Jon here (Env Lead)
I just wanted to give you guys a quick update on the current and future state of the Environment.
First off, all of these comments are definitely valid feedback and trust me when I say this we agree with most all of them. We see all your feed back and understand your concerns.
Here is just a brief explanation on our process and why...
The challenge we have as a small dev team is that we can't just throw 50-100 artist to a given area(Man O man I wish we could). We have to do things in a lot more deliberate , methodical process.Think of it as stages (every game and team size goes through something like this). Each stage we set out a task, complete said task, then move on to the next stage(or pass) of that task. The environment falls very heavy under this. For the last year and half we have been working on the tech to allow parcel placement. The ability to pick up, rotate, move and place multiple parcels sounds so simple,right? Turns out, it is far, far from simple.
A lot of time and effort as gone into this parcel feature. So early on we knew we would go through heavy, heavy testing on this functionally. We went down a list and decided what was needed or required for the environment to get us to a testing phase. (meaning not finished or final polished art). Long story short. This is effectively what you're seeing in the game right now.
Once the engineering team got what they needed for testing purposes (basically what you see in the game now). We focused on building houses, forts, temples, props (basically a bunch of objects to be placed in the game that we haven't shown a lot of yet). Now that we have our tech working for parcels and we have a lot of the initial objects done, I have been back knee deep in taking the Environments to the next stage. Please remember though, it's a tad slower of a process since we're such a smaller team and still in a pre-alpha state. I am not trying to make any excuses though. Again, all of your concerns are valid. I read all of them. You will always have a voice here on these forms if I have anything to say about it!!
Here is a quick outline and goals for the next step in Env:
Updated lighting/ Near final
Camera Effects (AO,AA, SSR...)
More/ new vegetation
New Terrain Objects
More varied Terrain types
New clouds and sky
Day night cycle
...and I am probably forgetting some. In a nutshell, I hear you and I want you to know that we are committed to making the environment look as good as we possibly can.
Thanks for all your feed back, please keep it up. It will only make our game that much better.
Have a great day!
As everyone has stated this is merely a test map to see how the procedural maps would be created and how they are stitched together. These maps are also very small compared to what we will see in the real world maps.
If you are wanting more eye candy I would just recommend waiting for the beta releases. ACE should have more pre-fabs created by then and a much larger map to explore to peek your interest.
I don't know what we will start with and it mostly depends on those players, but these things would be better left for tomorrow:
Animal Husbandry as breeding takes its time anyway, there's no need to progress in it further in the beginning (in case it does not speed up the process).
Masonry, no need to hurry up constructions, they will likely be also hireable.
Scouting, no advanced assasins will run nearby.
Farming, similar to husbandry. Establishing farm takes its time and you can hardly use fully the multipliers from the skill training.
Siege engineer, siege engines are excessive and unnecessary use of resoures in the beginning. I expect other guilds to come with this, so we will penetrate the walls anyway...
And there are only few things that are very essential to be in every guild, if there is no contract with crafting guild:
Blacksmithing, woodworking, leatherworking. I will personally start with combat hoping to buy everything.