MMO game worlds seem to be getting larger every year, and the debate over which is biggest frequently appears on forums and blogs. It usually starts with people breaking out infographics comparing the size
of the various islands and continents in their favourite fantasy MMOs, and it escalates from there. World of Warcraft
's Azeroth turns out to be surprisingly small at an estimated 80 square miles, while World War II Online claims to have the largest MMO game map
in the world with over 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 square miles) of playable space modeled as a half scale map of Western Europe.
Someone in the discussion will inevitably mention EVE Online
, and that's when things get complicated. The New Eden star cluster is lightyears across, and its 7,699 accessible solar systems
have earned it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but can EVE
's map even be compared to accessible landmass in a fantasy MMO? All of the space between stars is currently empty and inaccessible, and players warp between points of interest within a solar system without interacting with any of the space in between. With that and the relative difference in scale between EVE
and land-based games, it isn't immediately clear whether EVE Online
still has the world's largest playable MMO map.
In this week's EVE Evolved
, I look at how empty space works under the hood in EVE Online
and crunch some numbers to find out whether it really does have the biggest playable game world.