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Graphics Engine Update

TakunshoTakunsho
Mabinogi Rep: 660
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in Feedback and Suggestions
Okay, look at it this way. This game came out 10+ years ago. It is hemorrhaging players, even though concept wise and even event wise is pretty awesome. There are no other games like it in many regards. However, unlike other games with this tenure, it has never received any graphical or engine updates. Seriously, I could probably run this game on the highest settings with a post shader on my phone.

So that brings up the big picture of how to keep this game alive. Because I'll be honest, I've had too many of my favorite old games get sunset and I don't want to see it happen here. The anime collabs are great and is one of the reasons I keep playing. However something needs to happen. New content is a dime a dozen, and except for the anime collabs, is mostly moot and uninteresting. What really needs to happen is a graphics/engine update. Runescape and WoW have both done this, and both profited from an increase in returning and new players. Hell, even just doubling the resolution of the textures would be a vast improvement (look at minecraft, those x64 and x128 textures are pretty awesome compared to the normal x16). As I mentioned, this game takes no resources to run, and with any modern computer capable of running WIndows 7 or higher has room to spare on graphics (and it isn't like they couldn't keep the graphics turned down if it was a problem). I love this game and want to love it more, but I'm having problems warranting it when I can go play mobile games that have better graphics. Show it a little love and polish it up a bit. I know at least 10 people myself who would play this game in a heart beat if graphics/engine were actually updated and playable. The biggest reason they don't play is the low end graphics and camera controls. I've never had a problem because I've played this game forever, but anyone who started MMOs on WoW or later have problems adapting to the antiquated movements and graphics. The graphics would be the priority, don't worry about the camera movement yet as that would require an entire UI overhaul to update.

Also, the ability to jump would be nice.

Love you guys, and hope to see improvements!
THICCthighssavelivesBronzebreakSherri

Comments

  • THICCthighssavelivesTHICCthighssavelives
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    If you bump up the resolution to the highest and zoom in, it looks pretty good.
  • TakunshoTakunsho
    Mabinogi Rep: 660
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    Some things do looks good, that is correct. But take Dunbarton Bank for instance. Half the textures look good and the other half are very pixelated. Most noticeably is the good floor texture with the poor rug texture on top of it.

    On the meshing side of things, the characters for instance are very rough low polygon meshes. Some movements like waving look very rough, especially at the shoulder.

    If things were smoothed out a bit and the textures at least uniformly on level with that floor texture for their resolution, it would look significantly better. Grass is another example, it is actually the opposite there, looks better zoomed out and horrible zoomed in.

    I like the art and design, I'm just saying it can use some fine tuning and updates to make it look phenomenally better. Aside from the aforementioned games, another example of how much slight updates can make would be the Hunter x Hunter 2011 remake. The graphics there were so much smoother and detailed than the original series. But if you look at reviews of the game, many people like the gameplay but their complaint is the lack in updates for the graphics.

    One example of this type of review would be a reddit post about someone looking for games like the anime MMO Junkie. Which we even had a collaboration for and were even advertised in the anime itself. Yet the people suggesting games only mentioned that Mabinogi was advertised in the anime but while the gameplay was just like the anime, the graphics were a problem.
    YangKoete
  • PlatinaKokiPlatinaKoki
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    At this point, it would be far more cost-effective for DevCAT/Nexon to make a new game. Trying to redo literally EVERYTHING visual-wise in this game is just not worth the effort.
  • GretaGreta
    Mabinogi Rep: 46,225
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    edited August 16, 2018
    At this point, it would be far more cost-effective for DevCAT/Nexon to make a new game. Trying to redo literally EVERYTHING visual-wise in this game is just not worth the effort.

    Yeah.

    Leave this game if graphics bug you so much or just deal with it.

    It's sad that today's generation prioritizes graphics over everything without trying the game out. That's why Mabinogi is losing player base since new players think this game looks "too old" and has "outdated graphics". I'm somehow still impressed how Runescape is fine at this point and i never see people complain about it's outdated graphics.
    LeineiOpalthiraYangKoeteSherriskpkion
  • CoolAidCoolAid
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,160
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    edited August 16, 2018
    Greta wrote: »
    At this point, it would be far more cost-effective for DevCAT/Nexon to make a new game. Trying to redo literally EVERYTHING visual-wise in this game is just not worth the effort.

    Yeah.

    Leave this game if graphics bug you so much or just deal with it.

    It's sad that today's generation prioritizes graphics over everything without trying the game out. That's why Mabinogi is losing player base since new players think this game looks "too old" and has "outdated graphics". I'm somehow still impressed how Runescape is fine at this point and i never see people complain about it's outdated graphics.

    While I myself do not care for graphics either
    A new engine would optimize the game better, better graphics or not you can't deny some parts of the game are severely unoptimized.
    o0mouse0o
  • PlatinaKokiPlatinaKoki
    Mabinogi Rep: 7,515
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    CoolAid wrote: »
    Greta wrote: »
    At this point, it would be far more cost-effective for DevCAT/Nexon to make a new game. Trying to redo literally EVERYTHING visual-wise in this game is just not worth the effort.

    Yeah.

    Leave this game if graphics bug you so much or just deal with it.

    It's sad that today's generation prioritizes graphics over everything without trying the game out. That's why Mabinogi is losing player base since new players think this game looks "too old" and has "outdated graphics". I'm somehow still impressed how Runescape is fine at this point and i never see people complain about it's outdated graphics.

    While I myself do not care for graphics either
    A new engine would optimize the game better, better graphics or not you can't deny some parts of the game are severely unoptimized.

    While what you say is true, the work behind giving the game a new engine is just far more than Nexon/DevCAT is willing to do for this game.
  • THICCthighssavelivesTHICCthighssavelives
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    Here's a video that shows the graphical progression of RunEscape from 1998 to 2018. I don't expect you guys to sit through the whole thing, but if you browse through the video you'll see how the graphics improved each iteration.


    The example of Runescape reinforces both opposing arguments, 1) that graphics matter and must evolve as time goes on, and 2) that gameplay matters and people can put up with old graphics as long as they get the job done.

    Point 1) Runescape has always been improving its graphics and core gameplay. It never stagnates and keeps attracting new players. If it didn't evolve, it would have died a slow death.

    Point 2) At one point, Runescape Classic and Old School Runescape (re-releases of old versions of the game, graphically and gameplay-wise) had more players than their modern updated counterpart, proving that players preferred better gameplay and didn't care so much about shinier graphics.


    On to Mabi... I like the current graphics, but I do feel the game as a whole feels a bit outdated and neglected. There's something that 2018 Runescape graphics have that Mabi lacks, and it's not better meshes or textures because I think Mabi's are better. RS graphics just feel more polished and loved. In the end, I feel mabi just needs more attention and maintenance so it can evolve.
    Takunsho
  • TakunshoTakunsho
    Mabinogi Rep: 660
    Posts: 17
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    Here's a video that shows the graphical progression of RunEscape from 1998 to 2018. I don't expect you guys to sit through the whole thing, but if you browse through the video you'll see how the graphics improved each iteration.


    The example of Runescape reinforces both opposing arguments, 1) that graphics matter and must evolve as time goes on, and 2) that gameplay matters and people can put up with old graphics as long as they get the job done.

    Point 1) Runescape has always been improving its graphics and core gameplay. It never stagnates and keeps attracting new players. If it didn't evolve, it would have died a slow death.

    Point 2) At one point, Runescape Classic and Old School Runescape (re-releases of old versions of the game, graphically and gameplay-wise) had more players than their modern updated counterpart, proving that players preferred better gameplay and didn't care so much about shinier graphics.


    On to Mabi... I like the current graphics, but I do feel the game as a whole feels a bit outdated and neglected. There's something that 2018 Runescape graphics have that Mabi lacks, and it's not better meshes or textures because I think Mabi's are better. RS graphics just feel more polished and loved. In the end, I feel mabi just needs more attention and maintenance so it can evolve.

    I do like the graphics, and I completely agree. It is more the lack of polish and neglect that is the problem than the content of the game. And no, I don't want to leave the game, I love the game. I might take breaks for several months to a year at a time, but I always come back eventually. But if the game as mentioned was given the attention and maintenance it needs, I could very easily see both myself and my friends playing this game regularly.

    Also wow, I haven't touched RS in a couple years and I'll have to say, those 2016 graphics are almost on par with Mabi. Actually, some aspects are better. And the fact we're about to get the full game on mobile makes me want Mabi on mobile as well (not the stupid card duel game)
  • OpalthiraOpalthira
    Mabinogi Rep: 7,580
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    Meh the graphics are fine.
    This game runs on a custom engine, on top of that all the models are poorly optimized.
    And by that i mean they're in dozens of parts that are merged to together.
    This leads to a lot of draw calls and that doesn't even include the textures.

    It's just far too much work to do that for the thousands models/textures in this game.
    On top of that regarding clothes they have do redo everything up to 6 times for all the player models/
    Which doesn't include all the player ages and weight models. So even if they did upgrade them it will lead to something unsightly either way.

    Like i say on everyone of these posts, the graphics are fine.
    I mean i do argue they could improve g1 items but I don't see it coming any time soon.
  • nomigid15nomigid15
    Mabinogi Rep: 3,135
    Posts: 178
    Member
    edited August 18, 2018
    At the very least they should update older areas like Tir Chonaill to make them more consistent with newer areas like Tara. Maybe improve older face/hair options and newbie gear too.
    YangKoeteSherri
  • Atheist42Atheist42
    Mabinogi Rep: 1,115
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    Here's a video that shows the graphical progression of RunEscape from 1998 to 2018.

    I think that video is a little misleading. The early parts are recordings of gameplay, but some of the later parts seem to be promotional videos. Promotional videos tend to have much higher resolution that actual gameplay, and sometimes have little to do with the available gameplay, though I'm not familiar with Runescape, so I'm not sure if that's true here.
  • SlugFillerSlugFiller
    Mabinogi Rep: 490
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    There's no reason why the polycount can't be raised a little. Or a lot. Maybe with 3D mipmap, if you want to backward-support potato systems (Although Mabi doesn't actually do that even now).

    The reason I say that is because Mabi is CPU-heavy, not GPU heavy. Only recently, they finally patched the font rendering so that loading the exploration quest board doesn't cause an intel i7 to freeze for 7 seconds. Places like Tara are still more of a memory hog due to the collision map, than they are a GPU strain.

    Mabi already had one update for the skill icon resolutions, so it's not like this is impossible. And, as noted, there's a notable detail level difference between older and newer outfits and hairstyles.
    A texture upgrade should be simple enough, and almost seamless to the engine. But improved polycount, and maybe some physics for hair and cloth, will go a much longer way. Heck, even just enabling hardware tessellation could create a visible improvement around all the sharp edges currently in the game.
    Plus, it would be super neat if our characters had actual fingers.

    Just because this game hails from the PS2 era, doesn't mean it still needs to look like it. It already broke backwards compatibility with older OSs and hardware during version upgrades, as far back as 6 or 7 years ago. Might as well bring the graphics to the modern age.
  • MontjulentMontjulent
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    They've made attempts at it before-- they did update Tir Chonaill's NPCs and probably had plans for the rest of chapter 1's content, but at this point in the game's lifespan, I think they've given up on longevity and would rather just keep squeezing money out of the few remaining whales. I wouldn't expect any more official attempts at graphics updates, you'd be better off modding the game yourself.
  • SyaohartSyaohart
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    Unless it's somehow changed from last I checked, Mabi is still using Pleione engine. Pretty much means they can't just switch to any other engine and if they want to improve the game graphically, they'll need to rework the engine itself and every single asset still being used in the game. Don't know how long they take at devCAT, but I personally take at least a couple of days for each of my models.
  • SebastianSebastian
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    Syaohart wrote: »
    Unless it's somehow changed from last I checked, Mabi is still using Pleione engine. Pretty much means they can't just switch to any other engine and if they want to improve the game graphically, they'll need to rework the engine itself and every single asset still being used in the game. Don't know how long they take at devCAT, but I personally take at least a couple of days for each of my models.

    I'm also fairly certain that the people who actually know how the engine works are loooooong gone. Right now, for the current team, it'd be a lot of trial and error trying to sort through things they couldn't understand, making the process of 'updating' it require 10x the effort. It's sad, as I'd love to see certain things improved upon, but it doesn't interrupt how I play the game.

    In regards to other graphics, I doubt old hairstyles are gonna get updated, since we have the hair gachapon and coupon system now (if you actually look closely at some newer hairstyles, they resemble older ones quite a bit. The most noticeable being the female Fringed Bob //conspiracy). Outfits would be nice but they're probably more focused on gachapon outfits.
  • AellythAellyth
    Mabinogi Rep: 210
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    edited August 23, 2018
    Sebastian wrote: »
    I'm also fairly certain that the people who actually know how the engine works are loooooong gone. Right now, for the current team, it'd be a lot of trial and error trying to sort through things they couldn't understand, making the process of 'updating' it require 10x the effort.

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what documentation is for. I don't think it's a matter of not knowing. I'm pretty sure it's a matter of not caring.

    Takunsho wrote: »
    I know at least 10 people myself who would play this game in a heart beat

    Hundreds would be better to make your case.

    I honestly gave up on the idea that Nexon will ever do such an update to their game. There are several glaring flaws such as different game mechanics over the years that get piled on top of each other, turning the game into a jumbled mess. Content keeps being added to the game disregarding model and texture standards, so you can obviously tell which armors, weapons, NPCs and areas got added years ago and which ones are new. To make it worse, there's no balanced armor or weapon progression system, so these older equipment pieces will rarely if EVER be bought. Comparing them stat-wise, there's a HUGE gap between them.

    tl;dr devCat "developers" and "designers" have no idea what consistency is. The only reason they keep doing this to us is because we just happilly buy pets and pons and gachas and the like. But if we boycott they'll just kill the game and come up with a new money making machine.
    BronzebreakSherri
  • AellythAellyth
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    edited August 23, 2018
    (Ended up writing on a different post. Please disregard)
  • NinzerkerNinzerker
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    CoolAid wrote: »
    While I myself do not care for graphics either
    A new engine would optimize the game better, better graphics or not you can't deny some parts of the game are severely unoptimized.

    This. So much so. The game needs to be better optimised first and foremost.
    As it is currently I have to have two fans and an air conditioner running in order for my laptop to even boot mabi without hitting the emergency shut off due to overheating

    However I'm not completely unopposed to some new visual overhauls, but just like any modern game, visuals should always take a back seat to stability.
    Doesn't matter how pretty your game is if it's chugging

    As for personal modifications, wouldn't it be wiser for them to officially release older and unused assets to the public for the possibility of community revamping?
    I know there are a few hairstyles that severely need an update, as they currently look like a blob sitting on your characters head that I'd personally work on improving.
    Set a size limit to the custom textures and meshes, and seriously outsource all the hard work of a visual overhaul to the players themselves.
    They would only need a brief review of the submissions to ensure they meet all regulations as well before making it a new official reskin
    Multiple submissions could even be put to a community vote.
    There wouldn't even need to be much more for rules that I can think of other than
    1) No nudity is obviously a given
    2) Reworked objects and items should be derivative of the origins, so no making an Edekai Priest Robe into a Ball Gown, or Dustin's Silver Knight Armor into Bikini Armor.
    3) No updating/alteration of collaborated items without express permission from copyright holders
    Sherri
  • SebastianSebastian
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    Aellyth wrote: »
    Sebastian wrote: »
    I'm also fairly certain that the people who actually know how the engine works are loooooong gone. Right now, for the current team, it'd be a lot of trial and error trying to sort through things they couldn't understand, making the process of 'updating' it require 10x the effort.

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what documentation is for. I don't think it's a matter of not knowing. I'm pretty sure it's a matter of not caring.

    While entirely possible, I recall some sort of GM saying that a lot of the work during the dungeon revamp was backwards engineering the system. I could be remembering it incorrectly though.
  • SyaohartSyaohart
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    Whether it is optimization or graphical enhancement, the engine will need to be reworked and the game assets along with it. At this point of the lifespan, it is honestly much easier to create a new game by licensing a mainstream engine.
This discussion has been closed.