Forum Finds – Cartography

This series of posts brings to light some of the most interesting forum activity over at the Chronicles of Elyria community forums.

The forums might be a little tricky to navigate at the moment but don’t worry that is due change in the coming months (you can give the developers your suggestions for features you want to see added here). If you do venture in, and I strongly suggest you do, you will find developers spilling their juicy secrets in almost every single thread! Who can blame them? They finally get to share their excitement with us.

The thread I want to bring to your attention today is World Exploration, Maps & Equipment, started by community member Silv, which contains this exciting revelation from Jeromy ‘Caspian’ Walsh:

The map system is one we’ve been working on for a long time. We wanted to do something different here than has ever been seen before – something that really speaks to our sandbox-style world, and the ability for players to create original content.

Cartography will be one of the earliest skills available to players. The skill allows you, using in-game tools, to draw/sketch/stencil maps of your area. The higher your cartographic skill, the more precise and high fidelity the tools available to you will become. Then, you can distribute your maps to others for free or for purchase. Likewise, others will be able to take your maps and add additional information to them. (X marks the spot!)

I’m withholding another really cool feature of cartography. I hope you’ll forgive me, but when I reveal it, I think it’s going to be huge. Stand by for a future dev journal.

This excites me for numerous reasons.

Firstly it shows how expansive the skill system will be. Drawing a map is definitely not combat related and is only on the edge of what might traditionally been considered a trade skill. That suggests that Chronicles of Elyria will be looking at a wider breadth of skills to other MMOs.

Secondly it gives a true reward for exploration. So often we have heard developers say they reward exploration and what they mean is you might see something pretty or get a pittance occasionally. With saleable maps there is a real financial reward for the pioneers who explore unknown lands and those who take the time to map out key locations.

Finally, and most importantly, the community interaction that this encourages it very exciting. Interaction between players is such a huge part of MMOs and one that is strangely declining things that build the community are welcome in my eyes. However, with the tagline of Chronicles of Elyria being “Will you follow a path of virtue… or something darker?” it suggest that while some community members will be giving you maps that lead you to rich resources and interesting locales others might well be giving you a map that leads you straight into an ambush. Knowing who to trust sounds like it is going to be a huge part of this game.

So that’s today’s Forum Finds. Feel free to add your thoughts on the Cartography skill to the comments, or suggest something from the forums you think the community needs to see.

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