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[Column] Guild Wars 2: Go and Explore

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,649MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

One of the larger themes for Guild Wars 2 is the idea of exploration. In our latest GW2 column, we take a look at exploration in all its various forms. Check it out before leaving your thoughts in the comments.

I love when games add in some lore, and let you walk around in a world to see some of the great landscapes that you hear or read about.  You used to find this in only traditional RPG games, but now games of all genres are using this tactic to draw players in.  ArenaNet played with this idea a bit, putting in all these great areas to discover, you just have to find them first instead of waiting for them to find you.

Read more of David North's Guild Wars 2: Go and Explore.

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While discovering a node, you could discover a dark and eerie looking cave.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • MeleagarMeleagar Nunyadambidness, TXPosts: 407Member
    GW2 provides explorers with real devotion and love, not just throw-away stuff. When you can level just about as easy via exploring as anything else, you know your playstyle has been actually respected by a game company.
  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    REALITY CHECK

  • KenrithKenrith Shelbyville, KYPosts: 11Member
    See we already have haters. You must be blind.
  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    I just love the fact there are so many hidden areas in GW2 that are not marked on the map and require you to explore each zone to find.

     

    I've never been much of an explorer in games but I find myself strangely compelled to check everywhere in GW2 which says something in itself.

  • mark2123mark2123 LondonPosts: 308Member Uncommon

    Love the game, but I would prefer hearts, vistas, waypoints and discovery areas to be hidden until found - not marked on the map to spoon feed me their location ie scouts giving them away etc.

    if you'd never been there, you wouldn't know where to find them.

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,661Member Uncommon

    @Thillian,

    As I said in another thread. I can go grab a map of my state or whatever and see the cities on the map. It doesnt mean I know the details of everything between or wont find anything interesting.

    Even with some stuff marked on the map, there is still plenty to find on your own. Theres jumping puzzles, triggers to DEs that dont occur automatically, hidden niches where youll find tough groups of mobs gathered together with some sort of boss at the end and treasure chests or rich ore nodes, and just really cool loking and fun places to run through and see. None of those things are marked on the map. You find them by actually paying attentiont to your surroundings and exploring to find hidden paths/tunnels/caves and stuff. I laugh at the people who simply walk from Point A to Point B only focusing on getting to point B, then claiming there arent things to explore and discover. Youre only getting your hand held and being lead from place to place if you let it happen.

  • vee41vee41 TamperePosts: 191Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    While there are markers, there are loads of stuff that is not marked in anyway. Found some good things just by wandering to some place that on map had absolutely nothing interesting going on.

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member
    I personally love the door that you have to emote to get into that was a nice touch.
  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    There are many areas that are not marked. I guess if you have played the game, you must not have looked around enough.

     

    The world is already larger than any other game out there (the world is small - smoking something?).

     

    I should put this up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jdyAXWj3YAM

     

    That video explains it all!!

    image

    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  • UnshraUnshra Hanover, MDPosts: 382Member

    The one thing I found out was that jumping puzzles (which I enjoy) and Cherry MX Red keys don't mix in Guild Wars 2. Due to how sensitive my keys are I often found my character evading to his death. Disabling double tap fixed that of course. ;-P

    image
    Because flying a Minmatar ship is like going down a flight of stairs on an office chair while firing an Uzi.

  • AdelbernAdelbern Philadelphia, PAPosts: 85Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    He is IGNORANT!!!

    This is from wiki: "Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge)."

    Last night my guild hosted an event with prizes, all you had to do was to solve a puzzle but omg that puzzle wasn't as easy as most think let's say not even tomb raider games have something that good.

    The puzzle was inside a cave and even the best of us took a good hour to solve it and the exploration was amazing also there was a spirit of a pirate that was acting like a guide but was lieing to you.

    You are either obvious TROLL or just an IGNORANT acting like you know shit.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member

    I've found underground dungeon in WvW to be particulary challenging and fun. It's a long jumping puzzle with loads of traps and hidden areas (and darkness!), and it's quite difficult, because you can get ganked by other players and most of the traps are player-controlled!

    This huge underground dungeon is not marked on the map.

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    If this is how youve been playing it- (and there is not right way or wrong way to play an mmo.)  then you are missing out on so much more GW2 hasto offer. It sounds to me that what you are describing has been done in other mmos for the last 5 years.

    you sir need to check your mmo thinking cap outside and enter this game with fresh new eyes.

    Iam currently level 40 and so far i havent repeated any goals or live events nor even left my race zone (much) unless its for my personal story.

    and my world discovery is only 9%!!!!!!

    it has been the smoothest and refreshing leveling experience ive had in any mmo i have played( and Ive played a FEW!)

     
     
     
  • frestonfreston orensePosts: 521Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    I get that you dont like the game and i respect your opinion...but saying that Gw2 doesnt offers any reasonable exploration , that the world is small (for gods sake, cities are bigger than some other mmos zones) and that it is too filled with mini atractions is so facepalm-worthy as to give blisters to your own face. 

    Wht would be an exploration based mmo in your opinion?  A vast desert filled with nothing , so it doesnt distracts you from pressing the W key for a few hours till you reach the end of the zone? 

    "exploration is if you can walk off-path a discover something that was not on your map before"  Imho, GW2 revolves around that concept. Heart quest and vistas are last min additions thought to ease the introduction to the game, not core systems. The game itself revolves around the idea of exploring the map, not knowing wht you are going to find. Many of the DE are mobile to enhance that sensation 

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    GW2 is way too structured to offer anything I would personally call exploration.

     

    Whole maps are marked with things like 'points of interest' and you get various points for going to those pre-marked points.  Besides game is zoned and those zones are cramped and tightly packed with various mark, points and mobs.  No wilds, no real discovering.

     

    It is more like completing pre-defined 'achievement' by going to all pre-marked points on map.

     

    So sorry way too structured for me to get enjoyment from this activity in this game.

     

    Want to what I mean by exploration?  Only recent game that had real exploration is Dark Souls.

    It is not mmo, but well no decently-funded mmorpg offered any exploration in many years already.

     
  • vee41vee41 TamperePosts: 191Member
    Originally posted by fenistil

    GW2 is way too structured to offer anything I would personally call exploration.

     

    Whole maps are marked with things like 'points of interest' and you get various points for going to those pre-marked points.  Besides game is zoned and those zones are cramped and tightly packed with various mark, points and mobs.  No wilds, no real discovering.

     

    It is more like completing pre-defined 'achievement' by going to all pre-marked points on map. Simialr to some solutions found in some single player games.

     

    So sorry way too structured for me to get enjoyment from this activity in this game.

    Like others answered and described before me, there are huge amounts of stuff to discover outside those markers. While the markers are achievements you still haven't seen everything the map has to offer, not even close. So many hidden goodies.. :)

  • thekid1thekid1 GroningenPosts: 789Member
    Originally posted by vee41
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    While there are markers, there are loads of stuff that is not marked in anyway. Found some good things just by wandering to some place that on map had absolutely nothing interesting going on.

    Like?

    Not trolling I'm genuine interested. All I found so far whicch were not marked on the map are events. Then again I rush through areas and go to other areas once it's visible on my map.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by vee41
    Originally posted by fenistil

    GW2 is way too structured to offer anything I would personally call exploration.

     

    Whole maps are marked with things like 'points of interest' and you get various points for going to those pre-marked points.  Besides game is zoned and those zones are cramped and tightly packed with various mark, points and mobs.  No wilds, no real discovering.

     

    It is more like completing pre-defined 'achievement' by going to all pre-marked points on map. Simialr to some solutions found in some single player games.

     

    So sorry way too structured for me to get enjoyment from this activity in this game.

    Like others answered and described before me, there are huge amounts of stuff to discover outside those markers. While the markers are achievements you still haven't seen everything the map has to offer, not even close. So many hidden goodies.. :)

     

    I found some of them.  Like some puzzles. I found 3 of them in just Lion'sArch.

    Still having some miniority % of things non-marked when most is marked is not good enough.

     

    I am not hating on GW2.  I know that for you and seriously alot of people this kind of exploration is very nice and enjoyable thing.  Good for you ! No irony here.

     

    I am just generally way too tired with games being too structured and too hand-holding. Like having markers for majrority of things, arrows pointing you diretion, various highlights in-game so you don't miss it.

    Like for me it was huge letdown in GW2 that Dynamic Events are marked on the map and mini-map.  I was naively hoping that only way to find DE's would be either stuble on them accidently or talk / being asked to help from players.

    Well I was hoping that DE's would be rarer occurence but that they would be more complex, bigger and that they would impact world for far longer (think days) rather than being very frequent and in huge majority simple, fast fights on short timer (occuring every 10-60 minutes).

     

    So GW2 is nice game, but way too structured and hand holding and implemetning it's features in very diffrent way that I hoped it will.

    Well I was way too naive though - since GW2 is huge costly project made to attract very big mainstream playerbase and fight for millions of users.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by thekid1
    Originally posted by vee41
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    While there are markers, there are loads of stuff that is not marked in anyway. Found some good things just by wandering to some place that on map had absolutely nothing interesting going on.

    Like?

    Not trolling I'm genuine interested. All I found so far whicch were not marked on the map are events. Then again I rush through areas and go to other areas once it's visible on my map.

     

    Well actually events are marked on both map and mini-map with orange circles and mark that 'show' what type of event is happening.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by thekid1
    Originally posted by vee41
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    While there are markers, there are loads of stuff that is not marked in anyway. Found some good things just by wandering to some place that on map had absolutely nothing interesting going on.

    Like?

    Not trolling I'm genuine interested. All I found so far whicch were not marked on the map are events. Then again I rush through areas and go to other areas once it's visible on my map.

     

    Well actually events are marked on both map and mini-map with orange circles and mark that 'show' what type of event is happening.

    But only those that are close to you or you found about by local NPC.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest.

    I follow only TWO things on my map: Waypoints and Skill Challenges

     

    otherwise, go into a cave to explore -- it will not be marked whats in there  (unless some DE flared up)

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by freston
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    I get that you dont like the game and i respect your opinion...but saying that Gw2 doesnt offers any reasonable exploration , that the world is small (for gods sake, cities are bigger than some other mmos zones) and that it is too filled with mini atractions is so facepalm-worthy as to give blisters to your own face. 

    Wht would be an exploration based mmo in your opinion?  A vast desert filled with nothing , so it doesnt distracts you from pressing the W key for a few hours till you reach the end of the zone? 

    "exploration is if you can walk off-path a discover something that was not on your map before"  Imho, GW2 revolves around that concept. Heart quest and vistas are last min additions thought to ease the introduction to the game, not core systems. The game itself revolves around the idea of exploring the map, not knowing wht you are going to find. Many of the DE are mobile to enhance that sensation 

    I am an explorer at heart, and I dont think the game revolves around exploration. It's an insult to consider this game to be favouring explorers. The world is small, cities have a feeling of a stage (the houses around are just set-pieces, you can't enter them, most you can't even approach), the walk speed is slow and there are no mounts so it creates an illusion that it's larger than it really is. Even on your legs, you can circle the borders of any area in this game within 10 minutes at worst. And there are what, ... 16 zones in total - all made the same way, surrounded by impassable hills.

    If you asking me what MMORPG I consider to have a strong exploration, and it actually built around exploration, is Vanguard. And it's an insult to even compare these games in terms of their size of worlds and reasonable exploration opportunities. 

     

    REALITY CHECK

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Zeus.CM
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by thekid1

    Not trolling I'm genuine interested. All I found so far whicch were not marked on the map are events. Then again I rush through areas and go to other areas once it's visible on my map.

     

    Well actually events are marked on both map and mini-map with orange circles and mark that 'show' what type of event is happening.

    But only those that are close to you or you found about by local NPC.

    Since you're gonna participate only in those that are close to you then it is only what matters.

  • reichtreicht Austin, TXPosts: 41Member
    Originally posted by Thillian
    Originally posted by freston
    Originally posted by Thillian

    GW2 hardly offers any reasonable exploration.

    It is not exploration if you follow a mark on your map for the next Vista or Heart Quest. 

    Exploration is if you can walk off-path and discover something that was not already marked on your map before.

    The world is too small and too much filled up with mini-attractions and lacks any opportunities for real exploration.

    Promoting exploration in games doesn't neccessarily mean that you give a small treasure chest behind every three.

     

    I get that you dont like the game and i respect your opinion...but saying that Gw2 doesnt offers any reasonable exploration , that the world is small (for gods sake, cities are bigger than some other mmos zones) and that it is too filled with mini atractions is so facepalm-worthy as to give blisters to your own face. 

    Wht would be an exploration based mmo in your opinion?  A vast desert filled with nothing , so it doesnt distracts you from pressing the W key for a few hours till you reach the end of the zone? 

    "exploration is if you can walk off-path a discover something that was not on your map before"  Imho, GW2 revolves around that concept. Heart quest and vistas are last min additions thought to ease the introduction to the game, not core systems. The game itself revolves around the idea of exploring the map, not knowing wht you are going to find. Many of the DE are mobile to enhance that sensation 

    I am an explorer at heart, and I dont think the game revolves around exploration. It's an insult to consider this game to be favouring explorers. The world is small, cities have a feeling of a stage (the houses around are just set-pieces, you can't enter them, most you can't even approach), the walk speed is slow and there are no mounts so it creates an illusion that it's larger than it really is. Even on your legs, you can circle the borders of any area in this game within 10 minutes at worst. And there are what, ... 16 zones in total - all made the same way, surrounded by impassable hills.

    If you asking me what MMORPG I consider to have a strong exploration, and it actually built around exploration, is Vanguard. And it's an insult to even compare these games in terms of their size of worlds and reasonable exploration opportunities. 

     

    Vanguard was big, empty, and not worth exploring.  Yes you could run forever in one direction, but in a number of areas you won't see so much as a fightable NPC for minutes.  What is easier, packing tons of content into a small detailed area, or having a big empty dead area?  I can tell you that it is incredibly easy to make huge landscapes in 3D modelers, you use a height map and pretty much call it a day.

     

    GW2 has more to see, do, and find in every inch of it's playspace that Vanguard was able to muster across whole regions of wasteland.  I appreciate exploration, but only when there is something to find.

  • SilentstormSilentstorm Rahway, NJPosts: 1,159Member

    Thrillian I'll end your failboat trolling right here. Go in vanguard if thats possible and do a step count on the size of one main city. Then go into GW2 and do the same. Then come back here and make up another reason not totally BS! It's apparent you never played GW2 or vanguard for that matter and talking out your behind literally. And unless you come back in this post with facts your full of it. And as I always say to trolls who fail at valid points/stats/logic. YOUR DISMISSED

    As far as your opinion I dont call blatant lies opinions or facts they are plainly uneducated lies.

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