That's all well and good, but it gives me the sense that they're worrying too much over graphical aspects. Graphics are great, but they rarely make or break a game.
Well, for one, this depends on your definition of "graphics" as the term isn't exactly solid, but assuming you just mean how a game looks and not just the technology used for said graphics.
This is incredibly, incredibly unlikely. Games aren't made with a solid bar of resource that can be divided one way or the other, they're made by teams with individuals with different talents and purposes. It's the art directors job to worry about how the game looks, and he's basically in a completely separate universe
from where the people who work on gameplay and mechanics are as far as "time" or "effort" allocations are confirmed. How hard the artists work or how much they do is almost entirely removed from how much is done on other parts of the game.
The only way for them to really worry too much or focus too much on the graphical aspect of the game is if they're actually diverting a large amount of budget from other areas. Which is entirely unlikely
considering this is 1) a pre-existing team and 2) an established developer that obviously knows more than a little bit about successful development process.
I'd say if anything (provided this article is true) we're getting so much information on this part of the game because, well, the essentials are still under wraps and subject to quite a bit of change.
Not that you don't know all of this. But there's always someone somewhere in need of education.
But a game's critical reception has very little to do with graphics. There are always a few graphics whoretards who feel the need to vocalize the most minute differences. Particularly in a subscription game, graphics can bring in new customers, but they will not keep the dollars flowing.
Well, again, how do you mean graphics? (I really freaking hate the term "graphics" after all this time, by the way. You know how many people think a game like Vagrant Story has "bad graphics"? The term, for a lot of people, has no worthwhile meaning in serious discussion.) If you're talking technology, I'd actually mostly agree. FFVI was a beautiful game, and there are a number of PS3 games that really look much worse in my opinion. Focusing on how Crysis-like you can get a game is ridiculous.
But if we're talking about artistry, well, no. Not so much. Good art does actually make a game better, bad art does actually make a game worse, and more often than not
good games have good art and bad games have bad art. This isn't actually so much a direct effect; having skilled artists but poor gameplay won't help much. But teams that know the value of good art and how it relates to the psychology of game design will simply more often be more experienced, better teams.
But having good art and using it well makes a gaming experience better, end of story. Not necessarily as important as having engaging game mechanics, but it definitely is a factor.
But then I'm saying "art" and not "graphics". FFXIV doesn't need to have groundbreaking graphical technology to look good, it just needs good artists. Though at this point it looks like it may have both.
Can anyone tell me how this might be a cool thing?
What Evayde said. The animation video from gamescom looked good.
You can mess up mocap pretty bad, but so far the results are kind of stellar.
So long as they don't do it for all of the cutscenes and go with mocap actors that love to exaggerate every slight head movement when they talk.
Fffff I hate that.