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General Gaming  » Why do all MMO's Look Alike?

17 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/29/08
Posts: 295

OP  5/08/12 8:27:36 AM#1

Now let me be fair I am not saying all MMOs look identical but they all seem to share that pastel color palet and the propensity for large, oversized weapons. I mean why can we not have an MMO that might be a bit more realistic in the way it looks. Colors that are not so shiney and in your face, or weapons and armor that look like they could really exist.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 740

5/08/12 8:31:13 AM#2

Ehm, not all MMOs look alike but to answer your question:

because stylised pastel colours age much better. Not to mention MMOs use more system resources then normal games so  their graphics can never be as good as those of single player games. 

PS: Have a look at The Secret World.

Originally posted by nethaniah

Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 817


5/08/12 8:34:43 AM#3
Originally posted by Mopar63

Now let me be fair I am not saying all MMOs look identical but they all seem to share that pastel color palet and the propensity for large, oversized weapons. I mean why can we not have an MMO that might be a bit more realistic in the way it looks. Colors that are not so shiney and in your face, or weapons and armor that look like they could really exist.

Because then it wouldn't be a game, it would be a movie instead. 


Novice Member

Joined: 11/26/08
Posts: 1685

5/08/12 8:45:03 AM#4
I think it goes in part to suspension of reality. This is true in many cases in movies in the sci-fi and fantasy genres as well. And it is a long time habit of ours.
Think about the in-your-face primary colors in most of the Wizard of Oz. The fact that Hellboy hardly ever appeared with anything else red in the same shot. The sharp black and white contrast of the Underworld series. The common way Disney or Pixar has its main characters with different colors (granted that is to sell stuff to nagging kids who need it over simplified for recognition at Walmart). Even a lot of westerns which have an overt sense of being gritty and ‘real’* often used color filters to accentuate for example, the red color of the desert, the white versus black of the good guys and bad guys, or the bright hue of the female lead's dress in contrast to the drab wooden buildings.
As to the oversized weapons and armor, part of that is obviously Freudian. Also, I think that is far more rampant in games that have a gear grind and can be connected to a lack of creativity on the part of the gamers and the developers. We want and they provide, MOAR EPIC! so 'well we’ve already made everything with strong lines and contrasts, guess we’ll have to make it bigger!’
But there are games that are an exception, Fallen Earth, Tabula Rasa, Mortal Online, Star Trek Online, Age of Conan, and though I agree with the consensus on some of the other issues these games have had, people have not given them the respect they deserve for realistic graphics, in my opinion.
*i.e. don’t get me started on the American Indian aspects.

"Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4271

5/08/12 8:47:01 AM#5
Originally posted by Mopar63

Now let me be fair I am not saying all MMOs look identical but they all seem to share that pastel color palet and the propensity for large, oversized weapons. I mean why can we not have an MMO that might be a bit more realistic in the way it looks. Colors that are not so shiney and in your face, or weapons and armor that look like they could really exist.

Take a look at age of conan if you want fantasy.. no silly oversized weapons or silly glowy armor... Still the best themepark game out there in my opinion..

If you want more of a modern setting take a look at the secret world.. not out yet tho but soon.

My 3D models


Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

5/08/12 8:48:18 AM#6

Frazetta and Vallejo.  Fantasy art style favored by most MMO companies was created 50 years ago.  Suppose the oversize weapons drew originally from 70s mangas.

Next question?

Take a look at age of conan if you want fantasy.. no silly oversized weapons or silly glowy armor...

Right, just oversize bajoobies and silly cheesecake armor.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/12/09
Posts: 876

5/08/12 8:50:43 AM#7

Compare the look of the weapons in LOTRO and then have a look at TERA. Then have a look at Champions online and then look at EVE. While there are a plethora of "sibling" MMOs out there, there are still plenty of differences.

There is NO miracle patch.

95% of what you see in beta won't change by launch.

Hope is not a stategy.
"This kind of topic is like one of those little cartoon boxes held up by a stick on a string, with a piece of meat under it. In other words, bait."


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4271

5/08/12 9:01:40 AM#8
Originally posted by Icewhite

Frazetta and Vallejo.  Fantasy art style favored by most MMO companies was created 50 years ago.  Suppose the oversize weapons drew originally from 70s mangas.

Next question?

Take a look at age of conan if you want fantasy.. no silly oversized weapons or silly glowy armor...

Right, just oversize bajoobies and silly cheesecake armor.

You what the art style in AOC is 10x better than anything else including the aror designs.... but i guess we all like different things..



My 3D models


Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 777

5/08/12 11:31:26 AM#9

Why don't they make games with colors that are not so shiny and in your face, or weapons and armor that look like they could really exist?  Because there's no money in it.

[ Wall of text deleted.  I'm sick and tired of being labeled a troll for explaining and telling y'all the truth. ]

Pardon any spelling errors
Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
Mom: We don't talk to Priests.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/10/11
Posts: 289

5/09/12 7:36:22 PM#10
Originally posted by Leethe

Compare the look of the weapons in LOTRO and then have a look at TERA. Then have a look at Champions online and then look at EVE. While there are a plethora of "sibling" MMOs out there, there are still plenty of differences.

What he said. Maybe you are just looking at MMOs that generally look the same but there are plenty of different MMOs. 


Novice Member

Joined: 2/23/12
Posts: 12

5/10/12 5:08:20 AM#11

Does World of tanks look the same as world of warcraft?  Does Eve Online look the same as GW2?  Does Ultima Online look the same as Tera?  Does Allods online look the same as World of Planes?... The list goes on.

So why do they all look alike? well they don't.  


Sometimes reading these forums, with posts like this is alot like a broken pencil...pointless!


Have a nice day.






Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 182

5/10/12 5:17:43 AM#12

Just like in the NFL, when one team comes up with something that works well you'll see most of the other teams follow along and copy them.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/19/09
Posts: 8

5/10/12 9:48:49 AM#13

Most MMO developers are scared of deviating away from the WoW template. It's a shame really because all the game that HAVE stuck with the WoW style have turned out to be terrible. 

Pretty much why I only want to play sandbox MMO's now. Shame they don't become more mainstream =/


Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/12
Posts: 39

I like Solitaire ok... that is, unless I got someone to play with.

5/10/12 9:55:37 AM#14

Meh, it's like a Dragonforce Album, at first you think "Well all these songs are the same".  Then upon further review, each song has it's minor distinguishable features that give the illusion of separtion, yet in the end, all the songs are made from the same Source.



Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/10
Posts: 2144

5/10/12 10:55:41 AM#15

this is kind of like asking "why do all FPS games look the same?" or "why does jazz all sound the same" ...


it's a genre, and when you make a game aimed at the mmo crowd a certain gaming experience is expected. the easiest way to go about it is to take a very popular and loved game model and give it your own spin. it's how 99% of mmos are made. hence why they all look the same.



there are some exceptions of course, usually from small developers that have a very radical view on how the mmo experience should evolve, but they are very few, and of those few only a hand full have actually been able to make their vision work.



but lest face it, the grand majority of mmos look the same because we, the cosumer, want them to be so. if we stopped buying WoW clones and demanded something completely different, developers would make them different.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 1204

5/10/12 11:03:17 AM#16

I think it's mostly because pastel primary colors work better with lower poly graphics. (yeah, most people call this "cartoonish")

I was not a big fan of SWG as a game, but I always loved the visual style in that game. Anything on the same length visually, but with technically more advanced in its graphics would be most welcome by me.



Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/12
Posts: 11

5/10/12 11:43:18 AM#17

It's partly to do the engines the games (e.g. Unreal Engine 2) are built on, i.e. lots of games share the same fundamental code base (for things like gravity, interaction between characters, movement etc.), but simply the landscapes, weapons and characters have been designed on top of that framework. So there's a certain unseen element that gives many games the same feel.

Also, there are certain conventions and styling to MMO games that make help you categorise them into a "genre", so it's natural anything within that genre will look relatively similar - i.e. cartoony 2D MMOs vs fantasy 3D MMOs.

Thirdly, you have the copy-cat factor. When companies see one type of game being successful, many will try to copy it or create something that appeals to that market.