The Daily Grind: What MMO set dressings make you roll your eyes?

    
26

While I’m not always the most nitpicky person in the universe, sometimes I do get tired of visual tropes that pop up over and over again in MMOs. One particular one that makes me roll my eyes is whenever I see the studio’s artists throw piles of skulls and bones into places to supposedly make them seem more spooky or dangerous. Rather than fear, my response is to mentally tally up how many bodies would take to make such a pile and how stinky that would’ve been before it all decomposed.

So, yeah, cut it out with the bone piles, studios. You can do better.

I’m sure that you’ve seen little set dressings like this used in a lazy fashion. What bugs or annoys you to see repeatedly across MMOs?

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!
Advertisement

No posts to display

26
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

Assets that just get re-used over and over again, to the point where you start noticing them everywhere.

Reader
LITF

FFXIV very stale and formulaic armor set design. Majority of tank outfits have exactly same silhouette, dragoon is just slightly stripped down tank outfit, then all melee are typically recolors of one set, then all phys ranged (and sometimes NIN) are recolors of a 3rd set, then healers and mrdps use recolors of the final 4th set. Swap something like 4 variants of hats around to mix it up a bit.

It’s so tired and formulaic, it’s so annoying if you like playing tank but don’t like that ONE armor design they just keep making over and over, it’s so limiting since they don’t really make any of those sets fit with just a single jobs fantasy. As a result we only ever get job specific and fitting sets once an expansion.

But yeah, please, I want some new tank sets that don’t have that stupid plate half-dress hanging off the chest piece. For once can we just have a chest piece that doesn’t have anything dangling below the waist line? Like that covers only torso? And then have more room left for some cool chainmail or plated pants, some non thigh-high boots?

Reader
Fisty

Chests I can’t open.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

My personal bugbear is when the devs decide to use science to explain something about the game world, lore, or plot, but either use it incorrectly or get the actual science wrong. In particular when the character explaining it is supposed to have exceptional understanding of science.

If you know less science than a high-schooler then, for Pete’s sake, either do proper research or just handwave the details away without explaining; any of those is better than trying to explain bug getting it wrong.

Reader
treehuggerhannah

Crates and barrels in every area.

It makes sense in, say, a cellar or an inhabited dungeon.

It does not make sense in the middle of a forest or in a cave that is solely occupied by bears.

Basically, there should be crates and barrels only in areas where humanoids might reasonably storing things or have done so in the recent enough past that everything wouldn’t be rotted away. Otherwise, be more creative about hiding loot. (Related: The loot to be found should also make a modicum of sense for the location.)

EmberStar
Reader
EmberStar

For me, it’s the sheer number of enemies we defeat. I’ve never played a pen-and-paper RPG. But I had the impression that taking out a band of twenty orcs might be the goal of an entire adventure, as the party tries to track them down and desperately works to even the odds. In an MMO, wiping out twenty orcs (or rats, or kobolds, or whatever) might be the minimum you need to do to get the five Groffler Spleens for the janitor in the tutorial hallway.

That’s not even counting games like Star Trek Online, where the player regularly wipes out more enemy ships *per mission* than were apparently killed in the “nearly destroyed the Federation military” battle with the Borg at Wolf 359 in the TNG series. Some of the newer Patrol missions take this to absurd extremes, with multiple waves of up to ten ships coming in at a time.

Reader
Utakata

Candles: Where the heck would they get all that wax to make those in the Maw? And why would they use them in there first place? o.O

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

It can be worse. Such as crypts or caves that have been sealed for decades, if not centuries, where non-magical candles are still burning and the food is still fresh.

Harry Koala
Reader
Harry Koala

This reminds me of the “time to crate” criteria for games. Crates are such a generic and overused feature of games (particularly in comparison to crate incidence rates in the real world), that it is the signifier of when the designers gave up and resorted to the standard game cliches.

My personal cliche bugbear is the standard transition from friendly farmland and lush forests in relatively peaceful starting areas, through to barren wastelands, volcanoes, rocky and desert terrain etc. of high level zones.

I mean, yeah, I get it. This place is so badass that even the geography is lifeless , hostile and inhospitable. There’s a reason why it is such a trope (and not just because Tolkien used it too).

There’s a counter-argument that the cliches are useful because they serve as a narrative shorthand in the realms of environmental storytelling. Big pile of skulls? Sure, it’s a cliche, but no-one is likely to misunderstand what it is meant to signify. Very few people are going to assume that it indicates a safe place to rest, or a good place to find friendly NPCs to trade with (well, unless you are placing a necromancer perhaps).

Reader
Bryan Correll

Yeah, zone transitions can be pretty jarring.

Reader
Bryan Correll

I guess you won’t be visiting the Sedlec Ossuary anytime soon. Or the Capela dos Ossos. Skull Chapel and Skull Tower are probably out of the running, too.

As for me, I could do without plants growing out of solid rock in places with no natural light.

Staff
Kickstarter Donor
Chris Neal

I’m pretty tired of the spider cave, myself.