Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Third Dimension

Valithria Dreamwalker has really driven home a point for me: I am not fond of having to maneuver in 3 dimensions.

Oculus, Malygos P3, and Valithria have all had portions where you could move in all three dimensions. And I haven't really enjoyed those portions. It's not the vehicle aspect either. I like Flame Leviathian, and I don't mind jousting. Plus, in Dreamwalker you fly with your normal character.

Part of it is because I don't think I am very good at 3D movement. I always seem to move too far up or down unintentionally.

3D fights add a extra level of complexity that I am not sure makes an encounter more fun. For example, Malygos might have been better if the dragons were restricted to the plane. If they couldn't really move up or down. Would Valithria be any different if the orbs were on the ground, and maybe had to be killed instead of flown through?

But on the other hand, riding a dragon is all about flying in three dimensions. Maybe limiting it to two would be overly restrictive.


  1. Flying around in three dimensions on-screen has always been a pain since the first 3D game came out all those years ago.

    The key problem is that flat 2D tv screens give no depth perception, and because of that we have no concept of where we are in space as soon as we leave the reference point of the ground. Some of the worst offenders were early platformers on consoles where you had to successfully jump "into" the screen or you died. Needless to say a source of great frustration.

    Consequently it's no surprise that these flying fights are challenging and quite frustrating. Not because they were badly designed par se, but simply because utilising the third dimension on a 2D screen in such a way doesn't work, and probably never will.

  2. "The key problem is that flat 2D tv screens give no depth perception"

    This. Mod parent up :)

    "but simply because utilising the third dimension on a 2D screen in such a way doesn't work, and probably never will."

    Don't be so sure Mally. 3D screens were all the rage this year at CES and hopefully in a few years we will have consumer-priced ones that don't even require the silly goggles.

  3. Trees can't kill anything. They would have to shift. It would be stupid to restrict one healer from doing damage and then force a healer-encounter to do damage.

  4. Shifting as a tree is not exactly hard, I routinely do it for saurfang in 10's, its about the same as a Paladin needing to use a dps seal instead of wisdom or shift between and their is nothing wrong with their caster dps.

    But wiping 3% short because I spent 3 seconds failing to hit a 3d object (at 22 stacks) ,not so much fun. We got the kill in the end but I allready suggested someone else try next week despite Paldins being the best choice 25+ stacks of the bonus+AW+trinket+Heroism+GS on boss is incredible but I kept dropping my stacks between 16-25...

  5. I think the problem has more to do with 3D movement being so clunky in wow since there's no "down" without pointing your character down. If they wanna make the 3D element fun, they have to make moving in that element feel natural. There's been many 3D games that have done it right in the past, it has nothing to do with depth perception. I'm Channeling a bit of Omega Boost here or to a lesser extent Kingdom Hearts.

    Perhaps a target-lock system like many console games have where on a flying vehicle you can lock onto and enemy and they become your pivot point. It could function just like the camera does when you look around. Hold alt or ctrl or some key so that your drake moves up/down/left/right around the enemy lock at the same distance away instead of camera moving around your head, scroll wheel would move you closer/farther from enemy

  6. There is a default keybind for down, it is 'x' but it seems many people rebind it to something else.

    Also, people who have done the Netherwing prequests in Shadowmoon Valley remember the flying dragon to whom we had to get and turn in quests. The best way was to enable "click to move" or some other option, left-click on the dragon and voila.

  7. I guess I'm spoiled by playing "Descent" back in the day. 3D movement hasn't been a problem for me since then. :)

    And personally, I like the idea of doing something that ISN'T "kill the target". Flying through a target is a more interesting way of doing something we've done a thousand times (that is - get a buff).

  8. Most of the orbs in the plane of the dragon, just go up to her level and then forget about up and down.

  9. Shifting as a tree is a pain in the ass. I haven't been to Valithria yet, but I assume that when I'm flying around, I can still use my abilities, i.e. heal and be useful. If I had to shift, lost a portion of my healing due to lack of tree form, lose a portion of my healing due to having to DPS... uhhh no thanks.

    That being said, I didn't know this fight involved 3D movement... It took me a long while to grasp Malygos, and Kael'Thas p3 or MgT were always shitty since I didn't get to practice a lot.