eyes acclimate to the dark in a short amount of time and you can see pretty much everything and that was in controlled pitch black environment.

Alos not all forests are the same, some are very dense while some are more spread out, stop being silly.

Lastly, these are video game, no one wants to spend 3 hours to go 50 yards in game because of its impossible terrain.

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

 
OP  8/18/13 3:33:09 PM#48
Originally posted by PeachExtract

Sounds like you want survival/horror elements into an MMO. Can't really see that working :) Try DayZ / Arma. That game has really pretty forests and areas.

I think a big reason the forests arent dense in MMOs is the combat. I think it would feel out of place when the fight gets bigger and involves more people, all those trees and stuff blocking spells. It might also have something to do with performance and graphics. All those models being displayed.

I'm not saying it cant be implemented. It could be cool to travel through a dense, dark forest with a party, and having someone carry a torch to light a small area.

It might sound wierd, but I think the fact that MMOs have a map is a problem too. When you reveal an area once, you can just run in the pitch black looking at the minimap. Maybe if you disable it inside the forest/cave it could work.

It's what I loved about "Silent Hill". Most of the time you were not even attacked. It was just the FEAR, the sound, the fog, the subtle details that kept you constantly on your toes.

THAT is what MMO developers still don't get. Excitement, the feeling of danger is NOT evoked by letting us kill 20 bears, glued to the ground in an orderly fashion every 5 meters. It doesn't HAVE to be dark, that is just one example. It is a matter of design.

Take Nektulos Forest, both in Everquest and the early days of Everquest II, it was a fearsome, dangerous place. That made it memorable, as opposed to the hundreds of nameless generic places we walz through which nobody will ever remember. Light and darkness is just one example how to handle feelings of danger and exploration.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  TheHavok

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/04
Posts: 2356

"Free crack and everybody gets laid."

8/18/13 3:37:10 PM#49
Have fun designing and coding that.  Oh whats that?  People would rather spend their time grouped in a town hub?  Guess those tens of thousands of hours of work making that forest was easily forgotten.
  Mr.Kujo

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/23/12
Posts: 345

“Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it.”

8/18/13 4:02:22 PM#50
Originally posted by Elikal
Originally posted by PeachExtract

Sounds like you want survival/horror elements into an MMO. Can't really see that working :) Try DayZ / Arma. That game has really pretty forests and areas.

I think a big reason the forests arent dense in MMOs is the combat. I think it would feel out of place when the fight gets bigger and involves more people, all those trees and stuff blocking spells. It might also have something to do with performance and graphics. All those models being displayed.

I'm not saying it cant be implemented. It could be cool to travel through a dense, dark forest with a party, and having someone carry a torch to light a small area.

It might sound wierd, but I think the fact that MMOs have a map is a problem too. When you reveal an area once, you can just run in the pitch black looking at the minimap. Maybe if you disable it inside the forest/cave it could work.

It's what I loved about "Silent Hill". Most of the time you were not even attacked. It was just the FEAR, the sound, the fog, the subtle details that kept you constantly on your toes.

THAT is what MMO developers still don't get. Excitement, the feeling of danger is NOT evoked by letting us kill 20 bears, glued to the ground in an orderly fashion every 5 meters. It doesn't HAVE to be dark, that is just one example. It is a matter of design.

Take Nektulos Forest, both in Everquest and the early days of Everquest II, it was a fearsome, dangerous place. That made it memorable, as opposed to the hundreds of nameless generic places we walz through which nobody will ever remember. Light and darkness is just one example how to handle feelings of danger and exploration.

You can't make a horror mmorpg that is scary. It is the same as going to cinema to watch a horror movie, try being scared with all those people sitting around you.

What fear, what silence, when you have hundreds of people running around you? It is not like the old mmo's, where thousands of people played,  now we have millions of people in a single title. The reason that everything is big and wide in mmo's is the number of players. If you made a thick forest, that would mean you need to fit all those players between the trees, it would be more populated than a town. You would see a flashlight blinding you with light every few seconds in your dark forest. You think you don't see so many players in a mmo because there's not so many of them on your server? It is because the space is so huge. Ever noticed how ridiculously huge some objects in mmorpgs are, like bridges? It is to avoid crowding of players, you will never see this problem because of how large everything is made and it needs to stay that way. That is why narrow places packed with details are single player thing. We don't have technology to make a rich forest and make it large enough for all those players to feel isolated.

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 840

8/18/13 4:19:28 PM#51
Originally posted by Elikal
Originally posted by PeachExtract

Sounds like you want survival/horror elements into an MMO. Can't really see that working :) Try DayZ / Arma. That game has really pretty forests and areas.

I think a big reason the forests arent dense in MMOs is the combat. I think it would feel out of place when the fight gets bigger and involves more people, all those trees and stuff blocking spells. It might also have something to do with performance and graphics. All those models being displayed.

I'm not saying it cant be implemented. It could be cool to travel through a dense, dark forest with a party, and having someone carry a torch to light a small area.

It might sound wierd, but I think the fact that MMOs have a map is a problem too. When you reveal an area once, you can just run in the pitch black looking at the minimap. Maybe if you disable it inside the forest/cave it could work.

It's what I loved about "Silent Hill". Most of the time you were not even attacked. It was just the FEAR, the sound, the fog, the subtle details that kept you constantly on your toes.

THAT is what MMO developers still don't get. Excitement, the feeling of danger is NOT evoked by letting us kill 20 bears, glued to the ground in an orderly fashion every 5 meters. It doesn't HAVE to be dark, that is just one example. It is a matter of design.

Take Nektulos Forest, both in Everquest and the early days of Everquest II, it was a fearsome, dangerous place. That made it memorable, as opposed to the hundreds of nameless generic places we walz through which nobody will ever remember. Light and darkness is just one example how to handle feelings of danger and exploration.

 

I remember powers like blind that actually made your screen dark lol.   I used to get turned around sometimes EQ.  Those were some brutal newbie zones.  

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16614

8/18/13 4:23:50 PM#52
Originally posted by Elikal
Originally posted by Majinash
The same reason most towns in MMOs have 2-3 homes and a store or two.  We don't play in full sized worlds, we play in scaled down versions.

Why then did WOW and LOTRO at least halfway get this in their age old graphics?

And should that not be a point of development? Should not symbolic worlds be a matter of the past?

If you are still playing lotro check out fanghorn forest. They didnt' do a bad job. It's closer to original Great Forest.

 

  dinams

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 1402

8/18/13 4:28:21 PM#53
WoW gotta have the worst depicitons of jungle I have ever seen

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  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

8/18/13 4:29:18 PM#54

I've posted about this in the past.  Most mmo games barely try to have any atmosphere at all in them these days.  For being around ten years old, I still find the forests on planet Dathomir of Star Wars Galaxies to be one of the few that pulls off being dark and scary, and this is with ancient graphics.  Especially with so many bad ass mobs like Nighsister witches running around.

http://starwarsfuerza.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/dathomir.jpg

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A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  LeGrosGamer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/06/13
Posts: 164

8/18/13 4:31:13 PM#55
 Watch Man VS Wild for a few years and you'll be able to walz left and right all you want, and drinking your own piss will save your life once in a while. 
  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4508

8/18/13 4:37:49 PM#56
Originally posted by Elikal
Originally posted by Majinash
The same reason most towns in MMOs have 2-3 homes and a store or two.  We don't play in full sized worlds, we play in scaled down versions.

Why then did WOW and LOTRO at least halfway get this in their age old graphics?

And should that not be a point of development? Should not symbolic worlds be a matter of the past?

Because they were able to get away with using less polygons & simpler textures.

It's a simple matter of density. Most games can't handle tightly packed geometry + lighting, texturing ,etc. on a realistic level. That kind of stuff is known to kill even the best machines, and artists spend years learning how to trick & decieve people into thinking an area is more dense then it actually is, because there is no viable alternative.

Even the movies that do it correctly, often take days per-frame to render that kind of detail.

That kind of details is insanely expensive (both in hardware, software; and monetary resources)

  ElRenmazuo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 3459

8/18/13 4:38:14 PM#57

MMOS should use a engine thats similar to the engine the game RAGE used.  Because everything in that game was hand drawn and nothing was a copy and paste of each object and the game looked amazing.  Thats how they would get a forest right in mmos.  Stylized graphics can get away with dense forests because of the low polygon count which is why WoW and lotro had them.

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12772

8/18/13 6:10:09 PM#58
Originally posted by Distopia
Originally posted by Quizzical

Trees are expensive to draw.  Big trees with lots of branches are really expensive to draw.  Drawing lots of trees at once is really, really expensive to draw.  And if you want them to be lots of different trees, rather than lots of copies of the same tree, then, well, I hope you like single-digit frame rates.  On high end hardware.  At low graphical settings.

I think it may be possible to ease up on the computational burden of drawing complex trees somewhat by having a handful of leaves or small sections of branches and drawing lots of copies of them in geometry shaders.  But that's tricky to do, and only partially ameliorates the problem.

The reason forests are dark is that if you look in a random direction and draw a straight line, it might go through ten different things before it goes off into space (or into the ground).  But having to run pixel/fragment shaders 10 times for each pixel rather than one or two will kill your performance.  If you're using any sort of transparency to draw your trees, you can't ease the computational burden with early fragment tests, either.

What about the approach SOE is taking with EQN and using noise to generate LOD, which fleshes out as you approach into models? It sounds like it would be a painstaking process, yet by their claim it requires little to naught in terms of system resource to generate.

A tree needs to look the same from one frame to the next, and that necessarily means storing a fair bit of data into video memory.

But the bigger problem that a dense forest might make you run a pixel/fragment shader 10 times per pixel on the screen, and that's expensive to do.  That doesn't depend on where your data came from.  It's kind of like saying that rendering a game at a resolution of 3820x2160 is expensive:  it's because you have to run pixel/fragment shaders so many times, not because of how the data got to the video card. 

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2393

There... are... four... lights!

8/18/13 6:35:27 PM#59
Originally posted by botrytis

Sorry guys, you want fairyland forests not real forests. There is a huge difference. An old growth forest is not as dark as you gents want it to be. Here is a pic from the Olympic National Forest in Washington State - a temperate rain forest. It is old growth but not as dark as you would expect.

 

http://www.thesouthsounder.com/images/OlympicForest.jpg

Ever been in a real forest at night? It's fucking DARK in there, you don't see anything further than a couple of feet away, if you have a light source. That's not a fairy tale forest, that's a real one.

PS: some posters, like the one just above my post, should consider that having read "Java for the Dummies" doesn't make you a professional graphic developer. Just saying.

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  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2445

8/18/13 6:41:05 PM#60
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
Originally posted by botrytis

Sorry guys, you want fairyland forests not real forests. There is a huge difference. An old growth forest is not as dark as you gents want it to be. Here is a pic from the Olympic National Forest in Washington State - a temperate rain forest. It is old growth but not as dark as you would expect.

 

http://www.thesouthsounder.com/images/OlympicForest.jpg

Ever been in a real forest at night? It's fucking DARK in there, you don't see anything further than a couple of feet away, if you have a light source. That's not a fairy tale forest, that's a r

eal one.

Yes I have, many a time. Growing up, family did summers up in Northern Wisconsin forests. The point being there is a huge difference between old growth forests and the forests burning in the SW now.

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by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

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