World map

Members see less ads - sign up now for free and join the community!

  • This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Fleur

Knight of Death
#1


Much has been said about Final Fantasy's traversable world maps from FFI-IX and nowadays the topic barely appears without at least someone to suggest that a future Final Fantasy game brings back this "staple". Heck, I'm sure Tales fans have been doing this as well, and the only recent game with a world map like that I can think of is Ninokuni.

But what are you general thoughts on the world map? Should it be brought back and if not, what can work in its place? Is it feasible do you reckon for a future game to bring back this feature, or is it a bit too archaic and something Nomura might have been wise to avoid utilising back in the earlier Versus XIII days?

I don't deny that seeing the world map for the first time and walking around in it/flying over it has been a powerfully iconic moment when playing through the older Final Fantasies. Take FFVII: you've been in Midgar pretty much exclusively the whole time thus far, and all of a sudden you exit the metropolis and see that there is literally a whole new world out there. Who didn't find that breathtaking?

But, as it currently stands, I'm rather indifferent when it comes to the world map. I'm not someone who is constantly crying for its return when ever since we've seen ambitious new takes on an overworld such as Dragon Quest VIII and Xenoblade. Were someone to do their own DQVIII-like overworld (goodness knows how much of a budget you would need to make one as big as that for current gen machines...), I'd be more than happy with it. It gives you that same degree of exploration as an ordinary world map would do, but grander in terms of size and scope because you're properly scaled against your surroundings, rather than Godzilla.

I think my chief problem with the world map if applied in this day and age is the unremitting feeling that I'm wandering around what is essentially a large, empty room. I can see the world before me, but I can't shake off the feeling that it's very sparsely populated and mostly covered by nothing but mountains, forests and plains. It may be gorgeous to behold, but it's bereft of much substance to it. The chance to fly an airship across the world map is always a pleasure to do, but being able to traverse the whole map in 30 seconds or so doesn't sit right with me anymore. I think I've grown to prefer whatever style FFXIV has to offer, which is a more realistically realised overworld, and one that doesn't cover the entire world, but enough of a regionalised bit of it to provide both the scope for exploration, and yet a convincing enough population distribution so it doesn't feel like the whole world is just made up of a couple of cities and a few villages.

Thoughts?
 

Nikolasvanitas

Chocobo Knight
Sep 27, 2013
211
80
Greece
www.youtube.com
#2
Its hard to describe the feeling when you get your first airship in a Final Fantasy game,for me it was FF9 and I was shocked that a video game gave me the chance to travel a whole world,I was so young and I remember being scared of getting lost,still all those FF games that gave you the freedom to gather your party members and travel the world with an airship is something that I would love to see again in a console FF game
Also the map in FF12 was one of my favorites,FFXIV has a pretty good map too


 
Likes: Joshua

Azuardo

Materia Hunter
Moderator
Sep 26, 2013
771
286
#3
I seem to have the same sort of feelings with regards to the world map today. That feel of exiting Midgar for the first time will always stick with me as a highlight of my game-playing memories, and it was certainly lovely to step into the world of Ni no Kuni recently and experience a beautiful overworld that reminded me somewhat of FFIX's world map. It was nice to be thrown back to that style after it going absent for a good while in many more RPGs, including FF.

Yet, I don't crave for its return with FF massively at all. As a matter of fact, I was fine with how FFX did it - still being able to return to each location in the airship later on (albeit through a menu). It made me think the WM wasn't absolutely necessary.

But I did enjoy Xenoblade's take on it, where every location is linked, but is far more of an open and vast world that actually makes the game more immsersive.

One of my problems with WMs is that they seem to make the game world so much smaller than you thought they were. It's harder to care for a world that is in danger, where "millions of people" may die, when the world has only 6 towns and you bearly ever see more than a hundred unique NPCs throughout the game. With towns so far apart and this empty, lifeless void in between, I find that the WM can sometimes deter from the immersion when you try to consider some games' plots of villains taking over entire worlds and threatening to destroy all of its inhabitants.

This is why I have begun to prefer games like FFXII, FFXIV and Fire Emblem, where their settings are just a small part of the actual planet that you never see the rest of. It actually makes it seem more realistic; more immersive. Unless game worlds that use WMs begin to be truly massive in scale, where you can actually travel to many different nations and see thousands of different people, I think games that use WMs will always be too small to be believable. And maybe that's down to technical limitations, and maybe in the end, I shouldn't care what size the world is - people are people, after all, and that is their home, and I should care about that no matter what. But I think the way games like FFXIV do it work better to convey this message to the player; to get them to care more.

And maybe my feelings will change again at some point. There's no denying that FFVII is one of my favourite games, but I think these days, to try and offer stories that are more believable and immersive, world maps don't always work. Unless the WM style is employed for regional-setting games like FFXIV, but still in a way that it doesn't reveal the rest of the planet. A "Continent Map", if you will.

I hope some of that makes sense.
 
Last edited:

yeah_93

Warrior of Light
Sep 27, 2013
1,636
600
Venezuela
#5
A world map would be good if it was done with an immense scale. Think of arriving and the cities shown in the trailers, while there is a vast world around it (no loading), not separated areas. That would be truly great.
 

Fleur

Knight of Death
#6
I vaguely read somewhere a while back that Nomura might have decided to drop the classic world map idea for what was then still Versus XIII. I think what we're more likely to see in its place is something more akin to Dragon Quest VIII's overworld. There was a very brief trailer from 2008/9 that depicted Noctis running along a ruined road, leaping down a cliff facing a desolate Fallout New Vegas-like desert area, and coming across an abandoned gas station. Purportedly the player can trek as far as they desire bar the mountain ranges.

I think it's just as well that FFXV dispenses with a classical world map. It would be a shame to the people who have chimed for its return, but I can see Nomura preferring to run with realistic and proportional scales in keeping with the look and feel of the game thus far. With cities supposedly as large as the little mini-map we've seen of Accordo in the E3 trailer and the likely size of Lucis, connecting these cities with a giant god-like Noctis standing on a continent that what I imagine to be barely the size of a small football pitch in comparison to him wouldn't sit right.

tl;dr - I can see FFXV's overworld being not too dissimilar to DQVIII, and thus scaled proportionately. Now I want to see how it's handled and what there is to see and find in between cities and presumably dungeon areas. The fact that the old 2008/9 trailer with snippets of the overworld depicts a desolate area with felled telegraph poles and empty roads that disappear into floods is intriguing. Unfortunately, it doesn't help dispel the idea of an empty, lifeless world outside of cities and towns.
 

Azuardo

Materia Hunter
Moderator
Sep 26, 2013
771
286
#7
I was under the impression there wouldn't be a world map in FFXV, too.

I'll have to check out what DQ8's overworld is like, because I haven't played any of that series. If it's anything like Xenoblade's style, then I am absolutely in favour of that for FFXV.
 

Fleur

Knight of Death
#8
DQVIII's overworld is essentially like the classic world map of Final Fantasies I-IX, albeit with your character scaled proportionally against everything else. The principle of traversing from town to town is still there, but due to the scale, it does involve trekking in regular third-person camera view (rather than the more eagle-eyed perspective of FF world maps).

It allows for some considerable exploration because you can come across certain nooks, crannies and curious routes that go off the beaten track. But like the Final Fantasy world maps of old, DQVIII's overworld doesn't subvert that idea of a quiet, empty world either. You will occasionally find special monsters dotted around the overworld, but otherwise you don't generally meet people wandering around, except in the occasional few camps. I suppose in a way, DQVIII's overworld style accentuates the weakness of FF world maps. Because it's more proportionally scaled and trekking around takes longer as it should, towns and cities feel considerably more further apart and thus adds to the feeling of emptiness.

Xenoblade's is of course different in that large zone maps are interconnected, and there's not an actual overworld per se in the conventional sense we know it. FFXV can go either way, but I'm eager to see IF they decide to go down the DQ route, what they do with it so it doesn't feel like a long, arduous trek through quiet landscapes.
 
Likes: Azuardo
Sep 26, 2013
1,702
649
#9
I vaguely read somewhere a while back that Nomura might have decided to drop the classic world map idea for what was then still Versus XIII.
Originally, the world map showed a miniature version of Noctis running around. It didn't look right so they changed it to resemble another Final Fantasy game.

That was said back in 2010.

Now since we've seen more of the game. We have a good idea what the world map will be like.
 

LeonBlade

Warrior of Light
Moderator
Site Staff
Oct 25, 2013
1,993
1,726
26
Blossvale, New York
#12
Isn't FFXV already confirmed to have a world map that you can drive vehicles over?
I was under the impression that XV would have an overworld as well.
Players will find a big world map with vast fields where they will be able to explore as far as the eye can reach, except for the mountains. Nomura says the game is not open, but is more like the 2D Final Fantasy games in HD and in third person view. The player will be able to drive a car and fly airships just like in older Final Fantasy titles.
 

Azuardo

Materia Hunter
Moderator
Sep 26, 2013
771
286
#13
Shows how much I knew about FFXV. I haven't been reading anything about it at all.

But, since the world map has been absent from FF for so long, it could be refreshing to have it return in XV. So long as most of the issues I have with it are addressed, I'll be fine with it.
 

Ehren

The Sunflower Knight
Moderator
Site Staff
Sep 17, 2013
212
109
29
Bethany, Oklahoma
#14
I'm really against world maps to be quite honest, but if it's done well I'll live with it. As with several others, I've never felt world maps were anything but empty, cold, boring spaces with nothing to do. They're segmented with mountains and rivers to keep us from getting ahead of story progress, they tend to be supported with random encounters which I have slowly grown to hate more and more, and in general they're just not fun.
 

Crystal Power

Keyblade Master
Nov 29, 2013
765
260
United States
#15
I believe most people (including myself), Just want world maps because it's nostalgic. Because after reading this topic I must say the reason you all don't care for world maps are very good ones. That I can agree with.

Maybe they can add multiple treasures and optional locations to make it more lively???
 
Sep 26, 2013
383
287
28
#16
I love a fully realized world and I have absolutely zero problem with random battles, so I find a world map a much more appealing thing than "Here's a fence that comes up to your knees, the whole world over here can never be reached."
 

Jenova

SeeD A-Class
Oct 28, 2013
666
472
#18
Hmm. . . Not sure how I feel about the World Map returning in basically 3D form. I thought the exploration would something akin to inFamous or other open-world games. Doesn't sound like that's going to be the case though. I guess I'll just have to wait for more gameplay footage before making a final judgement.
 

LeonBlade

Warrior of Light
Moderator
Site Staff
Oct 25, 2013
1,993
1,726
26
Blossvale, New York
#19
It all depends on how it's being implemented in the game, I personally enjoyed DQVIII's world map immensely, we'll just have to wait and see how it's done in XV most likely at E3 this year.
 
Nov 29, 2013
62
15
24
#20
If they were to reintroduce a world map, they would have to put time and effort into easing the player into understanding their environments. A Realm Reborn was an MMORPG, but I felt that the developers created world progression excellently for that game. They tell you; hang out in this area first so that you know it, then go to the next area and check it out, after that try and travel back and forth before you check out some awesome areas that I'll let you visit once you progress with the story. You can go to those places immediately, but your priorities are to stay put until further notice. That's how I want it, because the problem with letting someone go anywhere right off the bat is that it begins to feel less like a journey and more of simple exploration.