Following the Map Through Queensdale and Kessex Hills

My return to Guild Wars 2 has started off in a somewhat stuttering and haphazard way… which might well describe my wanderings in Runes of Magic last month.  I have not been very invested nor have I sat down and played for long stretches of time.

I’m going to use this logo for every post, you watch

On the flip side of that, GW2 seems pretty well setup to accommodate that lack of commitment and short play sessions.  Basically, the map and completing all of its various points and events not only gives me direction but also ensures I have something to do.  As soon as I log into the game, there is that arrow in the upper right corner pointing me at something.

Hey, go there!

Sometimes the arrow even points me to a scout who fills in areas of the map for me.

Here is a new place to go and something to do

This mechanic lacks the directness of quests, but in a world mostly lacking in what we might consider traditional quests, the map and its events and points of interest fill in the gap, at least for somebody who tends to be as goal oriented as I am.  So at times I just log in and follow that little pointer around the map, doing events and slaying things as I come across them.

Usually it involved centaurs.  Centaurs are into everything out in the human starter zone.

They’re even stealing our booze now!

And then as I wander about the map, going where ever the pointer tells me, I will hit a significant level, in this case 20 and the personal story pops up as a consequence.

Woo hoo, a round number! I get rings… and a story.

Big deal.  People… well, Bhagpuss… have said I can just skip the whole personal story thing.  The problem is that the personal story takes over the pointer of destiny in the upper right hand corner.  The arrow of whim is gone, replaced by a nagging reminder with only one destination.

Yes, yes, I know…

I could just use the map itself to wander around.  The points are marked, and when they are not it is usually because they are in an area of the map I haven’t been through yet… something that is obvious when looking at the map… so just going there will reveal them.  But I wanted my pointer back, so I schlepped around doing the personal story, as I had done after level 10, in order to get that out of the way.

That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a different, and perhaps more traditional, more quest-like set of things to do.  There were some nice prizes at the end, including a mastery point which even the game says I don’t need to worry about until level 80, which is a long way off.

Mastery point now for mastery later

I was happy with that and happier still to be back to my now standard method of operation.  But the personal story had one more trick to play.  Upon leaving the instance it dumped me out in the middle of two events which succeeded in getting me killed almost immediately.

Oh not that spider again…

The Toxic Spider Queen and falling from high places are my two leading causes of death so far in Tyria.  I have generally been pretty successful with the struggle mechanic that lets you come back from mortal injury, but that just doesn’t work when the damn spider is camped right on top of you.

Once I recovered from that I went back about my wanderings, following the pointer this way and that until I found that I had finished things up and now had two complete zones under my belt… for specific definitions of complete I suppose.

Two zones down, many to go

As noted, this works for the task oriented completionist in me.  And the pace of leveling seemed to be just about in tune with this method.  While I tend to look askance at auto-leveling systems, the GW2 version seems to work pretty well at this point.  In my last attempt at the game, I found myself not keeping up with the content so advancing to the next zone meant either being in over my head in the new content or re-doing the old to level up.

This time around I seemed to have been about right where ever I have gone.  Being a level or two up and having the game down-level me is better than being too many levels down to start with.

So two zones down, many more to go.

The uncovered chunk so far

And my friend the pointer was nice enough to direct me to my next destination.

Go here and stuff… also, damn centaurs

Along the way I had a few discoveries of quality of life improvements.  The first was suggested in the comments on last week’s post by Orthom, where he pointed out that I could send crafting materials off to storage from anywhere via an option in my inventory window.

The magic option

I was aware of the crafting storage, but had only deposited stuff there while at a crafting station.  That went a long way towards helping inventory management.

The second was a bit silly.  I spent a bunch of time walking back and forth in the game because I did not know that teleporting between waypoints for a bit of coin was a thing.

I can just go there for some copper?

So that made life a little easier.  I just wish I had discovered that when I was doing the level 10 personal story line, as that involved quite a bit of running back and forth.

And, finally, I discovered dyes in the game, so changed up my cosmetic armor set to be more ranger-ish in color scheme.

Green on green with gold and gray to off-set

And so it goes.  I am off into the third zone and level 30 and the accompanying personal story looms.

8 thoughts on “Following the Map Through Queensdale and Kessex Hills

  1. Noizy

    I wish I would have known about that sending crafting items to my bank from anywhere button. I would have saved so much sliver in my 60s.

    I’m now at level 73. I highly recommend the personal story missions because of the rewards. I also recommend buying new armor and weapons as 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, and 71. Buying armor/weapons at level 71 off sell orders cost about the same as level 41 armor/weapons off of buy orders.

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  2. ChipVA

    Reminiscent of the customary outfit of one of my Asheron’s Call Alts (the Greenmire Cuirass) with a matching setting of Chain leggings and, the piece de resistance, a purple Olthoi Helm.

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  3. bhagpuss

    Brief reply because I hate typing on a tablet…

    This post is an absolute textbook example of why no-one should ever assume anything in an MMO is “obvious”. If two players as experienced as you and Noizy can miss a core mechanic like the auto-storage of materials is it any wonder people who haven’t played MMOs before find them so difficult?

    That said, the mat storage is relatively hidden but I’m curious to know what you thought the waypoints were for before you found out they were transport. Just for revival, presumably?

    That spider is left over from LS2 along with the rest of the wreckage in Kessex. I don’t think it scales down – it was meant for zergs to kill. Kessex was always ugly but since the invasion it’s a real dump. In fact most of Kryta is. You really should go see Ascalon (where then charr live). It’s so much prettier there and there are no centaurs!

    As for the Personal story, I still haven’t finished it on even one character. Noizy’s right about the loot though. Also, as in any MMO, he’s also right about regular upgrades. You’ll be lucky to get the drops you need so a few shopping trips will help a lot. I doubt you need to change everything every ten levels though…

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  4. Jeromai

    If you’re ever bored of the story but want your handy pointer back, there should be a drop down option in the settings called “Content Guide: Disable Personal Story.”

    Obvious? No. Same with Deposit All Collectibles.

    Chalk up another vote for sight-seeing Ascalon. Charr culture has four legions – one opposed to the other three, and a bunch of unhappy human ghosts that are glow in the dark blue. Much more interesting than centaurs, centaurs and more galloping, trampling centaurs. And that’s what you’re going to find if you follow the human storyline all the way from Queensdale to Kessex to Gendarran to Harathi Highlands…

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  5. Pitrelli

    Great to see you playing GW2. I have been pc less for while so just got a new setup and GW2 was the first (and only atm) mmo i have installed. Absolutely love the artwork and graphics.

    When i played previously i was a bit ocd in map completion and did so on 3 characters… Really ended up burning me out on it along with the legendary grind. First time around though it was amazing. Once you hit 30 go to lions arch and you will open up transport to all the major cities via asura gates. This also gives you better zone choices. I personally much prefer the norn zones in the snowy mountains to level in.

    As for the personal story i quite enjoy it. Breaks up gameplay a bit even if the story itself can be quite bland.

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  6. busybob

    I also recently returned to GW2. I have all lvl 80s, but have the new HoT maps to do. Here’s a travel tip to save you silver and get you to Lion’s Arch. Click on the Castle (Rook-Like) icon on your top bar and go into World vs. World. In the starter area will be a gate to Lion’s Arch. Go to Lion’s Arch. Find your way to the area with all of the racial starting area gates (one of which will be the human one). You can then gate back to your homeland. You can also go to the other homelands and pick up easy XP exploring them, because they’re safe zones. So, no matter where you are, go to WvW, go to Lion’s Arch, and go home (if you want). You can also you use the crafting stations, bank, etc. in Lion’s Arch without going home. Shoot me an email if you ever want to group up and burn through some mobs for XP or want a guide to get some way points on your map for later exploration ease.

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  7. Bhagpuss

    Oh, on busybob’s tip, going to WvW is the fastest and most convenient way by far to bank, repair or restock on consumables. Use the “rook” icon or just hit “B” and pick any of the maps that doesn’t have a queue. You go straight to a totally safe hub with all facilities except craft tables (used to have those to but they got taken out). You can do whatever you need and then use the rook/B again, hit the little “Leave” WvW icon in the lower right corner and – here’s the best part – you will zone back to exactly where you were when you started.

    Incredibly useful when you run out of harvesting tools or bag space in a place you haven’t finished with yet.

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  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Nice tip.

    As for waypoints, I really wasn’t sure what they were for. That seemed like a travel sort of name, but I didn’t see any way to click on one in the game (as opposed to on the map) to go places. I didn’t know they were respawn points until I died, and then I thought they might just be respawn points until I happened to click on one when looking at the map. And I clicked on one to see if I could set the little pathing pointer I have been following around to point at something I specified or if it was just going to pick whatever it felt like.

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