|“|| The Road goes ever on and on,|
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
–Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring
Roads are a feature that was added in Public Beta 22.
Roads were originally mentioned way back in August 2013. Mevans' original idea for making roads was to use something called a Lagrange polynomial. A Lagrange polynomial is essentially a fancier form of a quadratic equation.
Unfortunately, Mevans later found that these polynomials wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. So the search was on for a new kind of polynomial that would work. In the end, the decision was made to use a Bezier curve. This is the same type of curve that is used to make
.svg files. As a result, roads are technically not generated structures, as they do not have their own
Why do roads need polynomial equations?Edit
The roads have to be generated via a mathematical algorithm because if roads were a separate biome (like rivers) then the map would have to be 16 times bigger than it is at the moment (which would pretty much require a 1:1 scale map of Middle-earth) or the roads would be the size of large rivers.
Road generation adapts to the environment as much as possible. The paths will form bridges over major rivers and follow the terrain uphill or downhill.
The material used to build the roads varies as well; some roads will be made out of dirt or gravel, whereas other roads will be made out of cobblestone or faction bricks (especially in the more populated areas of Middle-earth). because roads smooth out the terrain around them and generate bridges over rivers, it is generally easier to travel on a road than off a road.
- As of Public Beta 22.1 roads will make deep valleys from the terrain around them, which make them a lot easier to navigate, especially in hilly terrain.
- As of Public Beta 26 roads that were previously cobblestone are now made up of Dirt Path.
- As of Public Beta 26 bridges will now have fences and logs around them to make them look better.
- As of Public Beta 28.1 dirt path roads now feature various blocks.
- As of Public Beta 29 some roads have fallen into disrepair, and also roads are made to be more smooth. Bridges are also improved.
- In some updates, the position of some waypoints have been moved (slightly). If you go on using a world started with an old version, this will result in drops on the old/new chunk borders and also in roads "hopping" around (see picture below).
List of roads in Middle-earthEdit
These roads are the ones that are named on the map.
These roads typically pass through multiple biomes and/or cover great distances.
- Great East Road: One of the longest roads in Middle-earth. Runs from South Mithlond in Lindon to Baraz Dum in Red Mountains, passing through Eriador, the Shire, Bree, the Lone-lands, the Misty Mountains, the Vales of Anduin and Mirkwood on the way.
- North-South Road: Begins at Waymeet in the Shire, and ends at Amon Din, Gondor. Along the way, it passes through Longbottom and Sarn Ford in the Shire, skirts the border between Eriador and Minhiriath, and runs through Tharbad and Enedwaith. After fording the Isen, the road enters Rohan, passing the Deeping Coomb, Edoras, and Aldburg, crosses the Mering Stream, and enters the province of Anorien in Gondor.
- Elven-way: Begins at Tharbad, and passes through Eriador and the Lone-lands until reaching the "Old Elven Way". From there, it splits into two, with one branch continuing north and east until it reaches Rivendell. The other branch heads for Eregion, ending at the West Gate.
- South Road: Begins at Amon Din and passes by Minas Tirith, then Lossarnach. At Pelargir, the road splits into two, with one half heading east towards the Crossings of Poros. The western half continues west and north, through Lebennin and Lamedon, ending at Erech in the Blackroot Vale.
- Anduin Road: Starts at Dain's Halls in the Grey Mountains, and essentially follows the Vales of Anduin until it comes to the Black Gate.
- Rhovanion Road: Starts at the "Old Rovanion Dale", heads through the Wilderland and Dale, and ends at the West Peak of the Iron Hills.
- Harad Road: Starts at the Black Gate, and heads through Ithilien for a long while, before crossing the Poros and entering Harondor. From there, the road goes south through the Near Harad until it comes to the Harad Crossroads, where it divides. The western half goes through the fertile valley until it reaches Umbar, while the eastern half ends at the Gulf of Harad.
- Old Tauredain Road: Goes through the jungle from Otoch Kaah to Xaman Paah.
- Tauredain Road: Starts at Ya'ax Kaah, heads for Polok Kaah, and then Emerald Lakes, where it divides. One branch goes south to Pixan Kaah, while the other goes north and east to Ethir Haraduin in the mangrove swamps.
Most of these roads pass through fewer biomes, and don't cover nearly as great a distance.
- Unnamed road from Esgaroth to Erebor.
- Dale Road: Runs from Dale to Dale Port.
- Wine-road: Begins in Dale at Dale Port, ends at the Golden Ford.
- East Road: connects the Rhovanion road to Celduin Port.
- Haven Road: Runs from the old port of Lond Daer to Tharbad.
- Greenway: Starts at the Greenway Crossroads, passes through Bree and Fornost, ending up in Annuminas.
- Dol Amroth Road: Connects Dol Amroth to the South road.
- North Road: Runs from Amon Din to the Harad Road.
- Un-named road from Minas Tirith to Minas Morgul.
- Iron Hills Road: Connects the East and West peaks of the Iron Hills.
- Blue Dwarven Road: Forlond to North Mithlond via Nogrod.
- Un-named road from Nogrod to Belegost.
- Lindon Road: Loops around the Gulf of Lune, from Forlond to Harlond, passing through North and South Mithlond on the way.
- Elf-path: The path that Thorin and Company travelled in the Hobbit, from the Forest Gate to Thranduil's Halls.
- Dol Guldur Road: Enters Dol Guldur from the west.
- Sauron's Road: Starts in Minas Morgul, passes Mount Doom and Barad-Dur, and ends at Seregost.
- South Mordor Road: Starts at the Black Gate, ends in Thaurband after passing Barad-Dur
- Woldsway: Runs from the Wold to Edoras.
- Un-named road from Helm's Deep to the Deeping Coomb.
Many of the local roads that run from one place to another in the Shire are not named.
- Stock Road: Runs from Stock to Tuckborough.
- Various other unnamed roads (see image)
- Dimril Road: Dimril Dale to the House of Nimrodel.
- Public Beta 22: Added roads to the mod.
- Public Beta 22.1: Roads now smooth the terrain out around them, and build bridges over rivers.
- Public Beta 26: Roads that were once cobblestone are now dirt path. Bridge generation has been changed somewhat too.
- Public Beta 28.1: Dirt path roads now feature a mix of blocks, such as gravel and grass blocks.
- Public Beta 29: some roads have fallen into disrepair, also roads are made more smooth (using slabs of dirt etc. to make them easier to walk on). Bridges are also been greatly improved.