Anarchy Online Developer Journal #6: Upgrading the World

By Nina "Aythem" Sund, Content Designer/Writer for Anarchy Online
By Nina "Aythem" Sund, Content Designer/Writer for Anarchy Online

Hello again!  I hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter holiday, and that you got some deserved time off.  I spent my vacation at home, playing games and relaxing. What games, I hear you ask? Well, it has been a little bit of an old school revisit during these last few weeks, as I am playing The Legend of Zelda - The Wind Waker on the Wii.

With the addition of the new engine, the possibilities really open up for enhance the look of the world.

I adore the Wii, and especially the virtual console functionality. Being able to play old and much loved games on such a lovely system as the Wii really rekindles the reason why I play games; to have fun and be entertained in an interactive media. In addition to Zelda I am also enjoying some classic Mario games, as well as new titles such as the fantastic Mario Galaxy and the wonderfully relaxing Endless Ocean, for those days when you just want to look at prettiness and listen to calming music.

Now that I am back at work, it is also time to post a new entry in my developer journal. One of the recent questions on the forums asks whether or not there will be more "slime" and toxic waste in the world of Rubi-Ka with the new engine scheduled for this year. While I cannot give away all the details of the graphical changes to the world (and believe me, what we have seen so far is awesome looking) I can say as much that the new engine offers possibilities not only for effects such as water and nano program effects, but also the way in the world itself looks, meaning weather, lava, flora, waterfalls and yes, toxic waste, among other things. Now, it is a long and meticulous process, and there is a lot to do just to convert to the new engine. I’m also not a render coder so I give no promises to when you get to see more.  So even we have to wait to find out exactly what new visual effects will end up in the new engine.

What I can say is that I think we will be able to really stretch the capability of this new gfx engine in AO. What is certain is that the new engine allows us to keep improving the visuals of the game after it’s released. I think that’s something you will definitely see in the updates even after the engine is live.

The story and history of Rubi-Ka will continue to be explored with new quests.

It was also asked on the forums if there will be new quests to explain the story and history of Rubi-Ka. To that I can say yes! We fully intend to continue our storytelling and flesh out the rich and diverse background of this game world that we all love so much. Already, we have added major quest lines and content that answers some of the most frequently asked questions, and we will continue to do so. Anarchy Online has a long and strong bond with the story and we continue to present opportunities to figure it all out, even as I write this.

In upcoming patches we have also plans to add NPCs that give out tidbits of information about people, places, events and creatures along with simple quests for the curious. We believe it is important to cater to all the different types of players we have, ranging from those who love raiding and PvP, to those who collect all pieces of information and back story that they can get their hands on, to those who love it all!

Another question on the forums was if we have any plans about a raid interface. To answer this, yes we are currently working on an interface that will allow up to six teams to merge into a raid group, as mentioned in the most recent letter from the Game Director. We are very excited about this, and we hope to be able to share it with you soon. If you want more information I suggest you head on over to the Anarchy Online forums and read the letter.

As I sit here with my cat in my lap (who I swear is purring Beethoven's Ode to Joy or something), it is time to finish this entry of my journal and load up AO. Keep those questions coming, and remember to check back soon for another blurb from my end of the world.

Do you have any questions to ask Nina? What would you like her to talk about? Let her know on the forums!

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