10 March 2007

Different visibility system

Something I wanted for a very long time is finally in the game now (on the test server, and soon to be on the main server).
I am talking about a system where you can hide during the night time, and use camouflage and night vision items.

How it works: When you are inside a dark cave or dungeon, or when you are outside at night, far from a light source, you will be less visible than those near light sources. Those with a higher perception cross attribute and those with night vision equipment (not available now) will be able to see further away at night. Wearing armors and weapons will make you more visible to others.

This system allows for more variation during the combat, especially effective in a team work. For example, a player with a high perception attribute and a high magic level can hide in dark places and cast Harm or Mana drain on an enemy. Or an ally can cast heal on you, without the enemy noticing that.
In addition to the combat itself, the engineering skill (when implemented) will be partially used to produce equipment that makes use of the different visibility system. For example, we will have at least two camouflage capes (active and passive camouflage), night vision helms, a lightmeter, to precisely determine the light level of where you are, and some device to briefly show you the players that you see but they don't see you.

Another use for this system is in my "to do" list, and will probably be implemented this spring or summer. The idea is that all the bags and land mines/traps will have their own visibility. A bag will be more visible than a mine, of course. However, at night, it will be harder to see the bags that are not too close to you.
This means that the higher your perception skill is, the further you see the players and bags, and the better your chance will be to detect the landmines so that you can avoid them.
For the time being, all the clients get all the bags on a map, even if those bags are at the other end of the map. I don't really like this, it helps people cheat a little (if they use a hacked client) and it wastes some bandwidth (not a lot though).
So my next project is to change the way the bags are sent to the players, which will involve some quite CPU expensive code. Fortunately, this code can run in a thread in parallel with the code that checks if a player sees another player, so on a multi CPU system there will be little to no speed penalty. In the future, I am also planning to use some additional multithreading where it's possible, but more details about it later.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are actors now sent from farther away than before, if they are seen?

That would mean that if somebody bumped up perception enough and got high archery skill, with perspective view they could snipe monsters that are in the other part of the map.

That would mean archery had real use, not just adding some damage before monster gets to the attack range.

13/3/07 04:54  
Blogger Radu said...

That's something we are considering, but we don't have an answer right now. The problem with seeing people further away is more bandwidth/lag. I guess we will have to do some tests later on.

15/3/07 01:43  

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