Explaining how we use waypoints in lore — Guild Wars 2 Forums
Home Lore

Explaining how we use waypoints in lore

I've searched the wiki and a couple of other sources, but I was unable to locate the answer. Waypoints are obviously a huge part of Guild Wars lore, especially with season 2... I understand as a player we simply unlock the waypoint and we can just map travel to any waypoint that's unlocked, but how exactly does a character who lives in the world of Guild Wars use the waypoints? How does a person select the desired waypoint and even more so, how do they teleport to that waypoint? Has this actually been explained in the game in lore and I've over looked it, or do we not have an answer and just turn a blind eye to the logistics of how this actually works?... Side note, I do remember a quest in the original Nightfall game in Elona at the beginning where a young boy offered a quest that explained that his mother invented map traveling... Despite how strange this explanation seemed back then, it was just technically map traveling from city to city or outpost to outpost, ect... Does this little story tie into the modern lore for waypoints also? Thanks to anyone who knows the correct answer or where I can find that information just to satisfy my curiosity.

Best Answers

  • CrimeDog.5614CrimeDog.5614 Member ✭✭
    edited August 24, 2018 Accepted Answer

    Yeah, I understand what you two posted and knew all of that from season 2. What I mean is... well ok, let's suppose I'm a living character inside the Guild Wars universe. I'm currently in Queensdale no where near an active waypoint and want to travel to Rata Sum via a waypoint. How exactly would I do that, travel from a random position in the world to a desired waypoint? Do we have some sort of map/device that teleports us there, via this leyline system or what? Obviously as a player we just select which waypoint we want and our character is instantly teleported there. But how do living characters within the lore use this system. Does that make more sense?


  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Waypoints work through leyline energy and it's basically like we're travelling through the stream I believe.

    The living story leading up to HoT has a chapter talking about this I believe

  • Kong.3280Kong.3280 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 24, 2018

    The waypoints are basically taxi devices made by the asura who both developed and maintain the waypoint network.

    This is indeed talked about in Living World Season 2, as Blocki.4931 mentioned, Taimi tries to find a way to protect the network from destabilization caused by Mordremoth. It's also mentioned that the waypoint location are placed in areas where the leyline energy is strong, though not on purpose, and the waypoints become unstable when Mordremoth is attracted to and feeds on those areas for that reason.

    FREE ports within Not So Secret jumping puzzle! Chest, Dive Completion, Legendary Weapon Collections. Contact me anytime.

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


    When in doubt, read the wiki!

  • ShadowDove.8329ShadowDove.8329 Member ✭✭✭

    Based on what Aaron said, that kind of makes sense. Maybe waypoints are like asura gates, that you have to walk through them/stand under them to get ported elsewhere. But while asura gates are tied to a specific location, waypoints can take you to any other waypoint that you've previously unlocked?

    I have infinite patience, but I still have a threshold for idiocy.

  • @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:
    We're very short on details... but it's worth mentioning that every NPC who uses waypoints is shown running under one first. It seems likely that you'd have to travel to the closest device and then teleport from there.

    Your hypothetical character in Queensdale might be in for a hike.

    This makes sense. It would seem logical that you would have to be standing near one to use a waypoint. We as game players get the convenience of using our map system to travel even without standing next to one, but in lore and realism within the world the living beings would have to walk to a waypoint to use them, similar how in our world we have to be at a train station in order to travel to another train station via the train.

  • My thought was that you'd walk to a waypoint and have to verbally request the waypoint you wanted. So you're likely to only know the waypoints you've been to unless you go buy an asuran directory from whatever krewe maintains them. We kinda got that with that gemstore item that unlocks all waypoints in a region for you. Also, the reason the normal gates aren't gone despite the waypoints is because gates are more stable and can be used to transport larger objects. So you can ship merchandise by asura gate, but not by waypoint. It's also stated by NPCs that both means of transport cost money, not just the waypoints. While gate operators charge people using the gates, my question would be how the asura are getting your money from using the waypoint network. Maybe they mail you a bill?

  • @ShadowRy.7531 said:
    While gate operators charge people using the gates, my question would be how the asura are getting your money from using the waypoint network. Maybe they mail you a bill?

    :o mind is blown! Never considered this ether. Good theory on the carrier mail for the billing.

  • norbes.3620norbes.3620 Member ✭✭✭

    Automatic.. Throw some coins into The machine and then Ur allowed to select were und wanna go to

  • Moonyeti.3296Moonyeti.3296 Member ✭✭✭

    Most people need to walk to the waypoint to use it, but in one of the GW2 novels, there was mention that the heroes had a bracelet that let them use the network remotely (essentially how we players do it). I assume that as the heroes, we get access to those bracelets as well, but most people don't have them.

  • kasoki.5180kasoki.5180 Member ✭✭✭

    Note, any explanation for waypoints needs to take into account existance of asura gates. So the purpose and/or use of the two can't be the same or such that renders other obsolete

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 24, 2018

    @Moonyeti.3296 said:
    Most people need to walk to the waypoint to use it, but in one of the GW2 novels, there was mention that the heroes had a bracelet that let them use the network remotely (essentially how we players do it). I assume that as the heroes, we get access to those bracelets as well, but most people don't have them.

    Not... exactly. Waypoints aren't mentioned in any of the novels, but Snaff did have something similar, a portable gate. It was a coin that expanded into a portal that could be tuned to 'known places', but it was much more flexible than waypoints- he could apparently tune it to any place he had been, without needing a physical device on the other end, and he could take other people with him, even if they hadn't been there before themselves.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 24, 2018

    @Moonyeti.3296 said:
    Most people need to walk to the waypoint to use it, but in one of the GW2 novels, there was mention that the heroes had a bracelet that let them use the network remotely (essentially how we players do it). I assume that as the heroes, we get access to those bracelets as well, but most people don't have them.

    "Hole in a pocket", it was a coin that was basically a shrunken asura gate that could expand as needed. A similar device is mentioned in one of the blog posts, which makes it sound like Snaff's coin was the inspiration for the waypoint system. As Aaron mentions, there's no direct mention of waypoints in any of the novels. Though there's no mention of how old waypoints are, either; the first mention of waypoints in lore is the first scout you talk to in-game. The asura one says this:

    As you gad about, you'll encounter our magical matter-transportive devices, more commonly known as waypoints. They're mini-gates that — for a minimal fee — transport you across great distances. They're the second most convenient way to travel, next to our gates.

    The other starter scouts say the same but less, sans the Queensdale one which 4th wall breaks like crazy.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • As far as I can tell, there's some sort of wrist device that is used to teleport to previously visited places mentioned in the books, but no specifics about waypoints.

    When it comes to this, I wish you were actually given some device in the story, as a 'story' item that explains both why you can use waypoints remotely and why they are so cheap for you.
    There's story chapters in the Journal that have more than one item like the two halves of the amulet for the human orphan story, and many stories chapters do not even have 1 item for the fist chapter, so it should be possible to add it.

    Imagine how much cool would it be to have the icon of the device in the first chapter of the journal saying something like "You received this device as a reward for Saving Shaemoor/Defeating Issormir/Suppressing the Inquest/Busting Barraddin's Ghost/Fighting the Nightmare/Saving The Emperor from a Destroyer incursion. It allows you to use waypoints remotely, for a small coin fee".

  • Id imagine waypoints work not entirly disimilar to how current comupter networking works, each waypoint has their own MAC address (Unique identifier), The ley-lines being like "Wired" connections between each Node (waypoints). Using a routing/ mac address table containing all connected nodes, sending the data (player) through the ley-lines relayed through varying node until it reaches its destination, this all happening at likely the speed of light ?

    I Dont think we need to get into the logic of how to convert matter into energy but lets just say that the instructions are wrote in the "package" with from where it came, to where its going and how to reassemble the item at its destination as it disassembles the item and places the "energy" to reproduce it in its "casing"

  • Moonyeti.3296Moonyeti.3296 Member ✭✭✭

    Ah yes, thanks Konig and Aaron, I was years since I read the book, and now that you mention the coin that jogged my memory. I must have remembered the details and retconned my memories to the waypoints.

  • Rognik.2579Rognik.2579 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 28, 2018

    Pretty sure it hadn't been mentioned yet, but one of the differences between a waypoint and an asura gate is that you don't need to have been to the destination to travel by asura gate. DR to Ebonhawke is how players should first reach the Fields of Ruin, and early GW2 had players zap through LA to meet up in each others' start zone. Finally, getting to Ember Isle is through Taimi's gate built there, something that had to be built before the waypoints became useful.
    Meanwhile, waypoints are instantaneous transport from one to another. I don't think there's any lore on how we get there from in the field or when we get defeated. To the former, I guess a long walk and later mount ride; the latter, a helpful asura grabs us to get the healing? How it works is vague, and only the first scout of each zone and Season 2 address waypoints directly.

    There are a couple of underwater waypoints in Orr that do express that they'd work if the campaign is pushed deep enough in Orr, but it's more the scout mechanic still when the hearts had died away. I'm going to blame Taimi; she's usually at the root of these things. :p

  • Kerora.1345Kerora.1345 Member
    edited December 8, 2019

    Okay, so as I am currently writing a story for gw2 from about a year before the game starts I am having to think of the little things that are possible in the game and how they are possible, including the waypoints and the inventory. My take on the waypoints is that with the making of the waypoints the asura also made these amulets/bracelets to use with them. This amulet/bracelet can act as a multifunction map, waypoint selector and, ID.

    The asura have holographic technology, so it's reasonable that the amulet can act as a virtual map that records where you have gone and keep it mapped for you as you unlock waypoints to use (which this explains opening the map in gw2 and map completion). Upon opening the map, it shows you the areas you have been to, along with waypoints closest to you, and from there you can select a waypoint that you have active. The amulet itself is a portable waypoint, but instead of acting as a waypoint, it's more like a mini-satellite that latches onto a close-by waypoint's frequency and then connects you to another one to teleport, similar to telephone operators in the 70s(which explains the being able to port from anywhere you are on the map). As for the money, since the amulet acts as an ID (and a passport if you think about it, you know with porting from Rata Sum to the Black Citadel to Lion's Arch) when it's registered to your characters name, it is then connected to your wallet which is connected to the bank or perhaps it has an account card, not unlike a train pass you can purchase to use for as many stops as you have prepaid for.

    For those who want to perhaps visit family far away or go on a vacation, those people can merely go to the Black Lion Trading Company and get a one time use waypoint unlock like the regional waypoint unlock box to synch with their amulet. Depending on how much they paid for it, it's either permanent or not. Especially since a whole region box cost 600 gems. By doing some basic math based on the average number of waypoints in a region (only in the main Tyria map where map completion is gained) and the base amount of gems required for an entire region, buying an unlock for just one waypoint is about 6 gems or 1 gold and 20 silver give or take any discounts from buying an entire regions worth of waypoints.

    OOOO, Shiny!

  • Hannelore.8153Hannelore.8153 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 8, 2019

    I'll just add here that waypoints aren't cheap for the player, its just that we walk around with the Tyrian equivalent of thousands of dollars. If you go into the towns and look at the food prices you'll see they're all in the copper range.

    "In an interview by the Spanish community with Scott McGough, Angel McCoy and Bobby Stein, when asked about comparing the value of money on Tyria to that of on Earth, the best comparison that could be given was taking the lowest value item (they used an egg, 1 copper) and compare that to local grocery stores. For the average of local US stores, this would put 1 copper to roughly equal $0.15, and 1 gold to about $1,541.67"
    Taken from https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Coin.

    You get paid about $3k to do your dailies as an adventurer, presumably by the adventurer's guild you're in. And the cost to use a waypoint at level 80, at minimum distance, is about $30 USD, and that's alot of money for average people IRL.

    Hannah | Daisuki[SUKI] Founder, Ehmry Bay, NA | 22 charas, 16k hours, 28k AP | ♀♥♀
    Mains Mariyuuna/Auramancer(PvE) & Terakura/Healbreaker(WvW) aka Henge of Denravi Silver Invader [SUKI]
    No need to be best, only good and kind.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'm sure I remember NPCs offering to mark locations on your map, and then either an event marker shows up from further away than usual or a personal waypoint marker is added to the map in the game, so it sounds like your character does have some sort of map with them. It's never made clear whether that's just a sheet of paper or something more, but it would make sense for it to be tied into the waypoint network.

    In GW1 it was possible to use your map to teleport to any town or outpost you'd visited before, and the quest, at least in Prophecies, made it clear this was much faster than walking (unlike map travel in many single player games where it takes the same amount of in-game time and it's just from the players perspective that it's instant). There was never any explaination for how you did it - whether it was a magical map or a spell your character had learned or something else - but the NPCs who got you to do it made it sound like a widely known and used ability.

    I don't think they ever explained why NPCs couldn't use it to escape from dangerous situations or imprisonment either, it would have made the Great Northern Wall mission - where you have to run back to the fort after seeing the charr army - much easier. But a magic map could explain that - if you don't bring it or it's taken away or destroyed you'd be unable to map travel. So while no one in either game has ever said (as far as I know) that telelporting to a waypoint or using map travel requires an enchanted map I think it would fit all the info we do have about how it works, and an amulet which projects a hologram would be a sensible format (and explain how we can keep adding areas to the map without being given or picking up new maps).

    Danielle Aurorel, Desolation EU. Mini Collector

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings"