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** May contain Spoilers** Understanding Morias layout

- - - - - layout morias spoilers understanding

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Are you confused by the layout? Are you heading 'North' but end up South?

Fear not,it isnt your mind going squiffy,its the layout.

Read more below.

kirtana asked

When you look at the map of all of Moria, you have Durins Way in the north, and the waterworks at the bottom, i.e. in the south.

Now, if you take a wrong turn (or a right one if your just feeling crazy...) in the camp of Marnabul (Durins Way), and jump/fall down the well there, you land where? In the waterworks...

So is there a kind of space distortion at work here, or are we supposed to assume that the waterworks are underneath Durins Way, even if we get there by travelling south from the Silvertine lodes?

Perandir had the same thoughts.

Yeah, I was thinking about the same thing. There should be some kind of 180 degrees turn to north at the middle of Silvertine Lodes so that Waterworks would be beneath the Durin's Way. And as long as I remememer that didn't exist.

One other point where you should see the same kind of effect is at the Bridge of Khâzad-dum, and below it where part of the bridge is.


' Its a mystery! ' says irodino82

' I thought bout the same thing just the other day lol. There is something very wrong with the layout if you try to figure it out Posted Image Maybe there is a interdimensional portal in that well, a crack in space-time continuum, it would explain stuff :P '


Cuilmir thinks of it as being on 3 levels.

Yeah, i dunno, makes little sense to me to be honest, but you could assume that its on three levels and that durins way is above dolven view and waterworks is below that, so that technically your falling 2 floors when you go down the well Posted Image
Especially when the quests are split into the three categories, upper, central and lower.
However i still think of them as north and south!


Providing a map to go with this explanation, Seldom says

Moria is on multiple levels, if you went from the highest points in the morroval area in durins way to the lowest points in the foundations of stone there would be a pretty big difference in altitude. In the map below imagine each rectangle being a step in a group of stairs, 1 being the highest step and going down to -2 at the base of the stairs.

Posted Image
Posted Image
This works fine but the devs wanted to make it look like parts of the zone overlap each other (which they don't). To give this impression they've used points of interest to show parts that would be roughly above or below each other. In my map the blue squares represent a well that starts on the ground floor and falls to the lower 2nd. The purple circles represent the endless stair which works its way through most floors, though #2 doesn't make much sense to me. The green triangles represent a shard of the now broken Bridge of Khazad-Dum, which fell from the bridge (#1) to a lake in the foundations of stone (#2).

It sort of works in giving the impression of the mines not only scaling different levels but also overlapping one another. The only problems are that the map makes it obvious you're never actually directly above or below previous levels and that some of the POIs just couldn't match up.

*This map is only a rough version.


Graysson says

what confuses me even more, didn't turbine say moria would more vertical in design? it this means a well that beams you across the map...
on the other hand, you don't really know what happens to you down there while you're in the loading screen. dwarves and their mysterious plumbing...

thx for the explanation. makes sense from a design perspective, maybe they had to it this way because of technical limitations.


Thankfully a member of the Lotro World Team gave us this explanation

Basically when we were designing Moria, we wanted to create the appearance of a multi level environment, without actually doing so. To accurately reproduce this, we would need to add multiple terrain height map layers, which our tech does not allow. Therefore we ended up with our current model, which has a less than optimal map layout. The map does not accurately reflect the locations and their positions, however from a game play perspective, it is the easiest to understand.


LOTRO Worldbuilder


Beleg Of Doriath wants to know Any indication as to whether Turbine tech could adjust this in the future? To tell you the truth I was completely oblivious to this multi-layered thing in Moria. I know some areas were further underground than others, but as for a 'multi-story-carpark' design it does fail.

It would also be good to know if Turbine could more accurately do this for places like Erebor, other mountain dwellings and even Minas Tirith.


ArKile is happy to live with things as they are.

I think it works quite well. If you think that the top level has numerous shafts of light coming down and an exit to the mountain top. The middle section doesn't get much light directly apart from the 21st hall. The lower level gets no light and indicators are there that it is the lowest level for example the bottom of the well can be seen in the waterworks as well as gandalf's hat in the foundations of stone. There also a number of quests which refer to somewhere being 'above' or 'below'.
I can live with this amount of creative map design as long the indicators are there to show that you are wondering around in a multi-layered environment.


While Gilean thinks

In my opinion, the maps, especially the instance maps, have always been a bit problematic in LOTRO. By looking at map, even if fully explored, you don't actually know for sure if some passageway leads up or down your current ground level, or if the passage just ends there.

In EQ2 maps were a lot better made in this sense, those who have played this game know what I am talking about. if there was a slope going up/down, you could see a faint outlines of the next level on your map, and a little stairway picture too, noticing easily if there's actually a dead-end or if that passage actually goes to next level vertically. And, EQ2 didn't also "forgot" the areas you had already explored, like LOTRO does, meaning that if you had explored a map, it stayed as explored for that character forever! [IMG]http://community.codemasters.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

Anyway, it would be nice if you could see those faint outlines on map whenever there's another level above/below you, but maybe that's something Turbine can't implement.


Last word from
I actually did do this on a few dungeon maps in Moria. This however is a non-standard process, and requires a lot of hand work. It is much easier on my side of things to use our automated processes to create instance maps, as it is the difference between about 5 minutes of work and about an hour. I could regenerate maps for all of Moria, or do one dungeon [IMG]http://community.codemasters.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

Due to the way we generate maps for landscape however, this is not feasible to do.
LOTRO Worldbuilder


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: layout, morias, spoilers, understanding