Basically at the moment I'm working on the map of the main planet for a VTT strategy game I plan to play with a couple friends. I guess it doesn't look very sci-fi/modern yet, but it will.

Currently, the map doesn't have the hex grid or any of the icons or markers, most of which I have done.

I'm just looking for some advice in a couple areas (or if you have a general opinion, that's cool too). I decided it would be easier to use a gradient to do most of the filling in, but that has resulted in some problems.

One, I want the snowy areas to be not just plain white, so I was thinking of either subtly phototexturing in some snow or just using some noise, but I'm not sure how I could go about doing that with the gradient being on the main layer.

Two, I had to manually fill in some of the terrain (well, alot of it) that I did not want to be desert. This worked decently, and it actually transitioned fairly well on the top, but on the bottom of the right continent it's fairly obvious and sudden, and I'm not sure how to fix that either.

Three, if you have any ideas for a cooler ocean, that would be neat.

Also, as a note, normally I'd have more rivers but the map is really big, so I only put in the ones I would consider to be major. The weirdly desertified areas on the bottom of the right continent are the result of a superweapon. I also realize I'm missing some ocean and the main left and right continents are actually really close together according to the map, but that doesn't bother me too too much.

I'm pretty sure I stole some of the techniques I used from a tutorial I read a couple months ago, I can't for the life of me remember who's it is. I probably did it wrong too ;D

Map here, too big for CG: http://h.imagehost.org/view/0801/elenden2

All comments are appreciated.

More info on what I'm doing can be found in the first and second posts of this thread, if anyone is interested. I haven't updated in awhile, so it's not entirely current. Also some of my icons are there.