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zone design.Follow

#1 Jun 07 2009 at 3:14 PM Rating: Decent
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so, if you look at final fantasy XI, you can notice that there are essentially two different types of zones:

open-concept zones and trail-type zones (not sure what else to call these)

if you look into it, it seems that SE started out with the open-concept type zones, but slowly started to move onto the trail-type.

case in point - at release, the only real trail-type zone was the marshlands. with RotZ came the jungles and zitah as trail types, and altepa as open-concept.

after that, it seems like every single zone released was a trail-type zone. tavnazia, attowha chasm (sp?), all the ToAU outdoor zones, are all trail-like.

i can understand why they favor these types of zones, its easier to make these zones look better with 2-d backgrounds and what have you, but i never liked them, it always made the game world feel alot smaller and restricting.

what do you guy's think about this? and what type of zones do you think they will incorporate into XIV?
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#2 Jun 07 2009 at 3:21 PM Rating: Good
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Well, I know when I played Lineage 2, it was more of a complete and open world. There was really no where you couldn't go, within the bounds of the world. FFXIV "Could" very possibly be more like that. I think it would be neat if in a open world like that, they made certain area's, that sort of encouraged you to go along a certain path. Maybe there would be really heavy aggro off the beaten path or something?

I do like FFXI's zone system though, it leaves a lot to your imagination, however it would be nice if some zones were a bit bigger, and allowed for more exploration. Also, don't forget your dungeon zones, city zones, and Misc. Zones like Heavens Tower.
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#3 Jun 07 2009 at 3:31 PM Rating: Decent
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I want open areas with buildings and caves existing within them. EQOA for the PS2 managed it. The whole game was one large area with no loads (except for places you had to be teleported to). It was also kind of cool that you could follow the rivers near where you start all across the continent.
#4 Jun 07 2009 at 3:32 PM Rating: Default
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I really had no problem with field zones, the only thing that annoyed me in FFXI were town zones.

I don't want an open world, i want impressive graphics.

Edited, Jun 7th 2009 7:32pm by Squallido
#5 Jun 07 2009 at 3:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Squallido wrote:
I don't want an open world, i want impressive graphics.

Why are the two mutually exclusive?
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#6 Jun 07 2009 at 3:44 PM Rating: Default
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My thought is that for making an open world in a MMO there has to be a visually downgrade.

But it is just my thought, i could be wrong :P

Anyways, maybe it is gonna be a partially open world MMO

And bleh, as for open world mmo i've seen, wow for example, you do not have zone, but you have an area where there is NOTHING and have to walk through it for 5 seconds, in my opinion that's just a fake openworld.

Edited, Jun 7th 2009 7:45pm by Squallido

Edited, Jun 7th 2009 7:46pm by Squallido
#7 Jun 07 2009 at 4:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

And bleh, as for open world mmo i've seen, wow for example, you do not have zone, but you have an area where there is NOTHING and have to walk through it for 5 seconds, in my opinion that's just a fake openworld.


what do you mean
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#8 Jun 07 2009 at 4:08 PM Rating: Good
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In a way, having a completely open world without zones actually (and ironically) kind of made WoW feel small. I think it was just the transitional differences between environments that made it seem as such.

Something I'd be in favor of would be larger region zones. So for example, East/West Ronfaure, Ghelshba outpost, Sandy and La Theine would be one 'zone.'

As for the actual environment design, I'd be in favor of both trail-type and open-world type, but there's no rule that one environment can't have aspects of both.

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#9 Jun 07 2009 at 4:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Squallido wrote:
And bleh, as for open world mmo i've seen, wow for example, you do not have zone, but you have an area where there is NOTHING and have to walk through it for 5 seconds, in my opinion that's just a fake openworld.

Edited, Jun 7th 2009 7:45pm by Squallido

Edited, Jun 7th 2009 7:46pm by Squallido


This reminded me of the Shimmering Flats in 1000 Needles. It was a desert that had almost no landmarks or anything really except for monsters to fight. It was meant to be a desert, but they could have put something there. This type of area existed in FFXI too, Alteps desert for the most part had no geographical oddities or landmarks either, it did however, have the quicksand caves. I do think alot of the zones in FFXI suffered from the fact that it was made for the ps2.
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#10 Jun 07 2009 at 4:54 PM Rating: Decent
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I want actual zones.

Vanguard showed me that we still need them unless SE can program miles ahead of Vanguard programmers we still need them.

edit:

For anyone that didn't play Vanguard. The game had ZERO zones. However it had imaginary zone lines. So you'd be running from a town out to exp and you would hit a line and your screen would freeze for 3-4 seconds while you 'zoned'. I don't like this.

If anything, I think they can make zones larger. To use FFXI as a comparison. A whole region would now be one zone.

Edited, Jun 7th 2009 9:17pm by mpmaley
#11 Jun 07 2009 at 5:04 PM Rating: Default
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@Mictam

I guess those filler places between areas were to hide the zone, it could look so ugly if there wasn't nothing there.

As for WOW, what i mean it isn't really an open world, they just hide load times with portions of map that have nothing, for example accessing orcs city you had to go through a hall before even being able to see portions of the city.

Sorry if my spelling is bad :P
#13 Jun 07 2009 at 6:48 PM Rating: Decent
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I just personally hope there's a lot less invisible walls and a lot more room to explore/climb/etc.
#14 Jun 07 2009 at 6:58 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
This type of area existed in FFXI too, Alteps desert for the most part had no geographical oddities or landmarks either, it did however, have the quicksand caves.


Well, while it was supposed to be a desert it did also have several small oasis's and an outpost. I wouldn't say that there were not geographical oddities or landmarks.
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#15 Jun 07 2009 at 7:29 PM Rating: Good
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i'm in favor of a more open world design, however i would like a sort of outpost where zones connect. this is where you would run to if you had aggro, the guards would kill the mob for you (for no xp) once you got inside the outpost grounds. If they intend to keep the conquest system (or similar), when the region is controlled by beastmen there are no guards, and well, your screwed.
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#16 Jun 08 2009 at 9:17 PM Rating: Good
I have felt wow being small with out zones, it felt bigger imo. XI zones to me were quite annoying having to constantly wait for loading screens, and I hope that this isn't continued into XIV. If the copy anything from WoW concepts then I hope they copy how areas are managed. Only time you should see a loading map is dungeon, raid dungeon, or changing to a new continent.

It relieves load on the servers if no one is constantly having to load into a new zone or area. It also creates a nice and seamless transition between areas giving it a bit more realism of it being a world.
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