Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I play for the scenery, really...

Sure, sure, there's the whole social aspect of WoW, hanging out with your friends online, and then there's the "complete tasks, kill critters, get paid" Pavlovian rewards of questing and leveling, but mostly I'm just there for the scenery...
It's so tranquil. Seems a shame to make a fuss by starting fights.

Note the giant double-gasbag dirigible in the background.
It's been my biggest problem with the original Halo. I'll stand there gawking like a duck in thunder at scenery like this and it gets me killed.

19 comments:

Toastrider said...

I remember playing Morrowind and being awestruck when the moons came up on a clear night. Made you honestly feel like you weren't on Earth, but Someplace Else (tm).

Bob said...

I enjoy Lord of the Rings Online for the same reason. I can just walk up to the door of Bag End and go inside, visit Elrond at Rivendell, stand on the Bridge of Khazad-Dum in the Mines of Moria and yell "You...shall not...pass!" just like Gandalf (trust me, everyone does this in LOTRO). Pretty soon here they are opening up Helm's Deep.

Tam said...

It's one reason I'm glad MoH: Warfighter modeled the scenery so realistically, because I have no desire to stand and gawk at a faithfully-modeled depressing Third World shithole in digital form any more than I do in real life, so I get through it as quick as possible.

Leatherwing said...

In Red Dead Redemption (aka Grand Theft pony edition) I used to just get on my horse and ride around looking at the scenery. Really made me want to take another trip out West.

Keith said...

You don't sit and gawk and the super high rez sand, dust, and rust textures from the Call of Honor: Medal of Warfighter games? The new game's Arab head scarves have 3 times as many polygons as the old ones and come in 4 new shades of brown!

Seriously though Northrend was one of my favorite game areas in any game ever. The place was beautiful, the gameplay fun and very polished, and the story of both the individual quests and main plot was quite well done. While certainly a great technical achievement I felt that the werewolf expansion was not as good. I have not played with the Kung Fu Pandas so I can't speak to that. From what I have heard the Northrend team was put to work on project Titan and the newer expansions were done by other hence the differences.

Tam said...

Keith,

I'll admit that the opening game-engine-rendered cut scene in MoH fell so far into the uncanny valley that it took me a few seconds to realize the dude talking on the phone in the hotel room was computer-generated and not just a lousy actor.

Keith said...

Honestly tam I haven't played either of the modern combat shooty games since MW3 for CoD and the first modern MoH set in Afghanistan. I find the CoD games to be at least a little entertaining due to the insane storys and over the topness of it all while the MoH games are just kinda meh.

taylor said...

Its actually a Skinner Box response, not a Pavlovian one, but I digress...

Two other VERY pretty MMOs are LOTRO (already mentioned) and SWTOR.

Currently thought, Im on a shooter kick. I was missing many of the better aspects of MMOs...that is until I found Planetside 2. Its the only shooter Ive ever played with true SCALE.

The group I play with fields 100 or so players a night with 2-3 times that many on Saturday Ops. It gets wild! At any given time there are 1500 or so players on a server, so we tend to represent a significant % of the population.

The best part? No "matches" or "maps"...just an open battlefield on 3 continents with 3 factions fighting for control. And when I say continents I mean it...8x8km each (yes, 64sqkm...32 times larger than the largest BF3 map)...and there are 3 of them.

Its the only shooter I know of where logistics is a real consideration, not just an afterthought.

Want MMO scale in a shooter? PS2 all the way! Fair warning...its a bit of a resource hog.

Tam said...

taylor,

"Its actually a Skinner Box response..."

You're right, and the painful part is I sat there and debated "Skinner box" or "Pavlovian" and went and picked the wrong one. I'm batting 1.000 in the derp department today! :D

taylor said...

Thats ok...we all have our moments. Im currently batting 0.000 in the "getting shit done" department.

Every day in a holiday week feels like a Monday to me.

MattB said...

Heh. Suggest you do NOT download Skyrim with the hi-rez texture pack then.....

Windy Wilson said...

The caption for the second picture: "Note the giant double-gasbag dirigible in the background"

That's a really poor likeness of Mayor Bloomberg.

Jayson said...

If you liked the scenery in HALO, HALO 4 would flip your lid. With friends playing the campaign in co-op, there were times where we stop and gawk at the scenery. And the first opening was very very real-looking. I thought it was innovative and smoothly edited live action put into the game.

Mike in KY said...

I remember the first time I played Halo (the pc version - which wasn't that long ago). It was the first time I had played any fps since some Klingon (honor guard?) years ago, and before that it was Descent and Descent II (remember those?).

I was awestruck at the visuals in Halo. Except I'd usually hide behind something before admiring the scenery. I could fly around all day in one of those covenant things.

Commander_Zero said...

I've often thought Nagrand looked like pleasant enough country to retire to. Mulgore looks very much like Montana and would be nice but it's infested with these annoying Horde cow-things.

Most of mid-central Pandaria looks promising, though.

will_1400 said...

What MattB said. Skyrim in high rez is ungodly in how awesome the scenery is. Bonus points for playing in a darkened room lit only by the glow of your computer monitor.

Gewehr98 said...

Woohoo! A Deathwing mount! They don't just give those away...

Tam said...

G98,

Reprisal is a pretty cool guild. You'd recognize a bunch of faces. :D

Anonymous said...

One of the most achingly beautiful games *and utterly heart breaking* was Spec Ops the Line. Walking through the ruined corpse of Dubai was breathtaking... even if the game made me despise myself before all was said abf done.