Massive AoC battle lag: I had a bad feeling about this

I just read Massively’s story about big battles in AoC having performance issues.

The main issues are identified as those of client performance, and those of content and collision. Client performance is apparently the biggest problem being reported…

Some of the ways in which Funcom hopes to improve the performance in these battles is to tone down some particles, stylize the view distance to a shorter setting, and change how some spells and abilities propagate.

I’d love to go back through my posts here and identify which ones talk about AoC’s graphics versus WAR’s graphics, like a real blogger does, but I’m at work (and lazy!), so I’ll sum it up quickly.

When I saw how good AoC looked in the beta, I had concerns about the client performance in big battles. I had been through that before in DAoC, where a fairly reliable way of predicting the arrival of a group of players into your area was the hesitation your client experience as it drew in the new mobiles. There were a variety of client-side tricks to help performance, like turning off spell effects, and disabling cloak animations (I think, it’s been years now, and I’m older and forgetful and…hmm, what was I saying?)

I think, from a screenshot point of view, AoC is prettier than WAR. All along, though, I thought that might be on purpose, from Mythic’s perspective. They’ve already been through the changes, fixes, and adjustments that Funcom is talking about now. I haven’t heard it confirmed by anyone at Mythic, but I’m guessing they were very careful with their pixel counts in their models, and that affected just how fancy they could make the characters look.

I’m looking for a certain type of game experience for my next MMO, which definitely includes big battles. I’m totally willing to put up with a client that might be a little less fancy if it performs better when two armies come crashing together. If WAR launches with big battles running smoothly, keep that in mind when you want to complain about the graphics and how they don’t look as good as LoTRO or Vanguard or AoC. That was probably a deliberate decsion by Mythic.

Of course, if keep raids in open-world PvP crash zones in Mythic, then they’ve screwed up in other ways that need fixing 🙂 Hopefully they’ve at least learned from DAoC the lessons Funcom is about to learn with AoC.

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4 Responses

  1. It really annoys me when people cry about graphics before launch. Great graphics are only great for about 2 days, then you look at gameplay. If the game sucks who cares how good it looks. Good looking crap is still crap.

    That’s the long way of saying I concur. Nice article.

  2. The thing is about WAR, because of the art they’re going by and the lighting system they want in place…

    it very well COULD look as “good” as any other MMO out there. Because it will be stylized to not matter how many polys they’re pushing.

    Or it could look like a turd as WoW now does. But the latter is likely something to worry about 3-4 years from now.

  3. Hmm. Talk to me again next week, Bildo. And check your email!

    Sterling, I think you’re correct about great graphics. What about bad graphics, though? I think bad graphics might keep people from playing a good game. I have that problem with LoTRO just a bit, not with the “graphics”, but the character models. They move in a way that seems odd or unnatural, which I guess is a weird observation about imaginary creatures, but you probably know what I mean 🙂

  4. […] and Rick over at /random both commented on a Massively report about AoC and it’s troubles with its much-hyped endgame […]

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