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Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by TobiasAmaranth, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth IncGamers Member

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    Beyond the Gate - Dissecting Blizzard's 'Overworld'

    I spent a large portion of my evening, yesterday, taking part of the recent "Beyond the Gate" adventure. For a large portion of the night I was analyzing how Blizzard has their new "overworlds" set up. I spent most of my time in Fields of Misery and had my runs of it trimmed to just a few minutes. (I was hunting for a specific Small Block during this, the House of Curios.)

    In that time, I learned a lot about how their maps are generated and I wanted to take the time to share that with everyone. Let's start out with a familiar image that I've applied some edits to. If I list anything incorrectly, I apologize. It was quite late and I admit to not checking -everything-. :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Layout - The overworld maps have a fixed border that does not change from game to game, though in large maps it may be difficult to gain your bearings. An area will typically have a few large blocks, and a few small blocks. These blocks are always in the same spot on each playthrough. Large blocks will always be found in the same place, small blocks will always be found in the same place. Their contents are what changes from game to game, but where they are found remains consistent.

    Large Blocks & Small Blocks - While large blocks like the ones found in the Fields of Misery have yet to be found, an example of small blocks can be seen in the large patch of overworld on the way to the Cemetary. Here you'll find 4 or 5 areas that will be populated with various events, and are generally the only potential points of interest in the area. The Den of the Fallen is one of these, the Blacksmith's Apprentice is another, etc.

    Variable Block - Another block type is the variable block. I'd say these are typically buildings, but can certainly encompass other fixed decoration locations. A good example is the first stretch of overworld map on the way to Old Tristram. You'll find several buildings that can either be open or closed, but you'll only find a few of them at a time. Two, I believe, between both the road and the town itself. These are slightly different from the variable block found in the Fields of Misery, in that Field of Misery's variable block always has something of interest.

    Medium Blocks - The blocks found in The Festering Woods would mostly be described as somewhere between the large and small blocks of Fields of Misery. They are similar in size to the two blocks found in the halfway point of the road to Old Tristram.

    Fixed Blocks - Fixed blocks also sometimes appear. You'll find the same event or decoration at a fixed block every time you load a game. "Bloody Lumberjacks" and the Memorial Stone are two examples.

    Resplendent Spawn Points - Lastly, the edges of the map sometimes house a Resplendent chest. One does not always spawn, and there will only(?) be one spawned in an area at one time. The stars are the spots I found one, but it could possibly spawn in other locations in the area.


    ***Spoilers***
    Please correct me in the comments on any names or details that I listed incorrectly or could not remember. Thanks guys. :D


    Fields of Misery


    Large Blocks

    Forlorn Farm - Loot the fallen beast, and an elite scavenger will spawn. Defeat it, and a male farmer will exit the nearby cellar and walk to your character. After speaking a line, he returns to the cellar and it becomes enterable. [Farmer's Cellar] Once inside, a voiced event plays out between him and your character. You will also find a Resplendent Chest here, however it is bugged and drops lower-than-appropriate level loot.
    Forsaken Grounds - A man [Beleaguered Farmer] stands to protect his farm. Speak to him and four bat hives will be highlighted on your map. Attacking a hive will spawn additional bats from the woods, making them harder than normal to defeat. There is no completion reward for this event.
    Secluded Grove - A Resplendent Chest waits in front of a large tree. Upon approaching it, your character exclaims it's clearly a trap. Opening the chest will drop items, but will also spawn "The Old Man" and 4 other tree enemies. This is a very challenging pack as their poison has the ability to kill you in ~2 seconds if you don't move out of it, and the entire ground will be littered in spores. NOTE: This is a highly farmable event, as it guarantees a goodie-bag chest. Runs for locations such as this will be a very strong option for loot-finding.
    Decaying Crypt - This is a two level dungeon that ends with a quest. The dungeon layout on the first floor has two # shaped rooms with only one way out of them. The second level has the same quest each time. A ghost (Willa Rathe) will ask you to lay her family to rest. Father, Mother, and Little Jebby Rathe. The first two you kill drop 1 magic each, while the last one drops a regular amount of loot. This quest does end with a reward.
    Unnamed #1 - A village in ruins and flame has a regular chest atop a hill with goatmen assembled around a non-special 'chieftan'. Mostly just a pretty block, nothing of note for loot.
    Unnamed #2 - A small pond or lake. This block has nothing at all of interest and can be ignored.

    Small Blocks

    Waypoint - One of the four blocks will always hold the waypoint.
    Dungeon #1 - Unworking, blue aura facing left.
    Dungeon #2 - Unworking, gold aura facing left.
    Dungeon #3 - Unworking, gold aura facing right. This one has a corpse in front of it that directs the player to chase an enemy down inside the dungeon. Clicking it will spawn a few regular scavengers.
    Lonely Dwelling / House of Curios - A rare block spawn that has a merchant inside. She will sell you various dyes, as well as usually having a rare item for sale. Rare items sold my vendors are visually shared by all players and have a total quantity of 1. The house also contains a lore book.
    Scarecrow - Clicking the scarecrow will spawn two waves of bats, with the second wave containing an elite. Currently it is bugged and the elite does not drop loot. (Possibly intentional, but frustratingly so.)
    Burning Tree - Decoration only. A charred tree sits in the middle of the block area.
    Open Field - Decoration only. An open field that has a small random fence near the top of the block area.

    Variable Block

    Sheltered Cottage A, "Swelick's Corpse" [Probably misspelled] - A lootable corpse is found in front of the barricaded cottage. Clicking it will spawn a non-elite pack of scavengers. Nothing of interest.
    Sheltered Cottage B, Tinker's Hovel - A bag lays in front of the cottage that holds a lore book. Inside, you'll find a merchant that sells potions and occasionally a rare item.
    Sheltered Cottage C, [Bloody Chest] - Approaching the cottage, a goatman will burst through the door. Inside, you'll find several corpses (and rarely some goatmen) as well as a Bloody chest.

    Fixed Block

    Abandoned Lumberjack Camp
    - Labeled in the map I found as Bloody Lumberjacks, your follower will apparently dialogue with your character at this location(?).


    The Festering Woods
    I didn't explore this one nearly as thoroughly, so there may be incorrect or missing information.


    Fixed Blocks

    A: Sunken Cave - A little spot in the center of the map that you can shoot down into. A really neat effect. There are a few bats hanging around down there that will come up after you.
    B: Memorial Stone - Clicking this will start an event that throws a few waves of monsters at you. It finishes with an elite shield-bearer pack spawning. No loot outside of the elite's.
    Medium Blocks

    Waypoint - The waypoint may be a fixed block here, actually.
    Dungeon #1 - Possibly main-quest related.
    Dungeon #2 - ???
    Nephalem Monument - A voiced event that spawns friendly ghosts that are 'being attacked'. They fade, and a non-elite wave of monsters attacks you. No loot, but still rather cool.
    Three Hives - The last block I can remember has three hives in it. A decent challenge for under-geared characters or split parties.
    Decoration Blocks - I believe there's a standard blank or two to fill in for the remainder, similar to the path to the Cemetery's blocks. One pattern I know of is the same as the Nephalem Monument's block, but without it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  2. Loriku

    Loriku IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Cool, didnt read it all because didn't want too many spoilers but, the map section was interesting, I wonder how variable content can be within these maps really and whether (as you said map border doesnt change) everything meshes up nicely on the overworld map. It's a given that certain things will always be within a map but will they always have fixed locations for the most important (ie: linear quests) or will they move, also what kind of alteration to map content will happen in higher difficulties, will it only be mobs and dynamic items like treasure chests or will there be more random content....hmm only time will tell I suppose, good job on the map though, are you planning to create one of each area in retail as referance/comparison? :) x
     
  3. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    I added a note above that blocks are always found in the exact same locations within a map. The selections of blocks is what differs. And judging by the second zone, unless the Memorial Stone is the quest spot, then the sub-dungeon that's quest-related moves around.

    The adjustments to content on higher difficulties is a very good one, but I'd hesitate to even speculate on that right now. There could in fact be new blocks, but really there's so much content to the zones that, realize pre-Inferno, most people will NOT be running the same zone 10+ times like I did. I do hope there's a few new pieces to the maps in Inferno, though.

    And no, I did this one out of boredom and the Diablo-esque text wasn't my creation. I neglected to take any screenshots of my own adventures. However, I hope it can serve as a good example of how to outline a D3 guide in the future.
     
  4. cacophony

    cacophony IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Awesome work. I think the Old Man is probably the coolest thing I've seen in the Beta thus far.
     
  5. fmulder

    fmulder Site Contributor

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  6. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    I'm still making a few tweaks to my terrible writing and such, but it's got most of the correct information in there now. You're welcome to post a link to this thread. I gave it a pretty lame title, and not many people know what it's about. :p

    I've not read that particular article, but I remember them linking a low-res image at some point that had all sorts of colors applied to it showing stuff like where chests could spawn. It's just really nice to see it in action and get a chance to play with the various pieces.

    Edit: Oh! And if anyone can get me a completely uncovered map of The Festering Woods, I'll try and dissect it as well. :)
     
  7. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    I hope this map is accurate: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20530300/d3/areas/the festering woods/the festering woods map.jpg

    I took that picture a few months ago on an emulated server. As far as I could tell during my brief testing, it matches the layout of the Festering Woods that was (and according to some people still is) available in the beta.

    If anyone is interested, I can post large maps of the overworld as well, which I created by stitching together the area maps.


     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  8. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Yeah that's the place. Hmm. Is it really that simple? From what I can tell in that image, The Festering Woods is essentially just 8 Medium blocks in a grid. *hops into Photoshop and pokes around with it*
     
  9. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    It seems larger in the game, because it's chock full of monsters. :)
     
  10. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Actually I meant I was having a hard time when playing the game in determining the pattern used. Anyway, I added the image above, and it may be correct, or it could be incorrect. I need a live map or two to look at. I swear I remember the waypoint block not lining up exactly to that grid mold.
     
  11. Ringil

    Ringil IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Excellent work Tobias! I suspect that maps like this will be very useful to analyze which areas are better for farming in the late game. It may also show that Blizzard has been clever and balanced the number of block spawns to be very similar in all overworld areas.

    One thing is certain though, it will be alot of work and alot of runs until the community has mapped the block spawns for all overworld areas.
     
  12. AlexanderBarin

    AlexanderBarin Clan Officer - US East Hardcore

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Yep, great analysis. I look forward to every area of 1.0 to be dissected in a similar fashion. Let the hunt begin!
     
  13. ElBozo

    ElBozo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Let the speed run guides begin to show up!


     
  14. marshmallow

    marshmallow IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    A tangent, but are indoor map layouts really random? Seems to more be a pool of static maps where one is chosen at random, not dynamically generated and stitched together from existing pieces. I pretty much never get lost on Cathedral 4 anymore just by following a couple rules depending on what I see. If it's a donut you want to find a catwalk going to the middle. If not a donut it'll be along the perimeter, usually the lower left. Often next to a summoning circle. And it's very obvious which places are dead ends. I guess if I really wanted to know I could do full clears and take snapshots of all the maps.
     
  15. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    The indoor dungeons that we've experienced are -not- 100% random. They have a general block structure and use limited parts. Someone made a really good post for Cathedral 4 at some point analyzing how the game puts it together, talking about how it can have either 10 or 11 blocks or something like that.

    Another example of not being 100% random is Decaying Crypt in Fields. It uses some of the standard Crypt blocks, but must always use two # patterned blocks on the first level.

    However, there are likely other dungeon types that have yet to be seen. I know there was a timed collapsing dungeon type from the Blizzcon build. There's probably other unique types of dungeons as well. These dungeons might be more random, having only X-Y blocks in a level with no defined/required layout/shape.
     
  16. Raesene

    Raesene IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    This discussion reminds me of this:

    View attachment 1019

    The beta definitely is a bit linear, but it's not too bad for a starting area. I'm hoping that as you get deeper into the game the dungeons and areas get a lot more expansive and labyrinthine. I'm definitely cool with "linearish" segments connecting them though.
     
  17. ElBozo

    ElBozo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Beyond the Gate - Dissecting the Overworld

    Map on the left is http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/E1M6:_Central_Processing_(Doom) !

    Well, there's no such thing as an non-linear map, if it has a single entrance and single exit. I would love to see some more space in the areas definitely (bigger grind spots), but i guess it's just mid act 1. I hope it won't turn out that all maps are in similar size... otherwise TL2 will have a big advantage over D3 - random, expansive overworld.

    Besides, as long as the level doesn't remind what is in the picture Raesene posted, i'm fine with it.

    On the other hand, they can't go too crazy too - just check out the "maze" part of this map - http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/MAP29:_River_Styx_(TNT:_Evilution)
     

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