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Navigating the game world- Option for Automatic or Dynamic Mapping Systems


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Hello once again....

About three months ago I signed up for a hosted server through the VS hosting service that went live at about that time and is currently in beta stages.  As a result, I have been on my longest single world play through to date, and I have no intention of ending it.  I've long been hoping and looking forward to having an online server hosted by Tyron and the VS gang, and I've been enjoying the experience.  Playing with in a multiplayer server setting is very different, and being the host and admin of the server gives me a different perspective as well as I receive feedback and see things unfold as new players engage the game.  This has led to a number of suggestions on my part in recent weeks.

Of all the things that I have encountered though, this topic of navigating the game world is probably the most significant, especially when it comes to a multiplayer setting. We have had players leave the server over this, but in trying to find ways to turn off certain features such as coordinates without removing the map altogether, we have found that there really is no solid middle ground between having the current system and having nothing.

I've recently made two suggestions that I want to bring together under this one thread addressing a desire for the OPTION for a more challenging and immersive mapping and navigation system.  These two suggestions were thought of at different times, but really go together. Maps and compasses have long been used together, and I think they would and should have a logical place in the VS world.

I propose that in time we have the option to chose between the following settings:

Auto Mapping System- This is what we have in the game currently. It would remain as it is. I have no thoughts on how to improve it. I think it is a brilliant system and works beautifully and smoothly. In a private world or on a public server that is more laid back, it is fantastic.

Dynamic Mapping System- This would be the setting that would effect navigation in the game by bringing to it two key features outlined in two previous suggestion posts:

The two key features are as follows:


Whether the mapping system we get is something like what I've laid out in the previous suggestion or not, I'd like to see some form of mapping system that requires us to build our maps as we go.  As I stated elsewhere before, I find it extremely overpowered to come up along side a mountain range, pull up my "m" key map, and see what is at the summit of the 500 block high range or on the other side where I've never been, not to mention every resource, terrain feature and ruin around it.

Basically I really want my map to give less detail- no ruins marked on it or clay deposits and such, and no coordinates.  Give me the option and reward of seeking those things out and marking them down, and only map terrain that I have been within a reasonable proximity to, or at the very least limit it to terrain revealed by line of sight. Removing coordinates requires me to either share a copy of my map with another player, or explain to them via terrain markers where they need to go. My building some sort of totem or maker for them to find would also be a big help.

Also, one thing that would greatly increase the immersion when using the map- don't put my player icon on the map. I don't want it to show where I or anyone else is.  Require me to look at the world around me and then search the map to piece together exactly where I am.

Add to this suggestion the ability for us to make a mapping table that allows players to work together to build a master map.  Players could come to this map to add to it based on their own exploration of the world, and they could also update their personal maps if they chose to do so.

A map should also be an actual item that can be lost. Make copies. This would also, consequently, allow you to share your map with other players. 

Having a map in your inventory and pressing the "m" key pulls up the map you have selected in your inventory slot.


Temporal Compass


A compass is a compass.  Knowing where you are and which direction you are facing is key in being able to use a map, especially if you have been able to pinpoint where you are and know via the map where you are trying to get to.  Remember that under my suggestion you would not have a player icon showing up on the map at all. You would need to identify and keep an eye on terrain, and make sure you are pointed in the right direction as you go.

(I know, wind always blows from the west, and if you knapp some knives the gui always drops in a certain orientation. I dislike using those sort of unintentional "tells" for determining direction, and I hope those things will change. I don't want a system that requires me to use them for navigation. It feels odd and very UN-immersive. I desire something more legit-feeling).

Under a more dynamic and immersive navigation system, just having a map should not enable us to put down waypoints and know where we and everything else is at all times.  It is, however, immensely helpful to be able to mark locations of particular importance and value. How to incorporate those bonus helps in a realistic way without making it too overpowered?

Rather than an iron needle spinning in a compass or floating on a leaf in water or anything like that, and having what amount to magical waypoints marking places in the world, I settled on the notion of the temporal compass. A device that would provide a mechanic for acquiring navigation helps such as waypoints and knowing where you died last (a temporary waypoint, under my previous suggestion), or in which direction certain friends are located. The ability of your compass to record and give you this info would be acquired by repairing and upgrading it via materials acquired in the game from traders and found via exploration. You'd have to earn the ability to have this navigation info easily at hand.

Under the auto mapping system one would still have access to the compass, but the map itself would work as it currently does. The compass in that case would just be a fun bonus device to have and upgrade. Under the dynamic mapping system, the compass would be the only way to acquire the ability to set and use waypoints.

In closing I want to say that nothing in this suggestion post should be taken as a criticism of the current system. I enjoy it greatly.  I do not want to deny any of the current mechanics to those who enjoy them as well and want to use them. 

However, I and others do see room for (and even a need for), a more challenging and immersive option when it comes to navigating and exploring the Vintage Story world.  I do not know if Tyron and the team have plans to address this and bring something along these lines or something entirely different, but I do hope we end up with something that is at least as "immersive" and rewarding as what I've envisioned here.

Humbly submitted for consideration and discussion...

Edited by Thalius
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Map and navigation  could be implemented as all other great things in this game already have been - being as much realistic as it is possible, yet keeping fun.
Agree that having waypoints is easy (which isn't bad, but let's admit it is too easy to find anything once you mark it -especially pinned waypoints) and i love idea, that something has to be done to it, so players should be forced to communicate more on multiplayer server.

I personally agree on point, that map could be less detailed for more surprises, but i think many of players, who wan't build thus being able to find specific materials using map, could disagree. But then again, if map (or discovered areas and things) could be shared between players, then that would be another good reason for players to cooperate. Also, if the compass, you mentioned in other suggestion could be changed according to thing you are looking for, then maybe that would be fine as well.

Sharing map (or marked points) would be nice, as that would be similar to people comunicating IRL and sharing information and knowledge about area around.

Many ideas come to mind when thinking about it, but, this will always come to situation where more active players will have advantages. And newbies or those who only have 1-2 hours to play game, won't be able to keep up with  more active players. So such changes should be made very carefully, because  game (as i see it) already is a niche product because of how time consuming it is. And i tell that from experience. Although i am not playing much, i still could be called gamer compared to other my friends. :) And even then i sometimes struggle to progress in game as much as i would like, as time i can spend in game, must be used for food and material making instead of trips i would more like to make. :)

Edited by Domkrats
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Anyone who has ever looked at old maps knows how difficult it would have been for our ancestors to have explored their world.  So for documentation purposes I would like to suggest a couple of maps for VS in line with Thalius' comments (a couple just for completeness).

  1. Memory:  The first map is just our memory and VS has this option by just deselecting the World Map option.
  2. Tabula Rasa:  A big white page where the player is able to place simple line graphic "objects" (i.e. river, mountain, cave) relative to other objects with no positional data displayed. You could have a series of pull down menus to give lots of options relatively quickly.
    1. The players position wouldn't be displayed either as this could be used to cheat the system.
    2. There exists mechanics in game to determine direction (N/S/E/W) so a magnetic compass wouldn't needed.
  3. Temporal Map:  I liked your description above about a temporal compass especially since most modern navigations systems actually have clocks at their core.  So imagine if the game had a new item called a Temporal Beacon.  Once you put some number down (I would suggest three), then any "object" placed on your Tabula Rasa map that is in your draw distance and within a set distance from a beacon would be moved to its correct (absolute) location.  The area of correct positioning could be expanded by putting up more Temporal Beacons.  This would simultaneously encourage exploration but not allow too much information too quickly (i.e. I have cheated and used the World Map to more easily find Traders).
    1. Having said that, to make it even more realistic, you could borrow from a mod to another block based game and have where a telescope is needed to determine each Temporal Beacon's absolute position before other object's absolute positions can be extrapolated.  
  4. World Map:  While the best map available, I would suggest some of layers be made available:
    1. When you use the Prospect Pick it fills in the associated information from the Density Search Mode.  Maybe different colors for different ores with the probability density value being represented as random points per chunk.  To reduce clutter, maybe have it where the user selects the probability cut off for display (i.e. Decent or Very High or Ultra High).
    2. Add a barometer and you would could add Elevation map values for wherever you have walked.
      1. Add a sextant and inclinometer you could add Elevation map values for where ever you can see.
    3. Using the shovel/pickaxe would fill in geology for a chunk
    4. Using the axe would fill in what types of wood were found in an area
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