3

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?

More...

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.

  • I always pick performance and set everything to the lowest (except for draw range, since you need to see what’s out there) as my step 1 of playing a new game, even if that game is single player.

  • Jeromai says:

    Performance first, especially in multiplayer group environments.

    Max graphics when taking a screenshot. 😉

  • Proximo says:

    I’m somewhere in the middle. Performance is ofc important but I’m fine with 30-60 fps, I personally don’t notice much difference when going above 50.
    Graphics matters to me though, if the graphics are awful but the gameplay great I will probably pass on it, like I did with Minecraft for instance.
    There’s just too many beautiful games or there that also plays well enough that looking at something that makes my eyes bleed isn’t an option.
    Wow is a good example, gameplay is good enough and graphics are quite good most of the time.
    GW2 however is the proof of the opposite for me, the game looks great but the performance is atrocious on my computer, I struggle on medium settings and going any lower than that makes the game look so bad I choose not to play.

  • >