FANTASY FRIDAY XII
The MMORTS World Map (2.0)
As promised, we have a very special treat for you today - the grand unveiling of a new, fully 3D MMORTS World Map! Why a new World Map, you ask? Well, if you remember our old map
, it was 2D, towns were just stamps rather than representational models, and, well... it was boring. So while we are going through and updating many of the art and GUI files, we felt the World Map deserved an update just as well. At first, the plan was just to start from scratch to create a new, super-high resolution map that would have 3D icons, show off more of the terrain, and have show off towns in a more representational manner. Of course this wasn't enough for us, and soon this little plan evolved into a fully 3D World Map, involving the time and skills of half of the studio, with the works - scale models of each town, dynamic changes brought upon by the season and light cycle, swaying trees and rippling water, etc.
Looking at these screenshots, you may start to fear how much loading time an entire world will add to the game in comparison to our old map. But rest assured, that every effort has been made to make it as fast as possible, and in the end, there is hardly any noticeable time difference. The World Map is instanced together with your Homeland so you won't have to keep loading them, and everything on the map is very scaled down - and we didn't just adjust the scale in the editor, we created all new objects with smaller models and textures so they will look the best and take very little time to load.
While it's functional right now, this is still a work in progress as we'll be doing some, mostly aesthetic, additions to it before the beta - such as banners showing the names of the towns and regions, low flying cloud layers, flying birds, traveling trade caravans, etc.
The new world map offers a scale model of each NPC stronghold, your homeland, and the major quest towns and locations you'll encounter throughout your adventure. You will be able to read all about the various locations before sending out an army.
Boasting a brand new interface, the army system works much the same as it did before. You will be able to group your units and resources into armies that you can send throughout Mythador to trade, quest, scout, or conquer. You will also be able to split your armies into smaller armies. Your armies (up to ten) will be represented with a single unit slowly traveling across the map. We also hope to display allied armies (up to 20) and your army camps on this map.
Your armies can set up base camps anywhere on the map (for a small amount of wood and gold). When constructing a base camp, you have the option of no fortification, light fortification, or heavy fortification.
Upon reaching a stronghold, you will be able to choose to enter it or attack it. If you choose to enter, you will only have control over a single unit while inside of that stronghold. This makes it easier to trade as it's not always the easiest parading down a narrow alleyway with siege towers, ogres, and livestock.
When you enter a stronghold, you will be able to head directly to the Goods or Mercenary Market - check out our Markets showcase for more information.
Another shot of the beautiful scenery surrounding Teria, this time with a focus on the great stronghold of Thorndale.
Using the World Map's functions, group your units into armies. In this case, I am sending some peasants with cows to sell at the goods market.
Reflecting the change in season, the World Map is now covered with a thick layer of snow
From the populous Dagbor and the dragon realm to the dwarven caves and barren deserts of the southeast, the new World Map shows you everywhere you can venture and while you trek through these vast resources, you will be able to zoom in to see your army on a new, instanced map of the region they are currently traveling through. Happy traveling!