So a lot of you have been asking where things might be moving to with the next incarnation of Lisianthus. I've read a lot of what's been said so far from Ebby and Valiska. The map as show from the latest version of the sim is currently the one I am working towards. However, after talking with Elbereth and Gwen (in SL), and realizing our diminished time due to various factors and how difficult it can be to maintain and even build a much larger sim, I'm proposing the following solution.
We are going to ideally return almost everything to the ground and a lot is going to be smaller. One of the obvious advantages of this is, it makes the world look a lot more impressive and cohesive. As impressive as a lot of our 'views' are, it's also perhaps more suitable for photography than roleplay. One of the nice things about the sim size in SL (basically the size of one sim and also available in OS) is, you are limited by your land space and you have to use your imagination a bit more. We already have to do that in OS due to the limited content available.
Valiska had pointed out that perhaps having Silverwind be smaller in size might be more ideal. I agree with this, even though I love how big and powerful it looks, but for the sake of utilizing space, it needs to be smaller. At this time, it will go on the North coast sharing land area with Sirenia (NW) and Heimdall Donnar. Tir Ildathach will be kept in the skybox, but there will be a TP from the far NE corner.
Meanwhile, in the "upper middle" from West to East, we'll have Vhaerun, which will have a coast and inland, which will then move into TSG (Dragons), which will move into Heimdall Donnar. This provides a natural barrier between the North and the South. Additionally, there will be an underground area primarily on the Western area that will be shared by Vhaerun and Blackmoor (more on Blackmoor in a bit). What this does is provides an underground area (underworld) for all the 'dark' forces, while limiting their presence on the overworld, the exception being Vhaerun's coast and the village. Blackmoor will essentially be buried underneath the Volcano and lava fields.
In the "lower middle", from West to East we'll have Blackmoor, that can be placed above ground, Nila Kanta next door, followed by Green Fields, and Annwn on the Eastern Coast.
And finally, on the Southern Coast, we'll have the rest of Blackmoor and Nila Kanta, Dorthonion, and Tavrobel.
You'll probably notice there is no Tigan'ra mentioned here. At this time there simply may not be enough room for it, and while losing the desert is sad, the gypsies can easily mingle with Silverwind's outskirts, and in other locations. They will probably prefer this over the desert heat anyhow. Additionally, all the new realms mentioned in the last update also won't be included. Generally speaking, I'm aiming to cut down on the number of realms whenever possible.
One key thing I am going to say is at this time, I would prefer all the current skyboxes remain in tact. This is because if upon trying to cram a lot on the ground we find it to be unappealing, unbearably lagging, and so forth, we'll at least have a backup. We've got the prims to spare for now.
Why not go with the ground and 3 skyboxes? Frankly, again it comes back to maintenance. For future fixes it would be much easier to fix a small part of the sim than a 2x2 skybox. And honestly, it actually is quite large. A lot of roleplay and such takes place in one small area, so having all that extra area, even for scenery, is a bit of a waste, even if it is very pretty. A lot of people in SL have to deal with having RP on 1 or 2 sims and they make the most of it usually. We can do the same. This is why there will be an underworld layer and an overworld to accommodate the dark forces. Blackmoor and Vhaerun don't really need an expansive landscape, they can do just as much of their shady business underground. Again, the Vhaerun coast is the exception. Same with the Dragons, they are mostly above the mountains, not in the caves. Depending on the amount of room we actually have, Nila Kanta might be eliminated as well, or there will simply be a very small swamp area, but they too could mingle underground in the caves. When you take this into considerations, it frees up quite a bit of space.
The best thing about all of this is, generally speaking, even though I'm pretty slow at building, having most of the sim on one layer (the ground) will be faster to build than more skyboxes. We've already got much in place in the skyboxes to move into place on the ground. I also really like the idea of making it seems like we can see the entire world, and it brings all the realms closer together.
I've already begun the transition to this setup. I am marking up areas accordingly, just note that these may not be set in stone. Also because of this, many areas may need to be rebuilt and again many areas will be rebuilt to be much smaller than they used to be.
I loved the skybox concept a lot, but after 5 to 6 months of building, you saw how much we really got out of it RP-wise. We can do better even with the limited space on the ground, by building smaller, it will feel like we've got a lot more.
Hopefully these changes will be met with positive feedback, it will take a while, but with your support, we can make Lisianthus the best it can be. I look forward to working with everyone on this.
Happy to go as planned, although think Port Annwn may be left out of the equation or (if Astrid prefers) shall be reduced to a small fishing village without much fewer inhabitants and just a general store & tavern-like setup.
Same with Elves - a combination of Coastal & Woodland Elves will reduce the need for space and encourage closer roleplay perhaps.
The Shire will be reduced to a smaller GreenFields... as it once was.
If room remains, then things could become more spacious, or perhaps there will be space for other realms as planned.
I can't really imagine things until I see them "fenced off" on the ground, but I figure the biggest challenge shall be providing each area with appropriate surrounds and still merging them all with pathways or crossings so that they create an harmonious whole. We did it once when Elves, humans, Hobbits, Shadow Land and dragons were all in the ground and most of the area was still left over to forest (if I remember rightly)!
Elbereth passed along that you guys would strongly prefer to have the Drow be on the Eastern Side and the Elves on the Western Side, so I am going to make the adjustments tonight. I'm actually pretty happy with how things look so far, and it still look actually pretty big. At this time I suggest leaving Annwn as it is, maybe trimming it back some, but I plan to buy Oz's wooden fortifications which I think would make a nice addition instead of the stone walls. But yes, I fondly remember that lovely fishing village that Annwn used to be too. Funny enough we might even have a bit more room than I thought, simply because of the removal of the dessert, though I could probably still squeeze one in somewhere. Again a reminder, let's leave the skyboxes as they are now (unless you have anything that is no copy). Expect the mountain ranges to not have much in the way of room, most of them will just rise straight up.
I worked on the Heimdall Donnar fort today, I had a fun idea and I'm happy with it (hopefully Ebby is too!) Haha, on the plus side I won't have to put down nearly as many trees for the Elves!
Here's the updated map. We're currently in the process of setting up geographical features and perhaps some roads. Note that Tir Ildathach is actually in the sky, but is displayed on this map as being maybe 100 miles off the NW coast. It is protected by the Fae's powers, and cannot be easily entered unless invited. Tigan'ra Desert at this time has been discontinued, and the "Gitana" settlement might become a gypsy camp located in Silverwind or Thaczil di Sjach Ghertaheli. Statistical information will be updated at a later time.
Some other additional notes:
- There will be two main Drow settlements, the one that Valiska is creating on the coastline (currently put in as "Undraeth", and the Drow stronghold/undercity of Vhaerun, which will be located inside the mountainside.
- Isilme Iaun will be a ruined capital now. This makes the Elven civilization a lot smaller. It is listed here so it can still be used perhaps for lore and backstory. Many elves still remember it fondly, but it was ruined in one of the 'past wars'.
- Blackmoor has a new capital, Nazajarmal (Fire Mountain). This too will be underground, except for the volcano on top.
- Sirenia is now located primarily in the NE corner of the map, and isn't spread out like it was before in many different locations. However, unlike before, Alassi Atargatis is actually located on the coast, so it is right off shore now, unlike before when it was just out in the middle of the ocean. Parts of the capital may be located in caverns underneath the land within the Silverwind and Vhaerun areas.
- Silverwind is still a thriving city, but not quite as big as it once was.
- Bywater is being disbanded and the main hobbit city is now Greenfields.
- Unlike before, there are many other settlements/areas of interested not located on this map. They were not put on this map so that the map would look cleaner in general. The other settlements can still be known in roleplay, but they are not areas where active roleplay can take place.
Other things may be included at a later date, once the world has been more realized and built up.
It was awesome being together to get Lisianthus (version: no-idea-anymore!) moving again!
Can't wait to see the finished product!
Hopefully we shall get lucky after the overhaul to actually all be online together AND get some roleplay happening!!! ;-)
So far things seem to be progressing nicely. One thing I will mention, if you need the expand an area, say like a building or a house, you can always have a TP gate lead to a bigger location in the sky. This especially might work well for the underground areas, and Blackmoor too. A good example of this going on will be with Otherworld as there is a small island located on the ground, which leads to the actual realm in the sky (of course, ICly this is hard to enter, but this provides a good example). You might even say Tigan'ra Desert could still technically be used, as it could be some faraway land that isn't near the continent, but is actually placed in the sky. Keep up the great work.