So, one of the most interesting things that have popped up lately are the daily cataclysm screenshots on WoW’s website. Since they are officially released info, I thought I would take a moment to talk about water in World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings online – the two games that suck up all my free time (okay, WoW sucks up pretty much all of my free time, and I don’t have any max level characters in LotRO).
Today, I wanted to put three screenshots side by side. One is WoW’s old water. One is LotRO’s water. One is the new Cata water screenshot.
You can click on each to expand the screenshot. First, you can look at WoW’s current water (in Northrend), and see that it’s not very detailed, and doesn’t really look that much like what water should look like. In action, it’s just kinda… blah. It’s really just a 5+ year old outdated graphic. WoW’s water has always had kind of a funny texture, which we live with because that’s just what water looks like to us.
Next, with the LotRO water, it’s really unfortunate that I took the picture when it was raining, since it makes the water a little harder to see clearly. However, in action, I really like LotRO’s water effects. It just looks more natural, and has a cleaner-feeling texture, and is just much more realistic-feeling overall. I should try to dig up a better water screenshot for LotRO, but I don’t have time to run all over the game looking for the perfect water picture, so you are just going to have to trust me that it’s better than WoW’s current water graphics.
Then, the third (right) screenshot is the new Cataclysm WoW water, which more closely resembles LotRO water than either resemble the original WoW water. The more realistic-looking LotRO water was one of the features I liked more about that game (which just hit it’s 3 year anniversary).
So, one of the more unspoken features in Cataclysm that I can’t wait to see is the water effects. It’s hard to tell what full ripple-action will look like in motion, since all we’ve seen at this point is screenshots. However, lets just say that if WoW’s are even better than LotRO’s water effects, that we’re going to enjoy staring out into the seas & kicking our feet up on Azeroth’s new beach-front property!