Ashes of Creation demos new dungeon video, won’t ‘sacrifice aesthetics for performance’

Curious what Ashes of Creation looks like in action? The team released its first gameplay video last night, showing a mage exploring an icy dungeon with both outdoor and indoor sections. It’s a short romp, to be sure, but there are several details to be gleaned from it, including combat spells, utility magic, and very beautiful effects and scenery.

In a press statement, Intrepid Studios said that it’s giving us a movie-like version first and will demonstrate the dungeon with the full user interface next week: “We turned off the UI and shot much of the gameplay through a cinematic angle. We did this because we want you to experience the beauty in Ashes of Creation. All too often, MMORPGs have had to sacrifice aesthetics for performance. With today’s technology that is no longer necessary. The versatility of Unreal Engine’s graphical fidelity coupled with our own in-house built backend allows for the rendering of a visually stunning world while encompassing the gameplay mechanics of a massively multiplayer online experience.

Check it out after the break and let us know what you think in the comments!

Source: YouTube. Cheers, Kinya.
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31 Comments on "Ashes of Creation demos new dungeon video, won’t ‘sacrifice aesthetics for performance’"

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wild-abyss

I don’t want to say I’m excited, but I am cautiously optimistic.

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CMDR Maric

Very pretty. Not much to see regarding how it’s an MMORPG though. I like the spells and the overall character animations/model looks very good. Intrigued and look forward to seeing more about the game.

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strangesands

Not so crazy about the hex-y animation, but a lot of those spell animations were different enough that it has me curious. I liked the delayed reaction on some of the spells — some nice visuals, and magic that at least seems to have a bit more variety than your average pew-pew spellcasting.

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

Reading through the comments I think that the quote about “WON’T ‘SACRIFICE AESTHETICS FOR PERFORMANCE’ ” was taken the wrong way. They aren’t saying they are going to make it as pretty as possible and push it out regardless of how it plays, what they mean is, if you look at something like BDO as an example, you’re game doesn’t need to run that poorly to look that good. Modern engines like Unreal 4 are highly optimized in all areas. Whatever engine BDO uses is pretty terrible in the optimization department. That’s all he means. I wouldn’t expect it (or any modern AAA [visually] level game) to run on ancient hardware like WoW will though.

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

I get what they were going for here but I think a melee class would have demo’s better. That actually looked kind of boring (I’m more a fan of hybrids than pure mage classes so this is a personal preference thing). I’ll keep my eye on this. Hopefully it doesn’t take 4+ years to release.

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Brother Maynard

Excellent, after BDO and SC finally another MMO not afraid to go back to the roots of PC gaming, i.e. to push the tech to its limits. I’m so tired of studios sacrificing technological progress for the sake of supporting outdated technology or consoles (which actually fit the former category too, come to think of it). And perhaps the drop in potential customers with older PCs will be offset by enthusiasts looking for the cutting edge, as it’s been happening with SC.

There is no reason to have current MMOs looking worse than 10 year old single player AAA titles and I’m glad to see another studio joins PA, CIG and others in their push to squeeze everything out of the PC tech. Also, visual fidelity and gameplay are not mutually exclusive, as some commenters seem to imply – we can have both, after all, they’re worked on by different people, it’s not like 3D artists also do gameplay design or coding…

Ashes of Creation is based on Unreal Engine, so I’m sure it will be able to accomodate all kinds of performance budgets, but the important message here is they won’t sacrifice visuals just because someone might want to play it on their 2005 office Dell.

I’ve been following this game since the first MOP articles and I must say the game is more and more to my liking.

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Matthäus Wey

Something between looks great and ok i guess. But let’s see how this one turns out :)

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Greaterdivinity

Nobody sacrifices aesthetics for performance unless they really need to, because at the end of the day performance is easily one of the most important aspects of a game.

You can have a truly gorgeous game, but if it’s plagued with wildly inconsistent framerates, screen tearing out the wazoo, and all kinds of other performance issues, it’s not going to matter. Sure, it will look good in screenshots, but it will be a nightmare to play for the end-user.

It’s especially bad for MMO’s, with optimization being a longstanding complaint for even some of the most highly optimized games on the market. If they launch looking gorgeous, but with massive performance issues, then they’re going to be in for a very rough time in attempts to deal with their angry community.

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Dreema

I’m all with games looking nice, but designing with looks first and foremost and to hell with minor considerations like whether it can actually run okay is pretty stupid. If my computer can’t play it with all the visuals on, what’s the point of me buying it?

Gameplay wins out over pretty graphics every day.

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Rumm

The video looks great, but designing for visuals in spite of performance seems like a pretty bass ackwards way to go about creating a game. How can you possibly expect success if only a small segment of the potential playerbase can even run the game?

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Lethality

Well, all they really said was…

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Lethality

This game has a lot of great, modern ideas behind it… but more than that I really believe in the team. They are investing *a lot* of private money to get the game into good shape before any crowdfunding, and these days that’s to be commended! The are showing, not telling.

If you’re looking for a pet project to follow, this is a great one… and there’s a super active Discord too! http://Discord.gg/AshesofCreation

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Blood Ravens Gaming

Looks nice, but the one thing that stood out was… you can make almost everything so pretty and yet the character model, especially the plaster-like hair stands out like a sore thumb! Keeping an eye on this one though. If they pull off even a portion of what they claim it will be well worth it.

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CMDR Maric

Well, it is pre- alpha, or pre-pre alpha. so there’s that.

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Cemmos

The creative director mentioned that if the game would have a character creation similar to another MMO on the market, it’d be Black Desert. I would expect it to improve quite a bit from now until launch! Here’s hoping, of course.

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Brother Maynard

If I remember correctly a post from a few weeks back, for their first videos they used very rough and sometimes stock assets, as the game development has only just started.

These early vids are to show what they’re aiming for and what their tech is currently capable of – a lot of the models are very rudimentary placeholders.

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CloakingDonkey .

eh I’m always worried when supposed MMORPGs look like epic, cinematic singleplayer RPGs… The two just simply aren’t the same and what works in one doesn’t necessarily work in the other.

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Brother Maynard

I’ve never bought into this argument. It has always been a convenient excuse from studios that either did not have the budget / manpower to develop both properly or were deliberately lowering the bar so as to capture wider playerbase.

Until early ’10s perhaps visual fidelity had to be sacrificed in MMOs, especially in highly populated zones, but that is no longer the case and has not been the case for years.

All game assets run locally on your PC and there is literally no technical reason (beyond those mentione above) to have MMOs looking worse than single player games. The only challenging bit (and it’s a great challenge) is the networking code and the server infrastructure.

The sadest moment is when you’re trying to play an average looking MMO struggling to load stuff for you while at the same time you see that at most it uses 50-60% of one core, ignores any multi-GPU configs and at no time goes above 5-6 GB of memory no matter how much your system has. In 90% of games today it’s all on developers and publishers. No time left, no money left, lazy developers, publisher pushing early release – take you pick.

threeknee
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threeknee

I guess it looks okay. Kind of generic. I think unreal engine is too widespread for it’s own good, games tend to look samey on it.

antheriel
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antheriel

This looks great, but I’m really disappointed to see that yet another developer is going the route of cladding male characters in reasonable clothing, while showcasing female characters running around snowy ice palaces in sleeveless gowns. I get it, but at the same time it makes me sad.

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CloakingDonkey .

what’s the point of being a wizard if you can’t magick yourself warm?

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BalsBigBrother

My translation of that is 1% of us will enjoy it as the devs intended and the rest of the mere mortals will have to turn all the things off otherwise we will lag to hell or our computer innards will turn to actual ashes.

Hope I am wrong and hope they can back up their claims when the game actually launches into the wilds of real life performance but in the meantime I will remain healthily skeptical. Good luck though :-)

antheriel
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antheriel

Yeah, as a loyal BDO player, I can say with complete confidence that, after this game, I’m completely done with games that priortize pretty over performance. The stuttery frame rates and pop-in of BDO don’t quite make up for the gorgeous vistas, especially after I paid something like $400 to upgrade my rig to try to make it play more smoothly.

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Lethality

Actually, BDO runs amazingly well with little visual compromise on low-end rigs. They’ve done amazing optimization! Anything that stutters there has to do with something that isn’t graphics related.

Source: my gaming partner plays BDO on a 4 year old i3, stock.

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Brother Maynard

Agreed. It’s similar with Star Citizen, which also goes for high visual fidelity. Even with that driving CIG, it’s based on the Cryengine tech and if you can run Crysis 3 well, chances are you will have a decent experience in SC too. These modern engines can be made to run on a wide range of configurations…

Not to mention that from the earliest builds of SC there were backers testing all kinds of under the hood tweaks that could gain you massive FPS increase with very little to no perceived loss in visual quality. I think it will be similar with UE / Ashes of Creation.

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CMDR Maric

RSI ditched the Crytech engine. SC is running on Amazon’s Lumberyard engine.

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Blood Ravens Gaming

True BDO unless you have high end rig is very frustrating to play. I think Intrepids point is they believe you won’t have to sacrifice pretty to have the performance though. So even with a mid-range rig you should still have the pretty. We shall see if that happens.

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Loopy

To think, 15 years ago this is what cutting-edge cinematic trailers looked like – and now we’re at a stage where the actual engine allows for such fidelity.
Going to definitely follow development of this one.

antheriel
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antheriel

I want to have high hopes, but consider that they are probably playing this on a $5,000 computer to make it run so cinematically.

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CloakingDonkey .

I very much doubt it. I doesn’t even look that much “crazier” than Witcher 3 which runs on 1000$ PCs just fine. ;)

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Darasimi Makinde

Oh my.

wpDiscuz