What MMO Would You Like To See Get A Graphics Overhaul?

Ever since reading about Anarchy Online and the tentative graphics upgrade that it may be getting next year, I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the older MMORPGs that I love and wishing that they would get a similar treatment. I know, graphics aren’t everything but it’s tough going back to games like Dark Age of Camelot after playing something like Age of Conan. Plus, older games suffer from basic interface and control problems that have been unknowingly solved over the last few years and through the iterations of newer MMOs. For example, the UI and mouse controls in Anarchy Online are appalling bad and I can hope that they get revamped during the graphics overhaul process.

Aside from AO – which is probably the MMORPG more than any other that I want to see get a revamp (I’m on a Sci-Fi bender at the moment) – I think the game that I’d most like to see get a good overhaul would probably have to be Everquest. Cliché I know but it’s my first love… I guess it’s analogous to missing your first boyfriend/girlfriend but wishing they’d go in for some plastic surgery and liposuction so they could be the arm candy that you’ve always wanted.

Sure, EQ had a makeover in 2001 but that was a long time ago (almost 9 years, in fact) and it’s about time for another one. Everquest made headlines by combining top of the range graphics with RPG and MMO gameplay and then continued to lead the way for several years, freshening itself up along the way with the Shadows of Luclin expansion. What’s really odd is that SOE revamped the character models just two years after it came out but then haven’t done anything since.

A proper UI and control revamp would be nice whilst we’re at it. When I played Everquest, I used to control my character with the NumPad and just used the mouse for clicking on things. Now I play every MMORPG with the FPS inspired WASD + mouse look combo. I think we take good UIs and controls for granted now and certainly these older games could do with an upgrade.

So, what MMORPG would you like to see get a good graphics update?

P.S. If I had to suggest another game ripe for a graphics overhaul, I’d go with World of Warcraft. I think the environments look fine (and will look a lot better after Cataclysm hits I’m sure) but the original character models are just horrible.

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16 Comments

  1. Anthony says:

    I dunno if the classic models are so bad as they are just tired and boring. I’d love to see more variety in body types and the like. Armor/Gear coloring would be hot too.

    • Gordon says:

      Definitely. At least EQ has race specific armour which I always quite liked but it could certainly do with better and more varied armor graphics. It’s so funny thinking that there’s only 1 appearance for each type of armour isn’t it? :)

  2. Longasc says:

    WoW could use an overhaul. But it is tricky, as it is the style (too much emphasis on oversized shoulderpads) that ticks me off now and then. But all in all the art direction is solid, the landscapes are breathtaking and beautiful even in lower resolution. I totally agree to you.

    LOTRO could use an animation & faces overhaul. Age of Conan could use an overhaul, too. It needs by far too much hardware power to look good, and even then some monsters did not look right. I was also wearing too much drab grey and brown stuff for too long, but that is another issue.

    Aion could also use an overhaul – simply take the great engine and animations and let’s add western style monsters and player models. :P

    Dark Age of Camelot is still alive. I wonder how well it would do with a complete UI/graphics revamp and some changes. Basically, DAoC: Cataclysm. Many say the RvR system was the best pvp system so far, and I tend to agree.

  3. OrderedChaos says:

    DDO:EU. I would like to see the cloaks, boots and gloves that my characters are wearing, even if it was only an option (I know that not everyone like cloaks) Plus, their armour/ robe models totally suck as well as their color palette choices. Who designs the poor Warforged docent looks? They are hideous.

  4. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I don’t know if you could change WoW’s graphics without it changing the tone of the game. It would be nice if some of the environments had some more detail, but it runs well and looks decent.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing EQ2 getting an overhaul on it’s sometimes rather bland environments, and LOTRO could use better character models and animations.

    • Gordon says:

      I’m sure Blizzard could do a WoW graphics overhaul without it affecting the tone and style of the game.

      EQ2 is a tricky one… they talked before about overhauling the character models in order to make designing new armor easier but AFAIK they never did it. EQ2 could definitely use some more appearance variety IMO plus a general engine overhaul to allow it to run well on top end PCs.

  5. wilhelm2451 says:

    Can I say none?

    And while nostalgia and a desire to see things remain unchanging in a constantly changing world is a small part of my argument, I am primarily against spending a lot of time redoing artwork at the expense of getting something else new.

    For example, in EQ, they redid Freeport completely a while back. It looks nice. Did that really help the game? Does anybody really spend time in Freeport any more? (Besides me.)

    Maybe, just maybe, if the people re-doing the art work had nothing else they could possibly be doing, then I might allow that the character models in WoW could use a bit of sprucing up. And possibly that squirrel/gopher/prairie dog model that looks like it is made out of about 12 triangles tops.

    Of course, the irony here is that with Cataclysm, Blizzard looks like they will be redoing a ton of the zones and they will probably be upgraded along the way. So we may get redone Azeroth artwork whether we want it or not!

    • Gordon says:

      I can understand the fears associated with overhauling a game but MMOs are unique in that they are around for a very, very long time. I think it’s just a natural part of the evolution of the game to keep it feeling fresh and modern.

  6. Stabs says:

    I would like to see a reworked Ultima Online. Possibly beyond a graphic overhaul to a new version, Ultima Online 1.5. I find its current look horrible and it’s the main thing that has put me off trying it.

  7. Markosias says:

    Dunno if this would count, but I’d like to see Turbine bring back the AC2 world with LOTRO mechanics. Dunno why, but I really liked that place, and I really miss my Tumerok!

  8. Elleseven says:

    I would like more facial customization in WoW. As I’m getting older I wish I could make my belf looked more aged.

    Although its not a mmorpg my biggest ever game makeover wish would be to have a GTA Vice City redux. Tommy Vercetti in a 1080p Hawaiian shirt with the beautiful sunsets and Sister Christian blasting on the radio would make this gal very very happy.

  9. Naithin says:

    Asheron’s Call 1.

    Give it AC2’s graphics engine (or better, but AC2s would do), leave the gameplay intact (perhaps implement better mouse+KB control) and I’d be back in a flash. :)

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