One Shots: Tour guides

It turns out that MMORPG players really don’t need much prompting to go out and take a bazillion screenshots of their favorite in-game zones, as evidenced by the avalanche of photos generated by last week’s challenge.

SmugglerSteel kicks us off this this neon nightmare: “I knew exactly where I needed to tour in SWTOR for this one. I will always remember my first trip to Nar Shaddaa. I was blown away away by the color and aesthetic. I always thought it had a very Bladerunner inspired feel, yet still did it’s own thing.”

Like any good casino, Nar Shaddaa is designed so that players can never figure out how to leave. SmugglerSteel forwards his mail there now.

If you don’t want to go to the stars, but merely gaze at them, here’s a great picture of a gorgeous night skybox.

“Since I have been mostly playing Guild Wars 2 lately, here is the favorite zone from those seen so far: Rata Sum at night,” said ESD. “Mostly because of the sky — it’s nice being above the clouds.”

In many instances, it was tough to pick just one screenshot from the sets that readers left in the comments. I always try to go with my gut as to the most eye-catching, and I think Winter achieved that here with this picture from World of Warcraft’s Suramar. Nice angle, elf grave, what’s not to love?

Turns out that Vincent has been having way too much fun in Final Fantasy XIV: “I’ve posted shots of this zone before, so the challenge was taking some new shots… but hands down, Azim Steppe is one of my favorite zones in the Stormblood expansion.”

“Right now I play Revelation Online,” said Minimalistway. “The game has a world but no zones. It does offer a camera feature, the catnip for people who like to walk around and take screenshots.”

I really thought that this snowy scene was starkly beautiful. What do you think?

OK, we’ve seen the best in MMO zones — what about the worst? This week’s screenshot challenge is to take a picture of the ugliest or most poorly designed zone in an online game and explain to us just what is so bad about it.

Every week, One Shots shines a spotlight on the best community screenshots from your MMO adventures. If you have a great pic to share, email it to justin@massivelyop.com with the subject “One Shots.” Make sure that the picture is over 880px wide and comes with a description or story!
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esd

Ugly zone is a hard one, had to dig into the archives. Pictured is the first Hostile Territory from Skyforge, can’t remember the name. Not that bad looking actually, but it is the thought process that gets me:
A set of small tropical islands, OK.
Jungle and palm trees, check.
Beaches and sandbars, check.
Always overcast with just a little sunlight, check. Wait what?

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rafael12104

In thinking about it a little more, I realized I can make a horrible looking zone. Yup. Why not?

Check Gloomdross a forest zone in BnS at the lowest graphics settings. Imagine grinding through that area….

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Utakata

I am not sure rendering a game to look something from EQ1 via ingame graphic sliders is consider an ugly zone or fair. Gloomdross is one of the better looking biomes in B&S, IMO. o.O

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rafael12104

Lol. True. But, Justin never said anything about dumbing down the sliders. ;)

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rafael12104

The worst zone I’ve ever seen? Hmm… I don’t think I have pics of it. I should, but screen caps don’t come to mind as much as getting the hec out. Lol

So instead, I’ll post this fresh pic as of a few minutes ago. I just got out of Blade and Soul’s Black Tower raid. A couple of bosses require fights in Soul Separation which is really nothing more than color separation.

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SmugglerSteel

Thanks for the featured screenshot! A minor quibble it’s her mail vs his. And actually I am only still on Nar Shaddaa because I may or may not owe a Hutt some credits. (Please send a Jedi the metal bikini is starting to chaff!)

As for worse zones I am tempted to hit Belsavis in SWTOR and just take pictures of prison walls, because that’s all you keep running into as you try do quests there.

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Winter

Thanks for the shout out Justin. The shot was difficult to get because I needed my pet to move so that I could catch the shot with her wings out.

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SmugglerSteel

It looks great, well done!

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Winter

Thanks!

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Vincent Clark

It’s hard to find a “bad zone” in FFXIV, but I’ll go with the Forgotten Springs in the Sagolii Desert. Mostly, because I keep forgetting my sun tan lotion :)

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Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

i’m distracted by the … ehm .. gentleman, the zone looks like a place i would love to explore.

And forget the sun lotion and pun cloth on :-P

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Vincent Clark

Is it the big axe that is distracting? Because I get that a lot…:)

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Winter

Yes that Axe is totally distracting :D

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Winter

There’s a zone behind him right… lol :D

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Vincent Clark

I think so…what were we talking about again? :)

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Winter

I was distracted by the ahem aesthetic of his body against the backdrop of the erm zone :D

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Utakata

You don’t want to eat the mushrooms around here. You’ll start seeing spots! And spots are bad…

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Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Not poorly designed but sure it is ugly, it is one of the few zones i want to quit quickly, and most of time i never go there while leveling alt.

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Utakata

Here’s the rub though, you can have poorly designed zones that absolutely look wonderful. I am not sure Mr. Justin was looking for those. But rather, places that are hard to look at either though poor quality and/or shear ugliness.

To be fair, Eastern Plaguelands which have mostly the color and texture of poo, would still look ugly even if it where designed by ANet, Square Enix or Jake Song…or had multiple graphics updates that brought us Legion. In fact, it would likely just make it look even uglier than its primitive polygon count currently. It’s the very definition of a truly ugly zone, IMO. Here’s another example of that below…

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Amorey

Please note the very surprised look on my hobbit’s face : ” What about second breakfast ? Luncheon ? Afternoon tea ? Dinner? Supper ? ”

11 years in LOTRO is a big milestone for a tiny hobbit :)

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Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Happy to see one of my screens in the post, thank you, taking screenshot is half of the fun while playing MMOs, as for the ugly zones, first thing i thought of is Silithus, but that is lazy thinkink, i’ll see if there is something uglier than that.