Updated Visuals Appreciation

With the new DLC trailer release, one thing I noticed was the improved water visuals. The old method changed the transparency of the water’s surface based on the water’s depth; which created some weird artifacts where ship oars would completely disappear when underwater in deep water, or sometimes it was possible to see the bottom of a deep lake/ocean if the camera was near the shore line. The new method appears to be volumetric and much more natural looking. It also looks like the devs included new foam waves to open ocean.

Thanks to the devs for continuing to address our feedback and make improvements to the game!

And for reference, this was the old water:


It is important to remember that the images you have posted are likely from the campaign, and it is possible that this has only been deployed there as the result of handcrafted attention. The lighting, for instance, is also different to the drab lighting in actual games.

The lack of movement based waves tells me the change in tech is less to do with an update of visuals, and more to do with map makers going in and removing surface painted opacity based surfaces, to improve that specific map. Otherwise you’d expect more improvements in other areas. The water does look somewhat more realistically reflective, which could just be because of the lighting, and there does seem to be some depth-based colouring, however, it is hard to confirm based on images alone.


Yes it looks like better visuals but wouldn’t they want to officially address it too somewhere? Anyway really nice to see them updating the graphics even further!

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They likely wouldn’t lock an overall update to the game behind paid DLC, so there would be no point in featuring it in the news alongside paid content. Although to be fair, biomes are featured, which will be given to everyone as well, so who knows.

True, the sunset/sunrise picture is most likely from a campaign. It could be nice if time-of-day is included as a map option though, similar to biomes. The water, however, looks to me to be re-worked at the code / shader level and I’d expect it to apply to the whole game and not to a few campaigns. There is still room for improvement (e.g. adding water ripples), but the look of the water in the new trailer wasn’t possible with the old system. Before, the water transparency could be set to 50% to make the ship oars be visible, but then the ocean floor would also be 50% visible. The new version correctly accounts for the different depths of the oars and ocean floor.

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I’m sure they’ll eventually update visuals either way, would be great if it’s with the release of the dlc.

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While the images are I’m sure purposefully crafted, I can’t imagine they would change water physics in the campaign but not the base game. Also the ship combat image is definitely not from campaign since the campaign doesn’t feature the Japanese civ.

2nd pic isnt campaign

Still looks like water from a mid 00’s game. Appreciate the improvement but it’s very minor. Still no shore waves, no visible ship or other geometry reflections unless you go to extremely weird camera angles. Transparency is also still broken as you can’t see deep water fish, just their bubbles and birds overhead.

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Well it’s not an expansion thing. This would just be part of the season 6 update.

Agreed there are still improvements to be added through dynamic waves (shore and ripples) and better reflections. There does appear to be water caustics in shallow water now, which will certainly help the water appearance on maps like the Marshlands, where the water was practically invisible. With the invisible deep water fish, I may be wrong but I suspect this is a left over optimization from the old system. I assume the deep water fish weren’t rendered at all previously because the water was fully opaque and the fish could not be seen anyway.

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