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  1. #1
    Bloodsail Admiral Sturmbringe's Avatar
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    Mists of Pandaria and WoW Art Style-Outdated WoW Graphics Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard
    Sometimes I see players complaining about an out-dated graphics engine based solely on technical details, like the new API functions that usually come with each new generation of video cards that software engines can take advantage of, but I think that most of the times they forget about the most important thing, the design of the game itself.

    World of Warcraft is quite cartoonish, that’s obvious and it’s on purpose, it’s a design decision and I think it’s a really good one, it adds a lot to the longevity of the game, and it also makes it possible to play on low-settings and still have the game looking good.
    Also I have to say that engines aren’t something static, sometimes I think players forget about that, our engine is made in-house and so of course technical details are not as well spread on the internet as the ones from other engines, but as most players probably noticed, for example, the game now supports DirectX 11, and 64-bit OS’s. There have been a ton of changes made under the hood along these years; some of them are even visually unnoticeable since they are only performance improvements, but these are very important updates, raiding in a 25-man environment with addons and the like can actually be extremely CPU-intensive. I think those that have tried Sha of Anger in a 40-man raid with other raids around them “helping out”, understand the importance of having an efficient game engine.

    The amount of care that is put into design is quite impressive, there are lots of things that players don’t consciously notice and just take for granted, but after questing or raiding on a certain area, they will probably notice in the end that there was something special on that scenery that they just couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. The design ends up being extremely appealing and I think most players would be surprised to know the amount of attention and resources that are spent on fine-tuning very small details.

    I’ve played other games with the latest generation graphics engines and I must say that while some like to take advantage of showing off the engine capabilities, and try to impress players with technicalities, like using extremely high resolution textures and latest vertex shaders, most of them fail in delivering superb design, and by that I mean the amount of care and artistic talent that is put into real 3d modelling of in-game objects, of quest design, raid encounters and whatnot, that requires real work and artistic talent. I’ve seen some of the latest games using super simple 3d models and just applying some high resolution texture over it with stuff like tessellation and displacement mapping as a fast but impressive way to create surface relief and give it some finer 3d details.
    When seen independently this kind of things can look impressive, but are they memorable? I don’t think so; good design is not based on simply using the latest technology, good design should have an intrinsic value in itself and be able to persist through time.

    For example, the style of architecture that is used throughout Pandaria is consistent, fits like a glove into the environment and actually follows a lot of rules, grabbing inspiration and giving proper respect to old-eastern culture and architecture.
    Of course this is done in a way that fits into the already well-established and respected WoW culture and design.

    I would bet that most players would correctly recognize a 3d architecture model from WoW faster than they would from most other games. There is some “artistic glue” that connects it all together in World of Warcraft and makes everything look consistent, thus easily persisting in our memories as WoW or even as “Blizzard style”.
    Bunch of lies and half-truths by Blizzard, as usual.

    The WoW: Mists of Pandaria MINIMUM game requirements are as follows:

    Intel® Pentium® D or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 6800 or ATI™ Radeon™ X1600 Pro (256 MB)
    2 GB RAM (1 GB Windows XP)
    1024 x 768 minimum display resolution


    The Pentium D[2] brand refers to two series of desktop dual-core 64-bit x86-64 microprocessors with the NetBurst microarchitecture manufactured by Intel. Each CPU comprised two dies, each containing a single core, residing next to each other on a multi-chip module package. The brand's first processor, codenamed Smithfield, was released by Intel on May 25, 2005.

    In short, Blizzard says that the minimum requirements in order to play the game are a 2005 processor, a 256 meg video card, and 2 GBs or RAM. We conclude from this, that ANYTHING inferior to the above system requirements won't be able to run the game. This is simply NOT the case.

    My TOSHIBA S1950-801 from 2002 no less, is perfectly capable of running the game.

    http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.c...ODUCT_ID=41870

    Its specs:



    This is a bloody ancient processor. Let me just explain you just how ancient it is. It is a SINGLE CORE, SINGLE THREAD processor. No hyperthreading.

    Video Card: Nividia Geforce 460 Go, 16 Megabytes Video Memory: http://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce4go.html

    Memory: PC-133 DDR memory. That is memory operating at 133 MHZ ffs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC133

    I use the above computer at work, and run the game to post and cancel auctions. Sometimes, when I am travelling, I also use the above PC to quest and do other tasks. It gets me about 25 FPS all settings at lowest. This is more than enough to play the game. Yes, WoW is THAT ancient, and its engine is THAT ancient, that it can run on a Pentium 4 from 2002 with a 16 Meg video card.

    What else is there to say, except that my Core 2 Extreme QX 9650 CPU Nividia GTX 580 rig is perfectly able to run the game underclocked at 1.788 GHz with all settings at ULTRA. My GTX 580 is 50% underclocked too when playing WoW. I discovered that I can do almost everything at underclocked 1.788 GHz ULTRA except a 40 man raid.

    To my best knowledge, it is impossible to run modern high end games such as Battlefield 3, Call of Duty 2, CRYSIS 2 etc at ULTRA settings with your CPU and GPU 50% underclocked. That makes WoW graphics engine anything BUT modern.

    I remember when I tried SWTOR, I stood at awe looking at stunning SWTOR art. I felt like I was actually inside that world. I think the word is "immersed". The last time this happened to me in WoW was probably in 2005 at Feralas.

    Something else too: Graphics quality between my 16 megabyte video memory Ge Force 460 Go from 2002 at LOWEST and my 1.5 GB Nividia GTX 580 from 2011 at ULTRA is almost the same. I realized this while standing at Halfhill while playing on my Toshiba 2002 laptop and looking around. I could see the EXACT SAME moving clouds that I could see on my desktop GTX 580 rig at ULTRA settings. This is simply pitiful. PITIFUL. Nothing else.



    SWTOR was a bad game compared to WoW, but graphics-wise, it just beats WoW's face to the mud. It goes without saying that no
    2002 PC can run SWTOR or any other modern game. My next move will be to try to run MoP on my Pentium 266 MHz laptop from 1999.
    I get the feeling that it will run.
    Last edited by Sturmbringe; 2012-11-24 at 01:25 PM.
    NINJA TURTLES as the next playable WoW race/class combo. WoW has got Kung Fu Pandas, Pokemon and recently even Transformers in it, so I don't see how Ninja Turtles would be any less pathetic than current "WoW" is.

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  2. #2
    The Lightbringer Ermahgerd's Avatar
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    Wait, I don't get it. Are you complaining about WoW having out-dated graphics engine, or are you complaining about blizzard lying about what the minimum requirements are for WoW?

    Playing WoW on Ultra settings looks pretty dang awesome if you ask me (even though I can only run it at 20 fps on my laptop, I usually play on custom good settings). Of course WoW will always be behind on graphics and stuff. But I don't think it's really possible to update such game as WoW with the latest and up-to-date graphics.

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral Sturmbringe's Avatar
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    You should try SWTOR at ULTRA. Your heart will literally stop from the awesome graphics, guaranteed.

    My point is that WoW graphics engine is so ancient that it will even run on a 2002 PC. And no, WoW isn't even using 50% of my card's and CPU's horsepower, which is sad.
    NINJA TURTLES as the next playable WoW race/class combo. WoW has got Kung Fu Pandas, Pokemon and recently even Transformers in it, so I don't see how Ninja Turtles would be any less pathetic than current "WoW" is.

    My Rig

  4. #4
    What "lies and half truths" are you referring to? I didn't see anything in Blizzard's statement that was a lie.
    It was mostly talking about how, despite WoW running on an older engine, the graphics are more memorable because they are more stylistic and unique than what other games do with higher CPU/GPU requirements. That's really more of an opinion than a factual assertion.

    Even a black and white movie can be more stylistic than the latest Michael Bay movie. I think the Star Wars screenshot you posted looks generic as hell. It seriously looks like every other science fiction game that I've played, and it doesn't really stand out to me.

    Are you upset that you can run WoW below the minimum requirements? Of course you can. Have you raided with your old set up? Done battlegrounds? Did 40-man Sha? The minimum requirements are there to establish a baseline of requirements (aka minimum) so that a potential buyer knows whether he or she can engage in all the different aspects of WoW, not just posting auctions or questing.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmbringe
    You should try SWTOR at ULTRA. Your heart will literally stop from the awesome graphics, guaranteed.
    SWTOR looks like ass.

    A labyrinth of copy/pasted corridors with painted on scenery fooling you into thinking the game has depth.
    Last edited by Pucker; 2012-11-24 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #6
    The Lightbringer SL1200's Avatar
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    All those beautiful graphics and they even let you play it free, but still....nobody wants to play it. Apparently graphics aren't everything when it comes to gaming. When did it become a news flash that an 8 year old game doesnt have as good of graphics as a one year old game?

  7. #7
    Over 9000! Baar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmbringe View Post
    You should try SWTOR at ULTRA. Your heart will literally stop from the awesome graphics, guaranteed.

    My point is that WoW graphics engine is so ancient that it will even run on a 2002 PC. And no, WoW isn't even using 50% of my card's and CPU's horsepower, which is sad.

    Can you point out the line that was the lie?

  8. #8
    Moderator Gehco's Avatar
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    This thread isn't really fulfilling on information. The minimum requirements are for good, last I checked. And just because your old computer can run it, does that make Blizzard the lying part? The minimum requirement is so the you can enjoy -all- content, not just running about.

    Yes, Blizzard runs on outdated machinery, but we all knew that. But they are still doing quite well for what they are running with, atleast they allow outdated equipment to run the game, means more can play it.

    And yes, SWTOR beats WoW in graphics but we know that, it's new'ish. WoW is a mammoth, you don't complain about the fur, we all know the WoW is old but yet it's still beating alot of competition. And bet the people designing the new engine is on project. Titan.
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  9. #9
    so blizzard should lower the minimum requirements cause even weaker computers are able too handle it also?

    isnt that a pro?

  10. #10
    Bloodsail Admiral melak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felhunter View Post
    so blizzard should lower the minimum requirements cause even weaker computers are able too handle it also?

    isnt that a pro?
    indeed, i would think so to. Btw liked the screenshot Pucker
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  11. #11
    That SWTOR screenshot looks like shit. You lose all very little credibility you had by confusing graphics, engine, and art style, OP. I simply could not play SWTOR solely based on the fact they were too generic and shitty to add anti-aliasing to the game.

    And there's a difference between the game loading and a playable state. Just because a computer can load a piece of software doesn't mean the piece of software is shit. I can install Windows 7 on a 15 year old computer -- but Windows wouldn't be very usable. This also doesn't mean Windows 7 is shit. Just because WoW can load on 10 year old hardware doesn't say anything about the game.

    I have a Q6600 quad core processor, GTX 285 graphics card, Windows 7x64 and 8GB of ram. To me a game is only playable with all graphics settings maxed -- I won't play a game otherwise. WoW chugs in some areas on my PC.

    You should educate yourself a little more about the topic you're talking about before making a fool of yourself in public.
    Last edited by ablib; 2012-11-24 at 01:58 PM.

  12. #12
    All i could understand ( in a language that the OP might understand) is :

    Blliz : inside this box u have 1 bar of chocolate for u to eat at your pleasure

    OP : ok
    ( OP opens the box and finds 3 bars of chocolate instead

    OP : fuc**** blizzard! i got 3 bars of chocolate instead of 1!

    The OP loves chocolate btw.
    by Aurust :
    Although i havent played it, there is I believe enough info to form a valid opinion.
    To give my opinion on the new WOW xpac..... Ive played enough wow to know MOP is a complete disaster..... I visualized playing it in my head and it was bad.

  13. #13
    Bloodsail Admiral Sturmbringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slozon View Post
    Can you point out the line that was the lie?
    The amount of care that is put into design is quite impressive That's a lie, as WoW looks almost identical on a 2002 PC at LOWEST and a 2011 PC at ULTRA. Clearly, they haven't put impressive amounts of design into the game.

    but after questing or raiding on a certain area, they will probably notice in the end that there was something special on that scenery that they just couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. Lie, the last time any gamer was awed by graphics in WoW was in 2005.


    The design ends up being extremely appealing
    Lie, the last zones that were extremely appealing in WoW were Feralas, Barrens, Un'Goro Crater, Wetlands and Tanaris from WoW Vanilla. That was EIGHT (8) years ago.

    I’ve played other games with the latest generation graphics engines and I must say that while some like to take advantage of showing off the engine capabilities, and try to impress players with technicalities, like using extremely high resolution textures and latest vertex shaders, most of them fail in delivering superb design Yet another lie this guy is saying that Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, and Call Of Duty 2 (even SWTOR) graphics suck compared to WoW's ancient graphics from 2004.

    Cba to continue. You get the point.
    Last edited by Sturmbringe; 2012-11-24 at 02:01 PM.
    NINJA TURTLES as the next playable WoW race/class combo. WoW has got Kung Fu Pandas, Pokemon and recently even Transformers in it, so I don't see how Ninja Turtles would be any less pathetic than current "WoW" is.

    My Rig

  14. #14
    Oh wow, that SWTOR image looks like absolute shit, the 80s called, they want their neon back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaexion View Post
    The loss of the ability to pass on loot is the loss of the ability to choose. This is communism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevra View Post
    It's a #$^&*@ fantasy game. You're a blue space goat riding around on flying serpents killing dragons the size of continents. And you're wondering why a gryphon doesn't look like an eagle?

  15. #15
    well honestly, it depends on what you define as the "best graphics". Speaking as a designer myself,THIS...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard;
    World of Warcraft is quite cartoonish, that’s obvious and it’s on purpose, it’s a design decision and I think it’s a really good one, it adds a lot to the longevity of the game, and it also makes it possible to play on low-settings and still have the game looking good....

    When seen independently this kind of things can look impressive, but are they memorable? I don’t think so; good design is not based on simply using the latest technology, good design should have an intrinsic value in itself and be able to persist through time.
    Warcraft graphics fit the entire tonal theme of the game. Though there are a lot of models that are downright awful.. (like player models and vanilla models and critters and early trees) a lot of the newer ones are much more detailed and fit in with the engine and graphical style of the game very well.

    Since vanilla there have been other games out with much better graphics, but some of these if you look back at them now look pants. Emulating more realistic models means that the games appearance will date a lot quicker than if it's more cartoony. Even in two years time SWTOR+maybe GW2 will probably look bad compared to everything else out then, but WoW will still have its own distinctive style and still not seem as dated.

    For a computer game, after 8 years, to still have appealing and playable graphics, and for the graphics to be at least somewhat pleasant at whatever computer speed you have, is a MASSIVE win in my book, and fantastic design.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmbringe View Post
    The amount of care that is put into design is quite impressive That's a lie, as WoW looks almost identical on a 2002 PC at LOWEST and a 2011 PC at ULTRA. Clearly, they haven't put impressive amounts of design into the game.

    but after questing or raiding on a certain area, they will probably notice in the end that there was something special on that scenery that they just couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. Lie, the last time any gamer was awed by graphics in WoW was in 2005.


    The design ends up being extremely appealing
    Lie, the last zones that were extremely appealing in WoW were Feralas, Un'Goro Crater, Wetlands and Tanaris from WoW Vanilla. That was EIGHT (8) years ago.

    I’ve played other games with the latest generation graphics engines and I must say that while some like to take advantage of showing off the engine capabilities, and try to impress players with technicalities, like using extremely high resolution textures and latest vertex shaders, most of them fail in delivering superb design Yet another lie this guy is saying that Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, and Call Of Duty 2 (even SWTOR) graphics suck compared to WoW's ancient graphics from 2004.

    Cba to continue. You get the point.
    1. Your argument here is ridiculous. Maybe facing the wall in some cave in Durotar does the game look the same on a 2002 PC on the lowest setting as it does on a 2011 PC on Ultra setting. Fly over Jade Forest, or Kun-Lai Summit, on a 2002 PC on lowest setting, then on 2011 PC on Ultra setting and make that argument.
    Also, I am impressed by the amount of care put into the game. There, the statement is not a lie.

    2. I was awed by the graphics in TBC in Nagrand. I was awed by the graphics in Ulduar and ICC. I was awed by the graphics in Vashj'ir. I was awed by the graphics in Jade Forest and Valley of Four Winds and The Wandering Isle. There, the statement is not a lie.

    3. The design IS appealing. Even though WoW's graphics do not have high CPU/GPU requirements, it is memorable, stylistic, and unique.

    4. He's not saying the graphics suck. He admits that the graphics are good. For one, he doesn't mention any games by name -- that's all you. Second, he's saying that, although the graphics may be good, they don't have the same amount of style as WoW's graphics do.


    All in all, he's basically stating opinions, and you're saying that because you disagree with them, that they are lies.
    You can DISAGREE with his opinions, but other people (including myself) agree with his opinions.

  17. #17
    Epic! OneSent's Avatar
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    This has got to be a troll post, but I was tempted to bite anyways.

    Are you honestly comparing SWTOR's graphics/engine to World of Warcraft?!

    You didn't even choose a decent screenshot. That shot of Nar Shaadaa looks like something from an N64 game and the rest of the game's graphics look equally plastic-coated.

    And SWTOR has, by far, one of the shittiest game engines to ever plague the MMO genre. Even the best computers on the market chug when anything more that 4 players are present on the screen at the same time. If you think pretty graphics are what make a good MMO, then you are in the wrong genre, buddy.

    Judging by the fact that you posted your specs in your signature and that you named off games such as BF3, Crysis and CoD, you must be one of those people who looks for games that challenge your super, awesome, mega-computer.

    That is not the goal of WoW and it never will be. There's a reason why graphics-intensive MMOs fall on their face.
    Seeking wildness and solitude in a self-destructive world.

  18. #18
    If you want to play a game that just looks pretty and has shit gameplay you're free to leave WoW and play that instead, WoW and most blizzard games have cartoony graphics by design and that ain't gonna change anytime soon because a few people want pretty pixels to look at.
    If you want to play pretty looking games there are plenty out there for you to choose from. Also a game isn't exactly playable with 20 fps with everything on low, just because it starts doesn't mean it's playable.

  19. #19
    OP, don't deceive people. If you go with sub-minimum requirements to raid, it won't work. With sub-minimum reqs you wouldn't even be able to do quests in less or more populated zones properly.

    Oh, and graphics factor was one of the factors for some people (including me) to never give SWtoR a try. Stories about multiple loading screens just to use ship didn't help it much either.

    When developers start turning towards graphics and accent on them, actual gameplay starts dying. Too bad they never learn from projects like Battlespire. And too bad that among multitude of modern super-graphic games, there is barely any gameplay in comparison to 10+ years old games.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmbringe View Post
    The amount of care that is put into design is quite impressive That's a lie, as WoW looks almost identical on a 2002 PC at LOWEST and a 2011 PC at ULTRA. Clearly, they haven't put impressive amounts of design into the game.

    but after questing or raiding on a certain area, they will probably notice in the end that there was something special on that scenery that they just couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. Lie, the last time any gamer was awed by graphics in WoW was in 2005.


    The design ends up being extremely appealing
    Lie, the last zones that were extremely appealing in WoW were Feralas, Barrens, Un'Goro Crater, Wetlands and Tanaris from WoW Vanilla. That was EIGHT (8) years ago.

    I’ve played other games with the latest generation graphics engines and I must say that while some like to take advantage of showing off the engine capabilities, and try to impress players with technicalities, like using extremely high resolution textures and latest vertex shaders, most of them fail in delivering superb design Yet another lie this guy is saying that Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, and Call Of Duty 2 (even SWTOR) graphics suck compared to WoW's ancient graphics from 2004.

    Cba to continue. You get the point.
    Half of what you point out here are flat opinions that are more personal than anything else. For me Kun-Lai summit, Nagrand, or Stormpeaks are more appealing than the Barrens, Un'Goro o the other zones you mentioned.

    And fuck yeah I was in Awe the first time I saw Kun-Lai from above, or when I saw the entrance of Ulduar the first time, and the details that went into the instances, buildings is extremely well done.

    Maybe your last point makes some kind of sense, the first though is nonsensical, the texture and overall quality of the graphic design (at least for the zones) in Pandaria piss right on the head of everything that has been made before it. THey added shadows and a lot of other technical implementation in the engine that while can't really change the fact that the engine is 8 years old still added a lot of depth and quality to the environments.

    I'm not really sure of the point of this thread but seems much more like "today I really want an excuse to bash something a Blizzard employee said, let's see what I can find"
    Last edited by Brazorf; 2012-11-24 at 02:20 PM.

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