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World Design Zones Travel Transportation Portals Seamless Loading Screens Zone Borders

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#31 Arca

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:11 PM

The reason that caused me to accept this is due to the fact the world is dynamic. Everything constantly changes. Games like WoW have little to nothing going on in the world, except for AI wandering in preset paths, and any dynamic changes are made with phasing which basically gives you a new copy of the world with the changes made to it, preventing you from interacting with anyone that is not on the same phasing layer as you. Due to everything constantly changing, having a seamless world would be very, very heavy as everything would run on one server (Not a tech guy, but i assume this is the case as i've never seen 'seamless server changes'). Splitting the world in parts not only allows a massive world, but also allows one zone taken down for maintenance.

That being said, some kind of animated loading screen would be cool, maybe just your character walking down a path made of the ground type the area is made of, but as mentioned above, this might result in the loading screens actually increasing in time.

#32 Inquisitor

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:54 PM

View PostMitjan11, on 16 June 2012 - 09:11 PM, said:

Due to everything constantly changing, having a seamless world would be very, very heavy as everything would run on one server (Not a tech guy, but i assume this is the case as i've never seen 'seamless server changes'). Splitting the world in parts not only allows a massive world, but also allows one zone taken down for maintenance.

It seems to me Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a game that provides a possible model to achieve a more seamless world.
I think a server was assigned to at least one or more chunks.  Not sure if that would be feasible considering dynamic events and if they could spread across chunks.  This could be one of the reasons for the zone design, as it's more efficient to handle the workload of the dynamic events in one zone, versus many zones and chunks.

#33 Specialz

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:08 PM

View PostInquisitor, on 16 June 2012 - 09:54 PM, said:

It seems to me Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a game that provides a possible model to achieve a more seamless world.
I think a server was assigned to at least one or more chunks.  Not sure if that would be feasible considering dynamic events and if they could spread across chunks.  This could be one of the reasons for the zone design, as it's more efficient to handle the workload of the dynamic events in one zone, versus many zones and chunks.

You can't just look at the system independent of the games mechanics.

As people have said, the current system is in place for most likely multiple reasons that for the most part are beneficial to the majority of the players playing the game. Immersion isn't really a solid reason to complain about it either, because technically speaking you can make anything you want be immersion breaking or not, its really up to the player.

Now, don't take it the wrong way but I don't see Arenanet changing this just because a few people don't like it especially for the good ole immersion excuse (I say that because its usually a cheap reason for everything or ppl use it when they are too afraid to say I just quite frankly hate it). Also, the fact that you are here means that a seamless world isn't #1 on your list of things that will prevent you from playing the game. going from that train of thought, what does vanguard offer that makes use of it's seamlessness?

#34 Inquisitor

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:23 PM

If I were given two copies of GW2.

Copy 1 is like it is now.

Copy 2 is seamless with virtually no loading screens, plus some animated magical effect to keep more continuity in the game world.

Of course I would choose Copy 2.  Maybe you wouldn't, but I would.

Right now I see no other game out there that can offer as much as GW2 but with seamless open world.  If/when that happens, I'm gone in a heartbeat.  In the meantime, of course I will try to enjoy this game as much as I can.  Though for me, an open seamless game world is very important.  Others seem not to care.  *shrug*

#35 Mexay

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:41 AM

The example you give, it takes over two minutes of in-game time to cross zones.

In Guild Wars 2, it takes maybe 30 seconds at most... but, OH NO! You have to look at some stunning concept art?! Gods Forbid!

I don't see how your example is better, or how WoW runs it. I.e. Short Draw Distance, Takes actual time to "map" somewhere (i.e. you have to wait half an hour to do a cross-map travel).

You simply wouldn't be able to run the GW2 world as fully persistent. It's too big and amazing. There's too much happening.

#36 gobberpooper

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 03:36 AM

Well GW2 Guru, this is about as trivial as it gets. For one, GW1 did it the same way. Secondly, it technically makes perfect sense and makes it so much easier for Arena Net. People need to stop calling Arena Net "lazy" for very very minorly inconveniencing them with something that saves them literally days of man-hours and makes everything incredibly simple for the future. I've only played WoW for 2 14-day trials, and during that time it was down 4 of those days either for maintenance or because of a crash. With GW1 I never had this problem in 5 and a half years of play. There was occasional server maintenance and even then it was still playable, just laggy. If it works the same way in GW2 even with all the dynamic content, I will be incredibly happy and impressed that they manage their servers so goddamn well. Quit your bitching and enjoy the game.

#37 Miteshu

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 03:50 AM

I agree that waypoints are anti-immersive. I think they should remove the lore of it entirely. But not fast travel.

and I really like the idea of animation screen too.

I would prefer a animation of my character walking down the path to the destination he wants to go to. I would also love to see mount animation such as horses or carriages if possible.

I would be satisfied with a painting that symbolizes that.

#38 98percentcute

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 05:59 AM

If It really bothers you invest in an SSD.
I like the low-system requirements for GW2, allows more people to play and I bet that would change if they eliminated loading screens.

#39 Shamadamun

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 06:28 AM

Normally this would've bothered me alot because one of my main hobbies in WoW was kiting odd creatures from one zone to another zone across the continent - but because kiting is impossible in GW2, that can't happen anyway :(

It's a minor inconvenience, but it doesn't bother me (then again, my computer does load really quickly so I dunno if others have to wait like 20 seconds or so)

#40 Oldthrall

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 06:44 AM

I so agree. Just look at WvWvW....you ahve these gigantic cliff-like walls surrounding each map....and for some reason the war is supposed to be connected between the 4 maps yet they split it up with gigantic walls....terrible. I don't mind if they leave it like this for PvE, but eventually it will get frustrating when you walk to the edge of the map and see the SAME type of walls you see in the edges of a WvW map....seriously it causes such a big disruption in the game world environment....you have these gigantic forests but then around that zone these walls surround it...They need to get rid of the walls somehow and make the zones flow to another one more smoothly. It feels to disconnected right now IMO especially when you move into another zone. However I haven't had a problem when playing in the zone, but when you start exploring to the edges of the map, you see gigantic walls that shouldn't be there according to the general environment of that zone....that means the TRUE world of GW2 is like a canyon where the zones are inside those pits....that is really strange and doesn't fit in with each zone's typical environment/theme. Well I just hope they do somethign about this for WvW since the battle is supposed to be 4 map fight and not separated individual maps where the war is going on....

I like what Tera does with those loading screens....especially when you load very fast it might actually feel like you actually warped through like that...

Edited by Oldthrall, 17 June 2012 - 06:48 AM.


#41 Arewn

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:19 AM

Can't say the load screens/portals between zones are particularly immersion breaking. This seems like one of those things where it's only a problem if you focus on it and make it a problem.
Sure I guess it would be nice not to have em, but other games (such as WoW) shoe-horn you into specific spots to traverse zones anyways, a little load screen doesn't do much to bother your immersion between zones and in all likely hood offers technical bliss to Arena Net and smoother game play in other areas for the players.
Even the idea of an animated load screen (which would take more resources than an image and possibly increase load times, I'm no techie though so I could be wrong) could very well break immersion more then keep it. It would remove control from the players hands, and that can be far more immersion breaking then a load screen, especially when it never happens in the entirety of the rest of the game. Compared to a quick load screen with concept art the likes of which you are already familiar with from the other justified features which put you in a load screen, and gives the player the signal of "game is paused, immersion is intact and will resume shortly", rather then "removing the player from the game and taking control of their character".

Not to say there's no room for improvement, a completely seamless world would obviously be better, but when you're actually playing (unless you're really hung up on it and focusing on it or have a slow comp and spend 2 mins on load screens) it's just not a big deal or immersion breaker. And I don't mean to blindly put faith in Arena Net, but logically they aren't going to arbitrarily stick borders and add load screens to their zones, there must be technical benefits that help the game in other ways.

#42 aelesia

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:11 PM

IMO not really a problem to me. The maps are absolutely freaking huge anyway and at no point have I ever felt boxed in. It took me 3 days just to explore Queensdale and I still have not finished exploring the whole map. Heck, my initial thought was, "Damn, just how big is this map? It's massive!" Also, at least 80% of the time I saw a loading screen was when I was fast travelling or portal jumping anyway, rather than crossing over to another zone.

My only gripe is that all the maps are all extremely squarish shaped, and it looks like a bunch of boxes when you zoom out. But to be honest I've never noticed this while playing so it's never bugged me at all.

One advantage of doing it this way would definitely be that each zone would be considered it's own "server", and therefore able to support a larger amount of players per zone.

Also I've never played WoW, so can anyone show me an example of how WoW does zone transitions? From what I've seen in a map so far it still looks like there are lots of "borders" and each zone is also isolated from the rest with only 1 path to the other zone. From what I heard as well is that during zone transitions, there's usually nothing going on and it's mostly empty land with no monsters or anything. Another possible explanation would be that ArenaNet wanted to avoid having bland environments with nothing to do.

http://mapwow.com/

I prefer having a loading screen with just concept art by the way. I tend to find most animation gets boring after awhile, while a beautiful painting always remains beautiful.

#43 Oldthrall

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:25 AM

View Postaelesia, on 17 June 2012 - 02:11 PM, said:

IMO not really a problem to me. The maps are absolutely freaking huge anyway and at no point have I ever felt boxed in. It took me 3 days just to explore Queensdale and I still have not finished exploring the whole map. Heck, my initial thought was, "Damn, just how big is this map? It's massive!" Also, at least 80% of the time I saw a loading screen was when I was fast travelling or portal jumping anyway, rather than crossing over to another zone.

My only gripe is that all the maps are all extremely squarish shaped, and it looks like a bunch of boxes when you zoom out. But to be honest I've never noticed this while playing so it's never bugged me at all.

One advantage of doing it this way would definitely be that each zone would be considered it's own "server", and therefore able to support a larger amount of players per zone.

Also I've never played WoW, so can anyone show me an example of how WoW does zone transitions? From what I've seen in a map so far it still looks like there are lots of "borders" and each zone is also isolated from the rest with only 1 path to the other zone. From what I heard as well is that during zone transitions, there's usually nothing going on and it's mostly empty land with no monsters or anything. Another possible explanation would be that ArenaNet wanted to avoid having bland environments with nothing to do.

http://mapwow.com/

I prefer having a loading screen with just concept art by the way. I tend to find most animation gets boring after awhile, while a beautiful painting always remains beautiful.

And no there's no "one path" to the other zone. You can fly in wow, and that means you can fly over the whole damn continent without seeing one loading screen at all. When crossing borders into another zone, all that happens is your chat channel automatically gets changed to that map's chat channel then also the listed location you're in gets updated and everything else that loads happens pretty much instantly.

#44 Elaithe

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:32 AM

This literally bothers me not at all... although I can see why it would bother some people.

#45 Kurosov

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

I noticed you kept referring to the zone portals as "Magic". This is just wrong.

The zone portals are just a visual indicator that you will be travelling to a different zone. No magic. Just imagine your character walking though the little path as you would when a movie cuts scene to remove some travel.

Waypoints are entirely game mechanic based.

Only asuran gates are magical in anyway because they are the only method that exists "in game".

#46 Inferiae

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:36 PM

I completely agree with the OP here, to me they just take me out of the game, don't ask me to explain my thought process behind it, they just do.

I think it's important to remember where we are in development here, we're not going to suddenly see an open world, what we can do is 2 simple things to disguise the zoning, most games do this nowadays via a variety of means, and I'd like to see AN follow suit, firstly we need to focus on what makes the loading screens so obvious, for me there are 2 prime candidates

1, The Portals themselves
2, The Loading Screen

There are fairly simply fixes to make sure these are less apparent

Portals - Firstly, let me say that Asuran gates don't bother me at all, I can accept that it's magical and I don't have an issue with these, my gripe is between zones, if I bring up the map I can see the areas are connected, yet I need to use some random magic barrier to gain access to it? to me they should go and simply give us an option to remove them, they're an eyesore and serve little purpose, as for accidently going through them? let me make that mistake.

Loading Screens - I cannot stand the concept art with a big bar going through it (or circle!) to me, yes the concept art is beautiful, but I don't want it popping in my face constantly, I think they're are two easy methods to making these transitions easier

1, Fade to Black, Fade in after loading, think of the FF games on PS1, technology that's way outdated, but the world felt massive and seamless due to this very clever effect, for those not aware, check out this video about 15 seconds in, the perk of this is that it would take next to no development time, and could easily be in for release



2, This one is unlikely due to production times, but I'd love to see a storyboard style transition where our character speaks about his/her journey, and how it's lead them to the next zone "As I travelled up to the gates of Divinity's Reach I..etc" and once that's done, BAM! you're in the gates of the city all pumped up and ready to rock!

Edited by Inferiae, 18 June 2012 - 06:09 PM.


#47 Inquisitor

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:13 AM

View PostKurosov, on 18 June 2012 - 12:32 PM, said:

I noticed you kept referring to the zone portals as "Magic". This is just wrong.
The zone portals are just a visual indicator that you will be travelling to a different zone. No magic. Just imagine your character walking though the little path as you would when a movie cuts scene to remove some travel.
Waypoints are entirely game mechanic based.
Only asuran gates are magical in anyway because they are the only method that exists "in game".

The portal animation between zones certainly doesn't look Asura-made.  Though maybe I'm wrong.  In any case, I don't really equate those portals as being 'natural'.  It doesn't really change the fact that there will be a loading screen anyway they slice it, soo..

#48 A15EBT

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:49 AM

View PostJan Breydel, on 16 June 2012 - 01:29 PM, said:

For me these kind of cross-zone dynamic events would result in a much much more immersive world and the annoying borders of a zone would quickly be forgotten. Also I would finally be able to give a score of 5 when they ask me how much a dynamic event influences the world :) .
You do realise that cross zone dynamic events would be quite a tehhnical undertaking let alone when it come to the logistics of the dynamic events themselves and how they interact with each other and their states. Probably in the future we may see such dynamic events added to the game but right now the chances are slim.

#49 Oldthrall

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:41 PM

I just hope that they in some way do this for WvW....it's supposed to be a battle involving 4 maps yet it feels very disconnected with those gigantic walls surrounding each individual map and only being able to get the one map through asura gates.

#50 mazut

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:18 PM

Wow, lol. Didn't know Tera have taken the jump gates from EvE ^^ Just hilarious. And no ty, I prefer 100 times instant travel over 10mins on a pegasus ;)

View PostInquisitor, on 19 June 2012 - 07:13 AM, said:

The portal animation between zones certainly doesn't look Asura-made.  Though maybe I'm wrong.  In any case, I don't really equate those portals as being 'natural'.  It doesn't really change the fact that there will be a loading screen anyway they slice it, soo..

Portals are shortcuts over "boring" theritory. There are few where you walk in in a jungle and go out in a snow, but thats the only "problem" I can think of. If this is that big "immersion" breaker...

#51 Inferiae

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:27 PM

View Postmazut, on 20 June 2012 - 02:18 PM, said:

There are few where you walk in in a jungle and go out in a snow, but thats the only "problem" I can think of. If this is that big "immersion" breaker...

Although you brush it off, this is the exact kind of thing I can't stand :/




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