Heroes and Villains explains its goals for seamless zoning
Heroes and Villains was one chunk of the original trifecta of superhero MMORPGs that sprang from the grave of City of Heroes, but it's probably the one least known to the MMORPG community after City of Titans and Valiance Online, never mind the relatively new Ship of Heroes, which brings the count to four. The hook for H&V is that it's a "casual, community-focused" MMO, developed by volunteers, but it doesn't have the same level of videos and demo work out yet.
However, Plan Z Studios released a new dev post this week on the specifics of the game's zones. "We've been doing some more design work on how non-continuous zone transitions are handled," the team writes. While 2004's City of Heroes made use of loading screens that masked transitions between zones, in Heroes and Villains, "all adjoining zones can be crossed back and forth seamlessly, and the same underlying tech can be used to allow instant transitions between non-continuous zones."
"But being able to instantly switch from zones that could be hundreds or thousands of miles apart – or even further – seems to demand that some form of break is inserted during the transition, even if it’s only for a few seconds, just to make the transition flow better from a visual perspective, so we’re looking at several different options to let us avoid the abrupt break in immersion that happens whenever a loading screen is used in a game. "