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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How large are MMO worlds now REALLY? A comparison in world sizes

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  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/04/11 9:08:52 AM#1

For a while now I've been curious about the actual world sizes of various MMORPG's, not just subjective perception but concrete figures.

Yes, I know such a comparison between gameworlds has been made earlier, as can be found on this site and others, but to put it bluntly, that comparison and picture is false and a lie.

Not that I know the exact measurements of all the worlds in the games mentioned there, but several of them like LotrO and GW Nightfall are way off the mark, in fact they're so ridiculously wrong that it simply astounds me that all the sites where I found that picture just copied its figures as fact and true, without doing even the slightest factchecking.

 

So, here's another attempt to true worldsize comparisons with what I could discover so far.

Besides actual ingame size in square miles (or km), 2 other aspects are important to figure size out, and that's crossing distance and run speed.

crossing distance: the time it takes to travel at normal speed from one end of the map to the other end in a straight line without hindrances, as a bird could fly it

=> the most accurate way to figure this out, is to run in a straight line for 0.5-1 min, check on the map what distance you've crossed and then use this and extrapolate it to find the length and width of a map or continent in crossing time.

 

run speed: this is the actual ingame travel speed, crossing time doesn't mean much when you can travel in 1 MMO twice as fast at normal speed as in another MMO. It's crossing distance and run speed that give an accurate picture.

=> There's 3 ways to figure run speed out:

1. Use a human avatar of average height to get an estimation of size ingame, and then use this to figure out distances ingame (use a corpse or avatar that lies down on the ground, average human = 1.7-1.8m = x pixels etc)

2. Use the measures that are ingame (eg some spells have a range of 25m etc)

3. The most circumvential method, set your screen resolution at the same measurements for several MMORPG's, then take an object in the distance, for example, 2 inch high in all of the MMORPG's, and then measure how long it takes for you to reach it in each MMORPG. This should result in the run speeds in the several MMO's comparative to each other.

 

Since I'm not the only one who was curious and who did some experiments and since I don't play all these MMORPG's right now myself, I used what I could find on the internet from people who did their tests like described above. If there are people who came up with different figures from their tests, feel free to let me know.

But this is what I found out so far:

 

World of Warcraft

size:     Kalimdor N => S coast and E=>W coast = 10 x 4 miles

Eastern Kingdoms (WoW vanilla) N => S and E => W coast = 9.5 x 3.5 miles

crossing distance: Kalimdor from N => S coast  42 min, from E => W coast 17 min

run speed (source): 14.4 m/h

Comments: source for the size figures can be found here

 

Lord of the Rings Online

crossing distance: Celondim => Rivendell 45 min

size: the current LotrO world map (where Rohan, Gondor etc is still missing) is 16 x 31 miles

run speed (source):  14.6 m/h

Comments: I couldn't find any accurate size or travel info, so I did a test like described above with the 50 min for Celondim => Rivendell in a straight line as a result. The world map figures are deceptive, if you look here you can see what's actually in use (pre-Mirkwood expansion)

 

Star Wars Galaxies

size:  10 x 10 miles for each of the 9 planets (or 10x10 km, unclear for now), 15x15x15 km for space zones

Comments: I didn't find any official statements or test results for that figure, but that's the number that has been thrown around on several sites

 

Guild Wars

crossing distance (source):  Tyria world map is from North to South 38.5 min by 45.5 min (E -> W)

(source 2)  Cantha is (N->S) 27 min by 35 min (E -> W)

size:  Tyria world map is 11 x 13 miles

Cantha is 7.5 x 10 miles

run speed: 16.9 m/h  (7.5 m/s)

Comments: the size is derived from the run speed and crossing distance. I've no info about Elona (Nightfall expansion), but here you can see how the 3 continents compare, and it's nowhere near the enormous size figure for the Nightfall expansion as seen in that earlier investigation.

 

Guild Wars 2

crossing distance: Tyria world map from North to South 38 min by 46 min (E -> W)

Comments: I used the HD video footage, the crossing distance of the human capital (huge circle) from one end to the other is roughly 2 min, extrapolated by measuring the time it took a player to travel a street in a straight line.

 

Rift

crossing distance: worldmap from N => S  25.5 min, from E => W 30.5 min

size: worldmap is (N->S) 4.6 miles by 5.5 miles (E -> W)

run speed: 10.8 m/h

Comments: I used the distance meter ingame to measure the run speed, made some corrections to the distance figures based on more accurate follow up tests using map coordinates

 

That was all what I could find so far. Darkfall is said to be very large (see for a comparison with WoW's Kalimdor here), EQ had 350 square miles explorable environment at launch (source), of EVE Online it has been stated that it takes 4 hours to cross the universe from one side to the other and Vanguard was said to be as large as Madagascar - which I found hard to believe - but that's all I could find so far.

This thread is a work in progress, if I find more concrete measurements or do some more tests I'll include it here, but if people have found more concrete info and measurements, especially stuff that isn't in this post yet, let me know and post it in this thread.

The purpose is to get the accurate figures of world size of all the current MMORPG's around.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/04/11 9:09:31 AM#2

(-- reserved -- )

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  Kanubis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 112

2/04/11 9:14:54 AM#3

Having played SWG back in the day I think that's accurate - at least I'd imagine running across a map would take roughly the same time as running from the northern tip of Kalimdor to the south.

You have to remember that most of the worlds had a lot of wasteland and wilderness, rather than heavily scultped and filled terrain like themepark MMOs tend to have. This was really necesary for the whole player city thing (and the reason uninstanced player housing would be hard to work in to themeparks.)

  rothbard

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/20/09
Posts: 251

2/04/11 9:29:51 AM#4

I think the game world "physical" size is really irrelevant if the design of the game arbitrarily breaks the world into tiered regions.  Eg.  in one area you find lvl 1 squirrels, but over in another spot lvl 2132 squirrels are the norm.    This is of course done to support level based tiered progression, but in doing so it makes what might as well be two entirely different worlds.  The lvl 1 toon is for all intensive purposes locked out of the lvl 2000+ squirrels area, and the lvl 1 squirrel area has no relevance to the high level character.  

  Robsolf

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 3990

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

2/04/11 9:34:08 AM#5

Slight correction on SWG... that's 10x10 km.

This is determined by the coordinate interface.  coordinates are in meters, and you can go +-5,000 x or y.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10376

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

2/04/11 9:45:58 AM#6

Any guesstimates on how big this makes Rift's Telara?

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  User Deleted
2/04/11 9:53:28 AM#7
Originally posted by lizardbones

Any guesstimates on how big this makes Rift's Telara?

 

Think he would need access to the entire world to figure that out.
  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/04/11 9:55:13 AM#8
Originally posted by rothbard

I think the game world "physical" size is really irrelevant if the design of the game arbitrarily breaks the world into tiered regions.  Eg.  in one area you find lvl 1 squirrels, but over in another spot lvl 2132 squirrels are the norm.    This is of course done to support level based tiered progression, but in doing so it makes what might as well be two entirely different worlds.  The lvl 1 toon is for all intensive purposes locked out of the lvl 2000+ squirrels area, and the lvl 1 squirrel area has no relevance to the high level character.  

Ah, but that's another discussion, world and game design and such, but my intention was purely to find out in objective, measurable ways the worldsizes of the various MMORPG's and how they compared to eachother.

 

Originally posted by Robsolf

Slight correction on SWG... that's 10x10 km.

This is determined by the coordinate interface.  coordinates are in meters, and you can go +-5,000 x or y.

Really? Hmm, the links I found all used to say 15-16 km (see source1 and source2)

 

As the SWG wiki says: 'Each of the original 10 planets are represented by approximately 225 square kilometers (15 km x 15 km maps) of game space.'

So it's puzzling that the wiki is wrong, but if their own ingame map only shows 10km of available area, then that is what it is. I include it in the OP with a 'maybe', until the wiki entry has been clarified.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/04/11 9:57:31 AM#9
Originally posted by Rockgod99
Originally posted by lizardbones

Any guesstimates on how big this makes Rift's Telara?

 

Think he would need access to the entire world to figure that out.

Not needed. A world map is available, so the only thing needed further is to test ingame, like how long it takes to cross a certain distance in a straight line ingame and then extrapolate.

Rift has next to that the handy feature that the maps show the distance to a quest object or area, so that should make accurately guessing distances and run speeds even easier.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  User Deleted
2/04/11 10:04:47 AM#10
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by Rockgod99
Originally posted by lizardbones

Any guesstimates on how big this makes Rift's Telara?

 

Think he would need access to the entire world to figure that out.

Not needed. A world map is available, so the only thing needed further is to test ingame, like how long it takes to cross a certain distance in a straight line ingame and then extrapolate.

Rift has next to that the handy feature that the maps show the distance to a quest object or area, so that should make accurately guessing distances and run speeds even easier.

 

Problem with that is in game you simply can't walk in a straight line to get from one end to the other. We're talking walking distance rigth? How do you Gage zones with multiple levels? Or impassible sections? Basically measuring Te overall size is meaningless honestly. You don't know how long it would take to get around objects if you have no access to them. So basically your telling us how big a world is if it was flat...
  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/04/11 10:10:31 AM#11
Originally posted by Rockgod99
 
Problem with that is in game you simply can't walk in a straight line to get from one end to the other. We're talking walking distance rigth? How do you Gage zones with multiple levels? Or impassible sections? Basically measuring Te overall size is meaningless honestly. You don't know how long it would take to get around objects if you have no access to them. So basically your telling us how big a world is if it was flat...

?

Eh, that applies to all the figures above, and that's how all the people tested it in the various MMO's, because that's the only objective measurement.

It's not a 'how long does it take for you to travel from city A to capital B going through mountain passes, circumventing impassable mountains and ravines etc', no it's meant to gauge the size of a world.

 

Or as I stated in the OP:

crossing distance: the time it takes to travel at normal speed from one end of the map to the other end in a straight line without hindrances, as a bird could fly it

 

The time it would take you to cross a certain distance at normal speed if you could travel it as a bird, in a straight line with no obstacles that would add to your travel time.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  Robsolf

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 3990

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

2/04/11 10:12:22 AM#12
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by rothbard

I think the game world "physical" size is really irrelevant if the design of the game arbitrarily breaks the world into tiered regions.  Eg.  in one area you find lvl 1 squirrels, but over in another spot lvl 2132 squirrels are the norm.    This is of course done to support level based tiered progression, but in doing so it makes what might as well be two entirely different worlds.  The lvl 1 toon is for all intensive purposes locked out of the lvl 2000+ squirrels area, and the lvl 1 squirrel area has no relevance to the high level character.  

Ah, but that's another discussion, world and game design and such, but my intention was purely to find out in objective, measurable ways the worldsizes of the various MMORPG's and how they compared to eachother.

 

Originally posted by Robsolf

Slight correction on SWG... that's 10x10 km.

This is determined by the coordinate interface.  coordinates are in meters, and you can go +-5,000 x or y.

Really? Hmm, the links I found all used to say 15-16 km (see source1 and source2)

 

As the SWG wiki says: 'Each of the original 10 planets are represented by approximately 225 square kilometers (15 km x 15 km maps) of game space.'

So it's puzzling that the wiki is wrong, but if their own ingame map only shows 10km of available are, then that is what it is. I include it in the OP with a 'maybe', until the wiki entry has been clarified.

It is certainly possible that I'm wrong, I haven't played in years; I might be mixing some stuff up with JtL and have them both wrong.  But the bit about the interface is correct; it goes by the meter, not yards/miles.

  Drakha

Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/11
Posts: 28

2/04/11 4:33:39 PM#13
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick

 

Star Wars Galaxies

size:  10 x 10 miles for each of the 9 planets (or 10x10 km, unclear for now), 15x15x15 km for space zones

Comments: I didn't find any official statements or test results for that figure, but that's the number that has been thrown around on several sites

 

The planets are a little over 15 x 15 km, so 10 x 10 miles is abought right.However swg started with 10 planets and currently has 12. 

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/05/11 4:28:15 AM#14

Alright, I did some more testing in Rift, and this is what I came up with:

 

run speed: 10.8 m/h

For this I used the distance feature ingame where it states how far you are from a location. I ran for 30 seconds, and see what distance I'd traveled.

 

crossing distance:

worldmap from north => south:  corrected to 25.5 min

worldmap from east => west: corrected to 30.5 min

I ran a certain distance in a straight line, checked how long it took, then compared the distance traveled on the worldmap to the overall size of the world.

 

The run speed and crossing distance led to the following size for the world in miles:

worldmap from north => south: corrected to 4.6 miles

worldmap from east => west: corrected to 5.5 miles

 

I admit, the final result was a surprise, based on earlier tests I'd thought the world of Rift to be as large as 1 WoW continent or maybe somewhat smaller, but that was before I took the run speed difference into account.

Based on the figures above this is how the actual comparison would look like, when you'd put Rift's regions next to WoW's Kalimdor (I picked Kalimdor, because  most people are familiar with the general feel and size of it)

 

edit: I replaced it with the new picture that's more accurate:

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3463

2/05/11 4:32:42 AM#15

WoW does have mounts/fast travels so you travel faster in WoW.

I am a bit surprised at the land mass difference though.

Obviously, largest MMO World will be EVE. :P

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/05/11 4:38:48 AM#16
Originally posted by jpnz

WoW does have mounts/fast travels so you travel faster in WoW.

I am a bit surprised at the land mass difference though.

Obviously, largest MMO World will be EVE. :P

Someone mentioned it'd take 4 hr of straight flying (no fast jumps) to get from 1 side of EVE's galaxy to the other end of EVE's galaxy, so it sure is in the top-rank sized worlds

I wonder though about Vanguard, that seems to be one of the largest as well in worldsize, and Darkfall from what it looks like has as 2 hour crossing distance from one end of its main continent to the other, making it also one of the more vastly sized MMO worlds.

 

But regarding Rift, yes, I was surprised as well especially when you put it next to other MMO worlds like WoW, which is of medium worldsize.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3463

2/05/11 4:44:52 AM#17
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by jpnz

WoW does have mounts/fast travels so you travel faster in WoW.

I am a bit surprised at the land mass difference though.

Obviously, largest MMO World will be EVE. :P

Someone mentioned it'd take 4 hr of straight flying (no fast jumps) to get from 1 side of EVE's galaxy to the other end of EVE's galaxy, so it sure is in the top-rank sized worlds

I wonder though about Vanguard, that seems to be one of the largest as well in worldsize, and Darkfall from what it looks like has as 2 hour crossing distance from one end of its main continent to the other, making it also one of the more vastly sized MMO worlds.

 

But regarding Rift, yes, I was surprised as well especially when you put it next to other MMO worlds like WoW, which is of medium worldsize.

I recall an EVE player wanting to see every system and making a log of his journey. Think it took him 2 months on an un-armed stealth ship. It went 'viral' with many players acknowledging what he was doing as he went through more and more systems.

Is that including WoW's other land mass (when you say medium)? Like outlands, north end and maelstorm?

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7119

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

2/05/11 4:53:13 AM#18
Originally posted by Rockgod99
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by Rockgod99
Originally posted by lizardbones

Any guesstimates on how big this makes Rift's Telara?

 

Think he would need access to the entire world to figure that out.

Not needed. A world map is available, so the only thing needed further is to test ingame, like how long it takes to cross a certain distance in a straight line ingame and then extrapolate.

Rift has next to that the handy feature that the maps show the distance to a quest object or area, so that should make accurately guessing distances and run speeds even easier.

 

So basically your telling us how big a world is if it was flat...

 

Yes, indeed.

he is talking about map sizes.

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7119

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

2/05/11 4:57:40 AM#19
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick

Alright, I did some more testing in Rift, and this is what I came up with:

 

run speed: 10.8 m/h

For this I used the distance feature ingame where it states how far you are from a location. I ran for 30 seconds, and see what distance I'd traveled.

 

crossing distance:

worldmap from north => south:  19.5m

worldmap from east => west: 21.5m

I ran a certain distance in a straight line, checked how long it took, then compared the distance traveled on the worldmap to the overall size of the world.

 

The run speed and crossing distance led to the following size for the world in miles:

worldmap from north => south: 3.5 miles

worldmap from east => west: 3.9 miles

 

I admit, the final result was a surprise, based on earlier tests I'd thought the world of Rift to be as large as 1 WoW continent or maybe somewhat smaller, but that was before I took the run speed difference into account.

Based on the figures above this is how the actual comparison would look like, when you'd put Rift's regions next to WoW's Kalimdor (I picked Kalimdor, because  most people are familiar with the general feel and size of it)

 

 

 

 

This is good work.

 

How big is Aion's world?

It seems it would come out around the same as Rift's? (without the abyss maybe)

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7119

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

2/05/11 5:00:40 AM#20

meh double post

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