The Daily Grind: How much does raw graphical power matter to you for MMOs?

    
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Sexy, kinda.

Graphics matter. It’s really appealing to go with the general approach of being above simple graphics informing your opinion about a game, but we all know that a game’s appearance does directly impact both how many people will give it a shot in the first place and how appealing it is while playing. So it makes sense why games like Bless and Blade & Soul get marketed at first on the sheer power of their graphics, an extended lap of “look how nice our game is at a glance!”

The problem, of course, is that it’s entirely irrelevant. You can have gorgeous graphics and a terrible game (there’s a reason I picked out Bless up there), and stylized graphics can weather time quite well even with less raw graphical power. Even modern World of Warcraft isn’t going to be taxing most newer video cards, but it also keeps delivering pretty stuff within the limitations of its engine. So how much does raw graphical power matter to you for MMOs? Do you find yourself more likely to play games because they’re using some cutting-edge graphical engine delivering top-tier visuals, regardless of the game mechanics?

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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Schlag Sweetleaf
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ecchiboy590
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ecchiboy590

I wish more games used Ray Tracing. :(

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

Graphics are far from irrelevant for me. A great deal of my enjoyment is having a highly personalized/customized character exploring a world, and a prettier/imaginative world is much more fun to explore.

Gameplay is of course vital, and the prettiest of games won’t last long if it has a terrible gameplay loop. On the other hand, a mediocre game can be made significantly more appealing if it’s gorgeous to look at and move through.

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Anton Mochalin

And what I really don’t understand is how people tolerate hard texture popping like in BDO or Astellia. It’s much more immersion breaking than low res textures or low polygons count or anything.

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Anton Mochalin

I bought my 1080 because WildStar was a bit frustrating on fps side on 970 which is not a bad card either. So graphics card is very important although I heard for games like GW2 with a single heavy load world thread the CPU can easily be the bottleneck. I play MMOs to be “immersed in the world” so fps drops on high resolution are frustrating.

I don’t like this thing about LCD monitors that for example 1080p game resolution doesn’t look good on my 1440p monitor so I need to set 1440p in game doubling the load on GPU. I’d rather have 1080p with high settings and high fps.

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Adam Russell

Borderline smoke your rig is not necessary, but it does need a certain minimum. Perhaps more important – dont make it look like it is designed to attract pre-teens. Kiddie graphics is a quick turnoff, and I dont mean wow.

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rafael12104

So, it matters. It matters a lot. But, so does game play, combat, crafting, etc. etc.

But every game seems to have a different mix of the ingredients that make a great MMO. BDO has more graphics than Trove, but Trove has better world building. It’s a trade off, you know what I mean?

And I’m willing to try different variations on that trade off to find what is fun for me.

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Oleg Chebeneev

There is nothing that turns me away faster from game than crappy graphics. So yeah, matters alot to me

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Toy Clown

I’m not going to lie… graphics are important to me as a gamer due to wanting a heavy immersion factor present since I enjoy RPing and taking lots of screenshots, setting up scenarios, etc.

My computer absolutely gets upgraded, if not replaced fully, in order to enjoy the latest graphic environments that I find appealing. I love nothing more than getting a shiny new computer or graphics card, loading up older games, and running around enjoying the graphics all over again.

I’m also the person that runs Gshade and ReShade with my games with its possible.

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Brazen Bondar

Good graphics are nice but they mean nothing if the game isn’t good. In addition, the hyper realistic graphics are very taxing on older computers. Before the engine “update” Anarchy Online’s graphics were literally ancient, but the game was still fun. I’d rather see more money spent on content creation than worrying about the newest, shiniest graphics.

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Sorenthaz

Considering there are text based games with more depth than MMOs, I don’t really care that much about graphics if the gameplay is fun enough. It’s just icing on the cake to me I guess.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Not at all. They’re definitely a nice bonus if the game is also good, but they really have little to no impact on me playing.

It definitely does make it easier to get lost in games I’m playing for the story lines. And they are also just more interesting to look at *if* the game they’re on is also fun. Sure, I absolutely like to have better looking graphics in a game that I find I enjoy, but they have zero impact on if I’ll play and enjoy that game to begin with or not.

Suggestion: You should pose this same sort of question, but have it be about how old a game is. There are tons of great MMORPGs out there that people simply never try because they’re not new. They were either playing something else when they came out, or came out before they started to play MMORPGs, etc, and people simply won’t try them because they’re an older MMORPG.

If a game does a total re-launch in a new package the way Secret World did, they are able to get all these people to try it who never would have otherwise because people have this issue about playing older MMORPGs for some reason.

There are some really amazing older MMORPGs out there still around that this huge swath of people won’t play simply because they’re not brand new.