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View Full Version : What do you think about the AZ1 overworld map?



LNQ
02-10-2016, 04:28 AM
Now that we have had some time to play the Campaign mode, I'd like to talk a bit about the overworld map. It's an essential part of the experience and a great unannounced addition to the PvE mode.

But it's not without room of improvement in my opinion. I have a few things that hopefully would be improved in future iterations:

1) AZ1 is very linear. In MMOs you usually have the starting area, and then when you exit that, for example via a small canyon pass, the vast world opens up around you. It would be nice to have multiple paths that would have branches in them, so that you really feel like you are exploring the world, so that you don't have to do & find things in the same order each time. This will surely improve later on as it's faster to launch new content compared to the initial launch of the campaign, but it's worth mentioning I think.

2) You most of the time have just one path to go from A to B. It would be great to have more route options to reach the same place. Much like in the Wormoid quest you have three routes to choose from, the overworld could use multiple paths that offer different kind of encounters each. The fully explored Adventure map looks kind of silly how the rivers are uncrossable except for the two bridges.

3) The Adventure map could be graphically a bit more interesting and present scale better. It requires a lot of imagination to understand the scale of the rivers, forests, deserts etc. You have very little sense of what kind of environment you are traveling in except for the descriptions in the encounters themselves. The map should do a better job at this in my opinion. I'm actually not quite sure how big the scale on the map is supposed to be. On one hand you have mountains and deserts there, but on the other hand there are just a few points of interest on the map. If that map is as big of a chunk of Entrath as I understand it's supposed to be, I feel a better experience could be had if the Overworld would be a little more zoomed in and operate on a smaller scale.

What do you think? The overworld is a great idea and I hope it will be improved upon in the long run, because it's nice now, but it could be absolutely fantastic when improved!

Deathlock
02-10-2016, 05:23 AM
I don't like its vissual appeal. IMO, dungeons look gorgeous and beautiful, and the overlord map looks pretty bad.

Lafoote
02-10-2016, 07:27 AM
MMOs are all typically very linear, though they may grant the illusion they are not. They funnel you from starter area, no noob area, to mid, etc. the only difference here is there are actual lines showing the path.

Svenn
02-10-2016, 07:35 AM
MMOs are all typically very linear, though they may grant the illusion they are not. They funnel you from starter area, no noob area, to mid, etc. the only difference here is there are actual lines showing the path.

Pretty much this. Most MMOs are a giant illusion. There's a specific area for each level that you're going to be in, and it's the same for everyone. It's a little bit different for Sandbox MMOs, but even those typically have specific areas for different levels.

That being said, I'd love to see them open the world (and dungeons) up with lots of different paths.

Alamand
02-10-2016, 07:45 AM
I think they definitely tried at a few points to give us multiple paths, but clearly getting everything in and working(?) was higher up on their priority list. Overall I'm happy enough with it as a first zone, sure more options on which region to explore first would be nice, but i could live with more of the same as long as everything makes sense.

My biggest complaint would probably be that if you go to the other side of the river before talking to the dryad you can't talk to the brother to get his side of the story, or even say "Hey, lower the bridge for me or I'll have to murder your girlfriend".

Also the robot quest, it makes no sense for the majority of characters to have any interest in repairing the robot, they've probably killed a ton of them themselves already. And then you add on the fact that I have no motivation as a player to do it either, The whole 3 fight quest rewards basically nothing, merely a rare stardust which the campaign already throws a ton of at you. There's some hope for this bit if it comes up in a later adventure zone, but currently it just feels wrong, especially on an elf.

Fred
02-10-2016, 08:19 AM
The one gripe I have about the overworld map is how the Water Elemental / Fae Tricksters path doesn't respect the laws of physics or geography.

If the current under the bridge is heading north, and is so strong that it carries you, the land around the junction near the Fae Tricksters would have been a lot more eroded (especially on the northern shore), and you would be pushed even further north into the sea(?). Instead, you are pushed west into the other river. The way this junction is shaped indicates the water should flow under the bridge towards the south.

While it can be argued which way the water flows in the first half of the trip, the second half is a lot more clear cut. The source of the river is in the south, and the confluence, where it joins the other river, is near the Fae Tricksters encounter. This means you are being dragged along the river against the current.

Fred
02-10-2016, 08:22 AM
Also the robot quest, it makes no sense for the majority of characters to have any interest in repairing the robot, they've probably killed a ton of them themselves already. And then you add on the fact that I have no motivation as a player to do it either, The whole 3 fight quest rewards basically nothing, merely a rare stardust which the campaign already throws a ton of at you. There's some hope for this bit if it comes up in a later adventure zone, but currently it just feels wrong, especially on an elf.

I played as a Necrotic. Robots are typically built by dwarves, which are my allies. I decided to repair the robot because I figured that this robot was created by my allies, and that its mission was beneficial to the Underworld. That was reason enough for me. The same reason that I decided not to save the stupid human princess that got turned into a frog. I mean, why would I help a human?

LNQ
02-10-2016, 08:27 AM
I don't like its vissual appeal. IMO, dungeons look gorgeous and beautiful, and the overlord map looks pretty bad.

That's a pretty good summary, to be honest. Let's hope it's just because this was the first AZ and they had to get everything working right. Also, the Bleak Citadel looks like a snowglobe.

Vorpal
02-10-2016, 08:29 AM
2) You most of the time have just one path to go from A to B. It would be great to have more route options to reach the same place.


Well, there are about four different times you have two paths on the map: both bridges, wormoid quest, and up to the rose knight tomb (although one of them I guess is blocked by a landslide, technically).

That seems pretty good?

LNQ
02-10-2016, 08:34 AM
Well, there are about four different times you have two paths on the map: both bridges, wormoid quest, and up to the rose knight tomb (although one of them I guess is blocked by a landslide, technically).

That seems pretty good?

Not what I had in mind. The issues are:

- These alternate routes are basically just one or two nodes different
- The first alt bridge route is blocked by a very hard encounter, so no one will use that route
- The Wormoid quest and the other bridge route are ok
- Rose Knight Tomb route is blocked, it's not an alternate route at all

I would hope for different routes that actually feel as different routes with multiple different encounters, not just "choose one of two different encounters" choices. These should be littered all around the map, imo.

But it's understandable that there were limits to what can be done just to get the campaign out, so I'm not complaining wanting to change existing content, rather hoping that future content will consider these issues.

Tazelbain
02-10-2016, 08:37 AM
My main issue is the ardent and underworld play-through is nearly identical. Its makes ardent vs underworld choice feel completely unimportant. And that's counter to my understanding of AvU being a central driver of story and lore.

Aradon
02-10-2016, 08:40 AM
My only complaint with the Adventure Zone map is that I find it strange they went with a weird 3D model for the map. Everything else they've done has been beautiful hand-painted stuff, like the Dungeons and Panoramas. The 3D version just stands out as different. And yeah, scale is a bit of an issue, since all we have are iconic representations of various dungeons. I'd honestly like to see it illustrated out like the dungeon maps are. And they don't even have to be realistic or accurate maps, for that matter. Junkyard Dogs and Kraken's Gold maps had various representations on them that were more illustrative than informative, and I think that would work great to bring various environments to life.

That's my two cents on the matter.

loopholist3
02-10-2016, 08:54 AM
The one gripe I have about the overworld map is how the Water Elemental / Fae Tricksters path doesn't respect the laws of physics or geography.

If the current under the bridge is heading north, and is so strong that it carries you, the land around the junction near the Fae Tricksters would have been a lot more eroded (especially on the northern shore), and you would be pushed even further north into the sea(?). Instead, you are pushed west into the other river. The way this junction is shaped indicates the water should flow under the bridge towards the south.

While it can be argued which way the water flows in the first half of the trip, the second half is a lot more clear cut. The source of the river is in the south, and the confluence, where it joins the other river, is near the Fae Tricksters encounter. This means you are being dragged along the river against the current.

I agree that the water path looks strange for our world, but you are dealing with water elementals and magical tricksters. The water elementals means that the current could be going both north and south from the bridge, and the fae could be using magic to change the current in their area so that more things end up there.

LNQ
02-10-2016, 08:56 AM
The map could use some annotations as well. We have no clue where we are at just looking at the maps. Some "Howling Plains" here and "Skittering Ridge" there would help a lot.

Also, how about nodes with multiple battles / choices within the node? One node per region of interest (say the forest you start in AZ1), but you have branching options: "You reach a fork in the road. Which route will you choose?" These could include a lot of different small events, perhaps you can only reach certain adjacent nodes by choosing a certain route. Special loot could be hidden behind a certain string of encounters etc.

That would make each node much more interesting.

Hrinkell
02-10-2016, 09:02 AM
Let me throw some random ideas I would like to see in the future

- Random encounters outside your faction-controlled lands: once we are able enter open world, walking swamps, forests, mountains, crossing rivers alone... suddenly, you're attacked by a Stalker of Marbaras!! if you win, you get some gold... if you lose, you lose some gold.

- Daily farm quests: Lucius Dergmoor, mayor of Tatarunga City, offers some reward to whom cleans the huge insect infestation around [Quest: defeat x10 insect-type creatures around Tatarunga City to get <reward>]
These daily quests could be grouped into a bundle so if you achieve 5 different types of dailies you get *special* reward.

- Card pool surplus sink: "Slangaard Castle is under siege! provide x10 Vanguard troops [Cerulea or Gawaine] to break the siege". Then you need to reach the castle (after some random ambushes) and give the troops in order to be able to fight the final battle (boss) to break the siege.

- Some equipment surplus sink, may be some kind of mystical forge where you can combine X amount of different equipment get *random* equipment you don't own. Results may vary depending on the rarity, quantity and type. May be it's possible to add some stardust to the mix to enhance transmutation process. Of course, stardust rarity varies the result as well.
Maybe some of the next Set 3 rare/legendary PvE equip is only available through this mystical forge. Evidently, mystical forge is controlled by [opposite faction], so you can only access and use it after achieving a difficult quest chain.

- Concrete cards progress: quest chains where you focus on releasing a given card powers. PvP cards transformed by this, get PvE status.
a) earn the card (Sky'le Griffin for example)
b) quest 1,2,3,4... > get +x/+x, different keywords, "socketable", cost reduction -1, etc
You are always allowed to use the card, but in it's current status.
There could be a final boss quest with a nice reward, but you need a playset of fully enhanced cards to access.
You are only able to run quest chain 4 times per card playset (you can only enhance 4 Griffin). You can sell these cards in the AH so you make some space and run the quest chain again.
Cards available for this enhancement process can be enabled by other "secret" quests around the world map. Cards available for this process may change weekly, monthly...


I still have other ideas lurking in my mind, but still need some tweaking... hope this could *inspire* HEX devs... although I wish they already way better ideas for the next zones and surprise us with new outstanding features and gameplay modes! :D

magic_gazz
02-10-2016, 01:15 PM
I like it, but I am coming from a TCG background and have never played MMO's.

While I am sure we could all come up with a ton of improvements, these things take time. I would rather have the level of content we have here on a regular release than wait longer for a slightly more pleasing version.

I think we can all agree there is nothing else on the market like what we have here and we know there is still more to come.

Alamand
02-10-2016, 02:03 PM
For now, sure content to get us to max level is more important, though I'd say raids to give us something to grind for are almost as important. And hopefully once those 2 are in place they'll get a little fancier with the zones.

Also, I'd say card hunter is fairly similar to what we have now in terms of execution, if not in gameplay.

Eetabee
02-10-2016, 02:17 PM
If it was any less linear then there would be significantly more threads about nerfing such and such encounter. Why would you want to fight Wicktor at lvl 4 for example. The only option the devs would have is to make those fights easier since they are accessible earlier.

I love the way AZ1 is laid out as the first zone though I am hopeful for more path choices as we get further into AZs and difficulty flattens out.

hitchslap88
02-15-2016, 07:38 PM
The one gripe I have about the overworld map is how the Water Elemental / Fae Tricksters path doesn't respect the laws of physics or geography.

If the current under the bridge is heading north, and is so strong that it carries you, the land around the junction near the Fae Tricksters would have been a lot more eroded (especially on the northern shore), and you would be pushed even further north into the sea(?). Instead, you are pushed west into the other river. The way this junction is shaped indicates the water should flow under the bridge towards the south.

While it can be argued which way the water flows in the first half of the trip, the second half is a lot more clear cut. The source of the river is in the south, and the confluence, where it joins the other river, is near the Fae Tricksters encounter. This means you are being dragged along the river against the current.

It's funny that you mentioned this; I noticed the same thing. The water should flow away from the mountains.

Sixlooter
02-16-2016, 12:41 AM
I also don't like the visual, especially compared to the cool art on cards and in dungeons etc.
My advise would be to make the lines between encounter dots not so straight but more like a real path you would find on the ground. Pay an artist to design 15 or 20 and then randomly use them for maps and dungeons as connections.

Also the dots itsefls, even in dungeons do not really fit or look nice. just design a few more Fantasy looking things that reflect the type of encounter and if already done or not. Should not be THAT big of a deal.

And finally the Icons for the dungeons on the map. Some are quite nice, some look more like something out of a "my little pony" RPG. Does not fit the awesome quality of the game in total and especially the art there is and is to come.

This game is so F*CKING awesome, I think they will tweak this soon and I can't wait for the new stuff. I will pump alot of cash into the system with the start of Set 4 again ;)