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Dev Discussion #43 - World Map Discovery



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    AlacriteAlacrite Member
    edited July 2022
    Would you like to see a traditional MMO world map that, once explored, updates with the ever-changing state of the world, or would you prefer to see more innovative ways of keeping maps up-to-date?

    It's not a binary solution for sure! Simplicity takes away from immersion and complexity adds tediousness! Balance is the AoC tradition and as always, the key.

    Exploration is such an important element to an MMO world. Even in games where that element is completely artificial, some level of it persists through updates and expansions which is essentially just story-telling. This is usually fair since map sizes are understandably limited. AoC, however, will benefit from its massive map size and is infinite potential of delayability :)

    So on that point, I would love to see AoC play really heavily on the exploration element and take as much time as needed.

    Town centers could benefit heavily as the hub of information. Quests and dungeons can be updated at these nodes. Major events can reach the ears of other local nodes out of necessity. Trading can be the link between nodes that can strengthen the spread of information between them. Information also changes or grows as players complete phases of an area of interest. A player who is lost can ask someone nearby for information of the local area.

    The absence of information can also play a heavy role in exploration. If there exists a land vast and uninhabitable enough, the information can remain harder to obtain. With no node nearby to constantly update the environment, players are left the duty of informing their fellow adventurers themselves. Even if by chance you have received some knowledge, it could be outdated because in the area of interest, the interest itself isn't tethered by its original location. The distance these uninhabitable areas have to their closest nodes could very well be a natural affect of the inconsistency of information.

    To finish this off, there are two personally important factors I think would be fun for the overall world building.
    1) I think lore should be consistent with the nature of the video game. There has to be a reason why goblins continue to spawn in this camp. I want a story to begin and end. And I want a story to be retold, whether its purely out of curiosity or the story will get a second part.
    2) Time stamps with the player name it originates from. Remembering each other, recognizing people in our community, I think if the map was updated with this metadata, we would feel more connected to our servers and even our regions.

    Good luck, devs <3
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    I really like exploration in games, but i think online maps ruin a lot of the possible gameplay mechanics.

    Flying mounts also tend to destroy some of the possibilities. If you would make it so that you travel faster on roads, then discovering major/minor roads and paths to destinations would be beneficial. But as soon as you can fly directly from a to b, then all of that is gone.

    Maybe if you have a system for say flooding, and a new trade route opens up and you gain an in game benefit, then mapping a portion of the world would still be rewarding.

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    daveywaveydaveywavey Member
    edited July 2022
    Kawarau wrote: »
    I really like exploration in games, but i think online maps ruin a lot of the possible gameplay mechanics.

    Flying mounts also tend to destroy some of the possibilities. If you would make it so that you travel faster on roads, then discovering major/minor roads and paths to destinations would be beneficial. But as soon as you can fly directly from a to b, then all of that is gone.

    Maybe if you have a system for say flooding, and a new trade route opens up and you gain an in game benefit, then mapping a portion of the world would still be rewarding.

    Only 10-20 players per server will have a flying mount, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
    This link may help you:
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    T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Points I like so far:
    1 Fog of War that once uncovers stays uncovered until there is a change and then it fogs over to reflect that change so you know there is something to check out.
    2 NPCs can talk to you directly or to other NPCs about changes that have happened recently to kind of direct you.
    3 Markable maps where you can put info that will stay until you change it, and that can also be shared with group/raid
    4 The ZOI you are a citizen of will show its area
    5 The map info is shared with your whole account
    Formerly T-Elf

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    It would also be cool if there was a cartographer studying the changes and you would have to do a series of quests to have access to what the new maps look like. Gives a way to direct players to specific POI. It could also be quests with hidden puzzles, hidden/illusionary walls are amazing. You could also allow players to customize the zone locations on the map for better self organization or personalizing the map with a set of icons that you choose from to represent the POIs. A fog of war would be awesome if it wasn't just on the map though. We could have to get an item, like a special lamp that clears the fog in-game and once you've gotten a certain percentage or found the POI it would lift in the area. New areas should be blocked for flying, using the fog as a reason for your mount not to be able to navigate.
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    PhlightPhlight Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Goalid wrote: »
    For example. I go to node "X" and discover it's a level four node on June 14th at 4 pm. I know there are tier 4 minerals there as well, at quality 80%. My map then updates to tell me this information. I then leave that node, and don't visit it for over a month. My map doesn't change in its information, but unbeknownst to me there was a siege there, and it has been demolished. The minerals have also switched over to tier 3 at 60% quality. My map doesn't automatically update, but another player has been to that area recently. They generously update my local scientific node's library, and that map is now updated. Now I go to the library and can update my map for a fee, or for free if I'm a citizen. Player exploration is more important, and there's an element of imperfect information in the game that lends to the enjoyment of resource-gathering exploration. You can gain a bit of renown for updating the library maps as well, and there's a community effort to keep these community maps updated. Maybe it's even an unspoken rule that caravans must update your local maps to trade there.
    I love this idea. With such a dynamic world that can change drastically in a month having a system like this that let's you update maps with the help of others sounds perfect. There should be a certain level of citizenship or time frame you need to be part of a node to gain access to the cities amenities though. Maybe a more substantial fee for out of towners is all it would take.
    Azherae wrote: »
    Having players able to make markers on their maps and then sell the 'marked' maps is my opinion of how this can be done best. This is a real ingame work process and has some good options for people, particularly since we would no longer be tied to what the mainmap thinks is important.

    As always please reference FFXI's magic map markers.
    Map making for tanners or weavers that press a template of the most recently updated map at the astrologers guild or town hall. Those maps make it possible to mark them up with icons and words of your choice.
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    SytokiSytoki Member
    There is already lots of ambitious goals this studio has. Making a dynamic map system that has to be constantly re-traversed to update seems like a waste of developer hours. At best it is a fun gimmick some players will participate in, but most players will just use third party software to keep track of maps of the servers.
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    I like the idea of having a cartographer skill and a lot of things proposed in this thread but I don't see anyone saying anything about the negatives of having these, I see 3 major issues with this:
    1. How would you level the cartographer skill, doing it with events happening once very few weeks would take way too long probably for examples or we could just level it when we remove the fog of war for the first time and that's it ? And what would be the benefit ? I would understand if it can unlock for example temperature map to see where to make a farm or weather patterns map for example but, is the game design to make these kind of maps useful? I don't agree with a map where you can see resources on it like New World addons for example, I for one don't like that
    2. Selling maps seems like a scammer paradise, you can sell maps with random/no info in them because you cannot verify this, how would you verify it ? Showing the map even for a split second can allow the buyer to screen shot it and that's it no more buying it and it can also sell it after screenshot since it can make it himself now.
    3. I feel like such maps would also create website maps that would be sold for RMT which I feel would be bad
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    Having the map reblur areas that change would be a good way to encourage re exploration of changed areas would also be kinda annoying in a sense but more enjoyable than just poof this here now bam u see it all
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    PagemasterPagemaster Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited July 2022
    I would like to see a more innovative way of keeping maps up-to-date, but with some events updating on the map.

    A world boss bursts out of a mountain and now half the mountain side is decimated and what was below it is destroyed.
    Everyone or a large radius should know about it. Word does travel fast.

    A trade treaty between two adjoining nodes across the world comes to fruition, in doing so, a new caravan route is made?
    You'll have to travel to that area to update your map. Meaning the player initiating a caravan will pull from YOUR map knowledge.
    Even trading or interacting with someone from those nodes could "update" your map.
    Almost like they're telling you what's going on in their side of the world.

    Your guild, city, node or ZOI is in an alliance or treaty with another guild, city node or ZOI, they come under a declaration of war.
    You go to send them a caravan of supplies, but that trade route goes through enemy territory.

    A map prompt should update you that your caravan is going into a node under siege or in a declaration of war and that it's going through enemy territory so it MAY be attacked, especially if the enemy knows you're an ally of the other side.
    Alternate routes for more coin may help that risk factor.

    You come across a cave full of ore and your knowledge of ores is high enough, it stays marked on your map. You go back to it and it's de-spawned because it's resources have been used, it updates on your map and it's not their anymore.

    Economic nodes could know all trade paths and have a discounted rate on alternate trade routes through other nodes and ZOI, if not an enemy node or ZOI.
    Especially if you're in an alliance or treaty.
    Hey, we're going to send you supplies but you are not going to tax us this rate because we have to take alternate routes.

    I'm also curious if other guilds, not in an alliance, will just send caravans off to other nodes that have a declaration of war, just to make a quick buck. (Give to the guild(s) in that war supplies or add mass quantities of supplies to the trade post.)

    I also believe if you can have alliances, you can have enemies also. Their "home node" should be on the map. So, if your traveling or have a caravan going through enemy territory, you're well aware.

    I feel there's different situations that call for a full map update and others only locally or regionally.
    Another thing to factor in is time. Should it be immediate or take longer to update?

    Maybe world bosses and large scale events immediately change your map, where as trade routes just take a longer amount of time if it's not locally, rather than having to travel to that area.

    EDIT: After reading some responses, I think Cartography would be a great profession to add into the game.
    I think there should be general map knowledge, big events should populate for everyone or the regions that are in need of that information.
    A node, ZOI, Guild or group with a skilled Cartographer could do some awesome things and I believe the knowledge of a skilled Cartographer would pay its weight when it comes to trade routes, leveling and de-leveling of nodes, events, etc.
      Guild Leader of The Adventurers Guild,
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      TyranthraxusTyranthraxus Member
      edited July 2022
      Yours truly would advocate for a "3-Way" map system:

      = No Legacy-sharing the World Map

      = Fog-of-War to begin with / Map is black or decoratively indicative of un-explored areas

      =Scribes can sell Maps - Which turn the map Brown / otherwise un-colored. City/Node statuses only show what exists at the time of the map's creation *or* at the time of it's using

      =All characters' maps go to Color once the toon has personally explored that area. Once an area is explored, city/Node statuses automatically update real-time

      So again: Black for un-explored, per character / Brown for landmass & city/node into at that time / Cull-color for personally explored & updates real-time

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      myrcmyrc Member, Intrepid Pack
      I mulled this one over for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that map discovery would be a bad thing for this game. At least in the most traditional sense of the theme, where you have nothing and have to step foot in areas to have the map automatically update. It’s okay in other MMOs that are Theme Park variety because they are guided to those places in the world and it becomes a sense of adventure to see the map update as you progress.

      But Ashes is different. If the world changes dynamically, and there are significant gameplay impacts based on those changes, I think it’s necessary to have a map that reflects that.

      I think it would create a community barrier to newer players in the long run. Who wouldn’t be able to see the developed world, nor decide where to find a guild or active community.

      Map information helps people to plan and explore. The world is huge, and there are reasons people will want to go to new places without forcing it upon them with discovery mechanics in order to have a viable map.

      I can somewhat get behind the idea that cartography professions exist. But I think that would be better suited to provide additional map benefits, not a functioning map. Players spend a lot of time looking at if, so give them the information with clarity.

      Other posts have references games that did it well, and I personally thought SWTOR did it quite well. An old dev discussion of how they created their maps in developed explained that they essentially had the map as a “screenshot” of the world. They literally took the layout and converted into a wireframe. Because of that, the map was extremely accurate to the layout of the world, since it essentially was the world, shrunk down into a drawing of lines. By making it a replica of the real world, it could update dynamically with story events that impacted the world, as well. For a game like Ashes, having the map automatically reflect changes in this same manner will encourage players to visit those changes and participate.

      As always, my 2¢. I don’t think ANY information needs to be arbitrarily gated. Especially maps in open world games. There will be plenty of reasons to explore without one of them being “I want a functional map”. Map discovery no-no! Real-time information reflective of the evolving world: Yes!
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      T Elf wrote: »
      Personally, I'd like a map that updates itself. Verra sounds so complex that no map maker could keep current.

      Short - but very concise. With a player-altered world of 100+ Nodes/Cities, there should be a point to where if an area is explored, it should probably update automatically.

      Ralizek wrote: »
      A few things:

      If Steven has said several times that Verra is flat, why the constant use of globes?....

      I thought Steven was just quoted as specifically stating the world was NOT flat? In the last Q&A segment of the monthly update?

      Most feedback in this thread so far seems to favor dynamic maps and continued exploration. If we do end up with such a system, isn't Scribe (or otherwise Catrography-related) crafting of maps a neccessity?

      Maybe this is a reason to have a constantly Player-traffic'ed room at town hall where guilds/players share map info from recently-explored areas. POI's or tasks in each area/Node/etc can grant temporary knowledge of its statuses, and then it'll need to be done/re-done within a certain time to keep something like a Town Hall Map Room up-to-date, for each of the world's areas.

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      DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
      Vaknar wrote: »
      Would you like to see a traditional MMO world map that, once explored, updates with the ever-changing state of the world, or would you prefer to see more innovative ways of keeping maps up-to-date?
      Why not both?

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      The idea of having the map system be a part of crafting is an intriguing idea. It could have facets in all three skill trees i.e. the act of exploration could be a gathering artisan class, taking the information gathered and creating a map would be a processing artisan class, and printing the map to make available to sell would be the crafting artisan class. In exploration/gathering the player could improve navigation skill on water by learning an old school navigational tool like a sextant and on land with proficiency in using a compass in order to expand a wider berth and map areas more efficiently. In cartography/processing the player could learn to make different types of maps like political maps, physical maps, road maps, topographic maps, geologic maps ect. And lastly, for the crafting element printing map which could entail color maps, and better quality with more skill. It would make for a profession tree that would be on par with what we've seen with animal husbandry. Not to mention this kind of depth isn't something I've ever seen in any MMO before which would continue to make Ashes something truly different and unique.
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      DarktideDarktide Member
      edited July 2022
      I would prefer that the approach is that the discovered map persists as you discover it. Any world changes would be updated when you re-visit the location. It's an immersion thing, really. If you were actually a person in that setting, you would not have ready access to map updates. NOW, a way to satisfy both worlds, would be to have a regional map in city-hubs that you could update your map with. Those could be updated live-ish.

      EDIT: I, too, believe a Fog of War should be present initially, and over time the fog should return having not visited a place for x days. (granted, it would be more of a haze over the map) Signifying that what you see is likely outdated, but you can still recall key locations and markers for example. Granted, those may also have changed.

      To what some have said, it is easier to do live updates than it is to implement things like what I have mentioned above. Those require specific coding to work. A live update is kind of easy since there's only one truth. With dynamic maps that fade, everyone's map would be different and there is more coding to handle it. However, maps could potentially be local data, since you're receiving updates from the server, this would lessen the impact of game ticks required to update people's maps with the whole world.

      I can't really see any super-exploitable aspects, but you know SOMEONE would come up with a way to parse local maps and display a live map on a website or app, I'm sure.

      It's a lot to think about. I know what I would "like" to see, but technically, it may be easiest to just have one simple map with a fog of war that has underlying elements sync'd with the server map every 30 or so ticks.

      EDIT 2: What if there were a cartography skill that affects how long your map is accurate and the accuracy or range of city/town map updates? Or the level of detail your map has based on skill level. Perhaps even at certain points giving you the ability to make your own markers and comments, and perhaps even share them with your guild/group/etc.
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      Map updates could be "purchased" in a town/hub and consumed to update that portion of your map!
      Players could "create" maps using the cartography skill by simply exploring an entire area and "mapping" it, this could be a good quest hook to explore remote or hidden/difficult places.
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      With one of major systems being dynamic world trough node system I would wish that would translate somewhat to world map as well. Most MMO games use one time reveal map which is useful but once its revealed its done.
      Other thing that would affect world map would be approach on 3rd party tools or sites. By having options and systems in game to remove/lessen the need of using 3rd party site. Even with each server having their own map. There most likely will be sites with up to date info for each servers map so having systems in place to lessen need and availability for those in game would be good. But having map revealing be too much work or costing something would direct players to outside sources to save resources. So I would be against systems that cost tradeable/valuable resources like crafting materials or gold.

      I think map should be dynamic with multiple levels of reveal. Also using points of interest similar to GW2 would be great to direct players to interesting places and vistas. Using lore, NPC's and quests to reveal map would be amazing as well.

      The map you have should reflect real situation of the world assuming you have up to date information. If you've visited or revealed map some other way you map would show only information you had when you last updated. To use example from node introduction video. Player visited the river and knows its there, but at some point node leveled up and bridge was build over it map wouldn't reflect it before you got up to date information. The information that is old be it current situation or not could get increasing fog of war letting you know that something might've changed. Without interfering much with readability of map. Map could example lose color as the time passes.
      Some information could be shared to whole server like volcano erupting that would be visible from far away or use zone of influence to these kind of events which shape the world. It wouldn't still be full information but you'd know that volcano is active there.

      For revealing zone I think discovering big portion at once like in WoW would be preferable. But that reveal shouldn't show all the points of interest in that portion. Some should be just discovered when you go there and maybe use NPC's, quests and readable's to give hints. For example quest giver could have escaped from village that was attacked he could tell you exact location of that point of interest and show it on your map. Trader could tell you about cave somewhere in mountain which would show you the mountain and that there is a cave somewhere in there.

      Your home node you are citizen should be revealed in its zone of influence as long as you have explored it. If you live somewhere you hear news and rumors if something has changed close to your home. If there are active trade routes between nodes some information could be shared when trade routes finish. Some information should be shareable between players as well be it pins or shared guild map.
      Or maybe veteran explorers could sell their information to other players.

      To mitigate need for 3rd party tools/sites you should be able to make markings on your map for places you might want to visit again be it farming spot or cool looking place.
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      Already explored maps get repetitive, but also they benefit in you know where things are specifically and how to get there. I think making cartography/mapmaking a key role is great in that aspect but at the same time, will this mean there will be more work getting to a dungeon you want to raid or a location?

      To me, as long as it doesn't make that time too much, then I thinkt hat would be a very interesting system to implement. I think envionrments in MMO's are beautiful but because you've more or less seen them time and time again and also you generally know whats there, its easier for enviornments to get stale from the user perspective.

      Valheim, Minecraft, even Project Zomboid are games I've played to where even now there are biomes and (POI's) that I've never encountered and it feels fresh, but also these area's have resources unique to only them. The only way I even know about places in these games is via a map + exploration. Where as with GW2 or ESO I can just point and go more or less to an enviornment I think is cool.

      theortically you can do this in ashes because area's are climate based, but the leg up that Ashes has, is the weather system and how it changes. One day, you could go to the riverlands and its winter, the other is summer.

      Also, it helps the usefulness of a bounty hunter because if corrupted players are grouped in an area bounty hunters that make maps can track there location mark it on a map and sell them for profit or plan a raid with a crew of other bounty hunters. This rule applies to pvp scouting in general.

      Crafting wise, since resources do change location this gives benefits to groups that want to keep a constant flow of resources from the members of the group to the members of the node. If the node has this group(whether its a guild or alliance) they have players creating maps and exploring to find more resources and boast that they have the most upto date resource gathering system.

      It compliments alot of systems and allows them to become more effecient, to me though this benefit is very *nice*. Sure you can sell the maps, but there may be players that don't want them at the same time.

      So if this is tied to a profession, there should be more incentive or maybe it helps the player with exploration more, I'm not sure honestly.

      I would love a revamp in how things work for MMO Maps (for ashes) the fog of war system in games like Valheim and Project Zomboid make exploration actually fun and I don't feel like I've seen everything even in the vannila of those games.
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      An addition to my original thought. Firstly, this thread is full of amazing ideas and I think the most prevalent and logical throughline is the idea of an Age of Empires style fog of war that will show you your immediate surroundings (I feel like this should be relatively large for questing and general situational awareness) then areas you've seen before are shown how you saw them until you go to update it personally or purchase an updated map, then completely fogged areas are the unexplored areas. That I just wanted to add for the amazing example and clarity.
      Secondly, and what I also think is a good idea is that map info should be account wide because as an altaholic it is kind of irritating to have to rediscover the map over and over. But more relevant to AoC I think this is useful for maintaining at least 2 or 3 characters because of the frequency that information would change. If I'm swapping from one character who came across a cool rare and want to take it with my main then I want to have either account wide maps or a good coordinate system so I can reliably get back to that area.
      Professional Skeptic, Entertainer, and Animal Enthusiast
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      xKentxKent Member
      What would be cool imo is having a Cartograph Guild with a building in each (big enough) node, you would bring them your map (who would consist of what you have already discovered while traveling the world) and if anything changed they would point it out for you,like "Oh you went there before the Volcan erupt, this grassland you discovered is now covered in ashes and lava" that would be cool imho.
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      TaerrikTaerrik Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
      The more I think about this fog of war thought, the more ideas I have for implementation

      maybe the coolest and most balanced version of this fog idea would work something like

      1) Player explores area, and area is updated
      2) Area and nearby area, and perhaps any area controlled by guild remains constantly updated
      3) Any other areas become fog, this means reduced updates or no updates, but still some map data is available to the player
      4) The longer an area remains under fog, it can slowly become unexplored again and turn black (constantly changing world after all)

      After all, If I live in the far east of the world, the far west side of the world which should represent hours of travel time should not normally be accessible to me on the map after a time unless there is some other mechanic to refresh that data for me (node system stuff)

      If I dont log in to the game for several months, and come back, I should have all new stuff to explore everywhere too
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      xKentxKent Member
      xKent wrote: »
      What would be cool imo is having a Cartograph Guild with a building in each (big enough) node, you would bring them your map (who would consist of what you have already discovered while traveling the world) and if anything changed they would point it out for you,like "Oh you went there before the Volcan erupt, this grassland you discovered is now covered in ashes and lava" that would be cool imho.

      and the Cartographer guild could also give you pointer "quest" about exploring new area or dungeon, or something of the kind ^^
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      iznebulaiznebula Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter
      edited July 2022
      This comment will probably not be seen, but if by any chance it does here is my take.

      TLDR: Add cartography and make it worth it - I included ways that can be done.

      I think a world map that changes both automatically and based on player interaction is the way I would like this direction to go. For the map to update automatically would appease those that would like it that way, but by adding a cartography skill would make for interesting gameplay, both for the cartographers and those that lack the skill.

      Let me explain:
      #1 - Being a cartographer: This is probably the main reason I would like it to be this way, because being a cartographer means you as the player to advance your skill would have to explore/re-explore the map on a continuous basis to be able to keep "your map" up to date on new discoveries that can be added to the map.

      #2 - Purpose for cartography: Cartography could allow for more detailed maps to be accessed and areas that would otherwise be hidden on the traditional automatically discoverable maps (the ones players will have normally), would only show when a cartographer specifically maps them out and could then be added to your map through purchasing or trading with a cartographer.

      #3 - Regional Maps: Having a cartography skill would mean each region would could have maps that are different and could be accessed by players in Taverns for each region of the world that would showcase the area in much more detail.

      #4 - A Sense of Danger: By having the map be more detailed with cartography would make certain locations that have been mapped out by brave adventurers be more dangerous for those that simply have the "normal maps" (the ones that update automatically but with limited information). So a player that doesn't have a detailed map of a region/area would see a "Cave" in a region as just "Cave", while someone who has purchased or has access to a cartography map of a region/area would see the same "Cave" as "Troll Cave". This means the first adventurer could potentially venture into this same "Cave" alone and must retreat. While the second adventurer would come prepared with a group knowing it's a "Troll Cave".

      #5 - Enhanced Maps:
      Maps that will show information for a limited time such as resources and mob groups. (Like how Harry Potter maps show footprints).

      #6 - It's a cool skill and would make exploration of the Sea much more awesome: As an avid player of Sea of Thieves, I think a map is extremely important and a map with more information even more so. I do hope this becomes a possibility, as this is one of the skills I've yet to see being implemented in games.
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      ShoelidShoelid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
      Vaknar wrote: »
      Would you like to see a traditional MMO world map that, once explored, updates with the ever-changing state of the world, or would you prefer to see more innovative ways of keeping maps up-to-date?

      The exploration experience of filling out a map is magical for me, and I don't see any reason for it to be a one-and-done type of thing. However, I'm not a fan of the extreme position of "you lose your maps after X period of time", either.

      There should be a middle ground between the two. Certain map elements should "grow stale" and show that there may be new things to find. However, the element of "growing stale" should not interfere with the player just trying to find their way around.

      In a perfect world, it would be fun & rewarded to explorers, and not be too annoying for players who don't care about exploring at all.

      I would like to see a more innovative way of keeping maps up to date. Maybe that can be involved with the player economy
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      ExcalicaExcalica Member, Alpha One, Adventurer

      I'm not a fan of the previous MMO maps or even ready-made maps that you only have to discover once.

      Since Ashes puts a lot of emphasis on crafting and PvP, knowledge about the regions is a very precious resource.

      I would appreciate it if the map design would be implemented as follows.

      - The function to display a map must be unlocked by purchasing a map.
      a. Maps can be made.
      b. Maps differ in the following ways:
      -Basic map of the region without markers pure landscape.
      - Specialized maps with:
      * raw materials
      * roads and trade routes
      * towns and villages
      * dungeons
      * etc.

      - All maps and the data on them are dated.
      - With new maps/data you can overwrite old ones
      - Old maps lose value, but can be used indefinitely.
      - Contents on the maps can be deleted manually.

      To realize this a profession like a cartograh would be a great idea.
      From paper and ink production to mapping the landscape, you can create a valuable PvP and PvE resource in the game that meets the spirit of a changing world.
      Likewise, the profession should have the ability to copy existing maps, that can be shared or sold.

      The basic maps can be bought from the NPC by factions that call a settlement their own. These maps contain as mentioned above but only the topology and no other information.

      PhoenX Society
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      ItsFayneItsFayne Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
      The issue with a map that, once revealed, just updates automatically, is that "clearing the map" becomes just an objective with leveling. Its a time gate that once done, never needs to be cleared again. Its just a chore when making an alt that doesnt hold a lot of value in the long term as a game mechanic.

      Here's an idea:

      You visit a metro and an NPC there has an option for "map this area". That will give you a live updated map for 30 days. You would not have to do this in the ZoI that you belong to (citizen of the metro or a vassal). So in a play cycle, you will always have 1/5 of the map updated assuming you are a citizen somewhere. Then, every 30 days you would have to do a world tour to update the rest of the map. I could see this being a fun guild event one night a month where the guild moves around the world, gathering, collecting, and fighting.
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      akabearakabear Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
      No mini-map

      I thought at first that I really needed a map when playing New World, but by not having a map I ended up more thoroughly learning the map and remembering my way around. Now prefer not to have a mini-map at all.
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      My only concern with dynamic maps is that once an area changes (i.e was explored previously, then an event happened that caused the area to change/offer new challenges) adding new "fog of war" or "?" or something else identifies that there is something new happening there and therefore requires re-exploring. I rather not be given that nudge that "somethings brewing here".

      A few months back Steven had mentioned that a "voice in the wood" may be the sign that an event will occur, and if not address that event becomes bigger and bigger with time. By adding 'fog of war' or '?' this may take away from those events growing into BBEG because players will know to look for something in the area with out having to be perceptive to the world at all.
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      zaayrzaayr Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
      i would have it completely blacked out at start. as you adventure it updates your map. as time progresses have the smaller stuff fade faster and the larger ones take longer ex. a point of interest is a week a really small town fades out in a month, but the top-level city fades out in 3 months. you can get updates from your map from a map maker almost like sharing your updated map to a group member or make ones that you sell that would be updated to a specific time that it was made at. you could even have the level of detail of the map be determined on your skill and like how long they stood in the spot to make it and distance the features are from where it is being made.

      you could also do some of these updates for a person, like they were out in the woods and don't know about any changes to a city till they get back, then they hear some of the npc's talking about how this city has a new ruler by some alliance that has taken over or that the city was attacked by a dragon and burnt it to the ground and it will then update your map to show that new change. but only if you have that part of your map already explored either by yourself or purchasing that part from a map maker

      i always liked the idea of having to go back to see what has changed or having to have traveled there first before being able to use any sort of quick travel or caravans
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