3d World, 2D Map, WTF

27 Dec

Mrs. P had to pop over to Darnassus the other day to run some errands (much easier for a mage to just pop over, but don’t get me started) and mentioned what a shame it is that its so underpopulated. Blizz must have spent so much time on it and its so underutilized compared to Stormwind or Ironforge (if you’re alliance that is).

Demonstrating my firm grasp of the obvious, I agreed with her and lamented that “that’s life in a city on the edge of the map.” Demonstrating my virtual multiculturality, I suggested that its really not that different from Thorin’s Halls in LotRO or Ak’Anon back in Everquest. Edge cities. Off the beaten path.

Wait a minute. Edge cities? Edge of what? A 2D map? Don’t we play in 3d fantasy worlds? Why couldn’t the gnomish equivalent of Magellan sail east from Ak’Anon and get to Qeynos?


I’ll give Thorin’s Halls a pass here (and any other “regional” game like DAOC or PotBS), because LotRO’s world really is only one region of Middle Earth, Eriador, so the concept of the edge of the game world is consistent at least.


But why shouldn’t I be able to sail from Booty Bay to Darnassus or the Exodar (or at least Feathermoon)? Or go left from the left, right from the right, up from up or down from down? Of course that probably explains why there are no cities on the east side of the Eastern Kingdoms… Even so, we still persist in reinforcing the hot equator/cold poles paradigm (which again implies a spherical world because of the differing density of solar radiation received).


Flat worlds are sooooo 13th century. How bout a “next gen” virtual world that is a sphere?



Posted by on December 27, 2007 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “3d World, 2D Map, WTF

  1. Cameron Sorden

    December 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    It’s because if you allow people to go around the “back side” of the world, it gets a lot harder to stick a new continent in there when an expansion rolls along and just say that “no one saw it until now.” ;)

  2. p@tsh@t

    December 27, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    You mean like Azuremyst and Bloodmyst Isles? or Faydwer? or Kunark? or Velious? or Northrend or…. Hey, I’m not averse to a little vulcanism, plate tectonics or general cataclysm…;)

    I mean, what did they think when the boat disappeared over the horizon before the mast and sails?

    I’m sure I heard about a guy in Booty Bay noting that the sun shines straight down a well in Stranglethorn on the summer solstice while it doesn’t in Elwynn Forest…

  3. Gaff

    December 28, 2007 at 5:26 am

    With all due respect, the 13th century allusion is somewhat inaccurate. The educated European, thanks to the golden age of Greece and their geographers, was well aware the earth was round at that time–the main point of contention was in fact size (i.e. Columbus’s belief he had found the east Indies 300 years later) though again the Greeks had ascertained the earth’s circumference within a couple thousand miles and their latitude on the earth within a few degrees some 1700 years previous to the 13th century.

    The technology of ocean-going vessels and navigation prevented Europeans to test this belief until Columbus, though a number of other factors contributed to that expedition as well–funding, the Moors “departure” from Spain, etc.

    I like the idea of the spherical world, but what if the designers have a plane in mind?

  4. p@tsh@t

    December 28, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Lol. I was going to go for the Eratothsthenes thing or Zheng He, etc., but thought it might be more obscure than the iconic “Age of Exploration” (cough by Europeans cough).

    I’m ok with a plane or a torus or anything else for that matter. Its FANTASY. But if its a plane, some dev better make a compelling case for sun/moon rise/set, weather and temperate lattitudes…

    And if it is a plane, I’d like to go look at whats on the edge. Galactic Great Barrier anyone?

  5. ccranium

    December 28, 2007 at 9:58 am

    In the case of World of Warcraft, Kalimdor was only discovered (by the orcs and humans) 7 years ago (Warcraft III), which makes the fact that there may be several large landmasses currently undiscovered not that hard to swallow.

  6. p@tsh@t

    December 28, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Hey, the way ship travel has worked in MMOs, there’s no guarantee that even if they did circumnavigate the globe to get to their destination that they’d actually find another continent out there.

    Roll file footage of the Ocean of Tears backwards boat fiasco… And as I said, I’m pro world event. Peeps loved the opening of AQ and the DP.

    Rise Atlantis! Rise!

  7. tiger ray

    October 4, 2008 at 7:54 am

    i need detailed answers to the definition of the following:
    2D maps,3D maps,2and a halfD maps,4D maps.
    temporal maps,permanent maps,virtual maps, nad mental maps.

  8. Driekan

    October 25, 2008 at 10:52 am

    In fact… The Everquest citation isn’t that accurate, the map isn’t a representation of the whole world, either. There is a vast sea beyond the edges of the map, and Taelosia is on the other side of the world. So if said Magellan sailed off… He’d either run out of supplies (it is implied to be incredibly distant), or land in Taelosia and get killed by the muramites who were invading it at the time.

    However, the heart of the idea is true. These cities are only off the beaten path because design made it so.


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