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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
02-17-2010, 04:58 PM
Originally Posted by siriusds89 View Post
I think I need a better understanding of how these systems work.

Why are planets (in STO an EVE) never to scale? Is it just not doable?

How does WoW create the following landscapes? Is it limited by memory for assets? Is that why houses in villagers are all the same and Castles are the same?

But then wouldn't Planets be the same but just with different textures, hues and scales?

Is it even possible to have a massive map, the size of the galaxy(ish), on any game engine? And if it is, why has no one done it and populatted it with randomly generated content except for a few key locations?

Anyone know... anyone?
Only devs and Blizzard can answer those questions with any degree of accuracy. We mere mortals can only speculate.

Like you say WoW re-uses a lot of its models and textures. Perhaps that, coupled with the "less realistic" style graphics, allow for a reduction in the amount of memory that such objects take up (I believe thats referred to as the "polygon count"). Thus a lot more memory resource is free to render the game world "on the fly". There's other tricks too, like delayed rendering of game objects until they are within a certain distance. Which is quite noticable in WoW. But if its kept within an acceptable limit, then it would appear that people are happy to live with it, if it means that the main part of the game world is always visible.

Perhaps the sheer amount of "realistic" looking and relatively unique graphical objects that must be rendered fast enough to keep up with a player moving through it in other MMOs, is just too much for the current level of hardware to deal with. Which is strange when you consider the level of detail viewed in single player games and how quickly and randomly the player can move through it. Granted, in some cases, the game maps are a lot smaller. But in others the game maps are actually quite close to the size of "chunks" you see in some MMOs.

So, obviously there is much more to it than that. Let's not forget about the issues with client/server communication. In a single player game, mostly everything is predetermined both in how it looks and how it acts. Also, single player games don't need to persisnently "poll" a server in order to constantly query the positioning and actions being undertaken around the player in the gameworld environment. On the other hand, in an MMO npcs, players and other movable objects have to be considered random elements. And those random elements still have to be queried from the server and rendered "on the fly".

A lot of this is speculation.. I don't know for sure. I haven't studied games programming that much, yet

However, one simple fact remains. Many MMO's that lean heavily towards "realistic" graphics are often instance-based. And even some games that aren't very realistic are too.

How Blizzard managed to make an MMO that doesn't require loading screens when traversing across huge game areas, is a mystery only they know the answer to.

Cryptic, Funcom, NCSoft, SOE all seem incapable of doing it or even wanting to attempt to make a "seamless" world environment. Although I've got to give SOE kudos for TRYING to do so with SWG. At least each planet in that game is one complete and fairly sizeable zone.