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Trials of Ascension Forum » General Discussion » Terrain and Physics

6 posts found
  Ehliya

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/06
Posts: 182

 
OP  11/22/12 1:25:16 PM#1

Trials of Ascension looks truly ground-breaking and I am praying it makes it to live.  That said, since the game seems to be really striving for an immersive environment, I had a few questions on how it will handle terrain, weather and game physics:

 

RIVERS AND BODIES OF WATER

Typically in an MMO, these are treated graphically and nothing more.  In the least immersive, you can dive into the ocean in full plate armor and not sink; you can swim UP waterfalls; you can dive naked into icy arctic waters with no impact from temperatures that IRL would kill someone in minutes; you can dive to great depths with no impact from crush pressure; you can breath underwater for indefinite time; you can fight underwater using the same spells and at the same speed.  Some games like GW2 take things a bit farther by having breathing apparatus and different underwater combat mechanics.  But most MMO treat water as just a pretty change of color palette.  Rarely, if ever, do you see bridges, for example, being meaningful ways to cross rivers - it is faster to just dive in wherever and swim across (full armored and clothed of course).  Some MMO handle the river issue by the usual theme park on rails method - just make it impossible to cross anywhere BUT at the bridge.

How will TOA handle these issues?

WEATHER AND TEMPERATURE

Most MMO have varied climate zones, which allow for visually pleasing changes of scenery for players from snowy valleys to verdant forests to arid deserts.  However few, if any, MMO have an impact on the player from being in a different climate.  Want to run around naked on the arctic tundra?  Go right ahead - no one freezes in our game!  Want to travel through a forbidding waterless wasteland for days under baking midday heat in full plate armor - go right ahead, that blinding sun above you is only eye candy.  Want to push that fully-loaded wagon up hill through mud under torrential rains?  No problem! Mud in our game just means a slushing sound when you run through it at speeds that would make Usain Bolt blush.

Any different approaches by TOA to this?

REAL WORLD PHYSICS

Nearly all MMO allow you to move uphill and downhill at the same speed.  You also move at the same pace through dense brush, swamps, mud, deep snow, etc. as you would on a well-paved highway.  Almost every MMO has the beloved Jump key, which you can use regardless of the fact you are carrying 171 looted broadswords in your backpack.  Planning to jump off that cliff?  MMO tend to be a bit better here, with many games having some falling consequences and even death if the height is great enough.  But usually you can still drop fifty feet or so with little/no consequences.  

Thoughts on how TOA will address these areas?

LIGHTING

Lighting is always subject to necessary compromise, since IRL gamers with sight disabilities won't be able to play if they can't see or it will be hard on the eyes of anyone to look at realistically dim candle-lit interiors or pitch black dungeon caverns.  However, most MMO go way, way too far the other way - even the most dire dungeons conveniently have ever-lasting torches placed along the walls which light the place up like a suburban mall.  Most MMO also make little distinction for day/night cycle.  Old UO seemed to strike a decent balance - you really needed to be carrying torches around at night or in dungeons if you wanted to see anything and it only showed you a certain radius.

How would TOA think about lighting and day/night?

CONCLUSION

I want to emphasize I am NOT looking for some sort of real-life simulation.  I realize a computer game world needs to compromise in order to be fun and playable.  But it has bothered me for years that MMO seem to go too far to the other extreme, where the player really has no reason to take into account their surroundings at all.  It would be nice if TOA explored making its environments and physics a bit more consequential.  Players, for example, who ventured into arctic regions would need to dress warm (Gemstone MUD is an example of this, players would need to wear cold-weather gear or take slow but steady damage from icy winds).  Players in hot deserts or jungles would flag when they were not in the shade or where they didn't have periodic access to water (either carried with them or a spring or oasis).  A bridge over a raging river would be meaningful for anyone wanting to cross that river. 

 

Thanks and appreciate any thoughts.  Again, I am not looking for the moon, just wondering if TOA plans any different approaches.

  seronis

Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/12
Posts: 2

11/23/12 12:03:43 AM#2
Over on the official forums there has been some discussions on these issues. Going half dressed in cold weather will be a Bad Idea(tm). Similarly doing other stupid things should cost you a life counter. Personally I cant wait to get an opportunity to see how many ways I can get my first character killed. I think the first thing im gonna try is to kill someone by jumping on top of them =-)  Maybe it will suck for them. Maybe it will only suck for me. Will be fun to TRY either way
  GatesGT

Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/12
Posts: 4

11/23/12 12:24:47 AM#3

I posted your question on the ToA forums and Ildefonse was kind enough to dig out some old quotes.  Keep in mind these where quotes taken from the first attempt to release ToA about 7 years ago.  They haven't talked extensivly about this recently just yet but I imagine it will come up soon now.  Anyway, here are the quotes that Ildefonse thought would help answer your question and heres a link to the topic. http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/the-worlds-out-to-get-you.179/#post-2058

 

TerVarus will have all the usual environments. Our weather system is dynamic and is very interactive with the beings of the world. Falling snow will actually stick to the ground (if the conditions are right), tornadoes can suck you up and throw you a few hundred feet, etc.

It's our hope that projectiles will be affected by the environment, but only testing will be able to tell us if we can pull it off when considering things like bandwidth and graphics issues.

Imp: I don't know if it's been asked before but: will environment affect your need for food, I mean will it be harder to survive long without food in cold places, and without water in the desert?
Brax: Absolutely.

Tengusan: I want to know if true environmental darkness will be in . . .most mmorpgs don't have it and it lacks strategy and atmosphere without it.
Brax: Darkness will certainly be in ToA. We've got lots of plans for the use of lighting and of course darkness.

Priest: How fast will a person die, on average, from lack of hydration?
Neutronium: This depends on a number of factors, including the character's race, their activity level, and their environment.

Alrak: What will the light differences between day and night be, will moonlight be covered up by cloud cover? Will light reflect off of snow?
Brax: You can expect to see the usual day/night lighting systems that you see in other games. We've contemplated using lightbloom but only for a bit of flare and not as the main lighting staple. Ambient lighting will be affected by things such as time of day and the environment (like your snow example).

If you're stuck outside in a snowstorm and ill-equipped, you're going to lose a life counter.

  ForgedChaos

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/23/12
Posts: 3

11/23/12 1:05:55 AM#4

Hi Ehliya, Don Danielson here, aka Brax, Co-Founder of Forged Chaos LLC.  Thanks for asking such thoughtful questions!  I'll answer them the best I can.  (I can't seem to figure out the quoting method here so I'll just use different colored text)

 

RIVERS AND BODIES OF WATER Typically in an MMO, these are treated graphically and nothing more.  In the least immersive, you can dive into the ocean in full plate armor and not sink; you can swim UP waterfalls; you can dive naked into icy arctic waters with no impact from temperatures that IRL would kill someone in minutes; you can dive to great depths with no impact from crush pressure; you can breath underwater for indefinite time; you can fight underwater using the same spells and at the same speed.  Some games like GW2 take things a bit farther by having breathing apparatus and different underwater combat mechanics.  But most MMO treat water as just a pretty change of color palette.  Rarely, if ever, do you see bridges, for example, being meaningful ways to cross rivers - it is faster to just dive in wherever and swim across (full armored and clothed of course).  Some MMO handle the river issue by the usual theme park on rails method - just make it impossible to cross anywhere BUT at the bridge. How will TOA handle these issues?

Rivers will push your character based on its size and speed.  Every race will have a natural bouyancy, even negative for some races.  Your character's weight will impact bouyancy so, the heavier you are, the faster you will sink.  Your character's temperature will be tracked and jumping into an icy sea will definitely result in consequences to your character!

 

WEATHER AND TEMPERATURE

Most MMO have varied climate zones, which allow for visually pleasing changes of scenery for players from snowy valleys to verdant forests to arid deserts.  However few, if any, MMO have an impact on the player from being in a different climate.  Want to run around naked on the arctic tundra?  Go right ahead - no one freezes in our game!  Want to travel through a forbidding waterless wasteland for days under baking midday heat in full plate armor - go right ahead, that blinding sun above you is only eye candy.  Want to push that fully-loaded wagon up hill through mud under torrential rains?  No problem! Mud in our game just means a slushing sound when you run through it at speeds that would make Usain Bolt blush.

Any different approaches by TOA to this?

As already mentioned, we'll be tracking your character's body temperature and he/she will be impacted when exposed to temperatures outside his/her comfort zone. 

 

REAL WORLD PHYSICS

Nearly all MMO allow you to move uphill and downhill at the same speed.  You also move at the same pace through dense brush, swamps, mud, deep snow, etc. as you would on a well-paved highway.  Almost every MMO has the beloved Jump key, which you can use regardless of the fact you are carrying 171 looted broadswords in your backpack.  Planning to jump off that cliff?  MMO tend to be a bit better here, with many games having some falling consequences and even death if the height is great enough.  But usually you can still drop fifty feet or so with little/no consequences.  

Thoughts on how TOA will address these areas?

We will limit movement speeds based on how encumbered you are and possibly what terrain you're on.  I say possibly because it can get tricky to implement right without it eating up precious resource cycles.  As for falling - our aim is to make falling distances a bit more realistic.  With the risk of perma-death though, I think (and hope) people will be far more cautious when it comes to jumping off things.

 

LIGHTING

Lighting is always subject to necessary compromise, since IRL gamers with sight disabilities won't be able to play if they can't see or it will be hard on the eyes of anyone to look at realistically dim candle-lit interiors or pitch black dungeon caverns.  However, most MMO go way, way too far the other way - even the most dire dungeons conveniently have ever-lasting torches placed along the walls which light the place up like a suburban mall.  Most MMO also make little distinction for day/night cycle.  Old UO seemed to strike a decent balance - you really needed to be carrying torches around at night or in dungeons if you wanted to see anything and it only showed you a certain radius.

How would TOA think about lighting and day/night?

Day will be bright, night will be dark.  Simple as that.  If you want to see at night, bring a torch.

 

CONCLUSION

I want to emphasize I am NOT looking for some sort of real-life simulation.  I realize a computer game world needs to compromise in order to be fun and playable.  But it has bothered me for years that MMO seem to go too far to the other extreme, where the player really has no reason to take into account their surroundings at all.  It would be nice if TOA explored making its environments and physics a bit more consequential.  Players, for example, who ventured into arctic regions would need to dress warm (Gemstone MUD is an example of this, players would need to wear cold-weather gear or take slow but steady damage from icy winds).  Players in hot deserts or jungles would flag when they were not in the shade or where they didn't have periodic access to water (either carried with them or a spring or oasis).  A bridge over a raging river would be meaningful for anyone wanting to cross that river. 

Thanks and appreciate any thoughts.  Again, I am not looking for the moon, just wondering if TOA plans any different approaches.

We'll be the first to admit ToA won't be for everyone.  We're happy to share the MMO market with others.  We are developing ToA to be different yet still very fun for those that think like we do.

Hope that helps!

Brax

  Ehliya

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/06
Posts: 182

 
OP  11/23/12 1:47:07 AM#5

WOW - thanks Gates GT and please give my thanks to the ones who dug this up.  AND thanks to you Brax!  To actually have a developer so quickly answer questions is unheard of!  The answers make this sound more awesome than I thought.

I agree this game won't be for everyone.  But I think there will be a good market for it.  Many people, after fifteen years of MMOs, are tired of the same old same old and want new approaches.  In addition, people are tired of games that spoon feed them - they want challenges.   

 

  knallpulver

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 39

11/23/12 5:02:19 AM#6

Wow this made my hype for this game go up to the moon..... :D Thought this game was gonna be different, but I didn't know you were aiming this high......

If you can get an article about all these features, then your Kickstarter will get a lot of pledges I'm sure.

Keep up the good work !