Hello everyone!

Today, I’m going to tell you about one of the latest features to appear in the next patch: Low definition character classes.

First of all, I just want to reassure you that, although you might find the following images shocking, there’s really no need to worry. This is just an option and it can be deactivated in the client.

So here’s what you could soon be seeing when you open your option menu and go to the Performances tab:

Options for Low Def Characters

This option is activated by default after switching to the “Average” or “Low” quality setting. You can deactivate it the first time you launch the game.

So what does this option actually mean for the players?
One of our main objectives is improving client performance and this feature reduces the resources used, without damaging the game’s playability. Since the “sprites” (or character graphics files) were nice, but very detailed, and were a large source of strain on the client, they provided us with some interesting opportunities for improvement. We decided to offer the player the choice of having a minimal amount of detail for these characters, in exchange for maximum performance.

So, all the characters have been stripped down to the bare minimum in terms of their appearance: every detail has been calculated, down to the very last little pixel, so the results stay as faithful to the original as possible, but the performances during tests have been improved: in fact, the low definition sprites are 40-70% lighter than their high definition alter-egos, which makes a noticeable improvement to the FPS (Frames per second) during the animation.

Low Definition Character Sprites

Close up, you can tell the difference easily…

Low Definition Character Sprites

But from far away, it’s not so easy to see!

The goal of this optimisation is to be able to have as many characters as possible on screen without inducing lag, but these characters need to be easily distinguishable, especially during fights when you need to be able to tell one character from another and see where they are, all the while keeping the game moving as quickly as possible. This is also why a number of spell effect animations have been reviewed for the next update, so they have been optimised and made shorter in the long term, which, in turn, makes fights faster and more fluid.

Optimisation is a long drawn-out process and we’re trying our best, on a daily basis, to improve the client’s performance.

And finally, here are some close-ups of a few of the low definition character classes. We hope you like them!

Low Definition Character Sprites

Category: Community - Game design