Okay, first off let me just say that I am extremely impressed by the work that has been done by the developers for the past few years. It really feels like Wurm's development is picking up speed for real, and it's really exciting seeing it being improved so much. The new technical features with the modern renderer look amazing, with smoothly transitioning grass, normal and specular maps, and of course the improvements to dynamic lights.
Now, I don't want to be that one guy who is afraid of change and cries about it - but, I do actually have a few genuine concerns which makes me a bit worried. There are a few areas where the modern renderer takes really large steps back, sadly.
Take a look at the following two images. Open them up in two tabs and switch between them, preferably in fullscreen: Legacy, Modern
First of all, it appears Modern lacks either some or all forms of anti-aliasing. This results in extremely jagged edges, something that is very noticable in Wurm, especially when moving, and when hovering with the cursor over different items. Look at the edges of the fountain, and at the outline of the tile.
Secondly, it appears textures are much more blurry in the modern renderer. Whether this is because there's no anti-aliasing, or because of a separate issue, I do not know. This one is a bit harder to see, but extremely noticable if you overlay the two entire images and switch between them. Look at how crisp the textures of the rocks, the tiles and the straws of grass look on the legacy renderer compared to the new one. (FXAA is turned off, since it's a filter which is applied to everything resulting in an even worse result)
This issue is even more noticable when focusing on textures and objects further away, which makes it feel like my Wurmian need a new pair of glasses. Look at how much clearer the textures look in the legacy client. There also seem to be more depth to it.
Same thing here, looking at things far away is much crisper in the legacy client. Notice how the back wall really look like a blur in the modern renderer.
So okay, I think we all can agree that in those particular areas, the legacy client is far superior to its younger sibling.
My questions are:
* Is real anti-aliasing going to be added into the modern renderer? If impossible, are you guys sure this is the way you want to develop Wurm's graphics? I'd argue Wurm has a much higher need of crisper textures and edges than dynamic lights. Perhaps there's another solution to the lighting problem which doesn't require that sacrifice?
* Will the legacy renderer stay available to people? Once again, I don't want to be that anti-progress dude, but the issues with the modern renderer gives me serious eye strain and I doubt I'd be able to look at the game as beautiful again if the legacy client is deprecated without the issues being resolved.
Thank you for reading, and once again - massive thanks to the developers.