Star Trek Online

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-   -   Realism/Canon Visuals Enhancement (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=599841)

snds 03-29-2013 11:23 AM

Realism/Canon Visuals Enhancement
 
Hey guys,

I know STO has its current visual style pretty well established and unless a engine overhaul is done can't really adapt to some of the more critical things I would like to see changed. However, there are a great many smaller, more detail oriented elements (as well as a few perhaps larger ones) that could help with overall immersion. I also imagine many of the things I have as feedback may have been considered and disregarded but I do feel that these things can and should be addressed/reexamined.

  1. Adjust planet and solar dimensions to match a more realistic representation of scale.
  2. Revise solar effects and bloom; no one looks at a star and always has a UV filter on their eyes, EVE Online has this down pat (much like the planetary scale issue)
  3. Increase texture resolution at the higher end of the graphical scale to allow for finer ship paneling and character clothing detail; with graphics cards getting better and other MMO's getting more and more detailed it would be great if the upper range of settings reflected this mentality and visual shift.
  4. Like the proposed color style options for the new LCARS UI in game, allow a user to select more accurate font styles and scale the UI accordingly (Allow usage of Helvetica Neue Bold Ultra Condensed - All Caps; for Fed as an example). Note that this would NOT be a default setting. Condensed fonts have readability issues so it would only for those that really want it.
  5. If texture resolution is increased detail clean up for ship textures such as the exposed component texture on Intrepid class and Nova class, among many other things.

Hopefully all of these won't get shot down but I felt it should be said. I am quite open for critique or addition to this list.

skollulfr 03-29-2013 03:34 PM

i have a feeling the planet scaling would frak up some missions in the foundry for a while.
though how do do it without relegating planets to the skybox would be... interesting.

tpalelena 03-29-2013 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skollulfr (Post 8898081)
i have a feeling the planet scaling would frak up some missions in the foundry for a while.
though how do do it without relegating planets to the skybox would be... interesting.

Yeah, that may cause some issues. It would take some time to get around a planet.


But sharper ship textures on the highest setting? Sounds good.

skollulfr 03-29-2013 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpalelena (Post 8905001)
Yeah, that may cause some issues. It would take some time to get around a planet.


But sharper ship textures on the highest setting? Sounds good.

quite.
even homeworld 1 had scaling lod so that the displayed texture was higher when zoomed right in and lower when you whernt close enough to see it anyway.

no idea if and to what extent this game supports that, but if it does a bit of a tweak could help.
even if there are people playing this game on systems that struggle with half rezo checked.:rolleyes:

wilkinson7 03-30-2013 02:56 PM

Pretty much every aspect of STO's graphics needs to be upgraded, especially considering character/avatar appearance. With the exception of the horrendous-looking "Standard 2" base complexion, essentially every male and every female character (with a normal face) looks largely the same. The sliders which are supposed to allow for facial customization don't really succeed in making anybody look any different. I'd like to see greater variety in faces, and a much-needed texture update on the "Type 2" heads and complexions so we could create characters of Eastern Asian and Central Asian ethnicity which actually look acceptable. We also need a much greater variety of hairstyles, and a huge upgrade on the shaders and "edges" of the hair models.

I also agree with the author of the thread, space has a lot of graphical updates it needs badly. Eve Online is a much older game with a much more realistic graphical approach to outer space.

But I think the place that Cryptic's graphics team needs the most improvement, is on plants, terrain, and the natural appearance of world levels. I feel like they need to be taken out to a forest so they can see what real plants look like. The flora of all the worlds I've seen has plants which look strange and fake, giving the worlds the appearance of a movie set from the sixties, rather than the appearance of a natural environment. They often look like they're made of plastic, and they're usually placed in an unnatural way so they don't look like they grew; they look like they were placed there as if they were props.

jexsamx 03-30-2013 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wilkinson7 (Post 8929221)
movie set from the sixties

But Star Trek has a rich history of using cheesy props from the 60's! Largely because it started in the 60's, mind you, but still...

wilkinson7 04-02-2013 05:34 PM

And that was then, and this is now. We're no longer in the '60s, and Star Trek's sets, props, and special effects all improved as the contemporary technology did. By DS9, all outdoor shots were actually done outdoors. Alien worlds were realistic CGI with full use of green screen technology, rather than antiquated backdrop-stills sets or models with matting. There's no need to make a game look worse on purpose.

snds 04-03-2013 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpalelena (Post 8905001)
Yeah, that may cause some issues. It would take some time to get around a planet.


But sharper ship textures on the highest setting? Sounds good.

I understand that getting around the planets may take longer but that seems more like a game design problem that the team at Cryptic needs to sort out.

The realism helps with the overall experience and shows a bit more respect for the style of MMO. And frankly those missions where you go around an entire planet to arbitrarily fix som satellites or battle some cloaked ships are filler. Revising them into a wave system may be better or just limit the area to a quarter of the planets orbit radius? You don't HAVE to go around the planet to complete a "Destroy all baddies" mission.

snds 04-03-2013 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wilkinson7 (Post 8929221)
Pretty much every aspect of STO's graphics needs to be upgraded, especially considering character/avatar appearance. With the exception of the horrendous-looking "Standard 2" base complexion, essentially every male and every female character (with a normal face) looks largely the same. The sliders which are supposed to allow for facial customization don't really succeed in making anybody look any different. I'd like to see greater variety in faces, and a much-needed texture update on the "Type 2" heads and complexions so we could create characters of Eastern Asian and Central Asian ethnicity which actually look acceptable. We also need a much greater variety of hairstyles, and a huge upgrade on the shaders and "edges" of the hair models.

I also agree with the author of the thread, space has a lot of graphical updates it needs badly. Eve Online is a much older game with a much more realistic graphical approach to outer space.

But I think the place that Cryptic's graphics team needs the most improvement, is on plants, terrain, and the natural appearance of world levels. I feel like they need to be taken out to a forest so they can see what real plants look like. The flora of all the worlds I've seen has plants which look strange and fake, giving the worlds the appearance of a movie set from the sixties, rather than the appearance of a natural environment. They often look like they're made of plastic, and they're usually placed in an unnatural way so they don't look like they grew; they look like they were placed there as if they were props.

Wholeheartedly agree with wilkinson7. Thanks for the support on this. There are so many things that can be done. Hell, reduce the glossiness on character equipment would be a great start. All of the props on Star Trek were pretty much matted metal (in theory not actuality of course).

The ships need a serious texture overhaul to help address many of the canon ship texture and alignment issues that are in a sticky thread above this one.

And while I appreciate what the terrain and level generator can do for ground mission creation the foliage needs a bit of a realism bump as well, even for the strange "sky mushroom" trees on several missions. Large trees and foliage aren't that strangely bright by nature.

The character builder needs more variety and some skeletal upgrades. EVE Online's system as mentioned manages to make a semi-realistic character builder all the while keeping a very particular style.

Far too many things to tweak. Hopefully someone at Cryptic takes these threads seriously. I'd hate for these things to end up on a feature whiteboard then dismissed because they "don't have time." Make the time in between major releases!


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