Anarchy Online Prepares New Graphical Engine

Anarchy Online Prepares New Graphical Engine

Anarchy Online screen

Anarchy Online is now accepting applications for the closed beta test of the game's new rendering engine.

If your initial reaction to the news that Anarchy Online is getting ready to roll out a new graphical engine is, "Anarchy Online still exists?" then welcome to my world! I actually hit up Google to make sure it wasn't an elaborate, internet-wide gag, but apparently it's the straight dope: Funcom's sci-fi MMO is still grinding away, and a new rendering engine is is actually in the works.

The engine will initially go through a closed beta period, during which time players will be under an NDA. Testers will not be able to copy their characters over to the beta server at first because the "New Player Experience" is part of the closed beta and the developers "want to get as many eyes on this new content as possible," but it will be enabled later in the testing period.

Today's update to the game also gives the item shop a visual upgrade and new sub-category system designed to simplify browsing, and removes some of the less-popular social items and adds some new ones. Something called the "whompah system" is also in the midst of being revamped, which I assume will mean something to people who actually play the game.

Developed by Funcom, Anarchy Online launched in June 2001 and switched to a "Free Play" program in late 2004, although fans can opt to pay subscription fees for unlimited content access. The last expansion, Legacy of the Xan, was released in 2009.

Applications for the Anarchy Online closed beta can be made at Funcom.

via: Anarchy Online forums

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I can understand the graphics update, buy they have to be careful with the "New Player Experience". Otherwise, it will end up with the same situation as SWG did with NGE.

AO was an awesome idea at the time but I logged back in a few years later and it was desolate, a few high rankers kicking about but that was it. Hopefully the New Player Experience will ditch the requirement to spend hours killing rats in the sewers!

Fasckira:
AO was an awesome idea at the time but I logged back in a few years later and it was desolate, a few high rankers kicking about but that was it. Hopefully the New Player Experience will ditch the requirement to spend hours killing rats in the sewers!

This is actually the second new player experience they've released (as far as new starting grounds, not graphics). The first one was a major improvement (though I still usually started my toons in the shadowlands so I could collect the books) over the original starting area.

I personally can't wait for the new graphic overhaul. AO has always been my favorite MMO (though I liked SWG before it went to shit almost as much), and I've been dying for this overhaul. They announced it back in 2008 or something (and they updated the textures a bit on the way), but I haven't seen anything else about it until now. I guess they got delayed when they moved all of their MMOs to the US and put them all under the same guy.

Dr.Awkward:
I can understand the graphics update, buy they have to be careful with the "New Player Experience". Otherwise, it will end up with the same situation as SWG did with NGE.

Edit: oops I didn't read.

Yeah I think it is just like a starter island though, not a huge deal

Surprised they haven't done this before now. Ultima Online went through 3 graphics engines and WoW had Vanilla overhauled graphically in Cataclysm.

Dr.Awkward:
I can understand the graphics update, buy they have to be careful with the "New Player Experience". Otherwise, it will end up with the same situation as SWG did with NGE.

"New player Experience" in MMO speak is just how new players start the game, things like any tutorials and the lower level questing and dungeons and stuff. Nothing like NGE at all, that completely rewrote the game, any developer wanting to improve the "New player Experience" simply wants to improve the early game to improve catch rates for people trying it out.

It was really rough starting out in AO, steep learning curve that I can see turning many players away these days. I would be nice to check out although personally an improved GUI would be a bigger and nicer improvement.

Baldr:
Surprised they haven't done this before now. Ultima Online went through 3 graphics engines and WoW had Vanilla overhauled graphically in Cataclysm.

They announced it back in 2008, seven years after it was launched, the main problem they ran into was the fact that their coders that originally made the game outsourced their code to various Mongoose and server gerbils. In fact nearly all of their 'new' patches had to redo tons of code.

It isn't the fact they didn't want to do it, but when you are given pages upon pages of code with nearly no documentation...

yea, coders tend to cry. a lot.

OT: I would sign up for the beta, but I've already resolved to waiting until the engine is up and running before going back to AO.

Still, the engine has a lot of promise from the screens and videos they have released over the years, but I'm really waiting for the New Player enhancements, the backyards were okay-ish for sticking to the lore, the Newbie Island was a great introduction to the Alien Invasion expansion too, so now the starting areas are supposed to have questlines that specifically show how your chosen class works instead of "go around and kill everything".

sure, there probably will be some "go kill everything" quests in it, but at least it will show you how your class is suited for killing things.

Nothing is more embarrassing as a Nano-Technician or Doctor getting completely facerolled by level 3 leets.

J Tyran:
"New player Experience" in MMO speak is just how new players start the game, things like any tutorials and the lower level questing and dungeons and stuff. Nothing like NGE at all, that completely rewrote the game, any developer wanting to improve the "New player Experience" simply wants to improve the early game to improve catch rates for people trying it out.

Aaah, so it's "The 'new player' experience", not "The new 'player experience'". That phrase is horribly ambiguous, even though it's clarified by context.

In any case: AO has always had many interesting features and dynamics, so it's good to see this is getting a facelift. Maybe I'll even check it out once it's available to the public.

Honestly, at this rate, they'd just be better off doing AO 2.
They merged RK-1 and RK-2 not long ago, so I can't imagine many people are still on there.
Which is a shame. I had all kinds of wonderful time playing this game.

I played AO awhile back after it had gone F2P(one of the least invasive F2P mmo's to date where you only had to listen to those annoying army commercials while in town) and enjoyed the style and the gameplay but ended up quiting simply because I had no idea where to go or what to do and the community was very WoWesque (read intentionally unhelpful and rude) which may be fine for a very simple and hand holding game like WoW, but in AO it meant wandering around hoping that some thing somewhere would happen.
I may try again after the overhaul where atleast a few NPCs may explain what the hell I'm supposed to be doing because frankly, the few times that I did know what I was doing, I had fun.

Is it same to assume that they are migrating it to the AoC and TSW engine? Those are the two best-looking MMO's out there, so I hope so.

oh godi still have a soldier there and a bureucrat.

hah i hope this pans out, gonna check it out.

 

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