I’d like to take a moment of your time to address the mini-map conversation. We’ve been following the conversation on the forums and believe we understand the reasons players want a mini-map. Also we are aware that there is a perception if we implement a mini-map then players that don’t want them can simply turn it off, but in reality players may feel at a disadvantage without it.
Right now creating a mini-map is not a high priority for us as we have other items we feel are more pressing. 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.
Diving in to 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.
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.
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.
On the technical side, you may wonder how a third party can quickly do this and the dev team says it is going to be more work. The reason is that the dev team has a minimum spec that we are committed to supporting. This will require rendering and art work to ensure it is performant.
We will continue to follow the conversation, gather more information and will periodically re-evaluate our position, as we do on many decisions.
All that said, we have discussed the matter with Overwolf and have decided to not penalize mini-map mods from this 3rd party, provided that they stick to the following rules:
As a general rule, the mini-map follows exact rules of compass and cannot give players an advantage of any type over the compass. Information to be used for display, even within the limitations expressed below, must come from the Overwolf API, which we may add to over time but can’t commit to at the moment.
The mini-map can:
· Show player position
· Show folks in group as we do on compass
· Only show node placement if they’ve unlocked that node via tradeskills, provided it is within the range that compass would display them.
· Only show AI that you’ve unlocked via tradeskills as compass and within range of compass.
· Show quests as they do on compass
In the future, we may change our position on this and decide to add a mini-map or change our position on allowing Overwolf. If we were to change, we would give plenty of notice along with a designated grace period where would not ban players for continued use, but would take action after that grace period has ended.
At this time I can confirm that we have not banned anyone for using the mini-map mod from Overwolf.
Thanks for your feedback and support!