Article by Gamegoddess
Todays column was inspired by a topic thread from the official forums about in game maps so thank you Tearofsoul.
A link to that thread is located here
If we go back to Ultima Online and look at what was in game we find the Cartographer. At a low skill you could only make maps of the immediate area. As your skill grew, you could make maps of the general area, the cities and then maps of a large area. I remember having a cartographer and the time they were really useful was for hunting treasure not really for figuring out where you were. For knowing where you were, many used UOAM. There were of course also the out of game maps which always surface.
Developers have a real choice to make when deciding this issue. Do they leave maps out entirely? Do they put them in as an option? Do they put in radar? Is there a way to make all people happy? If it is decided to leave out radar and maps, it is a given that before beta is done, people will have out of game maps created and up on sites the day it is legal to do so. So if the maps are going to exist, why not incorporate them into the game and have them be the way you as the developer want them to be?
For the folks that don’t like maps there could be an option that simply turns them off. You could allow or not allow maps and allow or not allow radar. I do wonder how many of the people that don’t want maps, would still want radar. If they wanted radar, what would they want on it? For pvp purposes would they want all people to show up? Maps are going to exist. Whether or not we use them is a choice we as a player have to make.