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Fireball Fodder

Size of Exile

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Seeing the maps posted in one thread, I thought to myself, so how big is Exile anyway?

 

The only clear indicator of distances we have are the ones marked on the signs, which imply 1 square = 1 mile. So, going by this, Exile has 7x6 outdoor sections, each being 48x48 miles. This would make its total area 336 x 288 miles = 99,768 square miles, or 258,397.9 square kilometers (though this also includes all the impassable cave walls).

 

This means it is roughly comparable to New Zealand or the UK. The nation of Exile, by my rough estimate, controls approximately 40% of this territory (though in many areas this hold is obviously not at all firm), making it similar in size to Iceland, Hungary, or Portugal.

 

However, Exile III adds another dimension: time. We know how much ground a party can cover in one day. I haven't tried this out yet, though, going by memory, it would make the dimensions of  Valorim far smaller. That said, there's no real indication the scale in Exile I/II is the same as in Exile III.

 

Any thoughts? How does this stand up when compared to the impression you gained while playing the game?

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My impression would be that it is a bit smaller than that.  

 

With that said, consistency is not something that seems to worry Jeff too much.  At least one of the signs in A:EFTP is Cotra in 3 miles, which is 18 squares, so a square is 1/6 of a mile.  There is a sign by Silvar that has Mertis as 15 miles away, which is 45 squares, so a square is 1/3 of a mile.  The road between Silver and Mertis has a sign that says that the Castle is 230 miles west and 40 miles south of that point.  In squares, in a straight line it is approximately 144 squares west and 20 squares to the South, making each square at least a full mile in its east-west dimension and around 2 miles in a North-South dimension (not too square).  And of course the interface changes made in A4-6 really throw things off.

 

I would think that it would be closer to the size of England than of the UK, simply because there is not much camping outside.  While merchants wander outside of towns, they seem to make it to the inns in towns instead of camping for the night along the road.  I am not sure how fast lizard transport moves at, but I think that it would be relatively low speed.  I doubt that most of the towns are more than 15-20 miles from each other.  I would have maybe 10 miles between Fort Avernum and Silver or Fort Duvno with Cotra maybe another 10 miles away.  And then Fort Dranlon being around 20 miles away.  That is figuring that about 20 miles is how far you could travel in a day.

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Good point about the camping. I believe that there are only one or two camps in the Great Cave - one is between Almaria and the Tower of the Magi, and I think there's another one far to the west.

 

I actually checked the Silvar-Fort Exile and Fort Duvno-Fort Exile distances in Exile I and they're approximately correct, allowing for imprecise measuring since cartography seems to be in its infancy in the Exile universe. Looks like Avernum is far less consistent.

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Does that include Upper Exile, and/or the Vahnatai lands underneath?  A three dimensional territory would easily allow you to increase the area, though this doesn't seem to come up much, probably because it'd be a nuisance to stick on a simple 2d map.

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Nah, it's just the lands you can access in Exile I.

 

The Vahnatai lands and Upper Exile are fairly small, though, but it's implied you only get to see a small part of the former.

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I think that Jeff tended to attribute changes to the maps and distances between versions as being caused by "cave quakes".  I would think that the Vahnatai lands are much bigger than we see.  There are seven 48x48 squares in the Vahnatai Lands, but the four 48x48 dark water squares also seem to be part of the Vahnatai Lands also and then potentially part of the Exile caves as well, plus what ever is off stage.

Edited by Edgwyn
clarity for four other squares

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I don't think the "cavequake" concept appeared until Avernum 4.

 

As for size, I'd say it's not a question of consistency but a question of literalism.  There's a certain level of abstraction, perhaps more obvious in Exile when the map was top-down rather than isometric; but there are plenty of places where a dialogue box describes a passage that goes on for miles and miles -- or winds and slopes -- or opens up into a great expanse -- even though you don't see it on-screen.

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The measurement I'm most skeptical of using is time, particularly in E3/A3. You can cross a continent in a day or two on foot. If Valorim is the size of a continent as we use the term, that's simply not possible.

 

—Alorael, who notices that by the size of rivers, which are generally a few tiles wide, it's hard to reconcile any reasonable distance. Most rivers are quite narrow; a mile or more is huge. That suggests tiles that are less than a mile across, but then also a continent that is tiny.

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Hawke's Manse is a lot bigger than the tiny corner of Lorelai it occupies as well.

17 hours ago, Espada Sporothrixia said:

—Alorael, who notices that by the size of rivers, which are generally a few tiles wide, it's hard to reconcile any reasonable distance. Most rivers are quite narrow; a mile or more is huge. That suggests tiles that are less than a mile across, but then also a continent that is tiny.

 

What about the trees?  A single tree can take up an entire tile.  Actually, that'd be kinda cool if you had forests with trees that big.

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I figure a square of trees or rocks is just a particularly dense forest or rock out cropping.  The river width is certainly a lot more problematic.  Having a river that wide but is deep enough for fish and boats is a lot of water.

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You could count the amount of squares a town's inside width is, multiply that by 0,80-0,90 meters (roughly the width of a door), and divide the gotten value by the width of the town in the outdoor map.

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