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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

100th Post Special - Wizard101 Advanced Lighting, New Poll, and Question for Readers


Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a Boar Knight pet + 1,000 crowns or one of four Wyvern's Hoard Packs! Details at http://www.swordroll.com/2011/12/holiday-contest-and-wizard101-sales.html!

Wizard101 has always been a fantastic game where graphics were concerned, especially on characters. With each major update, they've introduced a new system such as Critical and Block and Armor Piercing. I propose that with the coming updates, they add to their amazing graphics with advanced lighting. The one thing I've noticed is that, in many areas, they placed light sources in various places, but the light is always universal, it's never FROM the light sources. Before you completely throw out this idea, take a look at some of the benefits and example pictures for advanced lighting!

"Advanced Lighting" will really add to the Wizard101 game and make it look so much more real while maintaining that whimsical, cartoon feeling.

Besides making things look so much more interesting, advanced lighting, my personal name for it, creates new opportunities of all sorts. Finally that dark cave can really be a dark cave. There won't be any unrealistic lighting - the torches that line the walls will be your source of light. This adds a new level of challenge to navigation. Imagine you enter a cave that's completely dark, perhaps it's an instance. You'd be forced to navigate using only what you could see, and if you located a certain NPC, he'd give you a quest to located firewood and light a fire, thus brightening the cave. And in the event that you burn something, like setting supplies on fire as you do in a cave during one Grizzleheim quest, you'd also light up the area.

Imagine the new challenges and possible quests that could be added here. And just look at the first picture. How beautiful is that? I made a few example of before and afters below.

This first picture displays my Death wizard on the streets of Marleybone, a world that does particularly well with this lighting effect, because it's dark and the main source of light is the city. While you're getting most of your light from a street lamp to the right and the windows on the left, the yellow coloring on the windows i meant to be light. Because you have multiple light sources here, your characters, pets, etc. are all going to have multiple shadows.



I focused in one the main sources of light here, even the car has multiple shadows, making the scene look more and more realistic. How'd you like to run around, character and all, in this kind of lighting? This next one is the city of Marleybone.




At first it looks like there's only a "softglow," but such an effect wouldn't have worked without previous additions of light. Also take a look at some of the structures and cement posts, as well as the sky. The colors are more brilliant. The next image is Grizzleheim. This will prove that you can get a great lighting effect even when you're not in Marleybone.



While your main light sources are reflections on water and the orb in the center of the teleporters, the stars do light up the sky, so the area isn't quite as dark as you'd expect. Several colors are enhanced, some brightened. This next one is that classic cave scene that I was referring to. Just because I suggested "Dark Cave" doesn't mean that you have to have a completely invisible area. In this example, you still have a darker effect. If you notice in the first picture, that pillar's light focus in from the opposite direction of the light. That had to be fixed. And pillars can't disappear into blackness, either.



In the advanced lighting picture, areas with light are lighter, and I've darkened areas without so much of it. Pay good attention to the supposed black in the first picture. It's actually an unnatural blueish hue, so that is also corrected. You might be thinking that with all these great light sources, this might not work too well in areas like MooShu... think again...



Pay attention to detail! The ground has a greater variety of colors. The archways near the entrance to the Emperor's Throne Room had added detail. Lighter areas are more reflective. And wait, what's that? Flowers don't produce light! No, but they do catch it quite well, at least in this image. This next one is one of my favorites because you have the light of the moon, the street lamps, etc.




Compare those images for a moment. Looks like a whole new game, doesn't it? The sky values are more brilliant, there are shadows where need be, light comes from actual light sources, etc. This last one is in Celestia, and it's my favorite. The District of the Stars offers waters with constellations in the background, beautiful architecture, crystals to catch light, and varying trees and pillars and stands.




Look at the different. This ancient, underwater city has been restored. The sun above the water is more recognizable as one of the many light sources here. I've really brought out the constellations in the background. Notice that the trees and large archway in front of the entrance now have shadows. The crystal catch the light. I personally love this look!

If you haven't already voted, take a look at our new poll. It asked you what kind of posts you most like to read. "Feature Posts" are posts like this one. It could be Analyzing the Level 68 Spells, The Unknown Pet Files, or new ideas like this post. "Game Updates" tell about sales, giveaways, promotions, and all that news from Wizard101, even the "stuff" that you don't get from the game window like Facebook updates and giveaways. While this can include news on Zafaria, it does not include my personal adventures there. That brings us to the final category. "My Adventures" are personal tales of gardening, questing, crafting, PvP, parties, etc. PvP Talk (I haven't been labeling it with the logo lately) can fall under one of two categories. If I'm talking about MY day in PvP, it's "My Adventures." If I'm discussing how the level 68 spells affect PvP, it's "Feature Posts." Vote for your favorite!

I have two questions for you. Yes, I lied, there is not one, but two. I'd like to know what you think of the advanced lighting idea. Any suggestions? Ideas? Comments? Questions? Plus, if you'd like me to add advanced lighting to your own picture, let me know. To get the best shots, hit Ctrl + G to make you health, mana, etc. disappear. Secondly, how many corners are rounded here, and can you see the Translation tool? In Chrome, all corners of posts and the sidebar will be rounded to match the header, but that isn't always the case in Internet Explorer and other browsers. What can you see? And is the Translation tool showing up for you? Let's me know! Thanks!

There's one more thing I've neglected - this is my 100th blog post! Nothing too fancy to celebrate, but I can say that I've posted one hundred times now! Wow!

Just like usual, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!

3 comments:

  1. Firstly, I use Chrome and everything is showing up as you said. :)
    Second, I think your idea of this Advanced Lighting is wonderful! I too have been wondering about this. In another game I play they incorporated this and it makes it look SOOO much cooler. Though, there would need to be a option to turn it on and off (and only get the extra 'fire lighting' quest if you have it on). But all in all, I think they really should and need to do it. :D
    Lastly, HAPPY 100TH POST! ;) Can't wait to read the next century of posts!

    Your fellow blogger and owner of The Conjurer's Inn,
    Morgrim Trollfriend

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  2. I love your idea of advanced lighting, but i do have one concern.
    if this were implemented, it would have to take longer to load the game for new players. Wizard101 takes pride in the fact that the game doesnt take a whole day to load. I like the previous idea of allowing it to be turned on and off. The default is off but later in the game( say, after wizard city)wizards are told that the game has an added element and are prompted to swithc to the new lighting

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  3. @Morgrim Trollfriend - Thank you! Yes, I thought of that, but must have forgotten to put it in there. An On/Off options is essential! The quest to light fires would have to be there either way, so that getting quests didn't depend on a setting, but in one, you'd have fires, and in one, you'd have fires AND lighting!

    @nathanielz - That's true. Perhaps, because of its nature, it would be the new system with the next update, only available in worlds from then on. Maybe, maybe not?

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