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Massively Singleplayer
July 26th 2001, 14:34 CEST by Morn

Okay, I'm a slacker, and I'm sorry! Anyway, here's a new thread for you. I'm afraid most of you are going to hate it, because, well, it's, uh, Anarchy Online related. Again. Sorry. I was going to post a big RomeroHallTornMaxPayne combo-thread first, but this was just too funny to ignore:

In order to make Anarchy Online <s>stable</s> work, Funcom are <a href="http://community.anarchy-online.com/news/general/articles/361">going to introduce</a> some radical new performance tweaks. In the imminent client patch, you will be able to disable player models. You know, to make things faster.

Maybe they should also try to disable towns, trees, mountains, the mission system and dungeons. Who knows, they might end up with something playable?
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#1 by "Ashiran"
2001-07-26 14:36:39
ikhier@wish.nl wtf.couchcrew.com
HURTING! STOPS! WHEN!
#2 by "PiMuRho"
2001-07-26 14:36:40
www.pimurho.co.uk
Kind of makes me glad I never actually finished the AO download.
I bet the WW2 Online guys are happy that AO is taking the flak away from them...
#3 by "Morn"
2001-07-26 14:38:03
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
And thanks to Blue's where I found this. :)  Anarchy Online -- biggest mest since Daggerfall? :/

- Morn
#4 by "Morn"
2001-07-26 14:38:21
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Mess! MESS! This site needs an edit feature!
#5 by "Ashiran"
2001-07-26 14:38:58
ikhier@wish.nl wtf.couchcrew.com
Really morn, I was hoping that you could come up with something better then some more AO bashing. It's already a known fact that it stinks.

Look in the dictionary for "Retail Beta Release" and you see Anarchy Online as the first meaning.
#6 by "Ashiran"
2001-07-26 14:41:11
ashiran@ashrain.net wtf.couchcrew.com
We are better off talking about Hulkas OlsenTwin fetish. :P

And Daggerfall indeed was a mess. But atleast it worked at retail.
#7 by "Morn"
2001-07-26 14:50:04
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
I am fully aware that AO's condition is well known, however, I believe the way Funcom are trying to fix it is worth mentioning/discussing. Of course all, or most, games offer options to disable certain features in order to run faster, but player models aren't really a graphical effect, or toy, they're a very important game design element, especially in a massively multiplayer online RPG, which lives and dies with how much its players form a community and interact. And especially especially especially in one that has a relatively heavy focus on PvP!

Imagine you'd have to disable the other players' models in Quake 3 Arena or Unreal Tournament to make them run at decent speeds.

:/

- Morn
#8 by "PiMuRho"
2001-07-26 14:51:13
www.pimurho.co.uk
Well, damn. This year's ECTS is looking a bit wank

I might reconsider going now. 300 miles is a long way to drive to look at nothing much :(
#9 by "Darren Coleman"
2001-07-26 14:53:09
durzel@barrysworld.com http://www.superficial.net
Can we talk about something else instead? Anarchy Online has been done to death - I think the scandal surrounding AO has pretty much died down now, anyone stupid enough to buy it in its current form deserves to put up with its direness and show-stopping bugs.  There's not an awful lot more you can say about it - "developers announce they know about the problems and will fix them soon".. great!

So anyway, Gran Turismo 3 - best looking driving game in the history of the World?  Game of the Year?  Anyone got the F1 car yet?  Is it fast?  I should shut up now yes?
#10 by "Darren Coleman"
2001-07-26 14:57:57
durzel@barrysworld.com http://www.superficial.net
If they are having to resort to giving people experiencing problems the option to "switch off" vital parts of the game, it suggests to me that the engine itself is very flawed to begin with, and no amount of patching is ever likely to change that.  Shite in, shite out - as they say.
#11 by "Morn"
2001-07-26 14:59:07
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
I hate you all. :)

I just wanted to talk about Funcom not being able to fix the game, not that the game is broken. But you're not letting me. It's a conspiracy. And you're all just trying to MAKE ME THINK that I'm paranoid. Yes.

- Morn
#12 by "Flamethrower"
2001-07-26 15:20:09
patch@evilemail.com www.Jesus-vs-Judas.com
Disabling polygons is a traditional way to improve performace.

Example: The UNREAL TOURNAMENT levels. Fun game. But very plain levels.

Enabling polygons can slow your game to a trudge.

Example: Wheel of Time. "How Many Polygons Is Too Many Polygons?" experiment gone awry.
#13 by "Morn"
2001-07-26 15:26:31
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
"Disabling polygons is a traditional way to improve performace."

True, but you usually don't start by disabling crucial game elements, polygons or not.

- Morn
#14 by "Ashiran"
2001-07-26 15:33:59
ashiran@ashrain.net wtf.couchcrew.com
Nobody ever said that Funcom had smart/bright/intelligent employees. Cause they obviously don't have them, atleast not at decision positions.
#15 by "Greg"
2001-07-26 16:04:32
greg417@worldnet.att.net http://www.insidemacgames.com
Hi, I am creating a massively multiplayer game. To help the game run smoothly, I would like to disable the ability to see any of the other players in the game! Sounds like a winning idea! It reminds me of a flying game I saw at E3 that was in "beta" yet there was no sky...

Actually, it would work if the game was called Insanity Online. That way, all the other players are just voices in your head!

Why don't they just make all the characters sprites? That way, even though they aren't polygons, the game can still be played...

Greg
#16 by "Darren Coleman"
2001-07-26 16:27:32
durzel@barrysworld.com http://www.superficial.net
They should just turn it into a MUD, that way it might actually stand a chance..

** supaman102 has hit you with NoName for 25 points!
** You swing at supaman102 with your Club o' Vengence
** You miss!
** (null) has hit you with (null) for -NAN points!
AOMUD.EXE has caused an illegal instruction in KERNEL32.DLL

..or maybe not.
#17 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 16:30:28
kimsbitch@succubae.com
I think that they're trying to remove lag by NOT CONNECTING YOU TO THE NETWORK, and telling you that the reason that you don't see any other players is because 'you have player models turned off'.  Conspiracy indeed.

#14 by Ashiran
Nobody ever said that Funcom had smart/bright/intelligent employees. Cause they obviously don't have them, atleast not at decision positions.

That's right. Everyone a Funcom is stupid. Getting a servicable MMORPG 3D game/engine put together is a trivial task. My garbage man is writing a UT clone in his spare time.

Just because a company got in over it's head a little doesn't mean that you can write everyone off as an idiot. That's just silly.

#16 by Darren Coleman
They should just turn it into a MUD, that way it might actually stand a chance..

Heh, yeah - "As an option to improve game speed, you can now disable graphics."
#18 by "Ashiran"
2001-07-26 16:41:06
ashiran@ashrain.net wtf.couchcrew.com
That's where the part about "atleast not at decision positions" comes in. I'm sure their coders and artists are talented but whoever made the decision to being able to turn of playermodels for improved speed is either stupid or smoking real bad crack.
#19 by "szcx codemonkey"
2001-07-26 17:12:35
yoda@whatwouldyodado.com http://senator.you.are.no.johncarmack.com
Can we talk about something else instead?

Sure you can, just like in every other thread.  It is the nature of PC topics to deviate.  That's why it doesn't matter how often a new article is posted or what that article is about.
#20 by "wizardque"
2001-07-26 17:14:30
wizardque@yahoo.com
as we can all see, turning off the player models is completely insane...it's a poor design decision...and it may be the only thing funcom can figure out to do.

If that's there only recourse for uping the FPS, they are screwed.  They will actually have to replace the entire client side game engine to make it work...  I still don't hear anyone play AO and have fun all day long...  It has crashes, bugs, problems...it's still in early beta...and considering the current changes and updates...

IT MAY NEVER LEAVE BETA

which sucks...I was looking forward to playing it in 3 or 4 months when they had most of the game they promised up and running...

-wizardque
#21 by "Finn"
2001-07-26 17:27:51
Poor Morn, i feel sorry for you now.
They all just think yer obessed with AO, when i know that it just a cry for help and you wish to stand up and say "AO has taken over and ruined my life" :)

As for ECTS (much more fun???) even though Sony, Nintendo and MS seem to be missing im sure we can arrange a good PC pissup :)


Finn..
#22 by "Martin"
2001-07-26 17:38:43
martin@theplace.nu http://martin.theplace.nu
#19 by szcx codemonkey: "Sure you can, just like in every other thread. It is the nature of PC topics to deviate. That's why it doesn't matter how often a new article is posted or what that article is about."

The PCTG was created just so we could avoid these kind of topics. You know you want to use it! All of you!

Oh and on another note; why is love so difficult? And why am I such an idiot? Bah, I'm going home...
#23 by "Jafd"
2001-07-26 17:42:17
kallisti@hell.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com
Is it turning all players off (which would be interesting, although rather insipid), or turning off individual players that the user specifies? Because I don't see anything wrong with the latter at all.
#24 by "B_A_T_T_L_E_D_W_A_R_F"
2001-07-26 17:51:23
errr.. uuuummmmm...yeah.
Quote:
[Oh and on another note; why is love so difficult? And why am I such an idiot? Bah, I'm going home...]


Whaaaa...?

The Male Battle-Dwarf
#25 by "The Organizer"
2001-07-26 18:18:11
Paul Steed to relentlessly hype the Unreal engine?
Thursday, July 26th 2001, 18:16 UTC | by The Organizer

Today we found out that Paul Steed, mostly known for marrying John Romero, has decided to relentlessly hype the Unreal engine.
This did not really matter to all the fans of the series as well as gamers.
Warren Marshall had this to say on the matter:
"I don't think this will ease up on developers. We all know that the Unreal engine will recieve good reviews.
No-one is sure how Paul Steed is about to let the world know more but it is rumored that Tim Allen will be involved."  Paul Steed could not be reached for a comment as he is busy scheming for more cash.
What do you think? Does this bother you?
#26 by "The Organizer"
2001-07-26 18:19:29
I for one think that John Romero should ditch that ZE-RO and get his-self a HE-RO!  [sassy snapping/head bobbing combo]
#27 by "B_A_T_T_L_E_D_W_A_R_F"
2001-07-26 18:25:59
errr.. uuuummmmm...yeah.
Quote:
[I for one think that John Romero should ditch that ZE-RO and get his-self a HE-RO! [sassy snapping/head bobbing combo]


...nice...

:)


The Male Battle-Dwarf
#28 by "Monkey Butler"
2001-07-26 19:16:35
...nice...


no, COOL AS ICE!
#29 by "deadlock"
2001-07-26 19:21:31
deadlock@eircom.net
Maybe they just mean custom models ?? Like in Quake 3, where you can make all of the other players appear as whatever you are using, rather than whatever model they are using ? That's what I thought the story was anyway...

deadlock

flamethrower hates my country...
#30 by "Gestalt"
2001-07-26 19:24:21
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
Ashiran - "Nobody ever said that Funcom had smart/bright/intelligent employees. Cause they obviously don't have them, atleast not at decision positions."

If you'd played The Longest Journey you wouldn't be saying that. :)
#31 by "B_A_T_T_L_E_D_W_A_R_F"
2001-07-26 19:30:52
errr.. uuuummmmm...yeah.
Quote:
[If you'd played The Longest Journey you wouldn't be saying that.]

I'm pickin' this up this week!  loved the demo!


The Male Battle-Dwarf
#32 by "MuuMuu"
2001-07-26 19:50:47
frumply_1999@yahoo.com
If it only affected custom models, it'd still leave the game slow as it is, since each character is still being displayed...

Besides, I'm not even sure if you can use custom models in AO.  Like I have the money to buy the game...  :\

Muu
#33 by "Mystery"
2001-07-26 20:02:56
mystery@massivemultiplayer.org http://www.massivemultiplayer.org
#17

That's right. Everyone a Funcom is stupid. Getting a servicable MMORPG 3D game/engine put together is a trivial task. My garbage man is writing a UT clone in his spare time.

Just because a company got in over it's head a little doesn't mean that you can write everyone off as an idiot. That's just silly.


I can think of a couple of pretty good reasons to call the guys at FunCom idiots:
  1)  They kowtowed to their publishers and released a product well before it was ready for release.
  2)  They publically used the term "110% done."  I hate people that do that.  
  3)  They included so many features in the release that they didn't have time to test them all.  Have any of them ever coded anything before?  You don't put all of your eggs in one basket, for gosh sakes.
  4)  They're Norwegian, and as any Norskie Midwesterner will tell you, there's a pretty good reason to leave Norway.
#34 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 20:10:52
kimsbitch@succubae.com
#33 by Mystery
I can think of a couple of pretty good reasons to call the guys at FunCom idiots:
1) They kowtowed to their publishers and released a product well before it was ready for release.

Oh, then we agree...because they are the first and only game developer to ever do this. Other developers just say "we don't need your stinking money and legally binding contract!". This truly shows that they are stooopid indeed.
#35 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-26 20:19:21
All these massively multiplayer games seem a lot more interesting when they are in the works.  Take Funcom's other MMORPG,Midgard, for instance.  I can't help thinking it'll be about as radically innovative as Anarchy Online is now.  But as long as the execution is polished and solid, that's the one I'm most looking forward to.  Ragnar Tornquist, who designed The Longest Journey, is heading up the Midgard team.

As far as toggling players on and off goes, I heard that frame rate drops happen the most in the cities, where you are PvP negative.  So if you are just going to go to the mission dispenser or whatever and head out of town, it's a very good idea.   The more options in the game the better.
#36 by "JMCDaveL"
2001-07-26 20:47:14
jmcdavel@mailandnews.com http://www.comp-u-geek.net/
From a thorough scan of LtM's forums, apparently instead of putting in a clipping plane they decided to go this route.  I think we should all go back to non-polygonal mmorpgs since you can fit a billion people on screen using sprites and they wont kill your machine.

--jmc
~I love it when you smack my ass~
#37 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-07-26 20:51:47
warren@epicgames.com www.epicgames.com
If it only affected custom models, it'd still leave the game slow as it is, since each character is still being displayed...

No, there would be a speed improvement.  Only one model in memory, one skin, etc ...
#38 by "llamasex"
2001-07-26 21:03:10
llamasex@yahoo.com www.drunkenlosers.com
personally I can't wait for microsofts .net

I bet that will be 330% done
#39 by "Spatula Man"
2001-07-26 21:07:21
llama@verbalchilli.com www.verbalchilli.com
Narcopolo: "Ragnar Tornquist, who designed The Longest Journey, is heading up the Midgard team."

There was an interview with the guy in PCGamer (uk), and if he is as talented as he is funny that game is going to be a blinder.
#40 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 21:08:30
kimsbitch@succubae.com
.NET is the biggest marketing snow job. Just look at the SDK - just incremental changes to existing technologies.
#41 by "szcx"
2001-07-26 21:14:30
yoda@whatwouldyodado.com www.fuckingmonkeys.com
I wont be developing for .NET any time soon, but it's far from being a "marketing snow job".  I suggest your learn more about it before writing it off completely.  There's a reason the Ximian folks are jumping on the .NET bandwagon.

The .NET development platform is a very rich, powerful, and well designed platform that would help improve the free software development platform. Just like the GNU project began to clone Unix sixteen years ago, we will be cloning the .NET development platform because it is a great platform to build on.
#42 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 21:41:55
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Yeah, like I said; incremental updates to existing technology + Microsoft's java (C#) + the CLR + XML RPC. Whoa, look - it's the future of software development! Color me unimpressed. And I am not uninformed, I've read most of the real SDK information, as well as the great marketing drivel about how to "empower consumers, businesses and developers to interact and leverage new technologies to reduce TCO". I just got a letter in the mail today inviting me to Cali for PDC, 'a turning point in the industry'. Call me a hippie, but I'll stick with Win2K + VC6 + SQL2K for my boring accounting/manufacturing software, thanks.
#43 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 21:47:24
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Besides, what do I care what Ximian does? Corel also jumped the MS .NET bandwagon - what happened there?

I like my root beer cold, my code native, and my Linux froggy.
#44 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 21:58:07
kimsbitch@succubae.com
PS: If they're going to take away my MSDEV and move everything to that wonky interdev environment, I'm going to take my ball and go home. Some new things are cool about it (macro explorer), but I just hate that program. I have to use it for simple installsets (we use .msi). Back when I was playing with Java, it was version 1.(2?), and it was in the c++ msdev environment and it rocked my socks. I don't like it now. Nope.
#45 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-07-26 22:12:22
kimsbitch@succubae.com
Off topic + 4 in a row, bitches!

Has anyone else ever seen the movie The Dark Backward? My God that movie was funny and disturbing. I saw it ~6 years ago, it was my favorite movie evar, and now I can't find it anywhere... I'll send you my first born for a copy. Please. Seriously.


PS: I don't plan on having kids, SUCKER!
#46 by "Jens Christensen"
2001-07-26 22:15:25
jenschristensen@spilzonen.dk http://www.spilzonen.dk/
hurty flurty schnipp schnipp
#47 by "Iazu"
2001-07-26 23:00:58
iazu@hotmail.com www.epoch-of-unlight.com
#45 Jeremy Witt
Has anyone else ever seen the movie The Dark Backward?

Yeah, I've seen it, it was pretty odd. I liked it though :) I remember reading somewhere that the DVD was being held up for some reason. I think you could find it on VHS.
#48 by "crash"
2001-07-26 23:14:09
crash@planetcrap.com
Jeremy Witt:

Just because a company got in over it's head a little doesn't mean that you can write everyone off as an idiot. That's just silly.

you're absolutely right. it's really easy to miss a 200mb/hour memory leak that overflows the same file every single time. and the fact that mobs melee from 20 meters away, shoot through walls, and walk on water is just an oversight, i suppose. and yeah, i can see where it'd be tough to simulate having 700 players on the screen at one time... i mean, jeez, nobody's ever heard of bots before.

and, of course, the fact that the dev team--such as it is--chooses to concentrate on fixing (and nerfing) exploits server-side, rather than fix the foundation of the game... yeah, nobody's got their priorities screwed up. i mean, really, why waste time working on fixes that'll actually help your players? we have to close those m4d spl01t loopholes first, by god! overlooking the fact that, y'know, 80%+ of your playerbase has to reboot/restart every two hours.

never learned how to speak Norwegian, but if AO is playable, then this is driveable.

Jafd, 23:

Is it turning all players off (which would be interesting, although rather insipid), or turning off individual players that the user specifies? Because I don't see anything wrong with the latter at all.

it's apparently going to be a slider that adjusts "model display radius". call it a real aggressive LoD, i guess--you see them or you don't to a certain distance. this somewhat ham-handed "temporary fix" (any bets as to if it'll ever change?) just proves the original assertions that their engine cheerfully displays everything at any distance, despite any obstruction.

the thing is, this is an MMORPG; other players are its raison-d-etre (sp?). turning off other players in a game like this is like saying, "Well, to improve performance in Q3A, we've had to temporarily disable all the networking code."

the whole problem stems, really, from two things:

1. a serious, serious design oversight
2. really shitty texture handling and management

the design oversight is "Gee, let's put all the services and stores and travel booths in the middle of cities, and let's make sure the trading channels only work in cities and then have all the mission booths spit out missions that take you to and through other cities to get to 'em, and--hey, I know!--let's make the newbs start in one of fourteen backyards that dump out into the cities! Nobody'll hang around the cities, right?"

uh, yeah.
#49 by "Jens Christensen"
2001-07-26 23:45:35
jenschristensen@spilzonen.dk http://www.spilzonen.dk/
"I'm good with kids and animals, I'm bad with republicans."
- Henry Rollins
#50 by "Gestalt"
2001-07-27 00:09:04
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
Warren - "there would be a speed improvement. Only one model in memory, one skin, etc"

From what I've heard it's more of a lag issue than a frame rate issue. But then, I haven't got my review copy yet. :)
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