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K4thos

concept for a new BP-BGT Worldmap style mod

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BG 2: Shadows of Amn

1. Definitely put Trademeet in its proper place on the Trade Way road south of the Small Teeth mountain range (west of Helmite Camp on this map), away from its present baffling position southeast of Lake Esmel.

2. Druid Grove definitely shouldn't be in Shilmista! It should be someplace not too far away from Trademeet. I'd put it northwest of where Trademeet should be, in a small clearing in the southwestern corner of the Small Teeth range (in Ommlur Hills, as that's where one would expect to find swamps/floodplains in the Small Teeth region).

3. Put Umar Hills in the northeastern foothills of the Small Teeth. Southeastern foothills won't work well for this area in my opinion.

4. Temple Ruins shouldn't be too far from Umar Hills. I'd put Temple Ruins near the tiny forested blotch southwest of where Trademeet is located on this map.

5. Windspear Hills are placed way too far to the east. According to this map they aren't even in Amn! I'd put them south of the Troll Mountains, in the area where Umar Hills are on this map.

6. I'd put Underwater City north of that huge peninsula (Dragon's Neck Peninsula); put it north of its northern tip, actually.

7. I'd put Underdark southeast of the proper Underwater City area and to the east/southeast of the aforementioned northern tip; in the sea but very close to the coast. On the present map there is a looong gap between Underdark and Underdark Exit.

8. Underdark Exit is placed too close to the Trade Way road. I'd move this area west of it and onto the Dragon's Neck Peninsula, closer to Underdark proper.

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BG 2: Throne of Bhaal

1. Watcher's Keep (AR3000). I'd put it northwest of the Omlarandin Mountains and south of Shilmista, due south of the Shining Stream close to where it begins to flow south in a straight line. That is, I'd put WK in county Morninggold in easternmost Tethyr. It'd make WK feel much more like a proper part of ToB than it is now and would still preserve geographic continuity with SoA. That pier in AR3000 need not automatically imply that WK is located anywhere near the sea.

2. Forest Valley a.k.a. ToB North Forest (AR6400) should be in the northeastern, not the northwestern corner of the Forest of Mir. It's supposed to be somewhere south-ish of the Siege Camp area and not very far from it. Remember, In ToB you need to pass Forest Valley on your way to the Temple in Mir.

3. Marching Mountains area should be located in the southeasternmost corner of the mountains of the same name, in the sweet spot between a field of brown rocks & the edge of the Mir forest.

4. The Oasis area on this map is located far too deep in the Calim desert. CHARNAME has no business going that far in that direction. Better to put it where Sendai's Enclave is placed on this map.

5. Amkethran area should be east of the proper Oasis area (that is, east of Sendai's Enclave on this map), somewhere in that field of brown rocks. Remember, in ToB you need to pass the Oasis first to get to Amkethran. And you need to reach Amkethran first to be able to get to Sendai's Enclave & Abazigal's Lair later.

6. Sendai's Enclave. Oh, I'd put this area right into the triangle formed by a rocky extension of the Marching Mountains and two streams that converge into the Calim River further south.

7. Abazigal's Lair. I'd put it where the Marching Mountains area is on this map.

8. I'd move Clearing (Neera's quest's map; OH6400) further west, close to the tiny forested blotch. Or even better: put it beyond that spot; put it on the plain between two rivers just northwest of the Forest Of Mir (north of Forest Valley on this map) to cut down on all that empty space.

9. Deepstone Clanhold... I wish I could advise better where to put it. Anyway, I'm convinced DC definitely shouldn't be located in the southern parts of the Alamir Mountains. Perhaps migrate DC to the northern parts of this mountain range?

Edited by Istfemer

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I really like the proposed map too, and also doesn't look cartoony to me. But maybe an option of having it grayscaled towards a more sepia color-based palette would help for those that see it as cartoony?

EDIT: The only aspect I dislike a bit, just a bit, is the fact that it doesn't show up trading routes/roads, as other maps do. But that's a minor point.

Edited by Leeux
added extra paragraph

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@Istfemer, that's a lot of good suggestions. Would you like to implement these changes yourself? I can send you weidu code that installs the map and adds dummy locations on it using X, Y coordinates from the text file. After editing the file you could review the changes in Near Infinity and adjust icons placement until you think they are all in good places.

As for the map colours, keep in mind that in the map I've posted I used "Clothify" gimp filter. The default colour without filters looks like this. I'm sure someone who actually knows something about graphic programs could edit the colours to something that looks more like BG2 map (less vivid) or BG:EE (brown).

Quote

 

EDIT: The only aspect I dislike a bit, just a bit, is the fact that it doesn't show up trading routes/roads, as other maps do. But that's a minor point.

 

I actually have roads available as separate layer in PSD file, but decided to remove them since they are not properly connected after disabling"locations" layer (city icons that you can see in the original map on devaintart). So to keep the roads someone would have to edit them a little.

Edited by K4thos

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Only one problem: I don't have the EE games, only the originals. I suppose I need to install EET first, too.

Edited by Istfemer
clarified my problem

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Thanks. Old engine doesn't support PVRZ files, in which the map art and icons are storred, so EE engine is needed to view it in game, although maybe Near Inifnity won't have a problem with displaying it even if its installed on the old engine. Please check the PM I've just sent you.

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The map loads fine and the rest of your instructions look straightforward enough. I'll send you the file when I'm done with my "first draft".

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I like the new map, though I'd really like to see an option to install a version without the clothify filter once this mod is released.

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I need advice on how to handle Small Teeth Pass.

Small Teeth Pass is SoA's most peculiar area. It's placed in the Tethir Forest on the worldmap, but it's also called Small Teeth Pass as if it belongs in the Small Teeth mountains.

It actually belongs in Brynnlaw. If you look closely at Brynnlaw's worldmap icon, you'll see that it has a curious series of waterfalls in its lower part. These waterfalls are the same terrain that is found in the area of Small Teeth Pass. They match up perfectly. Brynnlaw & Small Teeth Pass also share vegetation: palms & other tropical trees. Brynnlaw had a true wilderness area early on in its development, likely placed between Brynnlaw proper & the Asylum. This is also corroborated by monster spawns: early versions of SoA had shadows, shadow fiends, wraiths & vampiric mists spawn at night in Small Teeth Pass (which had already migrated to the Tethir Forest by then). The Asylum (AR1500) still includes these creatures in its nightly spawns. Incidentally, Brynnlaw's present worldmap icon has these waterfalls in the wrong place. (south/southeast of Brynnlaw proper)

So first, a suggestion for someone who's better at GIMP/Photoshop than me:
Split those waterfalls off Brynnlaw's icon and use them as a new icon for the area of Small Teeth Pass. (currently STP has the same icon as the Forest of Tethir area). The remaining part of Brynnlaw's icon will require some fixup work though, so that it can look nice again.

---

Second, what to DO with Small Teeth Pass that received (or didn't receive) a makeover?

This area, as it exists in BG2, has nothing to do thematically with either the Small Teeth or the Tethir Forest. It has a misleading name. However, STP was placed in the latter region in the original game and it remains there in BG2:EE. Moreover, there are quest mods out there some components of which touch this area somehow (Weimer's Tactics definitely does this). It means I probably shouldn't move it to Brynnlaw.  What should I do with Small Teeth Pass on this map? Do I just leave it alone? Possibly move it somewhere further south?

Edited by Istfemer
additional info

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no idea, Istfemer. Maybe travel times will be of help? 

4m9wqtk.png

Edited by K4thos

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updated image with icons placement by @Istfemer. As always feedback is welcome.

Click for fullsize:

worldmapsvkb9.jpg

Edited by K4thos

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@K4thos Would it be possible to add a 'no cloth filter' option? The map is really nice but the cloth filter is an abomination that should be purged from the earth .. in my humble opinion of course.. :)

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Interesting. I had not really thought a lot about the sense of the placement of the various locations. This is certainly different than vanilla. The more I look at it, the more some of it makes sense, in particular the locations of the southern BG1 icons. I can see a trip through the mountains with the Dryad of the Cloudpeaks on your way to the Xvart Village and Gnoll Stronghold. It was always my first big "excursion" with a fresh team, often pre-Naskell mines. The secluded mountain locations make it seem more exciting.

I will also add my vote for a non-"clothified" option. That filter was something I disliked about the other big EET map we've been using. I prefer clarity.

@Ulb -- You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir. :)

Edited by Lightbringer

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OK, here's a brief breakdown of what I did:

BG2+expansion: Reviewed and tweaked positions of all SoA & ToB areas with on-map icons. This was the hard part as SoA's & ToB's maps took significant liberties with Faerun's geography.

SoD: Tightened positions of all areas with on-map icons except area BD4000 (Dragonspear Castle), which I didn't touch (it's kind of fine where it is). I also moved area BD5100 (?Underground River Interior?) to a slightly more appropriate position. I did not touch any areas in Baldur's Gate City.

BG1+expansion: Tweaked positions of areas BG2000 (Balduran's Isle) & BG1008 (Ice Island). I did not touch anything else.

IWD1+expansions & IWD2: I didn't touch any areas belonging to these games.

---

I searched dialog.tlk & multiple lorebooks for any positioning info I could find on these areas. My searched turned up quite a few surprises for me. I'll post a detailed breakdown later.

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