This thread is not actually a summation of our plans for the Andothren-Thirr section. It is, quite literally, a discussion of the roads within Andothren-Thirr.
There are two aims for this thread: to fix any messed up roads within the section, (sudden dead-ends and the like), and to establish a consistent road map for Andothren-Thirr that the player can rely on. Roadsigns should probably be part of this discussion, but for the moment I am focusing on the distinction between 'mainroad's and 'dirtroad's.
First of all, for the sake of tidiness, this is my understanding of the distinction between 'mainroad's and 'dirtroad's:
In using the terms, I naturally refer to the typical IDs of the respective land textures. 'Mainroad's are typically cobblestone or cut stone roads, while 'Dirtroads' are typically dirt roads.
To my understanding, though, aside from looking different, there is an important functional distinction between 'mainroad's and 'dirtroad's:
Mainroads generally represent Settlement Environments. Aside from being the default groundtextures for major settlements, mainroads generally link cities together, and conversely the greatest concentration of settlement in any given region generally lies along the mainroads. Generally, mainroads are safe for low-level players, and form natural thoroughfares for noobs. They also generally overlap with major land trade routes.
Dirtroads link to isolated rural settlements and other isolated locations, and sometimes go through long stretches of wilderness. They are unreliable; they can be dangerous, can suddenly end, (in a cave or a rock-slide or something else), often pass near ruins and hostile bandits, or kagouti, etc. In-game, they are mostly used by questers and adventurers; people who are either seeking danger or (think they) know where they're going. They essentially represent Wilderness Environments.
As such, I consider the question of whether dirtroads or mainroads should be used for any given stretch of road more than a mere matter of aesthetics.
Luckily, switching ground textures generally does not take too much work; I would be quite willing to carry out any changes myself once they are decided upon.
Here is a map of the stretches of road I would like to discuss. The original image is rather large:
Dashed lines generally indicate stretches of road that might need work, or where I think a road should be. Full lines generally represent the existing extent of the roads I think might need work.
And here is an also-very-large createmap of all of Morrowind for the larger context.
A: the little stub of mainroad going west of Almas Thirr. It uses Tx_AI_mainroad_01.tga. Should we use that texture for TRV mainroads?*
B: this is the stretch of road going through Indal-ruhn and then south to Othreleth and beyond. I mention it here. I think if any stretch of road is made a mainroad in this section, it should be this one. (Which is probably why I didn't bother with dashed lines when drawing it).
C: this is a stretch of road connecting the mainroad of Almas Thirr with Andothren. I very strongly advocate making this a mainroad, as it connects two very important settlements, is flanked by plantations for most of its span and represents a land trade route.
D: this is the stretch of road between Andothren and Teyn. I have no idea whether it warrants a mainroad, though most of it probably does. (See H)
E: this stretch of road leads from Teyn to, eventually, Kartúr, mostly bypassing Roth Roryn. Should this remain a dirtroad?
F: this is the alternate land route leading through the Armun Ashlands. I personally think it is important enough to warrant a mainroad.
G: this is one of the two Roth Roryn mainroads, and it suddenly stops upon exiting Roth Roryn, which doesn't make much sense. (If anything, one would expect the roads to be worse in Roth Roryn). I think it should be made to be consistent, one way or the other.
H: this is the other Roth Roryn mainroad. This one just suddenly stops at a cell border, and it seems clear to me that it was supposed to continued. I think it should link to Andothren via half of D.
I: a bit of road connecting the Daedric ruin to the road system. Not really sure if this is necessary, but that's what discussions are for.
J: a bit of road leading to a Hlaalu outpost/manor/mine. I'll post about this one in the buffer zones thread. I do not think it needs to be changed, though.
*My opinion on which mainroad texture to use for the Thirr River Valley:
Currently, the only bit of mainroad is A, so replacing it would take a matter of seconds.
AC_roundstone - this one works very well with the pale rocks and dirt of the Ascadian Isles tileset, despite being an Azura's Coast texture. It would be my second choice.
Tx_AI_mainroad_01.tga - this one is probably the natural choice, being an AI texture in an AI region, but it does look very faded; more fitting for backwater Vvardenfell, in my opinion.
WG_cobblestones - this cut stone texture is used in a few Hlaalu settlements already, but lacks the wear one would expect from major roads. (Too well-maintained).
WG_mainroad_01 - this one is probably disqualified for having red dirt. While I think red dirt looks interesting in the TRV, replacing every instance of dirt in the region with a reddish alternative would simply not be worth it.
WG_road - this is probably the best option. It's still a little pristine for a road texture, but it matches well with AI dirt, Hlaalu settlement textures and the neighbouring Roth Roryn by virtue of being a WG texture.
Edit: for the record, I personally do not think this thread requires much discussion. As I see it, it mostly involves people proposing changes to the road system, and other people saying whether they like the idea or not. For my own suggestions above, I would be quite satisfied with a reply along these lines:
hypothetical poster wrote:
B. Sounds fine.
E. I don't like this idea, because ______
I. I don't think this needs a road.
I don't really feel strongly either way about the rest.
Frankly, at this point hearing clear opinions is more important than discussion, in my opinion. If people can't agree on one proposal, it would probably be better to set it aside and run through the other proposals first.
Last edited by Gnomey on Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:12 am; edited 4 times in total
I pretty much support Gnomey's proposals, with the exception of G & H. They can be deadend dirth paths/guar trails. Or even nothing. The cliffs already do a good job at directing players to wilderness areas. I think Roth Roryn should not have alot of main roads. It was intended to be a very backwater-ish region.
As for road textures, I don't have much of an opinion. I'm fine with what Gnomey is proposing here.
_________________ "Idleness and lack of occupation tend - nay are dragged - towards evil."
As I actually haven't stated my own opinion, as such, I might as well do so now:
I think all of the mainroads in this section should use the 'WG_road' texture.
A: this road is fine, though I would replace the texture as above.
B: as stated, I think this should be a mainroad.
C: I think this should be a mainroad.
D: and this.
E: and this, at least up to Kartúr. (So to the edge of this section).
F: this should also be mainroad.
G: this should be dirtroad, but I'm not sure whether its texture (WG_mainroad_01) needs to be changed, as it already looks very rough, also compared to the 'WG_road' texture. The change would be easy to make either way. It should be made consistent for its whole span, up to Andothren. Edit: on second thought, though, I think the stretch leading southeast from the intersection can stay dirtroad.
H: same as above. I certainly think it should be linked up to D.
I: I don't think this bit of road is necessary. Edit: perhaps the Daedric stone texture could be extended a little in patches, though, to not make it end as abruptly.
J: to be discussed elsewhere. Shouldn't be mainroad, though, naturally.