Wednesday, August 22, 2012

you used to be mean, you used to be cruel, but you were laughing then

Part of getting the new monitor--the whole new machine, to be honest--has been adapting to the fact that I can use better graphics settings on everything I play. The "Ultra" setting on City of Heroes, for instance, gives me the shadows and the intensity that people have been talking about for so many years on SL, at a fraction of the processor drain.

There's a down side to this: I've been taking pictures like crazy, but at this point, I have very little context for any of them. So--because I want to post many of them--I'm just going to go for it in the next few entries.

And then hopefully get back to Minecraft shots. If I can remember what happened when...

First, though, an example of what I mean that I've posted before:

(from the City of Heroes album; the superhero "Siege")

So, this was taken by one of the City of Heroes promotional team to link to a wiki article. Considering the storylines at the time that I remember, I'd peg this as taken maybe four years ago? Note the angular appearance, the 'blockiness' of the mesh itself, and the desaturated color palette.

(from the City of Heroes album; the second male character I've ever pulled up.)

So...yeah, this was the best example I could find--a character I pulled up tonight for....I have no clue. We were playing with a random name generator and it threw out "AngryBlob RhinoAnimal".

So I had to make him up.

Don't look at me like that.

The important point is, a similarly-sized male character to Siege now has much more color and vibrancy (in game or out), more rounding to the mesh, and in general looks a whole lot better, start to finish.

Well. Putting aside that I dressed him like that. And that I named him "AngryBob RhinoAnimal"...

(from the City of Heroes album; under Atlas Park)

From the ridiculous to the...disgusting? City of Heroes is yet another game with an absurdly large sewer system running underneath the entire world, it seems some days. It's stupidly spacious, considering, and more than a little repellent, but on the new monitor, the water's not sludgy and olive, it's very nearly emerald in spots (not that that's necessarily good, either).

What kills me are the reflections. Prior to the new monitor (and graphics card), the waters were dull and flat. Now? I'm watching this fledging hero run to the street access tunnel, and watching her reflection in the water run, too.

(from the City of Heroes album; the zeppelin in Atlas)

At the risk of upskirting (which, I assure you, was not the intent, metallic party frock or not), I had to capture this shot one day when I happened to be looking up. Forget that things look better; on Ultra settings in City of Heroes, not only do objects that never glowed before glow, or objects that were static become animated, but things like this show up. I have friends who say the airship was always there.

All I can say before is I never noticed it.

(from the City of Heroes album; a shot of the Antikythera device)

Towards the end game (so, talking between levels 45 and 50), there's another cooperative mission traveling back and forth in time. One of the plot points involves an Antikythera mechanism--or its nearest visual simulacrum, considering the limits of the game. Still, I was fascinated that it was actually mentioned--in this instance, as an object that could program time vortexes, as I recall.

Still, I was enthralled. I took several shots of the device as the NPCs chatted over details of the story arc; this was the best of the shots I took. (Oh, and while I no longer remember the legs of the fellow on the left, the legs on the right belong to Positron.)

More to come.

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