Max Setting Graphics or Performance Gameplay?
I think this is a really important topic for MMORPGs. Do graphics matter more than performance? Do you have to have maxed out graphics to enjoy the game? Do graphics themselves even matter -- if so, how much?
Pantheon's Twitter strikes again with a great question on this subject.
Do you crank the graphics up to max in the games you play for the best visual experience or are you more of a performance type of player with low to medium settings?
I'm going to twist this because I think the question as written isn't... great. I think anyone with the capability to would crank their graphics to max settings. It's when performance takes a hit that someone turns them down to low or medium.
I only turn my settings down when I'm compelled to by a lack of performance. If I could get 120FPS with max settings, I wouldn't turn my settings down. If I got 40FPS with max settings, but turning them down got me 120FPS then sure I would totally do that.
To that end, performance matters more to me than how the game looks.
I recall the days of Age of Conan when people were drooling over the graphics, but the game ran terribly on most people's machines. That was an awesome experience all around. The graphics didn't justify the loss to gameplay.
I remember the slideshow gameplay of relic raids in DAoC. I would have loved to be a performance type if that were even possible. Back in those days, gameplay was definitely more important than graphics.
Even today I'm happy to return to original EverQuest with those older graphics. Why? Because the gameplay is enthralling.
I learned a long time ago that for me personally graphics simply don't matter when the gameplay is good enough. If the gameplay is subpar, I'll probably quit for many other reasons before graphics even come to mind.
Back to the original question, there are even many settings I purposefully turn off. I don't like bloom or excessive lighting. I don't like shadows that are too strong. I turn off motion blur. I tend to cut back on many of the graphical "enhancements" that distract from the gameplay itself. So I'd definitely fall into the "performance type" category.