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The New Overland Map - A Prettier Way to Kill Immersion

Discussion in 'Release 7 Feedback' started by prospereau, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. prospereau

    prospereau Avatar

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    OK...so here goes. The Overland Map...well...what can I say...the new overland map is *so* much better than the old cloth map. I'm honestly very impressed by it and can see that a great deal of time, effort and work has gone into it so I hate to criticize it because I know there will be a couple of hard working folks across at Portalarium that have put blood, tears and sweat into something they hope the community will really like.

    I know you can all hear the "BUT" coming so I'll just get on with it shall I?

    [RANT MODE ON]

    SoTA is *ALL* about immersion; Richard Gariott has said it again and again and again. Yet we have the grotesque abomination to immersion that is the overland map. I've heard murmurings about how sharding works and other arguments for the overland map but come on....Asheron's Call had a full traversable land mass way back in 2002 (ish) at the very advent of MMORPGS. I cannot believe a connected world is so completely out of reach that we have to resort to having an overland map in SoTA.

    The overland map is equivalent to giving your child a shiny new bike for christmas, pointing out the wonderful bright horn, the zingy things on the wheels that we all loved when we were kids, and the bright opalescent paint work but then telling him for his own good he's only allowed to push it everywhere and if he needs to push it through the park he has to do it at half speed.

    So please...for the love of all that is good and holy in the world. For the happy smiles on babies faces. For the joy of a fresh new spring morning and conker trees in autumn. Take the overland map and bury it in the deepest metaphorical data storage hole you can find, padlock it and place a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Panther"

    [RANT MODE OFF]

    Other than that....great job team!! :)

    DF.
     
  2. Bubonic

    Bubonic Avatar

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    couldn't disagree more, i think it gives plenty of immersion.

    and besides, this was part of the design concept from the day 1 of kickstarter. It isnt like the dual scale world is a surprise or anything.
     
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  3. Bob Brave

    Bob Brave Avatar

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    I really love the new map. No features yet, but beautiful.
    Keep up.
     
  4. herradam

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    It's going to be a game of invisible barriers, small scenes, and artificial limits. Considering that fully immersive monoscale worlds are nothing new, this is nothing short of a tragedy.

    Sure many will close ranks and shout down dissenters, but it is a disappointment that we're locked into this sort of mentality.
     
  5. docdoom77

    docdoom77 Avatar

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    I think you're barking up the wrong tree, but at least you're doing it with style.

    Enjoy your barking. :p
     
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  6. Kirthag

    Kirthag Avatar

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    Darius - insomuch as I can see your viewpoint.... right now... I have to admit to really liking how the 3D-ness of the overland map is. I especially enjoy watching the water (is somewhat meditative for me to watch waves and tides) - and I know just how hard water is in a 3D world. The perspective kinda throws me (I feel like I'm playing Black & White.... if anyone remembers that game) and without the ability to change that perspective (to look toward the horizon) - I gotta say it feeds my "random and extreme god mood swings" that I've been accused of having in my D&D days. Actually, now that I think about it, it feels a bit like Populous... in a way.

    That said - as much as I like it - I seriously do look forward to chances for random encounters, a little person instead of a flag icon, the ability to see party members and perhaps allies (and enemies) on the OH map, the ability to change speed (running from Owlshead to Braemar is a chore) and yes, the chance of encountering other random people/parties in the OH map.

    That there is my wish list.

    oooOOOOooh! I see it follows night & day!
    OMG!!! SUNRISE!!!! (this - is - AWESOME!)

    I think I'll just sit here in the middle of the map and watch the days go by....
     
  7. SmokerKGB

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    Dude, I like the Over World Map... It reminds me of "Ultima" a new World to explore.... and now it has a road, you know what that means right? Lots of traffic, ppl coming/going wearing a path through the Wilderness...
     
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  8. prospereau

    prospereau Avatar

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    Hey don't get me wrong Kirthag. I develop in Unity myself so I feel the pain of anyone trying to get water right (although it *is* easier with pro). Whoever developed the overland map has done a wonderful job...I ooooh'd and aaahhhh'd as hard as the next person at the Volcano and the day/night cycles. As a piece of development work goes, I'd like to meet the person responsible and have their babies (if that were anatomically possible).

    It's not the quality and beauty of the implementation I have a problem with; (don't you think semi-colon's are horribly underused) it's the fact that it exists at all. :eek: :)

    DF.
     
  9. Akrondar

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    That is sad.
     
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  10. Sir Cabirus

    Sir Cabirus Avatar

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    For me the preceding loading screen is the immersion killer ;)
     
  11. Doppelganger [MGT]

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    ^ For me, this thread is the immersion killer...
     
  12. Kaisa

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    I too would have liked a single scale map but they did make it clear since the kickstarter that this is the way they were going. I don't have the link on me right now but maybe someone else does, but awhile back Chris I think made a video that really helped explain exactly why they are going with a dual scale map. Even as someone who initially was not happy about the dual scale map I was convinced the direction they went was the best choice for what they are trying to do with this game.

    I think also once the map is more complete and has things like encounters and animated avatars and other stuff it will be far better and hopefully far more immersive. I agree it is not very immersive right now but it will get there in time I think.
     
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  13. prospereau

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    https://www.kickstarter.com/project...of-the-avatar-forsaken-virtues-0/posts/427432

    For those that are interested.

    Whilst I understand the reasoning and even sympathise with much of it, the same could have been achieved with scenes connected by portals. The problem with dual scale is that you're avatar is suddenly converted from something that feels like a living being to an icon on a map...and whilst the new 3D map certainly helps make this less painful, it's still jarring to immersion.

    DF.
     
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  14. docdoom77

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    But the icon is temporary. An animated avatar is in the works.
     
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  15. Lord_Darkmoon

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    You could and should view it as a zoomed out version of the world.

    Maybe and hopefully the devs can implement a more "elegant" way to transition from scene view to overland view like zooming out...
     
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  16. By Tor

    By Tor Avatar

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    RG and co. promised the kickstarter backers, before SOTA was even born, that there would be a 3d dual scale overland map. So, it should come to no surprise that there is now one in the game.

    I'm loving everything about this 3d map. It's beautiful and immerses me in the world while traveling. I'm thrilled that it's looking so good and just to think: the map is only in the very early stages of development. I can't wait to see how amazing it looks for final release.
     
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  17. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Glad you like the visuals! Yes, this was really just the visuals switch version. Primarily done to prove we could scale it up a few orders of magnitude for the mainland. I totally understand the concern with breaking immersion of the dual scale map but it honestly was just not avoidable on our budget and scope. The cost of content for making single, seamless world is huge compared to the strategy we chose. Our current strategy was also pretty much required due to the new server architecture we're using that greatly reduces cost and improves responsiveness and scalability.

    We considered making a bunch of zones that were stitched together(like many MMO's use) we decided to not do that as our primary means of getting between zones. We can still do that for some sections if we choose to.

    Once we get a few more critical issues worked out, we'll spend some serious time on load times and also load visuals that are less jarring than what we have now. The patch going out shortly has some quick but significant load time improvements that should make the transitions a bit less painful if not more immersive. We'll continue to make improvements but afraid, for the sake of speedy development, the dual scale map was a necessary evil that also helps us crank out quality content in the fastest way.
     
  18. Bubonic

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    for me, the dual scale map really makes it feel like a classic ultima. Well done, and i'm looking forward to hearing more in depth info about the tech used to create this!
     
  19. DavenRock

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    @Chris, Loving the new 3D Overland map!

    In the future would it be possible to allow the player to 'seamlessly' pass between hexes without extending to the overland map? For instance, consider I'm chopping wood and I accidentally move too far towards the end of the hex, couldn't the adjacent hex be loaded into the scene for the player/s to traverse?

    I believe that the Dual Scale map is necessary in this respect, sort of fast traveling(without rifts) after a long day of lumberjacking, but being able to chop my way across the world and just look at overland map when wanting to 'know' where the player is traveling.

    Just a thought!

    :D

    Keep up the great work!
     
  20. da.n.ynu.tk.os.@gmail.com

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    i'm torn on the overland map.

    I understand that it was planned from the start, i wasn't really expecting to NOT have an overland map... but now playing it i'm not sure how i feel about it, the immersion aspect is definitely broken up with it. I just cant decide whether its broken up enough to be an issue for me or not.

    I do absolutely adore how well it was done though, the water looks great, the terrain is coming along nicely, I think a bit more playing around with it and it will grow on me.
     
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