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UO Dancing: Revisited

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Slickjack, May 16, 2010.

  1. Slickjack

    Slickjack Rares Fest Host | Cats Nov 2010
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    Sorry folks, but I'm hoping this is a sign that we are close to getting what we all desire!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    There was a UO client that had player dance emotes (and several different kinds at that). However, the model system used in that client was ditched in favor of the older stop-motion sprite one that the current clients use which takes up FAR more time, diskspace, and power for the same effects.

    Had the KR/EC client(s) not reverted back to the 2d style of model animation, you might have seen dancing remain in the game.

    Why? Because polygon/skin models are FAR easier to add in both animations and textures than sprites, and FAR easier to patch in for us the users.
     
  3. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    I liked the Third Dawn client :(

    I've never boogied the same since...
     
  4. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Ah how I miss those days with 3rd Dawn...
     
  5. Fink

    Fink Guest

    I had bow/faint linked to my mousewheel which made my character flip forward and back when I scrolled, good for moshing. Also for my Doc Brown character I bound the emphatic argue emote to my enter key so every time he spoke he would flail his arms around wildly

    The resolution and detail on the EC sprite avatar really aren't that terrific. I wouldn't mind either a proper 3D realtime model for expandability or a total revamp or at worst a classic avatar option. Regardless of expandability, there are plenty of existing gestures in the classic that could be unlocked as emotes.
     
  6. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    off topic a bit, but... hahahahahhah! :lol:
     
  7. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    While you are correct about the dance animations we had for the original release of the EC client (circa UOKR), despite what folks might think, the EC client was never a poly/skin animation system. It was always 2D sprites just like the Legacy client.

    *EDIT*
    While I'd love to see a full on 3D client, supporting a proper 3D client AND a 12 + year old client presents... significant technological hurdles. And I was here when we had to support Legacy and the Third Dawn client, and let me tell you it was really, really, not fun having to do both at the same time.

    Cheers!
    -Grimm
     
  8. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Why this post not at UO Developer Feed ?
     
  9. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    Just needed to ask the questions, though if it's not appropriate to answer I understand, but...

    ...has there been any point at which current or previous development teams have been in favour of providing just the one client, thus removing on one swoop, much of the understandable difficulties of supporting more than one?

    Given supporting two clients poses it's own difficulty for the game as a whole, is there a particular reason why a solid decision had yet to be made over choosing the one client, then sticking with it and perfecting it?

    I know people have always felt strongly in favour of their preferred client, but so long as the heart of what the game is about remains intact, then personally, I would always have favoured a single client in whichever form. The client to me, is the means by which to play the game, the game itself is what it is. :thumbup1:
     
  10. NASA

    NASA Guest

    Cause some of us have crappy computers that can't do the new stuff.
     
  11. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    There's twofold questions/answers for that though.

    Do you...

    A) Not attempt any further improvements, simply because a certain percentage refuse/can't afford/don't want to improve their hardware?

    B) Plump for the happy medium that works well enough on the majority of systems up to a point, then stick with it?

    Although I can see where you're coming from, it's fair to assume that the majority of games developers will only look back so far where hardware requirements are concerned. Same thing with operating systems. They've always got to work with the most current OS, that's a given, but they've also got to have a cut-off point for older systems.
     
  12. NASA

    NASA Guest

    mine's crappy but it's only 2 years old, and still won't do the EC stuff without crashing when recalling, or should this game be for the players who can afford the rocking new gaming computer every year.
     
  13. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    For the same token though, should games developers make every game so it works on the lowest specification (ie, machines not ideally suited to gaming?) systems?

    Suffice it to say that with any PC game, online or otherwise, PC's will always pose a problem for developers when it comes to min/max system specs. I guess that's why a lot of publishers focus on console games these days, it's an issue they don't need to consider.

    *shrugs*

    Sympathies if you've got issues with EC though. My machine is three years old, although I've tinkered with it some. Runs EC fine, but KR was horrible when it came to crashes, even though my system comfortably exceeded minimum requirements.
     
  14. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    While you are correct about the dance animations we had for the original release of the EC client (circa UOKR), despite what folks might think, the EC client was never a poly/skin animation system. It was always 2D sprites just like the Legacy client.


    Yes, I knew this, I think I need to clarify this statement: Had the KR/EC client(s) not reverted back to the 2d style of model animation,

    By this I meant going from the 3d models of the old Third Dawn Client to the 2d style of animation for KR/EC.

    I'm well aware of the animation system used in the new client :p
     
  15. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Which, of course, is a step backward from the technology of the 3D client... but then, since the EC is a step back from KR... I suppose it's to be expected.

    I'm not quite sure what the problem is with cordoning off a 3D environment to map onto a tile-based system, and implementing a client that understands the information coming from the server, displaying it properly.

    Given that the 2D and 3D client were at least styled after each other, I would have thought supporting those two clients to be easier than the mishmosh of support currently going on between 2D and the EC.

    But then, I don't understand a lot of the decisions being made client-wise these days.
     
  16. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    This is a great question, but the answer(s) is(are) a bit complicated. Yes they have. Let me think on how to answer this and I'll get back to you.
     
  17. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    actually, technologically speaking, the EC client is a vast step forwrd from the Third Dawn client... vast.

    I'm guessing that you are referring artistically to the two clients being alike. Whatever aesthetic similarities they might have had, under the hood, they were completely different critters. Macs and PCs can both read web pages, but are completely different ball games.

    -Grimm
     
  18. Hildebrand

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    I miss the fancy emotes. Even though 3D had them, the 2D people could see them! Are those emotes permanently gone?
     
  19. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I understand that many of the features that the engine driving the EC should be a vast step forward from the 3D client... In general practice, I just don't see it being true.

    First and foremost, the EC and 2D clients both seem to suffer from the same graphical engine issues such as bad Z-sorting, draw issues; in fact, I've been very curious why the EC seems to render the game field (save zoom issues) in nearly the exact same way as the 2D client (except when it comes to items close to the next floor's Z-axis, which the EC did at one point cut off).

    Graphically... I understand the EC should be superior in all ways except for artwork. I'm still at a loss as to why sprites (or painting sprites on top of planes) is the current method for the EC... In 2010, it makes very little sense to me that 3D models, or at least high quality sprites aren't being used. This doesn't appear to be the case in the EC though, when frankly, my avatar has more detail in the 2D client.

    I get that they might have been "completely" different, but I'm glad you chose the web page analogy. Macs and PCs can not only read the web pages, but they can read them in the exact same manner as they're coded. The 3D client had the specific advantage over the EC that it was the UO interface. Sure, behind the scenes things must have worked somewhat differently, but then, it was designed to handle some things similarly.

    I can tell a similar situation exists with the current EC though, because were it an extremely difficult process to import the 2D menus into the EC, the choice to have abandoned the KR menu systems (that were LUA based... an improvement over the 2D client) would have never been made.

    At the end of the day, while I believe the EC is capable of being a better game engine, it's not there philosophically or in game-play as of yet. I hope it someday will be, but as the client's nearing a full year in beta, and its quickly closing in on the 3rd (or is it 4th?) anniversary of the KR client, I have to say... I'm a bit concerned with its future as being a fully adoptable replacement for the 2D client.
     
  20. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    The 2D people could see them because there's several 2D animations that exist that were never fully implemented into the game -- they simply mapped some of the 3D stuff onto the 2D commands to execute those.

    Interestingly enough, I believe the reason that was given for 2D not using them entirely is because these days certain clothing items no longer have animations for those unused poses. This started, I believe, with Samurai Empire... the same moment in time that for some reason the designers abandoned doing grayscale clothing that could be properly dyed (they could have kept certain features colored, much like the fancy dress) -- and which has resulted in the garish hueing of items that honestly were never meant to be hued.

    Imagine if they'd properly done the elven robe with some of the intricate pattern color not changing but everything else dyes. It would be an awesome piece of art, not the strange blob it often turns into.
     
  21. The EC IS the KR client. It's just an improved version of it with a different name.
     
  22. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    The EC IS NOT the KR client. They use the same technologies at their core, and it's very likely that they used the KR client as a jumping off point in order to create the EC.

    However, it is neither improved nor as functional as the KR client was in many aspects. They completely gutted the menu systems from the KR client and replaced them in the EC with the same menus that everyone uses in the 2D client. This is an issue two-fold: 1) it removes any menu improvements that were present in KR; 2) it removes the ability to use LUA to customize them.

    Graphically, the EC is as much a disaster as the KR client was. Sure, they ripped out the hideous KR graphics that look like Seurat and Van Gogh had a love child...

    [​IMG]

    But the unfortunate truth is that the 2D graphics don't scale well in a freeform scroll environment. So the EC ends up making the 2D graphics look worse than the 2D client renders them, especially if you leave 1:1 or some solid multiple zoom.

    Additionally, since the dawn of the 3D client, paperdolls have simply, and frankly, just gotten worse and worse and worse to the point where it now looks like my paperdoll needs Geritol to survive, and has some sort of permanent issue with filled Depends. And my avatar doesn't have the same level of definition that it does in the 2D client, again, partially because of resolution choices "to make it work," and partially because sprites don't zoom well, period.

    It's 2010. People have been making 3D games since... well... before 1995. It's very strange to me that we can't get a decent client with decent rendering that doesn't "cause graphics cards to smoke" in a day and age where near visual-perfect graphics happen on high-end computers. There's frankly something wrong...

    But just because the EC is based on the same tech and shares some of the same design elements as the KR client does not mean that it is the KR client.
     
  23. Tell that to the Devs that told us it was, because they obviously don't agree with you. Obviously I don't either, because I remember quite clearly when they told us.
     
  24. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    No, Connor, it's not the KR client.

    Tell you what though, feel free to fire up the KR client, since it IS the EC.

    Again, they are based on the same core technology, but gee, Connor, the EC looks nothing like the KR client did.

    But that's okay... because someone said it, or because you believe someone said it (without a quote to back it up), it must be true, right?

    The EC is NOT the KR client. It may have grown FROM the KR client, but it is NOT the KR client.
     
  25. Splup

    Splup Guest

    Agreed
     
  26. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    Don't get me wrong, If 2D client got the axe, I'd quit soooo fast. But from what I understand is that the 2D client holds back all the other clients they have tried. 2D is rather restricting (doesn't use a graphics card?) and the other client has to stay in tune with it.

    But to me it's fine, this is UO. Anyone who is here to play it because of the graphics... Needs a lobotomy.
     
  27. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    Easy questions are boring though, as are easy answers ;)

    Respect for taking the time to answer and potentially, providing more insight. :thumbup1:

    Thing is, although game-play wise, my preference is the "classic" era, I've actually liked all of the clients for their own merits.

    It's perhaps more surprising to me than anything, that one client hasn't been chosen over others, or stuck with. I understand that different people have different preferences for whichever client, but they've also had different preferences for gameplay aspects, yet sweeping changes have been made along the way - and the game is still here after all these years.

    Perhaps I should ask this question of fellow players then...

    If the developers were to decide on one client only, be it 3D, 2D, but the game itself retained all the things you love about it, even if you weren't as keen on the "new" client itself as your own personal favourite, would it stop you from playing the game?
     
  28. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Well, here's the problem...

    First, the 2D client only holds back future clients because future clients have not been well done. To be honest, the 3D client was probably the best step in the right direction, though a combination 3D/KR would probably work best.

    A couple of things they need to do:

    1) Build a client that does not toss aside the interface that UO was born with -- sure, they can add new interface elements, give people options, but for people who have been playing for many years, expecting them to learn a new interface just for the sake of learning a new interface is silly. UO is not WoW -- trying to dump the WoW interface onto it is a bad idea.

    2) If interface truly is an issue, then what you build should mimic the good parts of the 2D system, yet be updated to be intuitive, and include whatever is necessary to train people to use it.

    3) Build a client that scales well between crummy system and high powered system. There's no reason that the game has to look like crap at low resolution -- they can tone down textures to a lower resolution without sacrificing quality for that level. High particle effects, shadows, all that stuff... all that stuff can be toggled for high-end cards. There is a way to make it work. Barring all of that, you could simply take and say, "This low texture set (ie: 2D graphics) is used at lowest settings, the camera is locked, and you can only zoom at even intervals." There are ways to make it work so you're only supporting one client.

    4) The problem with the game and newcomers is not just graphics, it's uniformity. There are no less than 3 unique quest engines at work in the game. There are a half million ways of announcing things in text strings. There's no continuity in redeeding stuff in houses (do you axe it, do you double-click it?). Sitting down, making final decisions and implementing them as standards is vastly important to the game. I know it's a lot of work, but hire someone to do just that. Clean up the old stuff and get everything in line.

    5) While no one would play UO for the graphics at present, the only way to sell the game to a truly new player via shelf presence (which would be nice, because truly, the game should have years of life left to it) is by having something presentable. You cannot sell a 1997 game to a 2010 audience and expect them to go "Yeah, that looks like I'd enjoy it." It'd be like me trying to sell Pong for the Atari to someone with an XBox 360, and saying, "Trust me, it's fun."

    The game's got lots of potential. There are ways to make it work. There are ways to replace the 2D client... but you don't do it by clubbing people over the head and saying "You will upgrade to this thing over here that looks and feels and plays nothing like the game you're used to." You do it by having a new experience that still has the option of playing like the old.

    Some things in the transition they've gotten right. Others... not so much.
     
  29. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    If the developers were to decide on one client only, be it 3D, 2D, but the game itself retained all the things you love about it, even if you weren't as keen on the "new" client itself as your own personal favourite, would it stop you from playing the game?

    This is a good question.

    I personally would have no problem with sticling to UO going to one client, with ONE caveat... it simply cannot be the current 2d client. If they ditch the EC without a suitable replacement, I'm done with UO.

    However NOT because of any "stylistic" argument about the graphics, that isn;t the problem. The problem for me is all technical. The 2d client would have to be SIGNIFICANTLY upgraded for me to return to it.

    Main issue: RESOLUTION From gameplay window size to container window size, monitor resolutions have gone up and the 2d client has NOT. This creates a situation where the client display has gotten smaller and smaller. It's also a situation where you may not even realize it's happened until you play in a newer client (be it the 3d client with expandable containers or KR/EC with grid and list views) and then go back to find that the options available in the 2d client are very limiting.

    Secondly: Animation. 2d's Animation, at least in the client itself is simply not very smooth. (oddly enough, the animations in Inside UO are smooth, but in the client itself, seem to lack about half of the animation frames shown in Inside UO) Again, this becomes an issue of "familiarity" in that you may not even realize the lack of smoothness until you see the same animation done with more frames, or via the polygon/skin system that the 3d client used.

    Third: User Interface. A client shouldn't effectively have its users RELY on an external third party program to be useable, nor should it do so for over TEN YEARS. Nor should a client be forcibly held back from UI innovation because some people thinks it's "ripped from WoW" Sorry, people, but WoW doesn't exactly hold the creative rights to "hotbars" (EC hotbars are even MUCH more powerful than WoW's are straight out of the box unless they've changed WoW's hotbar system significantly since I've played). Also, and consider this a personally biased opinion, UI customization can do quite a lot to enhance the client even further WITHOUT the need for external programs.

    Basically for me it depends on which direction the devs go technologically. Forwards I would stay along for the ride. Backwards and thus LOSING options, I would probably hang up my UO hat (so to speak).
     
  30. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Ten years, and they still don't have one though... that's a pretty sad state of affairs.

    I agree that resolution is a huge issue for the 2D client. However, I don't think KR/EC's list view or grid views are an improvement on anything. They aren't even up to the standards of other games that use similar systems. There should be iconic representations of stuff when they're in the grid mode... I'm sorry, but staring at small, squishy representations of things that are already small just doesn't fly. It's worse than trying to deal with a small play space in the 2D client.

    The 3D client... yeah, its animations were a ton better. The KR/EC solution, going back to sprites... sorry, but those animations aren't even as smooth as the 2D client at present. Still no idea why they went back to 2D representations though.

    Actually, the hotbar part of the interface I'm fine with. Nothing wrong with customizable control. The part of the interface they should never have bothered with was a 125-slot grid or 125-item list view. Sorry, but the idea of using either of these views in UO on any sort of permanent basis sickens me because it's completely outside of the useful interface of UO. Now, sure, if others want to use it, I'm all for it, but they should improve the backpack system and make it so that it's also useful. When I open a bag, I like to see its artwork, not some impersonal grid staring back at me with items I can hardly distinguish from each other without scaling the interface up and then wondering where my playfield went.

    Personally, I hope they get it together soon too. Not that I'm going anywhere, but, frankly, UO's losing steam that it doesn't have to.

    They need to get this on the ball.
     
  31. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Aside from liking the slot view personally (especially since it lets you nicely organize things without the need to waste space on sub-bags) with the disclaimer that yeah I hate the way that the item artwork is shrunken down to be indecipherable when in the grid, I agree with everything you say here.

    The track record for the work on the Gamebryo client (be it KR or EC) has been really bad. KR was released WAAAY to early, but was on its way with a weekly patch schedule... then that stopped cold... then a focus group, then a little more patching, then a second focus group and a complete rewrite DOWNGRADING many aspects of KR and upgrading others. I agree with Grimm that the EC is at least somewhat upgraded from KR, but I have also been very vocal in my displeasure of the DOWNGRADES involved as well... resolution quality, UI features stripped or reverted, etc.

    As you mention about the "impersonal grid", I agree there too... but I also hate the fact that the legacy artwork container option reverts to the 2d scale which on a 1920x1080 resolution monitor is about the size of a postage stamp. I REALLY miss the KR version of legacy containers... yes they were bigger, but they were available for every view style AND had a LOT of nice detail.

    And now the EC patch schedule is spotty at best. Personally I'd love to see a weekly or bi-weekly smaller patch process so that at least we KNOW things are progressing. I get REALLY nervous with big patches as they have ALWAYS seemed to be problematic (putting it lightly) in UO history.

    And finally, your last statement says it all and it's my desire as well.
     
  32. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I have to admit that when I first played EQ, I hated the whole grid interface for bags... with WoW, I got used to it... but neither of those games has the sheer amount of allowable item use that UO does. Their items persist in backpacks alone (except for a few silly EQ items... but those serve no real purpose anyway... heh). I mean, yeah, I'm all for giving people choice... but 125-slot grids aren't for me. :)

    You know... I was one of the first avid supporters of the KR client. I was never a fan of its artwork, mind you, but I saw it moving UO in a good direction... overall. The day the bomb was dropped that it was "finished" and "live," my jaw dropped. To be honest, though it's still in "beta," I feel like they've done the same with the EC. This "beta" client is going on a year old... sure they're making improvements, but it's still a downgrade in many respects from KR, and what comes out for it is in small doses. I know we've had the UO team shrink, but too much shrinkage could be very bad for it.

    Personally, I'd like to see a lot of the KR menus return -- perhaps not in style, but at least in spirit. Being able to adjust them via LUA is a strength that has worked very well for other games, and could work extremely well for UO. As well, they need to find a better way to implement addons... a single add-on slot is a bit strange.

    Completely agreed... and for some reason I don't remember the KR bags being as uncooperative as the EC ones are at times.

    Completely and totally agree. And small fixes could be grouped together in small patches. Not everything needs to come out in a huge explosion.

    Here's hoping. :)
     
  33. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    I guess for me, the grids are function over form. Although they DID work better in the KR client because the KR item graphics were made to fit them better (personal opinion of the artwork aside of course, I'm looking at the technical level of it). I'm personally waiting to see how resizeable containers will work with the grid view... being able to "break" the 5x25 "band" slot view we have now might be a good start.

    And absolutely on the crafting menus... it STILL annoys me having to click through two EXTRA menus to get to the Make # option. I LOVED having Make #, Make Max, and so on right on the main menu (even if I had to reposition them a little in the XML to spread them out to minimize mis-clicks), and I KNOW that people REALLY miss the single-page animal lore gump we used to have in BB_Enhanced.