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Atmosphere

Bringslite
Atmosphere in gaming is really important for immersion. Not claiming to be any sort of expert about MMOs or about Atmosphere in MMOs. I'm just a guy that wants to see his favorite game do better in the market place. The most important features that come to mind (for me) when I think of atmosphere are the visuals and the sounds.

The visuals are a very huge topic. Easily the biggest and thus most expensive challenge for atmosphere. Lets leave that alone for the time being.

Audio atmosphere is where you can possibly make an impact for a respectably low investment of money and effort. You already have a range designated for "local" chat. You have a range dedicated for "audible" spell effects. What are you missing from an audible standpoint that is atmosphere?
*Character footsteps or movement when walking, trotting or running
*Sound bytes of wolves howling, weird cultist chanting, ogres deep voices and roaring, goblin chittering and squeaking, undead moaning, archeologists chipping at crystals, etc…
*When up in the mountains or when way out on the plains… WIND.
*Someday… the sound of running water. smile

Not a deluge that soon becomes annoying. Just a noise (once in awhile) triggered once in a while, when we still out of sight of groups none-the-less are getting close to them. Maybe just for large concentrations.

I am wondering if these couldn't be thrown in(here and there) while we are slowly fixing bugs and improving features.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Seraph
Basically all the sounds right now are really low quality, and using the focus in combat with sound on is borderline annoying.

I agree that the ambient noise is one thing that definitely needs some work. The bird chirping we have there now is okay, but it's just a start.

I'd love to see major graphical updates over time as well. Settlements look pretty barren right now… it would be nice if there were grass and trees between the buildings, make settlements feel more like a place where someone would live rather than a big plot of flat dirt with a smattering of single-palette buildings laying about.
Seraph
Cleric of Sarenrae
Brighthaven
Edam
Seraph
I'd love to see major graphical updates over time as well. Settlements look pretty barren right now… it would be nice if there were grass and trees between the buildings, make settlements feel more like a place where someone would live rather than a big plot of flat dirt with a smattering of single-palette buildings laying about.

The big vacant large spot is an eyesore. A choice of free placeholder structures to place there would help. I am thinking things like a public park or military parade ground or large carnival fair with stalls for example (a carpark or helipad might be a touch out of character) .

Personally I would like eventually to see more variation in the building appearance. Things like mountain settlements getting alpine buildings etc together with the ability for players to add banners and change roof and door colours and perhaps even wall textures would make a huge difference.

However we are supposed to be leaving the visuals alone smile

Audio:

Much audio needs matching visual. A dog barking without a dog makes no sense for example.

Things I can think of:
  • mule sounds whatever that may be
  • some NPC locals in the tavern and tavern noise
  • a greeting from trainers when you talk to them

Problem is some of this stuff will get annoying after a while.

Paddy Fitzpatrick
Finally, and I thought I was the only one who understood the need for immersive atmosphere in these kinds of games. Ya need the world to feel alive. A world that is directly impacted by your actions but also exists as its own entity outside of you and will go on even without there.

+1 to these posts
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Huran
I normally have my audio turned off but would be in favor of everything mentioned above.

Speaking of water, does the Thornkeep waterfall still have noise? I remember this weird thing happening where it was super loud while you were a ways from it then it got kind of quiet when you were right next to it. That was way back in the Alpha days so whatever it was could be fixed by now.

Also speaking of the world feeling alive, it would be nice if the monster/bad guys actually moved rather than just stand around until triggered - but that is a subject worthy of its own thread and most likely something that will need a full team to program.
"Circles of power, gathered by EARTH, welcomed by GOLD, in strife and in mirth. Focused by CRYSTAL, guided by LIGHT, showing the way, by day and by night. wrought in IRON, strengthened by STEEL, together we stand, in wrack and in weal. Hidden in SHADOW, explored by WOOD, we circle together, for the greater good." –Maxikyd– http://www.kotcguild.com/
Seraph
I did notice the water sounds at Thornkeep! They are a really nice touch, and since I don't spend much time up there I was very pleased to hear it when I was in the area.

Flowing water and water sounds will be a very nice piece of immersion once it's out in the rest of the world.
Seraph
Cleric of Sarenrae
Brighthaven
 
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