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Age of Conan DirectX 10 content looks stunning

Age of Conan DirectX 10 content looks stunning

We've had a sneak peek at the final Age of Conan DirectX 10 content and it looks like it's going to be worth the delay.

We were lucky enough to grab a first look at the final DirectX 10 implementation for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures yesterday and when you consider that the game is an MMO, the level of visual fidelity is stunning.

I haven’t had chance to go hands-on with AoC’s DirectX 10 mode yet – the video only made its way out of Funcom for the first time on Monday night, but Funcom said that it plans to release the video for all to see in the next few days.

I pushed to post the video ahead of the planned unveiling but Funcom wants to make some final tweaks—including adding developer commentary—before allowing it to be distributed onto the ‘net. I was also asked not to post photographs either, so we’ll have to wait for the video to be made available before you can see it for yourselves.

However, we can reveal that Funcom has created its own custom physics engine using CUDA, which enables some pretty stunning wind and water effects. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the water in Age of Conan looks almost as good as the water in Crysis with the quality set to very high; the shore blends with the environment and the waves move in a realistic manner.

What’s more, Funcom has done some pretty incredible work underwater – god rays are now present and they interact with the way the water surface is moving, resulting in some great lighting effects on show when you look at the sky from under the water.

The best example of the wind effects came when the character started casting spells while in the middle of a field – the grass around him rippled and moved in a way similar to how grass moves when a helicopter is taking off or landing.

HDR lighting also looks great and there are some great soft lighting effects around the edge of buildings, railings and foliage – light softens the edges of objects in a pretty realistic manner. Ambient parallax occlusion mapping also makes its way into the game too, and again it adds another level of immersion into the game.

I haven’t played much of Age of Conan so far, but some of the graphical and physics effects I’ve seen in the DirectX 10 features video make me want to sink a good amount of time into the game. There have been many videos of earlier versions of the engine running DirectX 10 mode, but the video I saw looked a hell of a lot more polished than any previous demos I’d looked at. There’s no release date confirmed for the DirectX 10 patch yet, but I don’t think it’ll be too far away based on what I’ve seen.

Looking forward to finally playing Age of Conan under DirectX 10 mode? Tell us in the forums!

22 Comments

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johnmustrule 28th August 2008, 06:39 Quote
Well.. in my imagination it's awesome! and it runs on my computer!
Azmat 28th August 2008, 07:16 Quote
Everything about the game makes you want to go and play and love it. Until you're actually there and discover the devs have some incompetent patching priorities.
The DX10 everyone keeps going on about is just one of the promises they failed to deliver on. People paid for a game, on which a box states DX10, and then find out there is no DX10. Instead, it's delayed until August. Now August is over and DX10 is still not here. Oh wait, sounds like a pvp-system this one game is still missing.
osc8r 28th August 2008, 07:42 Quote
Graphics aren't the problem - it's EVERYTHING else.
Scirocco 28th August 2008, 08:54 Quote
I've been playing AoC and have to agree with the above. Quite sad really as it has some neat bits. Unfortunately, they're not enough. With the release of Warhammer Online very soon, it's going to be quite tough for Age of Conan to recover, even with the promised DX10 support.
Hg 28th August 2008, 08:55 Quote
I own AOC, i cancelled my subs due to soo many bugs etc.
I hope oneday i can re-play the game once the bugs have been worked out of the game, AOC is a good game but the bugs make it unplayable, fix them and you may stand a chance, as everyone else said graphics are sweet FA without gameplay
hawky84 28th August 2008, 09:24 Quote
been playing the games since release date and you can't beat a bit of axe to face action :D and soon to be in DX10 demolishing glory... even better :)
Noostroi 28th August 2008, 09:26 Quote
When I played it, I didn't particularly notice bugs, more that the tool tips didn't give a clear indication as to how the spells / abilities etc actually worked, and how putting more points into a certain ability would affect its effectiveness.

And it didn't feel particularly "Massive" enough - it felt like a "multiplayer online game" rather than a "massively multiplayer online game", but that's my interpretation of the instancing...
Crunch77 28th August 2008, 09:32 Quote
Contrary to the above posters, I'm having a great time with AoC, and looking forward to the Dx10 content.
bowman 28th August 2008, 13:00 Quote
'However, we can reveal that Funcom has created its own custom physics engine using CUDA'

ATI owners, then?
Hg 28th August 2008, 13:07 Quote
ATI, doenst have CUDA so thata a no.
AOC is also twimtbp product, so its had help from Nvidia
http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_ageofconan_home.html
roshan 28th August 2008, 13:59 Quote
Call of jurez made first directx 10 content.boy it was impressive.But frame rates were bad.I hope this will not be the case of age of cannon.
p3n 28th August 2008, 14:00 Quote
pics or ir didn't happen?
biebiep 28th August 2008, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
'However, we can reveal that Funcom has created its own custom physics engine using CUDA'

ATI owners, then?


GPU's are all about programmability these days.
ATI could just buy a license from Nvidia and add support for CUDA
Crackers could just "emulate" CUDA on an ATI card (like they did with PhysX)

CUDA has always been the vital thing for me to choose Nvidia though, as it is way easier to implement than ATI's CTM ever was...
MrMonroe 28th August 2008, 15:20 Quote
It's really too bad they spent time on DX10 instead of on finishing the game.
frontline 28th August 2008, 15:44 Quote
Advanced Physics effects for Nvidia users only? I'll pass on this game then.
Redbeaver 28th August 2008, 16:16 Quote
bah... and i just uninstalled the game and cancelled my sub lol

too bad.

the graphic may be amazing, but the stupid instances and constant nerfing of the class, plus the over simplicity of the story and gameplay... put the nails on the coffin on this game.
B3CK 28th August 2008, 16:43 Quote
The game is indeed very, very buggy. The worst part is, there is a memory leak that accelerates in porportion to how high your graphics are set. Max graphics, less then 10 mins game time, lowest settings, 1-4 hrs. I will never ever buy funcom again. Three customer service tickets, I get a call a month later.
Jordan Wise 28th August 2008, 17:54 Quote
I'm glad that MMOs are starting to push graphical boundaries as the players invest so many hours and money in them (far more than they would in say, Crysis) its only fair for them to have the best visuals possible, hell it might even distract from the boredom of grinding.
stoff3r 28th August 2008, 19:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B3CK
The game is indeed very, very buggy. The worst part is, there is a memory leak that accelerates in porportion to how high your graphics are set. Max graphics, less then 10 mins game time, lowest settings, 1-4 hrs. I will never ever buy funcom again. Three customer service tickets, I get a call a month later.

bugs have been fixed now for the most part. You didn't expect the game to be bug-free at launch did you? I play all levels with maximum settings hours at the time and haven't noticed anything. Too bad dx10 mode probably will kill my 4870 :/
osc8r 29th August 2008, 02:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoff3r
bugs have been fixed now for the most part. You didn't expect the game to be bug-free at launch did you?

No, but I didn't expect another Vanguard. Sadly, Vanguard had working PVP for the most part, and patches that actually improved the game - and not made it worse, and if they don't do server merges soon, they will lose even more players.

Sieges are still broken, as is PVP. Still no endgame content bar some boring raids, still massive holes in their content... and they think that working on an expansion pack / dx10 is their best use of their resources?

The game is dying rapidly and WAR will be the final nail in AOC's coffin.
rollo 4th September 2008, 16:32 Quote
WAR is just more LOL Crap. AOC isnt brilliant by any imagination but. WAR beta was broken and shockingly bad. Im still living in hope another mmo will bother to be orginal

WAR And AOC Arnt
acron^ 7th September 2008, 21:37 Quote
Original MMOs don't get the funding required to pull them off. Original games are risk enough for a publisher. Original MMOs aren't even going to be considered.

Neocron was the best original MMO (cyber-punk MMOFPSRPG) imo. It's still going but only just.
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