Zenimax Online Studios just announced on their Twitter feed they have posted an exciting new video detailing character progression.
The video is almost 5 minutes long and shows off how players can define the character they imagined. It details never before released information about how to level up, how to spend skills points, how the skill lines work, different abilities that can be unlocked, and more while adventuring through Tamriel.
After watching the video, Zenimax invites players to discuss your character ideas on their official ESO Facebook page.
As a gamer who constantly hungers for prettier and prettier graphics, I find it incredibly disappointing when high profile games are released with their tech completely ignored (I’m looking squarely at you, Battlefield 4 with your Frostbite 3). It is frustratingly rare that a studio openly talks about their tech and proudly shows it off to the public.
Fortunately, the folks up at Ubisoft seem to have heard my plea and released a video (bottom of page) showing off their massively overhauled Anvil Next engine . Keep in mind, these features really aren’t anything new for us PC gamers. However, this is a big leap forward for the consoles. Furthermore, because these consoles are essentially PCs (thank god for x86), these kind of features on consoles will ultimately benefit PCs the greatest.
So, just what are these these features?
Black Flag will feature an all new sea engine, allowing physically based equations to simulate realistic wave behavior. On top of this, multiple shaders will provide necessary depth and color to water. This is absolutely necessary for a game taking place in the Caribbean. And yes, the water is tessellated.
Fully Dynamic Weather System
This is something that will surely take immersion to a whole new level. For example, rain is made up of thousands of particles – all of which are indepently lit!!!In addition to the rain, compute shaders are implemented to react to wind direction and intensity. Screen space reflections (basically real-time reflections) are also used to further provide realism by reflecting the surrounding environment. Finally, physically reactive volumetric fog lit in real-time (similar to that in Metro Last Light) helps drive that immersion home.
Real-time Global Illumination (finally!)
Finally, we get real-time global illumination (GI) in an AC game! GI allows light to behave in an incredibly realistic manner to help drive physically accurate lit environments. The GI in Black Flag allows for multiple bounces, which is critical for indirect lighting. What is indirect lighting? Basically, light bouncing off surfaces behaves based on the properties of the reflected material. Meaning, light bouncing off of a green ball will be slightly green, and not pure white. In addition to these real-time bounces, Anvil Next also features real-time GPU baked lighting. This allows the game to map light on static objects in order to reduce cost.
Navmesh refers to a collection of polygons (usually a surface) that tells an actor (player or NPCs) where it can walk. This is absolutely critical for Black Flag’s ship boarding to work properly. Dynamic navemesh in Anvil Next takes objects (like 2 ships interlocked in battle) and dynamically creates navmesh which can then be traversed by the player and NPCs.
Fully Dynamic 3D Foliage
Finally, this last feature takes immersion to a level unattainable by previous AC titles. You can expect a massive increase in foliage density, creating a lush, vivid, world. In addition, the foliage fully reacts to weather and player interaction, making hiding in the undergrowth that more viable.
All of these features massively boost the gameplay and more importantly (to this author at least) the graphics. I am so incredibly happy Ubisoft released this footage detailing their visual advancements. I can’t wait to to go exploring this beautiful open world when Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag releases on October 29.
Finally. We are here, on the cusp of a major announcement from Sony on February 20th. The internet is abuzz with rumors of next gen consoles just around the corner. If you ask me, these ‘next gen’ systems should have released in 2010, but that’s besides the point. People are wondering what the consoles will be like. What kind of tech will they have? Any cool features? Well, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and lay out what I think Microsoft and Sony should and, more importantly, should not do with these consoles. (more…)