night_druid wrote:It's probably folly to try to get an accurate "real" size to Azeroth. Unless the developers come forth and say "we intended Azeroth to be 8,500 miles in diameter", the best you'll be able to come up with is probably "somewhere between the British Isles and Africa in size". :p
True, in the end it is going to be a "best guess". But even being able to nail it down to those ranges, is going to give you a better
guess. Within the minimum and maximum goalposts, you could then shoot for "what makes for the most interesting game".
Bonetti wrote:I think the MMO can be used as a guide for looks and relative size (in some cases), but they've done large-scale geographic changes even pre-Cataclysm (e.g. the zone revamps of Stonetalon, Ashenvale, and Silithus, not to mention that Eversong + Ghostlands + Quel'Danas is a LOT larger than the piece of the continent they're purportedly attached to). Size and travel speed in the MMO are dictated by "fun to play" not "let's be realistic here".
I think that trying for the same general shape would be logical. If you have areas where the individual locations are a lot larger than the continent they are on, I think this is an area, where you can try to use what you know of them to try to estimate a minimum size for the continent. If that lies in the middle of the two numbers that Night Druid is getting, then it helps to cut off the smaller end of the scale.
Bonetti wrote:I suspect there isn't an actual scale because the whole thing has been developed as needed. The Warcraft 3 maps added a lot to Warcraft 2 (which added a lot to Warcraft 1), and even the relative positions of things in Warcraft 3 aren't close to the MMO -- and thus change between the Warcraft RPG and the WoW RPG.
I'm sure it hasn't been to Blizzard's advantage to nail down the numbers.
I would personally be tempted to put WoW RPG (and thus the MMO) over Warcraft RPG (and Warcraft 1, 2 and 3). But for anything that doesn't fit onto both maps (maybe something like a village street plan) I would ask if a "variant map" from the Warcraft 1, 2, 3 games could be renamed and reused as an alternative village in the same geographical area.
One particularly egregious example: The Barrens (Warcraft 3
, WoW (pre-Cataclysm)
. Razorfen Downs moved from northwest of where Crossroads was added (i.e. roughly where the harpies were pre-Cata) to the far south along the Thousand Needles border. Bael Modan (an unlabeled dig site just north of the label "Razorfen Downs" on the WoW map) moved quite far from the Mulgore border. The layout in the MMO doesn't match the RPG, either (Map 1
, Map 2
), but that could either be before those maps apply or after. There is a collapsed tunnel in the dig which could be what was left behind.
I would be tempted to discount the Warcraft 3 location, but look to see if there is anything extra (like a close up map with extra buildings that the MMO does not have) that can be raided.
If we have RPG maps, I would be inclined to stick with those. Perhaps the MMO map of Bael Modan could be turned into a second, nearby, cave complex. (You could even suggest that the two tunnel complexes were once connected.)
Bonetti wrote:(Note: I'm working from pre-Cataclysm WoW because there aren't supposed to be events causing geographic changes between Warcraft 3 and the MMO. Post-Cataclysm, it's unreasonable to do a direct comparison.)
That sounds logical. I think it would probably also be logical to move the MMO and computer game maps to fit in with the RPG style (unless that style is ugly or problematic).
...which is really just a long-winded way of agreeing with this:
night_druid wrote:It's probably folly to try to get an accurate "real" size to Azeroth.
Bonetti wrote:If it were me, I'd set the settled areas of the human kingdoms to be about the size of the Known World realms (Karameikos, Darokin, continental Thyatis, etc.), then drastically increase the in-between wilderness space so things aren't quite so crowded. However, such a decision doesn't necessarily have a direct relationship with lore, just a "this feels about right for running a game in" sense.
You (and Night Druid) were already shooting these sort of estimates elsewhere. Mystara kingdoms could be a good model for WoW RPG map scales. Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance and other settings could also give you clues. If you threw down all the sizes of similar fantasy kingdoms, perhaps it would be possible to work out, not only that Azeroth needs to be between the size of the British Isles an Africa, but that specific parts of the world also need to be ring-fenced between a minimum viable size and a maximum viable size.
Even looking at a place like Ironforge could be helpful. It is contained within a mountain, so expanding the city expands the mountain too. If that mountain, and the other mountains are kept to the same scale, you might force the size of Azeroth upwards. The same applies to Gnomeregan.