Is real-world inspired repositioning on a large scale worth a map revision?

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Rhyuus

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Rethinking Borders, City-/Settlement-/Castle-positions, Road-/River-/Canal-Network
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Is real-world inspired repositioning on a large scale worth a map revision?

In a previous post I suggested some small changes for authentic bridge-, settlement- and border-placements: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index...idge-settlement-and-border-placements.423071/
The discussion and the interest in this topic encouraged me to do this on a large scale.
(@Terco_Viejo, @MArdA TaleWorlds, @GG Cannon, @Old One-Eye, @Maahes, @Dannydehz)

I tried to rethink Calradias border-, city-, settlement-, castle- and road-positions with inspiration from real-world maps. My restrictions for this suggestion was: sticking to the exact number and names of all Cities/Settlement/Castles and leaving them close to where they are now, but making adjustments thinking about: accessibility, protection, strategic positioning, trade, travelling, water, wind, weather, … I also tried to combine a lot of suggestions (eg. roads, cannels, strategic castle positions, feedback…) because some of them require a hand-in-hand change.

My map is only an example of what could be done:
(it can surely be better with more time and thoughts invested, but here it is: )
=> Link: https://66.media.tumblr.com/0c9731c.../233e830edcbabad3873cafb0f33f12c7917a5448.png
=> Original map thanks to @Vesper_ : https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/🦅-map-of-calradia-1084-update-15-04-20.385748/page-10#post-9402804



… some changes are really big and it’s up for discussion if real-world inspired placements (on a large scale) are worth a map revision.
It would be too much to explain every detail of my map, but (more important) I want to explain the thoughts that led to this:

1. The Inspiration

To make this realistic, we can compare Calradia to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and then take inspiration from medieval maps. Here are the similarities of the cultural territories in terms of geography:
  • Vlandia – Spain + Portugal (in south), France (in the centre), a bit British (on the northern Peninsular)
  • Battania – Highland of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and a bit Alpine
  • Sturgia –Scandinavia, a bit Britain+Falkland+Norway on the western Peninsular
  • Western Empire – mostly Italy, a bit of eastern France, + the region around Gibraltar
  • Aserei - sums up northern Africa and a bit of Jordan and Mesopotamia (in the east)
  • Southern Empire – sums up the region between Adria, Dinaric Alps, Carpathian, Balkan, Black sea, + a bit Greece and Turkey
  • Khuzait – sums up east Europe and west Asia (Ural, Caspian sea, black sea, Caucasus, …)
  • Norther Empire – looks like it only features Alps and Carpathian, but stretched up to the North- and Baltic-sea (Austria, Germany, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary,…)

I also tried to find real-world excamples for some cities, thinking of the surrounding land and what the cities role could have been.
(I compared them to cities from medieval maps because big and popular cities on modern maps could have been less important in medieval times … their still might be better examples for some cities but I can only name the ones I know / or the ones I have found)
  • Danustica - Istanbul (ex Constantinople)
  • Razih - Beirut / Jerusalem
  • Sanala - Alexandria
  • Lageta - Strasbourg
  • Rhotae - Milan
  • Amitatys - Verona
  • Jalmarys - Turin / Florenz
  • Lycaron - Bologna
  • Zeonica - (a lot of Italian Harbour cities would fit)
  • Ortysia - Marseille / Barcelona
  • Charas - Gades (Cádiz) / Lisabon
  • Sargot - Avignon / Toulouse / Lyon / …
  • Jaculan / Galend - Cordoba / Toledo (a lot of Spanish cities close to mountains would fit)
  • Pravend - Luxembourg (Paris/Orleans if it was at the river which I would suggest for Vlandia)
  • Ocs Hall - (not shure… river lake, mountain… I searched between France and Swiss)
  • Ostican - Dover
  • Car Banseth - (could be comparable to Edinburgh if it was a harbour city further north)
  • Dunglanys - York (if it wasn’t on top of a mountain)
  • Pen Cannoc - Stirling (“Gateway to the Highlands“)
  • Omor - Stockholm
  • Varnovapol - Bergen
  • Onira - Budapest / Prague
  • Saneopa - Vienna
  • Phycaon - Nurnberg
  • Argoron - Hamburg / Bremen
  • Diathma - Brugge
  • Epicrotea - Salzburg / Geneva
  • Quyaz - Tunis / Tangier
  • Baltakhand - Novgorod
  • Makeb - Kiev
  • Syronea - Nessebar / Sozopol / Varnas …
  • Chaikand - Baku
  • Akkalat - Tiflis
  • Husn Fulq - Homs / Aleppo
  • Vostrum - Athen

For roads/canals I took inspiration from maps showing the early roman network (http://orbis.stanford.edu/ ... thanks Terco) and some maps from later medieval periods to see how the networks continued to north and east.

2. Main Borders

I tried to redraw the cultural borders keeping the original locations (with minimal changes) but using as many natural borders as possible (ridges of mountains and hills, rivers, (possible) streams, dense woods…). For the split empire I also chose the obvious mountains etc. I also looked at the borders between Austria and Hungary and would say it is even plausible for the empire to draw arbitrary lines through the land (at some points). (I know that the empire is Roman inspired, but Austro-Hungary is an example for a fallen empire which’s borders remained and can be seen close up on modern maps.)
  • I gave the north eastern corner to the Sturgians (because in most games they get overwhelmed by the Khuzait very fast)
  • I swapped the Counties Nevyansk and Uthelaim for better connections (I think not having this enclave also helps Sturgia.)
  • I also gave the county of Caleus to Battania so they own the whole northern coast (this was an enclave for Vlandia, it doesn’t hurt if they don’t have it, most of the times Vlandia expands fast anyway)
  • I swapped Gaos, Thorios and Sesteim between the empires for better connections/divisions

3. Castles

Castles are most likely there, where natural borders leave a gap (allowing entrance to the land). Castles have to block this gaps, they need a good view and a defensive position (on a hill, on a cliff, next to a river with a moat, …).
I adjusted a lot of castle positions to where I think they have a good strategic position (also considering naval movement).

4. Rivers and Canals

I assume that there are far more Rivers and streams than we see on the map because somehow every city and settlement needs water-access (wells and aqueducts also work for some of them). So the rivers we see are just the biggest. Some rivers are very steep and icy and make good borders, but most rivers would have been very important for transport and trading. At some points people surely would have tried to connect narrow gaps with canals as proposed in the map.
  • Canal north to Lageta
  • Canal through Rhotea
  • Canal through Saneopa
  • River prepairation north of Phycaon
  • Canal between Gororys and Avalyps
  • Canals around Danustica (maybe even through Danustica to make this city really comparable to Istambul)

5. Cities

Cities are the oldest settlements and crossing points for trade routes. Accessibility was essential for the city’s development. Inspired by the real-world examples for the cities I adjusted their position for better accessibility. (preferring rivers and coasts, putting Harbour cities at river mouths where possible, putting cities into valleys instead on top of mountains…)
I was really harsh with Battania here because I think the easier accessible settlements in the valleys would have developed into bigger cities than the ones on the cliffs/mountains.

6. Roads

Humans and animals would choose the way of least resistance. A short way, but still keeping height difference low, following rivers and valleys, avoiding dense vegetation or wetlands … In the desert they would go where they have water and they would prefer to walk in shadows and slipstreams of mountains.
First, I got rid of all bridges, because the roads need to come first. Then I tried to connect harbours, rivers, valleys as shown on the map. The road layout was initially designed for the places that are in game, but in a second step I adjusted the positions + roads to more attractive settlement-locations

7. Settlements

Settlements would probably form close to the resources but on the roads (for trade). If they have formed “offroad”, they could have changed the way caravans and travellers go (=> a new road closer/through the settlement could have established). Settlements also need protection: castles / natural protection.
Their position was adjusted considering protection, resources, traffic and preferring rivers, valleys and coasts.

8. Resources

Many suggestions point out a questionable distribution of some resources. I don’t want to go into detail here, but I think the comparison to real-world geography and places (1) gives a good idea of what we can expect to find.

(9. Wind zones)

following resources, I wanted to add one thing: I wonder why the surrounding of Drapand, Charas, Ostysia is so try and why the corner southwest of Ain Baliq is green. The “European part” of Calradia would be in a west wind zone (wet air from the ocean west to east) and the “north African part” of Calradia would be in an east wind zone (try air from the desert east to west) …

(of course this is a minimal detail … Calradia is already more realistic than most other maps *Tamriel *cough *Essos *cough …)


This are my suggestions how (most of) the discussed map changes could be made.

What do you think about it?

Are there some details you would suggest?

And ... Is repositioning on a large scale worth a map revision?


*EDIT: If you want to edit something / make further suggestions ... feel free to use the PDN (picture file with layers). And just like Vesper, i feel honored if you leave a credit for me as well :wink:


 
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Old One-Eye

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Late at night here, so I won't get into specifics as I've only gone through this once or twice. But my lord what an amazing job! Just off the cuff I adore handing the Vlandia/Sturgia contested area to Battania, I think this might be the Alexander solution to the Gordian knot of Sturgias strategic dilemma (wars vs Khuzait+Vlandia=disaster). It also contains Vlandia and makes Battania's position a lot more interesting than it currently is.
I'll absolutely return with more feedback, and am following this with great interest.

I would also suggest that Sturgia and the North isn't covered in snow all year round, as it wouldn't be possible for large populations to live there. That might be a question for some other topic though.

On a side note, it seems that hiding tags for forum users in comments/Spoilers results in no alerts in the forum? At least I haven't gotten notification even if I was tagged.
 
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This looks like a fantastic idea for a mod! But I somehow doubt that they would go through with something like this for the base game at this point :smile:
 

Rhyuus

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I think this might be the Alexander solution to the Gordian knot of Sturgias strategic dilemma (wars vs Khuzait+Vlandia=disaster). It also contains Vlandia and makes Battania's position a lot more interesting than it currently is.
I'll absolutely return with more feedback, and am following this with great interest.
@Old One-Eye
Yes, I think Sturgias Borders are really worth the consideration... I don't think their troops are that weak.
Battania already had a small coastline with Fintolg Castle, so it would make sense for them to have a harbour city as well (i can imagine this as "the Edinburgh of Calradia")

I'll absolutely return with more feedback, and am following this with great interest.
That's great! ..your feedback on the borders within the empire aroused my interest to take a look at borders of fallen empires.

hiding tags for forum users in comments/Spoilers results in no alerts in the forum?
(thanks for the hint. I noticed that the @ symbol on your tag is different... I'll wait a bit, if the others don't see it i'll tag them in a comment.)

This looks like a fantastic idea for a mod! But I somehow doubt that they would go through with something like this for the base game at this point
@eddiemccandless
I agree that it makes sense for them to leave places where they are when they already have a fitting scene-map for it, but not all of them have one yet.
(I remember the scene-map of Uthelaim or Kranirog Castle showed a castle on a cliff with sea in the background even if they are in the middle of mainland)

..if they plan to add roads (as YangBang suggested) some of those ideas might help them as well.

..I'm also happy if this inspires modders.. or world builders :smile:
 

Terco_Viejo

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Absolutely brilliant. I very much agree with the logical and natural arrangement you suggest for the location of roads and the use of orography as territorial delimiters. Even in the parallel you make between calradian cities and the real world; there is an 90% coincidence, let's say.

Undoubtedly, the result that you carry out by sectors or provinces under my point of view is quite optimal and this feedback ( high quality) should be taken into account by Taleworlds. I am enthusiastic about the idea of implementing the transport system and naval battle and how the rivers can play a fundamental role (link to previous feedback).
There are a number of points that strike me as very strategic. With a naval system implemented, the entire river grid that extends through the center of Calradia from north to south would become a huge neural network of transport for troops and goods, thus enhancing their movement.

I have slightly modified the map envisioning it with this system implemented. The orography is also slightly modified and the location of the Vlandian cities has been corrected (In the official version, Sargot is currently out of place in the south, so it must be in the north).
I'm not saying it should be like that; but something similar where you combine a road system + a logical and geo-strategic positioning of the settlements + a sensible orography + a naval system, would be very interesting.


Open the two images in two consecutive tabs (mine and Rhyuus') to compare
 

Rhyuus

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Thank you @Terco_Viejo. Your thread really pointed out how important the shipping routes would have been for transportation. It was inspiring for me and it's gread to see the routes marked on the map. Also thank you for recommending http://orbis.stanford.edu/ (what a great side!).

I also thougt about moving Sargot (i wanted to put it where Calioc is and connect it with a canal to the river for better accessibility ... but at some point i wanded to end the adjustments and just post the ideas)

For everyone: If you want to edit something / make further suggestions ... feel free to use the PDN (picture file with layers). And just like Vesper i feel honored if you leave a credit for me as well :wink:

@Zydrate
I can understand if people are proud of a city so powerful and so rich in stories. I just used medieval maps as reference and as all of them marked it as Constantinople, i wanted do mention the historic name as well.
 

Terco_Viejo

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After the update and improvement of the campaign map, it is stated that the devs (I don't have the statement) positioned by mistake a number of cities; especially Sargot (in warband was in the north and in previous builds). I suppose that this will be corrected eventually.

 

Old One-Eye

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If Taleworlds still want every nation to be at war at game start after implementing a map as in the OP (or @Terco Viejo's version with implemented waterways) I think it might look like this. Assuming the tale of Nazair's Folly is kept as well as the murder of the emperor. My idea would be this:

Battania - Western Empire
Sturgia - Northern Empire
Khuzait - Southern Empire
Aserai - Vlandia

Since the game is dynamic it will of course change and every playthrough will be different, but as a setting of the stage my feeling is it would fit in well. If you squint and apply some poetic license you can sort of see some real-world conflicts with this.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the Aserai western connection to the mainland, the Gibraltar of Calradia if you will, an how the game engine and strategic AI can/will handle this bottleneck. Or, in the naval waterways example. But I probably shouldn't worry about that.
 

Old One-Eye

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Some small feedback:

Sahel Castle

Is currently in a frankly poorly designed area in the game. It is situated at lower elevation than both its connected villages and offers no protection to them or the surrounding area in any way, shape or form. My guess is that the intention was for the steep area at its back to be passable terrain, but instead you have to go around half that large mountain ridge to reach the highest village.

Your solution is much much better. It's a bit hard to make out elevation etc on your image, but it could be a very interesting area, especially if passable terrain etc were modified so that it was either possible to traverse the mountain range from both sides, or only through the proposed road, passing by the castle. One small note is that IIRC both villages use Hubyar and not Razih as their current city. Not dead sure about that though. But if the mountain area is important enough to have both a castle and two villages, one could rearrange them and have a trail or similar in the direction of Hubyar.

Strategically, Sahel castle could overlook the whole valley floor and be a pretty awesomely situated mountain fort/castle.
 

GitiUsir

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I like your ideas, makes sense to me. Only thing is I rather take castles as politic centers for the surrounding area instead of guarding choke points. Like the place you have to conquer to control a region. And I wish there were regions and borders and roads of course.

NOTE
Sorry to bring this but it's sad. I think Zydrate was banned for posting that song. That's censorship. I know no country is free of that chauvinistic nationalism but come on, probably noone would notice it if they just ignored it.
 

Old One-Eye

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I like your ideas, makes sense to me. Only thing is I rather take castles as politic centers for the surrounding area instead of guarding choke points. Like the place you have to conquer to control a region. And I wish there were regions and borders and roads of course.

Castles can perform both functions, but they always are the politic centers, as reflected in the game.
 

Piconi

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Amazing effort you have put into this ! I especially agree with swapping positions of Nevyansk and Uthelaim castles regions, but i would prefer leaving space for Sargot`s rightfull position to the place where you put Car Banseth, and Car Banseth to remain where it is, or perhaps shuffle south Battania a bit so that it takes a bit of the county where Sargot is now (and hopefully won`t be for long, after moving north).
I like the idea of having Battanian cities in the center of it, when you enter their land, you first run into villages, then gradually castles and only then towns. I think that town proximity would help them survive for longer too.

In fact, i am so amazed by the effort (Terco-quality), and many of the suggestions, that i`ve put it up in Top Curated , just for that little bit of extra visibility ! :party:

 

GitiUsir

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Why don't we have both?
Castles can perform both functions, but they always are the politic centers, as reflected in the game.
Sure but castles can be a tool to dominate regions, like normans did in Wales. Placed in strategic locations, overseeing roads or river crossings, or simply in a good defensive position enforcing the need to conquer them to control the region.
 

Rhyuus

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Amazing effort you have put into this ! I especially agree with swapping positions of Nevyansk and Uthelaim castles regions, but i would prefer leaving space for Sargot`s rightfull position to the place where you put Car Banseth, and Car Banseth to remain where it is, or perhaps shuffle south Battania a bit so that it takes a bit of the county where Sargot is now (and hopefully won`t be for long, after moving north).
I like the idea of having Battanian cities in the center of it, when you enter their land, you first run into villages, then gradually castles and only then towns. I think that town proximity would help them survive for longer too.

In fact, i am so amazed by the effort (Terco-quality), and many of the suggestions, that i`ve put it up in Top Curated , just for that little bit of extra visibility ! :party:

Thank you very much!

@Terco_Viejo & @Piconi

Even though i like the new map of Calradia, I agree, the world would feel more consistent if the leave the cities closer to where they were originally ...because after all, the old and the new map are still similar enough.

@ Old One-Eye

It's a bit hard to make out elevation etc on your image, but it could be a very interesting area, especially if passable terrain etc were modified so that it was either possible to traverse the mountain range from both sides, or only through the proposed road, passing by the castle.
... Strategically, Sahel castle could overlook the whole valley floor and be a pretty awesomely situated mountain fort/castle.
Absolutely! And yes, it's a bit unfortunate that elevation isn't visible on this map. Working with the heightmap would be perfect to think about defensive positions, to imagine the view and also for a smooth road-layout...

@GitiUsir & @Old One-Eye

it's always a bit of a compromise. Comparing cities and castles as political centres, i would say:
=> cities are political centres which have developed over time, their central position and accessibility were important for that, the defensive infrastructure had to adapt to the given position
=> castles on the other hand are political centres which are a bit more "forced onto the map" and if you can choose the position, view (over land, settlements, borders, ...) and natural defence (cliffs, rivers, ...) become much more important
 
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GitiUsir

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Regardless political centers I agree, I like to see cities as economic hubs thanks to their central positions and good communications networks (roads, crossings, harbours).
Meanwhile I see castles as political centers for rural regions. Rural regions being areas in the close geographical proximity, easily accessible from their castles, but not developing a trade based economy. They send their products to the nearest or easiest accessible city.

Villages however are abstractions for the populations surrounding a castle or city. If the map was realistic there should be a lot more villages. The way it is made now, is misleading. I will try to ellaborate more in your other thread which is about borders and regions.

For now suffice to say I think there should be less cities and villages should be increased or abstracted to regions.
 

Chiya

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Absolutely brilliant. I very much agree with the logical and natural arrangement you suggest for the location of roads and the use of orography as territorial delimiters. Even in the parallel you make between calradian cities and the real world; there is an 90% coincidence, let's say.

Undoubtedly, the result that you carry out by sectors or provinces under my point of view is quite optimal and this feedback ( high quality) should be taken into account by Taleworlds. I am enthusiastic about the idea of implementing the transport system and naval battle and how the rivers can play a fundamental role (link to previous feedback).
There are a number of points that strike me as very strategic. With a naval system implemented, the entire river grid that extends through the center of Calradia from north to south would become a huge neural network of transport for troops and goods, thus enhancing their movement.

I have slightly modified the map envisioning it with this system implemented. The orography is also slightly modified and the location of the Vlandian cities has been corrected (In the official version, Sargot is currently out of place in the south, so it must be in the north).
I'm not saying it should be like that; but something similar where you combine a road system + a logical and geo-strategic positioning of the settlements + a sensible orography + a naval system, would be very interesting.


Open the two images in two consecutive tabs (mine and Rhyuus') to compare
Not bad but something is wrong.