As we mentioned in the microblog on the subject, Astrub, the City of Mercenaries, is going to be renovated from top to bottom! Get a peek behind the scenes of this project of epic proportions!

Our initial approach was to clean up Astrub, freshen up the level design so that long-time and new players could discover or rediscover this emblematic spot in the game.

We had many influences when starting out on the overhaul of Astrub. We had also set ourselves the goal of "rationalizing" the city, organizing it so that the flow of players would be distributed evenly throughout all the maps.

This was important for us because it brings the city to life. The city is considerably smaller, but it is much more efficient and getting around is much more practical.

We took care to stay on a flat map and not add elevation so players wouldn't get lost. Indeed, initially, our idea was to include backgrounds in which the city of Astrub was built on several levels.

Pre-production graphic search

However, doing so really hindered movement, and knowing that Astrub welcomes new players, we couldn't allow the level design to be complicated.

Pre-production graphic search

Astrub Historic City Center

We added new elements in Astrub to strengthen the city's mercenary roots, which run deep in the architecture of the city buildings. This dense city center contains the important hot spots: the Militia Tower, the Bank, the Marketplaces, the Zaap, etc.

We kept the city's historical background and its walls surrounding the Old Town, which will no longer hinders players' movements.

The Divine Temple will welcome newly incarnated souls when they arrive in the World of Twelve from Incarnam. This building contains all the class statues, which allow us to save space and optimize the number of maps.

The connection between Incarnam and the physical plane is provided by a hyperzaap that teleports players to the Divine Temple. This connection was lacking coherence before (coming down in a hot air balloon and returning via a statue). We'd been itching to make this change for a while.

The Divine Temple

The Marketplaces were merged and classified in 3 categories – resources, consumables, and equipment – to stay in line with your inventory.

We paid particular attention to ensuring that maps with important points of interest (zaaps, for example) would also not be maps that players only cross to get from one place to another (the result of that had been to slow down players "who are just passing by").

The Astrub Suburbs

Crafting workshops

Around the historic city center, the Astrub Suburbs are bustling with life. That's where you'll find the crafting workshops, set out in such a way that complementary professions are near each other.

New elements made their appearance: a new public paddock, a library, and a new zone, the mines. The Mines will take on a larger role in the adventure, with a new family of monsters.

This overhaul also covers the zones next to Astrub. Thus, the Cemetery of Heroes, Astrub Fields, Astrub Rocky Inlet, Forest, Meadow, and Mine have also been modernized.

Directional road sign

It will be easier to find your way: wide roads will be heading to the four cardinal directions of the World of Twelve, and there is even a complete network of main and secondary roads. Road signs will also indicate which direction to go.

[Lorko] - Artistic Director
Category: Graphics