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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why lesser graphics in MMOs compared to SP games?

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  srsnoob

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/14
Posts: 44

 
OP  2/16/14 7:50:34 PM#1
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games. I thought that only information about player location, action, NPCs etc. is sent between the server and the player's PC so internet connection is not really a factor. That only the player needs a PC capable of rendering the graphic's files already installed on their hard drive, which many do evidently by highly successful and graphically intensive single player games released on PC. So why aren't MMOs produced with the same level of graphical detail? Are the limitations technical or is it more of a development time/cost issue?
  Stuka1000

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/20/03
Posts: 815

2/16/14 7:52:22 PM#2
Simple answer is that single player games do not have to render dozens if not hundreds of players on screen at the same time in real time.
  Grunty

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/06/04
Posts: 6933

2/16/14 8:07:38 PM#3

Because the game client in a single player game controls all actions and appearances except your own.  The client 'knows' what everything looks like and can load it quickly. MMO's have to deal with hundreds of other players' actions and appearances and possibly pass that information to your PC. Your local machine's client doesn't know what all those other players look like and what actions they take until it is given the information from the remote server.

  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3881

RIP City of Heroes!

2/16/14 8:15:02 PM#4
Originally posted by srsnoob
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games. I thought that only information about player location, action, NPCs etc. is sent between the server and the player's PC so internet connection is not really a factor. That only the player needs a PC capable of rendering the graphic's files already installed on their hard drive, which many do evidently by highly successful and graphically intensive single player games released on PC. So why aren't MMOs produced with the same level of graphical detail? Are the limitations technical or is it more of a development time/cost issue?

If you have to ask........

With all the crap devs have to go through as far as graphics, animations and detail, do you really think the devs are being lazy about this or trying to hold back?  Just think about it for a little bit.

  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1877

2/16/14 8:19:44 PM#5
Besides all the players running around, the world is persistent whereas a single player game can load you into a portion of the world and not have to worry that your client needs to know that players are there (within reason). Otherwise you get stuff like pop-up which is annoying enough when the environment does it, but absolutely horrible when players just start popping up because the game can't render them fast enough.
  Gestankfaust

Elite Member

Joined: 1/14/04
Posts: 1270

Finger deep within the borderline....

2/16/14 8:30:32 PM#6
Originally posted by eric1000
Simple answer is that single player games do not have to render dozens if not hundreds of players on screen at the same time in real time.

Hundreds leading to thousands is more like it. I know most areas would not have that many, but they have to allow for it. PvP combat and raids...not to mention the central hangout hubs.

Besides that, some MMOs have the NPCs to account for too.


"This may hurt a little, but it's something you'll get used to. Relax....."

  imsoenthused

Novice Member

Joined: 7/04/09
Posts: 64

2/16/14 8:48:07 PM#7
MMOs want to have extremely low minimum requirements to encourage population size as much as possible. The fewer graphic options you have to build in to your engine the cheaper your development. So why start with an engine that needs a $500+ video card and then spend a ton adding graphical options that let it run on lesser hardware? Sticking to a less advanced engine means that it might not look as phenomenal on top end hardware as it could, but you'll spend a lot less making it run decently on some kids hand me down laptop, and that's a big portion of their target market. That's why the visuals in the new ESO have more in common with Oblivion than they do Skyrim.
  srsnoob

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/14
Posts: 44

 
OP  2/16/14 9:16:03 PM#8
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by srsnoob
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games. I thought that only information about player location, action, NPCs etc. is sent between the server and the player's PC so internet connection is not really a factor. That only the player needs a PC capable of rendering the graphic's files already installed on their hard drive, which many do evidently by highly successful and graphically intensive single player games released on PC. So why aren't MMOs produced with the same level of graphical detail? Are the limitations technical or is it more of a development time/cost issue?

If you have to ask........

With all the crap devs have to go through as far as graphics, animations and detail, do you really think the devs are being lazy about this or trying to hold back?  Just think about it for a little bit.

Uh why would I  think they are being lazy? I'm just curious for an advanced/technical answer. Like is having player characters on screen is more resource intensive graphics wise than having non player characters and why? What's the structure of the programming like? 

  johnisme

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 70

2/16/14 9:22:15 PM#9
You were give pretty well all the proper reasons why mmo graphics needs to be toned down and you still ask,just accept the fact that its that way for a reason.
  Robokapp

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4823

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

2/16/14 9:24:11 PM#10
Originally posted by srsnoob
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by srsnoob
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games. I thought that only information about player location, action, NPCs etc. is sent between the server and the player's PC so internet connection is not really a factor. That only the player needs a PC capable of rendering the graphic's files already installed on their hard drive, which many do evidently by highly successful and graphically intensive single player games released on PC. So why aren't MMOs produced with the same level of graphical detail? Are the limitations technical or is it more of a development time/cost issue?

If you have to ask........

With all the crap devs have to go through as far as graphics, animations and detail, do you really think the devs are being lazy about this or trying to hold back?  Just think about it for a little bit.

Uh why would I  think they are being lazy? I'm just curious for an advanced/technical answer. Like is having player characters on screen is more resource intensive graphics wise than having non player characters and why? What's the structure of the programming like? 

Let me try.

 

There are 375 players in a courtyard, in sight of one another.

 

Player 1 sees 374 players and himself.

player 2 sees 374 players and himself.

----------------------------------------------------

player 375 sees 374 players and himself.

 

If this was a singleplayer game, and everyone was a NPC, there would be 375 real-time 'objects' being calculated.

 

if this is a multiplayer game and those are actual players, there are 140625 'objects being calculated.

 

Now add spell visuals, and the server calculating their effects, both visual and numerical, in the right sequence.

 

Eve's answer was Time dilation. straight forward, time slows down to give the server time to compute. other MMOs chose simply to drop down the number of components in graphics of all kinds to reduce computation.

 

 

simply put, it's like this: what can you calculate faster?  25.1+71.5 or 5774.6733 + 22049.2345 ?

  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3460

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

2/16/14 9:34:35 PM#11


Originally posted by Robokapp
if this is a multiplayer game and those are actual players, there are 140625 'objects being calculated.

Why would a client need to know about that many objects?

A Server yes, because that what it does. in fact when you look at servers in general they can throughput many more objects than that without even a sweat.

Broadcast your data, And revive all relevant data from other players in the cell.
Use the client side power to leverage graphics rendering with the data received.


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/16/14 9:59:40 PM#12

In a single-player game, the developer has far greater control over every scene. Each view you see is designed to fit neatly within comfortable poly, texture, cpu, gpu, etc limits. 

 

Imagine creating the props and hiring the staff for a play you are about to put on. Now imagine offering a stage, staff and props for anyone that wants to put on a play. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  srsnoob

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/14
Posts: 44

 
OP  2/16/14 10:00:39 PM#13

Originally posted by johnisme
You were give pretty well all the proper reasons why mmo graphics needs to be toned down and you still ask,just accept the fact that its that way for a reason.

 

I know it's that way for a reason. I want to know the details of the reason. Do you guys think I have some kind of agenda? LOL. I'm just trying to learn something. This is not a conspiracy thread. 

 

Originally posted by Robokapp

Originally posted by srsnoob
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by srsnoob
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games. I thought that only information about player location, action, NPCs etc. is sent between the server and the player's PC so internet connection is not really a factor. That only the player needs a PC capable of rendering the graphic's files already installed on their hard drive, which many do evidently by highly successful and graphically intensive single player games released on PC. So why aren't MMOs produced with the same level of graphical detail? Are the limitations technical or is it more of a development time/cost issue?

If you have to ask........

With all the crap devs have to go through as far as graphics, animations and detail, do you really think the devs are being lazy about this or trying to hold back?  Just think about it for a little bit.

Uh why would I  think they are being lazy? I'm just curious for an advanced/technical answer. Like is having player characters on screen is more resource intensive graphics wise than having non player characters and why? What's the structure of the programming like? 

Let me try.

 

There are 375 players in a courtyard, in sight of one another.

 

Player 1 sees 374 players and himself.

player 2 sees 374 players and himself.

----------------------------------------------------

player 375 sees 374 players and himself.

 

If this was a singleplayer game, and everyone was a NPC, there would be 375 real-time 'objects' being calculated.

 

if this is a multiplayer game and those are actual players, there are 140625 'objects being calculated.

 

Now add spell visuals, and the server calculating their effects, both visual and numerical, in the right sequence.

 

Eve's answer was Time dilation. straight forward, time slows down to give the server time to compute. other MMOs chose simply to drop down the number of components in graphics of all kinds to reduce computation.

 

 

simply put, it's like this: what can you calculate faster?  25.1+71.5 or 5774.6733 + 22049.2345 ?

But wouldn't the server handle the information about those players and then send to you? Like if one player is wearing Shoulder Pads of Strength, the server would send that info to you and then your computer would render that player with those shouldpads from the files already on your hard drive. The server wouldn't actually compute any graphics would it?

After thinking about it some more I think it may have more to do with animations than anything else. Even in single player games if there are a lot of animations and particle effects going on the fps can drop, and in an MMO there will be lots of players so lots of animations. Now I'm wondering if it is possible to make a really gorgeous looking MMO (texture wise) that can handle a lot of players, but with really basic or bare bones animations.

 

  Azaron_Nightblade

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 1383

2/16/14 10:08:15 PM#14
Originally posted by srsnoob
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by srsnoob
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games. I thought that only information about player location, action, NPCs etc. is sent between the server and the player's PC so internet connection is not really a factor. That only the player needs a PC capable of rendering the graphic's files already installed on their hard drive, which many do evidently by highly successful and graphically intensive single player games released on PC. So why aren't MMOs produced with the same level of graphical detail? Are the limitations technical or is it more of a development time/cost issue?

If you have to ask........

With all the crap devs have to go through as far as graphics, animations and detail, do you really think the devs are being lazy about this or trying to hold back?  Just think about it for a little bit.

Uh why would I  think they are being lazy? I'm just curious for an advanced/technical answer. Like is having player characters on screen is more resource intensive graphics wise than having non player characters and why? What's the structure of the programming like? 

My guess would be that it largely has to do with NPCs being limited in their actions, they will always be following some kind of script - while player characters constantly send information back and forth with all the crazy stuff they do. 

Not to mention there's a LOT of 'em. Even on games like GTA you'll be hard pressed to find the kind of huge gatherings that MMO hubs tend to see all the time.

My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/16/14 10:08:53 PM#15
Originally posted by srsnoob

I know it's that way for a reason. I want to know the details of the reason. Do you guys think I have some kind of agenda? LOL. I'm just trying to learn something...

...but I rather be given the answer by someone and then argue with them than do the slightest bit of research on this very common question.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  SirPKsAlot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/13
Posts: 224

2/16/14 10:15:33 PM#16
Quite funny, like 3-4 answers that were quite technical and then OP says, no I want a technical answer. Funny mate.


Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

  srsnoob

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/14
Posts: 44

 
OP  2/16/14 10:25:56 PM#17

Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by srsnoob

I know it's that way for a reason. I want to know the details of the reason. Do you guys think I have some kind of agenda? LOL. I'm just trying to learn something...

...but I rather be given the answer by someone and then argue with them than do the slightest bit of research on this very common question.

 

How was I arguing? Obviously now I am arguing with you because I don't know how anyone could take offensive to my replies or see it as an argument. And what is wrong with asking this question? Maybe I'll be given an answer that I haven't seen before. Thanks for the link BTW.  

 

Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
Quite funny, like 3-4 answers that were quite technical and then OP says, no I want a technical answer. Funny mate.


Uhhhh when I replied that, I didn't say the answers I was given weren't technical. I was responding to that one guy that was suggesting I had an ulterior motive for posting this question you dumbo. FUNNY MATE.

  inemosz

Novice Member

Joined: 3/13/12
Posts: 384

2/16/14 10:33:05 PM#18

Do you mean lesser graphics in western MMOs?

Asian MMOs graphics can be compared to SP games.

  imsoenthused

Novice Member

Joined: 7/04/09
Posts: 64

2/16/14 10:42:58 PM#19
Originally posted by inemosz

Do you mean lesser graphics in western MMOs?

Asian MMOs graphics can be compared to SP games.

I don't think that's very accurate, in spite of using old technology I still think GW2 is probably the best looking MMORPG on the market. Of course, part of the problem when talking about how "good" the graphics in a game are it has as much to do with personal preference and art direction as it does the technology of the engine.

  Kevyne-Shandris

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2/16/14 11:24:30 PM#20
Originally posted by srsnoob
I wondering if anyone has a technical answer for why graphics in MMOs need to be toned down (not as detailed) compared to single player games.

Rendering bottlenecks.

 

Offline it's just 1 player with a much smaller land area to render. So objects can have more polys and textures can be 4096x4096 in size without much of an issue on a decent computer.

 

Online with more characters, and the need to have the vast space filled with life-like objects, requires keeping the polys to the level of offline games. So each character now has many less polys and texture sizes reduced, to make up for the missing poly used in the environment and moving objects.

 

The other factor is particle effects are really nice in offline games as it's but a few NPCs that you will encounter. Online, put 25 players in a small area with even WoW styled graphics, and it'll lag out a computer...that's almost 3x as many effects as a SP game (one of biggest improvements in computer performance is to turn down the particle effects).

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