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THE MAP: A Compendium of the Wild's End Dev Stream

    • 199 posts
    September 13, 2021 11:23 PM PDT

    THE MAP: A Compendium of The Wild’s End Dev Stream

    The Overview

    The majority of Fantheon can appreciate a good Dev Stream.  After all, we are paying for them and so should take time to appreciate them.  There are, however, many tidbits of information, some say “beans”, that can be lost as these streams meander through the countryside of time.  It is this article’s objective to squeeze all the bean juice from each bean.

    First of all, the biggest point Joppa tried to make at the outset flyover is that this zone is big.  And it became clear through the stream that it was going to be very complicated to explain how big exactly.  Joppa said that he had made the run himself from the southern tip of Wild’s End to the northern zoneline and it took 20 minutes.  For perspective, it takes roughly 40 minutes to run from Freeport to Qeynos without a SOW.  Now, look at the one continent that is being worked currently for Alpha…

    From the tip, there are not a lot of zones that cover that could be said to be bigger (except Silent Plains which is mammoth in size) but almost all are close to the same.

    It also is important to reiterate the level of detail that they have given to the players to date in terms of this map. In other articles on THE MAP, it was speculated that some of this map had been modeled with fidelity for terrain while it appeared other places had not.  Look at the difference between places that appear to have more fidelity and others that appear completely flat…

    Here we see the terrain on the far eastern zoneline going from Vae to Silent Plains is completely flat, even areas in Vae Wood that are noticeably void of contour amidst areas that are definitely contoured. Now, notice in the picture of Wild’s end, the ONLY place that has contour is the entrance to the zone to the area where the Wellpond will be (discussion forthcoming).  This is because it was stated in the last dev stream with Tourke that the terrain blocking piece done in ProBuilder had only been done on Thronefast, Avendyr’s Pass, BRK, The Murk, and Silent Plains had started being put together in ProBuilder so it did not need the converting to greybox like the other zones. We know that at the end of Faerthale, they had put the entirety of that zone together So on the released map, the zones with the least amount of terrain contour detail are the ones not mentioned by Tourke: VoA, South Saol, Vae, and Wild’s End.  Some bits have been done, but they could be from the transfer of old assets into Houdini and can throw them back on the greyboxed world when it is reformed in ProBuilder.

    It would be a disservice not to mention once again that these zones are not created individually but as one continuous landmass, making zonelines completely arbitrary in their placement.  Even beyond that, once HDRP and terrain streaming are in place, the tiles of the world are loaded a section at a time, so even though you walk to a zone line, you are already looking into the next complete zone.  Here is an example.  During the same stream with Tourke, he showed some assets that had been made using ProBuilder and some very nifty shaders and assets for creating tunnels and caves.  He zoomed out and moved on his map to show a pass between Silent Plains and Faerthale where the zoneline would be.  The crazy part is that where he was showing off the assets was IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROANS!  He had picked an unformed piece of the Roans to plop those assets to show them off, zoomed over the mountains into a pass leading from Silent Plains into Faerthale and all of it was contiguous. See below.

    Now, the pass he showed is off to the left and I will show a better shot of it in a moment, but even in this very unfinished state as of Tourke’s stream and the the time the map was released, some additional work had already been done to greyboxing The Roans out, including the path around the White Gate where the zoneline from Faerthale and The Roans is marked.  Notice the circular peak in the upper part, the shape of the plain inside the Roans, the rectangular lake in Faerthale in the upper left corner and the curved stream to the left of that.

    Now, there was a bit of a perspective on the screen as Tourke zoomed around that skews the two images just a touch, but if you look at the combined image, you can see that the world shown on the map is a one-for-one match to what they are showing us in greybox. 

    This means we can take the map and greybox and work out any POIs they throw at us from on, barring they don’t change the greybox too much and make it harder to tell..  So, without further ado, allow me to present the Wild’s End from all that we know now.

    And together…

    The Landmarks

    Above, the original map is laid down to try to match the perspective of the flyover shot from the stream.  Again, it is not perfect, but as good as could be done in a limited amount of time.  What this does is point out to us where on our map each of these locations lie.

    Sorhiryth is a good distance from the zoneline, where we are graced with the tree careening over the crevace as we pass underneath. In that shot, Joppa pointed out that the tops of the Ulon trees could be made out all the way from the zoneline, yes, in the other zone. You can literally see Sorhiryth from the Eastern Plains.

    In an earlier article from THE MAP, I had speculated based on the waterfalls and tall mountains surrounding that Sorhiryth was possibly at the northwest part of the map.  We see from the stream that the location is quite literally in the very center of Wild’s End, butted up against the main mountain range on the southeast coast of the zone. This is interesting. If you remember the 2016 or 2017 streams with CohhCarnage, Sorhiryth was shown from an overlook on a mountainside.

    On top of this mountain lay in very close proximity to the starting city a much higher lever area know as The Gate.

    We were not told where the Gate was located. I’m sure with a little time it could be worked out from all the video clips that were part of the stream but we do know that the area is going to be in close proximity of the city as the late, great Aradune made it a point, as did Joppa, that it was important to have low level and high level players intermingling as strung carrots for the younger players to see what amazing things awaited them. And notice the character for scale reference in the above image.

    The area also included a reptilian or dragon-humanoid race known as the Emeraldscale, though not much is still know about them.

    Heading south from Sorhiryth, takes you to the very, very, very, uh very large ruins of the now extinct (maybe) Ghaldassii Giants.Without proper scale, it would be hard to explain how massive this is, but try to imagine this, the starting city for the halflings appears to be about half the size of the ruins of the Ghaldassi. The western port area alone by Joppa’s 20 minute run comment appears it would take a good 4 minutes just to run through north to south, which is the thinnest slice of this region.  And, as Joppa was quick to point out, the juxtaposition of the Halfling town peering over to the mountainside at the enormous giant’s rise to the eastern overlook is going to be quite a sight to behold.

    To the west of Sorhiryth is the Mad Moors, a festering swamp bog as Joppa less than eloquently put it.  We are told that the Mad Moors host two races, one new to Terminus and one ancient. What those are, only time will tell.  On the newest map, three rivers were drawn over the area where the moors were, but this was for an artistic representation of the low lying area.  As the screenshots showed, the entirety of the area is saturated with stagnant water. And there may be some pockets of not so shallow briny waters mixed in, with allusions given of potential deep pockets of water holding all sorts of danger and secrets. Speaking of deep water…

    To the north of Sorhiryth lies the Wellpond.

    The flyover of this “pond” was a little ho-hum without any trees or buildings or landmarks of any kind to give perspective.  Wait, what’s that???

    This is not a pond, this is a lake, and a very large one. Judging by the size of the character, this perhaps is not quite Lake of Ill Omen size, maybe more of a Dagnor’s Cauldron, which lest it is forgotten was an entire zone itself. Now, you want to speak of how big this lake is, here is an artistic idea of what the Wellpond could be like..

    In case you are wondering, the picture shows a depth almost twice as big as the surface diameter. One area for exploration in just this zone is twice as deep as Dagnor’s Cauldron was wide.  Take a moment and let that “sink” in.

    The Lore

    There are so many things going on in this zone, and many we don’t know of.  We have heard the name of the Ghaldassii giants before, but not with any context and none was given.  Obviously, a decent amount of time has been given to the Halfling’s history here on Terminus so there is not much point in adding to that commentary.

    There is the tale of the Wraith.

    Wraith have been described as being Unmortal. That sounds flowery and mysterious, but only when written in that fashion.  The truth seems much less mysterious; perhaps if it was written like this: un-mortal. Mortals become Wraith by “losing” their mortal forms.  They can become wraith by being cursed, as Armond Toryn was cursed by Gnashura, Prince of the Bane.  Gnashura is called the Uncounted Prince, which would seem to mean he is not counted as a prince, but is one.  It may be that he is an outcast from the Wraithdom at The Gate.  It could also be that he was a mortal prince but once he was cursed, he was discounted by his lineage.  To clarify for all, bane and curse are synonymous.  The fact that the Bane is a thing leads one to the conclusion that all of Wraithkind are cursed mortals who have lost their mortality.

    It is also curious that some cultists of Ulthiros, one of the human gods, are cursed by this wraith-making curse called the Wither.  The Wither affects sentient races and even jungle creatures as we saw in the old stream of Wild’s End with withered boas crawling around the ruins near The Gate.  The withered show up again in Halnir’s cave where the worshippers of Ulthiros, Keeper of the Damned, have fled.  It is worth mentioning that the worship of Ulthiros has been banned by Men.  This is following a troubling time in history when one of the kings of Men, Alonthir, secretly took part in this evil cult, eventually driving him mad.  What happened to him in the end is unknown. Was he cursed by The Wither? Was the worship of Ulthiros the cause of all Wraith? Is The Gate, so close to the Halflings civilization, a gateway to the human underworld, to Ulthiros himself? Or is it the Halflings who brought the Wither with them from their homeworld of Hyrith?

    With so many things to uncover and explore, it seems that many will enjoy Wild’s End for a good amount of time. And once you’ve figured out all its secrets, you only have nine more zones to go… on this one continent.

    Benonai, leader of the Resistance Against the Corrupt House of Amensol

    Viva RACHA

     

    As a side note, thinking of the three continents we know of, Kingsreach, Reignfall, and Whitethaw, there is a strange piece of lore that discusses the western coast of a landmass where the last of the Remnant, the saved beings who used to be Ginto, were said to be dwelling within relatively close proximity to their cursed kin, the Revenant.  It was stated by this author back months now…

    It was stated by Joppa, as we peered over the collapsed platform at the top of the Ghaldassi Rise that east points the direction of more things to explore that will become more obvious as the unfolding of events in the Frail Age continue to march on.  I believe to the East lies another continent where the Remnant and the Revenant are at war, and this war will reach back to the rest of Terminus and usher in another Deicide War with the return of The Ravaging Lord, a rise of the Fallen. And perhaps we will finally meet these Ghaldassii giants who abandoned there home here in Wild’s End so long ago.


    This post was edited by Benonai at September 14, 2021 10:54 AM PDT
    • 199 posts
    September 14, 2021 8:04 AM PDT

    And it is fixed.

    • 46 posts
    September 14, 2021 8:26 AM PDT

    Excellent writeup as usual.

    • 1334 posts
    September 14, 2021 9:47 AM PDT

    Benonai said: As a side note, thinking of the three continents we know of, Kingsreach, Reignfall, and Tenebrous, there is ...

    I'm sure you were just distracted, and do know that Tenebrous Tundra is a place on the southern continent of Whitethaw.

    (Unless I missed some big news recently)

    • 1715 posts
    September 14, 2021 10:02 AM PDT

    IMO:

    All I could think of (while watching this) was how small it all was, and as a result, how small the rest of the world will be, compared to EQ1 launch. :|

    I mean, extrapolating any of those features to scale (as Jothany has done) means.. it's all very small.   
    I'm not sure how they expect one of these three continents to support 1000+ players concurrently, if a server capacity is intended to be 3000+?

    I'm quite surprised they released this information, given how quickly the community would work out the actual sizes.

    • 199 posts
    September 14, 2021 10:55 AM PDT

    Jothany said:

    I'm sure you were just distracted, and do know that Tenebrous Tundra is a place on the southern continent of Whitethaw.

    (Unless I missed some big news recently)

    Thanks Jothany.  I missed it in my quick proof.  Don't hold it against me!

    • 416 posts
    September 14, 2021 12:41 PM PDT

    Thanks for the detailed write up, from my experience using these forums I can only guess how hard that was to get all right. I agree with vjek assessment the world seems like it might be too small. Well to be fair smaller than I had hoped for. They do have a small team though and I would like to play the game at some point so maybe this will be good enough to launch with? It is hard to judge the real size without playing or seeing the density of things like dungeons and such.

    For now I will continue to have faith the developers know what is needed and are doing what they can to accomplish it with the limited resources they have.


    This post was edited by Susurrus at September 15, 2021 9:51 AM PDT
    • 293 posts
    September 14, 2021 2:05 PM PDT

    hmm I must be the odd one out, this is about the size I was expecting from past conversations.

    Atleast we're getting three continents.

    • 199 posts
    September 14, 2021 8:45 PM PDT
    I must be missing something. What games are y'all comparing this to to think it is small? You can comfortably camp 40-50 people in Estate of Unrest. Amberfaet for all purposes is a dungeon and the devs told us they've given themselves 6000 meters vertically to design content all over the world. Seems like a zone like Wilds End could support up to 200 players grouped up or hanging out and have enough mobs for everyone...
    • 31 posts
    September 15, 2021 4:41 AM PDT

    Looks like there is atleast a year of play for me and my friends on this map alone. The scale looks great to me.

    • 46 posts
    September 15, 2021 5:47 AM PDT

    Benonai said: I must be missing something. What games are y'all comparing this to to think it is small? You can comfortably camp 40-50 people in Estate of Unrest. Amberfaet for all purposes is a dungeon and the devs told us they've given themselves 6000 meters vertically to design content all over the world. Seems like a zone like Wilds End could support up to 200 players grouped up or hanging out and have enough mobs for everyone...

    Yeah I'm also very confused by the cries of "too small." Was it just smaller than they wanted? It's massive. Look at the Well Pond and the teeny tiny person standing near by. As you pointed out, that makes the Well Pond at least the size of Dagnor's Cauldron. I would really peg all of Wild's End to be about the same size as Faedwer, if not a touch bigger.

    • 1334 posts
    September 15, 2021 9:39 AM PDT

    vjek said: I mean, extrapolating any of those features to scale (as Jothany has done) means.. it's all very small.  

    I'm just a tad confused about where it was that I extrapolated that. Was it on another thread somewhere?

    • 1964 posts
    September 15, 2021 10:43 AM PDT

    Good assessment.  I'm not one who thinks it's to small.  The scale seemed huge.  

    The elephant in the room that wasn't mentioned is Tourke. 

    It was mentioned that Tourke did a lot of work on the terrain/world building that relates directly to this thread but it wasn't mentioned that, as of August, he isn't on the team anymore. We really don't know how that affects the state of things or how his departure will alter future world building.  It can't be positive.


    This post was edited by philo at September 15, 2021 10:46 AM PDT
    • 1715 posts
    September 15, 2021 2:03 PM PDT

    philo said: ... The elephant in the room that wasn't mentioned is Tourke. 

    It was mentioned that Tourke did a lot of work on the terrain/world building that relates directly to this thread but it wasn't mentioned that, as of August, he isn't on the team anymore. We really don't know how that affects the state of things or how his departure will alter future world building.  It can't be positive.

    Ouch!

    Jothany said:

    I'm just a tad confused about where it was that I extrapolated that. Was it on another thread somewhere?

    In the comparisons, screenshots, overlays, and screen captures above, in this thread.  In particular, by pointing out and focusing on the scale when compared to an individual player.

    • 2234 posts
    September 15, 2021 3:38 PM PDT

    Benonai said: I must be missing something. What games are y'all comparing this to to think it is small? You can comfortably camp 40-50 people in Estate of Unrest. Amberfaet for all purposes is a dungeon and the devs told us they've given themselves 6000 meters vertically to design content all over the world. Seems like a zone like Wilds End could support up to 200 players grouped up or hanging out and have enough mobs for everyone...

    Just having 6,000m total allowed height in a zone isn't necessary a huge plus if 1) there is no content in that volume; or 2) you have no means to access that volume.  Looking the volume above the ground level of Wild's End (if it sits at 0m) could be complete devoid of anything. If there is, say, some flying creature 2,900m above your head but you can't reach it, what's the point of it being there?  Same for going 3,000m down that Wellpond.  If content only happens at the bottom (or sides by looking at that concept art) the vast majority of the volume of that Wellpond is just there to let you get to those places that actually has stuff in it.  It could end up being the vertical version of West Karana...something you AFK run/swim through to get to something actually meaningful.

    If you're looking at cubic meters to determine the amount of content in a zone, the ratio is going to look terrible.  It's square meters that matters more.

    vjek said:

    philo said: ... The elephant in the room that wasn't mentioned is Tourke. 

    It was mentioned that Tourke did a lot of work on the terrain/world building that relates directly to this thread but it wasn't mentioned that, as of August, he isn't on the team anymore. We really don't know how that affects the state of things or how his departure will alter future world building.  It can't be positive.

    Ouch!

    He ain't wrong.


    This post was edited by Vandraad at September 15, 2021 3:40 PM PDT
    • 4 posts
    September 18, 2021 7:35 AM PDT

    Not sure if Antonica is a fair comparison because there are so many other variables involved but it is certainly the comparison the most of us would be familiar with.  If bottom to top of Wild's End is 20m then bottom of Wilds End to top of Avendyr's estimates as 40m, ignoring potential for impassable sections.  Freeport to Qeynos being noted as 40m makes N-S for King's Reach comparable to E-W for Antonica.  I have no concern about continent size at launch.'

    That said, West Karana is the image that scares me a little with things being expansive and sparse.  THAT said, I have complete faith it will all work out and they'll roll out something amazing. 

    • 1107 posts
    September 18, 2021 5:03 PM PDT

    Benonai said: I must be missing something. What games are y'all comparing this to to think it is small? You can comfortably camp 40-50 people in Estate of Unrest. Amberfaet for all purposes is a dungeon and the devs told us they've given themselves 6000 meters vertically to design content all over the world. Seems like a zone like Wilds End could support up to 200 players grouped up or hanging out and have enough mobs for everyone...

    You cannot "comfortably camp 40-50 people in Estate of Unrest."  You can have 12-18 people fighting with 12-18 other people over one of the 4 camps depending on their level... at any given time, one group of a given level range (with the exceptoin of two groups in the court yard) can "comfortably camp" in Unrest... The other 30 of your 50 people are sitting around trying to get into one of the other 4 groups or clambering to find a group elsewhere (unless they have the option to /pick a different instance of the same zone).  When you take into consideration that the different camps require different level ranges in the same zone, you limit your player pool even more.  You can have a group of 10-15ish in the courtyard, 16-20ish in the Main Room, 21-26ish at Fire Place, and 26-30ish in the Basement... so if you have 30 people LFG but they're all lvl 18... there's really only one camp they can go to.