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Why isn't LE open world?

I was having a chat with a friend earlier & one of the big things we miss about Sacred (1 & 2) is the open world nature of the map.

Which raises the question, why isn’t LE open world? Obviously the time travel bits would need to be different “zones”, but what are the technical challenges to making an aRPG open world rather than how LE is at the moment?

Technical issues most likely because if it’s open world everything needs to be calculated, rendered asoasf. The game is performing badly already for the looks it has imagine how it would run if everything needs to be processed at once. I’m okay with the level by level design. Open world is fun yes I get it but it’s nothing I miss dearly.

Not quite sure what you mean there. If the Ruined Era was one large map, why would the Welryn Undercity section need to be rendered or calculated if you’re in the Council Chambers? That area wouldn’t even need to be loaded.

I’m not a programmer so I don’t know the details & I’m assuming that it wouldn’t be practical (aka, cheap) to convert LE to open world & I’m not suggesting that EHG do that (though I kinda would like it if they did that for LE 2.0).

Open world does allow for more “exploration” and “hidden” areas/bosses/etc like Titan Quest & Grim Dawn have.

Open world does allow for more “exploration” and “hidden” areas/bosses/etc like Titan Quest & Grim Dawn have.

I agree that this is something that LE currently lacks, but I’m not so sure if it really has all that much to do with open world vs zones. I recently binged through Grim Dawn and it felt pretty on-rails to me, despite the mostly seamless structure of the game world as such. I don’t see why EHG couldn’t add similarly hidden sections as GD within LE’s zones, or perhaps randomly spawning entrances to other zones with special bosses and loot and so forth.

I don’t really have anything actively against the current zone design, but right now the entire world is essentially laid out on the campaign map from the outset, while the zones themselves mainly serve as an obstacle course to reach the next zone.

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The problem is what is loaded and what isn’t? If it only loads the needed stuff it might work but this largely comes down to programming and all that. When I look back at Vanguard Saga of Heroes for example they had invisible sectors that were loaded when you pass from one into another and it always stuttered when you changed such a sector because new stuff was loaded. I’d rather have an instanced game that runs smoothly and on lower end machines (because more possible players) then an open world game just for the sake of an open world game that runs badly and might make the number of possible players smaller.

Open world zones are far bigger normaly so much more workload is used. Exploration can be done in instanced zones as well it just needs adifferent approach :).

Open world is a whole different concept. But I dont see a reason why this would not work for an ARPG in general. Your Sacred example fits very well.

While I dont see LE getting changed (maybe with a huge overhaul some years in the future), I’d like to see some larger maps and hidden treasures and achievements that encourage exploring.

Some of the maps are really small (I’m looking at you, starting area) and only have one way through.

Yeah, it can & does work if it’s done well (as Sacred 1 & 2 and Titan Quest & Grim Dawn show).

Then I can only assume that was done badly because the game I mentioned above never had that problem.

True, but one needs to draw a line on how “low end” a machine the game should be reasonably playable on. I don’t think LE’s lag/FPS issues have anthing to do with the size of the zones, since you can get single digit FPS in arena which is a tiny zone.

This is where my (and I assume your) lack of programming knowledge is a problem, we have no idea how large an area would get loaded in a well-done open world game compared to the LE zones. I think you’re assuming open world zones are bigger than LE’s zones because the map is larger.

Edit: I assume that the game would load the area the player is currently in plus each adjacent zone.

Yeah, and as @Mikael1809 said, when LE’s multiplayer is implemented so zones don’t then refresh when you re-enter them I think exploration can be more of a thing.

oh… who’s that?

Omg… sorry. It sounded a bit like you were referring to a dev post :grimacing:

I think Diablo 4 is going to be open world? For this game it’s too late now. To change and redesign everything would be a gargantuan amount of work.
I loved Sacred, unfortunately it does not really work with modern Hardware, not very well at least.

I think they use unity engine for this game? I’m not sure if unity is well suited for big open world games, thanks to garbage collection, loading and unloadings things(material, prefabs…). It can get messy… 2D like Sacred (2D with 3D characters) yes possible, a 3D game…very difficult (unity engine has also a fair amount of bugs which makes it even more difficult).
Unreal Engine would be better suited for this job but c++ is hard to learn and blueprints are good for small projects but not suitable for larger ones.
Besides techncical issues you have also to deal with design issues. Creating a large world is not an easy task. You have to create tons of assets and interesting points to visit or else you get a walking simulator which no one wants. it’s far more easy to design Hubworlds rather than an entire overworld where everthing has to fit with everything.
For example in a game with hubworlds you can create nice jungle and desert maps but in a large overworld you have to think about fluid transitions from one zone to the next one.

The other side of that question is what would be gained by making it an open world game?

I’d guess fewer loading screens, at the cost of the ones that do happen being longer, so that’s a toss-up as to whether it improves the player’s experience. Beyond that…? Adding little hidden nooks, easter eggs, etc. could be done just as readily with instanced zones as with an open world.

I was a big fan of Sacred 2, so I’m not going to act like it can’t be done well. However, if LE is going to include procedural-generated areas eventually (maybe for the endgame involving doing alternate timelines of the main campaign?), I’d guess it’d be easier to program those procedures for discrete areas without needing to resolve sewing them together into a coherent open world presentation. It might also lead to oddities with resetting areas on TP, but I think it should be understandable enough that areas repopulate during a loading screen to excuse that.

Unity engine itself is very well suited for open exploration, and such. Have you ever played sub nautica? huge open world exploration, running on unity in full 3-d.

It’s still on my wish list, so many good games but not enough time. ^^ I’m not a talented programer which is the reason I wrote “not sure” …some folks out there told me to think twice about using unity for such purpose since unity was designed for lighter games…but lot has changed in the past few years.
Every engine has its ups and downs and you can certainly do amazing things, regardless which engine, if the person/team is good enough.

yeah I understand, also genshin impact runs on unity as well, it’s such a good engine to build with, full 3-d open world on not only pc, but easy plug and play for porting to mobile devices as well!

Apparently, that will be fixed when they re-do the levels for multiplayer.

Oh, I’d thought that was an intended feature to both facilitate farming and discourage TP cheese tactics like despawning Baal’s clone in D2 or dodging Brine King’s invincible phases in POE :sweat_smile:

In any case, Sacred 2 had mechanics that integrated well with the open world design like map exploration %, survival bonus, hidden minibosses with enhanced/unique drop tables, the Ascaron office quest, etc. At present, I don’t see anything in LE that would work like that. Personally, I don’t think the lack of open world in LE is as striking as, say, the way POE’s delve only loads a certain area at a time (curious if GGG will do anything about that for the upcoming endless delve event, but I digress).

In a vacuum and absent other considerations, sure, being able to walk the whole map for any given era withing interruptions would be better than the current state, but this seems like a “nice to have but not really impactful”-type of issue.

On the topic of secret areas and such, it might also be worth noting that there actually already are a handfull of hidden zones in the game (e.g. the Overgrown Alcove in Verdant Lakes). They all seem to be empty and unfinished though. But maybe indicative that it’s something EHG is considering to expand upon.

I can’t think of any others apart from the Overgrown Alcove.

Grim Dawn (open world :wink: ) does hidden areas very well.