Animated Day Cycle

I’ve made a nice crossfading experiment in jQuery just for fun.

A while ago, while I was exploring the new zone Enedwaith in LOTRO, I decided to stand still on a hilltop and gaze into the distance for quite a while, taking a screenshot as the day grew brighter. This gave me three screenshots ranging from night to day.

A little later I combined the three screenshots and saved it as this GIF animation:

Spoiler: GIF animation

Dawn in LOTRO (Thrór’s Coomb)

But then earlier this week I had this thought that perhaps the transition could be made really neat by crossfading the images using jQuery. Yesterday I threw the idea together and you can now see the result by clicking the DEMO link below.

DEMO    DOWNLOAD

Note: If you use the slider for a faster speed and the current crossfade animation is slow, you have to wait a bit for the current stage to finish before the new speed is actually applied.

If you wish, you can download the lot (468 KB) and replace the three “stage” images with your own. Perhaps there’s another computer game you’d like to see a dawn effect from? You’re also welcome to adapt and post it on your own web site.

Fog of War

Read more “Fog of War”

I was reading the Bullroarer Release Notes for the upcoming Update 3 for LOTRO the other day, and one thing immediately caught my eye:

“Fog of War” on the world map no longer exists. You will now be able to see the world map in its entirety without having to visit every area.

I guess a lot of players would immediately find this to be a nice change. No more guessing, no more not knowing. It also fits with the latest trend of dumbing down our MMORPG bit by bit. But it actually saddened me, even if the “Fog of War” in LOTRO was only the crude version.

Fog of War (LOTRO)
A map in Lord of the Rings Online. Everything below Windfells is unknown.

Is “Fog of War” in MMORPG slowly becoming an endangered feature, soon to be extinct?

Enedwaith, Enedwaith…

Read more “Enedwaith, Enedwaith…”

 …Every morning you greeeeeet me… ♫ ♪

After several days of dailies in Cataclysm (the game with the strong colors and the low polygon count) I finally lost interest in the game, and I thought that would be a good opportunity to check out the new zone in Lord of the Rings Online.

I must say I was surprised how fast I blew through Enedwaith. Somehow I expected it to take weeks, but it only took about four days. However, that does exclude the dailies (except for their initial quests) and all the small fellowship quests in Thrór’s Coomb.

There were two reasons why I postponed Enedwaith. The first and most relevant reason was that the delay of the F2P patch in Europe took so long that I actually lost interest in LOTRO and got involved in other things. And then there were the criticism found in various forums and blogs; the zone was ugly, the micro-zoning made it feel like an amusement park, the textures were off, the canyon in Gloomglens too “American” and so on.

Thrórs Coomb
A view from Thrórs Coomb looking towards Harndirion.

But now, after having played through the zone, I must say that I really disagree with most of the criticism. I actually thought the zone was quite nice. The pennants flapping in the wind and the new bombastic music defined the atmosphere nicely. All the small areas around the zone didn’t feel too exaggerated to me at all – certainly no more than in other zones such as e.g. Old Forest and Barrow-Downs in Bree-Land.