DISCLAIMER: If you’re going to respond to this post, please respect that this is MY opinion and perception of the lighting update situation. The purpose of this post is to create discussion (for both sides, those who like and dislike the lighting update) and to see if anyone else feels the same way as I do about it who might not feel like writing a forum post of their own. This is my first forum post on the Boundless forums and I’ve heard some “things” from other community members about the atmosphere here, so I can only hope they exaggerated/were wrong. Please be civil and show restraint for differing opinions. It’s okay if you don’t agree.
So let’s dive right in here…
I’m extremely disappointed with the new lighting system.
I’ve seen the community split down the middle on it so far from various Boundless related Discords and from skimming the forum, and I don’t know which direction the opinions currently lean in terms of favor.
I can only imagine the people that are in favor of the new lighting system have only played during in-game daylight, have a build comprised solely of light colors (most likely), simply prefer an extremely dark build (for spooky effect?) or haven’t gone exploring in a cave yet.
Let’s not confuse the lighting changes with some of the color fixes, new water/lava textures, or the farming update itself. Those are fine. (Though I personally think the water and lava looked fine before.)
I’m talking exclusively about the lighting. Obviously it comes down to preference, but I’d like to ask the community and especially the devs how this new lighting system is better for us?
Before the update, the world of Boundless was colorful and vibrant. Right now, everything is dark, dull, and dim. Yeah things look acceptable if you take a screenshot during the daylight or an overhead shot of a city comprised entirely of gleam. It’s about being at camera level and walking around in this new lighting system.
Most importantly, torches, gleam, and light emitting tools/decorations, give off very little to no light as compared to before. Think of an irl LED light whose battery is almost completely dead and the light being emitted is extremely dim and soft. Maybe think of a room with mood lighting and the dimmer has been turned all the way down.
Dark colored blocks (especially black), act as dark light-eating voids. Light does not reflect off of these surfaces. Before the update, a torch or some gleam would create a radius of light that would shine off of nearby surfaces/walls like they would in real life to some extent, meaning you’d only need a few to light up an indoor area. Now it feels as though light emitting objects don’t glow and certainly don’t cause light to reflect off of surfaces.
I wish I had the foresight to take some before screenshots of my current build for instance which is a city comprised entirely of black blocks, wood, gleam, dark glass, of varying levels of refinement/rock type.
Before the update, even at night, you could still distinctly see all the surfaces/textures of the blocks, able to differentiate between metamorphic rock, igneous rock, bricks, etc., and the gleam/torches only needed to be placed in reasonable distance from one another to help you see properly.
As it stands now, my build is a void awash in complete darkness. You can’t see any definition or variance in the blocks. Just vague solid black objects that eat all surrounding light. Gleam has a faint glow, yes, but it doesn’t light up the surrounding area anymore. Torches and light emitting tools do very little to light up the area you’re in. I found this the most obvious in caves. Yes, you can see fine in a narrow tunnel, but once a cave starts opening up, it’s just blackness. (Yes, even with lighting tools.)
Somebody posted this image highlighting how they see things with their night blindness and I think it really captures what Boundless feels like now since the update. It’s not just an example of night blindness for someone who doesn’t experience it themselves, it’s Boundless before and after.
Boundless before and after the lighting update:
ALL in-game colors should be viable and function well near light. Gleam should be gleam. It should glow and give off light like it did before.
One shouldn’t have to rebuild/repaint an entire build just because they selected darker colors in a time where those colors worked fine.
Here’s another point to consider. I don’t recall people complaining about the lighting before the update. Was this something people wanted or was it a technical issue that needed sorting out? Just because something is new, doesn’t automatically make it good. (Or bad for that matter.)
As for solutions, the easy option would be to give people a slider to adjust things as they see fit, but if it’s just about making bright things brighter and dark things darker, it’s not addressing the problem with light not traveling/reflecting off of surfaces well enough like they used to.
Then you have the problem where if people don’t have the same setting as you, they might not see things the way you see them or the way they would’ve shown up before the update. Rolling back the lighting isn’t an option because I assume it would upset many people and isn’t really viable anymore anyway. (Unless there was an “advanced” lighting option that would keep things as they are now and disabled would return things to how they were before, but again I doubt that’s a viable option.)
I was actually able to find a single before screenshot I had taken of an area, so I went ahead and took screenshot of the same area after the update. Compare.
BEFORE lighting update:
AFTER lighting update:
Notice how even the Wayfarer Totem is so much darker. From a distance further from this, it’s hard to tell I’ve used black mosaic tiles or marble. Also notice how “flat” the white gleam looks compared to before.
Notice how before you could make out the “mortar” on the black bricks. After the update they almost look like a flat/smooth wall. Also note the window, you could see it had depth before the update, but now it almost looks like there’s nothing behind the glass.