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Reader Comments (70)

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:18PM Ehra said

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@NeverDeath

The reason people are ignoring most of your post is because this article is about the" best looking free-to-play games," not the most technically proficient or the most optimized. Your argument is like if someone started a similar article about the best looking portraits and someone else started saying a digital portrait done photoshop obviously has better "visuals" than one done by hand.

Yes, AoC and AO have higher quality textures. That doesn't necessarily mean they look better. Heck, look at Guild Wars 2. That game isn't exactly pushing the pollies, but people still go on about how visually stunning it is because of the strong art direction it's got.

What you're arguing isn't the same thing anyone else is talking about. The thing that's most telling thing about your post is that you try to argue that the term "visuals" applies more towards the technical aspects of the look than the style, yet the word "visuals" doesn't even appear in the article.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:34PM (Unverified) said

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@NeverDeath

I have to side with NevaDeth here, I've played most of the games on this list and found them all to be lacking in their implementation of art assets when compared to just Allods or AoC. Throw in how highly stylized both games already are (arguably on par with or better than all the other items on the list), and I think it's clear that both Allods and AoC are way ahead of the curve on most of the list. Not including them on a "best" list really hurts the authority of other claims on the list. While the rest of you have decided to argue entirely/mostly/heavily from the aesthetics of the art within the game, how well those assets are delivered to you should be factored in as part of a discussion of "best". I doubt for instance, that you'd argue a film like Citizen Kane would top a "best" movie list if it had been filmed at 2 frames per second, skipping over relevant and meaningful scenes and information. The content would have been the same, (and compelling), but the delivery would put a low ceiling over the way you experience that content, rendering the experience "lacking". For computer game aesthetics, including the technical aspect is essential, fundamental.

But to be fair, the problem is that the article was titled "the best looking games...". Of course people are going to argue on the internet about a statement like this... it's the internet. A more neutral title could have avoided much of the escalation of hostility in this thread. Adding "art is in the eye of the beholder" doesn't do anything to alter the authoritative claim of the title "Free for All: The best-looking games in free-to-play". It's just a crutch to fall back onto as people voiced their conflicting opinions in an article with a sensationalized title. I expect to hear 10 people jump to the defense of the author for this, but please instead of getting defensive just take a moment to consider how a more neutral title would be more appropriate for a discussion about aesthetics. Many people, the author included have talked about the subjective nature of aesthetics, so why defend the title, which is an objective claim?

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 9:28PM NeverDeath said

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@(Unverified)

Yeah, Allods and AoC both have much better graphics than any of the games on Beau's list of ambiguous intent. Art style is a matter of personal preference, of opinion which cannot be debated - but technical proficiency is cold, hard fact. It's the science aspect of the "graphics and visuals" category, which given that it comprises all that we SEE when we look at a game (which is how most of us play it, until braille-o-vision is invented), is pretty much an important half (some would argue greater) of the discussion that cannot be discounted by merely ignoring its existence so as not to be proven wrong in previous statements.

Unfortunately, as I have mentioned before, most people among these comments seem to favor making bold and emotional statements instead of logical ones that adhere to reality, and so it is no wonder that they choose to focus entirely on the artistic and not at all on that which conveys the artistry from being a JPEG to an actual animated and playable game. Two-dimensional minds with two-dimensional understanding.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 1:24AM Ehra said

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@NeverDeath

"Unfortunately, as I have mentioned before, most people among these comments seem to favor making bold and emotional statements instead of logical ones that adhere to reality, and so it is no wonder that they choose to focus entirely on the artistic and not at all on that which conveys the artistry from being a JPEG to an actual animated and playable game. Two-dimensional minds with two-dimensional understanding. "

Or maybe the issue is that you're traveling off topic and wondering why everyone else is talking about something else entirely.

Then again, perfectly sound arguments have been made for why you're in the here wrong and you chose to just ignore them while making cheap generalized shots at the rest of the community so I guess that speaks volumes as well.
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:36PM Resurge said

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@NeverDeath hey, all i'm sayin is i know a mullet when i see one. Didn't realize that was actually a picture of yourself, lol. I take it back!
Don't take it so seriously man ..it's all good. I had hair like that too, in like 1984 or something. I'm sure it will come back into style soon.
In the meantime, maybe you should try to read between the lines a little ..just pokin at you to get you to relax and have a little fun. No need to get all upset over this silly stuff. :)

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:38PM Resurge said

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@lble50r Uhhh .... I need an adult! Mods, the above post is ad-spam, just FYI in case you didn't notice.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:38PM (Unverified) said

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Dragon Nest is terrible in terms of game aesthetics. When game-time can be measured in a ratio of bland, dark, loading screens - to - action, there is a serious problem with the game (based off of personal experience between lvl 1-24). The game has some excellent art and camera work, the cutscenes are bearable and interesting, but the loading time / screens ruins all of that for me.

Allods should be on the list. AoC. Maybe even CO.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:38PM (Unverified) said

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Here's a thought, don't feed the troll that.. ahem.. never dies. Moving ever onward, though its not technically a F2P, I think Guild Wars has great graphics. I remember the days when they weren't so good. The ANet Team is doing an amazing job. I am thoroughly excited about Guild Wars 2 as well! It's a great looking game!

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 2:27PM Ordegar said

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@(Unverified)

Yeah I just started playing Guild Wars again this week, to get into the groove for GW2 and to play some of the content that I haven't done yet. There is a ton.

Guild Wars is a stunningly beautiful game. And, technically it IS free to play; it's just not free to get it ;).
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:46PM Fakeassname said

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@Pingles

"@NeverDeath

NeverDeath is the worst kind of troll: A boring one."

lol, high five!

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 7:47PM Yarr said

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It isn't just about how many polygons a game has or how high resolution the textures are. It is also about consistency of design, the animation quality, and of course personal preference. For me it is a matter of a virtual world being both good looking and well designed, to the point of being so well done that I'm able to effectively lose myself within that game world while I'm playing.

I think Beau's choices are pretty valid and certainly are similar in some respects to mine. I play LotRO and Aoc and while both are excellent in most places, they fall down in others. As others have mentioned, LotRO has some pretty poor character graphics and animations, AoC has poorly done textures in some areas, while having fantastic work in others, and again the character animations can be a bit wonky sometimes, although are still far better than LotRO, IMO.

Personally, I've always been impressed with Free Realms as a whole. Every part of it was well done, at least on the graphics and animation side.

Same with Ether Saga Odyssey: the overall world, characters, armor, pets, armor and so on, while a bit strange and 'too cartoon' at first glance, all work well together and while playing I never lost any immersion from stuff that stuck out as poorly done or that didn't fit within that world's style.

Allods would probably make my list as well, if I had played more of it than just the first few areas. While the game-play itself never grabbed me, the world's graphic design, character graphics and so forth certainly were very good.

And it isn't just that I only like less realistic worlds, as I'd certainly list games like Guild Wars, Aion/Lineage II and so forth as my favorites both graphically and from a design standpoint if we were including B2P/P2P.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 8:10PM Cyclone Jack said

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Wow, who would have thought art was so controversial. Now we know what Michelangelo must have gone through. :p

For me, I think I would have to put Allods in the list. While the game didn't suit me, I really liked its style. I really liked the undead/cyborg race things (absolutely loved their designs), though the 3 little pig/bears were just...no. :)

While AoC and LOTRO are F2P now, they were not made with a F2P budget, so I don't think I would feel comfortable putting them in the same category.

An honorable mention would be GW, but it's a hybrid B2P model. Still, the game has some beautiful vistas.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 8:31PM Beau Hindman said

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@Cyclone Jack Allods cost around 12 million to make. There are other FTPs that easily cost as much as their P2P counterparts. So, don't worry about comparing them. :)

Beau
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 9:31PM NeverDeath said

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@Beau Hindman

Perhaps that is why their soundtrack alone is more fun to play than most MMOs :P

The price cost of a F2P MMO however, has little to do with its inclusion. The only price tag that matters in this arena is the price tag on the user end, which in Allods (If you so choose it), is Zero.
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 10:15PM Fakeassname said

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@Beau Hindman

yea, a team of 10 that's passionate about their work will always out perform a team of 100 that's just punching a time clock in the corporate machine.
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 8:13PM Ehra said

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Personally, I've always loved the way many Asian MMOs look, especially Perfect World, Forsaken World, and 2 Moons.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 8:21PM DJJazzy said

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Age of Conan hands down.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 9:00PM (Unverified) said

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No one mentioned Zentia?

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 10:35PM Pingles said

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@(Unverified)

I commented earlier that the DESIGN is amazing but that it is also running on an aging engine. Too bad, really.

Probably my favorite of all the F2Ps.
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 10:10PM theinternetman said

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Seems more practical to have a list of your preferences and thoughts on the highest quality or most fun to play cash shop MMOs out there. Then again I'm not the one getting articles approved on an MMO news and editorial site.

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