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As always, I would like to welcome any of the users here to sign up for a free account at fantheonmmo.com -- this site was started last year with the hope of giving folks that haven't pledged to the game an option to get involved with the community and join in on some of the theory crafting discussions that take place. Also, it's using the IPBoard platform which is what the official Pantheon website will be upgraded to in the near ("soon") future. I wanted to share a post today regarding a potential cartography system and how it could work in an MMO. I understand that some folks are vehemently against maps and that's okay -- my stance on this topic is that I can live with or without maps, but if they do ever end up being a thing in Pantheon my hope is that they will be something that is largely player driven. Here is a link to a thread with better formatting if anybody would like to share any feedback: http://www.fantheonmmo.com/topic/94-cartography/
Cartography has been discussed for years within the Pantheon community. I would venture to say that the majority of players don't want to see the traditional "Press M and a fully drawn out map opens up" kind of experience. Furthermore, GPS indicators are basically viewed as the plague. When you combine both of them, a lot of players end up opening their maps and focusing on a little dot that represents their character in the world while they travel or adventure, and will do this for extended periods of time. Doing so takes away from the beauty, luster, and sense of exploration from the world itself and causes serious issues with the "It's about the journey, not the destination" argument. I think a fog of war mechanic could be really beneficial for both map-makers, and map-users. If a cartographer wants to create a map, they must be physically present in the area they are trying to record. For players that purchase maps, they would start off as a basic shell -- only after exploring an area will the fog of war dissipate and finer details start to emerge on the parchment.
There is plenty of merit in the idea that having the ability to create player-made maps would be good for immersion, social interaction, commerce, and achievement. Cartography would be a great crafting profession for explorer types as it would allow them to enjoy a sense of progression that is tied into their preferred playstyle. After doing some research on the Bartle Study ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_taxonomy_of_player_types ) it would seem to me that cartography could be enjoyable for most player types. Explorers seem like the natural fit, but as an Achiever, I must admit that a feature like this would be really appealing to me as well. Socializers could also benefit from a variety of cartography-induced scenarios. Whether it's assisting another player who is making a map or trying to communicate an interpretation of a map in their possession to friends, there are ample opportunities for social interaction. Due to the nature of how player-made maps could work, bartering would also be commonplace.
I would like to propose a rough outline of how this feature could work. Feel free to respond with any observations/comments/feedback.