Thursday, December 10, 2009

Everquest 2 - Modeling is fun

Yesterday, a small Twitter discussion was had over the quality of the models in EQ2. I, of course in my infinite wisdom, decided to compare the models of LOTRO to EQ2, which started a small storm of "EQ2 models make my eyes bleed" as one person put it.

There is no doubt that when it comes to models for games, EQ2 and LOTRO are just not winners anyways. Especially with us coming from Age of Conan, it is hard to compare their realistic and gorgeous models to any other on the market.
Take The stock models of Clay that EQ2 provides. Those are truly ugly to look at.

Luckily, thanks to an alternate model system, I feel the EQ2 visuals of their models get a boost in quality over LOTRO.

As someone pointed out, the females do have an issue with standing to attention...yet, they visually are more appealing.

Another thing of note is thanks to a lifelike skeletal system, the run animations for EQ2 models and their fighting animations are truly much better. Hand motions for emotes are good, and armor at least looks like it is worn instead of painted on.

LOTRO suffers from some issues of oversized hands, a multitude of ugly female faces (which from my understanding are much better on NPC's than the characters which is just wrong), and males with size two waist...which all detract from the visual quality.

Men also have a terrible issue with beards looking like they are also painted on. Here is a perfect example of the size two waist, painted on spandex armor and painted beard. I really dig the "That 70's show" Ashton Kutcher hairdo also.

But, all of this does not matter if the animations look good...which we again run into an issue where all of the models look like Mechs when they run (they twist at the waist which gives the sensation that they are robots), and combat looks to be done at 30FPS in a 60FPS+ game.

These are all personal beliefs, and would finally all not matter if the games are fun. EQ2 has so much to do, and keeps you occupied that a majority of the time, thinking about how your model looks becomes a moot point...

We are having fun.

LOTRO never did this for us in our household.

I have in the past really griped about LOTRO, so everyone knows my views. I will just leave with what my wife says when I ask her if we should go back and give it another try...

"I am sorry, but I want to feel and look pretty while having fun. LOTRO offered me neither of those".


Longasc said...

The alternate EQ2 models are definitely better than the old ones, especially when it comes to hair styles. The dark elf lady there definitely has style. The evil gaze is debatable, but it is part of her style, after all. And it is really well done.

No more plastic worms hair, a definite plus! But Petter still decided to rather make a Ratonga, as humans still look somewhat alien. But well, I had the same reason for making a human male in LOTRO - female elves and humans apparently can't walk due to a broken hip.

Still, I am still not sold on the art style of EQ2. LOTRO did not revamp the art style completely, but later armors no longer apply the horrid "armor shirt" (i.e. someone painted "armor" on a skin-tight shirt...^^) style of the elven armor. The Rift armor already has depth, Galadhrim/Malledhrim armor for example. I guess you have seen it one one of the few screenshots that I occasionally (i.e. on every occasion) post on Twitter. ;)

The combat is no longer laggy, controls now respond as it should be. And the elven maidens now have really beautiful faces, no longer horsefaces.

But as our next chance to join up and play a MMO together is probably GW2 sometime in 2011, I will enjoy the additional benefit of exploring another world through your eyes. You already have a Picasa album, upload some screenshots of EQ2's world (it is still Norrath?), please.

And if you need some more LOTRO screenshots, you tell me, and you will get served! (I should add a smiley here...)

My greatest regret: Take a look at Aion. They have a great art direction and engine. Especially when it comes to animation quality it is lightyears ahead. But it is a very eastern style that does not appeal to everybody and would not be appropriate for more western fantasy worlds either. Such a pity.

So well, let's hope for GW2. Visually at least it looks like a clear winner.

Blue Kae said...

While I can't agree with you on the LoTRO end of things, I completely agree with you on EQ2. I originally started EQ2 as something to play part-time before/during the WoW launch, and as a former EQ player I was interested to see what the "Next Generation" was going to be like. I ended up quiting after the first month because I couldn't stand any of the character graphics besides the Erudites. I only went back to EQ2 again because they did the SOGA model revamp, which is funny since I'm generally not a fan of Korean style art (Lineage 2, Aion, etc) although GW is okay.

Aspendawn said...

I'm one that likes the original EQ2 models and really, really dislike the Soga versions. Well, at least when it comes to the elven races which is what I always play.

The human and barbarian females are just yucky.