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For a while now I've been curious about the actual world sizes of various MMORPG's, not just subjective perception but concrete figures.
Yes, I know such a comparison between gameworlds has been made earlier, as can be found on this site and others, but to put it bluntly, that comparison and picture is false and a lie.
Not that I know the exact measurements of all the worlds in the games mentioned there, but several of them like LotrO and GW Nightfall are way off the mark, in fact they're so ridiculously wrong that it simply astounds me that all the sites where I found that picture just copied its figures as fact and true, without doing even the slightest factchecking.
So, here's another attempt to true worldsize comparisons with what I could discover so far.
Besides actual ingame size in square miles (or km), 2 other aspects are important to figure size out, and that's crossing distance and run speed.
crossing distance: the time it takes to travel at normal speed from one end of the map to the other end in a straight line without hindrances, as a bird could fly it
=> the most accurate way to figure this out, is to run in a straight line for 0.5-1 min, check on the map what distance you've crossed and then use this and extrapolate it to find the length and width of a map or continent in crossing time.
run speed: this is the actual ingame travel speed, crossing time doesn't mean much when you can travel in 1 MMO twice as fast at normal speed as in another MMO. It's crossing distance and run speed that give an accurate picture.
=> There's 3 ways to figure run speed out:
1. Use a human avatar of average height to get an estimation of size ingame, and then use this to figure out distances ingame (use a corpse or avatar that lies down on the ground, average human = 1.7-1.8m = x pixels etc)
2. Use the measures that are ingame (eg some spells have a range of 25m etc)
3. The most circumvential method, set your screen resolution at the same measurements for several MMORPG's, then take an object in the distance, for example, 2 inch high in all of the MMORPG's, and then measure how long it takes for you to reach it in each MMORPG. This should result in the run speeds in the several MMO's comparative to each other.
Since I'm not the only one who was curious and who did some experiments and since I don't play all these MMORPG's right now myself, I used what I could find on the internet from people who did their tests like described above. If there are people who came up with different figures from their tests, feel free to let me know.
But this is what I found out so far:
World of Warcraft
size: Kalimdor N => S coast and E=>W coast = 10 x 4 miles
Eastern Kingdoms (WoW vanilla) N => S and E => W coast = 9.5 x 3.5 miles
crossing distance: Kalimdor from N => S coast 42 min, from E => W coast 17 min
run speed (source): 14.4 m/h
Comments: source for the size figures can be found here
Lord of the Rings Online
crossing distance: Celondim => Rivendell 45 min
size: the current LotrO world map (where Rohan, Gondor etc is still missing) is 16 x 31 miles
run speed (source): 14.6 m/h
Comments: I couldn't find any accurate size or travel info, so I did a test like described above with the 50 min for Celondim => Rivendell in a straight line as a result. The world map figures are deceptive, if you look here you can see what's actually in use (pre-Mirkwood expansion)
Star Wars Galaxies
size: 10 x 10 miles for each of the 9 planets (or 10x10 km, unclear for now), 15x15x15 km for space zones
Comments: I didn't find any official statements or test results for that figure, but that's the number that has been thrown around on several sites
(source 2) Cantha is (N->S) 27 min by 35 min (E -> W)
size: Tyria world map is 11 x 13 miles
Cantha is 7.5 x 10 miles
run speed: 16.9 m/h (7.5 m/s)
Comments: the size is derived from the run speed and crossing distance. I've no info about Elona (Nightfall expansion), but here you can see how the 3 continents compare, and it's nowhere near the enormous size figure for the Nightfall expansion as seen in that earlier investigation.
Guild Wars 2
crossing distance: Tyria world map from North to South 38 min by 46 min (E -> W)
Comments: I used the HD video footage, the crossing distance of the human capital (huge circle) from one end to the other is roughly 2 min, extrapolated by measuring the time it took a player to travel a street in a straight line.
crossing distance: worldmap from N => S 25.5 min, from E => W 30.5 min
size: worldmap is (N->S) 4.6 miles by 5.5 miles (E -> W)
run speed: 10.8 m/h
Comments: I used the distance meter ingame to measure the run speed, made some corrections to the distance figures based on more accurate follow up tests using map coordinates
That was all what I could find so far. Darkfall is said to be very large (see for a comparison with WoW's Kalimdor here), EQ had 350 square miles explorable environment at launch (source), of EVE Online it has been stated that it takes 4 hours to cross the universe from one side to the other and Vanguard was said to be as large as Madagascar - which I found hard to believe - but that's all I could find so far.
This thread is a work in progress, if I find more concrete measurements or do some more tests I'll include it here, but if people have found more concrete info and measurements, especially stuff that isn't in this post yet, let me know and post it in this thread.
The purpose is to get the accurate figures of world size of all the current MMORPG's around.
The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's
The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."