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Loss of seamless maps?Follow

#1 Oct 15 2011 at 11:07 AM Rating: Good
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From the recently released info on FFXIV 2.0:
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The current maps in FINAL FANTASY XIV are not only massive, but allow for seamless passage across wide expanses of the realm.
In order to maintain this seamlessness, however, we were forced to heavily reuse assets, resulting in static, repetitive areas.
To provide our users with areas that feel fresh and dynamic throughout the extended lifespan of the game, we are both revamping
and redesigning area maps. We hope that this, in turn, will equate to increased opportunities for adventure.


Does this mean we'll lose the seamless maps in favour of many smaller zones? It's such a small thing, but I really liked the lack of zone lines. I'm not entirely sure if they mean to split everything into zones like older MMOs, or if they just mean to reduce the sizes of areas held in active memory. Repetitive landscapes were definitely uncool, but there is an immersion aspect lost to incorporating zone lines. I guess I'm not sure which I prefer. Maybe they'll find a way to do both.
#2 Oct 15 2011 at 11:11 AM Rating: Decent
Later in the post, they said "abolish seamless zones" under the bullet points. Seems it might be heading back to loading screens.

Edited, Oct 15th 2011 1:11pm by IKickYoDog
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#3 Oct 15 2011 at 11:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm fine as long as the loading time is short. I was never a fan of the sudden and artificial change in terrain anyway.
#4 Oct 15 2011 at 11:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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While the lack of zone lines was cool in a development standpoint, there was still "zone lines" in between regions and some of them really didn't make ANY sense at all.

See: Thanalan-Black Shroud zone line.


I don't mind going to the old FFXI standard of how zones worked in that game if it means a more unique atmosphere.
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#5 Oct 15 2011 at 11:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Good zones > Big zones.

There's no point in eliminating zone lines if everything looks the same; I could stand in one place and get that experience. And I don't think a few seconds of blackness as you pass into a different area would be more jarring than seeing "the tree, the rock, the same tree, the same rock, the camp, the same tree, the same camp, &c." as you walk across the terrain.

The same lake appears in the Black Shroud about forty three times - that breaks the immersion more than nearly anything else could.
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#6 Oct 15 2011 at 12:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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KaneKitty wrote:
Good zones > Big zones.


Definitely! I'll gladly give way to a 5-10 second loading screen provided the maps are unique and well designed. I saw in the topics regarding the path to 2.0 that they plan to take each zone, and have around 3 unique 'looks' within each zone. Definitely sounds like they're going to be more ambitious with the map designs moving forward.
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#7 Oct 15 2011 at 12:18 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't like this. One of the things I liked about World of Warcraft was the seamless move between zones. I still remember as the trees started to fall away as the forests of Kalimdor gave way to the long stretches of savannah grounds and savannah animals.
#8 Oct 15 2011 at 12:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd prefer zone lines and unique scenery over no zones and copy/paste scenery.
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#9 Oct 15 2011 at 1:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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I would like to see zone lines suggest a new zone, such as the trees start to get more barren as you near the zone line to... a desert, and what have you. Not entirely sure why they can't manage to achieve a seamless world, but if they can make sure to keep the loading times from being too ridiculous I won't complain.

My biggest issue is that Grand Companies and the Merchants wards etc are separate zones in the cities, I'd gladly have more zoning in the field every so often then frequent zoning in cities to move between "wards."
#10 Oct 15 2011 at 1:42 PM Rating: Good
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SinDariusDaishiGajo wrote:
I don't like this. One of the things I liked about World of Warcraft was the seamless move between zones. I still remember as the trees started to fall away as the forests of Kalimdor gave way to the long stretches of savannah grounds and savannah animals.


Well, WoW still had zones when you boarded a boat, an airship, an instance, or a PvP arena, so it's not like everything can be seamless.

On a personal note, though, I had always thought that the "move between zones" in WoW was far too abrupt: all WoW did was blur the two tilesets together for a few squares. It felt too simplistic to me as incompatible zones were just sort of blended for a little bit. (Like a lush, green forest turning into a desolate, cracked wasteland in the span of 15 feet.) I would have liked it more if it had such a transition as Ocean > Bog > Wetlands > Woods > Forest, or something. When you actually look at the map it's not so subtle at all, but a bunch of crazy biospheres contained within a staggering number of conveniently placed mountain ranges.
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#11 Oct 15 2011 at 2:28 PM Rating: Good
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Like so many have already said, having zones is preferable if it means the areas can be unique and cool. I love it the way it is right now and I will be sad to see zones reappear, but overall I think it will be better than keeping the zones so generic and copy-pasted. That said though, I hope they keep the city to "outdoor environment" seamless because I love having no zones there.
#12 Oct 15 2011 at 4:28 PM Rating: Decent
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I think it would be verry sad to have to zone in to small areas, considering how much of the current zones we already can't actualy explore or get to shrinking them and zoneing them off just feels like they are chopping up the world into the little bits you get to see.

Personaly I'm in favor of a game world we can actualy choose our own paths through instead of being forced into a cute little rat maze.
#13 Oct 15 2011 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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I am fully in favor of smaller, better zones instead of enormous terrible ones like we currently have. In fact, the concept art for the new zones is the single most exciting thing I saw in the 2.0 announcement.

If you look closely at some of the maps they posted, you'll notice that in a given zone (for instance: Zone 4, which appears to be the Black Shroud or a portion of the Black Shroud) there is much more variation than there used to be. Using the Zone 4 example, it looks like there is a green, lively portion of the forest immediately outside Gridania, followed by a brown/orange/red portion, followed by some ruins and a lake. Going south and west you see an Aetheryte Camp in another body of water, and the terrain seems to get noticeable rockier as you get closer to where Coerthas should be. This is all a good bit of guesswork on my part, because I can't read Japanese and there are lots of things scribbled out, but I don't think the zone lines are going to be quite as jarring as they sometimes were in FFXI.

Keep looking through the concept art and every single bit of new terrain, all the landmarks, and everything screams "Final Fantasy" much more than the current Eorzea. It looks infinitely better, and that alone is tempting me to give them my money even though I haven't played in months.
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#14 Oct 15 2011 at 11:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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While losing the seamless zones is kind of a downer, I'm all for it if they add more land marks to every area.

One of my favorite things from XI is how distinct the zones where. You had to buy or obtain a map for these zones, but for some places I didn't even need/ use a map since I could tell where I was just by looking around.
#15 Oct 15 2011 at 11:55 PM Rating: Good
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SideCH wrote:
While losing the seamless zones is kind of a downer, I'm all for it if they add more land marks to every area.

One of my favorite things from XI is how distinct the zones where. You had to buy or obtain a map for these zones, but for some places I didn't even need/ use a map since I could tell where I was just by looking around.


That's a good point: you can tell a zone is well-designed when you can navigate using landmarks instead of cardinal directions and a grid.
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#16 Oct 16 2011 at 12:15 AM Rating: Good
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If I recall, the biggest problem with 'zoning' is that information is lost ( tells / party / linkshell chat ) when zoning, and therefore it's a nuisance whenever one moves from one place to another and cause a communication break down - that's in FFXI.

Load times exist in every game, they should be recognized as a 'limitation' rather than a defect. So it's not really a problem - at least in what I think if there are load times.

Just make sure information is NOT lost during zoning.
#17 Oct 16 2011 at 12:31 AM Rating: Default
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They could make unique scenery in a seamless world. SE is just being lazy. Vanguard did this tho it wasnt great but wasnt crappy either. doesnt matter either way tho
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#18 Oct 16 2011 at 12:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Genkineko wrote:
If I recall, the biggest problem with 'zoning' is that information is lost ( tells / party / linkshell chat ) when zoning, and therefore it's a nuisance whenever one moves from one place to another and cause a communication break down - that's in FFXI.

Load times exist in every game, they should be recognized as a 'limitation' rather than a defect. So it's not really a problem - at least in what I think if there are load times.

Just make sure information is NOT lost during zoning.


I don't think this is the case even with FFXIV's zoning. There are so many ways to prevent that data from being lost, just queuing it up if it can't be sent right away. This wasn't and shouldn't be a deciding factor in a seamless vs non-seamless world. FFXI had that limitation because it was old and SE was lazy.
#19 Oct 16 2011 at 2:05 AM Rating: Good
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RamseySylph wrote:
Genkineko wrote:
If I recall, the biggest problem with 'zoning' is that information is lost ( tells / party / linkshell chat ) when zoning, and therefore it's a nuisance whenever one moves from one place to another and cause a communication break down - that's in FFXI.

Load times exist in every game, they should be recognized as a 'limitation' rather than a defect. So it's not really a problem - at least in what I think if there are load times.

Just make sure information is NOT lost during zoning.


I don't think this is the case even with FFXIV's zoning. There are so many ways to prevent that data from being lost, just queuing it up if it can't be sent right away. This wasn't and shouldn't be a deciding factor in a seamless vs non-seamless world. FFXI had that limitation because it was old and SE was lazy.


This.

Lost chat messages on zoning is not an inherent flaw of zoning systems, it was just a flaw in the game's coding. Hence why FFXI is the only MMO I've played that actually does lose chat messages during loading screens.
#20 Oct 16 2011 at 3:06 AM Rating: Default
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KaneKitty wrote:
SinDariusDaishiGajo wrote:
I don't like this. One of the things I liked about World of Warcraft was the seamless move between zones. I still remember as the trees started to fall away as the forests of Kalimdor gave way to the long stretches of savannah grounds and savannah animals.


Well, WoW still had zones when you boarded a boat, an airship, an instance, or a PvP arena, so it's not like everything can be seamless.

On a personal note, though, I had always thought that the "move between zones" in WoW was far too abrupt: all WoW did was blur the two tilesets together for a few squares. It felt too simplistic to me as incompatible zones were just sort of blended for a little bit. (Like a lush, green forest turning into a desolate, cracked wasteland in the span of 15 feet.) I would have liked it more if it had such a transition as Ocean > Bog > Wetlands > Woods > Forest, or something. When you actually look at the map it's not so subtle at all, but a bunch of crazy biospheres contained within a staggering number of conveniently placed mountain ranges.


It's far superior to anything Square has attempted though.
#21 Oct 16 2011 at 9:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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SinDariusDaishiGajo wrote:
I don't like this. One of the things I liked about World of Warcraft was the seamless move between zones. I still remember as the trees started to fall away as the forests of Kalimdor gave way to the long stretches of savannah grounds and savannah animals.


It really was a spectacular atmosphere Blizzard created for World of Warcraft when it launched, quite the visual feast - but they had to employ certain tricks to make it so breathtaking. It wasn't truly seamless from a design standpoint, for instance. Before the last expansion Blizzard accomplished a natural progression from zone to zone by forcing the players through a specific path such that they could keep the transition's details on as small a scale as possible. If you ever got outside that path, through any means of escaping the map, it became obvious real quick the zones weren't seamless and in fact were just pockets of areas stuck together with no care as to how two zones butted up against each other as the player was never suppose to see that area.

This is also the trick the FFXIV designers took to a certain degree, however WoW's art style is much more forgiving of this than FFXIV's. It's an unfortunate side effect of pushing the limits of your graphic artists, the greater the detail in the map design and artwork the more apparent it becomes when elements are reused.

I really think the new lead for FFXIV, when they took over 10 months ago, said "We can have a fantastic looking game atmosphere or we have have seamless zones, but not both and still launch within a certain time frame." They obviously chose to dedicate their resources to improving the maps, which in my opinion was the right decision.


Edited, Oct 16th 2011 11:37am by Whales
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#22Lobivopis, Posted: Oct 17 2011 at 5:41 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) SE just doesn't know how to create a good terrain engine.
#23 Oct 17 2011 at 1:23 PM Rating: Good
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Whales wrote:
SinDariusDaishiGajo wrote:
I don't like this. One of the things I liked about World of Warcraft was the seamless move between zones. I still remember as the trees started to fall away as the forests of Kalimdor gave way to the long stretches of savannah grounds and savannah animals.


It really was a spectacular atmosphere Blizzard created for World of Warcraft when it launched, quite the visual feast - but they had to employ certain tricks to make it so breathtaking. It wasn't truly seamless from a design standpoint, for instance. Before the last expansion Blizzard accomplished a natural progression from zone to zone by forcing the players through a specific path such that they could keep the transition's details on as small a scale as possible.



Not quite - what you're talking about aren't really "seams". Those are areas that are (at least normally) unreachable or unviewable; most can't be seen without hacking or abusing jump. It's pretty standard practice in the industry to not model things that won't be seen (at least in normal gameplay), and not model in detail things that won't be seen close-up.

"Seamless" doesn't generally entail "lack of visual seams", just "lack of loading screens". (Under which definition, you could point out that WoW isn't totally seamless because there are loading screens between continents.)
#24 Oct 17 2011 at 2:47 PM Rating: Good
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BastokFL wrote:
Not quite - what you're talking about aren't really "seams". Those are areas that are (at least normally) unreachable or unviewable; most can't be seen without hacking or abusing jump. It's pretty standard practice in the industry to not model things that won't be seen (at least in normal gameplay), and not model in detail things that won't be seen close-up.

"Seamless" doesn't generally entail "lack of visual seams", just "lack of loading screens". (Under which definition, you could point out that WoW isn't totally seamless because there are loading screens between continents.)


Great point, and I understand completely, however I was talking purely from a design standpoint, which is where I believe FFXIV's decision to go non-seamless came from. Seamless is difficult from a design standpoint because you have to create a natural and believable progressions from zone to zone regardless of the atmosphere of each zone. When zones aren't seamless, like FFXI, it's much easier on the art team to design transitions.
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#25 Oct 17 2011 at 3:01 PM Rating: Good
If the trade off is: zoning/loading screens vs. large expanses of copy/paste, then I agree that the uniquely designed maps and loading is preferrable.

Is it really true that you can't have uniquely detailed maps and just minimize the loading at zonelines? Can't have both? Or SE doesn't know how?

If we are headed towards Loading screens, can we please have some awesome FF artwork to look at while we wait?
#26 Oct 17 2011 at 3:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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SmashingtonWho wrote:
If the trade off is: zoning/loading screens vs. large expanses of copy/paste, then I agree that the uniquely designed maps and loading is preferrable.

Is it really true that you can't have uniquely detailed maps and just minimize the loading at zonelines? Can't have both? Or SE doesn't know how?

If we are headed towards Loading screens, can we please have some awesome FF artwork to look at while we wait?


It doesn't have to be that way though, SE just doesn't know how to create a memory efficient terrain engine. The basic unit of WoW terrain is a flat subdivided square (a grid of polygons) with an elevation map applied to it (an 8BPP greyscale image where pixel intensity = elevation) The game engine changes the elevation of vertices in the grid based on the elevation image. Items like trees rocks and buildings are separate discrete geometry that is placed on top of the underlying generated terrain. This allows the game to create a wide variety of terrain with little memory because there is only one terrain model used over and over with different elevation maps and textures.

This is a very common way to generate terrain because it works well and doesn't use a lot of memory. The only downside is that you can't build overhanging terrain but there are ways around this as well (discrete geometry for chunks of terrain where needed, or use displacement maps to further deform terrain vertices)

Edited, Oct 17th 2011 6:17pm by Lobivopis
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I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
#27 Oct 17 2011 at 3:14 PM Rating: Good
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TBH I'd prefer a slight load time, it allows my imagination to fill in the transition as opposed to crap blending for 10 seconds.

My only hope is they eliminate the chat drop issues.
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#28 Oct 17 2011 at 3:32 PM Rating: Excellent
Honestly I'd prefer many maps. It gives the feeling of a much bigger world when you imagine you just traveled a long ways and arrived at this new area. The seemless maps make for a very small world.

It also means that they can add areas and encounters at will between other areas and keep expanding inword instead of just at the edges. They can have encounters that you get a quest for and go to right out in the middle of the map and they don't have to design every other thing around that being there. Much better design for this sort of game if you ask me.
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#29 Oct 18 2011 at 7:03 AM Rating: Decent
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Lobivopis wrote:
SE just doesn't know how to create a good terrain engine.

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/558603-how-does-wows-terrain-generation-work/



Edited, Oct 17th 2011 8:43am by Lobivopis


What SE was doing was far more complex, and functional then what was described there (the people there do not take into effect complex datasets (the higher res objects, mob tracking, collision detection, clipping patterns, the list goes on). Simply rendering a seamless map is not that hard. Making an interactive world that is seamless is incredible.

Needless to say, they overcame that issue, and it worked quite well... For a limited dataset. In order for them to use the dynamic loader that they created, they needed to work on stock objects, that way they could load one object once, then use it several times. It never had anything to do with lazy map designers, or any other reason that people have given. It was due to the limitation of the loader. Or at least that is what the statements say.
#30 Oct 18 2011 at 8:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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I agree with some of the rated-downs, there is really no reason there can't be seamless zones AND have zomes be more than repeated 100 yard square repetitions. But, if I had to pick one, the zone screen would probably be the lesser of 2 evils there.
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#31 Oct 18 2011 at 8:53 AM Rating: Good
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I always thought that the seamless zones in FFXIV were a bit contrived. They basically just funnel you into a narrow corridor between zones, so presumably you cannot see new terrain popping into view as it is loaded. It's a little too obvious and breaks the immersion for me. I will gladly welcome loading screens if it means a more immersive and detailed experience.

Edited, Oct 18th 2011 10:54am by OnyxFFXI
#32 Oct 18 2011 at 12:21 PM Rating: Good
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I dont mind as long as I am not magically out of the chat loop while loading. One of my biggest gripes of FFXI is the whole "one min, zoning" thing.
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#33 Oct 18 2011 at 1:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Wait...im not sure i follow. XI wasn't seamless? iv played XI for 5 years and the only loading Ive ever experienced was going from old area to new area, much like going from Thanalan to The Black Shroud.




#34 Oct 18 2011 at 2:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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FelixValmont wrote:
Wait...im not sure i follow. XI wasn't seamless? iv played XI for 5 years and the only loading Ive ever experienced was going from old area to new area, much like going from Thanalan to The Black Shroud.






Smiley: dubious
#35 Oct 18 2011 at 2:14 PM Rating: Good
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FelixValmont wrote:
Wait...im not sure i follow. XI wasn't seamless? iv played XI for 5 years and the only loading Ive ever experienced was going from old area to new area, much like going from Thanalan to The Black Shroud.


5 years and you never noticed FFXI wasn't seamless? That is some impressive ability to ignore the "Now Loading..." screen.
#36 Oct 18 2011 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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FelixValmont wrote:
Wait...im not sure i follow. XI wasn't seamless? iv played XI for 5 years and the only loading Ive ever experienced was going from old area to new area, much like going from Thanalan to The Black Shroud.


In FFXIV you're actually going from old area to new area multiple times inside Thanalan and The Black Shroud, not just between them. You just don't notice it because, well, it's seamless.

Central Thanalan to Eastern Thanalan is an area change, for instance.

To apply this to FFXI terms would mean the removal of loading screens between East and West Ronfaure, for example.


Edited, Oct 18th 2011 4:26pm by Whales
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#37 Oct 18 2011 at 2:28 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, both games have regions and zones within those regions. In FFXIV currently, you only load a new zone when changing regions, not every individual zone.
#38 Oct 18 2011 at 3:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Whales wrote:
FelixValmont wrote:
Wait...im not sure i follow. XI wasn't seamless? iv played XI for 5 years and the only loading Ive ever experienced was going from old area to new area, much like going from Thanalan to The Black Shroud.


In FFXIV you're actually going from old area to new area multiple times inside Thanalan and The Black Shroud, not just between them. You just don't notice it because, well, it's seamless.

Central Thanalan to Eastern Thanalan is an area change, for instance.

To apply this to FFXI terms would mean the removal of loading screens between East and West Ronfaure, for example.


Edited, Oct 18th 2011 4:26pm by Whales


oh, i see. thank you for clarifying that. well i wouldn't mind then it only took about a second to go between two places in XI. **** zones like Meriph Mountains makes a trip in thanalan look like a cake walk.
#39 Oct 18 2011 at 5:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Maybe the loader could handle more objects if it weren't for the PS3's memory limitations? It's not like FFXIV comes close to taxing the RAM of a modern PC, and I haven't noticed any performance hits as I move between zones.

This is pretty much what I concluded--the reason the world is so desolate of landmarks, NPCs, villages, etc. is because the engine simply can't handle it, not because the developers didn't have time to put them in. My guess is that it's due to PS3 limitations, which means that it's goal of porting it to the PS3 that is primarily responsible for FFXIV sucking so hard.
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#40 Oct 18 2011 at 7:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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yfaithfully wrote:
Maybe the loader could handle more objects if it weren't for the PS3's memory limitations? It's not like FFXIV comes close to taxing the RAM of a modern PC, and I haven't noticed any performance hits as I move between zones.

This is pretty much what I concluded--the reason the world is so desolate of landmarks, NPCs, villages, etc. is because the engine simply can't handle it, not because the developers didn't have time to put them in. My guess is that it's due to PS3 limitations, which means that it's goal of porting it to the PS3 that is primarily responsible for FFXIV sucking so hard.


So... exactly like FFXI, got it.
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#41 Oct 18 2011 at 7:40 PM Rating: Good
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Was FFXI's world as lifeless and empty?

PS2 RPG environments feel richer and fuller than FFXIV.
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#42 Oct 19 2011 at 6:28 AM Rating: Good
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yfaithfully wrote:
Maybe the loader could handle more objects if it weren't for the PS3's memory limitations? It's not like FFXIV comes close to taxing the RAM of a modern PC, and I haven't noticed any performance hits as I move between zones.

This is pretty much what I concluded--the reason the world is so desolate of landmarks, NPCs, villages, etc. is because the engine simply can't handle it, not because the developers didn't have time to put them in. My guess is that it's due to PS3 limitations, which means that it's goal of porting it to the PS3 that is primarily responsible for FFXIV sucking so hard.

I don't know if that has anything to do with it but I also wondered the same.
#43 Oct 19 2011 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
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SinDariusDaishiGajo wrote:
I don't like this. One of the things I liked about World of Warcraft was the seamless move between zones. I still remember as the trees started to fall away as the forests of Kalimdor gave way to the long stretches of savannah grounds and savannah animals.

Really? Because I remember the exact opposite... There was little to no 'blending' involved between the zones. Going from the Barrens to Ashenvale (is that the right zone name?) I remember went from dry, yellow grasslands to lush greenery and towering trees in the space of about 30 steps. The actual ground textures themselves were blended for those thirty steps, of course... like using the smudge tool in photoshop. "Here is one independent picture, here is another independent picture beside it, and here *smudge smudge smudge* is a 'seamless transition'."

There were some places where it was handled better than others, but few and far between. I can count on one hand the number of zones that actually seemed like they appropriately transitioned into the next area as you ran, and nearly all of those involved going through some canyon in place of a loading screen. When Cataclysm was released and many of the zones were redesigned this got a bit better, but for the most part it was still a matter of "on this side of the line" and "on that side of the line".

Seamless only in the sense that there is no loading screen involved.

On the other hand, we can use the example of FFXI. We all know FFXI has many different zones and a transition line between them where you need to load the next area. But how many of you noticed the transitions between the zones that were actually on the game map as you moved toward the zone line? I'd say probably half and half from the zones I experienced had a properly segued transition while the other half sort of changed abruptly. Examples being La Theine to Valkurm was grass on one side and desert with a few scattered weeds on the other. But La Theine to Jugner went from open plains to thickets of trees to the zone line to a forest. Konschtat to the swamps (don't remember the zone name at the moment) was rocky highland to ankle-deep marshes in an instant. But Gustaburg to Konschtat went from rocky desert to patches of green and trees growing out of rock faces to zone line to rocky weed-ridden canyons to wind-swept grassy highlands.

A little bit of chocolate in our peanut butter can go a long way to making zone transitions feel authentic, seams or no seams.
#44 Oct 19 2011 at 1:41 PM Rating: Good
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If they want to make compelling zonelines, they sure as **** better make use out of the insane draw distance this game can handle. The draw distance is perhaps the most impressive visual aspect of the game right now, hopefully within single zones it will still be used well, and these zones will not be terribly small.

That said, if they made the zone lines from one area to the next much wider than they normally are, so that the zone line is very large, instead of being narrowed into a small tunnel, and put parts of the other zone we are heading towards off in the distance, that can create a really compelling zoneline and very nice scenery to boot. It seems like they may already have this in mind...

In this concept image, that was included in the 2.0 literature... The bottom right image is literally titled "To the highlands" which more or less signifies that this is a zoneline, on the near side of the ruined archways we can see a grassy highland, on the far side, off in the distance we can see snowy mountaintops.

If this is how they handle zone transitions, I would be very, very happy. This feels a lot better than being funneled into a tunnel. If they manage to visually reproduce this scene in the game, I will definitely be smiling as I zone into the mountains.

That said, I also would like a cheesy loading screen that features a detailed map of Eorzea... and a little dotted line that draws itself from one location to the next as I load... Hey it beats a black screen!
#45 Oct 19 2011 at 4:11 PM Rating: Good
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In Rift, the entire world is completely seamless (except instances, of course) with no copy/paste. Dunno why XIV can't manage this. =/

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#46 Oct 19 2011 at 4:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Dug up the PDF and read the notes on that image I mentioned as being the zoneline. It says its the zoneline between a seaside area and a mountainous area. (Seaside? No idea.. it definitely doesn't look like La Noscea/O'Ghomoro so... maybe something new?

Anyway, the other bit is just that there's a ruined gate in the middle of the highway. Still though, this approach would be nice for zone lines, let's hope they all stick to this type of visual transition.

Threx wrote:

In Rift, the entire world is completely seamless (except instances, of course) with no copy/paste. Dunno why XIV can't manage this. =/



Either they really don't like height mapped terrain, (I don't either... but..) or more likely, it has to do with handling it on the PS3, and/or within the limitations of the Crystal Engine (variant.) Hopefully we really do see a lot more "Dynamic" zones due to the change.
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