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Anarchy Online's 14-year Anniversary

Michizure is here to bring you all of the updates on this year's birthday celebrations!

Hello everyone, Michizure here! Here we are, one year older and wiser. In this letter I will be detailing the 2015 Anniversary event, which will go from June 25th until July 13th. Come log in and celebrate with us!

 New Engine Open Beta 

 

On June 25th, we will be patching version 18.8.0 which will herald the start of the new engine Open Beta! To download the installer for the new engine client, click Here or visit your account page. A summary of the features offered with this update will be included at the end of this article. You are all invited to give this updated version of the game a try, and revisit some of your favorite locations!

Anniversary Subscription Offers and Presents

 

As part of this year's celebration you can take advantage of these unique Membership offers with brand new items. The offers are available for the duration of the anniversary event.

     
  • Buy three months of Membership and receive one month extra for free, plus one Combat Nano Can which boosts your XP gain by 50% for four hours and the brand new Luxury Armor Helmet.

  • Buy six months of Membership and receive two months extra for free, plus two Combat Nano Cans, the brand new Luxury Armor Helmet and the Luxurious Tank Armor.

  • Buy twelve months of Membership and receive four months extra for free, plus four Combat Nano Cans and the complete Luxury Armor set. This set includes the Helmet, Tank Armor, Body, Legs, two Arms, Feet and Gloves!

In addition to the above offers, anyone who logs in during the Anniversary event may claim a Ganimedes Personal Jetpack. Subscribers can additionally claim a pet Mantis Hatchling and a set of Balloons to help celebrate! 

 

This Anniversary will also introduce some new social items. In the Item Shop, we have added some new, exclusive helmets, while the Desert Rider encounter will offer new toys and outfits. Also new to the Veteran and Item Shop will be a set of nanos to adjust your character's height, at the cost of being able to perform hostile actions.

The Tinker & The Desert Nomads 

 

The Tinker has made her return to Newland Desert, and is ready to make large and explosive gifts for her favorite foe, The Desert Rider. Join her in her madness and take out the many Desert Nomads to find parts for the many gifts she wants to make. The Desert Nomads will be located in Newland Desert, Mort, Perpetual Wastelands and Broken Shores.

The Tinker will reward you for your efforts. Especially if you walk the extra mile to get her the items she needs. The "Vacuum Packed Desert Nomad Armor" will be yours if you help her collect 250 items. She will complete a gift with 500 items this year.

Rewards for defeating the Desert Rider have also been improved, to better include all participants. Approach the large present that is left behind, and claim a prize from the Desert Rider's personal stash! 

 

New Engine Features 

  • Accurate shadows: The new shadow system uses a technique which we call adaptive shadow maps. It splits the world into tiles, updating small parts of the shadow map in every frame. It then gradually computes higher precision shadows for tiles close to the viewer. This allows us to achieve high shadow detail and in addition it lets the game render contact hardening shadows on high settings, giving natural looking results. (The shadow is hard at the point where it connects with the geometry, but blurry the further away it gets).

  • Improved ground: The new engine switches to something called normal mapping for the ground textures. The normal maps contain higher frequency surface orientation than before, so you will now be able to see many more details beneath your feet as you are running through the world.

  • New and improved lighting: A new lighting system uses the deferred/light pre-pass approach. This allows the new engine to render scenes with many more point and spot lights, giving us more freedom to light locations in better ways.

  • God Rays: The new lighting system adds support for realistic volumetric shadows, which are popularly called 'god rays'. These are generated by computing sun light occlusion factors for the atmosphere, rather than just solid geometry. In effect every point of the atmosphere is shadowed, which creates impressive shafts of light in the air.

  • New mesh grass: This system runs a custom physics simulation which allows the grass to bend around characters as they walk through it. All the different types of dynamic grass around the world brings nature to life like never before in Anarchy Online.

  • Anti-aliasing: The new engine now supports the FXAA post-process anti-aliasing technique, which smooths out edges all around the game world and helps create more natural-looking environments.

  • Anisotropic filtering: This improved method of texture filtering makes them look more crisp and clear. This is especially noticeable on armor textures.

  • New rain: Rain drops are now more substantial, better looking and thicker. The rain also creates a splash effect when colliding with the ground or other world objects, and rain maps have been created so the rain will only fall where it should be physically possible.

It is important to note that as this is an open beta, some features are still under development. We are aware of some existing performance and stability issues, and hope to offer solutions to these in the future, as well as improved visuals for bodies of water. 

 

I hope you enjoy everything we have to offer for this year's anniversary event. Best of luck and thank you for being a part of this 14-year adventure!