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  1. #21
    The Undying Gehco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivarr View Post
    Yeah that's how I would envision a WoW 2. The premise would be that WoW itself was just an abstraction of the actual World of Warcraft, a proxy. Instead the actual world is huge, cities are huge, forests and mountains are huge. It's all what we already have, but it's so much bigger and impressive.
    The servers are updated from the past, they have the room now to make the world bigger. Expand the zones. Make in-depth development and changes.
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Kumorii View Post
    To add to that.. "big world but nothing in it", is a common complaint to bug games that focus on size rather than content.

    Same argument still remains for me. If there is areas that are just there, it's a waste of time. Agree to disagree.
    Valheim would be an example. People clearly aren't discouraged by having a large expanse of world to explore. The world is procedurally generated and yet it's beautiful. Even if the world mostly offers more of the same, it's finally reaching that new biome after a long journey that makes the new discovery more valuable. Way more meaningful than when that new biome would be just around the corner. A team of five developers created exactly the feeling of vast adventure that Blizzard hasn't been able to match since the launch of Vanilla.

    And I'm not saying the entirety of WoW should be procedurally generated. However, a lot of WoW already is a hybrid of procedurally terrain brushes and erosion algorithms, populated with hand-crafted content. The developers have a lot of control over what happens, but they're not creating each square foot manually.

    Or to use the Broken Isles here, there is no journey. The whole island feels like a theme park where you can already see all the other attractions around you while you're getting read to board the current one.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gehco View Post
    The servers are updated from the past, they have the room now to make the world bigger. Expand the zones. Make in-depth development and changes.
    Right I'm sure there's no technical limitations for a very long time right now. It's not even visual design, it's gameplay design that drove Blizzard to create a dense clutter of content every new expansion.

    And I believe it's a mistake. Players don't need action every second. That never was the selling point of WoW, it always was the world that offered people escapism.
    Last edited by Ivarr; 2021-08-19 at 11:48 AM.

  3. #23
    The Undying Gehco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivarr View Post
    Right I'm sure there's no technical limitations for a very long time right now. It's not even visual design, it's gameplay design that drove Blizzard to create a dense clutter of content every new expansion.

    And I believe it's a mistake. Players don't need action every second. That never was the selling point of WoW, it always was the world that offered people escapism.
    It is sad indeed. The zones do not need to be compact anymore. The world does not have to be a stepping stone for instanced content but should be a partner in the development and display of the story. It is getting inefficient and old to just focus on instanced raids and PvP. We just need the right step and start to make Azeroth part of the story, fully, and not just a tool for the story.
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  4. #24
    The Unstoppable Force FelPlague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutri View Post
    I'd much rather have an expansion with the SIZE of Azeroth.

    Every Xpac just felt small compared to vanilla. And that's not flyings fault, flying north to south on Azeroth still takes a long time.
    Shadowlands made it even worse with the four non-connected zoned.

    Give me a big landmass, and actual 'world to explore'.

    This is an old post made during Legion, but this illustrates how small all the xpacs have been:

    You do know.
    1. Everything in vanilla was hilariously spread out, like dear god there is so much empty space.
    2. Good 20-30% of that map is literally just mountains that are unclimbable and have nothing on them.
    3. They had 4 years to make the zones, not 1-2
    4. also when you literally dont at all care about the quality of your zones artwork you can easily pump out zones.
    A. the terrain literally changing on squares, you could literally be on flight paths and look over and see large chunk of brown flat terrain suddenly in a perfect corner/line change into flat white terrain before eventually becoming mountains.
    B. one zone just instantly changing into a completly different zone with no real slow crawl to it?
    Literally in only 10 seconds you move from a super hot molten zone, to a jungle, or a snowy biome, and its like what the fuck. atleast have a gradual shift, the only place that really did this well in vanilla was winterspring, as it had the cave so it made it seem liek they were far apart atleast.
    Last edited by FelPlague; 2021-08-19 at 12:12 PM.

  5. #25
    The Unstoppable Force Puupi's Avatar
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    WoW 2.0:

    - timeskip 1000 years forward
    - back to Azeroth (and the islands)
    - revamp all zones
    - new lore, new characters
    - old characters and lore stay as legends
    - no factions
    - new servers, fresh start for everyone (a la classic style)
    - revamp all classes, spec identity > class identity
    - achievements and points stay for those who have spent two decades farming them
    - you can keep playing your old characters in WoW 1.0 if you don't want to move to WoW 2.0

    WoW redeemed.
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    i've said i'd like to have one of those bad dragon dildos shaped like a horse, because the shape is nicer than human.
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    i was talking about horse cock again, told him to look at your sig.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Gehco View Post
    It is sad indeed. The zones do not need to be compact anymore. The world does not have to be a stepping stone for instanced content but should be a partner in the development and display of the story. It is getting inefficient and old to just focus on instanced raids and PvP. We just need the right step and start to make Azeroth part of the story, fully, and not just a tool for the story.
    Right or a Warcraft themed open-world survival game. The IP is still valuable, and despite the complains Blizzard does know how to create novel gameplay elements. They could use their resources to push this genre and take gaming as a whole to another level.

    I get why they wouldn't try this. Everquest Next tried this and failed. But what Everquest Next tried to do is still where I believe the future of gaming lies. And due to better servers and advances in algorithmic content, I believe we're much closer to Everquest Next than 10 years ago.

    For people who are unfamiliar what Everquest Next is. Here's the presentation, the core idea starts at 28 minutes in:



    Basically every server was a unique, procedurally created world. But not just the world itself. The lore was procedurally generated as well. The outcomes of wars and conflicts that shape the layout of the territories, as well as the underground realms, dungeons and caves all came from a sequence of history that is generated at the start of a new server.

    Last edited by Ivarr; 2021-08-19 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #27
    If you just want a giant map there's a simple solution - procedural generation.
    State of the art can generate realistic environments from a ms paint drawing with lines where you want a mountain / river to be. Even the kill x mobs quests could be auto-generated.
    What you cant generate is gimmicks that make exploration interesting instead of tedious.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivarr View Post
    For people who are unfamiliar what Everquest Next is. Here's the presentation, the core idea starts at 28 minutes in:

    Basically every server was a unique, procedurally created world. But not just the world itself. The lore was procedurally generated as well. The outcomes of wars and conflicts that shape the layout of the territories, as well as the underground realms, dungeons and caves all came from a sequence of history that is generated at the start of a new server.
    Yes, it is a retarded idea that will never work, not because of lack of technology, but because it is a fundamentally flawed concept. You're not going to get interesting lore and exploration out of procedural generation, because there's nothing interesting about <featureless ancient city 235 with no actual writing> was destroyed by <arbitrary earthquake> in the year <#>, and then was <taken over by> <undead>.

    All you end up with in an extremely bland world that feels even more pointless to explore and invest in because there's no actual narrative, just a series of RNG rolls from a table of possible events.

    Having another server's <featureless ancient city 221> instead be <flooded> and later infested with <giant spiders> doesn't make it some wildly unique and interesting thing when it's still the exact same tilesets and logic-derived cavern configurations but with different mobs you are still used to seeing because in the other server they were in some arbitrary forest instead.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by mbit View Post
    If you just want a giant map there's a simple solution - procedural generation.
    State of the art can generate realistic environments from a ms paint drawing with lines where you want a mountain / river to be. Even the kill x mobs quests could be auto-generated.
    What you cant generate is gimmicks that make exploration interesting instead of tedious.
    As far as I understand how Blizzard designs their terrain, I estimate the actual formation of the zones is the least of their effort. It's the populating of these zones with points of interests that requires real effort.

    Procedural design has been present since Vanilla. Desolace is the clearest example. It shows eroded hills and also the way the textures run around the hilltops to simulate water taking the sediments down:



    So a designer starts with random hills, then sculpts in the terrain according to what the lead for that zone has in mind, and then it has an erosion pass creating these beautiful textured streams, and then probably still needs a terrain designer coming in to correct any wonky textures that came from the process.

    And this is Vanilla content, it's old. Terrain generation has advanced since then. Blizzard uses new techniques, but the point remains, it's a mix of procedures and hand-sculpting that pushes down the development costs, while at the same time every actual asset and story has to be built from scratch.

    Imagine it like raisin bread. The raisins are the content, the dough is the terrain. You can chose to add more baking powder or yeast (I'm no baker) to let the dough rise further. The amount of raisins will stay the same, but they'll be scattered further apart from each other due to there being more terrain that fills the space in between.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitei View Post
    Yes, it is a retarded idea that will never work, not because of lack of technology, but because it is a fundamentally flawed concept. You're not going to get interesting lore and exploration out of procedural generation, because there's nothing interesting about <featureless ancient city 235 with no actual writing> was destroyed by <arbitrary earthquake> in the year <#>, and then was <taken over by> <undead>.

    All you end up with in an extremely bland world that feels even more pointless to explore and invest in because there's no actual narrative, just a series of RNG rolls from a table of possible events.

    Having another server's <featureless ancient city 221> instead be <flooded> and later infested with <giant spiders> doesn't make it some wildly unique and interesting thing when it's still the exact same tilesets and logic-derived cavern configurations but with different mobs you are still used to seeing because in the other server they were in some arbitrary forest instead.
    Sounds amazing to me. Especially when these events impact each other in a sequence. It's not just rolling the dice for each city, but each city having an entire string of outcome dependent dice forming its history. Maybe an earthquake caused a war, and that war prevented a faction from conquering and enslaving another faction that now went on to invent some technology that created a disaster in another place etc. Uncovering that kind of history is thrilling, and no WoWhead guide will spoil it for you.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivarr View Post
    Sounds amazing to me. Especially when these events impact each other in a sequence. It's not just rolling the dice for each city, but each city having an entire string of outcome dependent dice forming its history. Maybe an earthquake caused a war, and that war prevented a faction from conquering and enslaving another faction that now went on to invent some technology that created a disaster in another place etc. Uncovering that kind of history is thrilling, and no WoWhead guide will spoil it for you.
    Then you are extremely easy to please. There is no history. There wasn't a war, there was a War: Yes/No checkbox that was either ticked or not, and <a faction> is some completely undeveloped no-writing generic group because it was procedurally formed to just be a group of mobs with no real writing or narrative.

    I would much rather have one small cohesive quest hub than a world of shitty """""lore""""" created by rolling on a table without any actual logic or structure, the exact same as every other server but with different names and enemy mob types such that none of it has any degree of investment, canon, or deeper narrative. Enjoy your "lore discussions" about "the war" that only exists as a single arbitrary data point for minor terrain adjustments.

  11. #31
    Well you got what you wanted as the WoW lore is small indeed. There's barely any history at all.

  12. #32
    An EK/Kalimdor revamp will be inevitable.

    Question is whether they'll be smart about it this time, or repeat the Cata cockups. I'd much rather return to the world we know than go to different planes of existence and space shit.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivarr View Post
    As far as I understand how Blizzard designs their terrain, I estimate the actual formation of the zones is the least of their effort. It's the populating of these zones with points of interests that requires real effort.

    Procedural design has been present since Vanilla. Desolace is the clearest example. It shows eroded hills and also the way the textures run around the hilltops to simulate water taking the sediments down:

    So a designer starts with random hills, then sculpts in the terrain according to what the lead for that zone has in mind, and then it has an erosion pass creating these beautiful textured streams, and then probably still needs a terrain designer coming in to correct any wonky textures that came from the process.

    And this is Vanilla content, it's old. Terrain generation has advanced since then. Blizzard uses new techniques, but the point remains, it's a mix of procedures and hand-sculpting that pushes down the development costs, while at the same time every actual asset and story has to be built from scratch.

    Imagine it like raisin bread. The raisins are the content, the dough is the terrain. You can chose to add more baking powder or yeast (I'm no baker) to let the dough rise further. The amount of raisins will stay the same, but they'll be scattered further apart from each other due to there being more terrain that fills the space in between.

    - - - Updated - - -
    I dont remember which blizzcon but they showcased their process (saw it only once, might have missed other instances). The designer paints the height and the texture type(grass,mountain,...) and the system then uses the given segmentation with procedural shaders for creating the landscape. Never saw them using any of the algorithms you see in procedural erosion modeling to automatically generate the entire enviroment.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by mbit View Post
    I dont remember which blizzcon but they showcased their process (saw it only once, might have missed other instances). The designer paints the height and the texture type(grass,mountain,...) and the system then uses the given segmentation with procedural shaders for creating the landscape. Never saw them using any of the algorithms you see in procedural erosion modeling to automatically generate the entire enviroment.
    At 22:40 you can see the terrain designer 'naturalify' (my word) the crude path she just created before. She takes a brush and moves it past the edge and the existing textures underneath it naturally blend, scatter and erode.



    EDIT: 34:40 she mentions 'a copy and paste mountain kit' being used on Maldraxxus.
    Last edited by Ivarr; 2021-08-19 at 01:32 PM.

  15. #35
    We tried that, it was called cataclysm, it was awful.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivarr View Post
    At 22:40 you can see the terrain designer 'naturalify' (my word) the crude path she just created before. She takes a brush and moves it past the edge and the existing textures underneath it naturally blend, scatter and erode.



    EDIT: 34:40 she mentions 'a copy and paste mountain kit' being used on Maldraxxus.
    Thats what i meant by segmentation. Under the hood she just paints "here is sand" onto a texture and the shader renders the mix in detail. The user input is segmenting the landscape into road/dirt/hill etc. Its a less sophisticated version of this https://youtu.be/ZXFmZsv0Ddw?t=88. A procedural approach wouldn't need this. It would generate the whole landscape by itself with no help.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by mbit View Post
    Thats what i meant by segmentation. Under the hood she just paints "here is sand" onto a texture and the shader renders the mix in detail. The user input is segmenting the landscape into road/dirt/hill etc. Its a less sophisticated version of this https://youtu.be/ZXFmZsv0Ddw?t=88. A procedural approach wouldn't need this. It would generate the whole landscape by itself with no help.
    Right, and the technology for that is really coming along. I'm deeply impressed by Vaheim for that matter. It also doesn't have to be a computer to create 'filler' procedures. It's not entirely clear from this panel, but there are hints that there are teams that focus on creating terrain formations that can just be 'splashed' into existing terrain to quickly create mountains and cliffs of a specific theme that matches the rest of the zone. A human makes that procedure, and then another human 'paints' the procedure into the existing terrain just like the algorithm does in your video.

    What this panel shows is that most of the work comes from the back and forth interaction between the teams. The developers are constantly creating 'to do lists' of assets and actions they need from other teams. The terrain artists constantly have to incorporate feedback from both the quest designers and the playtesters. Blizzard wants the player to move through a streamlined experience where the terrain meshes seamlessly with the story.

    All I'm saying is that Blizzard can afford to pad their terrain with a lot more space that has no purpose. That, other than navigation, a terrain artist can just 'doodle' more filler terrain that closely resembles these tight story-driven areas that it encloses. This doesn't have to generated by a computer, all it takes is for Blizzard to put points on the map that are off-limits due to story purposes, and then leave the rest to fill in with generic terrain accordingly.

    The result then is a cheap way to enlarge the continents, which makes everything feel less hectic and cramped, and removes that baseline claustrophobic feeling that the new expansions have, but Classic does not.

    And as for entirely procedurally generated terrain, I do believe that Blizzard wants to get moving on a new game that uses this if they don't want to be left in the dust by plucky new startups that will create content that their vast studio can't keep up with.
    Last edited by Ivarr; 2021-08-19 at 01:57 PM.

  18. #38
    Reforged Gone Wrong The Stormbringer's Avatar
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    I would also like zones to have more "empty space" to make things feel larger. Ideally, they'd make the game a more realistic size for a world that supposedly has tons of towns and people, and could actually fit those in it, but that would take an incredible amount of time.

  19. #39
    ks omkm ya 3yalat elg7ba

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    I would also like zones to have more "empty space" to make things feel larger. Ideally, they'd make the game a more realistic size for a world that supposedly has tons of towns and people, and could actually fit those in it, but that would take an incredible amount of time.
    And more zones of the same biome. There's no reason for there to only be one Dun Morogh. There could be several strewn through mountains, with several lochs in the valleys. The advantage of having multiples of the same biomes is that you can write more stories without them getting in the way of each other. One loch has a dam, the other does not, the other has a dam that breaks, but there's also another loch that is frozen, maybe one tainted by daemons, etc etc.

    And these stories don't all have to be written at the same time. All these zones can have some token quests, that will be all there is until Blizzard decides to start a major plot in one of them.

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