Map 4.0 - The Good, the Bad and the Cartography


#1

Hi all,

As you all know, 4.0 is out and came with a lot of new features. I’d like to discuss the map overhaul.

The good:

  1. Snow falls, clouds float, waves crash - the environment is alive
  2. The continent feels bigger with the kingdoms not being on top of each other
  3. The UI elements retreat from the map so you can easily see the detail

The bad:

  1. This map is another step away from the fantasy. The loading screens with their beautifully painted environments were a great step toward the wonderful fantasy element again, then the map pops up and it’s like looking at a brightly colored and stylized cartoon
  2. Yellow. While meadows can be yellow, this yellow is too bright and too plentiful.
  3. Zoom. You cannot zoom all the way out anymore so you end up doing a lot of dragging. The map has beautiful elements to it, and seeing them in their entirety I think would go a long way toward endearing this map to us
  4. While the kingdoms icons appear on the map, nothing on the map would indicate cities are there. It’s like a map of an untamed land with a bunch of crests dropped on it.

I am very pro content, and I am quite enjoying this patch. Like all change, the map will be refined and will become normal to us. I think a good discussion on how to improve it will end up with the best possible outcome.

How do you feel about it? I hear it is a perfect overlay to Boise, Idaho. Do you live in Boise? Which part of the map is your house in?


#2

+1 for Bad
The new map is far away from beauty. Not even the same style of the whole game. The game is more hand-draw feeling where the new map looks like made by a 3D technology 10 yrs ago.

Every time I saw the new map, it feels like the map is still loading and waiting for the fully rendering…


#3

The map really should see more improvements. These mountains are… ugh…:nauseated_face:


#4

To be fair, very few Kingdoms represent cultures which would build noticeable cities: IMHO Adana is the only very strong case, with Whitehelm and Sword’s Edge probably having some sort of central large town and Blackhawk and Darkstone being island towns. Most of Krystara’s cultures appear to be nomadic/foraging cultures rather than agrarian settlers.


#5

I don’t like the new map and plan on filing bug reports that the quality selector seems to be broken and only displays “lowest” no matter what I do.

But in like 3 days I’m going to be tired of it and move on.


#6

I don’t like the new map either but my quality selector seems stuck on high. I tried to change it to compare and it was the exact same.


#7

Really loving the map and super clean good job devs.


#8

I love the new map too, I think it’s awesome looking.


#9

In the actual game, it’s less horrible for my vision disabilities than the stream indicated, but it’s still just not a good map and it has some really, really bad spots (where it’s the brightest).

I also agree with it not feeling handdrawn anymore - I think the new map was supposed to match the 3D-currencies and not the card art anymore, which is a step away from what the main focus of the game should be.

I pretty much feel that if someone would just add some dang outlines, things would be much better. It really feels unfinished. The thing is that to me, the Underworld feels much better - because it’s darker, so things appear to have outlines there. That said, I still preferred the old artstyle compared to the Underworld map by far, but at least the Underworld map seems less unfinished.

Still, it would be nice if the problematic things for colorblind people would get adjusted at least. It’s really taxing for my eyes. Being able to see more things than expected is good, still having stuff hurt my eyes is…less good.


#10

For me the new map is ugly. It looks like a kid from elementary school painted it. x_X


#11

Zooming in on this issue. ;p To me, none of the other changes matter because this makes the map miserable for me to use.


#12

They took an eye appealing map and turned it into a cartoon rendering. Nothing nice you can say about the style.

However I do really like the new map effects! That looks nice and is a step in the right direction.

I think it’s the weird gradient effect I’m not liking. It should have more textures. And the mountains don’t look like mountains at all.

Please add a zoom out option because I hate all the dragging and perhaps the map wouldn’t look so bad zoomed out lol


#13

My thoughts on the New Map:


Thank you. I forgot to point out the zooming issue in my original post. I hate how we can’t zoom out that far too.


#14

Also I forgot to add that I actually dislike how spread out the kingdoms are because, now that there’s no zoom, sooooo much dragging.

Even with a zoom out it’ll still be more dragging.

Note, I play on mobile. A normal sized iPhone.


#15

Try doing that kind of movement with a Thumbstick on Xbox. It is some of the most awkward movement in a video game I have ever seen. Especially, when you are used to using a D-Pad, for almost 2 years, that has a quick reaction reponse when you push it. It makes this new dragging technique feel incredibly sluggish and out of place/date for such a “modern” game.


#16

Maybe a possible solution the Devs should implement was to make a better refinement on the movement and add a trigger in a button that when hold will speed up the movement. For example you want to move around a kingdom close to your current location then you can use the normal movement, but if you want to move around a far location in the map you hold the button and then the movement is faster.

Or maybe creating an invisible grid feature to make the directional always jump into the nearest kingdom in the general direction you pressed for. Example:

image
In the picture as Wild Plains is selected (and i must add that buffing the gnolls of this kingdom would also improve things greatly) if you push Left you would then select Blackhawk, if you pressed Down it would go to Sin of Maraj, pressing Right would take back into Wild Plains because it’s closer than Shentang and so on…

Well i’m almost assuming this is probably already in the game, because it seems counter intuitive if it’s not, but since there are complains about the behaveior of the map i’m suggesting it anyway. (Specially the part about buffing the gnolls.)


#17

I have a very important question to ask about that and i am not just shamelessly quoting this statement for truth, but on a scale from 1 to 10, how much exactly do you think buffing Gnolls of this kingdom would improve things?


#18

Well, in D&D settings they have excelent movement stats, so i don’t see how this wouldn’t help with the movement around the Map. :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

I am too lazy to post pages worth of all the reasons why, but I have two theories, both related.

The old map struck me as a giant raster asset. I don’t know if they had multiple resolutions available, but big raster files both “cost money” and “cost memory”.

The new map doesn’t quite strike me as a vector asset, but there’s far less detail in it. The things that do have detail tend to be individual small things like mountains for forests.

So I think either/both:

  • The money costs of paying for artists to produce multiple high-quality maps (remember, they want to release MORE maps) exceeded the budget, especially considering how the number of resolutions to support is increasing.
  • The memory costs of maintaining large raster assets in the game were creating memory burdens, and the devs are trying to make the app more lean.

We can bicker back and forth about “how much an artist really costs” but these are the most logical reasons for the devs to take a step back in quality like this. I do not believe for a moment they agree this map looks better. But if I had to choose between “we can implement more features” or “the map can look pretty” I’d sigh and change the map too.

That’s the theory I’m believing.

If the game had released with this map, I’d have never noticed. The main thing that leads to griping, I think, is the game started with very expensive, high-polish art direction that cost more than it could afford. Now that we’re stepping back to more affordable art direction, it feels like we’re losing something.


#20

Mountains look like monster poop. Oh wait, they are monster poop, never mind.