Jul 02 2010 -
Rich in Detail
|hen talking about Tibia, we usually focus on big topics and hot issues, those kind of things we immediately associate with the game. But besides all those important matters, there is so much more that makes Tibia the game it is. Small details and circumstances we do not take notice of anymore because we got accustomed to them over time or things we often oversee because they do not seem to be really spectacular nor do they really stand out at first glance. But when taking the time to look closer at such small things you will soon realise that changing your perspective sometimes can lead to interesting and useful insights into Tibia, and maybe even into yourself.
So for this month's featured article, we pondered over a few small details in Tibia to see what associations they trigger and what we can make of them. We did this with a little twinkle in the eye and would like to share with you the thoughts that came to our mind.
I Would Walk 500 Squares
Did you know that the whole map of Tibia, including all floors, currently consists of 17,854,464 squares? Of course, characters cannot walk on each square since some of them are filled with water or cannot be reached because of an obstacle, for example. Anyway, it is still a pretty huge number. So we played around with it for a while to get a better idea of this hugeness.
Let's say one square in Tibia corresponds to a square meter in real life. If you lined all the squares up in a row, it would be about 17,854 km (approx. 11,094 miles) long. It is roughly three times as long as the distance between the US west coast and the east coast. But let us take this a bit further and see what we can get if we try out some formulas you can find on promoted and supported fansites. If this line of squares was a paved street, on which Tibians walk quite comfortably, it would take a character with level 20 almost 3 months to walk that distance since he walks approximately 9 km/h without any additional speed boosts by items on such streets. A level 200 would only need 5 weeks approximately since he walks about 22 km/h.
Nevertheless, many players want to get from one point to another much faster. If you have to cross the sea to reach your destination, using a ship or magic carpet seems natural but what about travelling between places on the same continent? If you are in Thais and have some business in Venore do you walk or do you use the ship? While it only takes about a second to reach Venore via ship, walking the distance takes quite some time, and it is a completely different experience. Walking makes you aware of the environment in a very special way and instead of rushing from one place to another it sometimes feels refreshing to travel slowly, silently enjoying of the moment.
Sounds of Silence
Silence itself is another detail that makes Tibia special. Yes, Tibia has no sound. At least not on first glance, or better, first hear. But even though Tibia lacks a soundtrack and sound effects it may not be as silent as it seems. In fact, Tibia is full of imaginary sounds.
For example, there is an impressive variety of musical instruments in Tibia and musical notes of different colours appear if you play them. And if you listen very carefully you may almost hear a faint melody in the distance. Some players even form bands and hold concerts, delighting their audience with songs of all kinds of genres. So if you see musical notes in Tibia how do they sound for you? It is actually completely up to you if you imagine to hear a folk song or a rock song.
Or think about all those monster barks that may create fierce growls and piercing screams in your head if you give free rein to your creativity. Have you ever heard the beating of your heart echoing in your head when you came across a dangerous monster? At the same time, the breathless suspense in thrilling situations, when your character is on the brink of death, gets even more spine chilling if it is marked by universal silence. And then, shouts of joy if you made it out alive or shouts of rage or disappointment upon reading the painful words: "Alas! Brave adventurer..."
As cool as a real soundtrack and sound effects may be, they do not offer you the same freedom of choice as silence. It is up to you whether you want to play Tibia with your music of choice in the background or if you want listen to the sounds of silence.
Into the Deep
Speaking of sounds, have you noticed that there is no sound message if you toss something into a dustbin? No "ploing!" or "clonk!" or something like that to indicate that the item you have thrown in reached the bottom. And in fact, if you throw things into a dustbin in Tibia, they vanish, never to be seen again. They seem to disappear into nothing. But are they just gone, deleted? Or is there maybe a secret passage to a whole new universe deep down within the dustbin? Some kind of black hole?
Maybe Tibian dustbins are actually huge long pipes which lead deep down into the earth to a secret recycling centre built and maintained by dwarfs. They enslaved creatures such as orcs and goblins who now work for them there, recycling all the stuff thrown into the dustbins and creating new items out of it. With their good nose for business, the dwarfs sell the shiny equipment and accessories to creatures all around Tibia who have to fight against the curious and courageous adventurers invading their monster homes day by day. If they are slain by a brave Tibian, they will drop the stuff as loot again and some of the items might end up in the next dustbin again. A never-ending cycle as it seems. Maybe the robe your character is wearing is partially made of the boots you accidentally threw into the dustbin a week ago? And the underground recycling pipe system would at least explain why dustbins cannot be moved.
Let us be honest: Have you ever stolen something from the house of an NPC? A chair? A knife? His favourite flower bowl? When the money is scarce but basic furniture is needed, some Tibians resort to theft. To keep the risk low, NPCs make the perfect victims. Generally speaking, Tibia's NPCs are quite confiding: Many of them leave the door to their house open, allowing us to look around, inviting us to be their guests and how do we thank them for their hospitality? We take a couple of knives and forks from their precious sterling cutlery with us. We borrow a table just to never give it back. We take the shiny candelabrum with us to decorate our own house. And most of the time, it does not even gnaw at our conscience since the NPCs seem to restock their lost stuff every day. They buy a new chair, replace the stolen plant with a new one - only to be robbed again. If the NPC sought revenge, maybe by sneaking into your house and randomly stealing one of your items, would you still help yourself to some of their items?
These thoughts lead us to the bigger question of how we see and understand NPCs in Tibia, how do we treat them ingame? Do you roleplay and treat them like another person or are they just some piece of code for you? To start a conversation with an NPC, you need to greet him with "hi" or "hello". But do you also bid him farewell or do you simply walk away if you acquired the information you were looking for or are done with trading?
You see, small details often lead to many interesting questions and insights which may reveal something about yourself you were not aware of yet. With these thought-provoking impulses we hope to encourage you to change your perspectives every now and then and take some time to focus on things that seem small and insignificant at first. Let your thoughts wander around a bit and ask yourself or your friends some unusual questions. Get creative when answering them instead of focusing on obvious but uninspired answers like "because it is coded that way". We found that to be quite refreshing and entertaining.
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