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Subtle things and the feel of the game.

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by SniperCT, May 26, 2013.

  1. SniperCT

    SniperCT Cupcake-About-Town

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    It's the subtle things that count. It's the feel of a game that counts. These two things are what hook me into a game. They make the game world come alive.

    Subtle things. Music that fits the mood of the zones. Background and ambient sound. Npcs that interact with each other and the player. Children running through the street corner. Vendors hawking wares. Character animations that are fluid and well made. Emotes with sounds.

    The rustle of leaves in the wind. A flight of birds overhead. Being able to interact with things in the world. All that adds up and makes for an experience that keeps bringing you back.

    There are some less subtle things that seem small, too, but it all adds up. Chat systems that allow a wide degree of freedom, for example. Feeling like your character belongs in the world is another (Lotro and rift have this problem where player character models are completely different from NPCs. It really makes you feel like a visitor, and not like you belong)

    Basically, what I'm saying is that if the world doesn't feel alive, if the characters don't look like they belong, I believe it plays a sort of subconscious game with how long a player sticks around.

    There's also something that I like to call the feel of a game.

    This comes in many forms, but what it basically translates to is how well your input shows up on your screen - character action, smoothness of animation, and the sound of the ability when it connects. (or the 'impact' of the ability) (a good old school example is super metroid. There were times where my fingers tingled as though I were feeling Samus moving through them)

    A lot of MMOs screw this part up. I've only played one or two that do it as well as WoW, but then they mess up in other areas.

    I watched that movement devspeak and it really made me happy to see that Carbine takes that kind of thing seriously. It's one of those things that can draw you into a game and keep you coming back for more. Combine that with the first half of this post and we could have something really special. (and the housing thing really makes me think we'd belong)
     
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  2. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Do the characters in WoW blink? They do in WildStar so that's +1 for them :up:
    (played WoW along time....but never really noticed the blinking tbh....)
     
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  3. SniperCT

    SniperCT Cupcake-About-Town

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    They added blinking to humans at some point (I know nelves had it even longer). I was on my human a few months ago and nearly fell out of my chair when she blinked.

    But yeah, that's a fantastic example of something really, really subtle that helps the world feel alive.
     
  4. Sabre070

    Sabre070 Cupcake-About-Town

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    Yeah the small things are a really big part of the game. It's also most of the small things that span large areas of the game, so you need them to be good. If grass looks horrible then most of your areas are going to look horrible - if there is no wildlife then your world isn't going to feel nearly as alive as it could have been.
     
  5. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    I want to see wildlife in cities (just humans/mechari etc.), just because almost every game i play has cities that gives off no feeling at all.

    And the first time you walk into a city i want to hear some awesome music like this:

    Can you already feel it, walking through the city gates and hearing that music.....just beautifull.
     
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  6. SniperCT

    SniperCT Cupcake-About-Town

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    That would be wonderful. Cities should be alive. SWTOR made the mistake of assuming that players would fill that void. It made the world feel dead.
     
  7. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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  8. Maurodax

    Maurodax Cupcake

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    Amen brotha.

    Music does alot to make the game feel 'right'.
    And ofcourse as OP mentioned, the subtle things.
    I wish we had stuff as advamced as Sword Art Online :p Imagined if we had a world where we imerged in the same way they do. Would be sweet, unfortuntly i'll probably be dead before they manage to make that.
     
  9. Psistorm

    Psistorm Cupcake-About-Town

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    I can agree that small things make the game feel alive, yes. It can be ambient sounds, mobs, creatures interacting etc, and the character fitting in.
    Some points personally stick out to me as peeves:

    - Lack of housing: Every MMO should have a place to call home, especially if they want to build a game world. Instanced or not, doesn't matter. But it just feels weird to be the hero of legend, and then realize you are literally a homeless person, with whatever you can carry on you, and whatever you can't in a bank lockbox.
    - Useless vendors: Who doesn't know them. You go to town, go to the smith, and what do you see? White, stat-less items. Has /anyone/ ever bought these? I think not. Every game I saw so far that had these flavor merchants that sell horrible looking, bad items also had ways to make sure you never needed them, ever. They should just use armor/weapon/etc merchants as storefronts for auction-house category tie ins. So really when you talk to a merchant, you see the auction house sales there. This would work best if it's not a bidding based AH, but more like GW2 or everquest 2, where you are selling things directly.
    - Looking entirely unlike NPCs. WoW is guilty of that (player models are giants next to NPCs), and other MMOs do similar stuff. One sure way to feel like you don't belong.
    - Not being able to get NPC appearance armor: Great for RPers, if you earn faction rep and they have a uniform, let us buy that uniform and change our appearance to it to signal allegiance with said faction.
     
  10. SniperCT

    SniperCT Cupcake-About-Town

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    Don't entirely agree about WoW being guilty of that. I stand a human male PC next to a human male NPC guard and they are the same size, and use the same character creation. Same with my night elf, or my orc. Unless you're standing next to a 'hero' NPC and then blizzard went crazy about 1 expansion ago and made them all huge and 'special' -_-

    In Rift, you can stand next to the same race...your face is animated and expressive...and the NPC's face is a static texture. It's glaring. Same in Lotro.

    SWTOR is a good example of NPCs and PCs matching!

    I've actually bought white vendor gear in some games, because it looked nifty. >.>
     
  11. Xlugon Pyro

    Xlugon Pyro Super Cupcake

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    WoW is just a special snowflake kind of game.
     
  12. WakeskaterX

    WakeskaterX Cupcake-About-Town

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    To be fair though you DIDN'T belong in Rift. You literally weren't from that time period/world. You were ascended and brought back.

    So... but I do agree. It'd be cool to have a system where you could sell things at settler shops in towns instead of at the AH. The AH is silly IMO. It's nice to be able to find buyers but it ruins competitiveness. Depends on the game though. GW2 had the worst AH ever imho. Everything was so devalued that it wasn't worth selling anything ever unless it was some uber rare item. In fact I'm thinking about making a post on economics and the balance of acquisation of goods to use of goods.

    I hated crafting/gathering/selling anything in GW2 because nothing was worth it. It was better to vendor trash everything and anything I picked up (or dissasemble into mats if you wanted to craft). WoW had a little bit better AH economy because it was limited and you had to decide if you really wanted to sell that item because keeping it up ont he AH forever could get spendy.
     
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  13. Dualist

    Dualist Cupcake-About-Town

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    OMGWTFBBQ, this is one of my all time favourite film scores ever. I remember the first time I watched Sinbad and the ship sailed into Syracuse, it sent shivers down my spine. Granted it was a scripted scene and can't be compared to a situation in an MMO where the camera and positioning is completely controlled by the player, but it's certainly something to strive towards.
     
  14. 5TiCK

    5TiCK New Cupcake

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    One of the little things that I loved in GW2 was the way the grass would move as you walked through. From a recent press video on Wildstar, I saw the grass movement in the wind and just about lost it. I thought it was incredible. I also love when in MMO's your character's head is turned towards whatever it is that you're targetting. I absolutely love the little things the most in an MMO.
     
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  15. SniperCT

    SniperCT Cupcake-About-Town

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    I saw the grass moving in one of the videos the other day and got all excited pointing it out to my wife. Might have been the movement devspeak video we were geeking out over, as that's a BIG thing to us. As evidenced by this thread.

    I love with heads turn too.
     
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  16. Jynetik

    Jynetik "That" Cupcake

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    I could write pages on this subject as the little things in MMOs are often some of my favorite things. For instance one of my all time favorite subtle little things was in Guild Wars 1 in a "town" locations called Marhan's Grotto. This dumpy little location in the southern shiverpeaks was really sparse, containing only a handful of NPCs and a few small walls on top of a frozen pond, hardly much of a town. It was never terribly popular but it always had a larger crowd there than you would expect for a town that small. The reason why was quite simple, it was the only place in the entirety of all of Guild Wars' expansive continents and zones that your character could walk. Guild Wars 1 never had a walk toggle so there really was no way to strut your stuff and really appreciate the grandiose gear that you would pay an arm and a leg for. But in this one small dumpy location in the far corner of the map was a place where you could.

    I love walking, I love /sit and /sleep animations, I love building interiors that feel like real places (the WoW Inn's are some of my favorite!) I love sitting in chairs, I love crowded MMO cities with NPCs going about their daily lives, I love dynamic weather and vibrant day / night cycles that make the world feel real, and most of all I love expressive characters that you can grow attached to instead of just virtual mannequins that you dress up and take into combat to generate ever bigger numbers.

    It's the little things that really stick with you with these kinds of games, that is where the magic happens that turns this form of entertainment from "just another video game" to a living, breathing world that you look forward to visiting each and every chance you get.
     
  17. Cupcake

    Cupcake Cupcake

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    I do agree its the subtle little things that make a game the recent Algoroc critters artwork introduced the Jabbits and I loved the fact that it says : They often follow frontier travelers for miles.

    Interactive critters!! Now if they actually implement it we're talking a bout a real immersive interactive world where critters aren't just something you run past and hug or squish but can interact with! How amazing would it be to stop and interact/bond with a critter then possibly take it home with you!
     
  18. Onallion

    Onallion New Cupcake

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    So is weather and day/night cycles confirmed for WildStar?
     
  19. Mierelle

    Mierelle Cupcake-About-Town

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    This is actually the one thing I think SWTOR did right (maybe not all the way out though) as they put in a mechanic on the fleet where if there were no players on the fleet the servers would render non interactive NPCs to fill the void, the more players the fewer NPCs.

    Sure it didn't make the fleet living in itself but atleast it "never felt empty" (depending how you want to see it :p). I rather see a living city through players than filler-NPCs, but if your computer and the servers can handle it, you could always have both.
     
  20. Psistorm

    Psistorm Cupcake-About-Town

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    True, those subtle things are important. Another thing GW2 was pioneering and doing a pretty good job at was foot positioning, meaning the character's feet weren't on some fixed plane when they were standing, but they were adjusted to the terrain, so that the character generally always looked as if his feet were firmly placed on the ground. Much better than standing on a slope with one foot on the terrain, the other hovering in the air.
     

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