Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 21, 2007
LotRO horse routes

The Brasse now has a diagram of LotRO horse routes, the fast public transport system of Lord of the Rings Online. And they added some more hand-drawn maps. I still haven't found a site with hand-drawn World of Warcraft maps, I wonder why nobody makes those. Is there nobody who can draw among the 8 million players?
That's all stupid screenshots disguised as maps. It's like you asking for a road map and somebody handing you a satellite photo, it's not as much help as you might think.
Maybe the maps aren't what you're asking for, Tobold. But, surely, they aren't "stupid". Your comments makes it appear that you have a WoW-bias.
I think the answer to the map question is simply: LOTRo doesn't offer ways to generate sensible maps for some areas automatically.

Main example for me is the Old Forest, which is essentially a maze and screams for a map. WoW doesn't have maze-type setups like this and on top of it, trees never occlude the minimap like one has in the old forest in LOTRo.

Necessity creates creativity. In WoW the mapping problem is largely solved (extractable from minimap data) hence little need for hand drawings.
Nope. No hand drawn WoW maps. The player base is to young and immature.

I didn't particularly see the need for google maps for WoW. Everything I needed I could either get in game or by asking pertinent questions.

Coming from Asheron's Call 2 where everything had a map drawn for it, Wow just doesn't require players to sit down and write things up. Their quest descriptions coupled with clearly marked flight paths and zone landmarks just simply do not require maps.
Is there nobody who can draw among the 8 million players?

That's all stupid screenshots disguised as maps.

Ouch! I've been reading you for a while and don't believe I've ever seen you this negative before. WoW! Pun intended.
Hehe, yeah, that's a little snarky Tobold. I think that WoW was so easy to navigate that I rarely found it necessary to consult external maps. And if I did need to find something in a new zone, it was pretty simple to find the in-game maps revealed on Thott or something like that.

I don't doubt that some people enjoy making maps (I still fondly remember crafting graph-paper maps of tabletop campaigns), but there was little need to reinvent the wheel in WoW.
Who needs a manually made map with WoW, anyway? The city guards can tell you where to go. The built-in UI can plot your course to any flight destination in the continent. In-game maps are extensive and 100% accurate and with proper addons, also show you all NPCs, usable objects and resource nodes.
I was complaining about WoW maps being screenshots before I even started playing LotRO. See here:

I would very much think that at least some of the dungeons in WoW could use hand-drawn maps. Several dungeons have pathes crossing each other in three dimensions, at it isn't easy to see on a map patched together from mini-map screenshots where what is.
Convenience vs. Creativity?

I somehow miss the old EQ1 times, where I had a full folder with my own hand drawn maps on square paper, printed out maps from Allakhazam, and other hand collected info that somewhat seemed valuable. Vendors, coordinates etc.

WoW on the one hand destroyed that adventurer flair, on the other it is of course so much easier with Addons like Cartographer for example and leaves more time for...whatever. :)

*sigh* EQ1 *sigh* I miss my Ranger. It is a bummer you do not write much about WoW anymore, because i would have loved your view on the little choice of classes in WoW compared to EQ1. I am so missing the Enchanter and the Mage/Wizard difference the most.

Anyway, keep up the great Blog and have fun in LOTRO.
Thinking about it there were handdrawn maps in WoW, specifically for raid boss strategies. Examples I can remember are for Razorgore (there were multiple actually, some of high quality, showing kite paths etc) and for Fankriss. Also seen handdrawns schematics for C'Thun and four horsemen.

Karazhan was special in that it was kind of hard to get a feel for the place just from stitched minimap shots.

I remember making extensive maps of that old The Bard's Tale game, but again it was because of necessity. There wasn't in-game mapping, and maze-discovery was a big part of this game.
I think it would be quite difficult to draw a map of Karazhan; the place is a real maze.
Having said that, I presume Blizzard has it's own map of the place.
I also don't like screenshots; they are far too blurry and unhelpful.
I once drew a series of maps for another game, and turned them into pdfs for friends. It was a big effort, and not something I would want to try again any time soon!

this looks 'hand'drawn ;)
this one almost looks real :D

sorry for the double post ;)
In relation to Lotro Horse travel - One thing I find annoying is the fact that they put level restrictions on fast travel rather than the normal "once you walk there you can travel there afterwards" restriction. I slogged my way to Rivendell at a low level in order to open up the travel route only to discover that fast travel from Rivendell is restricted to 40+ Grrrr. I was not pleased at having to slog back again.
Anyone else remember those terrific maps that were drawn for Everquest? They were the work of a Japanese player called Questor of Norrath.

His site no longer exists, but the Wayback Machine is able to pull up quite a bit of info.
I heard that Turbine changed the paths in the Old Forest as a part of the Evendim patch to LOTRO. So much for the beautiful hand drawn map I have used so often.
btw, also not a drawn-map, but if they keep on working this it rocks :)
My map ( was indeed handwritten :)
Tho the link is dead now, new links @
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