Trailers

Good: The Old Republic.
Bad: Book 8.

I think I have scorned every piece of marketing for The Lord of the Rings Online™ that I have seen, dating back at least to citing the number of characters created. That teaser trailer has approximately five seconds of video of new content, showing one boss doing one animation. I mean, if that one animation makes you want to put down your $15, I guess it worked, but I would hold out for at least five animations and maybe a tile set.

On the other hand, I have liked every piece of marketing that Bioware has done for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Syp keeps linking their stuff, like this Republic Trooper video. It is just graphics and concept, and I am the least visual person you know, but I found that really compelling. Everything that Bioware is releasing is high quality, and they are releasing it at a stately pace that does not imply a cry for attention or too early of hype. (And that trailer is showing some serious conservation of The Force.)

I also like the early media strategy from 38 Studios. What do you know about code name Copernicus? Almost nothing. That’s great! If a game is more than a year from release, I don’t even need to know its name. Call me when you have something to show me.

: Zubon

16 thoughts on “Trailers”

  1. The SW:TOR trailer was indeed freaking awesome. They are being very clever in slowly releasing new tidbits of high quality and building the hype without been too overboard. They’ve obviously learnt from Blizzard who are doing the same thing with Diablo 3.

  2. I agree with teh Zubon! When AoC and WAR were coming out the hype machines were churning in full effect and I’d go so far as to say that the over-hyping of those games did them more harm than good.

  3. Seems there are some people that think Bioware is over-hyping SW:TOR but in my opinion they are mostly just building up excitement for the Star Wars IP at this time. The trailer just reminded me that Star Wars can be really cool. My main complaint about Bioware so far is that they are making some promises that seem pretty hard to deliver. For example: every class will get a completely different experience. To me, that sounds impossibly ridiculous to promise. I am worried about them saying this stuff and therefore I have a decent amount of “wait and see” built into the game.

    Warhammer is a different case as they were telling us all the time how cool and awesome and different the game is going to be, just wait and see. Bioware is just showing us something cool now and then and not promising everything under the sun. I think they are working more towards building up excitement about the Star Wars IP in general right now. Get excited about Star Wars, and then naturally you will get excited about SW:TOR.

  4. Regardless of comparisons to LOTRO, that is one of the most amazings cinematics in its own right. If I was a Star Wars fan who knew nothing about the game, it was sold right there and then a minute into the thing.

    (as far as the quality of the thing, I’m sure a few devs are dropping bricks right now. and if I hadn’t seen the Lucasarts logo in the beginning, I’d say George would be dropping some bricks too)

  5. (LOTRO) showing one boss doing one animation.

    What do you expect from a game that runs their animations at 30FPS when their world runs in 60FPS.

    Half ass animation!

  6. That lotro trailer was actually pretty funny. That boss totally reminded me of the incredible hulk. I agree though, the world footage is fine but that’s the best they could do for an actual preview?

  7. @openedge1: I bet they justify doing it that way because, supposedly, the human eye can only register 30FPS anyways. GTA4 caps itself at 30FPS. I don’t know if I quite buy it but that’s what they say anyhow.

  8. I don’t like games sinking money into trailers. I prefer them to put their money towards the real game play.

  9. At least with games you know they can’t show you all the good bits of the game in the trailer, there will always be some bits left for the game. Movie trailers on the other hand often seem to fail here.

  10. @Raegn: That’s a myth, the human eye can easily observe above 80fps. Fighter pilots have been consistently tested via eye tracking to identity targets at 1/110th of a second, with some able to do so at higher rates.

    Also, in regards to openedge1’s oft-repeated complaints: LOTRO has a system to drop framerate first on animation before world, so those with modest system specs or problematic PCs will see much poorer animation. On paper and somewhat in practice I can see why Turbine went that route, because it allows a large margin for minimum system requirements, but just a bit of a memory bottleneck or video driver variation can really reduce how the animation looks. The game is deceptively quite taxing on PC resources, even when it maintains an overall high framerate.

    … back on topic:

    I also appreciate how 38 Studios has been keeping their game under the radar, even though I’m very interested in seeing their game. Overall hype (in this genre at least) has been so unproductive lately.

  11. There is an ‘animation smoothness’ graphics option…

    Does not work, so why bother?

    As to the eye can see only 30 frames, I can most DEFINITELY tell the difference between 30 and 60. Maybe some people cannot.
    But, when I play Guild Wars which runs a smooth 60FPS (and more) and then play LOTRO and it’s 30, I see it.
    I can tell when Age of Conan goes from 60 to 40 even.
    But, LOTRO’s animation system is more than the 30FPS motion. They captured 30FPS of animation for the models, and then placed it in a system where the framerates are moving at 60, thus you can see how the animation is haphazard when swinging at something, or jumping or running. It looks VERY unrealistic.

    It sucks actually.

    Want to see 60FPS motion? Go watch video of The Witcher in combat. THAT is killer 60FPS.

    Even WoW looks better animation wise than LOTRO.

    Anyways, everyone knows how I feel, but I always like to reiterate that besides Vangaurd, LOTRO has the suckiest models and animations of a newer MMO.

    Thanks

  12. @openedge1

    There is absolutely no problem with animation smoothness in LotRO, period.

    On my LotRO client, the animation runs exactly as fast as the framerate, i.e. 60 FPS. It is as smooth as WoW & AoC, both of which I have put many hours into.

    Ever wondered why you seem to be the only person to experienced this mysterious animation issue? Please, install the free trial and check for yourself. You will be surprised.

    We know you don’t like LotRO, but at least try to attack it for its legitimate flaws, rather than a bizarre imaginary one.

  13. Best: Final fantasy 14.

    They just released a trailer of the new SE MMO, and it looks pretty good, with one scene, a battle on a ship with leviathan overhead, mentioned to be in-game graphics. Its an interesting counterpoint to TOR, because this game literally came out of nowhere and suprised everyone at E3, with zero pre-release hype.

    http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/ is addy for NA trailer. Its amazing that they could keep this such a secret.

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