The size of this map is 180x87, so it will strain your computer. This is a real earth map comprised of real life information. Also tweaked in this map are relationships between AI players (and toward the human player). This again is done for balance and realism.
I've finally finished my own version of a Real Earth map. This map has been built completely from scratch using satellite photography, topographical maps, real world resource locations, and real native population groups as barbarian tribes. The size of this map is 180x87, so it will strain your computer. I have 2GB of RAM and could play through mid- and end-game reasonably well. Rigs with less RAM may not be so manageable. You have been warned! Many of you wonder why not make more small maps. I thought about it and actually started to make a small map of Earth (or a deformed version of Earth enlarging historic areas), but it just didn't "do it" for me. You will find this map to be to scale (including oceans). You may want to mod ocean-faring vessel speeds to compensate. I used several online resources, including Wikipedia among others, to make sure game resource placement and native population groups are correct. Keep in mind, however, that this does take a back seat to playability and balance. So don't be disappointed if your favorite barbarian group is not as you expect (or is missing) or if resources are missing or added where you may not expect them. Earth maps are usually fairly unbalanced. This one makes an attempt to balance. Also tweaked in this map are relationships between AI players (and toward the human player). This again is done for balance and realism. You can inspect the WBS if you want to know what is what, or leave it for a surprise when you play! Most should be as you would expect, but I didn't go overboard. Civilization Starting Areas and Descriptions: American: The destiny-driven Americans have settled on the Atlantic coast of a wild, but rich continent. Don't expect the huge North American continent all to yourself, however. You will have to contend with heathen Aztecs in the south and hostile indigenous peoples across the plains. Expect friendly relations with England and tensions from Japan and Russia. Arabia: The Arabs have settled between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea locked in a hot gulf of sand and sun. Plentiful oases dot the landscape and provide a perfect environment for these rugged desert dwellers. Expect tensions with Mali and neutrality with most other neighbors. Aztec: The Aztecs start deep in the tropical heart of classic Mesoamerica. The Inca to the south and the Americans to the north threaten to stifle your growth if you let them. Expect friendly relations with the Incans and tensions from Spain and America. China: The Chinese settlers start in some of the most fertile lands in the world. The widely varied terrain of the Eastern Asian landscape may be seen as unlimited. However, stay alert for hostile nations to the south like the Khmer and your always hostile Mongol neighbors to the north. Expect friendly relations from the Indians and tensions from Japan and Mongolia. Egypt: The Nile River Valley provides an ancient cradle of life most would envy. The Egyptians have many possibilities from this strategic starting position. Expect friendly relations from Rome and tensions from Arabia. England: Situated on the temperate British Isles, England has the luxury of early-game isolation from land invaders. However, only an expansionist mindset will allow you to survive the later epochs. The English can expect friendly relations from the Americans and tensions from India and Germany. France: Napoleon and his French Empire find themselves in a crowded European setting. With Germany to the east and friendly Spain to the west, the only option is the Roman threat to the south, but don't forget about your old rivals -- the English -- to the north. May Napoleon's cunning prevail! Expect friendly relations from Spain and tensions from England and Rome. Germany: The ancient Germanic tribes settle down in the area of modern-day Berlin. There are among two choices from this position: Squeeze past Mother Russia to the East to settle Asia Minor or triumph directly against Rome to the south. There's also always France to the west! Expect friendly relations from Greece and Japan and tensions from England and Rome. Greece: Alexander sits ready to command the armies of Greece and Macedon! Do not hesitate and be content with the Aegean sea, but lay claim to your lands before the tyrant Cyrus gets there before you! Expect friendly relations from no one and tensions from Persia. Inca: High in the legendary highlands of the Andes Mountains, Huayna Capac commands the beginnings of the Incan Empire. Expanding into South America isn't as easy as it might seem. Your isolation is sealed by the great Amazon Rainforest stretching below the clouds to the east. May the brave Inca survive and expand! Expect friendly relations from the Aztecs to the north and tensions from Spain. India: Nestled in the Ganges river valley, the beginnings of the Indian Empire get a great start indeed. Mind the wall of mountains to the north and the hostile tribes to the southeast, then all you have to worry about is landgrab contention from Persia to the west! Expect friendly relations from China and tensions from Greece. Japan: The mythical Japanese start at the far east of Asia on a long, fertile island. The limited space on that island will prompt you to make your move for the mainland quickly. Oceania is also yours to claim if you are brave enough. Expect friendly relations from Germany and Mongolia and tensions from China. Mali: The largely unexplored African continent is home to the Malinese. South of the looming presence of the massive Sahara, Mali must forge their existance in the savannahs and jungles of West Africa. Riches are to be had in the south, but don't mistake your isolation as safety. Expect friendly relations from France and tensions from Inca and Egypt. Mongolia: The terrifying horselords of Central Asia are yours to command. The cool steppes of Mongolia are vast and wide, but do not feel too secure in your intimidation of the lesser civs. Even a powerful king can get lost in Asia, if he does not get spread too thin first. Expect friendly relations from Persia and tensions from no one. The arrogant nations of the Orient will have no idea what hit them. Persia: The budding Persian empire has a great land of opportunity before them in the heart of Asia. Babylonia sits ripe to the west, nestled in the Fertile Crescent, while Bactria and the wealths in the Indian subcontinent await you. Opportunism will be your success! Expect friendly relations from Arabia and tensions from Greece. Rome: The seat of Rome is not for the meek. A crowded Europe sits to the north; one that should fall under the might of your Praetorian. the barbaric citystate of Carthage sits across the seas to the south, with the continent of Africa behind it. The might of Rome must spread -- it is inevitable. Expect friendly relations from Egypt and tensions from France. Russia: On the fringe of Europe sits the newly settled Russia. To the east, expansion opportunities await, but those are not vacant lands. What the stifling chill of Siberia won't stop, the Huns and Bulgars will. Be wary and carry the might of The Motherland with you at all times. Expect friendly relations from China and tensions from America and Mongolia. Spain: From the heart of Iberia comes the first royal line of the new Spanish Empire. Locked in the western fringe of crowded Europe, expansion is either through use of the sword or use of a ship. The unknown world calls for Spanish colonial power, so show it to them! Expect friendly relations from Russia and tensions from Rome. Other Stuff I've only done some minor testing with this. I've played most of the civs to at least past Classical Age to make sure there weren't any glaring balance problems. Please let me know if you find any! Also, I've scoured the map for any bad resource placements (things on peaks, etc) and think that I've nailed them all. Let me know if you find stuff like that. Changelog Version 1.0 * Initial Release Version 1.1 (Current Version) Fixes: * Japanese starting on a peak was fixed * Babylonia strengthened to prevent early assimilation * Added missing starting techs for all civs Changes: * Moved starting locations of European civs slightly, allowing more space between those civs (also putting them on coasts) * Arabian starting area strengthened and shifted slightly * Japanese starting area strengthened * Added island of Cyprus * Added wheat to Nile Valley, removed some oases from the flood plains there * Extended Euphrates River farther into Asia Minor (Turkey) * Added many more tributaries to the Amazon River * Added more tributaries to the Congo River * Added more pig resource to rainforests * Added deer to Africa (to simulate antelope, etc.) * Added copper to Europe * Minor resource adjustments all over (including some reductions in places) * Adjusted polar ice levels and permafrost level in Siberia * Adjusted land structure in northern Canada to be more accurate * Babylonia renamed to Babylon * Added San Joaquin river to California Future Plans Might move civs around and rename and relocate them for better balance and less crowding. Even on a map this big, Europe is still crowded. While this is balanced by less barbarian activity and more concentrated resources, it is still a hassle if you like those civs. The only option is probably to remove some of them and use more generic names to describe them (use Celts to replace France and England for instance since the Gauls were really just Celts).
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