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Some considerations about the contradicting coordinates of the bridge district

_Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 144
Even if you go to the bridge district coming from the southern part of Athkatla (like the first time you go there), you always access to the area from the gate that we see on the north-eastern edge of the map:

k19hab30x7iq.png

I always found this kind of immersion breaking and to solve my suspension of disbelief I always pretended that the map itself was rotated. That is, N was placed below and E was on the left of the area, thus you are looking from above as if you were placed north of the bridge, looking towards south. So the party is not really entering from the top of the map, but from below! (despite we still enter from there even when we come from the north side of the city...)
However, there shouldn't be any reason to force something like this unnecessary rotation of the airview, not only because you could have easily met lieutenant Aegisfield on the other side of the map. There are districts that put you on different access points when you travel, so I don't think it's a problem of coding either. The only exceptions beside the bridge district are the graveyard and the temple district, but they can be justified (at least the graveyard) because walking in the streets you might still end at the same place; but with the bridge that's clearly impossible.

Besides, looking at how the bridge is portrayed on the campaign map, unless we consider those icons unreliable (and I think they are just abstract depictions, the temple district seems to be rotated too), one could argue that the area is not rotated and the small dockyard of that district is effectively on the south-eastern side of the bridge:

fp0mm86d50md.png

Which could be a bit silly, because boats can easily pass under those two archways we see in the area, but not ships like the one we take to travel to Brynnlaw. In fact, we rendez-vous with Saemon Havarian at the bridge district. The cutscene uses the same scenery of AR0500. We don't see the ship on screen that moment (we wouldn't anyway as it isn't actually painted), but we see it at Brynnlaw and it's definitely larger than those passages. The dockyard faces an inlet, while it should face the estuary and open sea (we are in the mouth of a river) to allow for any cargo ship to set sail towards Brynnlaw and Spellhold.

Bodhi says "this is your transport" while we meet Saemon, which can be interpreted as she was referring to the person-in-charge that would bring you to Brynnlaw. So what happens could be that you actually take some boat to pass under the archways and get on board of the real ship, waiting on the other side of the bridge (or even go to the proper docks), although this would be incredibly overcomplicated even with the excuse of secrecy... but Aran Linvail clearly says "this shall be your ship to the island". Even if Total War: Rome 2 teaches us that ships can row over the ground and through buildings with some effort and goodwill, I don't think that Saemon's ship can do that nor fly over the bridge.

My guess is that we shouldn't take the meeting to literally happen in the bridge, and the scene at the end of chapter 3 is really abstract. I think that the developers wanted to show Charname secretly set sail but they also didn't want to use the docks district because that scenery was too familiar to players. So even if the map used is in fact that of the bridge area, we pretend that the expedition sets sail from another place of Athkatla.
Or, more easily, area maps are effectively rotated (N is not on the top of the map and so on) and the icons on the grand map are only abstractions that shouldn't be taken literally.

IseweinDJKajuruilduderinoiosfrustrationleeuxJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,100
    Athkatla's maps are mostly unreliable, probably because they aren't attached to each other like Baldur's Gate so the design team could get the job done in different ways , such as copy/pasting buildings from other districts to fill the area's surroundings.

    At the bridge district I just ctrl+j mysrlf to the other entrance after speaking to Aegisfield , pretending that it was there that we spoke with each other first.

    iosfrustrationleeux
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 300
    This is a very good point that completely passed me by - and looking at the other maps, it makes no sense that you always enter the government district from the north west or the graveyard district in the south. You would almost have to consciously circle those maps and are entering at an illogical point.

    iosfrustration
  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 34
    The overall layout of the bridge district has always bugged me for all the reasons OP stated, but never at a conscious level until now. This is an interesting and thought provoking post, thank you! Looking at the overhead view of the bridge district with freshly critical eyes it’s clearly only half finished.
    My stereotypical “high-fantasy medieval bridges” are the Rialto bridge in Venice, the Pultneny bridge in Bath, and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. How does the bridge district stack up?
    The southern side of the bridge district is intricate and believable and well drawn. Bonus points for the tanners house basement leading down to the water, and the way this exit works with some quests.
    The middle of the bridge district is a bit rubbish. It looks nothing like a bridge, has a massive temple copy/pasted into the middle of it, some random houses sprinkled about to fill up the space, and random arches for no reason. The monster building that takes up nearly a quarter of the map (it’s visible from space!) has no relevant content and is clearly out of place.
    The northern side of the bridge is... garbage. It’s like the artist was on holiday and biff the understudy filled in the blank space with a load of the biggest blocks he could find.
    However, all is forgiven as the bridge district is home to an astonishing rare “improved haste” scroll accessible right from the start of the game. A powergamers wet dream.,.

    leeux
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 350
    However, all is forgiven as the bridge district is home to an astonishing rare “improved haste” scroll accessible right from the start of the game. A powergamers wet dream...
    Two of them, but not quite from the beginning of the game. You have to wait about 12 in-game hours after exiting the starter dungeon, as that merchant only shows up at night and the game starts you day 1 just after dawn. Still, that's earlier than you can possibly get the two in a Trademeet merchant's stock.

    The entry directions on a lot of maps sometimes feel inverted, as if worldmap directions are opposite those in each individual area. It does matter where you're coming from, but not in any predictable way. One of the weirder ones I've run into, which actually has consequences for the area's quest:
    If you come to the "Wild Forest" area Neera tells you about, from any of the areas to the north, you start at the southwest corner of the map and meet Neera right away. If you come at it from the nearest map Watcher's Keep, which looks to be straight to the west, you end up somewhere along the northern edge of the map. I once ended up in the northeast corner; without any illusion detection, that party was unable to do anything in the area.

    Now, Athkatla areas are somewhat insulated from this. There are no direct links between the various districts and the core areas outside town, so all such paths pass through the city gates. That gets you a lot of standardization in where you start on maps.

    Oh, and I'll leave you with this shot. It's unaltered except for compression, and quite easy to reproduce on any fresh run. Can you figure out how to get a map that looks like this?
    4gje4ozi9lrk.jpg

    Yes, it is possible to have a map in which you can go to the districts on the other side of the bridge but you can't go to the bridge itself.

    leeuxiosfrustrationJuliusBorisov
  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 144
    edited September 16
    jmerry wrote: »
    If you come to the "Wild Forest" area Neera tells you about, from any of the areas to the north, you start at the southwest corner of the map and meet Neera right away. If you come at it from the nearest map Watcher's Keep, which looks to be straight to the west, you end up somewhere along the northern edge of the map. I once ended up in the northeast corner; without any illusion detection, that party was unable to do anything in the area.

    Sounds like the satnav in my car.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 524
    jmerry wrote: »
    Yes, it is possible to have a map in which you can go to the districts on the other side of the bridge but you can't go to the bridge itself.

    In fairness, you could always hire a small boat to take you across the river. Or Fly. I'm sure you've got Mages who can cast level 3 spells by now! ;)

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 350
    Zaxares wrote: »
    ...Or Fly. I'm sure you've got Mages who can cast level 3 spells by now! ;)
    By that point in the game? If your protagonist isn't one, and you haven't investigated the circus tent, and you haven't gone into the Copper Coronet to talk to Nalia, you don't have any mages at all.

    There's another little bit of connectivity, easy to miss, that should be taken into account. The stairs in Mekrath's lair lead further up, to a balcony in the bridge district. That balcony overlooks the entrance you always come in at, where Aegisfield hangs out. The sewers aren't that big; there's no way they cross the river. That entrance, therefore, is on the same side as the temple district, as the map layout suggests.
    The mistake in all this, then, is that the player enters the district on the wrong side when coming from the southern districts of Athkatla. It's theoretically fixable, but you'd have to do quite a few things to make it all fit right.

  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 144
    edited September 17
    jmerry wrote: »
    It's theoretically fixable, but you'd have to do quite a few things to make it all fit right.

    It would need obviously another entrance on the bottom-left side of the map, then lieautenant Aegisfeld should be moved there and maybe also that crowd commenting some corpses should be placed somewhere in between the new entrance and Delryn's estate. I don't know how much work it is required.

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