Dev Blog Mini-map - I think you don't understand your own game

So I saw the thing about minimap. And… I don’t think devs even know their own game or how much of an active player base is playing it. It actually shows that you did not have time to playtest the game after making it because it has so many weird design choices. Many I’ve mentioned in another post.

The high level reasoning is that we have concerns with it meshing with New World’s action combat style and world design, that it could break immersion, may limit the drive for exploration, and there are technical limitations. We feel the compass fulfills the needs, fits the setting, promotes exploration, and supports combat.

Compas simply does not work. First of all, render distance in this game is atrocious. Things pop up way too close to me. But the compass is the worst offender. I have to be RIGHT NEXT TO NODE to see it on the compass. So compass really serves NO purpose except showing me group markers. Everything else in the compass is 95% useless.

The only moment compass is of any use is to know if something is above or below me. Outside of that - compass info is useless.

Diving into some specifics, a big part of our combat is situational awareness and the addition of a minimap may compromise this in a few ways. First, we are concerned that eyes may be planted on mini-maps as opposed to the play space. Second, if there are any combatants (AI or Players) on the mini-map, it could change how the game is played.

Simply do not show enemies on minimap? It’s that simple. And you can just turn off minimap in wars and outpost rush.

Another concern is that players may play the mini-map (or at least stare at it) as opposed to the game world which could have a negative effect on immersion. Once implemented, the desire for more efficiency will likely drive to adding gameplay elements like nodes (active and in-active), local wildlife, and players. Then gameplay could become more about efficiency and less about getting lost in Aeternum. At that point, we are playing a 2D game as opposed to this beautiful interactive world we’ve created.

The fact is that map is super small. After playing few weeks I know most of the territory I visit often by heart. Including where nodes are. The thing is - your map is not organic. It does not change. It does not evolve. We have no influence over it. Monsters always appear in the same place, the same amount of them. They even spawn in the same spots. They walk the same route. Everything is on the same timer. Every resource node spawns in the same spot every single time.

There is no variety. It’s all artificial and painfully obvious. There is no reason to explore anything because everything is mapped in online maps. Because the world is not organic.

And because of that - for anyone who is still active immersion is long gone. It’s all about the numbers. It’s all about efficiency. It’s all about the routes. Same routes. In the same places. Every single day.

Even monster killing. We do chest runs every single day because of that stupid watermark system that simply is pointless. And we do the same run in the same place in the same order every single day.

That part of the game is really badly designed. Everything we do is still about efficiency because most of the crafting is all about pointless grind and only using efficiency we can reduce pointless grind.

WelI call grind pointless? Because we make junk. Every single day. Hundreds of items that are JUNk. We dismantle that junk to make more junk. And at the very END of that junk-making, we might craft useful items.

So reason it’s like that and people want tools to make things more efficient is simple. You made a badly designed crafting. And it’s one of the few activities in the game so people do it. And people do want top crafting items. But only those. So we make for example 1000 silk gloves to level up armoring. Or 1000 bows to level up engineering. Or 1000 of whatever to level up something. And we beg you to give us ability to destroy that junk with single click.

Because we know it’s badly designed system and we know we make junk. Worthless pointless junk using HOURS of grinding. Just to get to that one single useful item at the end.

Please fix the crafting. Really. It’s BAD. SUPER BAD. Do not penalize us for being efficient when it’s all done ONLY because we want to skip systems that are BAD and are badly designed. Either improve the system or at least add tools that make pointless grind more efficient.

Same with the watermark system. We buy 580-590 GS items on market that are for like 100 gold and then we spend 2-3 weeks doing POINTLESS CHEST RUNS for JUNK so that JUNK can catch up to useful items. You penalize us. You see us defeating lvl 65 monster or boss and you are like “make this pointless for several weeks by watermark system, make system drop only junk until they did that pointless not fun thing enough”.

I don’t know how you figured out it will be a good idea. Doing crafting that produce junk and watermark system that force us to gather junk. Just WHY? Fix it or get rid of it.

Aeternum is built with landmarks, roads and vistas to drive exploration, not to mention key elements might be off the beaten path. If we had a mini-map, it could change open world behavior and potentially remove the natural exploration that happens now in the game.

But there is no natural exploration. Like I said everything is in the same place. All the time. At some point, you just pull an online map and walk with that. The effect of wonder and freedom of exploration last only the first few hours.

After you realize that this is a very static word full of timers where everything is always in the same place all the time - the thing you talk about is gone.

So do the obvious thing because you won’t be able to redesign the entire game to have an actual organic open world. Just add that minimap. People either use it already or have an online map with everything marked on the second screen anyway.

And you might think they organically explore but now. They open a FULL-SCREEN MAP EVERY SINGLE MINUTE to check where they are and where is next resource node is on an online map.

What you imagine that game is have nothing to do with actual reality. Come back to earth please.

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This is what happens when there is no real end game. You create it artificially with systems like the watermark and the absurd RNG of the craft. The end game is based on two repetitive activities that you must repeat thousands and thousands of times.

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I think you don’t understand the intent of the game design. Most of the “problems” you highlight are initiated by the player in their endless quest for efficiency.

If you play the game as it is designed, you’d find that you won’t have the problems that those who are chasing for efficiency are having (doing the same routes over and over etc)

Play the game. Not game the game.

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I think you don’t understand the intent of the game design

I think I understand it better than You. At least judging by your comment.

Most of the “problems” you highlight are initiated by the player in their endless quest for efficiency.

You got it backward. People are efficient. Do you take a longer trip to your job just so you spend more time traveling to the same place you travel to every day? Probably not.

Efficiency is at the core of everything we do. We are lazy by design. We want to spend the least amount of time on things we do not really enjoy. Especially if the task is repetitive. And even with things we enjoy - we want to be the BEST at them. Meaning we perfect the craft. We work to be better and more efficient.

You complain that people are who they are. You complain that when given a BAD BORING task people want to find the quickest way to accomplish it. Want to change it? MAKE IT GOOD.

If you play the game as it is designed, you’d find that you won’t have the problems that those who are chasing for efficiency are having (doing the same routes over and over etc)

Sorry but that’s just a laughable argument. People do not play according to design because DESIGN IS BAD. Care to explain to me how CRAFTING JUNK NOBODY BUYS is good game design? Because that’s how the system is created. Care to explain how USELESS DROP that is JUNK is a good game design? Because that’s what is happening.

Play the game. Not game the game.

Like I said you got it backward. Is game design for the players or are players for game design? If game design is bad people just don’t do it. Just like when they see a sidewalk that makes few turns to match regulations and they see there is a patch of green you can cross to get to their destination quicker - they will cross that patch of green. Making their own sidewalk.

If design is bad people won’t follow it. So you should improve the design and not blame people for not following bad one.

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If you do indeed understand it, then you wouldn’t be complaining.

Because ironically in this case, the crafting and loot system that you are complaining about, was designed specifically to cater to how you are playing. As a way to give you artificial content (of regrettably low quality) because you are being so damned efficient. Without it, you would have made or acquired what you wanted much earlier then you would have liked and would have nothing left to try to be efficient in. Because by your own admission, having something to try to be efficient in, IS the game.

Its not the best but it is necessary. That’s why I don’t try to be efficient. I just play the game and take my time to enjoy it because this isn’t a job. Take the long route, get lost once in a while, have fun.

Fair enough, and every dev is already aware of that…and thats when their job of making a game around how people think comes in. If you make a game only for a small amount of perfectly rational people instead of what most users tend to do…you messed up

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I think you’re denying that end game is always chasing BIS gear, chasing ultra rare drops, playing with friends.

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I agree that having no minimap gets players to interact with the game world more. Weather it being them taking a wrong turn and finding something they didn’t know existed or getting snuck up on by another player and getting a smack down.

People strive to be efficient but do you really need to hand yourself a crutch that you’re used to vs just learning the map and landmarks?

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The whole “Exploration” topic keeps blowing my mind. This game has absolutely no interesting reason to explore anything. The most you will ever find out there is just some chest to click on that rewards you with junk; and that chest wasn’t even placed there for the sake of exploration, it’s of course just attached to some dull quest to click on 8 other chest in the area and go get your 300xp…exciting stuff.

To this day, 20+ years later, people are still finding cool hidden secrets, multi-location puzzles and mysteries in Everquest and that’s the vanilla game world that released in 99, no expansions needed. That’s how you do exploration.

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No it does not , they “I” just use the online map and alt tab out to see were the STATIC Nodes, bosses , chest, farms, hemps .etc etc.

Game needs a dungeon finder all this running to the entrance of dungeons, expeditions can SUCK IT. If you on the losing faction its to expensive to teleport, All the Shout outs in chat need this need that…then get there and there scrubs and fail over and over what waste of everything. We all don’t wanna or play on full servers. I cant imagine how farmed all the good nodes are.

Agree with you about the dungeons, when i got to amrine I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a shrine next to the dungeon. At the very least the tuning orbs should be a teleport item to the dungeon from a settlement.

I really try to find things to agree with on posts, even if I disagree. The quote above is right. it would be so easy to reinstance objects and nodes in a random locus rather than at the same exact spot, on a random time distribution rather than deterministic to the last. These choices, amongst others, aren’t just at the root of boredom but they’re also really enabling the bot economy.

The same is true for combat AI scripts which would more immersive if their combat was more stochastic choice rather than memorizing the pattern of their choices which it largely boils down to.

NW is a beautiful world, but when crafting and end-game mechanics are RNG grinds, the game loop itself encourages the players to forget the world and get the hell done with the in-your-face grind. I have a lot of sympathy to this statement (even if not the tone), because it is not logically consistent to want people to enjoy a world whose recourse is dominated by RNG grinds. Players will enjoy it when/if they make it to the end of the grind or have the wisdom to say: nope, not doing it and saying this content is ‘okay’ (and either stay in the game or leave).

With that said, there’s a few other things I can agree with in his post, but they are overshadowed by the liberal use of ad-hominem that I’m not going to comment on them.

We can all lobby for change with ideas or vent. But doing both at the same time just isn’t helpful.

I want to disagree with the OP, but have a hard time countering most of the arguments…

I haven’t used any minimaps, but I probably will at some point. I do have a second monitor with nodes I am looking for up a lot of the time - but, I also ignore it for hours while just playing and moving from one shiny object to the next.

The watermark grind and crafting grind are just like the OP says. But I don’t think it has to be this way. You could make things take effort without necessarily making it repetitive.

For example, instead of making thousands of small items, you make less items but much more cost, though giving you much more craft xp for accomplishing - I think the ptr changes are going that way (so I hear), but needs order of magnitude level change, not small tweaks.

Personally, I really wouldn’t mind some long crafting quest chains (like the lvl 40 ones) for all the crafting professions - but let you make custom versions of the crafted items. Like you go to several different zones, collect different bop materials from those areas, each of which gives you the abilty to add a perk/stat mod to your crafted item and gives you a huge crafting xp boost for making the item.

yes, everyone who has a second monitor will open an interactive map on it and get the benefits of this mini-map. So what’s the problem? On Outpost rash, the minimap is disabled, other players are not visible on it, but you do not need to unfold a huge map to the full screen every minute just to understand where you are and open it again 20 more times to understand where you are running

Oh. So anyone who disagrees with you simply does not understand and is wrong. Good argument. Really good. Like I can say the same thing about you. You think people playing are the problem because you do not understand game design. My argument has the same weight as yours.

Because ironically in this case, the crafting and loot system that you are complaining about, was designed specifically to cater to how you are playing. As a way to give you artificial content (of regrettably low quality) because you are being so damned efficient. Without it, you would have made or acquired what you wanted much earlier then you would have liked and would have nothing left to try to be efficient in. Because by your own admission, having something to try to be efficient in, IS the game.

That is 100% wrong. By your own admission, you confirm that crafting is badly designed and is supposed to be for the people like me. It is badly designed but not because it’s tailored for people like me.

In good games I enjoy crafting. It’s what I do. And I love when what I craft have use. Have purpose. Is valuable. Different games approach this in a different way. Albion and EVE force you to make replaceable gear. Especially EVE. Everything is consumable. Even ships. You simply do not fly what you cannot afford to lose. Same with Albion equipment. You have to balance it in PVP zones. You don’t want junk on you in case you die but you don’t want your best gear in case you lose. The game design support crafting system.

Voyage century would just make crafting gear tier better than what you can loot or buy from vendor. So as long as players are alive it’s a good idea to buy crafted gear at any tier.

Making system where you just produce useless worthless junk is definitely not for me. And other games prove that you can have both efficiency and useful crafting system. There is really no excuse for current system.

Its not the best but it is necessary. That’s why I don’t try to be efficient. I just play the game and take my time to enjoy it because this isn’t a job. Take the long route, get lost once in a while, have fun.

You can’t get lost. Word is static. Everything including nodes is always in the same place on the same timer. Everything is like that. And to take more time to do something is good advice but… you did not answer my question. Do you take a longer route to work just for the sake of that route being longer? You don’t. So why you are giving people horrible advice if you do not follow it?

You know WHEN I would take longer route? If that route would be cool. I would often take few extra steps to cross a park. Watch birds. Enjoy fresh air. Because park was along my way. But you see… that was FUN. What is FUN about taking longer route in New World? Nothing. Because what they have is not fun. Watermark system is not fun. Crafting system is not fun. Competing for scarse resources against bots is not fun.

People do not take longer routes because there is not much FUN routes to take.

I agree that having no minimap gets players to interact with the game world more. Weather it being them taking a wrong turn and finding something they didn’t know existed or getting snuck up on by another player and getting a smack down.

Until you watch a stream and you see that in every new area people just spam “M” constantly.

The watermark grind and crafting grind are just like the OP says. But I don’t think it has to be this way. You could make things take effort without necessarily making it repetitive.

The answer for that is rather easy. Provide a challenge impossible on low-level gear or very hard and adequate reward for completing that challenge. This way if you can complete challenge that can drop top level gear - you should have a chance to drop top level gear.

Right now people KNOW they will get junk so they put minimum effort to skip the entire system.

It’s the same with invasions. They are badly done and you really need top dogs to complete them so when yo udon’t have top dogs, people just run around hoping it will end soon, complaining when someone actually kill mobs because they want to get a reward and return to whatever they were doing.

It’s a bad design. That’s it.

I am probably the odd one out but I like the game better without a minimap. You can bind autorun to say the tilde key and you can press M to open the map and look for tracked resources while you are still running. This isn’t a huge leap forward. With all the trees the minimap would probably be a google map view of a bunch of trees. I don’t see what adding a minimap would do for the game. Or rather how it would enrichen the game.

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Easy. They can give you toggable minimap. For example under N. So what is the difference between you using full screen map and spamming M and using mini map and mapping N?

You could also put diablo style mini map. That would work great.

The problem I suppose would be players would be glued to it to look for resources. If it were implemented it would probably only show 10 meters in any direction which would make it an artifact. I can see 10 meters in any direction anyways(except behind me).

The minimap idea looks good because it’s a thing in so many rpgs but it simply isn’t needed in New World unless it is used with the express purpose of identifying the exact spot of resources. If that is a thing resource gathering would get very mundane since you would be glued to the minimap instead of looking around the world. This was a thing in wow Burning Crusade. Someone would look at their minimap for resources and swoop out of nowhere to steal a resource. So everyone was glued to their minimap.

The only case I can think of where a minimap might be useful is in pvp since it would be easier to organize fronts if you know where the other people on your team are. But that would be more a bottom corner map that shows the whole combat area like in FPS games.

The problem I suppose would be players would be glued to it to look for resources. If it were implemented it would probably only show 10 meters in any direction which would make it an artifact. I can see 10 meters in any direction anyways(except behind me).

Resources are always in the same place. So once you know your resource route you don’t really need minimap for that. It’s just easier to navigate using it. Since you don’t have to open full map to see if you are in the spot you were supposed to be.

The minimap idea looks good because it’s a thing in so many rpgs but it simply isn’t needed in New World unless it is used with the express purpose of identifying the exact spot of resources. If that is a thing resource gathering would get very mundane since you would be glued to the minimap instead of looking around the world. This was a thing in wow Burning Crusade. Someone would look at their minimap for resources and swoop out of nowhere to steal a resource. So everyone was glued to their minimap.

It’s already mundane because after a while you know exactly where each resource spot is.

Minimap is a simple tool that allows you to check if you are in the right spot. That’s all. You probably go to some resource spot or something and you want to make sure you get it right. You spam map currently. Minimap simplify it.