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

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58 posts found
  cnutemp

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/01/12
Posts: 239

2/19/14 4:31:20 PM#41
Originally posted by srsnoob
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.

Technical Answer:

Single player games do not require server-client communication.  Every action performed by a client spells/gear/location/physics needs to be reported back to the server where then additional math is done and then reported back to hundreds of other clients who will then send back information to the to other clients.

Your logic with a server telling clients what type of shoulder pads client x is using is flawed and incomplete.  Yes it is the server giving clients that information but only after the client puts the shouder pads on.  Now apply that to things that get change much more frequently like location / spells / los / targeting / and the physics math needed to calculate said things.

  MMOGamer71

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/12/07
Posts: 1655

2/19/14 4:32:37 PM#42
Originally posted by Stuka1000
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.

This.

  Velifax

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/01/13
Posts: 48

2/19/14 4:58:48 PM#43

OP, there is LOTS of misinformation on this thread. I saw I think three posts on the first page that were incorrect.

 

I'd share my thoughts as to why, but A) you'd be silly to trust me, and B) I don't know the whole answer.

 

Might want to do some of your own research.

  Apraxis

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

2/19/14 5:09:34 PM#44
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? 

Ok.. i give it a try.

First of all, as a lot of other already said, you do have more characters(and with that more polygons, more textures) within line of sight, or more technical radius of view, and with that what need to be rendered.

But that alone is not the only problem.. the more significant problem going hands in hand with the above problem is unpredictablility. In a single player game you can predict exactly at any given moment how many polygons you have to draw how many memory for textures you do need, and can go up to the limit of the actual hardware and show the best possible, best detailed, best animated, best textures, whatever possible.

In a MMO, especially with open world design and limitless zones(AoC set a limit to 100 players to each zone for that very reason) you can never predict how many characters will be at a single place. It can be 1 or hundreds, and now you have to add the scenery, possbile projectils and other stuff and add to that, that you usually demand a high distance of view in a mmo, whereas you can use some tricks in single player games or at least predict exactly how it may look and use simple background texture for it as replacement.

That alone is just the extented requirements for graphic cards and cpu, but also network traffic force some limitation, because the very same reasons upon you.. and therefore you don't have usually a lot of different hitboxes per character and mostly just one, and or not so much of a direct fps control compared to battlefield, war of the roses or other games.

And what solutions do you have for that?

Either you tune down your characters(a lot), minimize hitboxes and precision of fps combat(hitbox, hitdetection and all that stuff), or you limit the zone size and maximum numbers of characters in every zone heavily, like AoC did it.. and therefore it is not odd that AoC is one of the best looking MMOs, even nowadays, but with a very heavy price tag on it. Instancing, Phasing, restricted zones, small zones, less characters in one zone and so on.

If you would restrict it further, and would accept longer loading time with every zone shift you could do very well a MMO with graphics, fluidity, and multiply hitboxes like the current battlefield. But on the other hand, is it worth it? Or is a huge, seamless world with hundreds(instead of a few dozen) players around it worth to scale down the graphics and other stuff?

It is as always from a programming/technical standpoint a trade off every developer have to face and decide what is more important for the current game.

Edit/PS: Now that i have read the complete thread more or less everything i said was already said before. But that OP is your answer, take a few others, which gave you more details about some more specific aspects,

 

Sidenote: Asian/Western. They don't look all better than western MMOs. Play Age of Conan with Top notch Hardware and everything up, and don't forget it is a few years old, and play a comparable Eastern MMO. The Eastern one will not look any better, and especially not more detailed. The have the same limitations, and they have to choose a side of the fence as everyone else, too. (And don't mix up artistic value vs. graphical detail)

And.. no MMO looks like the best single player games.. Blade&Souls is miles away from the top single player games graphically, as any other MMO, too.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20686

2/19/14 5:28:55 PM#45
Originally posted by WereLlama

In a multi-player game, the dev's have to plan for 30 or more players in the same area, which might drop fps to 5 fps like in the original raids of Everquest.


 

Not in 5 man instances. And 30 is not that big a number .. there are more than 30 NPCs (which all have to be rendered) in scenes in SP games such as Hitman Absolution.

 

  Xiaoki

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 2522

2/19/14 7:48:48 PM#46

Probably because your average MMO will have 10 times more content than your average single player game.

Even a huge single player game like Skyrim is tiny compared to the average MMO.

So, when you have to render 200km squared rather than 20km squared you dial back the graphics a bit because they are EXPENSIVE and very time consuming.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/19/14 8:00:55 PM#47
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by WereLlama

In a multi-player game, the dev's have to plan for 30 or more players in the same area, which might drop fps to 5 fps like in the original raids of Everquest. 

Not in 5 man instances. And 30 is not that big a number .. there are more than 30 NPCs (which all have to be rendered) in scenes in SP games such as Hitman Absolution.

Again, it isn't the sheer number and type of objects, rather control over the number and type of objects that is the issue. In MMOs, there is less control over what is present in any given scene, which means other aspects have to have a lower limit somewhere to compensate for it. 

"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

  Kevyne-Shandris

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/08
Posts: 1980

You can't † BURY † ¤¤ Holy Paladins ¤¤ As we will always __.- ASCEND -.__

2/20/14 12:14:29 AM#48
Originally posted by cnutemp
Originally posted by srsnoob
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.

Technical Answer:

Single player games do not require server-client communication.  Every action performed by a client spells/gear/location/physics needs to be reported back to the server where then additional math is done and then reported back to hundreds of other clients who will then send back information to the to other clients.

Your logic with a server telling clients what type of shoulder pads client x is using is flawed and incomplete.  Yes it is the server giving clients that information but only after the client puts the shouder pads on.  Now apply that to things that get change much more frequently like location / spells / los / targeting / and the physics math needed to calculate said things.

Server/client data is an example of CPU crunched data, not GPU, and always going on in the background. But it doesn't directly explain why MMOs use lesser graphics online itself. Location/inventory/spell usage data can cause traffic bottlenecks and queries have to be limited due to it, but graphics processing is local.

  Shadanwolf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1903

2/20/14 12:19:49 AM#49
I would add,,,companies are trying to attract console users. Hence the simplified graphics PC users are told to accept.
  jesad

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/06
Posts: 733

Think of something witty and pretend that I typed it in this spot :)

2/20/14 4:05:56 AM#50

Am I too late to get in?

I would like the OP to give us an example of where the graphics in a single player game exceed the graphics in an MMORPG meant to run on the same hardware.

I find the question to be leading and false.

  Nibs

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/26/04
Posts: 200

2/20/14 4:25:11 AM#51

Dear OP,

Rendering a single player character model is no different to rendering a single NPC model. Similarly, rendering 30 NPCs is just as taxing as 30 PCs. However, if I'm writing a single player game I can control the maximum number of models that will ever be displayed on screen at once. If I don't include any crowd scenes or mass battles there will never be a need to render more than 10, 20 whatever models at once.

In an MMO I cannot control or predict how many models will on screen at once. I cannot limit it to a nice low number that would enable me to use super high def models. Just look at places like Orgrimmar in WoW. Now imagine the computing power each player would need if Orgrimmar was rendered with Crysis3 or GTA V quality graphics.

The suits that control the development of my MMO want it to be playable on as many systems as possible. Including machines that were low end 5 years ago! So, I need to make sure the models can render in large quantities on really bad hardware. So, I need to drop the overall model quality.

Does that help answer your question?

  jesad

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/06
Posts: 733

Think of something witty and pretend that I typed it in this spot :)

2/20/14 4:30:44 AM#52
Originally posted by Nibs

Dear OP,

Rendering a single player character model is no different to rendering a single NPC model. Similarly, rendering 30 NPCs is just as taxing as 30 PCs. However, if I'm writing a single player game I can control the maximum number of models that will ever be displayed on screen at once. If I don't include any crowd scenes or mass battles there will never be a need to render more than 10, 20 whatever models at once.

In an MMO I cannot control or predict how many models will on screen at once. I cannot limit it to a nice low number that would enable me to use super high def models. Just look at places like Orgrimmar in WoW. Now imagine the computing power each player would need if Orgrimmar was rendered with Crysis3 or GTA V quality graphics.

The suits that control the development of my MMO want it to be playable on as many systems as possible. Including machines that were low end 5 years ago! So, I need to make sure the models can render in large quantities on really bad hardware. So, I need to drop the overall model quality.

Does that help answer your question?

Go Hard Nibs!!!

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/20/14 7:08:41 AM#53
Originally posted by jesad
Originally posted by Nibs

Dear OP,

Rendering a single player character model is no different to rendering a single NPC model. Similarly, rendering 30 NPCs is just as taxing as 30 PCs. However, if I'm writing a single player game I can control the maximum number of models that will ever be displayed on screen at once. If I don't include any crowd scenes or mass battles there will never be a need to render more than 10, 20 whatever models at once.

In an MMO I cannot control or predict how many models will on screen at once. I cannot limit it to a nice low number that would enable me to use super high def models. Just look at places like Orgrimmar in WoW. Now imagine the computing power each player would need if Orgrimmar was rendered with Crysis3 or GTA V quality graphics.

The suits that control the development of my MMO want it to be playable on as many systems as possible. Including machines that were low end 5 years ago! So, I need to make sure the models can render in large quantities on really bad hardware. So, I need to drop the overall model quality.

Does that help answer your question?

Go Hard Nibs!!!

plus juan

"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

  Xiaoki

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 2522

2/20/14 7:41:21 AM#54


Originally posted by Shadanwolf
I would add,,,companies are trying to attract console users. Hence the simplified graphics PC users are told to accept.

Yeah, thats totally what it is and not far fetched nonsense like budget or time constraints or trying to target a wide range of computer set ups to maximize potential consumers.


Because as every PC user knows high end and high res 3-D models are made instantly by pixies for free and can be run on any computer from an Intel i7 to a Pentium 4 because computers run on magic and dreams.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20686

2/20/14 12:32:01 PM#55
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by WereLlama

In a multi-player game, the dev's have to plan for 30 or more players in the same area, which might drop fps to 5 fps like in the original raids of Everquest. 

Not in 5 man instances. And 30 is not that big a number .. there are more than 30 NPCs (which all have to be rendered) in scenes in SP games such as Hitman Absolution.

Again, it isn't the sheer number and type of objects, rather control over the number and type of objects that is the issue. In MMOs, there is less control over what is present in any given scene, which means other aspects have to have a lower limit somewhere to compensate for it. 

You can control the number of objectives pretty well in an instance. In a 5-man instance, you will never have more than 5 player toons, and whatever number of NPCs you decide to have. The same in 25 man raid.

There is no reason a 5-man instance or a 25-man raid cannot look as good as Hitman Absolution, or a CoD multiplayer game, or a Battlefield multiplayer game. The number of players are capped as in all the SP online games.

 

  bishbosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/11
Posts: 401

2/22/14 10:57:19 PM#56

So many wrong things being said in this thread. time to clarify some shit

1. from a graphical processing perspective, rendering 1 player controlled character is no different than rendering 1 npc controlled character

2. textures, models etc are stored on YOUR computer. the mmo server doesnt send you the texture/model data across the internet. it just tells you which one to load on which character from the ones stored on your computer.

3. modern 3d games dont render huge chunks of the world ( minecraft does though). they render only what you can see. the size of the world is largely irrelevant.

5. mmos DO tend to have more player models to render than single player games. i dont think the difference is that huge that it justifies the shittiness of mmorpg graphics tbh.

6. mmo servers dont do rendering. having insane graphics doesnt mean mmo devs need to buy better servers.

 

The reason why mmorpg graphics suck is pretty much because:

1. if you make the graphics good lots of people wont be able to play it and that means you have lost  potential customers

2. graphics just hasnt been one of those mmo things so i guess it never became a part of the culture/expectations

3. graphics are not worth really investing in when they will look crap anyway a couple of years down the line compared to newer offerings. this is why many mmorpgs adopt a cartoony art style because it ages gracefully.

 

  inemosz

Novice Member

Joined: 3/13/12
Posts: 384

2/23/14 10:04:52 PM#57
Originally posted by bishbosh

So many wrong things being said in this thread. time to clarify some shit

1. from a graphical processing perspective, rendering 1 player controlled character is no different than rendering 1 npc controlled character

2. textures, models etc are stored on YOUR computer. the mmo server doesnt send you the texture/model data across the internet. it just tells you which one to load on which character from the ones stored on your computer.

3. modern 3d games dont render huge chunks of the world ( minecraft does though). they render only what you can see. the size of the world is largely irrelevant.

5. mmos DO tend to have more player models to render than single player games. i dont think the difference is that huge that it justifies the shittiness of mmorpg graphics tbh.

6. mmo servers dont do rendering. having insane graphics doesnt mean mmo devs need to buy better servers.

 

The reason why mmorpg graphics suck is pretty much because:

1. if you make the graphics good lots of people wont be able to play it and that means you have lost  potential customers

2. graphics just hasnt been one of those mmo things so i guess it never became a part of the culture/expectations

3. graphics are not worth really investing in when they will look crap anyway a couple of years down the line compared to newer offerings. this is why many mmorpgs adopt a cartoony art style because it ages gracefully.

 

That's it.

  iixviiiix

Elite Member

Joined: 3/04/13
Posts: 611

2/23/14 10:13:39 PM#58
Originally posted by inemosz
Originally posted by bishbosh

1. if you make the graphics good lots of people wont be able to play it and that means you have lost  potential customers

That's it.

Remind me one thing that make WOW become popular : it so light that most computer at 2004 can run it smoothly.

Compare to Lineage II who said best graphic MMORPG at the time it release in 2004 , WOW are lots easy to run .

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