Cartography

Picture this, a new player just spawned into the world. They see in front of them a npc that tells them to head down the path and keep straight until they reach a sign post, to take a right and to travel onward until they reach a village.

Most of us would instantly open up our map, to go “Okay where?” But you can’t. It says “Map is not enabled.” You’re left curious but step forward, traveling to the destination. Where a play is standing, a goofball with a curious looking fedora waving around little scrolls. “New players get free regional map! I have plenty just come get one!”

He’s an explorer, someone who traverses the huge and vast world of Ashes. His profession is that of cartography, he loves exploring and adding more to the maps of his. He has his current maps decked out with stamps of resource zones, villages, and more. His friend who is a smith even crafted him a compass of the finest white gold they could find, as payment for a mostly completed world-map.

This Cartographer is one of the few that have completed his entire world map, from the tallest mountains, to the deepest dungeons. Every inch of the world available to his fingertips he has discovered. He now spends his time adding detail to each regional zone’s map, going to downs and drafting where the local merchants are. Putting this level of detail into his maps only increases the worth of it.

For some cartographers only get the basic land, not the names or structure, the roads or the towns.

I hope you guys enjoyed that lil story, but to be realistic my idea is for a Cartography system, in which individuals can draft their own maps as they travel. Your level of cartography leads into what you’re able to do, how much detail you can add.

I figure with a game such as ashes, where you plan on putting crafting into its core necessity – the ability to draft and create a map/compass/utility items such as those would be really interesting to have, and able to be put into the game without a lot of complications.

The lack of fast travel already helps with this a bit, it makes the world more vast. But what would add another level to it would be to allow Catrography to be a life-skill or atleast a trade-skill individuals could pick up. Enabling them to take blank map parchment and as they travel it auto matically unlocks the
“land” on their map. But it doesn’t automatically add in anything else but the land itself, Forest/Villages/Special stuff would be added by the players. The system I’m going to propose for it would be a “stamp” system.

Stamps work like this, If you stamp a forest onto your map – the game will check if there is actually a forest there, and then if there is, and it has a game-appointed name, it will filter in the name and format the forest into the map itself. If there is no forest, it would give the cartographer a notification along the lines of “That stamp is unusable in this area.”

Maps would need to be easy to obtain the parchment for, and to level up your cartography you would need to explore. Higher levels of cartography allow for more detail to be added to the map.

“But once one Cartographer unlocks the entire map, that’s it though because nobody else would beable to?” No, you have to purchase the map from him. So he has to copy it to blank map sheets and sell it. If another Cartographer explores, drafts it, and sells it cheaper then that’s a instant market between the explorers.

“Would this be the only way to obtain maps?” I firmly believe a npc of a certain level node, should sell node “basic” maps. That outline roads and towns in the region. These maps are only of the node’s area you purchase the map from. So everything within that nodes radius you have a map of.

“This sounds like a lot of “map” items, will it be?” I hope that the game developers would let you store your maps separately, So if you have a map for node A and one for Node B areas, you can switch between the two based on how you are. If you like how Cartographer A detailed Region B , but you like how Cartographer B detailed Region A, you can switch between whose map you’re viewing. If you purchase a newer, updated map, from a cartographer whose map you already own – Yours should automatically update.

As a statement, it sounds like a lot of work but I feel it would be worth it for game aesthetic. As the seasons change and the world changes, the maps would need to change as well. New nodes, new villages, new dungeons. Explorers/cartographers would always be needed.
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Comments

  • I'm loving this idea. . . .

    "Yeah I know I can't find the building Bob... it says it should be right here though on the map!"
    "well when did you buy it? Four months ago? Must have been destroyed!"
  • This is actually a cool idea.
  • Agreed.. this is a pretty comprehensive well thought out idea.

    The only addition I would make would be a snapshot system.
    Map ocntent is only valid for the specific time and place it was made.
    They can be outdated.
    This forces you to buy new maps to suit the ever changing landscape.

    You might very well go to x marks the spot and find nothing but an empty pit.
    Because something was there, but not anymore.

    You may want intel on enemy infrastructure of a competing node.
    The latest info on the layout and format of their infrastructure would be priceless to some.
    Will you risk scouting the area ?
  • Also what if they could be imbued with some power and they could have limited charges for fast travel to those locations.
  • There is no fast travel in the game @xlog

    EDIT: ok thats a semi lie. Only scientific metropolis will have fast travel.
  • A cool idea :). Gotta align it with all other crafting profession and have a resource sink in it. As others mention, maps become obsolete as terrain changes and new maps are needed. Though I'm not sure if you mention this, a map for the city should show all the basic stores and NPCs, but a map created by a cartographer of the city would include special housing and player run stores that are points of interest. This can also serve to help advertise for stores, store owners can pay cartographers to list their stores on the city map :).
  • Support this because im an explorer myself really thought out idea thoo :)
  • I wrote this up a while ago, and reading back over it I have to apologize for typos!
    Now to add onto it from a down the line feature,

    1. You should be able to "copy" a map if your skill for cartography is high enough, yet if you were not the original crafter for the map you will be unable to sell it. Yet you can give/trade it for the cost of the resources to "copy" it. (Make it steep!)
    2. This is a life skill that anyone should be able to dip into if they get a simple pen and paper, or quill and parchment... whichever you use.

    Also I'd edit, but posts get deleted if you edit them sometimes.
  • I'm expecting cartography to be a utility skill for Rangers and Rogues.
    Possible they could make it a skill for the Gathering profession.
  • [quote quote=7324]Picture this, a new player just spawned into the world. They see in front of them a npc that tells them to head down the path and keep straight until they reach a sign post, to take a right and to travel onward until they reach a village.

    Most of us would instantly open up our map, to go “Okay where?” But you can’t. It says “Map is not enabled.” You’re left curious but step forward, traveling to the destination. Where a play is standing, a goofball with a curious looking fedora waving around little scrolls. “New players get free regional map! I have plenty just come get one!”

    He’s an explorer, someone who traverses the huge and vast world of Ashes. His profession is that of cartography, he loves exploring and adding more to the maps of his. He has his current maps decked out with stamps of resource zones, villages, and more. His friend who is a smith even crafted him a compass of the finest white gold they could find, as payment for a mostly completed world-map.

    This Cartographer is one of the few that have completed his entire world map, from the tallest mountains, to the deepest dungeons. Every inch of the world available to his fingertips he has discovered. He now spends his time adding detail to each regional zone’s map, going to downs and drafting where the local merchants are. Putting this level of detail into his maps only increases the worth of it.

    For some cartographers only get the basic land, not the names or structure, the roads or the towns.

    I hope you guys enjoyed that lil story, but to be realistic my idea is for a Cartography system, in which individuals can draft their own maps as they travel. Your level of cartography leads into what you’re able to do, how much detail you can add.

    I figure with a game such as ashes, where you plan on putting crafting into its core necessity – the ability to draft and create a map/compass/utility items such as those would be really interesting to have, and able to be put into the game without a lot of complications.

    The lack of fast travel already helps with this a bit, it makes the world more vast. But what would add another level to it would be to allow Catrography to be a life-skill or atleast a trade-skill individuals could pick up. Enabling them to take blank map parchment and as they travel it auto matically unlocks the
    “land” on their map. But it doesn’t automatically add in anything else but the land itself, Forest/Villages/Special stuff would be added by the players. The system I’m going to propose for it would be a “stamp” system.

    Stamps work like this, If you stamp a forest onto your map – the game will check if there is actually a forest there, and then if there is, and it has a game-appointed name, it will filter in the name and format the forest into the map itself. If there is no forest, it would give the cartographer a notification along the lines of “That stamp is unusable in this area.”

    Maps would need to be easy to obtain the parchment for, and to level up your cartography you would need to explore. Higher levels of cartography allow for more detail to be added to the map.

    “But once one Cartographer unlocks the entire map, that’s it though because nobody else would beable to?” No, you have to purchase the map from him. So he has to copy it to blank map sheets and sell it. If another Cartographer explores, drafts it, and sells it cheaper then that’s a instant market between the explorers.

    “Would this be the only way to obtain maps?” I firmly believe a npc of a certain level node, should sell node “basic” maps. That outline roads and towns in the region. These maps are only of the node’s area you purchase the map from. So everything within that nodes radius you have a map of.

    “This sounds like a lot of “map” items, will it be?” I hope that the game developers would let you store your maps separately, So if you have a map for node A and one for Node B areas, you can switch between the two based on how you are. If you like how Cartographer A detailed Region B , but you like how Cartographer B detailed Region A, you can switch between whose map you’re viewing. If you purchase a newer, updated map, from a cartographer whose map you already own – Yours should automatically update.

    As a statement, it sounds like a lot of work but I feel it would be worth it for game aesthetic. As the seasons change and the world changes, the maps would need to change as well. New nodes, new villages, new dungeons. Explorers/cartographers would always be needed.

    [/quote]

    Ultima Online did this before. Not exactly a new concept but it is a good idea. Survival games often have a similar mechanic, however just like DayZ/ARK etc is usually undermined by those interactive map websites. Infact theres already a interactive map being designed on aocsource.com which somewhat undermines this entire concept. Unfortunately the internet in itself often ruins such concepts like this, it also ruins alot of old school style questing, and exploration of the game

    I lothe item databases as it basically tells everyone where to get everything and ruins the concept of exploring a new MMORPG over time. Unfortunately both item databases and interactive maps are popular with alot of gamers attempting to gain an advantage or simply to impatient to unlock things naturally. So while i like your idea, i find of feel it considering how much effort it would take to add to the game vs how quickly it would be rendered useless would make it somewhat alot of wasted development time.

    http://www.aocsource.com/map/

    Considering interactive maps will be a thing, as they always are these days, its possible that Intrepid could actually make an official one and have it so it can be view both by the game and the website/smart devices. Allowing the community to update the official map and work together on it with some kind of reputation/upvote system would kind of achieve what your going for ... kind of.

    As I said I like your idea, im just not sure why people would pay ingame gold, over just opening a more detailed interactive map on a second monitor or smart phone/tablet.
  • You know I woke up this morning with a vision for a mapping coordinate system to go with this idea.
    It highly simplified a grid system using polar, equatorial, and tropical regions.
    It was semi related to the ancient portolan systems
    It also introduced the concept of temporal vortices linked to 8 remote worlds.
    It was spherical based and biome reliant.
    I rushed down stairs to start work on drawing it up.

    You killed the dream @DeathsProxy sobs.
    :D
  • This Cartography idea seems very thought out and detailed. I like the idea but one question.

    Wouldn't the map have to be a living document? Such as changing or evolving as the game progresses through change, related to Players decisions /choices that affect the ZOI's or Nodes themselves . For example If you have many different things within a Nodes ZOI that was constructed, spawned, or Enviromentally changed, and that node was completely destroyed (not that this would be common but), Wouldn't the map need to be altered or changed.

    It doesn't seem too feasible to me that the Cartographer would have to manually change all this or how would it update automatically?
  • @Shadowven They would need to manually go back through and adjust their maps, therefore giving them something to always do as a cartographer. It would be a full-time profession. :)

    <blockquote><div class="d4p-bbp-quote-title"><a href="https://www.ashesofcreation.com/forums/topic/cartography/#post-20712">Shadowven wrote:</a></div>This Cartography idea seems very thought out and detailed. I like the idea but one question.

    Wouldn’t the map have to be a living document? Such as changing or evolving as the game progresses through change, related to Players decisions /choices that affect the ZOI’s or Nodes themselves . For example If you have many different things within a Nodes ZOI that was constructed, spawned, or Enviromentally changed, and that node was completely destroyed (not that this would be common but), Wouldn’t the map need to be altered or changed.

    It doesn’t seem too feasible to me that the Cartographer would have to manually change all this or how would it update automatically?

    </blockquote>
  • @DeathsProxy
    Many players ignore interactive online maps, believe it or not. That along is enough to verify viablility.

    <blockquote><div class="d4p-bbp-quote-title"><a href="https://www.ashesofcreation.com/forums/topic/cartography/#post-20610">DeathsProxy wrote:</a></div><blockquote>
    <div class="d4p-bbt-quote-title"><a href="https://www.ashesofcreation.com/forums/topic/cartography/#post-7324" rel="nofollow">FairyPinkett wrote:</a></div>
    Picture this, a new player just spawned into the world. They see in front of them a npc that tells them to head down the path and keep straight until they reach a sign post, to take a right and to travel onward until they reach a village.

    Most of us would instantly open up our map, to go “Okay where?” But you can’t. It says “Map is not enabled.” You’re left curious but step forward, traveling to the destination. Where a play is standing, a goofball with a curious looking fedora waving around little scrolls. “New players get free regional map! I have plenty just come get one!”

    He’s an explorer, someone who traverses the huge and vast world of Ashes. His profession is that of cartography, he loves exploring and adding more to the maps of his. He has his current maps decked out with stamps of resource zones, villages, and more. His friend who is a smith even crafted him a compass of the finest white gold they could find, as payment for a mostly completed world-map.

    This Cartographer is one of the few that have completed his entire world map, from the tallest mountains, to the deepest dungeons. Every inch of the world available to his fingertips he has discovered. He now spends his time adding detail to each regional zone’s map, going to downs and drafting where the local merchants are. Putting this level of detail into his maps only increases the worth of it.

    For some cartographers only get the basic land, not the names or structure, the roads or the towns.

    I hope you guys enjoyed that lil story, but to be realistic my idea is for a Cartography system, in which individuals can draft their own maps as they travel. Your level of cartography leads into what you’re able to do, how much detail you can add.

    I figure with a game such as ashes, where you plan on putting crafting into its core necessity – the ability to draft and create a map/compass/utility items such as those would be really interesting to have, and able to be put into the game without a lot of complications.

    The lack of fast travel already helps with this a bit, it makes the world more vast. But what would add another level to it would be to allow Catrography to be a life-skill or atleast a trade-skill individuals could pick up. Enabling them to take blank map parchment and as they travel it auto matically unlocks the
    “land” on their map. But it doesn’t automatically add in anything else but the land itself, Forest/Villages/Special stuff would be added by the players. The system I’m going to propose for it would be a “stamp” system.

    Stamps work like this, If you stamp a forest onto your map – the game will check if there is actually a forest there, and then if there is, and it has a game-appointed name, it will filter in the name and format the forest into the map itself. If there is no forest, it would give the cartographer a notification along the lines of “That stamp is unusable in this area.”

    Maps would need to be easy to obtain the parchment for, and to level up your cartography you would need to explore. Higher levels of cartography allow for more detail to be added to the map.

    “But once one Cartographer unlocks the entire map, that’s it though because nobody else would beable to?” No, you have to purchase the map from him. So he has to copy it to blank map sheets and sell it. If another Cartographer explores, drafts it, and sells it cheaper then that’s a instant market between the explorers.

    “Would this be the only way to obtain maps?” I firmly believe a npc of a certain level node, should sell node “basic” maps. That outline roads and towns in the region. These maps are only of the node’s area you purchase the map from. So everything within that nodes radius you have a map of.

    “This sounds like a lot of “map” items, will it be?” I hope that the game developers would let you store your maps separately, So if you have a map for node A and one for Node B areas, you can switch between the two based on how you are. If you like how Cartographer A detailed Region B , but you like how Cartographer B detailed Region A, you can switch between whose map you’re viewing. If you purchase a newer, updated map, from a cartographer whose map you already own – Yours should automatically update.

    As a statement, it sounds like a lot of work but I feel it would be worth it for game aesthetic. As the seasons change and the world changes, the maps would need to change as well. New nodes, new villages, new dungeons. Explorers/cartographers would always be needed.

    </blockquote>
    Ultima Online did this before. Not exactly a new concept but it is a good idea. Survival games often have a similar mechanic, however just like DayZ/ARK etc is usually undermined by those interactive map websites. Infact theres already a interactive map being designed on aocsource.com which somewhat undermines this entire concept. Unfortunately the internet in itself often ruins such concepts like this, it also ruins alot of old school style questing, and exploration of the game

    I lothe item databases as it basically tells everyone where to get everything and ruins the concept of exploring a new MMORPG over time. Unfortunately both item databases and interactive maps are popular with alot of gamers attempting to gain an advantage or simply to impatient to unlock things naturally. So while i like your idea, i find of feel it considering how much effort it would take to add to the game vs how quickly it would be rendered useless would make it somewhat alot of wasted development time.

    <a href="http://www.aocsource.com/map/" rel="nofollow">http://www.aocsource.com/map/</a>

    Considering interactive maps will be a thing, as they always are these days, its possible that Intrepid could actually make an official one and have it so it can be view both by the game and the website/smart devices. Allowing the community to update the official map and work together on it with some kind of reputation/upvote system would kind of achieve what your going for … kind of.

    As I said I like your idea, im just not sure why people would pay ingame gold, over just opening a more detailed interactive map on a second monitor or smart phone/tablet.

    </blockquote>
  • @Shadowven You would need to contiously update your maps :D
    @Deathsproxy Many people would avoid interactive maps for the sake if it ruining gameplay. (I know many that deifnitely do.) and with resources changing, moving, not being stationary, always going to a website to see would be lackluster.
  • They already talked about the possibility of this happening in february. So it's a possible dream.
  • Lol look at my posts I've been trying to promote exploration skills and possibly level advancement for a few weeks now.
  • Great idea, and I'd love to see cartography or mapmaking be a prevalent skill in the game for players that pursue it!

    Many new-gen games like Revival, Chronicles of Elyria, etc all have cartography as a major component because it represents value for information. Information that's constantly changing. Heck, even the maps themselves could wear down, as they tend to do in real life after heavy usage.

    There are a lot of details to work out in the design and implementation of it, for example why would a player "need" one in game vs looking up a database site (and you covered some of those).

    But I think this is an idea that is long overdue in games that are trying to simulate virtual worlds and stimulate player interaction :)
  • Seems to me that degradation and lifespan should be a common attribute on everything :D
  • [quote quote=22485]Seems to me that degradation and lifespan should be a common attribute on everything ????

    [/quote]

    For sure! Has this been answered?

    Oh... @Steven ?? :)
  • [quote quote=21652]Lol look at my posts I’ve been trying to promote exploration skills and possibly level advancement for a few weeks now.

    [/quote]
    Look at the discord QnA from February, intrepid already gave it possible thoughts, months ago.
  • Wow I am viewing this from the new site, and I have to say the support for this was wonderful! 
    We would probably need to interact with the interactive map makers if this is installed to maybe get them to.. not? 
    *Ask kindly and hope they stop because it would make our hard-worked maps useless.* 
  • Fantastic Idea. I believe it would be possible to implement this as a profession. it would also be very usefull to have a cartographer in a dungeon party or party iin general, as this person would be able to map out an area beforehand using steatlh skills to then present a map to the party leader of the instance for better strategy and tactics developments.
  • As a potential Explorer/Scout/Ranger type, I love the concept of Cartography as a levelling skill - get to x level for example and you can trade maps, (or parts of maps?) also.
    Caravanner types might really need these maps, especially if they were able to indicate some idea of bandits/threats seen by the scout in a certain area at a certain time (which, of course, might not always prove true as gangs move around - but often they will)? Such gangs or whatever would need to be actually - secretly - observed in situ by the scout, say, in order to actually be enabled to show up on a map...
    Ooh - my tracking abilities are already tingling with excitement!!!
  • I really love your suggestion FairyPinkett, and some of "in development" games are going to implement this. However, the world of Ashes will change every day, small towns are going to develop, other will be demolished. Dungeons might react on such world behavior making your map not at all accurate.

    It would be a huge (and maybe too huge) thing to have an accurate map on a daily base. This is for both the cartographer and his clients who might have to buy new maps every day/week/month.

    Again, I really like the idea of Cartography, I just think it will be very hard to implement in a game like Ashes
  • Sovorack said:
    '... the world of Ashes will change every day, small towns are going to develop, other will be demolished. Dungeons might react on such world behavior making your map not at all accurate.
    ...It would be a huge (and maybe too huge) thing to have an accurate map on a daily base....'

    Again, I really like the idea of Cartography, I just think it will be very hard to implement in a game like Ashes...'

    Sovorack I entirely 'get' what you're saying may apply to towns/habitations...but we may still be able to show harvest areas, natural topography, paths/roads/ports...etc?

  • I like this idea @FairyPinkett. I agree that accurate maps should not be a given in a game like Ashes. I'd like to add the idea discoverable map fragments that unlock more detail on your map, such as event based content, dynamic treasures, hidden routes and other secrets.

    Having a degree of uncertainty as to your exact location in the world to me adds flavor and immersion. Since everyone isn't going to be explorer focussed, I like the idea of selling/trading map information with other players like the explorers of old :)
  • lexmax said:
    I like this idea @FairyPinkett. I agree that accurate maps should not be a given in a game like Ashes. I'd like to add the idea discoverable map fragments that unlock more detail on your map, such as event based content, dynamic treasures, hidden routes and other secrets.

    Having a degree of uncertainty as to your exact location in the world to me adds flavor and immersion. Since everyone isn't going to be explorer focussed, I like the idea of selling/trading map information with other players like the explorers of old :)
    I agree with this completely! 
    Imagine a constantly changing world in which the full blown - Cartographers make tons of $$$ because they are actively mapping and adjusting their maps. Selling them, witnessing the world changing with their very eyes.

    The best cartographers will be THERE when the world changes. They will WITNESS history. Their maps will be STORIES on their own. 

    Imagine nailing a map from the first week of the game up in your house, for new players two years later to view and see how much their world has changed? Imagine the wonder and awe of a nobody cartopher's map that shows a dungeon on it, a dungeon not on any map known to anyone else? 

    If we have this, and region/area only chats in game. (No world chats.) then we could have an INSANELY immersive game world. 
  • Sovorack said:
    I really love your suggestion FairyPinkett, and some of "in development" games are going to implement this. However, the world of Ashes will change every day, small towns are going to develop, other will be demolished. Dungeons might react on such world behavior making your map not at all accurate.

    It would be a huge (and maybe too huge) thing to have an accurate map on a daily base. This is for both the cartographer and his clients who might have to buy new maps every day/week/month.

    Again, I really like the idea of Cartography, I just think it will be very hard to implement in a game like Ashes
    Thats the point, the difficulty ofkeeping a consistently 100% accurate map will be a hefty amount. It means cartographers have to contiously work. 
  • Sovorack said:
    '... the world of Ashes will change every day, small towns are going to develop, other will be demolished. Dungeons might react on such world behavior making your map not at all accurate.
    ...It would be a huge (and maybe too huge) thing to have an accurate map on a daily base....'

    Again, I really like the idea of Cartography, I just think it will be very hard to implement in a game like Ashes...'

    Sovorack I entirely 'get' what you're saying may apply to towns/habitations...but we may still be able to show harvest areas, natural topography, paths/roads/ports...etc?

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