[GW2] Level Flow by Numbers

One really interesting piece to come out of the press closed beta test was this map of the content in Guild Wars 2. It appears incomplete not only with the “??-??” zone, but also because it is clearly missing a level 1-15 zone.  ArenaNet’s Martin Kerstein was nice enough to confirm that there will be 5 starting zones corresponding to each race (e.g., Metrica Province for Asura and Caledon Forest for Sylvari). So take these infographs with a grain of salt.

The first is rough flow that the players might take through the game. Gendarran Fields is already set to be a hub because it touches Lion’s Arch. The flow could centralize there and then lead upwards towards the 35-45 zone in northern Kryta.  Then there are two clear routes to level 80. One leads down to Orr through the Shiverpeak and Steamspur mountains. The other leads up towards what might be Jormag’s domain through the edge of the Blazeridge Mountains and Ascalon. I figure that many different stories will be told along the way. For example the 40-50 zone on the eastern edge is the Blazeridge Steppes ruled by The Shatterer, and it seems like the 60-70 zone in northern Ascalon is known as Regrown Flame map hinting at the Flame Legion’s domain. The level 60-70 zone on the way to Orr seems to be Sparkfly Fen, which clearly is a zone fighting the undead.

To put it a little more clearly. Here it is in bargraph form too. Now there are some discrepancies. I didn’t know where to put the ??-?? zone so I just threw it in where it seemed to make sense visually. There is also the question of whether the asura or sylvari will also keep their own level 15-25 zone (missing white box). The humans and charr have their own with Kessex Hills and Diessa Plateau, respectively. The norn appear to have one situated right next to Wayfarer Foothills, but two cities in the Tarnished Coast appear to share one on the way to Lion’s Arch. It should be noted though that the map above does not show a level 1-15 zone either, so it is possible that two zones are missing from the map above, or the ??-?? zone could fill one of those slots.

What is interesting is that it does appear, again, like there is a funnel leading towards northern Kryta, and then the players can choose their leveling path. More than likely players will be bouncing all over the place, and who knows where the personal story will send players. Perhaps one player might feel the key to Zhaitan’s defeat lies in using a weapon of Jormag, while another player feels the answer simply lies in the straight and narrow to Orr. Anyway, beyond level 25 it appears that each 5 level block shares with it at least two zones.
ArenaNet has publicly shown on late-mid level maps, and there is still quite a few zones beyond what people have seen. A whole zone dedicated to level 80 should quell a lot of end game murmurings, and this is not taking in to account the eight dungeons scattered throughout Tyria. As always buyer beware, given the missing zone(s) and ArenaNet’s love for iteration, treat this post as more of a fun infograph than the absolute truth.

–Ravious
like algae

11 thoughts on “[GW2] Level Flow by Numbers”

  1. The endgame qualms make no sense to me. I keep wanting to draw up diagrams for people to explain this, but it seems so obvious to me.

    In a typical level system (see: WoW, Rift), as you level, lower level content becomes unplayable to you. So at any given time, regardless of your level, you only have 10% of the total content in the game that is realistically available to you. 10% representing anything +/-5% of your current level.

    Add on raid tiers and gear and that continues past level and onto raid tiers. The idea is simple, as you progress in the game your access to content as a percentage of the whole stays the same. You will only ever have about 10% of the whole world that is worth playing.

    In GW2 as you level it’s Additive. If you Level up to 20, you don’t have to play level 16-24 content, you can play 0-24 content. So as you level you don’t change what 10% of the content you can see, you instead add on new content constantly. I’ll even give you that really lowbie zones might not be as fun as high level stuff for level 80 characters, but either way, a max level character will have by the very nature of the sidekicking system have more content available to them than any other player.

    There will never be a player saying “level 30-40 has not enough content to level” because a level 30-40 player has all of the content 0-40 to play with.

    How isn’t this concept not discussed more because it completely shifts the “wtf no endgame?!” conversation on it’s head. Zone based sidekicking means as you level you gain access to more content, without having to sacrifice previous content.

    1. Be careful because this isn’t 100% true. It is more true than an MMO without automatic zone sidekicking down to that zone’s level, but there is still a big difference.

      End game is about progression. Exploration of unexplored underleveled content is mostly about experience. Both are indeed “content”, but it is content with different goals.

      When people ask about “end game” they aren’t asking for unexplored content, they are asking how they can keep progressing. I figure that’s when we need to point to GW1 rather than WoW, etc.

      1. You might be right, that you hit level 20 in GW1 after a day and then can spend 100 hrs playing and still not feel like you’ve “gotten all the cheese.”

        But if I could flip your remarks around. I actually think the assumption these players make is that they have to progress to see new content, and that deep down the real goal is not progression but new content.

        In WoW and other games because once you start getting into raiding tiers the ammount of content you have “appropriate” to you at any one time is so small, players are forced to “progress” their character to see more stuff. I don’t think it’s about the progression, but those games are set up in such a way that it is the only way to see all the content.

        I think GW2 is saying “if you want to see more content go see more content, we don’t gate it off from you (either by gear or by over leveling a zone).

        I know this isn’t universal and there is always the “i want more lootz” guy, which is where cosmetics come in. But I will say a large portion of the “where’s my endgame” crowd are for content and are stuck thinking that content is married to progression. When this system fundamentally divorces the two, and for the better.

        1. The ‘I want more lootz’ crowd is 90% of themepark players. The ‘I want more exploration/content’ cries are a myth, or a tiny minority anyway.

          Look at the current WoW promotion. Skip all the leveling content! Is that to appeal to the explorer crowd, or the lootz crowd?

          1. It’s to appeal to players who want to skip right to the “fun” part of wow because in WoW leveling is a chore.

            It’s a bandaid to a problem that is entirely self inflicted.

            That’s my point. The only reason themepark players are “lootz” players is because that is the only way they can see more content. Once you hit raiding, the only way to see more raids is to get more loot. If blizzard made all the fun raid content appropriate for every max level character and removed raid tiers, a max level character could stop spending their entire game time worrying about loot and instead focus on playing the content created for them.

            I’m telling you, the “i want lootz” is a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

  2. There is no way that this is it for all the zones. They left out eight complete regions that could have multiple zones within them. The crystal desert, the dwarflands, ring of fire, maguuma wastes, sea of sorrows (did people forget we can travel underwater), blood legion homelands, magus falls, verdant falls. I also can’t believe they would have sections for the higher levels that were supposed to account for leveling up ten levels in one zone. It seems more likely a whole zone would be five levels. Going by enemy levels Sparkfly fen is 55 to 58-60 not 55 to 65. Just because there is one event about the nightmare court that has enemies higher than 60 doesn’t really mean you are supposed to level up in that area. I think it may be something you come back to do, and/or it may just be a difficult task thrown at you that challenges you to fight monsters that pose a higher risk. Tequatl is only level 58. I’ve never seen an elite boss in a zone that wasn’t the max level for that zone. I would hate to have to be in a zone for ten levels, and I think arena-net knows this.

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