In-game maps would make it much easier for people to return to EQ.

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Strawberry, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Strawberry Augur


    Back in the 90s it was common place that each software developer, no matter how small, managed their own downloads.

    But we moved on, we realized the inherent dangers of people downloading files from untrusted sources. Windows started warning people, we developed software repositories like Steam, we developed mobile app stores. We moved from a decentralized system to a curated and centralized system we trust.

    When a player comes back to Everquest, not having maps is the first major hurdle they encounter trying to enjoy Everquest.

    Everquest, lacking in in-game maps for the majority of zones, expects players to go to an untrusted source, ignore Windows warnings, unpack a ZIP file and copy files into a folder onto their PC.

    Not only is this a time consuming hurdle that costs you players (to put it in perspective, over half of users leave a site if it does not load in 3 seconds), the files are distributed in a way that can not guarantee the safety of the user's system.

    I ask again, knowing others have made this request before many times, to provide in-game maps to all zones.
    Jumbur likes this.
  2. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    I think the original idea was that each player had to draw their own maps with the in-game map tool. because that was the tradition in oldschool RPG's back then. But hardly anyone consider this a fun "minigame"(a few does though), and just download them from the internet instead.
    Im not sure the "download from the internet" was the intention at all, it just sort of happened...

    Anyway, I agree that in-game maps should be considered a standard in games nowadays...if they want to, they could supply them unlabeled or something, just have the genral layout prepared at least.

    Both having a /find tool and a travel guide, and no default game-maps always struck me as a weird contrast...o_O
  3. xxGriff Augur

    as you noted, any "common place" practice is/was 2 decades ago. I used to collect empty soda bottles when i was a kid but, that is no longer a practice. your assertion of "Untrusted websites" and "Windows warnings" is quite sweeping and while there is certainly some credence to being wary and having caution, both the 2 most popular persons distributing map files are Brewall's and Good's, I have never had any issues or problem with virii, malware or duplicity in all the years of using their respective map packs or websites. you can download and easily scan for any malware, as they are txt files and free it takes couple minutes in total to DL "unzip". You do realize M$ Windows (Windows Defender) gives the same "warning" when you download an exe from their (MS) own site(s)/repositories. in any case the point is moot as you have antivirus and, by all means use it. EQ allows multiple map directories, and the ability to switch between them. a feature I like and use having my original map files, Brewall and Good on hand to edit and use as i see fit.

    The original means/practice to maps (once they were introduced) allowed us to map zones ourselves. in 1999 I used a binder with maps printed from EQ Atlas, and /loc to find my way around. In short, while i understand a certain, all be it small, distaste for being asked to look to a 3rd party/person for map files, I am also completely thankful to those individuals for taking the time to map. I have donated to the cause as well. it saved me time, effort and no small amount of frustration.

    as to your timeline regarding online, gaming and business models, its still changing. I doubt very much that Steam or Stadia or GeForce Now are etched in stone, forever and ever. Sorry you find it too risky and taxing, to download 28mb of txt files in a zip, and extract. seemed pretty easy and convenient for me. essentially, it is what it is and there are means to procure maps to remedy any issues.
    Zamiam and CatsPaws like this.
  4. bortage spammin lifetaps

    Having to manually install fanmade maps so that you don't piss off your groups is really bizarre and makes the game feel like a clunky private server to new players
    Thancra and Vumad like this.
  5. Fanra

    I think the point is that there are many people who are simply not computer savvy. While it might seem simple for some to just find, download, and install maps, there are many who just can't figure that out.

    Even more, is there a point in not having maps come with the game? Is it some kind of meta quest to get maps?

    Simple, basic zone maps should be there for every zone. Then, those of us who want better maps can download the ones which some very nice people provide.

    The reason I guess they are not there is that Darkpaw doesn't want to spend the time creating them (or vetting them from ones created by players).

    SOE actually had a "Submit map to SOE" program:

    I'm guessing this was discontinued because they didn't have the time to run this.
  6. Vumad Augur

    There is a saying in the fire service...

    100 years of tradition unimpeded by progress.

    EverQuest is a fifth of the way there (when it comes to mapping).

    They did add the atlas and the zone guide however, so that is good.

    I can understand not having maps at expansion launch, but it should be standard to patch in maps 1-3 months in.
  7. Nadisia Augur

    So true.
    Exploration is a part of the game, but drawing maps? Really?
    And hell knows how clunky the ingame map toolbar is.
    It's already a pain in the cheeks to draw a square or a circle, or 2 lines at 90 degrees.

    I cannot thank enough all the people who take the time to draw all these maps for us.
    If I had to do it myself ... o_O

    A simple basic layer with maybe a couple of PoIs would be a good start.
  8. Qbert Gallifreyan

    Well, there were supposed to be quests, but that never panned out.
    CatsPaws likes this.
  9. CatsPaws Devil's Advocate

    Even I can install the maps from Brewell and Goods - I might have to use the U tube tutorial and they sometimes wind up in odd places in my computer but I have them and heartily thank both map makers for the immense time and effort into making these maps. That shows a true love of the game and the ability to help others.

    Now, playing the devils advocate here - why should they (the devs')go to the expense, effort and time to redo something that is already done so well?

    To say that "Having to manually install fanmade maps so that you don't piss off your groups is really bizarre and makes the game feel like a clunky private server to new players" just shows no concept of the time put into these maps to make the new ones and have them out day 2 of the new expansion release and to constantly update the older ones. And they are free to us.

    I doubt any one could make better maps than B & G. Not even DBG Dev's.
    xxGriff likes this.
  10. bortage spammin lifetaps

    Honestly it's not about the map quality, it's about the fact that you have to go to a fan site to download fanmade maps for a retail game where it's industry-standard to have maps built in
  11. Febb Augur

    It's not that hard to click a few buttons and read instructions on how to install the maps. If people can't take the time to read then they are not going to make it in Everquest.
    Nennius likes this.
  12. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    I wouldn't mind seeing an applet or overlay similar to EQ2Maps.

    The applet can be set to detect when the game is launched or can be launched manually. It pulls the latest files from the server, and POIs and notes can be submitted by players. Data host could be DPG, with a middleware site run by a few trusted volunteers enlisted like they do the Guide Program. Reward for curating the maps is a monthly Gold Account or maybe a bit extra DBC.

    It's a pipe dream. :cool:
  13. Metanis Bad Company

    The only reason the maps aren't added is cost. They'd actually have to pay Good or Brewall to use their excellent maps or they'd have to pay some expensive Dev to spend the hours required to create them.

    As a computer tech I know there are plenty of people out there who don't get the concept of folders or directories.
  14. dreadlord Augur

    I think this is a really important point. I'm not a tech-savvy person at all. But I am compared to friends to whom I've tried to introduce EQ. Once they see we need to go into folders to stop logfiles getting too big; copy over .ini files; make sound files etc etc - they run away PDQ.
    Having to download and incorporate map files may seem very trivial to the techy-types that tend to populate EQ; but for Joe Public, it's really not.
    (and I've met folk who've played for years and not realised such maps are available from 3rd parties).

    So, agree with the OP - adding maps would be a big bonus, but it's only the only issue of that ilk
    Fanra likes this.
  15. SmoochyOfWolfington Augur

    They give you both a map and a compass. They hold your hand to find what it is you are looking for by a trail of essence or something, after you have searched the map screen. They maxed out your Sense Heading. So I am not totally sure what it is you are asking for. To me they have already exceeded, even over done it, as now it is a crutch for many.

    Back in Classic you had to use Sense Heading to get around which slowly got better over time and with use. Now it is maxed and never fails, plus with the compass, pointless. I have to hide my compass and refrain from using the starter maxed out Sense Heading and just use my sword by dropping it on the ground with it always facing north and go from there. I may in the future look up a map just to see what zone or direction I may need to go to, but that would be it.

    I think the real concern is, why is there not a phone app for EQ? Not to play the game itself, but just a guide. All these years and there is no app for maps, crafting items, starting city recommendations, etc.? That is indeed strange.
  16. Zinth Augur

    yup .txt files are know to be SUPER dangerous!!! omg omg... there are ingame maps to download OR make your own...
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  17. bortage spammin lifetaps

    Honestly it's not about whether or not the files or website themselves are safe, it's about how it looks from the perspective of new players, someone's blind trust in a fan site download or their ability to navigate directory trees does not indicate their ability to become an effective player
    dreadlord likes this.
  18. Bigstomp Augur

    I personally like goods maps. I know others like other maps.

    I personally think the devs should throw a few bucks at the map makers and have official maps.
  19. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    EQ's mapping feature was a laborious & very time consuming activity those few hardy souls who took the time to create the maps most of us use deserve a lot of credit, in many ways it was a function built to allow the community to create maps for itself & share them - exactly what happened, rather than the devs providing maps for the game themselves. This fostered an ongoing community looking after the community spirit. It was a small evolution of what old websites like EQ Atlas had done which was curate maps from people who had built them using Pen & Paper / desktop role-playing style of building maps on graph-paper.

    Many games use maps & in order to foster a sense of discovery use a "fogging" method where a map exists for the game in a basic outline & zone connections only and you may only uncover details about it by physically exploring the areas, in doing so you unveil more details on the map, other games went further & would unveil locations of rare creatures - but only after you had discovered them for yourself would they be marked on your map, the games that did that tended to be single-player games though.

    So all told I think the maps system is from that older era of MUDS & world-building & community-building, EQ was never about hand-holding its players & the attitude that it should is from a much later & easier more videogame-centred perspective rather than the old-fashioned RPG style.

    So really when it comes to maps EverQuest's do fit in with pretty much all of the other design goals & psychology of its development, I'm okay with that myself. A more modern EQ probably wouldn't use such an old-school approach.
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  20. kizant Augur

    There may be too much information in some of the existing maps. But this would be a good chance for DPG to open source something and allow people to submit content. It's a pretty small project to iron out any licensing issues and it's pretty simple for devs to validate the map data that gets submitted.

    Then just come up with some rules for what can and can't go into the official maps. Maybe wall boundaries, walking paths, merchants and some quest givers but exclude spawn locations for named and quest related points of interest, etc. Then just let people submit stuff and DPG can include them when they have time or at +2 months after expansion starts or something.

    I actually do think if this game wants to survive long term they need to figure out more ways to get the community to provide content and help do some of the work.