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  1. 1. Choose the type(s) of map you prefer:

    • BG1 style (free roaming across connected but not continuous maps)
    • BG2 / IWD / PST style (points of interest)
    • Fallout / NwN2:SoZ style (free roaming with points of interest and random maps inbetween)
    • Ultima / Elder Scrolls style (free roaming on continuous map)
  2. 2. About random encounters on travel:

    • I like random encounters
    • I like them but *only* if they don't feel too generic and are not only battle encounters
    • I don't like random encounters
    • I don't care

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I don't think it matters to me which style of mapping is used. The map is there to give me a broad overview of the way the world appears, to orientate myself, and remind me of unexplored areas. Whether it's one big area that I can move around on freely or if it's sectioned off into smaller areas doesn't matter for that. Too, "hotspot" based maps don't limit random or quest-based encounters; you can still have events happen during your travels (DA:O used this, for instance) or have areas become accessible after certain goals are met.

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Darklands and Realms of Arkania have the best travel systems I've seen in a cRPG . Obsidian tried to revive the first one in Storm of Zehir, and to a certain degree it succeeded. I would love to see another attempt, only with more depth and a 2d map this time.


Yes to some modified version of the map used in Darklands. The problem I had with the travel map in SOZ is it felt a bit cartoon-y to me, but maybe some version of that could work.

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BG2 was fairly restrictive with regards to map travel, of course many people forgave that because the story was a continuation from BG1 and the game itself was so good. Also you had access to a big city right from the early stages of the game so it made travel kind of obsolete with so much content in a few city zones.


BG1 has a better map system, it allowed free roaming with limits, for example you couldn't get to certain areas without first completing certain quests. It was pretty much a grid system whereby you had to travel through several areas to reach the limit of the map in any direction but once you had done it once you could speed travel afterwards with a risk of a random encounter.


Dragon Age Origins was a system I disliked, it was so restrictive it felt like you were being railroaded. You could not go anywhere without unlocking it with a quest, for example the main city Denerim is inaccessible until after certain events, then you can skip over the entire country to get there and only visit the areas in between when doing other quests.

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I prefer navigable overland map with some skill usage FO/SoZ style (SoZ overdid the skill usage a bit, though). It gives me the best sense that the world is wider than the areas I can enter. BG2/IWD style doesn't feel as much as a word as a picture with some icons to click. BG1 style is a little better, but still feels more like a collection of areas.

Edited by Kissamies

SODOFF Steam group.

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  • 5 weeks later...

If I travel by map, a random encounter is something that gets in the way of what I was planning to do. I want to be able to freely travel without every three inch having to fight another encounter. this way travel becomes a chore. This is something I feel strongly about. I can't stand it when I am planning on going somewhere and it goes "Nope, first you HAVE to do this" it breaks flow. and rare has been the time that a random encounter was interesting enough that I even cared.

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I want something like Fallout 2 but more in the Arcanum style.


And I would love random encounters. Not for the repetitive battles but for the interesting random encounters (perhaps meet a npc, or some weird reference from another game..

Edited by Bill Gates' Son
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In many games I find random encounters/monsters more of a hassle than enjoyable, but considering the people making this game, I'll take even generic combat encounters gladly. Admittedly that's mostly because I trust that if those kinds of encounters were there, there would be a good reason beyond "let's throw random monsters at them" behind them.

And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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I liked Arcanums map, because you could encounter points of interest that would become important later on quite early in the game and gave you a lot of choice in which quests/cities to approach first. They kind of overdid it, though, because theoretically you really could walk from point x to point y through a very generic landscape - even if it took hours. Too bad railways and the like always ended directly after the city borders... Thus I voted for the Fallout 1 approach.


Oh, and random encounters should be there, but well done, unique, maybe funny. Not only battles (but there should be some, never without a storyline behind them though - and if it only is that the highwaymen got desperate enough to attack a well-armed party).

"Was du nicht kennst, das, meinst du, soll nicht gelten? Du meinst, daß Phantasie nicht wirklich sei?

Aus ihr allein erwachsen künft'ge Welten: In dem, was wir erschaffen, sind wir frei."

- Michael Ende, Das Gauklermärchen

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I liked Storm of Zehir personally, especially the map exploration. I would, however, like it if there were approximations given on the map for things like quest objectives or rumoured treasure troves - you discuss them in dailog, and some "approximately here" bubble shows up on the map, provided you learn enough.

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