Anarchy Online’s new graphical engine is finally live

Anarchy Online has been on the verge of having a new graphics engine for what seems to be forever and a day, but it’s finally here. Yes, the game’s new graphics engine is available for use in the game’s newest update. If you want the game to look even prettier despite its age, you can do that.

It’s worth noting that the new graphical engine is quite bulky; the installer is 5 gigs, and the total installed size comes to roughly 23 gigs. You’ll need to download the new engine client separately from the existing game, as well. Still, it’s the big centerpiece of the game’s latest patch, and with good cause. If you’re an Anarchy Online fan with a more modern computer, get the new engine installed and see the game be prettier than ever.

Source: 18.8.0 Update Release Notes; thanks to the many excited readers who sent this in!
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RickNuthman
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RickNuthman

purewitz AO Froobs call themselves Froobs. If you knew the community, you’d know that too. No one considers it an insult.

samooryesord
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samooryesord

Lord Zorvan Well, in their defense. The team they have working on AO is quite small. Like.. probably under 10 people.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

I want to see a video of gameplay with new engine

Fantastico
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Fantastico

Just sell the AO franchise to a competent studio and make AO 2 please.

Morreion
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Morreion

I’d MUCH rather have seen them come up with AO 2.  I’d play it.

No More Tears
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No More Tears

C’mon Funcom, use some file compression. I’m sure your TSW players would appreciate it too. I used NTFS file compression and dropped 23GB to 11GB. Skyforge is less than 10GB installed.

TehAcidBaron
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TehAcidBaron

purewitz JohnT_NC Lord Zorvan

Free players call themselves froobs. There was even an entire community site that named itself that.

flatline4400
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flatline4400

bigja Feydakin Same boat… bought SL all the way back when, let the acct expire.  Years later, they convert to f2p, except… sorry, not for you!  Bizarre.

toomanywowclones
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toomanywowclones

Lord Zorvan “With only 8 years to work on it, you’ve made a 15 year old game look
like a 12 year old game and given it the performance and stability of a 2
month old alpha.”
made me laugh, good stuff.

purewitz
Guest
purewitz

JohnT_NC purewitz Lord Zorvan I actually bought and beta tested both Age of Conan (Bought Launch Day) and The Secret World (Bought a month after launch). So yes I’ve heard of The Secret World.  I’ve even tried the free version of Anarchy Online(Never stuck with AO, because of the horrible community, especially the subscribers who call the free players “Froobs” aka “Free Noobs” for just asking questions.) and beta tested Lego Minifigures Online.
So I know how Failcom operates. I’ve given them chance after chance after chance and they have failed every time to convince me to stick with one of their games. 
 I guess you just see Funcom through rose colored glasses or something, but I see a company that can’t seem to make a good quality product. That is why with many people Funcom is truly known as Failcom.

CastagereShaikura
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CastagereShaikura

Lord Zorvan The real sad part is the subscription is still 15 a month. This game came out the around the same time Everquest 1 did. And i think that’s free to play now. The restrictions on this 14 year old game equals what you get in any modern AAA game today Maybe even worse because you only get the base game. The last xpack this game got was maybe 7 years ago. Zero new content.

JohnT_NC
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JohnT_NC

purewitz Lord Zorvan  You’ve never heard of The Secret World then.

Dookii
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Dookii

Wakkander Lord Zorvan Aion sure did benefit a lot of its graphics engine update

Brochim
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Brochim

Wakkander Lord Zorvan Lets be honest though. Alot of there core game base have been playing the game for 15 years or so. And how many of them will be playing it on PC’s under 6 years old ?. Funcom can only upgrade so much before they out spec the remnance of the games user base.

aboomwithaview
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aboomwithaview

Not long left for Funcom I feel, with the most recent financial report highlighting “the Company is actively seeking solutions to the repayment of its debt due in June 2016, as revenues generated from all the games are not expected to be sufficient to cover both operational expenses and debt repayment obligations” 
http://www.funcom.com/investors/funcom_n.v._announcements1

The writings on the wall methinks & they are clutching at straws =/
TSW Episode 11 released May 9th & within one month 50% off & 1 month later an “Ultimate” pack containing all content for relatively peanuts.
AoC Anniversary event was rolled into some form of paid content at the last minute & no actual events held.
AO “New” Engine

Sad to say but the community team for Funcom have just been pushing TSW hard the past few months & nothing else, not had a post from Sezmra or Tomium about anything (downtime announcements aside) on the AoC forums in a longgggg time.

Cant help but feel its nearly time to turn off those lights.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

Lord Zorvan Welcome to aging games getting new engines. It is almost never worth the time or resources, even if it were capable of modern graphics it would require effectively redoing every art and model asset in the game, redoing all the level design, etc, to take advantage of it.

purewitz
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purewitz

Lord Zorvan That why they are know as Failcom, they fail at everything they do.

Lord Zorvan
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Lord Zorvan

Well, I downloaded, installed, and played a bit.
Let me be the first to congratulate Funcom on once again being the top in *your* field of expertise.
You’ve made a 15 year old game look like a 12 year old game and given it the performance and stability of a 2 month old alpha.
My
hat’s off to you, Funcom. Noone else could have accomplished such a
monumental clusterfuck of epic proportions. You are indeed in a league
of your own.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

Denice J Cook One could make the argument that to be leaders, someone has to follow. Which did not happen at the time, whereas Turbine’s f2p was the tipping point to where a lot of others followed suit.
Sega had online multiplayer starting with the Sega Genesis, and continued to support it with the Saturn, and with the Dreamcast, but it isn’t until Microsoft launched Xbox Live that online console gaming gets credited with taking off. You can be first, but that doesn’t automatically mean you are an industry leader.

karmamule
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karmamule

Just go to images.google.com and search ‘anarchy online new engine’ and you’ll see some new/old comparison shots.  When you see them together you can definitely see the difference, but I think if you were going directly from current era games back to even their “new” engine it’ll look quite outdated unless you see the pre-update engine alongside it.

DugFromTheEarth
Guest
DugFromTheEarth

CastagereShaikura Yeah, i installed the game (using the new ep2 installer). It had been a good 8 years since I last played. I REALLY had to look hard to find things that actually looked different and improved from when I last played.

Aside from Antialiasing, and real (bug hella ugly) character shadows, the game pretty much looks exactly how I remember it.

Im sure people who have been playing it recently, will welcome these new, minor changes, and see them as a pretty large upgrade. Awesome for them since they are the ones actually played.

But dont get any false ideas, this is not something that will bring the masses, or even the small groups, back to the game for any reason other than to spend 30 minutes checking it out for themself. What the game REALLY needed was an upgrade to all the character models and NPC/mob models, as well as a complete textures upgrade.

Even then, the dated, unintuitive UI and game mechanics are just too cumbersum for the game to really lure in new players these days. It would be like trying to go back and learn DOS, for someone who had only ever used windows 8. Gamers dont want to take the time, or devote the energy to learn the more complex, clunky systems, even if the end result is a decent game underneath.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

cant believe they release a complete graphical update, but dont post any screenshots.

Lord Zorvan
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Lord Zorvan

dellis78741 Darthbawl It is the “old engine upgraded”. AO’s original engine is the original Dreamworld engine, then FC upgraded bits and parts to make AoCs ( lol roflcopter DX10TEST ) version, then upgraded more bits and parts to make TSWs ( the only game where DX11 makes the game run worse instead of better ) version. FC only knows one form of engine development anymore: The Frankenstein System.

CastagereShaikura
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CastagereShaikura

Wow not impressed at all. And the new starting zone sucks badly. They should just bring back the old back yards.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

bauhau5  Gonna second that. I’d love to see some comparison shots.

bauhau5
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bauhau5

Can someone please post comparison shots.

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

Good for them!  It looks great.  They’re industry leaders, who were the first to bring a F2P MMORPG to NA/EU (sorry, Turbine, but Funcom did it first in 2004).

Telos_
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Telos_

This would’ve been my first MMO, but there were so many technical problems at launch, that i never got it to install.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

I loved this game, and it was the first MMO I ever played. But I have to say, this “new engine” has to go down in MMO history as the most gratuitously delayed and stunningly underwhelming “upgrade” ever. It’s up there with Duke Nukem Forever in terms of taking absolute ages to do something that just leaves you asking, “Why bother?”  In the end, after more than a decade of supposed work, the “upgrade” is about as impressive as slapping a lens flare filter on an average selfie.

I played the closed beta for probably a couple hundred hours, and the old-engine game for thousands of hours before that. If you put one of them randomly in front of me right now and asked me to say which it was, I couldn’t tell you. If someone points out specific little things like the water ripples or sun shafts or a specific shadow or something, then you might say, “Oh yeah, now I see it.” 

For a new player seeing the “new game” vs. the “old game,” there is zero difference in the overall visual appeal, mainly because they did not redo any of the hundreds and thousands of drab, ugly, low res textures for the world.  They threw a few new shader effects in there, but there was no substantive upgrade at all to the underlying assets.

Other games like WoW have gone through long term visual evolutions, where the engines and assets both were completely redone over time, and some of these games actually manage to look, while still dated, also still appealing to modern eyes jaded by the hyperrealistic graphics of newer titles.  Not so with AO. It looks the same as it always has, just with slightly less shitty lighting.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Rozyn 
I agree. 
I often wonder if, once City of Heroes returns (either in full, or as an homage game), will that break the deification effect there? 
Will people start actively hating on it because it doesn’t sync up to the perfection they’ve created in their memories?
For the record, I loved City of Heroes. Played it to death, for years on end, and would love to see a game like that again —

— but I don’t expect any resurrected version of the CoH concept to be a perfect recreation, a perfect game, or even everything I remember.

I’m not sure a certain faction of CoH diehards share my modest expectations.

Cheers,

Feydakin
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Feydakin

bigja Feydakin It’s time, well past time actually…

Rozyn
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Rozyn

mysecretid It’s like Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and anything that dies before it’s time… it’s going to be deified whether it really deserves it or not lol. When you don’t see something get old, decrepit and forgotten it stays golden in everyone’s memories forever.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

Supreem_CS Yes! I was kind of hoping they’d have some here since I will probably never play this but it’s still exciting for an old game to get graphical love.

bigja
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bigja

Feydakin Completely agree! I’ve actually messaged them a few times because I have an old character that was SL enabled and they refuse to convert him to a “Froob” account.  Guess I’m stuck playing my gimped Fixer for a while longer :)

ogged451
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ogged451

So, the new engine looks prettier. Better lighting, much imporved shadows, better texture filtering … and, aside from the install quirks, still has a shitload of bugs waiting to be fixed.
But it works. Mostly.

ogged451
Guest
ogged451

If you’re having an up-to-date testlive client installed – like one from the install last week – refer to

http://forums.anarchy-online.com/showthread.php?614482-installing-the-New-engine&p=6217028&viewfull=1#post6217028

to patch that so it connects to live.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Tamanous mysecretid Mohoc Huxys melissamcdon 
Mohoc’s right. Anarchy Online will give you a cheaper look in, so maybe check it out first?
Also, speaking only personally, the improved AO graphics can’t hurt. 
I really enjoyed Dark Age of Camelot’s PvE server back in the day, but one of the reasons I left was because its aging graphics were starting to dip below my personal “these graphics are now making my eyes bleed, and damaging my immersion” threshold.
I’m not a “graphics uber alles” gamer, but I do have a line somewhere demarcating where aged graphics start to push me out of a game.
The original graphics were part of the reason I left AO back in the day, even though I love(d) it. It simply because too hard for me to fully engage through the lens of the aged graphics.
For what it’s worth,
Be well,

Mohoc
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Mohoc

Tamanous mysecretid Mohoc Huxys melissamcdon You can play AO for free, as long as you don’t get the expansions. The base game will get you a nice introduction though.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

ChristopherPierce Yes it is that old :p Mind you this is not the first new engine. This is the last, surviving new engine ;)

Tamanous
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Tamanous

mysecretid Mohoc Huxys melissamcdon I am sooo tempted to try Daoc or AO. Not sure which atm. Both seem to be given some breaths of life and both games are part of my classic era of mmos when I played AC, AO and Daoc prior to the Wow era (loved vanilla so don’t get me wrong).

Koshelkin
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Koshelkin

Tamanous Gamhuin So… new head models will be released around 2020 then?

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Mohoc mysecretid Huxys melissamcdon 
Sort of a “culture shock” from the difference between modern game systems and older ones? Sure, I could see definitely see that.
I wouldn’t want to sell all modern gamers short, though. 
You’re right that a certain kind of gamer will look at AO’s systems and just bail, but there’s always that faction of gamers who truly want a game that asks a little more of them.
I suppose the question becomes: Are there enough gamers who would like an MMORPG with slightly deeper systems to keep Anarchy Online profitable, despite its age?

I honestly have no idea, Mohoc. Hopefully, it will be interesting to find out! :-)

Be well,

Supreem_CS
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Supreem_CS

I’d really like to see some before and after screenshots!

Tamanous
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Tamanous

Gamhuin environment for now. New head models are in the works or evidence exists they are. No idea of eta.

Gamhuin
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Gamhuin

Excellent news!  I loved this game when it first launched…well, once I could actually log in and play without consistently crashing.  Even if most of my apartment furniture was buggy and sideways at the time.  :p

Did they update the character models as well or just the environment?

Mohoc
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Mohoc

ChristopherPierce They went thru several engines trying to get the game updated. In the end it took forever, because they went with the same engine as Age of Conan and TSW. They basically had to restart their work after the release of TSW, since the engine code had just been stabilized.

ChristopherPierce
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ChristopherPierce

I think I first heard about this in 2008… surely not, right? I tend to hyperbole sometimes. Anyway, good news!

Mohoc
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Mohoc

mysecretid Mohoc Huxys melissamcdon Yeah, The UI and keybindings don’t conform to the modern standard, but can be adjusted. I was most talking about the modern MMO avoiding the complex relationships that AO has between Armor, Weapons, Buffs, Implants and Skills. A new player will probably have the biggest issues with those. Most new players will come from a WoW style skill system and then look at their new character and the massive amount of customization and despair.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

I remoted into my PC from my phone long enough to download the update and verify the new settings were there

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Mohoc Huxys melissamcdon
Interesting perspective, but honestly, I never found the learning curve in Anarchy Online that difficult, and I don’t have a lot of patience for learning curves in games. 
EVE Online was much morse a pain in my arse when I finally tried it. :-)

To clarify, also, AO was the first MMORPG I ever played, so it’s not like I came in prepared for what I found.
I think the problem AO might present for younger gamers today is that — much like Dark Age of Camelot — some of its controls and mechanics don’t follow the de facto MMORPG standards which have become standard since its release.
You know what I mean, pressing key X to open menu Y, and things like that have become effectively “mass adopted” across modern games. The older games came out before those standards became standards.
Anyway, it’s interesting how two people can experience the same thing, yet process it differently. Thanks for the reply.
Cheers,

wpDiscuz