Long running online games have a problem franchises like Call of Duty or Gran Turismo don’t: they can’t as easily re-release themselves with a new graphics engine every couple of years.
This leads to these games becoming less and less likely to draw in new players because in addition to not being the new hotness they also look more and more dated in comparison.
Developers try to tackle this with little tweaks and upgrades to their graphics that make the games look slightly better without needing a whole new engine.
WoW has done this for example, and the difference between vanilla (2004) and Legion (2016) is quite noticable.
Noticable, but not groundshattering – at least not on screenshots, and I haven’t seen it ingame.
What I do have experienced myself are the changes to EVE Online over the years, and those are pretty huge. I didn’t actually realize how huge until recently. It’s funny how quickly you get used to the new state of affairs after something changes, and soon you’d swear it had always been this way.
When I browsed my old EVE screenshots in search for a picture I needed for the blog I stumbled across a shot of an old PvE ship of mine, the Raven Navy Issue. I almost fell off my chair. First, here’s how the Navy Raven looks today:
My Golem, which uses almost the same model as the Raven, looked like this in 2009:
That’s not such a big change over nine years, is it? Well, strap yourselves in, because this was my Navy Raven in 2007:
Seriously, I had no idea anymore that the game looked like this when I started to play. In fact I was already playing for almost two years when I made that picture.
And I clearly remember thinking that the game looked pretty great back then. That’s how much our perception changes with the times and everything we see and experience.
Kudos to CCP for putting in the effort, and thanks for another reminder that not everything was, in fact, better in the old days.