Mapmaking 101 – Lowered Walls, pt. 2

In pt. 1, NAT explained how to lower walls using rocks. In his fifth and last instruction he says, “the wall goes to half the previous size again”. This is worth giving special attention to, as there are special considerations for it that can save you a lot of time and effort. If you’re making an eye candy map with a pattern of alternating ground and walls flattened to ground level, the following article may be of interest.

This first image shows a wall that has been flattened once, with the lowered area being half the height of the original.

The process is repeated, giving us…

… another wall section that is halfway between ground level and the half-height wall, or a quarter of the original height.

And repeated again…

… so that we end up with four different heights.

Why is this important? Because any time the rock covers both the ground and a section of wall, it will split the difference in height. For most walls this isn’t terribly important to know, but when you’re lowering the walls all the way to ground-level, it becomes much more critical, especially if you are mixing terrain and walls to make a design. First we’ll take a look at what not to do.

Here is the starting section of wall that we want to flatten to ground level.

The design can be seen more clearly in this flattened view.

This image shows a disaster in the making, with the first round of rocks having been placed. You can see where the placement of rocks has missed several of the wall sections in the center.

Looking at it with the flattened screen, the missed areas of ground and wall can be seen.

This shot shows the continuance of the haphazard approach of placing rocks. More uneven wall layers are showing up.

After doing it a few more times it appears that there are about 6 slightly different heights of walls.

This last image, highlighted with the “minimum height” tool, illustrates the many different wall heights. It is possible to eventually get almost every section to a nearly uniform height at ground level, but it could easily take 12-20 steps of putting down rocks, rather than the six or so that doing the process correctly would take.

Here is the right way to do it. The following approach will save you hours of frustration.

Be sure to place the rocks so that the entire area is covered at the same time.

It’s easiest to do this when the map is in the flattened view, so that you can clearly see the edges of the rocks.

If you are careful to uniformly cover the whole area with rocks every time, then the ending wall height will be the same, and it will only take about six rounds of lowering them.


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