The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the best graphical appeal as of 2017?

    
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We don’t give out a formal end-of-the-year award for MMO graphics at Massively OP. It’d be almost impossible to come to a consensus. As we wrote last year, “Where some people aren’t satisfied until games are hyperrealistic, others require fanciful and dreamlike artistic rendering and still others can look at a cutesy retro game and squee. Some people juggle geese.”

But that’s not going to stop us from working through which games deserve nominations. I’ve been entirely enraptured by Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire scenery, but the new A:IR screenshots that came out this week? Yeah, that’s gonna give existing MMOs a run for their money for sure.

If you were going to give out an award for best visual appeal in an MMORPG, new or old, as long as it’s live, which game would walk home with the prize?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Bruno Brito

This is the best video of EvE.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

I love the environments (but not the avatars) in most of the eastern MMOs – BDO, AA, BnS etc. I’d love to explore those worlds if I could do so without actually having to play the game. If spectator mode was an option, I’d be right there.

As for overall visual appeal, I have to go for Sea of Thieves. I don’t usually dig cartoony styles but I think SoT just gets it right. The avatars are all characterful and distinctive, the seas look bloody awesome, I love the skies, the lighting etc. It’s perfect for the game’s theme. And yeah, it’s unreleased and I did read the ‘as of 2017’ in the title, but I’m basing this on screenies and videos I saw in 2017, so there ;p

Veldan
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Veldan

In screenshots maybe BDO, in moving gameplay GW2.

If we include unreleased games, some of those Moonlight Blade character videos really were drool worthy.

Xijit
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Xijit

I have zero interest in upgrading my PC & every game with high end GFX has zero interest in crafting.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

eso, trove and gw2 for me. (but eso and gw2 only with sweetfx settings)

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Dug From The Earth

Here we go… the great debacle between those who understand visual style and those who only see bleeding edge rendering effects.

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Melissa McDonald

Gee, that’s not condescending at all. /s

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Dug From The Earth

Not sure condescending is the right way to describe it.
Im not showing any disrespect for either side.

Maybe generalizing?

Either way…

Doesnt mean it doesnt hold an element of truth

Most people who judge a games visual appeal based on its style and theme, seem to respect differing opinions because they seem to understand that its highly opinionated.

Those who argue for games with the most modern and up to date bleeding edge graphics engine, seem to think “How could your cartoon game be better than a game that almost looks 100% like real life?”. There is no opinion here, its clear fact that the “real life” games looks more real life than a “Cartoon” game… and therefore, wins.

And thus, it becomes a pointless endeavor to debate when one side believes it to be opinion, and the other side believes it to be fact.

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rafael12104

So, those of you who frequent this site, err… frequently, what game do you think I am going to suggest? I bet many of you know the answer already and if I had a chicken, I’d make you dinner.

Blade And Soul, of course!

Uta is correct, especially when it comes to BnS. Hyung-Tae Kim is the artist responsible for the look of BnS, and that is as much as selling point as graphic fidelity.

The game was released in 2012 and yet it still competes with any game out there. The reason? It has a good graphics engine, superb artist and illustrators sustaining it, and Hyung-Tae Kim’s art to work from.

Click on the pic to see what I’m talking about.

Let’s do Music next! I have an answer that one too!

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Utakata

Here’s another example of that. :)

Screenshot_171214_001.jpg
kjempff
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kjempff

Without consideration for anything else but graphic appeal, gw2 still stand as the best to me. A bit wierd maybe, but also I kind of like Warframe graphics also.
Barbie Doll Online looses on ui and world graphics, especially the drop in effect is really bad. Eso looses on being ..brown and dull, though that matches the gameplay well.

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nomadmorlock9

ESO easily wins.

Black Desert is pretty, but the graphic popping just ruins it.

GW2 is just a little too painted for my taste.

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Melissa McDonald

GW2 is pretty, but its 3D seems a lot more like 2D. Smoke and mirrors without a sense of geometric accuracy.

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GamingSF

GW2 for me. Character animations are great (Asura <3 ) and the new mounts are really nicely animated too. The landscape artwork is simply beautiful in its quality and variety.