Oh sweet Arceus, don't get me started on Maraudon. If Lucifer was contracted to make a dungeon for a video game, Maraudon would be what he would create. I practically jumped up and did the Macarena when it was split into three parts for Cataclysm.
In its defense, Maraudon was jam-packed with feeling, and the scenery can still knock me flat, and there's no irritating sense of "why the heck is THIS here, it makes no sense!" It also had the revolutionary idea that if they make a dungeon hellishly long, people should be able to get back to the later portion WITHOUT starting over every dang time. *pets the 20 Rods of Celebrian in the bank, coos sweet nothings to them*
But yeah. Hitting the LFG to find it was three pieces was one of those "angels burst out of the clouds singing a chorus" moments. Especially given what an absurdly large level range it spanned-- I swear it used to start at 40 and run all the way to 50 by the time you hit Theredras! Wah!
Makoes wrote:Why add dungeon maps if all they're going to do is make then straight lines now?
You're giving me flashbacks to the time I first entered Violet Hold to discover they'd provided an... indispensable
More seriously, there's several reasons. If the architecture has very few distinguishing characteristics or is especially symmetrical, it can be easy to get turned around. It makes giving someone distant to you directions significantly easier-- hands up if you've ever been in a group where, for whatever reason, you needed to tell someone how to get to you and they were far enough away to be off your minimap. (Lookin' at you, Zul'aman.) Pop open a map and bam, you can figure out routes without playing the "so where the heck ARE you?" game. It's also another way of interpreting the world, which... hmm.
You know how different people learn information most easily in different ways? Some people have to DO something before they have any hope of understanding. Some people need to read text. Others need to hear spoken directions/cues. Well, navigation also has several modes. The one I use most once I'm familiar with somewhere is essentially movement memory: I move here, then here, then here, etc until I reach where I want to go. This gives me absolutely NO sense of where things are relative each other unless they're side-by-side, and I can't really make up whole new routes, but I'm not going to get lost. In sharp contrast are maps. Maps don't give me that mental movie of here-here-here-here; they require a little more work to interpret, and I can get confused or turned around. When I'm using them I need to reorient myself relative the map CONSTANTLY. But what they accomplish is essentially giving me a railing to hold onto while I creep along, until the movement memory caches everything. Even later once I can get around, maps give me a sense of how distant things are interconnected-- plus they often equalize peoples' understanding of the world long enough to share meaningful directions. (If I turn left at the bromeliad because that's what I happen to remember, and some other person never even noticed the bromeliad, we're going to spend a looooooong time confused until we bust out the map and start using street/location names.)
The maps are less critical in linear dungeons, it's true-- but that doesn't mean they're useless. Especially when the "linear" dungeon features half a dozen switchbacks and loops, or multiple elevations.