Don't chintz on the opening videos and trailers

By on August 8, 2009 8:19:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

nOObonian

Join Date 10/2006
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We want a big community with this game so don't chintz on the opening videos or trailers. People are superficial, many people will or won't buy this game solely on the how the trailer looks. (For example, you didn't do yourself any favors by the Nov 2008 teaser...it sucked donkey CENSORED).
Demigod had the absolutely worst opening sequence ever. It was a bunch of pictoglyphs that went from simply stone to glowing lines with some James Earl Jones wanna-be voice yelling about becoming a god. I could have done it on my Commodore 64 when I was 10.
 
Have some guy shoot lighting and take an Ogre's head clean off, only to have him eaten by something.  Talk to some 13 year old and get his idea of "cool" and then clean it up a little.
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August 8, 2009 5:57:54 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Well I don't know what the deal is with Hortz and graphics, but I keep seeing the game Crysis come up and to my knowledge, and no I haven't read every thread, no one has actually suggested the game should look like Crysis. I don't know that I would like to see different graphics automatically jumps to the realism more often seen in FPS games. And yes, I know he keeps showing up in various threads with a common theme.

Here is my concern though. One, I don't want see Elemental turned into the flame wars that Demigod's forums are. I don't own Demigood but I patrol the forum because Elemental is one of the first games I am seriously interested in, so far, from Stardock. Yes, I have GC II but it was in the bargain bin years after the release and I am toying with Impulse to see if it the service is acceptable. So let's not turn Elemental into a forum of who can throw out the most insults in an hour towards people who disagree with each other.

Two. I don't think that asking for a good trailer, which does not equate to massively hyped huge production cost trailer, is an unreasonable idea. I mean you ask around some other online communities and the only reason anyone knows the name Stardock is because an endless stream of Demigod players showed up on forums to talk about issues with the game and a whole bunch of articles were posted to about its release troubles and piracy issues/piracy stance Stardock has. I just watched a few trailers myself from companies and games I have never heard of that attracted my interest.

Now when I said to try and sell to the masses I did not say try and cater to the masses. There is a difference. I think it would be a good idea, when the time comes, that the masses be aware of Elemental via marketing attempts. This title is far, far, far from being the most niche game I have seen in recent years. If they do it right, it would probably appeal to more than a small fanbase, and why should that fanbase object to bringing in more fans?

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August 8, 2009 6:18:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,
... Also, is there a special reason why you are being so rude to people who have committed the crime of just disagreeing with you?

I've read Bingjack post at GC2 for a couple of years (more?). He can get feisty, but on the net-rudeness meter, he's way, way low ranking. Hortz, on the other hand, is a new persona to me, and most everything it has had to say about Elemental has been at best unconstructively feisty and often quite rude. Bingjack's only real failure from my POV is that in another thread he used "fail" as a noun. Ick-poo.

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August 8, 2009 6:33:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,

 I've read Bingjack post at GC2 for a couple of years (more?). He can get feisty, but on the net-rudeness meter, he's way, way low ranking. Hortz, on the other hand, is a new persona to me, and most everything it has had to say about Elemental has been at best unconstructively feisty and often quite rude. Bingjack's only real failure from my POV is that in another thread he used "fail" as a noun. Ick-poo.

That's just reference to Hortz's now locked "Art Style=Fail" thread.

 

By the way, his agenda has already been addressed by the Devs, who in large part summed up what everyone else has been saying here.  So he's willfully beating a dead horse, for the sake of...I dunno...why people ever do this sort of thing.

 

By BoogieBac

Hortz, I think you're trumpeting gfx and animation to the wrong crowd. If we make Elemental correctly, it should be a fun playing ONLY on the cloth map (tactical mode), where core gfx are removed and the only animation is the pewter peices sliding around the world.

Don't get me wrong, we'll be busting our asses to make the game visually appealing to everyone we can, but if there's ever a point where we have time to either implement a 'gameplay feature' or a 'graphics engine feature', rest assured we're putting that effort into the gameplay itself.

The fact that people are STILL playing (and loving) Master of Magic, an almost 15 year-old dos game with sprite gfx and almost no animation, speaks volumes to the importance of 'gameplay over gfx' in this genre. Even if we made this the 'Crysis' of the TBS world, Elemental is NOT going to push hardware, so we have to be ever villigant to make a game that works (and plays) across the widest spectrum of machines.

This all means starting simple (the cloth map and the screenshots you've seen so far) and ADDING the polish. If we took the route of making an engine that only runs on pimped out quad-cores 64-bit machines with 16gigs of ram and duel video cards, then worked backwards to see how low we could get the system specs, we'd be committing demographic suicide.

Of course, even if we nail the art style, there will always be people that dont like the visual choices we make...but that's for another discussion entirely.

 

At some point, if that isn't good enough for you, you just have to move on.

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August 8, 2009 7:45:24 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Bingjack,


At some point, if that isn't good enough for you, you just have to move on.

Well I am not a fan of the art style choice so far, but it has also been brought to my attention that the graphics are not finished in a way that might change my mind later (I already knew they weren't finished). I think there is something perfectly valid about not choosing a game because its visually unappealing to you. I mean you are talking about a something you are going to be staring at for hours. My standards aren't that high though. I play Paradox games and someone over there seems to have an obsession with browns and yellows and tans and fairly ugly character profiles. I still bought those games.

As for Blingjack, I said he was being rude, not that he was the worst out of the barrel, and that I have never seen worse because I certainly have. It just seems to me there is this loyal fanbase following Elemental and any sort of detraction from this is the best game I have ever seen in my life is met with a pretty strong, you don't belong her attitude. If you don't like it, take a hike ultimatum.

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August 8, 2009 7:56:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Demigod had the absolutely worst opening sequence ever. It was a bunch of pictoglyphs that went from simply stone to glowing lines with some James Earl Jones wanna-be voice yelling about becoming a god. I could have done it on my Commodore 64 when I was 10.

Fail.

 

Just... epic fail.

 

That opening cinematic was good.  I've watched it several times, and it's just cool.  Is it flashy?  No.  Is it expensive?...  Well, probably not.  Is it effective?  Hell yeah!

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August 8, 2009 8:17:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,

Quoting Bingjack, reply 28


As for Blingjack, I said he was being rude, not that he was the worst out of the barrel, and that I have never seen worse because I certainly have. It just seems to me there is this loyal fanbase following Elemental and any sort of detraction from this is the best game I have ever seen in my life is met with a pretty strong, you don't belong her attitude. If you don't like it, take a hike ultimatum.

 

That is not what I said.  But if you have your issue asked and answered many times over, and yet you still try to keep hijacking every thread for your agenda of the game looking like a game that costs *millions* more to make than Elemental will...at some point, you just have to move on.  That is not going to change.  Elemental is not going to overnight triple its production budget, and Stardock, while making increasingly visually appealing games, always focuses on gameplay first.

 

As far as the art "style", completely separate from any *technical* graphical issues, thats a completely subjective issue.  Hate on that all you want, as long you do it in a fashion that reflects you realize the people making this game actually read these boards and a care about their customers (unlike what you may be used to from other game companies), and have feelings about the work that they do.  Hortz has failed to do that on these boards, and continues to compound the issue with his agenda.

 

Truth be told, *I'm* not in love with the art style, or more precisely, am indifferent to it.  If it were up to me, it would be all gritty and gothic, with everything oozing blood and ichor.  I could also care a less if it isnt.

 

 Im fairly sure if the game looked like "My Little Pony" I would still buy it.  Why?  Because not buying a game for graphical stylistic differences is a luxury for people who are fans of the type of game the market is saturated with.  RTS fans.  Or people that weren't really interested in the game to begin with.

 

This game is *rare*. I don't have the option  of saying, "Hey, I dont like the way somebody modeled that horse...Im going to buy the other, deep,  quality, visually appealing and usable Grand 4X Fantasy Strategy game releasing this month where I can design and name my own units, instead.  Because virtually nobody makes them anymore.

 

And guess what? On top of all that other stuff, Stardock is working really hard to make the game highly moddable, so if I dont like something, I can add to it, or alter it.

 

So having opinions is fine.   Even having persistent opinions that shape your ongoing input to Stardock through the beta process is fine.  But having an agenda about an issue that is not going to change, and has already been addressed by the devs, and continuing to beat that horse, which happens to be a wildly unpopular opinion, is not going to win you any supporters.  If you've decided that the game will be a failure, if it doesnt look like a game that cost millions more to make, Im doing you a favor by saying maybe you should move on, as this game will not cater to your priorities.

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August 8, 2009 8:55:14 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Well I never said any of those things either. In fact, the discussion about graphics was already going when I joined those threads. I didn't start them myself, only added my own voice to it. I am sure there are people who enjoy the style and think it is just going to get better. That's fine. If I thought the game was going to fail (oops, not using fail as a noun I mean), I would not be here. I do think there is room for criticism and I think its pure snobbery to think that this game shouldn't have a strong trailer. A strong trailer, a good trailer does not equal an expensive one. There are a lot of people who have never heard of Stardock. Maybe the small fanbase likes to keep things tight knit, but I think a growing fanbase is a good one. At no point anywhere did I say graphics should be a priority either.

See this is exactly what happens on this board. I say, you know what, I don't really care for the style, at this point not even talking about quality and then you go out of your way to try and merge my opinion with Horz's just because we both dislike the art direction but for DIFFERENT reasons.

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August 8, 2009 9:14:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,
Well I never said any of those things either. In fact, the discussion about graphics was already going when I joined those threads. I didn't start them myself, only added my own voice to it. I am sure there are people who enjoy the style and think it is just going to get better. That's fine. If I thought the game was going to fail (oops, not using fail as a noun I mean), I would not be here. I do think there is room for criticism and I think its pure snobbery to think that this game shouldn't have a strong trailer. A strong trailer, a good trailer does not equal an expensive one. There are a lot of people who have never heard of Stardock. Maybe the small fanbase likes to keep things tight knit, but I think a growing fanbase is a good one. At no point anywhere did I say graphics should be a priority either.

See this is exactly what happens on this board. I say, you know what, I don't really care for the style, at this point not even talking about quality and then you go out of your way to try and merge my opinion with Horz's just because we both dislike the art direction but for DIFFERENT reasons.

You get paired with Hortz, because you accused me of being rude to him (without really knowing who you were defending).  So neccesarily I must defend myself now by justifying my position on his position.  Im sorry that you think that my paraphrasing the problem with his position means I think the same about yours.  If you'll read back in my last post, youll see I separated the issue of expensive high end graphics and cinematics from art style, and admitted to *some* common ground on the issue with you, while admitting that in the larger picture, I could care a less.

Theres no need for martyrdom here...no one has attacked you.  If I gave you that impression, I was not clear enough, I'm sorry.

 

I don't care what you think about the art style...youre entitled to your opinion, as long as you utter it with tact and respect to the people that make this game and that read the boards.  Hortz has failed to do that, and is suffering backlash for it, and for his continued agenda.

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August 8, 2009 9:16:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

By the way, getting back on topic,  would anyone like to go on record, and try to convince us that you bought Civ 4 because of the *trailer*, and not for the virtue of it being *Civ 4 * ?

 

I want to see gameplay and a feature list in a strategy game trailer...not some cinematic that is completely unrepresentitive of the game experience Ill be having.

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August 8, 2009 9:18:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bingjack,
By the way, getting back on topic,  would anyone like to go on record, and try to convince us that you bought Civ 4 because of the *trailer*, and not for the virtue of it being *Civ 4 * ?

What trailer?

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August 8, 2009 9:21:27 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Bingjack,
By the way, getting back on topic,  would anyone like to go on record, and try to convince us that you bought Civ 4 because of the *trailer*, and not for the virtue of it being *Civ ?

 

I was already a fan of Civ IV and following the game before it came out. I think the purpose of a trailer is to excite the fanbase AND get others interested who might not have encountered the series/company/game yet. I mean not everyone who played Civ IV was even alive when the original Civ came out. And though Civ IV is a bit of a niche game now, it seemed pretty common when I was younger and played the original.

I'll take your word for it on Horz by the way, I've only seen some of his posts, and yes, they are seem graphic centric.

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August 8, 2009 9:21:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KellenDunk,

Quoting Bingjack, reply 34By the way, getting back on topic,  would anyone like to go on record, and try to convince us that you bought Civ 4 because of the *trailer*, and not for the virtue of it being *Civ 4 * ?

What trailer?

 

I dont know.  I just assumed there was one.  According to the OP wildly succesful 4x strategy games must have multi million dollar trailers that appeal to 13 year olds.

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August 8, 2009 9:49:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The OP has a limited point, the masses wont care about the game unless it gets alot of flash on the net. The op is wrong though in that he believes that the game:

A: Won't get attention for just being a great game. Someone brought up portal? I rest my case.

B: Needs the masses. who the hell cares what most people think, the games audience is a small but devout group. If halo gets 5% of all gamers (say, 100 million) and Elemental gets 50% of all strat gamers (Say 10 Million) then who cares? Its unlikely that the mindless hoardes will even "get" the games point. Pandering to the ADD afflicted twitch shooter masses with this kinda game is idiotic. SD will end up chasing two rabbits and loseing both. (bonus points to whoever gets the reference)

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August 8, 2009 9:51:52 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Bingjack,



Quoting KellenDunk,
reply 35

Quoting Bingjack, reply 34By the way, getting back on topic,  would anyone like to go on record, and try to convince us that you bought Civ 4 because of the *trailer*, and not for the virtue of it being *Civ 4 * ?

What trailer?


 

I dont know.  I just assumed there was one.  According to the OP wildly succesful 4x strategy games must have multi million dollar trailers that appeal to 13 year olds.

Haha, okay well I have to agree that the last thing these types games need is a hollywood style action trailer.

I just can't remember what got me into games like these in the first place. I am pretty sure it was the original CIV shareware maybe and after that, I look at all sorts of strategy games. I am not afraid of them as some people are. The learning curve on some of these games is, HUGE.  And while i adore a lot of mainstream games, Sims, Mario games, some RTS and a few FPS, I think it would be a real shame if people missed out because of lack of awareness. A trailer could help with that, but it would have to be an honest one that highlights actual features of the game or you'll get people buying a game they hate.

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August 8, 2009 10:27:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dont think Lack of awareness will be a problem for SD/Elemental.  I'm sure there will be a trailer.  I doubt you will need 3d glasses to watch it.

 

SD has always thrived on word of mouth.  The gaming press loves them. Their customers love them.  Because they have only ever gone out of their way to please their customers, and offer them alternatives to mainstream fare, and mainstream way of doing things.

 

People that buy this game will do it for the *type* of game it is, and for the feature list, and godwilling, the favorable reviews. Blowing EA/Bioware money on a 30 second trailer, that could have gone toward enhancing the gameplay or adding another new feature, all for a few fleeting seconds of "hey, thats neat", wont significantly bring people in, who werent open to this sort of game before.  Or if it does, they wont last more than a minute after they experience the actual gameplay. ( "How do I make my dude run around, jump over, and shoot stuff??")

 

Furthermore, ballooning up the budget of a game like that, on things not expressly related to making the actual game better, bring in real concerns about accessibility.   The more it costs, the more you *have* to start worrying about the number of people that will buy your game, and the dumber and dumber your strategy game gets to try and reach more people.  Gal Civ 2 was successful because it did well, and it's budget wasn't near what is spent on developing a lot of Triple A games.  Certainly only a fraction of what was spent/is being spent to develop Warhammer Online and The Old Republic, the examples listed by *someone* here for their pricey Blur Studios cinematics.

 

Elemental certainly looks like a significant step up from Gal Civ 2 in terms of production values and budget, and Stardock is expanding , adding new talent for new games all the time...but the project is still not going to be a super big budget game by mainstream standards.  And even if it were, the vast majority of the fanbase would prefer to see that money into the game itself for gameplay and features.

 

Realizing the resources are finite for the game, even for a company like Stardock who doesnt *need* to make games, nor do they *need* to sell a million copies of a game, so they can justify making the game that they *want to*...one could *try* to start listing off features or refinements they'd like to see sacrificed for some graphical novelty that quickly wears off.  But I don't think you'd find many supporters in the community.

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August 8, 2009 10:27:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well there's two sides to this coind nOObonian. The opening cinematic/trailers can be AMAZING but the game could end up sucking (it won't happen because it's Stardock, but it does happen). It's sorta like how the trailers for the Star Wars PT were always better than the actual movie

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August 9, 2009 8:05:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Hortz,

I'm pretty sure that King's Bounty: The Legend broke some barriers in that department and tapped into a whole new market, even my 8 year old arcadey nephew liked it a lot.

So if Elemental is going to be like I get the impression(Civilization 4+King's Bounty: The Legend) it will be, those graphical/animation/tactic elements of KB will function as a lure and overall strategy will be icing for us experienced players.

Really, it's silly to say that this is a niche market, it depends on a lot of things...

I'm pretty sure King's Bounty didn't break any barrier. But I have been unable to find any sales data so far, so if you have some links, please share them. The 100 pounds gorilla of TBS is Civilization, but that game has 3 important things:

a) All Civilization games are very good, you know you are going to get a good product.

 Sid Meier name on the box.

c) They are a stablished franchise.

And about the graphics and animation, I don't think TBS games place those aspects first in general. They prefer gameplay depth and choices rather than eye candy. For eye candy, play a FPS, they are full of it and they are the ones normally pushing the limits of graphic technology.

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August 9, 2009 11:33:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nesrie, I'd like to apologize if I gave the impression I was hassling you for not being a fan-entity. I used to teach US civics and have been a regular poster at GC2 for years. Disagreements are essential for both democratic government and an interesting game forum. I expect I'll be as irrationally fond of Elemental as I am of GC2. But over there I've typed more than a few criticisms while still playing that game for longer than I've played any other TBS.

/attempts to get back 'on topic'/ I still generally agree with Bingjack's position about the relative budget importance of a trailer for Elemental. Without the resources of a conglomerate, I believe keeping things simple is probably better. But that's in no small part because I *don't* think that a growing customer base is a good thing in its own right. This is a niche genre, and IMO, growth needs to maintain the integrity of the niche, not lead the title down the primrose path to mass-market mediocrity. After all, growth for growth's sake is just another way of describing cancer.

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August 9, 2009 11:54:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,
Here is my concern though. One, I don't want see Elemental turned into the flame wars that Demigod's forums are. I don't own Demigood but I patrol the forum because Elemental is one of the first games I am seriously interested in, so far, from Stardock. Yes, I have GC II but it was in the bargain bin years after the release and I am toying with Impulse to see if it the service is acceptable. So let's not turn Elemental into a forum of who can throw out the most insults in an hour towards people who disagree with each other.

I don't think that's going to happen, due to the type of game it is and the type of fans said type of game draws. Demigod is pretty well entirely a competitive PvP game, which has a tendancy of drawing out a certain demographic. 4X games that aren't meant for multiplayer (even if they do have it, which Elemental will) draw an older more single player focused audience, who generally act better.

Right now the Elemental forums are really good, we should all work to keep them that way.

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August 9, 2009 11:56:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think an expensive trailer is needed for this game, as said before in this thread, Stardock depends partially on word of mouth the get a buzz going for their games. I'm pretty sure we'll get to see a decent trailer when the time to release is getting closer.

But I must also admit that high quality trailers can help to get me interested in games, for instance most (all?) trailers for Blizzards games are beautifully made, and are worth watching more then once. Also the trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic made me take notice of that game, and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna try it out when it's released... Depending also on some reviews off course.

So, a high quality trailer can certainly help, but I don't think it's worth putting too much money in. In the end, the gameplay is what's most important.

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August 9, 2009 12:04:31 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

There is nothing wrong with a pretty opening movie or trailer, but I'd rather they put more time and resource into actually making a great game. As for demi-god I actually liked the intro it was simple but nice, depends what you like I guess.

Actually as far as video's are concerned in game footage as more impact on my decision to buy than a nice intro movie I will probably only watch once.

 

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August 9, 2009 3:38:37 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting econundrum1,
There is nothing wrong with a pretty opening movie or trailer, but I'd rather they put more time and resource into actually making a great game. As for demi-god I actually liked the intro it was simple but nice, depends what you like I guess.

Actually as far as video's are concerned in game footage as more impact on my decision to buy than a nice intro movie I will probably only watch once.

 

I could go with an in-game footage type trailer myself. I mean, really the idea is awareness and to make up for the fact that Stardock doesn't want to do demo's ahead of launches. and the Demi-god demo took for ever (which could be unusual though since its troubled release). Just something that can be used to catch the attention of people who would be interested in this game but isn't following its development and hasn't heard of Stardock, especially people who aren't familiar with this typeof game. I know there are some objections to comparing the game to King's Bounty, and Elven Legacy, HOMM, but judging from what I've seen, it's in that same ballpark so it seems fair to compare them, to some extent. 

I was a huge fan of Majesty, and have been following Majesty 2. They've released an official trailer and the looked mostly like game footage with a sound track (not talking about the teaser trailer with the rat and treasure chest). And they're going to have a demo out two weeks before release. I know these aren't the same companies or types of games but Majesty was hardly mainstream either. And the newest issues, since its so close to release, for that community is actually concerns about GOO.

And thank you GW Swicord, I just want to feel comfortable to be able to criticize parts of a game, usually very specific parts of a game, without feeling like I have to take the whole package or be asked to leave or move on, or have some derogatory remark about going to go play WoW. Hey, I respect Blizzard for what they've been able to do, WoW is a case where graphics turned me off though... don't like the style at all but more importantly, there are a lot of alternatives to WoW so that was an easy decison to make. I certainly intend to criticize fairly if I feel the need to do so at all.  I still feel there is a lot of the game left to do so I am still in the waiting, sort of nodding my head, shaking my head phase rather than that oh no, what are they doing mindset.

I think the idea of some kind of a trailer is a good idea. I don't think that that trailer needs to be geared for 13 year old boys which would not only leave out appealing to women at all (again) but pretty much anyone else not interested in gratuitous violence which this game is certainly not about, by any stretch of the imagination.

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August 9, 2009 6:37:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This post is so fail... LOL

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August 10, 2009 1:02:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just wanna say:

Have some guy shoot lighting and take an Ogre's head clean off, only to have him eaten by something. Talk to some 13 year old and get his idea of "cool" and then clean it up a little.
That sounds entirely unappealing and generic.

 

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August 10, 2009 1:13:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's even less appealing if the ridiculous pre-rendered silliness is full of things you can't actually do in the game.

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