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VR

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Morgannopants

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That looks awesome..but also makes me sad because I am lazy. My arms would be so BUFF casting and fishing for 12 hours a day this way!
 

Xrixi

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hmm yeah... but at least you can sit while doing it. Imagine the dungeons, dodge rolling out of stuff!! :-o
 

Xrixi

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Well...no pain, no gain.. right? :wink:
 

nemomeneso

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I've had a Virtuix Omni and Oculus Rift on pre-order for a while. Dreaming about ESO (or any Elder Scrolls stuff) in VR, but scuttlebutt is that ESO won't be suitable because it's 3rd-person only. I've seen a clip of someone walking across "all" of the Fallout 4 wasteland on an Omni though, so it seems promising. The Vive was still vapourware when I placed my preorders, but it might be my first choice today. Five years from now they'll all look like primitive junk, but I'm so old I'd better not wait. I've had a Gear VR for a few months. It's great for proof-of-concept teasers, but sits unused most of the time - too clunky for gaming, imho.

Meanwhile, I'm playing ESO with wasd keys and a mouse, feeling very 20th century. Exciting stuff in the pipeline.
 

Hobb

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Dreaming about ESO (or any Elder Scrolls stuff) in VR, but scuttlebutt is that ESO won't be suitable because it's 3rd-person only.
Probably around a year ago, someone was quoted as saying they'd be trying for full VR support (can't find it now). But yeah, dodging AoEs and whatnot will be almost impossible in the current first person PoV for ESO. I could think of an easy solution with popup directional warnings for stuff that's about to go off around you... but that's kind of meh compared to situational awareness in 3rd person. Also, mounts would be weird.

But OMG I want a Rift and Omni so badly. Also... I would speculate reliable full body tracking isn't that far off with maybe a combination of lightboxes and a jumpsuit. Would love to macro some stuff to real body motions and hack through some stuff... just too scared to join the LARPers at my nearby park. :">
 

Morgannopants

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I'm sorry. I dont understand that statement. down your...pants? ew. pants. i'd rather surgically implant it into my skin then wear pants.
 

nemomeneso

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My Oculus Rift arrived yesterday. Good timing, since an ESO game freeze the day before has turned into a big deal - Steam is reloading ALL my ESO files and predicts it will take another 5 days or so (pitiful rural "broadband" connection).

The ESO situation was odd, fwiw, but I imagine it was unique to my setup. I was in Cyrodiil, Queen Dovikin's group (Azura). We were waiting at a farm for blues to attack (Queen always seems to know what's coming). My game froze, as sometimes seems to be the case for almost everyone. It let me log back in after a few minutes - fairly common occurrence. By then the blues had arrived and were being pushed back. I got a few spells off as they retreated, then the game froze again. This time it was terminal - no recovery using the usual methods, and now a very slow ongoing rebuild.

So last night I was feeling ESO-deprived, but thought I could fix that easily by finally firing up Dark Souls 3 and/or unboxing my new Rift. It wasn't that simple, as things turned out.

First, DS3 offers a brutal boss encounter very early on, while you're still in early tutorial mode. I'll have to learn to parry well (gasp) before I have the slightest chance. If you've seen me play any game, you may remember that I'm usually pretty lazy/sloppy/inept about such things. I turned my attention to the Rift, sulking only slightly.

The Rift sent me into a rather picky setup tutorial. I've already used (my wife's) Gear VR so I pretty much knew what to expect, but it was finicky stuff. When the basics were working a teaser short film played. At first I thought it was no better than the Gear VR, perhaps even worse, but then it showed a quick clip of an ET-type character - superbly done - absolute magic. This technology promises so much.

I looked quickly at some of the free apps. They were already familiar from the Gear VR, so still images that might have made me ooh and aah a couple of months ago were now just backgrounds for fine-tuning the Rift. I didn't bother trying the two free games that come with the Rift. (Remember my mood was grumpy because of ESO and DS3 issues). I knew it should be possible to set the Rift up in SteamVR, despite Valve's backing the Vive so strongly. I had happy memories of watching a TV baseball broadcast on "giant screen" VR shutter glasses back in the nineties, so my notion was to recapture that feeling by looking at Steam non-VR games through my new "giant screen" Rift.

Long story short - the Rift runs fine in SteamVR, but it takes quite a while to set up. Luckily, many people have done it by now and have posted the details online. It's way too finicky for a consumer product at the moment, but good geek fun if you're patient.

So, back to Steam and DS3, this time wearing the Rift. Things worked pretty well, but disappointment came from unexpected quarters. For example, I had forgotten how good our monitors have become since the nineties. Looking through the "giant screen" Rift was only slightly better than looking at my 28" monitor, and all in all was not worth the (slight) discomfort of wearing a headset, especially a cord-tethered headset. For another example, the Rift offers the "giant screen" experience in the context of a VR theatre, but for me it worsened the game immersion considerably. There was an impressive sense of immersion - in a theatre, rather than in the game-world. I sadly concluded that you can't go home again - the gee-whiz "giant screen" I remembered from the nineties doesn't apply any more.

tl/dr; When real VR games show up, when the killer apps arrive, the Rift and all its cousins will be fabulous. For now, it all feels a bit sloppy and premature. Even as I say that, I imagine ESO in VR and - sorry, didn't mean to drool.

Maybe things will be more immersive when the Virtuix Omni arrives. Meanwhile, I'll practice parrying in DS3 and count the days until I can get back to Tamriel. See you in-game Real Soon Now.
 

Rootimus

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I hope you get your ESO situation sorted out soon. Nice write-up about the Rift, though.
 

nemomeneso

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Thanks, Rootimus. I'm sure I'll have ESO running again in no time (geologically speaking). Steam estimates vary between 4 days and 21 days now, and a thunderstorm outage last night didn't help. This is all because of my rural broadband situation though, not Valve's fault or ESO's. It is a bit ominous for the VR future since VR apps will be even more data-intensive.

There's lots of good info about the Rift online now so I'll try not to repeat mainstream comments. Here's one factoid that surprised me though - the Rift has no on/off switch! You can disconnect the three cables of course (2 USB3, 1 video), but most people won't want to mess with the nest of snakes behind their machines. The Rift thus remains warm to the touch 24/7 when connected, something like a plugged-in cell phone, as does the separate stand-alone sensor device. This really surprised me in today's Energy Star world - it really is not a "consumer device" yet.

Last evening (my 2nd ESO-deprived evening, but who's counting) I thought I'd try one of the bundled Rift games, "Lucky's Tale". It gets praise for its VR immersive effects and criticism for being shallow and brief. I found out it is not "bundled" in the old DVD sense, but rather is downloadable for free, so I inadvertently added to my download wait times. It may be ready for play by this evening.

With time on my hands, I paid some closer attention to the virtual theatre experience. In the default version there are large cushions on the floor nearby. I leaned toward one and sure enough the Rift let me get so close I could almost see the weave of the threads. The immersive effect was superb, but then suddenly it reset - jumped about 6 virtual inches, and the effect collapsed. It reminded me of the occasional ESO lag glitch where you gallop along smoothly then suddenly leap a few meters away. The Rift sensor had probably briefly lost track of my location, then recovered. Early days. On reflection though, even though my "virtual cushion" experience was superbly real while it lasted, it was something I would only do once - proof of concept, but inherently boring. Outside VR there is ESO - VR has to catch up quickly to that level of gaming competition.

Are you folks old enough to remember when colour TVs first came out? Alas, I am. Everyone at the time said "I'll wait until they are perfected". It became something of a joke. Somehow the industry matured, even though everybody seemed to be waiting for everyone else to buy one first - then suddenly everybody had one. I'm now reading online comments that VR might become a brief fad like 3D or quadraphonic sound - I get it - time will tell.
 
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