Sunday, May 6, 2007

The other LotRO maps

I love the handcrafted Lord of the Rings Online maps from The Brasse, but of course they don't cover all of Middle-Earth, and so I was looking around for more good maps. Bad news is that I didn't find any other hand-drawn maps. Instead I got the same lame sort of maps that is available for World of Warcraft, just ripping out the graphical information directly from the game, with no artistic input whatsoever.

The most interesting is Arda Online, which has a kind of "Google Middle-Earth". They took the graphics that is usually displayed in the small radar-like mini-map of LotRO and patched them together into a zoomable big map. That works to show you the layout of things, but of course doesn't give you any information of what is where, and in places like the Old Forest you just see the trees from above.

I found two sources with a dynamic map or interactive map of LotRO. Based on screenshots of the in-game map, at least these are clickable and have coordinates and information added to them on various points of interest. Most other game sites just have various screenshot maps with or without annotations, but with no coordinates. As the in-game maps aren't great, all these screenshot maps are rather bad for orientation. Where have all the artists gone?

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