The Daily Grind: Do you judge MMOs by what’s in their screenshots?

    
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A week or two ago, the MOP staffers were chatting about a new MMO we were covering – Fioresia Online – and its screenshots turned into a point of discussion for us. Why? The cutesy MMO was displaying siege equipment prominently in those shots, even in an early stage of development.

This immediately improved my first impression of the game, not because I am a particularly huge fan of siege equipment but because the presence of siege gear implies a whole bunch of other systems that would naturally and almost necessarily be included in a game that has sieging – like holdable territory and destructible structures. Without even knowing anything about the game, I wound up with the impression that there would be some sort of intentionality with the game’s PvP, more than half a second of thought, more than “whatever, just go kill each other.” Maybe it won’t turn out that way in the end, but that was the impression those pics created.

Do you judge MMOs by what’s in their screenshots? Do you ever make these kinds of first-impression assumptions about what’s in a game based on the way it initially presents itself?

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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MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

You’d be daft to judge any game by screenshots before launch; haven’t we had decades now of obviously deceptive media to make us rationally cautious?

To answer the example given, a Siege Engine doesn’t mean anything unless it can actually move, because it might just mean someone found a free Siege Engine asset in the Unity Store, and then slapped it in as decoration.

Even if it moves, what is the actual gameplay behind it? Especially in the MMO genre where simplified systems have been the norm for so long now. There are siege engines in Warhammer Online Age of Reckoning for example, and all they can do is be dragged up to a door and then slowly take its health off.

The gaming industry then is one area where the famous maxim should be stood upon it’s head… “Don’t Tell, Show.” Show us an actual working, playable product first.

Reader
Utakata

/plug on

For those who do judge games by their screen shots, should come on over to MOP’s One Shots. And see if there is a MMO out there that suits your fancy!

FYI: https://massivelyop.com/tag/one-shots/

…hope you’ll enjoy! <3

/plug off

Saluka
Reader
Saluka

Nope. 20 min through a random YTer video with audio off is what I usually judge games by.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Do I make an entirely formulative assumption as to a games entirety based solely on its screenshots? No.

Do I consider screenshots and other visuals as ONE part of many other informing mediums relating to a games development and playabillity and overall appeal to me? Sure.

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

Yes, but no. Mostly I’ve just decided that whoever is taking official screenshots from pretty much any MMO has zero idea how to make them appealing or convey any information with them. Very rarely have I come away with any clue what the game consists of, how it will play, or really anything else about the game. I don’t need a screenshot of an empty field, no matter how nice it looks. You can convey a whole lot of information by giving me a good shot of the UI, some enemies, maybe even your character in a party, the game as it actually functions. So I judge the screenshots a lot, but in the end I’ll have to go find some gameplay video to make a real judgement call.

allwynd01
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allwynd01

Regarding Fioresia Online, which I every time mistakenly read as Florensia Online, I simply refuse to even play it due to its graphics. Just like Ragnarok Online it has 2D sprite characters on a 3D world. I just can’t see the appeal in that, either have it all 2D or all 3D.

I don’t know if this bothers others, but I simply refuse to play games like that, it bugs me to no end.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

When I’m choosing whether to play one? Heck yes. I’m visually tired of retro style stuff. I want games where things look like more than a blob. I mean, if I want to see a blob, all I need to do is look in a damn mirror…I’m practically pulling off the whole X-men ‘The Blob’ going on IRL nowadays… /sarcasm

Reader
Anstalt

Screenshots definitely help form an opinion of a game and are often an early way to stoke my interest. If the screenshots make the game look interesting (from a purely aesthetic point of view) then that will often prompt me into digging deeper into the game.

Conversely, if the screenshots look really bland / generic, or show off an art style I don’t enjoy, then its unlikely I’ll look into the game again until closer to release.

Reader
Hikari Kenzaki

Yes. Absolutely. But not just for the reasons you might think.

What is shown and what is not shown is telling. There is a lot that goes into game development that has little to nothing to do with the technical aspects of game making. A team will often show you they don’t comprehend this by horrible shot composition, pixelated images, images that are less than 500 pixels wide, and so on.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
squid

Do you judge MMOs by what’s in their screenshots?

I absolutely judge all games by their official screenshots (and videos). If the screenshots look overly filtered/retouched, never show the UI, or are just stills from cutscene videos—and if their ‘gameplay’ videos are just cutscenes—I won’t touch it.