1. #1

    Seamless Transition

    Do you think the Seamless Transition technology would extend beyond zones and would encompass Azeroth's Seas as well?
    This would give a chance for ships to be relevant as a feature or flying between continents to make the world feel much bigger (if it wasn't for instant teleportation being everywhere).

  2. #2
    It's not really seamless. It's just a longer tunnel between zones. The tunnels to Zaralek are the load.

    Other games did it long before WoW just in a less refined manner.

    As for the rest of the world why? People would still just Teleport everywhere and you'd just annoy people wanting to go from Orgrimmar to STV for example by making it take longer.

    Retail isn't about the journey or grandeur of exploration anymore.

  3. #3
    Brewmaster Enrif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by username993720 View Post
    Do you think the Seamless Transition technology would extend beyond zones and would encompass Azeroth's Seas as well?
    This would give a chance for ships to be relevant as a feature or flying between continents to make the world feel much bigger (if it wasn't for instant teleportation being everywhere).
    To make that work you need visual obstructions. There is a reason the tunnel to zaralek are winding so much. So, open sea seamless loading, probably not. Unless they make fog walls or something to obscure the view until it is loaded. Or something like the Shadowlands portals from Oribos to the different zones.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Luthorite View Post
    It's not really seamless. It's just a longer tunnel between zones. The tunnels to Zaralek are the load.

    Other games did it long before WoW just in a less refined manner.
    A technique used in games for a long time is this:


    Example from Hammer Map Editor (for Half-life/Portal/CS)

    Regarding the seamless transition between continents. I would love that, but i think they won't do it, because of server loads. Each continent or expansion zones) is it's own server to balance the loads.
    Last edited by Z3ROR; 2024-03-01 at 10:23 AM.

  5. #5
    I remember there was a Tony Hawk game for the PS2 that sold itself partially on the lack of loading screens.

    And its true, you could skateboard in between the various hubs, but it would always be through some long tunnel that was simply disguising the loading of the new map.

    In reality, it was always faster to fast travel between hubs and waiting out the loading screen.

    Even for Zaralek Caverns, I've experienced going through the tunnel too quickly for the map to load, resulting in me flying into boulders blocking the cave exit/entrance. When the map finished loading, the boulders simply vanished.

    Actual seamless loading can work in a single player or locally hosted game like we've seen with recent console exclusives. It really just requires a fast enough drive.

    I think it'd be unlikely to happen in an MMO at the scale of WoW, in part because of how phasing, sharding, CRZ etc interacts, in part because data is handled on a server, and in part because players have a wide spread of hardware.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by username993720 View Post
    Do you think the Seamless Transition technology would extend beyond zones and would encompass Azeroth's Seas as well?
    This would give a chance for ships to be relevant as a feature or flying between continents to make the world feel much bigger (if it wasn't for instant teleportation being everywhere).
    "Soon" we will have Microsoft's DirectStorage api which will make entire game loads near instant, so zone loads should on paper become near instant. But probably won't see that fully implemented before The Last Titan.

    Though I am curious if this will help much with WoW has it seems a chunk of the load time is between the client and server comms and transfrers between the internal servers
    Last edited by Mad_Murdock; 2024-02-29 at 01:01 PM.

  7. #7
    They could always fake the seamless transition if they want to keep de continents seperate. It does not really matter much from a player perspective, I guess, if it would be seamless or faked.

  8. #8
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    It's just level streaming. The Gamebryo Engine was able to do that in the early 2000s already.
    The downside of that technology is that it works best if the in- streamed parts are as big as the out-streamed to make it really effective (In that case Memory that was reserved for a certain Texture/Object can be directly reassigned to a new one of the same size)
    In case of the old Continents that would most likely require to cut them into even sized clusters that are linked together.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Z3ROR View Post
    Exactly.


    Example from Hammer Map Editor (for Half-life/Portal/CS):

    It is basicly this example, but in WoW to give you an idea how this kinda works. @username993720
    And I believe Blizzard uses this technique in much more places then you think. If you have ever wondered if certain places like indoor of houses, caves-systems actually fit inside the location they're at. Well this is how they do it.

    Regarding the seamless transition between continents. I would love that, but i think they won't do it, because of server loads. Each continent or expansion zones) is it's own server to balance the loads.
    You do realize you're bouncing between shards that may be on different servers when you switch zones right? And has been like this for a very long time.
    Server load has nothing to do it with it, but it will be pointless, just like D4 open world is pointless cause you just tp around and have loading screens anyway.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kranur View Post
    You do realize you're bouncing between shards that may be on different servers when you switch zones right? And has been like this for a very long time.
    Server load has nothing to do it with it, but it will be pointless, just like D4 open world is pointless cause you just tp around and have loading screens anyway.
    The shards you mention are just fragments of a server. Each continent has it's own server and a realm world server is just a cluster a several servers for load balancing. Server load certainly has something to do with this.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Z3ROR View Post
    The shards you mention are just fragments of a server. Each continent has it's own server and a realm world server is just a cluster a several servers for load balancing. Server load certainly has something to do with this.
    Shard bouncing is not limited to the world of a single server. If a server is at capacity, a shard spinned by another server will be assigned. The whole point of sharding is to split the load across multiple servers, not only to fragment a single server for lower loads.
    But even with your assumption, you can still bounce between a shard on the server of world 1 to a shard on thr server of world 2.

  12. #12
    No, players are not being seamlessly teleported to another instance, or teleported across an instance like in Portal. Zalarek cavern is indeed right where it appears to be.

    Everything in the game is in an instance. Kalimdor is in an instance. Eastern Kingdoms is in an instance. Outland, the Draenei and Blood Elf zones, and the Isle of Quel'danas are in the same instance. During patch 5.4, you could use the Falling Flame and a goblin glider to fly East from Outland to the Draenei starting zones, as they are in the same instance (you would die from fatigue damage if you tried doing that with a flying mount, long before you ever saw the zone you were trying to reach). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1rbn1qwUhk
    https://youtu.be/M5F74bbGyrM

    The devs can turn on or off what areas or objects are rendered by your computer, depending on where in the instance you are. If you are in Stranglethorn Vale, your computer doesn't render Hillsbrad Foothills as it so far away. However, if you are Kalimdor, you can see the Sword of Sargeras or Mount Hyjal or old Teldrassil (if you are in the pre 8.0 phase, before it was replaced by a 2D card) from extreme distances. Similarly, Ardenweald and Bastion are quite close to each other in the same instance. If you were in Eastern Ardenweald, you could theoretically see Bastion, but you can't because Blizzard has set the Shadowlands zones to not be rendered by your computer when you are outside of them. During the Shadowlands alpha, it was possible to use a goblin glider to fly from Oribos to Revendreth. Your computer would begin rendering once you entered the are defined at the Revendreth zone. The Shadowlands zones are not in different instances. The hyperspace flightpaths are just that; dressed up flightpaths, not fancy loading screens while you move between different instances, since you're not moving between different instances.

    Zalarek Cavern is in the same instance as the rest of the Dragon Isles. The only difference is that when you are inside Zalarek Caverns, most of the Dragon Isles stuff (trees, buildings, rocks, etc) above is not being rendered by your computer. WoW already does this with the Caverns of Time in Kalimdor. On the 10.1 PTR, while inside Zalarek, you can use a shaman's Farsight to see Zalarek's ceiling clipping through the surface terrain of the Ohn'ahran Plains (https://i.imgur.com/OtTseO3.png). You normally wouldn't see this while flying outside over the Dragon Isles, because Zalarek would be turned off. Blizzard can separate where the player icons show up on the minimap (Zalarek Caverns minimap appearing divorced from the rest of the Dragon Isles) from the actual ingame space that the player inhabits (Zalarek is directly underneath the Dragon Isles).

    Video of the Dragon Isles surface being turned as you cross a certain threshold in the cave:




    "But Zalarek Cavern has a different loading screen! Surely it must be in a different instance than the rest of the Dragon Isles!" nope. That means nothing. The Belf and Draenei zones are in the same instance as the rest of Outland and all share the same loading screen, because at the time Blizzard wasn't putting as much polish into their product as they do today. But then WoD happened and they started implementing different loading screens depending on where you are in an instance. If you log into or hearthstone to your garrison, you get a different loading screen than if you had logged into or teleported to anywhere else on WoD Draenor, even though it's all the same instance. Zalarek Cavern having its own loading screen is no different. The devs could theoretically give Orgrimmar or Stormwind their own loading screens too.

  13. #13
    @Val the Moofia Boss
    Thanks. Did not know this. I convinced myself they used a smart teleporting technique as shown in the portal 2 video i posted.

  14. #14
    But, the seas are such underutilized places.
    Wouldn't you want wave animations and actually traversing such territories?

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