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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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  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

2/07/11 9:31:40 PM#61
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by Phelcher

Been playing MMORPG since the very first one.

 

This subject has been hashed out many, many times...  I use to have alot of charts/maps with all the data collected by in-game cartagraphers for testing world size, unfortuneatly, that HD that housed all that old data is no longer. I have a few older charts, but they are no longer significant, because those games worlds have increased in size.

 

One thing to stipulate when discusing world size is the actual game world. Is it real, or zoned? For instance, Everquest is zoned, while Vanguard is real. A real world is much harder to maintain (both financially & technically) but that also means 360 degree content. UNlike say WoW, where it is still zones (zone walls), but no zone time between the zones... it is still not a real world, so the content and game world are funneled to you.

 

Now as to your point.

Sorry, I have no difinitive #'s (sizes)to give you, (their exact figures no longer matter to me), because those lost charts said it all & as you get older (41) you forget exactness, but remember differences and Deltas.

Though, I think a big distinction should be made in regards to open worlds  -vs-   zoned ones... in terms of USABLE size.

  ps: Sorry it early and the Superbowl coverage has my attention. But this topic has been dear to me for nearly 12 years and I had considerable data that I was collecting for a blog. It's all lost, so has my energy and zeal on the topic.

Ask away...

It's a shame you lost the data, especially regarding the older MMO's as EQ, DAoC, UO, AC and AO it'd have been handy, as well as for Vanguard of which size seems hard to track down. If by any chance you might be able to dig up any of that remaining data that'd be appreciated.

As for zones vs seamless, I think what you're referring to is the amount of explorable area within the size of a world and true, that should be taken into account: for example, LotrO's Middle Earth isn't fully explorable, even the western area of it isn't, and the same applies to GW, although ANet seems to use the same sizes for the GW2 regions as has been used for GW, with the difference that in GW2 the whole map will be explorable.

 

I find worldsize and crossing distance to get a feel for how vast new, upcoming MMORPG's compared to current MMORPG's: regarding content and content density, I can get a feel for that, but it's the size of an MMO world added to that that gives me an indication how much there'll be to explore and to do.

 

When I have time (dig up some old HD's) I will see if I have any of the old data from 2004'ish..

 

Even though the emperical data is gone, I still know the derivitives of all those years of research. The many arguments, community efforts and even debates on how to gether such info is old news. (ie: Been there, done that) I'm 41 and the "why?" of the matter, no longer matters as only to give a rough estimate...

What I can tell you is how each game world and it's perspective technology (ie: server farm/IT make up) direcly influences what type of game it is and how developers fool people, or hide their limitation & functionality, etc..

Mind you...  I am more concerned with moving MMORPG forward in technologies and least concerned with petty businessmen, looking to make their $$, using the cheapest form of subscription plan to maximize their profit & not your experience.

 

 

I have beta tested 23+ MMORPG's, starting with Ultima Online, up to Aion/Conan/Darkfall era..    In that time I can tell you how interplay between each game's mechanics worked, or that a game's "world size"  -does not equal-   "map size". Meaning, a rough estimate is good enough. Which most are. So it (game world size) no longer matters..  only if the game world is real and is open.

To me, MMORPG need to move to this format and stop maximizing profits using the WoW/EQ format of zones.

 

 

Coincidentally, gIven ur comments (above), you didn't grasp/comprehend the importance of that statement, as most wouldn't. Simply because they don't look @ MMORPG in terms of how it's delivered to them, only about graphics and animations, etc. (ie: superficial). I didn't say "seamless",  I said open world (360 degree content).

AKA Darkfall, Vanguard, Mortal Online, etc...

DAOC & WoW are seamless, but that only means as you travel between zones, there is no loading screen, or need to "zone-in", such as there was in Everquest. An open world CAN have load times (ie: hitching), but that open world has no artifical boundries and the vista is real.

That's important. For one reason, each individual person is a story within the world and not just a character in a module.

 

 

For example: the epotome of cheapness (design and server cost/structure) & the most un-inspiring game world within any MMORPG, would have to be Turbine's Dungeon & Dragon's Online. The entire game world consist of ally's, docks, marketways, with "instancing" everywhere. There really is no world to play in. It is just cheap arcade action, not really a MMORPG. On the exact opposite side of the spectrum, you have Mortal Online. Which is an incredible endeavor and bring back traveling as an adventure.

Given the size of a simple WoW "battlegrounds", a player in MO could get lost...  because it is a true 360 degree of content, with no zone walls, no funneled content, etc.

 

So, I really do think you should try and differentiate world size into catagories (open world & zoned). Because Everquest is still the biggest (no EVE can't touch it) and it would take you days just to run through half of the zones, but you'd hardly get lost exploring. And that is why 360 content (real world) is important technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


-Nariusseldon

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/08/11 2:50:55 AM#62
Originally posted by Phelcher


 So, I really do think you should try and differentiate world size into catagories (open world & zoned). Because Everquest is still the biggest (no EVE can't touch it) and it would take you days just to run through half of the zones, but you'd hardly get lost exploring. And that is why 360 content (real world) is important technology.

I disagree that it wasn't possible to go exploring or to get lost while doing it in EQ. Open worlds with seamless transitioning feel more like a real world, of course, than zoned MMO's. It can be that some MMO's hide their artificial boundaries cleverly or the fact that you're funneled into a specific access point to the next area to make it happen that it can load in the background.

Still, the run speed and crossing time are clear contributors to how large a world feels, next to world and map design.

 

What do you mean with 'map size', do you mean level of texture detail? I guess that the more graphics-rich MMORPG's like AoC have of course a higher level of detail in its textures, thus having a higher pixel count in width than length than the same are would have in MMO's that are lower in texture detail like WoW.

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."

  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

2/08/11 1:18:55 PM#63
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by Phelcher


 So, I really do think you should try and differentiate world size into catagories (open world & zoned). Because Everquest is still the biggest (no EVE can't touch it) and it would take you days just to run through half of the zones, but you'd hardly get lost exploring. And that is why 360 content (real world) is important technology.

I disagree that it wasn't possible to go exploring or to get lost while doing it in EQ. Open worlds with seamless transitioning feel more like a real world, of course, than zoned MMO's. It can be that some MMO's hide their artificial boundaries cleverly or the fact that you're funneled into a specific access point to the next area to make it happen that it can load in the background.

Still, the run speed and crossing time are clear contributors to how large a world feels, next to world and map design.

 

What do you mean with 'map size', do you mean level of texture detail? I guess that the more graphics-rich MMORPG's like AoC have of course a higher level of detail in its textures, thus having a higher pixel count in width than length than the same are would have in MMO's that are lower in texture detail like WoW.

 

There is no disagrement.

Don't fret the non-essential communicators.  I didn't include "as easily" or, "as much" when refering to getting lost, because I am speaking in terms of derivitives, or deltas. My comments were not meant to suggest that getting lost in EQ couldn't happen. But hardly...   as compared to the alternative. 

Most people won't get lost in EQ, where as, within something like MO, they will. Because it is 360 degree content.

 

 

Secondly, it seems you are not grasping the dymaic involved when discussing game world size. I can't make it any simpler than this; Game world size just doesn't matter, (to you, or anyone), what the exact size of a game world might be. Only as long as there is enough, right?

What is more important, is what technology the game developer uses, when designing and making their game world..!

It's the year 2011, we are done as consumers, paying a premium for outdated game technology. WoW should cost $5/month. Because they are unable to deliver a game world where I am able to traverse the game world, and am stuck to Blizzard's map. And that is my second point.

The story... 

 

Once you realize that games like WoW funnel you, then the story (the game) is no longer about you and exploration, but about the developers and what they would like you to do & see. It becomes about pulling strings and how many hoops they can make you jump through, with rewards.

 

 

"Map size" simply refers to the areas in which you can actually play on/traverse. It's a map of the game... which isn't always the map of the world. Game map, or what you allowed to see in the mini-map. The Game world is the whole server, the whole virtual (physical) game world, including the areas that are zoned wall'd off. Artifically making their game map bigger, but not their game world.

Which, ironically comes down to your Opening Post of  " How large are MMO worlds now Really? "

I'll use World of Warcraft as a very simple example of game map  -vs-  world size. Grab ur character and head to Darkshore's Auberdine. Then time yourself on how long it takes to goto Felwood's Whisperwind Grove.

When in all actuallity, it's a 5-6 minute run. But Blizzard placed an artificial barrier so you must be funneled the longer route... thus ARTIFICIAL increasing World of Warcrafts game's size. Or.. hiding the fact of how small their game world is.

 

So in essence, does the game world matter, or does travel distance matter? Or does none of it matter, except the technology implored when making the game.? 

That is my point. A game's world size is vastly different, given how (what technology) is used when making the game. So I do think you should take that into consideration, when fact finding and doing your research.

"No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


-Nariusseldon

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/08/11 2:03:23 PM#64
Originally posted by Phelcher

 So in essence, does the game world matter, or does travel distance matter? Or does none of it matter, except the technology implored when making the game.? 

That is my point. A game's world size is vastly different, given how (what technology) is used when making the game. So I do think you should take that into consideration, when fact finding and doing your research.

Hmm, I get what you're saying, I myself would classify world design and its underlying technology used under 'world design', not 'world size', but that's just semantics. Thing is you can't measure artificial barriers and other design tricks used even if it influences someone's perception of a world, while you can measure  in concrete, unchanging figures results like the run speed, or the crossing time from one place to another.

As a base that works rather well to get a feel of the size of an MMO world in relation to other games, a foundation after which you take into consideration other less measurable factors like available fast-travel and teleportation means, cluttered or non-cluttered with mobs and barriers, and so on.

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."

  NightAngell

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/10
Posts: 592

2/08/11 2:20:19 PM#65

Why no Vanguard?

 

Vanguard would smash all of thoses games for land mass and ocean.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/08/11 2:40:51 PM#66
Originally posted by NightAngell

Why no Vanguard?

 

Vanguard would smash all of thoses games for land mass and ocean.

Vanguard is also one of the few where this data would be applicable because you actually can both cross and utilize the land.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  SonikFlash

Novice Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 579

2/08/11 2:43:40 PM#67

vanguard is quite definitley massive

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/08/11 6:50:25 PM#68
Originally posted by NightAngell

Why no Vanguard?

 

Vanguard would smash all of thoses games for land mass and ocean.

I'd be most happy if there were people that could provide that data, because it's gotten me curious as well.

I myself am not playing VG so I can't do tests in it, and so far I was unable to find any info on the internet, nobody who has done sortlike tests to figure out the worldsize and crossing time from one end of its main continent to the other end for Vanguard.

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."

  Toxilium

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/07
Posts: 919

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

2/08/11 9:10:20 PM#69
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.

That wouldn't work in EVE. If you started just normal flying to another planet persay, it would take hours as the way the game's server works, the planets are actually distanced by astronomical units. Also you cannot fly between systems, as that requires a jump. 4 hours of warping/jumping sounds a bit off, but not too much.

 

Also the largest MMO is Dark & Light at 15000km, and the largest game is Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall at 487000km.

  skyexile

Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/07
Posts: 701

2/09/11 12:20:46 AM#70

Planetside has 10 landmasses all about 16km x 16km, + its cave system.

SKYeXile
TRF - GM - GW2, PS2, WAR, AION, Rift, WoW, WOT....etc...
Future Crew - High Council. Planetside 1 & 2.

  0guz

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/08
Posts: 293

2/09/11 11:07:31 AM#71

Darkfall has one of the biggest single, non-instanced world map

no idea about the speed

here is the map http://feylines.net/yourmom/

  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

2/09/11 11:14:21 AM#72
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by NightAngell

Why no Vanguard?

 

Vanguard would smash all of thoses games for land mass and ocean.

I'd be most happy if there were people that could provide that data, because it's gotten me curious as well.

I myself am not playing VG so I can't do tests in it, and so far I was unable to find any info on the internet, nobody who has done sortlike tests to figure out the worldsize and crossing time from one end of its main continent to the other end for Vanguard.

 

 

The work was done.

Your method is not new...  it was orignated many years ago. And I don't envy you for the hard work ahead, if you really are trying to make a mmorpg atlas of worlds. Back in the day, we had some 25+ people doing this, taking measurments, then rechecking. Tedious stuff, because you can't have any buffs on while running & multiple games needed to be checked. Many people trying different paths, with different data, within different games, etc. 

 

Coincidentally,...  Thestra, one of the continents in Telon (ie: Vanguard), was roughly 2x the size of all of WoW when VG was released. Then you still have one other major continent Qalian and an the Kojanese Archipelago.

Anyone who has played Vanguard can tell you, that the game is played out in a premium world, with great expanse not only is one Continent massive, but when you consider the whole world (Telon as whole) it boggles the mind of all the content placed within that world, it big enough for anyone.

The the other two Continenets (which you can travel to by boat, or teleport) makes Vanguard a sprawling, giant living world. Also, given the context of the game, anything bigger would be pointless... because SOE/Sigil (ie: Brad Mcquaid) did a marvelous job of filling the world with believable factions, wild life and dungeons everywhere.. some you might not even know are there.

Here: Thestra

Notice the Trial island on the far left of the map?

 

 

Some of the newer game might have a bigger world, but they won't touch the content that Vanguard offer's within it's world. That is why it is unanimously consider one of the largest. You could be in a field and have no idea a sprawling dungeon is benieth your feet...   which is why open worlds (again) are bigger than what measurements can dictate.

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  lizardbones

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Posts: 10872

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2/09/11 11:26:42 AM#73

The game world of LoTRO is about 375 times* bigger than WoW. Content wise, I'd guess WoW has more content than LoTRO. I know it's not the point of the thread, but the size of the world by itself doesn't seem to be that relevant to the amount of enjoyment you get out of it.

* Based on this map data:
http://www.mmorpg.com/newsroom.cfm/read/16920

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  Agricola1

Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/06
Posts: 5041

"The one you call messiah is a lie"--- Gary Numan

2/09/11 12:14:27 PM#74

The largest seamless open worlds I've actualy played in are,

 

1: D&L

2: Darkfall

3: Earthrise

4: Mortal Online

5: Shadowbane

 

EVE & SWG are both zoned, EVE the more so, the games above are open worlds without zoning or instancing listed in order of size (if memory serves me right).

EDIT: Forgot to add the largest of all these would bw WW2OL which had a map of western europe to scale, it was just too huge.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience"

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  SirAgravaine

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/04
Posts: 72

"From my rotting body flowers shall grow, and I am in them and that is eternity." -Edvard Munch

2/09/11 4:54:45 PM#75

When I played Asheron's call I once ran from the Southern most point of Dereth to the Northern most. Granted, I was running across terrain which puts a damper on efficiency, but I had my run speed buffed. AC was one of the few games where you could buff your run and jump to ridiculous levels, to the point where you could jump on top of buildings and run as fast as mounts fly in modern games like WoW. To put that into perspective, if AC's speed was normalized like most MMO's are today, it would have taken me a significantly longer time.

 

It took me approximately 2 hours of non-stop auto run and some trekking past collision mapping and hills to get from South to North. One thing that must be accounted for in Dereth is the Sea in the middle, it was unusable land, so must be subtracted from the total.

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/09/11 6:04:16 PM#76

@phelcher: thanks, that sure helps a bit the X2 size, can you recall more specifics regarding that? Is it the worldmap of WoW that is being compared or just the 2 main continents meshed together? And of VG, is the continent being compared from coast to coast or as worldmap, surrounding sea included?

 

@lizardbones: that picture and figures on it is wrong, the creator used incorrect data. LotrO and Nightfall are far smaller than that.

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."

  Grazzul

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/10
Posts: 22

2/09/11 6:21:22 PM#77

Didn't one of the developers at Arenanet say that the world would take several hours to cross, not just 40 minutes?

  Etherouge

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/09
Posts: 522

2/10/11 12:36:29 AM#78

Not sure if these are 100% correct (drag into new tab).

http://steamcommunity.com/id/Cloudsol/

  Tallyn

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 214

Semper Fi

2/10/11 2:06:50 AM#79

In regards to Vanguard: Saga of Heroes...

According to Silky Venom, each "chunk" is 2km x 2km.

Thestra itself is 13 chunks wide and 9 chunks high.

Kojan is roughly 5 chunks wide and 12 chunks high.

Qalia is 11 chunks wide and 9 chunks high.

There are also many underground cities and dungeons that take up quite near entire chunks worth of space.

I'll try to do the run speed tests and math tomorrow, but it definitely seems like Vanguard is a major contender here.

However, should the trial "island" (6km x 6km) and areas of ocean that really offer no content count towards the total world size?

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  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

 
OP  2/10/11 3:06:45 AM#80
Originally posted by Tallyn

In regards to Vanguard: Saga of Heroes...

According to Silky Venom, each "chunk" is 2km x 2km.

Thestra itself is 13 chunks wide and 9 chunks high.

Kojan is roughly 5 chunks wide and 12 chunks high.

Qalia is 11 chunks wide and 9 chunks high.

There are also many underground cities and dungeons that take up quite near entire chunks worth of space.

I'll try to do the run speed tests and math tomorrow, but it definitely seems like Vanguard is a major contender here.

However, should the trial "island" (6km x 6km) and areas of ocean that really offer no content count towards the total world size?

Thanks! Is there a map where those chunks can be seen (is it like a raster grid?

 

Btw, there's no way that the trial island can be 3 by 3 chunks (6 km) if that's the little island in the west of the map in Phelcher's post and if Thestra is only 13 by 9 chunks.

Personally I usually measure North to South coast and West to east coast, that seems a more accurate estimation. Of course is the measures of a specific worldmap are known the size the landmass can be deduced accordingly.

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."

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