The Daily Grind: Which MMOs have the best movement animation?

    
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The Daily Grind: Which MMOs have the best movement animation?

While it’s not utterly necessary, an MMORPG that lets my character be very mobile and agile is a delight to experience. So many MMOs, your character is a rock that can jump stiffly about three inches into the air while flailing arms like a bewildered starfish. But once in a while, we get games where the animation and movement is far more fluid.

Two that come to mind are WildStar and Guild Wars 2. The former had the best animation I’ve ever seen in an MMO, from running to double-jumping to zooming around on a hoverboard, and I miss it dearly. I’m getting a bit of that experience in Guild Wars 2 these days, however, when I factor in mounts and jump-gliding (I do love me some jump-gliding). City of Heroes’ super-jump was also pretty amazing, come to think of it.

Is this freedom of movement important to you? If so, which MMOs have given you a nice range of fluid animations and ways to parkour your way across the world?

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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Ernost
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Ernost

I’d say BDO. It is the only one that handles both light and heavy characters well. In most other MMOs I’ve played, either the heavy characters feel too light/floaty or the light characters feel too heavy/weighted down when moving.

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Dankey Kang

Guild wars 2 imo, especially the mounts. Every time I start running on my raptor I can’t help but admire how amazing the animation is.

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Carebear

BDO is by far the best. I liked a lot the movement in swtor (movement not jumping) which is on par to FFXIV and WoW Night elf old model. GW2 also is very good.

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Khrome

BDO would have to be up there imho. The contextual vaulting and climbing are a breath of fresh air which made playing other MMO’s – other games even – a jarring experience, when your level 9001 overlord magician world destroyer character is stopped in his tracks by a 3-foot high crickety wooden fence which is impossible to pass.

Many people don’t like the mounted and swimming movement in the game, but i rather like it: It gives weight to the activities. Mounts are actual creatures you ride, and not just a reskin for your character giving +200% speed (though GW2 manages to come close). Swimming actually feels like you’re moving through a much, much denser substance than air without any ground to use as an easy anchor.

There’s a weight to how you travel the game’s world (and how everything is animated, which includes the correct placement of feet on sloped surfaces) which i can’t help but appreciate.

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rafael12104

Blade and Soul. The animations are smooth and fluid in and out of combat. You never see herky jerky crap. And everything looks natural even when doing supernatural things.

Slam.gif
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Bruno Brito

I downloaded the launcher and hit the reddit for BnS to see how the game was faring. How rampant is the P2W? It seems to be a huge point of contention, and even content-creators on YT weren’t recommending the game.

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rafael12104

Here is my brief take on this. And I’ll be as unbiased as possible. Is there p2w? Yes. Is it horrible, no.

If you have money and the desire, you can buy all you want during the Treasure Trove events. No, not the best weapons or armor. But mats, you can buys lots of mats and then craft what you want. There is no denying that.

But what makes it less horrible is that many times those mats still require an additional item that you have to go into a dungeon and get on your own. And for the good stuff, a Raid is what you need to run. And anything you get out of those Raids at level is earned. They are freaking tough.

The big problem right now, what people are bitching about, is that after cap, there is a huge gap between relevant end game gear and starting end game gear. Those who use there wallets can make it easier because they can buy mats and craft. Those that don’t, have to grind dungeons which wouldn’t be bad (the dungeons are fun) but there aren’t many running those lowbie dungeons anymore. The biggest part of the playerbase are beyond running that content and newbies get lost at end game.

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Bruno Brito

How is the P2W affecting the PvP ladder and openworld PvP?

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rafael12104

P2W is not affecting Arena PvP at all which is very cool and very competitive. When you go into an arena, they level set every player so that gear doesn’t matter. 1 v 1 or 3 v3 matches are all on an even playing field. So the tournaments are great because it truly is a showcase for skill. (The have world champion ships in Korea etc.)

Open world is another story. Gear does matter so you have to be wary when you are in a PvP area. But, the game manages PvP in a unique way, outfits (not gear). If you want to PvP in the open world you wear a PvP outfit. If you don’t, wear something else. That’s the flag and it works wonderfully.

Battlegrounds or Team PvP is another place gear matters. If you go into a Battleground, expect all the credit card warriors to be there. It isn’t a huge deal because for most players Battlegrounds are fun but not as relevant as other forms of PvP. But it can get frustrating when some knob walks up and captures a point because he charged enough mats on his card.

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Utakata

It’s even funnier when my tiny Lyn’s do that. <3

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rafael12104

True!

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Witches

I don’t rate any that high, motion capture may look supercool, but when you are watching someone move you are not registering every single aspect of the way they move, just watch someone running in real time and then slow it down, you will notice a lot of things that you can’t at real time speed, i think technology is actually hindering the process of realistic movement, they are concentrating on physics but what we see is about our eyes and not physics.

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AGx-07_162

DCUO was probably my favorite, super speed specifically.

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silverlock

Movement is very important if getting around is a joy I’m far more likely to spend time in the game. If movement is a chore (New World) I’m far more likely to drop it.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Is this freedom of movement important to you?

Yes, but in a different way, with much more freedom than you are thinking about. For example, the freedom of movement that VRchat allows. The animations are not very fluid (current generation of body motion trackers does not allow for that yet) but the fact that you can do your own character animations through body motion trackers makes this already better than most games with any static animations and adds large amount of immersion. I wish more MMORPGs would start embracing the future and add support for current VR gear, this adds something fun to do when you are done with boring dungeons and finished the boring virtual job you pay real money for (in-game crafting or resource gathering or daily quests or scheduled raiding or scheduled wars like in upcoming New World) and not feeling like doing any freeform PvP and just want to actually socialize with people. ;-)

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Robert Mann

VR is still too niche for most MMOs to care. Once it is refined and some of the issues are addressed… and the cost comes down to where more people are ready to engage, then it will likely be something that is considered with new projects.

Add a side order of “Please reduce this head wobble before I puke.” Because VR is still notorious for that.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

VR is still too niche for most MMOs to care.

It doesn’t have to be if more MMOs would care to implement it. This would actually stimulate the more rapid development of improved VR hardware and MMORPGs are more suitable for stimulating VR popularity and improvements than games like FPS shooters because you do not have to run or jump around when you just want to socialize with people in a non-combat environment and because MMORPGs are more popular than driving sim or flight sim games.

the cost comes down to where more people are ready to engage

Cost is not an issue for many people – Valve sold over 100k of their expensive Valve Index just by releasing single Half-Life Alyx VR game (which was more of a “VR demo”). There are also over 500k of Oculus VR users which bought it just for few VR demos and basic games and VRchat. And more will be bought once more games will be released. And it is true that economy right now has suffered due to virus outbreak but this will pass and more people will again be able to buy all of the hardware necessary to enjoy the VR experience.

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Grave Knight

Not going to happen. It would cost too much money and time to offer support on something so niche and it probably wouldn’t increase their sells what so ever.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

GW2 is the rare MMO where movement is a joy. The animations are no exception. It came out about 9 months after SWTOR and the difference in animations and jumping etc are staggeringly evident.

BioWare tried to put crude jumping puzzles in SWTOR and you compare them to GW2’s jumping puzzles and immediately you can see how much better GW2’s are because of the animations. Everything is tuned with movement/fluidity of motion in mind. The former is an MMO aping a platformer. ArenaNet nailed it.

Too bad ArenaNet decided on swimming lol. Swimming just doesn’t belong in MMOs, solid animations or not.

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Tanek

I love the jumping in GW2. I also like the swimming, though, so we’ll have to disagree on that point.

There are LOTS of people who think the jumping puzzles should not be part of the game, too. It is all a matter of taste. I do agree, though, the swimming has to be done well for it to be a decent part of a game. I happen to think it is done well in GW2.

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Nate Woodard

By themselves, jumping puzzles are fine. Forcing someone to partake in a jumping puzzle in order to complete major content is an absolute no-no though. GW2 hasn’t quite got the message about this yet.

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Tanek

Major content?