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WoW Graphics Reboot Coming?

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Q&A on Eurogamer discusses the upcoming expansion for Blizzard's MMORPG with Jeff Kaplan, Tom Chilton, and J. Allen Brack, with J. revealing along the way that they are probably going to start looking at rebooting the game's graphics with the expansion after Wrath of the Lich King, while acknowledging such a move has not gone perfectly when tried in other games in the past:

That's actually something we talk about every expansion. It's interesting, two games have really tried that before, Ultima Online tried it and EverQuest tried it as well, and in each case it was only somewhat successful. In each case a lot of people continued to play with the original client, because it was faster, or they preferred it, or were just used to it or whatever. And so for me as a game developer, the idea that we would spend so much time and energy on something and have people go, "meh, that's not really for me," that's not very exciting.

So I don't think there's really a clear model as to how to do that successfully. The model we have with Wrath of the Lich King allows people with high-end machines some additional graphical effects, and then we'll have some kind of fallback for the people who don't. Will we need a graphical update from the ground up at some point? Yep, probably. And I'm positive we'll talk about it next expansion.

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45. Re: WOW Graphics May 20, 2008, 21:03 The Raven
 
I get as low as 15fps in dense areas or huge battles... but I'm using a 7800GT @ 2560x1024. I expect slowdown. I could buy a cheap new low-end card if the graphics were upgraded and still be golden (my card is old, but my mobo-cpu-ram were upgraded last year).

However... I don't care. I'm indifferent to graphical upgrades. Whee. The upcoming physics upgrades (being able to move mobs) are far more interesting to me.
 
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44. Re: WOW Graphics May 19, 2008, 09:10 nin
 
I don't see how he's a hyprocite. He was amazed by the graphics and quickly realized that the gameplay was shallow, to him. And he stated that quite succinctly.

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43. Re: WOW Graphics May 18, 2008, 18:29 CreamyBlood
 
Hyprocrite

I don't see how he's a hyprocite. He was amazed by the graphics and quickly realized that the gameplay was shallow, to him. And he stated that quite succinctly.


 
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42. Re: WOW Graphics May 18, 2008, 10:26 g_mann
 
The graphics were the only thing I liked about the game. Everything looked distinctive, like it had substance, and fun. The first time I took a dragon ride my jaw dropped a bit.

Literally, the only thing I liked about that game. 4 days into my 14 day trial I was ready to uninstall.

Hyprocrite

 
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41. No subject May 17, 2008, 07:12 Talisorn
 
God I hope that as part of the revamp, they fill in all the blank bits and let people FLY in Azeroth!

 
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40. Re: WOW Graphics May 16, 2008, 20:47 NKD
 
Erm I have no idea what your running but my q6600 PC with a 8800GT still drops a LOT in the major cities.

Not that much better than you. E8400 @ 4.0GHz, 9800GTX @ 810/2400. At 1680x1050, 8x AA, 16x AF, vsync on, I dont drop below around 30-45 fps in high population areas, and run a steady 60 (vsync on) anywhere else.

I never even ran into problems on my old 7800 GTX, though I didnt use AA back then.

 
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39. Re: WOW Graphics May 16, 2008, 20:34 Krovven
 
Erm I have no idea what your running but my q6600 PC with a 8800GT still drops a LOT in the major cities.

How much video ram? How much system ram? 512mb, 1g, 2g?

You shouldnt be having framerate issues in WoW with that cpu and video card, unless you cheaped out on ram.


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This comment was edited on May 16, 20:38.
 
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38. Re: WOW Graphics May 16, 2008, 20:23 Beamer
 
The graphics were the only thing I liked about the game. Everything looked distinctive, like it had substance, and fun. The first time I took a dragon ride my jaw dropped a bit.

Literally, the only thing I liked about that game. 4 days into my 14 day trial I was ready to uninstall.
 
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37. Re: WOW Graphics May 16, 2008, 19:51 Lorcin
 
Some additional options to increase graphical quality would be great for those of us with modern machines.

Erm I have no idea what your running but my q6600 PC with a 8800GT still drops a LOT in the major cities.
 
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36. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 19:38 MMORPGHoD
 
Blizzard can sell close to that in expansions right now, both in price (BC came out at $40 and Lich King will also be $40) and quantity. And at a much lower production time and production cost. Again, it'll make more sense to them when the interest in expansions slows down.

 
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35. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 19:03 PHJF
 
Blizzard's smart. Why make a sequel when,

BECAUSE IT MAY WELL SELL 8 MILLION NEW $50 COPIES? Why do you think The Sims 2 was made?
 
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34. No subject May 16, 2008, 18:22 Xero
 
Blizzard's smart. Why make a sequel when, what the hell will it be based on? WoW has everything needed in the Warcraft universe. So instead, just update it's graphics and it'll keep people happy that think it's aging. Although I don't think graphics were ever an issue with Blizzard games. I guess having the option would be nice but isn't required. It'll just help breathe new life into the game. But yes, I also don't want it overboard where we see plastic looking bump map the hell out of everything type of graphics. If somehow they can keep their cartoony graphics with some updated effects, and textures, it would be just fine. More polys on the models to give better animations wouldn't hurt either. Humans still run like they got a stick shoved up their a$$.

 
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33. Re: WOW Graphics May 16, 2008, 16:26 Kxmode
 
I already get less than 10 frames per second in Shattrath

With my settings all maxed out (including 1920 x 1200) I get 60 fps in dense areas like Zangarmarsh and Stranglethorn Vale. Everywhere else I get 150+. I'm totally cool with more bells and whistles.

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32. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 16:24 The Half Elf
 
For once I agree with Dagok (PS3 UBER SUCKS! :P)

Art Style of WoW is unique, but it is constant and looks great for the game they are putting forward.

The last thing I want is WoW turning into a plastic looking MMO. Sides that plastic look has it's place in LEGO games

 
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31. spackle and paint May 16, 2008, 16:20 Kxmode
 
Just redo all the textures as 1024 x 1024 high resolution PNGs. Just the differences alone between 512 x 512 and 1024 x 1024 is AMAZING.

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This comment was edited on May 16, 16:31.
 
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30. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 16:00 Krovven
 
Will WoW still be king 3 years from now?

Depends if Blizzard has released a Diablo or Starcraft MMO by then. Honestly I cannot see any currently announced MMO taking that many subscribers from WoW anytime soon.

They don't "need" to update WoW's graphics, but I think giving two graphics options to users, new & old, will go a long way in keeping things fresh for many that may consider moving on.

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29. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 15:26 MMORPGHoD
 
Why would they need to put out a sequel? You said it yourself. They don't need new subscribers and they're not in any danger of losing great numbers to the competition. A sequel would be competing with themselves, not to mention they could pull an EQ2 and still end up with a dwindling total subscriber base. They can take their time and try to time a sequel when expansions aren't selling and they're down to a paltry 5 million subscribers. Will WoW still be king 3 years from now? That's the question, isn't it.

 
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28. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 14:50 PHJF
 
Then why in the fuck would they be doing this? They don't need new subscribers and I doubt they're in any danger of losing great numbers to any so-called competition. Just looks like shirking their job of putting out a sequel, "the easy road."  
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27. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 14:37 Alturis
 
I think Blizzard has proven that they know what people want without doing things "like everbody else does."

Their art pops and has more artistic flare than other more realistic looking games. To me its more interesting, and beyond that its gameplay that sells games.

 
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26. Re: No subject May 16, 2008, 14:32 PHJF
 
Really? People are might stop playing WoW because the graphics aren't good anymore?

That's why you create a sequel, Blizzard: like everybody else does.
 
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