|The Legacy of Ykesha Extension to EverQuest added, among other things, the new mapping system to the game. Perhaps one of the single most useful feature additions to the game (although the added bank space came pretty close!). The LoY site discusses the cartography system's features; however the screenshots and text do not fully represent the released implementation's details. Real-time positional and facing information allows much greater and accurate movement about the world, and saves a great deal of embarrassment and time when traveling within the game. It offers a great deal of flexibility for customization of the maps, and has large community support (Mapfiend at EQ-Toolbox.com) for map generation.|
- The The Legacy of Ykesha(tm) Extension (Commercial, $23.99 per. EQ account) must be installed and activated on the player's EverQuest account.
- WinZIP (Shareware, $29.00 registered), StuffIt (Freeware/Commercial, $0 - $39.99), or some other software that can extract ZIP archives.
- The map archive (loycart_maps.zip).
This is the archive containing a collection of maps from various sources. Some have been culled/modified, others have been left as-is. Current up to the Omens of War expansion.
- Map gridlines (allgrids.zip [Mapfiend at EQ-Toolbox]).
By installing this archive it adds gridlines on Layer 3 (replaces the *_3.txt files) for most of the maps. Since Layer 3 is blank by default, it is generally safe to overwrite all these files. Placing gridlines (and only the gridlines) on the same layer on all maps has the advantage in that the gridlines can be turned on or off by selecting or deselecting Layer 3 in the Visible option buttons on the map.
- First download the maps to some place you can find again. It's often quite humorous to watch someone download a file (especially extremely large ones), save it, and promptly forget where it was placed.
- If EverQuest is running, log out of the game and exit from the game fully.
If you are using WinZIP, you can just right-click on the file, select "WinZIP | Extract to...", and enter in the dialog the EQ map directory folder.
- For most users, this is C:\Program Files\Everquest\maps.
- For EverQuest Evolution installations, this is C:\Program Files\Sony\Everquest\maps
- If neither directory exists, or the EQ installation was to a different location, searching (Start | Search | For Files or Folders) for "ecommons.txt" (without the quotes) should find the East Commlands map, and the directory it is in should be the EQ maps directory.
- If you are not using WinZIP, follow the instructions specific to your archive program for extracting an archive to a specified directory. Or, you may extract the archive to a temporary directory and cut and paste the files to the map directory.
- If you have decided to install the gridlines, repeat the same procedure as was performed for the maps themselves.
- The original ZIP archives may be deleted or retained for later (re)installations.
Start the EQ Client application, log into the game, select your server and character. Once fully zoned in, the backspace key (default) will open and close the map window. You will want to uncheck the "Height Filter" button if it is on (yellow text) and set it to off (white text). Also, zoom the map out (Range = 2477 will display the entire Plane of Knowledge map, for example) so that you can see the surrounding area of the map.
Where the Maps Don't Work
The LoY cartography system page includes the phrase: "though some zones may require special parchments on which to draw maps". Initial discussions among players made the assumption that special drops of items would allow the use of the map within zones which had mapping disabled. Whether or not this was the original intent, at this point it's widely believed that the "special type of parchment" is a real-world piece of paper. In other words, for zones in which mapping is disabled, there's no quest, item, or anything in game that is going to allow mapping to be used. Zones for which mapping is disabled will display the text string "Mapping not available in this zone." in the upper left corner of the map window. The zones conformed where mapping is disabled (not necessarily exhaustive listing) are:
- Plane of Air (poair*.txt)
- Plane of Earth (poearth*.txt)
- Plane of Fire (pofire*.txt)
- Plane of Water (powater*.txt)
- Tower of Solusek Ro (solrotower*.txt)
- Ssraeshza Temple (ssratemple*.txt)
- Temple of Veeshan (templeveeshan*.txt)
- Vex Thal (vexthal*.txt)
While maps of these zones are available in the LoY mapping format (they are in fact, maps ported from Project SEQ, which uses a nearly identical file format), they are not actually usable in-game at this time for the reasons listed above.
Troubleshooting and Notes
- No Map Displayed
- No maps installed. Maps for the current zone are not installed, or are corrupt. Be aware that the EQ Client only reads the maps files when loading the zone, and also appears to have the habit of overwriting the current zone map when the player zones out. For this reason, installing maps with the game running isn't recommended.
- Map zoom level is too high. This is the most common reason for otherwise viable maps to appear to be blank. The Map Window defaults to a very close-in zoom level (Range = 200). If the player is in an area with no map features nearby, the may may appear blank. Using the map zoom out button (see illustration, below), or placing the mouse cursor on the map and rolling the mouse wheel downwards will zoom the map outwards, allowing the map to be fully displayed within the map window. Rolling the mouse wheel the opposite direction zooms back in.
- Height Filtering is turned on. Height filtering is a feature of the map where lines that have a Z-axis value within a certain range above and below the player's current position are displayed (controlled by the "Low" and "High" settings below the button. Generally, most players will want to set this button to unchecked (white text). Pressing the button to turn it on (yellow text), may cause the map to appear to be blank under most circumstances. Another note was originally the game did not save the state of the Hight Filter button, and the default was turned on. The game now appears to save the state of the button, but under some circumstances it may get reset.
Mapping is disabled in your current zone. Certain zones have mapping intentionally disabled as a "feature" of the gameplay. Zones for which mapping is disabled will display the text string "Mapping not available in this zone." in the upper left corner of the map window, visually distinguishing them from "blank" maps.
- Mapping is empty or contains no line data. Check the zone map file in your maps directory to ensure that it does in fact contain map data. The game may in fact be displaying the file correctly.
- Wrong or No Map Displayed
- Maps are overwritten by the client. The EQ client will overwrite the current zone map upon zoning or exiting the game if the map has been accessed at all (including just viewing the map) while the player is present in that zone. The client will actually rewrite the entire zone map file and format in the game's "preferred" (and grossly space-wasting) floating-point coordinate format. The practical upshot of this is that if you edit a map file by directly changing the map's .txt file (as opposed to using the in-game map editor), you need to save the file after leaving the zone or game. If you unzip the map archive with the game running, the zone that you are in will almost always be overwritten with whatever map that was present when you first entered the zone (whether it be a blank map or an outdated one). It's possible to work around this by unzipping the archive, zoning to any other zone, and then unzipping the archive again, but don't make this any harder than it is already...
- Annotating Maps
- Map label coordinates format. The format the /location command returns coordinates in is Y, X, Z. Map labels can be added using the in-game tool, or by editing the map files directly. Map points coordinates are defined in -Y[.yyyy], -X[.xxxx], Z[.zzzz] format (a formatting convention which makes no sense whatsoever, except that it distinguishes the LoY map file format from the ShowEQ map file format, which preceded it).
- Using the Map to Navigate the Invisible Bridge in The Deep
- Turn run off and set map zoom Range to 400. Setting the Range to approximately 300-400 allows fine control while trying to navigate the Invisible Bridge in The Deep. Using a high Range setting can allow the player to drift off the edges of the bridge without realizing it because of the loss in resolution. Using a much lower Range setting is not recommended, as the representation of the player on the map will be much harder to control. Using a map that has both side of the bridge marked with lines is highly recommended.
- Game Crashes When the Map Is Accessed
- Map data is corrupt. The game does little to no input validation on the map data. If the map file is corrupt (which can involve a missing comma, too few data fields, etc.), attempting to display the map may cause the client to crash completely. You may be unable to log in without crashing immediately back to the desktop until the corrupted map file for the zone you are currently in is deleted or replaced with a valid map.
Title Illustration by Demmi.
EverQuest is a registered trademark and The Legacy of Ykesha is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2005, Dark Grue.