Funcom is finishing up the ongoing restructuring process, and as you may read in the press release, Joel Bylos is the new Creative Director for all of Funcom’s triple-A MMOs, including Anarchy Online.
I have worked with Joel since 2008 when I joined Funcom, and I cannot think of a more fantastic person for this job. The AO team will continue to work on the engine, which will still go out with 18.7.x (it’s currently being beta’d internally). And just a reminder, because it's in 18.7 that it's technically impossible for us to let you guys play it until 18.7 hits testlive, or you manage to get inside the Montreal internal network
Speaking of the engine, the team just finished the system for grass. How it works is we now automatically associate each existing grass ground tile with a 3d grass mesh, and then the code places the grass on that ground. So dark green grass ground tile gets grass mesh #5 and light green grass ground tile gets grass mesh #8, and so forth. Which means grass is now automatically appearing where it should.
Here is a quick fraps we did of the grass working in the new engine. You can see the different ground-tiles have been automatically assigned different grass meshes:
We just did a live build of the Server Migration patch yesterday, so that should be coming out imminently assuming QA doesn’t find anything horribly broken. I want to thank you guys for reporting the naming issues, they have all been added to the test case. So this means if you poked me or another Funcom employee on the forums about a name situation being incorrect, they’re getting automatically checked. In all cases, it was a matter of the name resolution script not working technically. Once the Operations Team sorted out the technical issues, the reported naming problems disappeared. We decided not to do another wipe/merge on TestLive so the fixes only appear to characters who logged in post-fix, but we are still able to test them internally.
Genele has been working on the New Player Experience (also 18.7), and it’s next in line after the Server Migration. Right now we’re just cleaning up some remaining bits (mostly on the art side) so that it’s ready for Test Live.
However, also due to the restructuring process sometime in the near future I will no longer be working for Funcom. As such this will be my last Monthly Development Update, but I will continue to work behind-the-scenes for a little while helping the transition over to Joel. He will be taking over the updates starting next month as part of that transition.
You have been a fantastic community (most active community ever!), and whenever I read message boards and see the word "confirmed" it will bring a smile to my face. While I obviously couldn't agree with all of the posters all of time, your passion and dedication to AO is beyond inspiring. I plan to continue working in the game industry, so hopefully I will see some of you on a different forum sometime in the future, writing updates from wherever I happen to be.