The Desert

November 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 8 Comments
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One thing I’ve noticed since launch is that despite all previous MMOs that I’ve ever played, Guild Wars 2 doesn’t really have a traditional desert setting. It’s got the pastoral settings of Kryta, the jungle settings of Maguuma, the mountainous Shiverpeaks and the arid plains of Ascalon.

Of course if you go to Orr and take in the view, if you didn’t know Orr had been beneath the waves, you might think it was desert. Very little living vegetation, rocks and sand everywhere, and overall a barren landscape that is in effect a desert. The big change that make it less of a desert, for me, would be the colour palettes. Cursed Shore is red and black, Malchor’s Leap is entirely blue, and Straights of Devestation is Orange. Those colour choices actually distracted me at first, it didn’t have me thinking of Orr as a desert, which was probably the intent.

Over time I began to wonder why that is. There are desert like environments in Guild Wars 2, but nothing you could solidly call a traditional desert setting. And interestingly with the addition of Southsun Cove or the Labrythine Cliffs or the Skyhammer PvP map, I noticed that some of these have areas that resemble desert or arid landscapes. So is Guild Wars 2 planning on desert landscapes in the future I wonder? Or are they just using resources they’ve already built but haven’t used extensively?

I think that’s why I’m super curious about the desert areas of the upcoming Edge of the Mists map. For those that don’t know, it looks to be a fairly extensive WvW map, a waiting area (with PvP and objectives) for those who can’t actually get into WvW due to the queue. The map will have 3 distinct areas, jungle, arctic, and desert.

Someone pieced together the full map from the video below. Thanks to awesome mccoolname.

Putting aside the questionable amount of manpower put into creating something that everyone inevitably wants to leave, and an area that some servers (eg. my own server is perpetually Outnumbered, forget about a queue) won’t use, just how much of this desert area is brand new textures and art? How much is Arenanet putting into it?

I would say that Arenanet is well known for reusing what they can so I’m very interested in seeing this new desert area. It could speak to the future of Guild Wars 2. Everyone speculates about where we’ll go next. Will we tackle Primordus, Jormag, Bubbles, or Kralkatorrik? Will we venture to Cantha or a completely new continent?

I don’t think there is any real lore suggesting we absolutely will go to the desert, or anywhere else. Just a lot of open doors left in place in case they ever decide to. For me a real clue would be manpower put into art, models, textures, creatures and other resources.

Here’s a video showing off some of the landscapes.

One final thing I’ll add is that despite running across 3 zones, one of the least used settings in the game is The Brand. Gotta wonder if we’ll see more of that.

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8 Comments

  1. Ah yes the Brand, all the framerate drop of Lion’s Arch with none of the people!

    I think the Brand is one of the prettiest parts of the game, I just wish they’d get rid of the ominous LOOK PARTICLE EFFECTS MEAN ITS CORRUPTED AND STUFF part. The particle effects are the capslock of the Brand. It shouts at my eyes.

    • Well prepare yourself for a full zone of it eventually.

  2. Crystal Desert… *sobs* Elona… Screw Cantha, the Jade Sea is gone, I vant ze Crystal Desert!

    http://whyigame.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/gw-the-lonely-vigil/

    • I’d like to see how cantha has changed, and maybe they could improve on the miles of poverty stricken shanty towns…

    • I’d love to see Elona back. So many people ask for Cantha, but I’d much rather see the Elonian desert return. I miss bright zones I think is what it comes down to. So much of GW2’s areas are just grim colours, I want the Elonian desert to add some variety to that.

      • I don’t normally think of deserts as having bright colours but i’m interested in seeing elona, cantha, new continents, more of tyria itself. Plenty to choose from.

  3. […] Hunter’s Insight — The Desert. “One thing I’ve noticed since launch is that despite all previous MMOs that I’ve ever played, Guild Wars 2 doesn’t really have a traditional desert setting. It’s got the pastoral settings of Kryta, the jungle settings of Maguuma, the mountainous Shiverpeaks and the arid plains of Ascalon.” […]

  4. Reblogged this on The Muses Guild:ANDRASTE.


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