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Default Skyrim - Official Strategy Guide Blog about Maps in Skyrim

November 14th, 2011, 15:08
The Bethesda Blog has a piece written by co-author of the officiel Skyrim strategy guide, David Hogson. It deals with the maps and how the game world is mapped. An excerpt:
Fortunately, our map makers (the good folks at 99 Lives studio, with over 20 years of map-making experience) decided they didn’t need much of a summer, and stitched together every single section of the game world from about 20 feet off the ground; resulting in a messy, but workable tapestry of landscapes. While I spent my evenings checking, plotting, and referencing all the topography and locations, our cartographers painstakingly transformed the map into a gigantic, useable, and highly accurate representation of the Province of Skyrim itself. This is a map you’ll find exclusively in the guide, online map tool, and iPad app. But just how much detail is there?
More information.
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November 14th, 2011, 15:08
Funny the special edition guide is now bringing 50.00 to 142.00 on e-bay. I had the guide in my hand but put it down to try and find a PC copy of the game. When I came back there was no guide any more. I see there is a copy about 30 miles from me at another Best buy store………
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November 14th, 2011, 15:53
Weird that people pay such an amount for a guide for a game not that complex.
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November 14th, 2011, 16:34
I find the in-game world map very hard to read. There are no roads that I can see, just a mess of snow and mountains with towns overlaid. How the hell am I supposed to find my way in Skyrim like that? It took me a long time to travel to that Graybeards hell hole!
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November 14th, 2011, 16:44
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I find the in-game world map very hard to read. There are no roads that I can see, just a mess of snow and mountains with towns overlaid. How the hell am I supposed to find my way in Skyrim like that? It took me a long time to travel to that Graybeards hell hole!
That´s right, the map isn´t especially serviceable when it comes to getting to some places, but personally I certainly like that.
The game´s world design is very good in use of z-axis and general raggedness and it results in exploration being a sorta environmental puzzle sometimes, like it was in Morrowind or Gothics, and too detailed/"clean" map would probably, at least partially, ruin that.

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November 14th, 2011, 16:52
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
There are no roads that I can see, just a mess of snow and mountains with towns overlaid. How the hell am I supposed to find my way in Skyrim like that? It took me a long time to travel to that Graybeards hell hole!
That's one of my favorite aspects of the game!

I enjoy exploration without using fast travel and each new destination ends up being a very interesting journey, with lots of encounters along the way. I find that I keep checking the map for landmarks and looking around to get my bearings, just as I would in a real expedition.
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November 14th, 2011, 16:58
Ah, then I was playing it wrong. I decided to just visit that one place and it turned out to be a pretty long horse ride away, made worse by it being far from a straight line to my destination in most places, and also a river separating me for much of the way. So I should stop trying to get to placed and just look for interesting stuff around me.

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November 14th, 2011, 17:38
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
There are no roads that I can see, just a mess of snow and mountains with towns overlaid. How the hell am I supposed to find my way in Skyrim like that? It took me a long time to travel to that Graybeards hell hole!
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
That's one of my favorite aspects of the game!

I enjoy exploration without using fast travel and each new destination ends up being a very interesting journey, with lots of encounters along the way. I find that I keep checking the map for landmarks and looking around to get my bearings, just as I would in a real expedition.
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Ah, then I was playing it wrong. I decided to just visit that one place and it turned out to be a pretty long horse ride away, made worse by it being far from a straight line to my destination in most places, and also a river separating me for much of the way. So I should stop trying to get to placed and just look for interesting stuff around me.
So is the game still unfocussed like Morrowind/Oblivion then or is it a challenge to get to the next step in the objective in the game like Wizardry 8.

I may be responding to the wrong Count about this.

I'm not a fan of fast travel between cities either until it becomes largely tedius - especially later in the game. Often a good price for fast travel or an item like a travel gem or horse is the trick but its not something that should just be handed to the player IMO.

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November 14th, 2011, 18:45
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
Weird that people pay such an amount for a guide for a game not that complex.
A lot of people (for example, like ME) buy guides for their favorite games as collector pieces and references for subsequent play-throughs to find experiences that may have been missed during an initial play-through.

It's a lot of fun to have a guide years after the release of a game - for the most part, the guides will contain everything you'd ever want to know about the game all in one place.

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November 14th, 2011, 18:47
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I find the in-game world map very hard to read. There are no roads that I can see, just a mess of snow and mountains with towns overlaid.
Prior to the release of Skyrim, I thought I read somewhere or saw a video that stated that as you explore the world, the 'cloudiness' of the map dissipates. Can anyone who has played a lot of Skyrim confirm?

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November 14th, 2011, 18:48
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
So is the game still unfocussed like Morrowind/Oblivion then or is it a challenge to get to the next step in the objective in the game like Wizardry 8.

I may be responding to the wrong Count about this.

I'm not a fan of fast travel between cities either until it becomes largely tedius - especially later in the game. Often a good price for fast travel or an item like a travel gem or horse is the trick but its not something that should just be handed to the player IMO.
If you want a more RP friendly fast travel, you can use the carriage travel network that will take you to any of the capitals of the nine Holds for a fee.

Not exactly sure what you mean by unfocused. It's an open world sandbox game, so naturally it's up to you to decide what you want to do next.

The main quest, faction questlines, even the smaller sidequests, as well as the NPCs, are a lot more engaging than previous TES games IMO. So there is a more compelling reason to complete quests. Also once you learn your first dragon shout, you will certainly want to progress in order to learn more.


Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Prior to the release of Skyrim, I thought I read somewhere or saw a video that stated that as you explore the world, the 'cloudiness' of the map dissipates. Can anyone who has played a lot of Skyrim confirm?
It's a bit similar to the fog of war in Civ 5. As you explore more areas, you are able to see the corresponding terrain features on the map better.
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November 14th, 2011, 19:55
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
It's a bit similar to the fog of war in Civ 5. As you explore more areas, you are able to see the corresponding terrain features on the map better.
Really? That's great. I hadn't noticed that yet, but I'll look for it now. That may fix the map for me. It's not that I need everything spelled out for me, but some direction would be nice.
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November 14th, 2011, 19:55
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
It's a bit similar to the fog of war in Civ 5. As you explore more areas, you are able to see the corresponding terrain features on the map better.
Not by much CC. I don't consider it a problem but difference between explored and unexplored areas on the world map are subtle. You still can't see features like roads or bridges.
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November 14th, 2011, 20:07
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Not by much CC. I don't consider it a problem but difference between explored and unexplored areas on the world map are subtle. You still can't see features like roads or bridges.
Mainly I use it for figuring out how to navigate mountain passes, etc.

Roads are for milk-drinkers!
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November 14th, 2011, 20:19
I think completists like the guides, since they can check to see if they missed anything during exploration (but apparently some small caches aren't even in the guide).
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November 14th, 2011, 20:40
Actually, you often CAN see where roads are. From looking at the map I figured out how to get to a remote location in the mountains via what was obviously a road.
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November 14th, 2011, 20:52
Maybe I should look more closely then. By the way, I keep mouse dragging the world map and it doesn't allow that. Drives me insane!
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November 14th, 2011, 21:01
LOL! Me too. All those accidental custom markers that, by the way, took me WHILE to figure out how to delete. Nice unintuitive undocumented interface Bethesda.

I wish there was a better zoom in capability so you could see the roads better. The zoom levels I think are pretty weak. I would like being able to zoom in all the way to your character ala Sup Com.
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November 14th, 2011, 21:12
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
It's a bit similar to the fog of war in Civ 5. As you explore more areas, you are able to see the corresponding terrain features on the map better.
I hadn't noticed this, despite looking for it. I was pretty bummed that it did not do this, so if it actually does that would be cool.

Does that mean those cloud covered mountain regions on the far bottom and far left are explorable? I figured they were closed off.
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November 14th, 2011, 21:39
If you want to zoom in to the map a lot more add the below to your /my documebts/my games/skyrim/skyrim.ini file.

[MapMenu]
fMapWorldMaxPitch=360.0000
fMapWorldMinPitch=0.0000
fMapWorldYawRange=360.0000
fMapLocalCursorPanSpeed=200.0000
fMapWorldTransitionHeight=130000.0000
fMapMenuOverlayNormalSnowStrength=20.000
fMapMenuOverlayNormalStrength=20.000
bWorldMapNoSkyDepthBlur=1
fWorldMapNearDepthBlurScale=0.0001
fWorldMapDepthBlurScale=0.0001
fWorldMapMaximumDepthBlur=0.0001
fWorldMapFocalDepth=4500.0000
fMapWorldMaxHeight=130000.0000
fMapWorldMinHeight=150.0000
fMapWorldCursorMoveArea=0.9000
fMapWorldHeightAdjustmentForce=100.0000
fMapMoveKeyboardSpeed=0.015
fMapLookMouseSpeed=6.0000
fMapZoomMouseSpeed=10.0000
fMapWorldZoomSpeed=0.1
sMapCloudNIF=

It allows you to zoom in to ground level but if you try zooming in far away you only get the lod details.
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