Does anyone feel like there was a missed opportunity for a huge desert map? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Does anyone feel like there was a missed opportunity for a huge desert map?

Before the expansion, and while playing it, I always imagined what lay beyond the mountains to the south of ebonhawk, and what the crystal desert looked like. Mainly in my mind was the open sandunes of large deserts. I know that guild wars maps, and open world maps in general, are meant to be more or less abstract representations of a larger world, but that being said I still feel as though we never got that open dune field all good deserts have.

I'm not advocating for some bland, featureless, undulating textured surface for a map, and I've spent some time thinking about various ways it could work. There are a few spots in the current PoF maps resembling deserts in the classical sense, and anet have dotted small terrain assets and mobs between the dunes, so that at first glance you see a desert, and then it delves into more interesting features when you travel through it.
There's also the possibility of taking a multilayered approach, by saying that leylines or sand worms or both run underneath the area and a vast network of tunnels criss cross the area, creating some crevasses and sinkholes in the desert above.

I'd also like to bring some thought to some of the unique ways such a map could be used. The map could have two settlements, one at either end, and an escort mission between them. the mission would take an ingame day or even multiple, the mother of all escort missions across a massive desert. at the end, players are given between 1 and 10 gold depending on how long they escorted the caravan. There's also the potential for rollerbeetle traversal and races and adventures, speeding back and forth across the plains and off dunes with wide degrees of freedom.

all in all, I think that these kind of maps have their place, even in casual games like guild wars and that anet should experiment more with different map 'genres.'

Comments

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fipmip.7219 said:
    The map could have two settlements, one at either end, and an escort mission between them. the mission would take an ingame day or even multiple, the mother of all escort missions across a massive desert. at the end, players are given between 1 and 10 gold depending on how long they escorted the caravan.

    I thought people were against these kind of exceeding long META events?

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • Hesione.9412Hesione.9412 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @kharmin.7683 said:

    @Fipmip.7219 said:
    The map could have two settlements, one at either end, and an escort mission between them. the mission would take an ingame day or even multiple, the mother of all escort missions across a massive desert. at the end, players are given between 1 and 10 gold depending on how long they escorted the caravan.

    I thought people were against these kind of exceeding long META events?

    Yep, we would get multiple threads in the forums asking for the duration to be nerfed.

    The general attitude towards metas seems to be doing them for gold, rather than doing them for fun. Any relatively long (> hour) meta is routinely avoided. As an example, see Auric Basin. The only time I see all pylons active ahead of the octovine fight is when it is AB daily day. How often are Dragonstand metas done these days?

    I think we would also get complaints about a large dessert map. For the uninitiated, just search the wvw forum for comments about the desert map addition.

  • Fenom.9457Fenom.9457 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Don’t feel like anything was lost, because all the maps we got were fantastic and it’s never too late to get that big sand dune one you speak of. I’d like that too, a map that’s largely unending dunes with not much but some enemies maybe. In this instance having less content in those areas of the map would actually be good and build the ambience. Maybe the mountains outside fields of ruin are fully populated with events and such, then a long desolate stretch until the desert highlands, with branded enemies near the brand storm and enemies like sand eels and such hidden in the dunes. I agree with the argument a classic desert for PoF would’ve gotten boring fast, but I would like to see one map that’s like this, just one is more enough. I think it would be really good to capture that desolate feeling of being lost in the dunes (even if of course the map isn’t monstrously huge and of course we have waypoints). I know people aren’t big on map-bound masteries but I think some manner of gesture in this map where you actually need to acquire water to traverse it would be cool. There’s nothing for miles but the odd cactus or dying tree, and every once in a while you find long abandoned trader’s carts buried partly or entirely beneath the sands from the last time anyone tried to travel this route.

    I'd rather keep going.. wherever the wind takes us

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Dragon Age Inquisition had a dune map... and, frankly, even with rock faces, chasms and caves it gets old really fast.

    Personally, I was content with the dunes we got in Desert Highlands, Crystsl Oaisis and Elon Riverlands.

  • Anyone who played SWTOR will remember the long quiet spaces on Tattoine. Between the hubs was a lot of desert and hidden in the desert was stuff to do. Not a lot of stuff but, it was there. The highlight being that once an hour balloon ride...

    I would be stoked for that type of environment in GW2 since we don’t have something quite like it yet, but GW2 has a lot of map environments done as good or better than other games so I have never really been left wanting for more.

  • Fipmip.7219Fipmip.7219 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 23, 2020

    I agree that people would complain about it, because what I'm asking for is pretty against the grain of guild wars design so far, and people would complain on principle. But I don't think that its always in developers best interests to cave into that sort of response, or rather the fear of that response, all the time.

    If I were designing a map like this, my main goal would be not to ask players to cross it too many times. If you've ever tried playing skyrim without fast travel, you might notice all the quests telling you to talk to a person on the other side of the map and then come back again, which should be avoided. I think this sort of thing can be done right, and if so, will be worth the open space feeling that you cant really get anywhere in the game currently.

    I cant really speak for anyone that is sick of deserts though, personally I feel like deserts can offer varied environments and that dune seas are one of them that we havent really gotten in any satisfying capacity so far.

  • Opopanax.1803Opopanax.1803 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I love the desert climates that PoF has, having lived in Utah and Eastern Washington for years now.

    However, I really do think that there could have been a very cool "sea of sand" type map. The trick would be how to make it featured enough to make it enjoyable, and that would be a challenge. I think it would have to be a meta only type of map, pushing a pve football toward a pyramid or something similar. I'm not sure what else you could do to keep it entertaining...

  • @Mungo Zen.9364 said:
    Anyone who played SWTOR will remember the long quiet spaces on Tattoine. Between the hubs was a lot of desert and hidden in the desert was stuff to do. Not a lot of stuff but, it was there. The highlight being that once an hour balloon ride...

    I would be stoked for that type of environment in GW2 since we don’t have something quite like it yet, but GW2 has a lot of map environments done as good or better than other games so I have never really been left wanting for more.

    Oh God, the Dune Sea. Ouch. Big and empty, with glacially slow mounts, too(1). That said, it would be ideal for Petey.

    (1) Marginally faster than a quarter of Petey's full speed. Not good on big huge maps.

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

  • @DeanBB.4268 said:
    "open dune field all good deserts have"

    That's just your view. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and I think the variety of desert climates presented in PoF is good. To me, endless dunes would not be a realistic representation.

    +1 for this.

    The late Mrs Cynic lived all across the US Desert Southwest in her youth, and she had much to say on the subject of deserts and what they look like (and above all that this or that Western was not filmed where the setting supposedly happened because the desert in SoCal doesn't look like the desert in New Mexico or west Texas).

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

  • Incar.7358Incar.7358 Member ✭✭✭

    Connecting Elona to the rest of Tyria so you don't have to airship/wp down there would be nice, and a map like you're describing would really set the atmosphere. I'm not against it.

    Perhaps have a different event, or mix it up: the escort mission leads to the centre of the map where a large sinkhole is, and in the sinkhole is a meta-level boss worth fighting for some good rewards. After the event the caravan you're escorting gets taken the rest of the way by other NPCs. That way it doesn't take so long as you're not traversing the whole map - only to the centre - and it satisfies tickboxes for having something worth doing there.

  • Nephalem.8921Nephalem.8921 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Just make it a giant beetle racing track with decent rewards.

  • Hesione.9412Hesione.9412 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Hesione.9412 said:

    @kharmin.7683 said:

    @Fipmip.7219 said:
    The map could have two settlements, one at either end, and an escort mission between them. the mission would take an ingame day or even multiple, the mother of all escort missions across a massive desert. at the end, players are given between 1 and 10 gold depending on how long they escorted the caravan.

    I thought people were against these kind of exceeding long META events?

    Yep, we would get multiple threads in the forums asking for the duration to be nerfed.

    The general attitude towards metas seems to be doing them for gold, rather than doing them for fun. Any relatively long (> hour) meta is routinely avoided. As an example, see Auric Basin. The only time I see all pylons active ahead of the octovine fight is when it is AB daily day. How often are Dragonstand metas done these days?

    I think we would also get complaints about a large dessert map. For the uninitiated, just search the wvw forum for comments about the desert map addition.

    I only just picked up I misspelled desert.

    Could we please have one big dessert map? I would like tiramisu. You already have my address associated with my account. There is a local Uber Eats.

  • Ben K.6238Ben K.6238 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Steve The Cynic.3217 said:

    @DeanBB.4268 said:
    "open dune field all good deserts have"

    That's just your view. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and I think the variety of desert climates presented in PoF is good. To me, endless dunes would not be a realistic representation.

    +1 for this.

    The late Mrs Cynic lived all across the US Desert Southwest in her youth, and she had much to say on the subject of deserts and what they look like (and above all that this or that Western was not filmed where the setting supposedly happened because the desert in SoCal doesn't look like the desert in New Mexico or west Texas).

    They're going to look different between continents as well. For the Sahara and Arabian deserts, endless dunes actually is a realistic representation because parts of them are exactly that. For the Atacama, Gobi and Australian deserts such dunes would be much rarer or entirely absent.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Mungo Zen.9364 said:
    Anyone who played SWTOR will remember the long quiet spaces on Tattoine. Between the hubs was a lot of desert and hidden in the desert was stuff to do. Not a lot of stuff but, it was there. The highlight being that once an hour balloon ride...

    I would be stoked for that type of environment in GW2 since we don’t have something quite like it yet, but GW2 has a lot of map environments done as good or better than other games so I have never really been left wanting for more.

    I do had Tattoine, but that was the only area in it I remotely liked. I remember the first time I did the planetary mission, and went to the secret Cerka facility where there was a Rakata artifact. Good times :)

    To me Desolation kinda fills that vibe, somewhat.

  • Who knows maybe it's still possible.
    One day we might have to return to the desert for whatever reason and they could open up the entire scavengers causeway till against the Elon river lands and maybe even the top half of Dajkah above the sandswept isles which is one large area, maybe not as large as what I think the OP would want but still large. I really dig the idea of having a big map where travel and distance have scale and meaning. I think the idea may even translate well as a far shiverpeaks tundra map (even though we're concluding the Icebrood saga soon and probably not coming back north for a while) or even some kind of a savannah east of Elona past Dzlazana or east of Ascalon if that's what's there maybe even what's west of Heart of Maguuma.
    So all in all I think it's a great opportunity but whether its a missed opportunity who knows.

  • Fenom.9457Fenom.9457 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @otto.5684 said:

    @Mungo Zen.9364 said:
    Anyone who played SWTOR will remember the long quiet spaces on Tattoine. Between the hubs was a lot of desert and hidden in the desert was stuff to do. Not a lot of stuff but, it was there. The highlight being that once an hour balloon ride...

    I would be stoked for that type of environment in GW2 since we don’t have something quite like it yet, but GW2 has a lot of map environments done as good or better than other games so I have never really been left wanting for more.

    I do had Tattoine, but that was the only area in it I remotely liked. I remember the first time I did the planetary mission, and went to the secret Cerka facility where there was a Rakata artifact. Good times :)

    To me Desolation kinda fills that vibe, somewhat.

    You guys are making me want to play SWTOR lol, we're only supposed to promote guild wars here ;) I do wish there was still a clone wars era mmo though

    I'd rather keep going.. wherever the wind takes us