After several years, and merely by chance, I learned that map data (which parts of the map have been uncovered) can be copied from one character to another. This has significantly added to my enjoyment of the game and my motivation to start new characters.
When I played the game for the first time, exploring the entire map was fun and rewarding in itself. However, after I had played through the campaign two or three times, painstakingly exploring all of the map became tedious and tiresome - it took away from the enjoyment of the game. So I tried just heading for my destinations without exploring, but I strongly disliked having black areas left on the map, it felt incomplete and it doesn’t look good. So again, enjoyment of the game suffered. Just being able to use the map data I have created with a previous character is a great relief, and makes the idea of starting a new character way more compelling.
Such a great feature should be accessible to all players, without having to stumble upon some obscure knowledge and tinkering with game files. Maybe some cartographer NPC who offerst to sell you maps based on exploration by „other adventurers“? This NPC could even have a few quests of his own, that deal with exploring dangerous regions or certain landmarks.
Hm, interesting idea.
Personally, neither exploring everything for the hundredth time nor leaving black areas on the map bothers me much, but I can see the appeal of such a feature.
Where would you put that cartographer NPC and how would you have them unlocked?
It would probably work best to encounter him near the end of a playthrough (on any diffuculty), before you move on to another difficulty/character. So Conclave of the Three or a town in the new expansion shoud work well.
Similar to how merits work, the cartographer could sell you an item, a map of Cairn based on your exploration, that you could put in the stash for other characters to use. This way, the character who provides the map data would interact wih him, not the one who uses it, so the cartographer wouldn’t need to be in Devil’s Crossing (where he might confuse newbies).
As for unlocking the NPC, this could either happen by finding him in the wilderness and getting him to safety (which would make sense lore-wise considering his profession), or there could be a quest where he asks for help finishing his maps, requiring the player to explore certain regions, maybe visiting certain landmarks.
Great idea, it always triggered my OCD and I ended up uncovering every nook and cranny with every character. Which was more annoying than fun.
If the explorer NPC is too expensive to implement, a simple setting would suffice. When it is enabled it could use a separate, character-shared map file. When disabled it works like current map. It may have to update both maps when enabled to be able to show individual progress when disabled though (unless it doesn’t do it, in which case disabling it may leave an advanced character with an almost empty map - which is IMO also ok).
+1, going to save me some deaths as I run down the aether-infested dead ends to fill out the map.