Friday, September 23, 2005

Anarchy Online: Now With More Green!

Sorry about this one being a day late, my bad. I suppose it's alright, though, seeing as it gave me some time to try out the Anarchy Online 16.0 patch.

This patch has been pretty highly anticipated within the AO community, as it contains quite a few major updates. The one you'll notice right off the bat is that the ground textures have been updated, which gives quite a different look to areas otherwise unchanged. As a side note, this had absolutely no impact performance-wise on my system. If you do find that game running slower than normal, it's possible to set a lower texture quality through the in-game options.

There have been other major changes, most notably the look of the city of Old Athen, which now bears little resemblance to itself a few days ago. The layout of the city has remained the same, for the most part, so it's pretty unlikely that you're going to get lost due to the city's face-lift. If you're the sort of person who constantly gets lost in Old Athen (and they do exist), you're probably not going to notice a difference.

I, as someone who spends a lot of time in Old Athen, think the city's new look is awesome. The buildings are unchanged - still the same drab old Omni architecture - but the remainder of the city now looks like a park. No other city (on Rubi-Ka, anyway, I don't know about the Shadowlands) has as many trees, bushes, and other various forms of foliage. Old Athen has become a much different, much more welcoming sort of place.

Not everywhere has fared so well, even though the changes were merely texture related. Avalon just looks wrong somehow - too green. The texture update had the unintended side effect of making certain places look plain, uninteresting, or both, sort of like an early alpha for an engine where all that's working is the terrain rendering. Luckily, this has only effected a few of the places I've had a chance to look at. Everywhere else looks much improved, especially forested areas.

As for balance changes and life without reclaim terminals, I haven't had any time to see the effects of the new changes. Maybe I'll have more on that next week, maybe it will be something else. It certainly will, however, be back on the regular schedule.

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