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

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86 posts found
  TheScavenger

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 687

Those who ask a question, are stupid for 30 seconds. Those who never ask, are stupid for life.

8/18/13 7:13:20 PM#61

This is modded, but I wish MMOs had forests like Skyrim has...

 

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y149/Vendayn/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics/ARealSkyrimForest.jpg

 

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y149/Vendayn/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics/TheBeautyofRiverwood.jpg

 

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y149/Vendayn/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics/LookingDownARiver.jpg

 

Then again...barely anyone could play said MMO if it looked like that. My PC is pretty good, and is "just" able to run that. But still, it would be nice to see something similar.

 

And that was always a huge pet peeve of mine in a lot of MMOs. Only GW2 and Vanguard have done cities right...every other city is so tiny and feels like a fishing village and not an actual city. Dunno why most MMOs even call them cities, when they are more like towns at the very most.

Isabella and Laenaya are on Photobucket!

http://s4.photobucket.com/user/Vendayn/library/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim

My (mostly) scenery screenshots of heavily modded Skyrim

http://s4.photobucket.com/user/Vendayn/library/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim/Aesthetics

  Tierless

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2114

joie de vivre

8/18/13 7:15:37 PM#62

Good post, I've been annoyed with the lack of more realistic forest for years. I LOVE the idea of ambushing someone in a forest but the only games that I ever played that had good forestry are Darkfall and some planets in SWG.

mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13426

8/18/13 7:29:16 PM#63
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 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.

A professional, no.  But I have actually tried to draw trees in a game, so I do have some idea what is involved.  While there could be large, clever improvements that I haven't considered, if it's so easy, then why don't any 3D games have dense, realistic forests?  Surely it's not that no one ever thought it might be cool to do.

  GrayKodiak

Novice Member

Joined: 11/15/12
Posts: 576

8/18/13 7:31:40 PM#64

It isn't just MMO gamers who, for the majority, do not want to deal with the problems of dark dungeons, most single player games have more than what you would consider, realistic, light in dungeons. Skyrim, vanilla, has very bright dungeons...I actually agree that I personally like dark nights and dungeons...I run mods in Skyrim that make everything more dim...dungeons are black and the night ranges from full moon dark to inky black during rainstorms....but  I don't know if I would have liked that in my first run through...it does involve more work just like the Hypothermia mod I use and the more dangerous dragons...

but you know that is an advantage of single player games, I also use better forest mods, higher resolution textures and a variety of other things an MMO couldn't get away with without hackers taking advantage of it somehow.

TSW has one PvP dueling area (in london I belive) that is PITCH BLACK, these are just testing grounds that you go into for friendly duels but it changes the way fights work....hiding becomes very possible and you normally catch a glimpse of your friends indicator light on his high tier gun or the glow of his magic talisman...right before he shoots you...I always wondered why they didn't do something like that in the actual game world or a dungeon or a real pvp battle ground as it was awesome in its own way.

  Cecropia

Gumshoe

Joined: 3/06/09
Posts: 3275

Poacher killer.

8/18/13 8:11:08 PM#65
Originally posted by Icewhite
[mod edit]

My home backs onto a gorgeous part of the Rouge Park in Toronto Canada (biggest of it`s kind in North America), and it would like to have a serious word with you. It`s beyond dense and the darkness it produces prevents me from having any sort of backyard garden other than ferns or hostas etc. And that`s on the edge of the valley. Forests can become much more than what you seem to be aware of, and I`m guessing this is due to your concrete jungle existence. Paths, LMFAO ;)

[mod edit]

"Chuck's a good fighter but he's a UFC fighter... this is Pride." - Quinton Rampage Jackson
"Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  Beoelf21

Novice Member

Joined: 6/04/10
Posts: 91

8/18/13 8:18:27 PM#66
OP your talking about forests on earth, almost all games are not set on earth. who knows..maybe magic fairies make paths for us in other worlds.

  twrule

Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/09
Posts: 1260

8/18/13 8:26:38 PM#67

I think it's pretty hard to conjure any lasting sense of 'fear' or 'danger' in someone who knows they are at no real risk except for losing time, and I think it's possible to make exploring a world more of an 'adventure' without it being entirely about fear of dying or something.

That said, aesthetically, I would love to see dark, dense forests in games. MMOs seem to have technical issues with them though. Maybe we should all go play Monster Hunter or Dark Souls...

  Pynda

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/20/04
Posts: 690

8/18/13 9:25:26 PM#68

The only MMORPG forest - or single player RPG forest for that matter too - that I have a memory of ever getting (a little bit) lost in was somewhere in Albion, Dark Age of Camelot. I wonder if DOAC did not have a compass or a minimap? It was a long time ago and it's hard to remember. But as for the drawing problems that Quizzical was talking about, I do remember that all the densely packed trees there were of the same type.


In general, though, I'd say that I am for some forests being disorientating. And able to possibly hide enemies until you get very close to them. Differing types of challenges are usually a good thing in these games (IMO). But with terrain maps being stored client side, I'd suppose it could be very easy to cheat. At least as far as navigation is concerned.


  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3735

RIP City of Heroes!

8/18/13 9:30:10 PM#69
Originally posted by Elikal

Yeah, you'll say, what's wrong with the man?

I am speaking about FORESTS. I know city folks used to electric lights may have a hard time to imagine how a REAL forest is. Most MMOs are set in fantasy or medivial settings. And in those days forests were NOT like our cultural forests, especially if you are European, likely you never saw a real forest. Or if you are a city slicker or live in a prarie area, too.

A REAL forest, is FUCKING DARK and FUCKING DENSE! There ARE no paths! Even in daylight, it is gloomy and you can't see very far. The trees and underbush essentially form a WALL left and right to the path and you can not SEE and you can not WALZ between them, unless let your clothes ripped off!

And even worse wrong are the nights. People, night time in a pre-lightbulb era is PITCH BLACK FUCKING DARK. You city folks have no idea how dark an area is. In most of Europe the entire continent was DENSE with forest. Read the reports of the Romans about Germany. A land covered 95% with thick, dense, dark forest. Impossible to conquer, because of the forests. Meadows in between exist because of men, because they used to have cattle and chop wood. But a fantasy world, most of the world should be closed woods. (Unless it is desert or prarie or ice.) And the night times are so unrealistic. Just walk in any wood, away from cities, in the night, and carry a torch. You see 2 meters around you and the rest is PITCH BLACK NOTHING. End of story. It is spooky, terrifying and dense nature all around.

Why does't any MMO ever get that? I have only seen two forests halfway real, the Old Forest in LOTRO and the Duskwood in Azeroth, WOW. They felt halfway real. (Which is odd, given both are more cartoony.) I guess it is a matter of placement, colours and atmosphere, much less than of realism.

 

THIS is how REAL forests untouched by humans get over centuries:

 

You DONT just walz left and right into these!

/rant over

No paths eh?  Can anyone on this website tell us what a deerpath is and why it exists?

  TheRealBanango

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/13
Posts: 75

8/18/13 10:52:42 PM#70
Just like actors are told to exaggerate emotion so that we can better understand them through the television or the stage, Developers should exaggerate forests so that we get that we are in a forest. If  im in a peaceful forest then make it so i feel like im actually in it, make me feel safe. If it's a dangerous forest, make it so I have to change my playstyle so that im more cautious. If a forest is named Death Forest, I better be fearful of it.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3208

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

8/18/13 11:29:09 PM#71

I tried looking for pictures or videos of the Perez Park zone in City of Heroes, but did not find what I was looking for. Maybe this one will do?

Perez Park was a dense forest zone in the city of Paragon City, home to many super powered heroes and villains. On the ground, it was constrained and had few paths through it with many dead ends. The canopy above was solid, with a few areas where a player could get above the tress with flying, teleporting, or jumping. A player could actually run along the treetops they were so dense, though they could fall through an opening in the canopy :)

It was not really as dark as it should have been, but there was a significant difference. The trouble was that the trees were basically walls with a forest texture used instead of stones or rock walls. Many a time was my mission marker just on the other side of some trees from me and it took awhile to find the right path get there. It was very maze-like in this respect.

Doing the forest this way (as a wall instead of separate, individual trees) was good on systems and not too stressful on a player's sensibilities, though truly life-like. Creating a forest with individual tress and populating it like a lush real world forest with lots of undergrowth would be so system intensive I do not think it would work well. I am only guessing as my programming/artist background is almost zero.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  barasawa

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/05
Posts: 201

I have a wandering mind, but that's ok, it brings back presents.

8/19/13 12:34:54 AM#72

There are lots of reasons

Design resources

Graphics resources

Playability restrictions (if you can't travel through it, it's nothing more than a green & brown wall)

 

On top of that, I've been through a large variety of forest, many of which haven't been altered by humans. Some are like you describe, but in no means all. First, almost all forests have lots of paths. Funny thing about animals, they like paths as much as humans, they just don't go into paving like we do. 

Others have been easy to travel through and filled with dappled light. Which is one of the points you should know, the more complete the canopy, and thus darker the ground below, the less undergrowth there is. Funny thing, most plants like sunlight. It's almost as if they thrive on it like it's food for them or something.

As to forests in medieval Europe, did you know that they have a lot of forest that were planted by humans? Sure, not all at once, but as parts were cut down (or burned), the lords (landlord or whatever) had the foresters and others go out and plant more. The land was the basis of pretty much all wealth, even a forest. There was no way they'd leave it a barren and useless stump filled vista. 

 

Do games get forest right, after you take into the limitations of game design? 

Sure, at least as much as horse riding and a million other things.

 

Remember, it's a game, and any locational game asset that the play can't traverse, is no longer an asset, it's a wall.

(Just like inventory items that do nothing and can't be used for anything are just vendor junk, or if they can't be sold, the first thing to be trashed.)

Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5252

8/19/13 1:11:47 AM#73

They can't get MMO worlds right, so the forests don't have much chance. If you do not have a large world, everything is squeezed into the land that is left. But the OP is also highlighting the lack of choice, in modern easyMMO's your path is known, you can't get lost in the forest.

Some posters on here think that's not a concern, it would seem to me they would be happy having the forest represented by one tree. :)

If you like big forests I would recommend Lotro. If you like getting lost go to the Old Forest. Not really that dense, but there is not a lot of choice out there.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5548

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

8/19/13 4:45:58 AM#74
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!

I've spent quite a bit of my time hiking and camping, and where I come from I would be much more worried about the elements or starvation rather than any dangerous fauna.

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

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5548

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

8/19/13 4:50:18 AM#75
Originally posted by barasawa

There are lots of reasons

Design resources

Graphics resources

Playability restrictions (if you can't travel through it, it's nothing more than a green & brown wall)

 

On top of that, I've been through a large variety of forest, many of which haven't been altered by humans. Some are like you describe, but in no means all. First, almost all forests have lots of paths. Funny thing about animals, they like paths as much as humans, they just don't go into paving like we do. 

Others have been easy to travel through and filled with dappled light. Which is one of the points you should know, the more complete the canopy, and thus darker the ground below, the less undergrowth there is. Funny thing, most plants like sunlight. It's almost as if they thrive on it like it's food for them or something.

As to forests in medieval Europe, did you know that they have a lot of forest that were planted by humans? Sure, not all at once, but as parts were cut down (or burned), the lords (landlord or whatever) had the foresters and others go out and plant more. The land was the basis of pretty much all wealth, even a forest. There was no way they'd leave it a barren and useless stump filled vista. 

 

Do games get forest right, after you take into the limitations of game design? 

Sure, at least as much as horse riding and a million other things.

 

Remember, it's a game, and any locational game asset that the play can't traverse, is no longer an asset, it's a wall.

(Just like inventory items that do nothing and can't be used for anything are just vendor junk, or if they can't be sold, the first thing to be trashed.)

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

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19830

8/19/13 8:24:48 AM#76
Originally posted by Scot

They can't get MMO worlds right, so the forests don't have much chance. If you do not have a large world, everything is squeezed into the land that is left. But the OP is also highlighting the lack of choice, in modern easyMMO's your path is known, you can't get lost in the forest.

Yes, by design. Most players don't think shallow play like getting lost and reading a map is fun.

Personally i used to graph my own map on paper back in the Might and Magic (first one) days. It is easy-mode, no challenge, tedious, and boring. I am glad those days are over.

 

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Elite Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2781

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

8/19/13 10:07:02 AM#77
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Scot

They can't get MMO worlds right, so the forests don't have much chance. If you do not have a large world, everything is squeezed into the land that is left. But the OP is also highlighting the lack of choice, in modern easyMMO's your path is known, you can't get lost in the forest.

Yes, by design. Most players don't think shallow play like getting lost and reading a map is fun.

Personally i used to graph my own map on paper back in the Might and Magic (first one) days. It is easy-mode, no challenge, tedious, and boring. I am glad those days are over.

Thing is, you aren't a MMORPG player. You are a single player RPG player wanting MMORPGs to cater to him too.

The more I read from you, the harder a time I have to understand why you even want to play MMORPGs and not just great games like Skyrim, except of course if it's to post on forums, generate negative reactions and seek attention.

You really sound like a vegetarian who accidentally walked into a steakhouse and then tries to convince the happy customers there that they don't like meat and want eat salad instead.

Playing now: Archeage, WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  Naqaj

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/09
Posts: 1681

8/19/13 10:14:58 AM#78

2 corrections:

1. Forests have paths. The wildlife usually forms game trails that are easy to spot with a trained eye. 

2. Forests don't neccessarily have thick undergrowth. Depending on the types of trees, if the canopy is thick enough, the lack of light at the bottom will stump growth and leave the area relatively open.

 

Other than that, I fully support Elikals call for more realistic forests in games.

  penandpaper

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/15/07
Posts: 81

8/19/13 10:34:46 AM#79

One more correction:

Our ancestors made it through forests all the time.  Many were not scared.  They were called explorers, think Lewis and Clark.  Think of all the fur trappers.  The Yukon (or even California) gold rush.  The Manifest Destiny.  Russian exploration all through Alaska. 

I'm just saying there were a lot of people that trekked through this stuff, and most were never hurt by wolves and bears.  Falls, fevers, and cold and heat were the real dangers (outside of hostile people). 

But I do agree with you that forests can be dark, dark places.  But, it really depends on the type of forest.  The Appalachian Trail has some dark spots, but a lot of it is open and full of moonlight and sunlight.  Same is true for Pacific Coast Trail.  Hike through Yosemite and much of it is really open (a lot of lowland bogs). 

I also agree with you that forests are linear, whether people want them in a game or not is a different question?  I mean, all the trails I've hiked on, I have rarely come across an area that was "open" for exploration for a mile or two.  Most are out west.  The east coast, there is just no way.  Hundred feet off the trail is a cliff, stinging nettles, shrubs so thick you need a machete, or low lying branches.  It is literally like walking through a maze. 

Good post though.  The theme of ambience is one that definitely should be considered.  I would like to see a maze make a comeback in a game, even if it was small.  Mazes are a bit fun. 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19830

8/19/13 10:38:19 AM#80
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Scot

They can't get MMO worlds right, so the forests don't have much chance. If you do not have a large world, everything is squeezed into the land that is left. But the OP is also highlighting the lack of choice, in modern easyMMO's your path is known, you can't get lost in the forest.

Yes, by design. Most players don't think shallow play like getting lost and reading a map is fun.

Personally i used to graph my own map on paper back in the Might and Magic (first one) days. It is easy-mode, no challenge, tedious, and boring. I am glad those days are over.

Thing is, you aren't a MMORPG player. You are a single player RPG player wanting MMORPGs to cater to him too.

The more I read from you, the harder a time I have to understand why you even want to play MMORPGs and not just great games like Skyrim, except of course if it's to post on forums, generate negative reactions and seek attention.

You really sound like a vegetarian who accidentally walked into a steakhouse and then tries to convince the happy customers there that they don't like meat and want eat salad instead.

What does MMO has to do with getting lost? Most MMO gameplay is dungeon or raid runs, or arena/BG pvp.

And i am glad you raise the point of whether I am a MMO player. Posters have been flocking THAT dead horse for ages. I even created a post, just to answer that .. so i don't have to retype everything again and again.

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/5903519/thread/393247#5903519

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