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Old 03-30-04, 05:00 AM   #1
NickSpolec
 
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Angry Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

The trend I am speaking of is the insane requirements to fully play some newer games at their intended level of graphics. Need for Speed: Underground, Splinter Cell: PT, FarCry, most certainly Doom 3 and Half Life 2. I could go on, I'm sure.

This hit me bold in the face when I could barely play Splinter Cell: PT and FarCry at even respectable frame rates, even on lowered graphic settings (I need not even mention the recommendations of Splinter Cell: PT... GeForce FX or Radeon 9800 hardware? What?). Certainly, it is my GF3 hanging me. But this is what makes me particularly upset: There is no way you could convince me that the GF3 has been completely tapped and is outdated. It's simply that developers have moved on and forced it to be outdated. If Mr. "King of the Geeks" himself (John Carmack) claims that Doom 3 is based on technology introduced with the original Geforce and DX7, then it's obvious that there should be no reason why DX8 and DX8 level hardware are even on the fringe of having their potential exposed. What wonders could they create if they were focused on?

It seems quite obvious to me that developers are trying to FORCE the environment of "Upgrade every 6 months" on the average PC gamer. This is one reason why I like consoles more then PC's when it comes to gaming --- I know I won't have to upgrade for at least 3 years. PC hardware always tends to be on the verge of being outdated.

I'm not saying I CAN'T play some of the newer games. It's just the sacrifices that have to be made to the visual quality to gain a respectable frame rate is depressing. What would it take to play these games how the developer intended? Why do you need such an outrageous config to meet that? And it makes me wonder why. Max Payne 2 is a brilliant example of how a game can look good and run like a dream (which is does one my GeForce3), even on "Not so new" hardware. Why can't more games be like that?

I hate to sound like I'm whining, but if this continues, then it's going to be a horrible path for the PC game industry. I wish developers would pick a generation of hardware to exploit and settle on that, instead of immediately migrating to the next API revision when it's released.

I hope that the current generation of video cards prove to be more future proof then the previous video card generations are appearing to be. But then again, who knows when the next "FarCry" will come out, requiring a R500 or NV50 to be able to achieve respectable frame rates at what the developers intend the game to look like.
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Old 03-30-04, 09:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

I think its rather legit... the requirements that is...

cpu's of today should be able to handle the games well enough I think but the gpu's do have a little problem...

I wanna see the frame rates that the nv40/r420 combo opens up with todays' cpu's

I can't really stand in the way of innovation... though I have to keep in mind with my first gfx card I was unable to play ANY of the newer games @ the time (like deus ex and so on/so forth) @ anything more than 800x600 levels and crawling round @ around 10-15 fps... so I can't really complain...
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Old 03-30-04, 09:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

Snake, I've got basically the same system that you do, save that I have a Radeon 9500->9700 softmod w/OC to Pro, and 1 GB of RAM. Believe it or not, that GB of RAM really helps. The difference between 256 and 512 (in WinXP) is not much larger than the 512/1 GB difference.

Yeah, the GF3 is a bit old. It's not that it's technology is old that's dragging games, it's that newer cards are faster, generally have more onboard RAM, and (with the newest generation) are DX9 parts. Being a DX9 part goes a long way toward speeding things up - DX9 games can run as DX8 or DX7 games, but they still have to do all the stuff that the game requires, and since it was designed for DX9, it suffers on previous generation cards.

I've found that upgrading your video card once a year keeps you up to date without breaking the bank. I try to get vid cards second hand from friends that have the upgrade bug, too - that helps. But right now, if you did some research and put down about $120 for a 9500 NP that was capable of taking a Softmod, your system would be great.

*double checks Snake system specs*

An Athlon XP Mobile? Do you have a laptop? Laptop gaming performance is always behind desktop gaming performance - that may be your problem right there.
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Old 03-30-04, 09:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

I'm the complete opposite here. I was tired of seeing games that only needed 500mhz procs and Geforce2's to play when we have 2.0+ghz procs avalible at reasonable prices. These new games make me feel like my purchase of the latest and greatest hardware is justified.

Noone thinks they have to upgrade anymore I guess. They expect the newest games to play on thier aging 7000's and Geforce2's with super high grapics enables and that just isn't the case. Heck. Most people still play games that are 3-5 years old still. I still play UT, Mechwarrior 4, Diablo 2, Everquest, and a slew of older games that don't even require a fraction of the power my rig can generate. I DO realize, however, that if I want to be able to play Doom 3, Farcry, HL2, and such, it wont be on a 1ghz pentium 3, 256 pc 133, and a Radeon 7000 and I WILL want to play these games when they come out. Either **** or get off the pot.
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Old 03-30-04, 09:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

Quote:
*double checks Snake system specs*

An Athlon XP Mobile? Do you have a laptop? Laptop gaming performance is always behind desktop gaming performance - that may be your problem right there.
Those Barton mobiles are some of the best overclockers. He's got a very nice proc there.

I do agree with Vash though. Upgrading you vid card to something newer won't break the bank and will be enough to handle the new games.
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Old 03-30-04, 10:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

I feel your pain snake but I completely agree w/ whats posted below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marqmajere
I'm the complete opposite here. I was tired of seeing games that only needed 500mhz procs and Geforce2's to play when we have 2.0+ghz procs avalible at reasonable prices. These new games make me feel like my purchase of the latest and greatest hardware is justified.
I'm so tired of seeing us debate and purchase the lastest/greatest enthusiasts products only for devs to continue to write games for outdated hardware. Its long been time to see more scalable engines that make the most of out the products availible today and yet offer acceptable performance older generations products.

With excellent cards like the 9800NP or 5900SE availible for $200 or less, thats more than a reasonable option for a low-cost performance upgrade.
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Old 03-30-04, 10:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

One does wounder if developes are following the MS trend and fattening code out so you have to buy better hardware, the crytech engine ran well on a GeForce 3 a few years ago.
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Old 03-30-04, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by |JuiceZ|
I'm so tired of seeing us debate and purchase the lastest/greatest enthusiasts products only for devs to continue to write games for outdated hardware. Its long been time to see more scalable engines that make the most of out the products availible today and yet offer acceptable performance older generations products.

With excellent cards like the 9800NP or 5900SE availible for $200 or less, thats more than a reasonable option for a low-cost performance upgrade
I feel that absolut too ..Of course you need a spicy speck machine for the newest games and thats whats called "Evolution" and thats the nice thing about Pc Gaming ;-) or else all Games would have loked like Quake 1 hehe
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Old 03-30-04, 11:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

Sorry NickSpolec but it does sound like your winning a bit. No offense ment. But there has always been new games that required you to updated. Remember Q3 when it first came out? We were stuck on TNT(2)s and V3 at the time on P2 at 300Mhz struggling to get more than 30 fps at max IQ. How about the first time you got Unreal/Tribes as the only way to play with those was with a new V3 card if you wanted decent IQ and/or Speed. Developers have to make a choice early on what type of hardware they want to target and either buy/build and engine to run it off. Its an extremly complicated task to write a really good engine that can handle of the "buzzword" features that people want and yet scale over 3/4 year hardware. Sooner or later they either have to move up their target level of hardware or miss out on features. As a developer you want to sell you game to the biggest amount you can but if your game lacks features it may not sell well. Vise versa if your hardware requirements are too step it also will hurt sales. DX9 games are just now starting to come out and we have had DX9 for over 18 months now. All of these games can run on a lower DX card which is good but I don't see how that is too unreasonable of a target. Would you rather buy that new card and not have 1/2 of its features every get used because developers are "dumming" down their games to run on all the older hardware? Again I do feel your pain that upgrading is not an easy task for all of use (meaning sometimes we just dont have the money to spend on an upgrade). But the computer indrustry is founding on pushing things along and games are the biggest pusher atm....
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Old 03-30-04, 12:22 PM   #10
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Talking Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marqmajere
I'm the complete opposite here. I was tired of seeing games that only needed 500mhz procs and Geforce2's to play when we have 2.0+ghz procs avalible at reasonable prices. These new games make me feel like my purchase of the latest and greatest hardware is justified.

Noone thinks they have to upgrade anymore I guess. They expect the newest games to play on thier aging 7000's and Geforce2's with super high grapics enables and that just isn't the case. Heck. Most people still play games that are 3-5 years old still. I still play UT, Mechwarrior 4, Diablo 2, Everquest, and a slew of older games that don't even require a fraction of the power my rig can generate. I DO realize, however, that if I want to be able to play Doom 3, Farcry, HL2, and such, it wont be on a 1ghz pentium 3, 256 pc 133, and a Radeon 7000 and I WILL want to play these games when they come out. Either **** or get off the pot.
I feel same , why are we upgradeing our systems if games still look like s*** im realy happy devs are pushing it to the MAX
Offcourse not everyone can upgrade so games should be scalable !
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Old 03-30-04, 12:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

i don't get it nick, i'm running a GF4Ti4200 64MB with a P4 1.6 512MB of SDRAM and i can play SC: PT just great maxed out. No AA or AF of course, but your system creams mine with the exception of the videocard and that's only by a hair.
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Old 03-30-04, 12:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Am I the only one upset with the recent trend of PC games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSpolec
I'm not saying I CAN'T play some of the newer games. It's just the sacrifices that have to be made to the visual quality to gain a respectable frame rate is depressing. What would it take to play these games how the developer intended? Why do you need such an outrageous config to meet that? And it makes me wonder why. Max Payne 2 is a brilliant example of how a game can look good and run like a dream (which is does one my GeForce3), even on "Not so new" hardware. Why can't more games be like that?
First off, not all programmers are created equal. This is not a PC-specific thing by any means, and it's far better today than it was in past years where a decent game-playing rig was $1500-$2000, and games that ran at 60fps were an extremely rarity. A 9800-Pro 512meg system with a good CPU can be had for under $1000 easily these days - the "high end" has never been cheaper (as you should know judging by the wise selection of components you've picked out for your system, sans the videocard.)

Secondly, you're comparing a game like Max Payne2 - which certainly looks very nice and is well optimized, and comparing it to Far Cry/Doom3/Half Life 2? Are you kidding me? MP2 has nice textures, some blurring effects...and...that's about it. It's a world apart from something like Far Cry which has insane draw distances, very intelligent AI, bump mapping out the wazoo, advanced physics, huge levels, etc. MP2's artwork is excellent, however in terms of advanced effects and truly bringing something to the table we've never seen before like Far Cry, it doesn't measure up. Far Cry is perhaps the most gorgeous game ever created and may also have some of the best AI - you're damn right you're going to need a beefy system to play it with everything maxxed. Why shouldn't you?

Something like the PC version of Enter the Matrix, which chugs to ~15fps on a 3ghz P4 and looks like a 4 year old game, certainly deserves a big ol' rolleyes emoticon - that's pure developer incompetence, no doubt about it. Titles like HL2, Doom3/ Far Cry however, clearly demonstrate where that power is going. Sure, the technique Doom3 uses "works" on a Geforce3 - but don't expect it to look anything like the shots you've seen, and it certainly won't run smoothly.

You seem to want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to play games at their highest settings which allow them to justify the hardware expenditure, but also run just as well on nearly 3-year old hardware with the same settings. Then, you state this is why you prefer console games - wtf? You're going to be in for a rude awakening if you believe Doom3 or FarCry on Xbox will resemble the experience of playing those games on a P4 3ghz with a 9800 (which actually won't be that much of a high-end system by the time D3 arrives). And that's with the Xbox which is the most powerful console system - those games won't be on the PS2/Gamecube at all, as they simply aren't capable of them.

Choice is good if the choices do indeed allow you to sacrifice visual fidelity for performance (sometimes games will have detail settings that actually do very little for performance which I hate). It's one of the good things about PC gaming. I can play a good-looking title on my current hardware, and know that when/if I decide to upgrade, I can go back to that game and max out the details and enjoy the experience all over again - that's what justifies these expensive video cards, it's what they do for your entire software library right out of the box. Would you have no cause for complaint if Far Cry used PS 1.1 only and didn't have the option for 2.0? Instead of massive draw distances, had a fixxed fogging plane? Had retarded AI instead of the cunning tactics they emply? Dumbed-down physics?

Basically, you want to play modern games but don't want to drop the details down to console-level, at the same time noting that you prefer to play games on consoles because you don't have the option of changing any detail levels to suit your personal prefernces regarding performance.

Uh...ok.

Last edited by Nitz Walsh; 03-30-04 at 12:59 PM.
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