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Sandswept Isles landscape


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I want to say thank you for this episode.

I have not finished the story yet, but the wholesome, non-militarized take on the Charr is absolutely delightful and so unexpected.

More than the story, though, the map tugs at my heart. I am originally from Portugal, emigrated half a decade ago, and this map is so stunningly gorgeous and feels like home to me. The Crystal Desert has been rather good with that already, because the North African/Middle Eastern inspiration of climate, geology and flora are not too far from the savannah-ish places of the Iberian Peninsula where I grew up (The trees! The lavender shrubs! Such small things but they are so important to me), but this map goes even further in closeness. This map actually focus on coastline--more than the northern section of Istan does!--and for me it's a treasure. It reminds me of the falésias (cliffs) of Alentejo and Algarve, and there are little touches everywhere. The color, the predominance of cliffs instead of hills, the trees that can be easily Vachellia tortilis or Pinus pinea, even the fact that most of the water is to the west and south...

So thank you, Anet. Thank you to your graphics team for making this beautiful map feel very real and for the saudade it brings me.

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I'm enjoying the landscape as well, although the Olmakhan seem like they were lifted out of a sketchy fanfic. There are some implausible leaps in their culture, backstory and location, to the point that I'd never have believed it could be canonical 24 hours ago.

Rata Primus is amazing though. It's as intricate as the Kodash Bazaar but it's bustling with activity, like the Infinity Coil on a larger scale. And they've actually created a new charr face I'm happy to use, for the first times in ages.

Then there was that spot beyond the world... I have two ideas where that might be, but that question appears to be left unanswered for now.

I'm just hoping the bounties are less odious than Istan now!

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I really enjoyed this map while exploring. There are quiet areas that you can just look around at the beauty. It is a refreshing change from maps where mobs are attacking no matter where you are. I plan to go back and listen to the npcs as I came across a lot of interesting conversations. Very nicely done map.

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I haven't finished the story yet, nor have I explored the map completely.

What I DID do, though, was ride the canoe around the harbor. I mean, Just sitting there in the boat as sharks and dophins swim by as you lazily take a 10~15 minute circuit with a cub navigating the way, that was such an enjoyable moment that to me and already makes this map so amazing.

Well done Anet!

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I don't know about the geography of the map, but I think the culture is indonesian or at leat south east asian inspired.

I grew up in indonesia, so when first arrived in the village I was like "Wow, this place feels like an indonesian fishing village."then I look around the village "yup, definitely an indonesian fishing village." then one of the charr just fished a coelacanth. yep, confirmed.yes, indonesian shaman also claimed to be able to control the weather, and tried to appease the storm in some way.then the foreign invader, you know, dutch colonization.

I thought that was just coincidence right, I mean we're in Elona, then I saw beef rendang.Anet is just fucking with me at this point.

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@Endless Soul.5178 said:I haven't finished the story yet, nor have I explored the map completely.

What I DID do, though, was ride the canoe around the harbor. I mean, Just sitting there in the boat as sharks and dophins swim by as you lazily take a 10~15 minute circuit with a cub navigating the way, that was such an enjoyable moment that to me and already makes this map so amazing.

Well done Anet!

OOH I have to check this out!

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@Endless Soul.5178 said:I haven't finished the story yet, nor have I explored the map completely.

What I DID do, though, was ride the canoe around the harbor. I mean, Just sitting there in the boat as sharks and dophins swim by as you lazily take a 10~15 minute circuit with a cub navigating the way, that was such an enjoyable moment that to me and already makes this map so amazing.

Well done Anet!

I haven't done this yet ..... and I'm going to do it immediately on log in LOL I didn't know this was a thing! Anet should do more of this thing! :)

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@Purgatori.3645 said:

@Endless Soul.5178 said:I haven't finished the story yet, nor have I explored the map completely.

What I
DID
do, though, was ride the canoe around the harbor. I mean, Just sitting there in the boat as sharks and dophins swim by as you lazily take a 10~15 minute circuit with a cub navigating the way, that was such an enjoyable moment that to me and already makes this map so amazing.

@Endless Soul.5178 is ther ea POI for this? Im in map now and would like to do this! :)

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@Purgatori.3645 said:

@Endless Soul.5178 said:I haven't finished the story yet, nor have I explored the map completely.

What I
DID
do, though, was ride the canoe around the harbor. I mean, Just sitting there in the boat as sharks and dophins swim by as you lazily take a 10~15 minute circuit with a cub navigating the way, that was such an enjoyable moment that to me and already makes this map so amazing.

@Endless Soul.5178 is ther ea POI for this? Im in map now and would like to do this! :)

There is!

! Put under spoiler tag, just in case! The route circles around the island that has the mastery point.! Canoe route around Althoma! And in this pic, you can see (maybe..) my asura riding the canoe.! Zerina Rides a Canoe

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I love the new map but really wish they hadn't cut off the island the charr are on with an invisible wall. It bugs my map complete OCD when I can see area I can't go to.

I'm not a fan of the charr culture but love the new Olmakhan charr. I find them much more interesting than the military charr. I wish they had done them lore wise as having broken away from the rest of the charr before the searing. That way their culture wouldn't be tainted by the act.

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I love the scenery in the new map too. I gave my husband a laughing fit when I was standing on a cliff between the charr village and Rata Primus panning the camera around and saying "Wow, this place is so pretty! Well...that bit's on fire, but if you ignore that the rest is pretty!"

I've not map completed it yet so I need to do a lot more exploring, but I've loved what I've seen so far.

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Yes I love this map, especially the quiet water areas. Might be my favourite gw2 map in general.

I love the charr tribe and contrast with the inquest - nice to have a map populated mostly by charr and asura in a stunning blend of natural and technologically advanced constructions amd scenery.

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@Ben K.6238 said:I'm enjoying the landscape as well, although the Olmakhan seem like they were lifted out of a sketchy fanfic. There are some implausible leaps in their culture, backstory and location, to the point that I'd never have believed it could be canonical 24 hours ago.

Rata Primus is amazing though. It's as intricate as the Kodash Bazaar but it's bustling with activity, like the Infinity Coil on a larger scale. And they've actually created a new charr face I'm happy to use, for the first times in ages.

Then there was that spot beyond the world... I have two ideas where that might be, but that question appears to be left unanswered for now.

I'm just hoping the bounties are less odious than Istan now!

I don't know, if you look at the time where the split actually occurred it's not that much of a leap. The split happened during a time of charr rebellion against the Flame Legion, and more particularly the uprising of FEMALE charr as the oppressed minority. More importantly that same uprising had turned most of the charr against the shaman cast and magic users in general. The Sand summons are extremely reminiscent of molten effigies, and they are very clearly a shaman caste of charr (who in lore are originally described as a tribal people anyway) that neither fit in to the old regime (because flame legion), nor would have fit well in to the new (Because prejudice against magic/shaman). It makes sense that a group like this might have split off to try and find their own spot away from the rest of charr society. As to some of the finer details, the lore doesn't really get in to what charr shamans were like BEFORE the Flame Legion, but it's not too much of a stretch to think it was something like this.

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@Zaraki.5784 said:I like the landscape of the new map, the only thing I'm disappointed is that it seems a lot smaller than previous LS4E1 map (Istan), and I like huge maps.

It isn't, it actually covers more surface area in terms of square units... if zoomed out on my screen to max level, I am measuring 11cm x 8cm on the new map, compared to 8cm x 8cm on the old. That's 88cm^2 vs 64cm^2.

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@Sojourner.4621 said:

@Zaraki.5784 said:I like the landscape of the new map, the only thing I'm disappointed is that it seems a lot smaller than previous LS4E1 map (Istan), and I like huge maps.

It isn't, it actually covers more surface area in terms of square units... if zoomed out on my screen to max level, I am measuring 11cm x 8cm on the new map, compared to 8cm x 8cm on the old. That's 88cm^2 vs 64cm^2.

If still feels smaller to me than Istan, idk, maybe it's because it's easier to navigate in it.

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@Zaraki.5784 said:

@Zaraki.5784 said:I like the landscape of the new map, the only thing I'm disappointed is that it seems a lot smaller than previous LS4E1 map (Istan), and I like huge maps.

It isn't, it actually covers more surface area in terms of square units... if zoomed out on my screen to max level, I am measuring 11cm x 8cm on the new map, compared to 8cm x 8cm on the old. That's 88cm^2 vs 64cm^2.

If still feels smaller to me than Istan, idk, maybe it's because it's easier to navigate in it.

If I had to gues, it's probably because you are locked out of a portion of the map itself because of the giant Asura cube in the middle of it. That said there are a number of passages underneath the cube so that area isn't entirely dead space, but it can certainly feel that way. Additionally, the map feels a lot larger when you don't use the jackal portals that let you zip across it instantly. Try going from a timed event in hunting grounds to a timed event at say the Magneton lab without using any kind of portal shortcuts... it feels like a pretty hefty distance to cover then when your timer is ticking.

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I think it just seems smaller because it’s cut down the middle of the larger island and there isn’t much to do there outside of bounties and a select few events that are somewhat repeatable. There’s also just a lot of wasted space with pretty scenery around the inquest bases. The whole zone is pretty much just those inquest bases and there isn’t as much verticality as there was in previous maps. Plus the invisible barriers start pretty much at the waters edge.

It’s beautiful scenery but it doesn’t have much depth.

Not sure it’s a map that will keep people going back very often after they’ve finished the collections and it is rather odd that the island seems pretty untouched by humanity for being so close to Istan. Also untouched by branded for being right across from Kralkatorrik current location.

I noticed some of the terrain in the water has some pretty large gaping holes in it but I guess they didn’t expect anyone to swim to those areas since there aren’t any events there.

All in all, pretty but kind of empty for me.

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@Endless Soul.5178 said:

@Endless Soul.5178 said:I haven't finished the story yet, nor have I explored the map completely.

What I
DID
do, though, was ride the canoe around the harbor. I mean, Just sitting there in the boat as sharks and dophins swim by as you lazily take a 10~15 minute circuit with a cub navigating the way, that was such an enjoyable moment that to me and already makes this map so amazing.

@Endless Soul.5178 is ther ea POI for this? Im in map now and would like to do this! :)

There is!

! Put under spoiler tag, just in case! The route circles around the island that has the mastery point.!
! And in this pic, you can see (maybe..) my asura riding the canoe.!

Odd, your Asura's reflection in the water shows no boat.

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@Sojourner.4621 said:I don't know, if you look at the time where the split actually occurred it's not that much of a leap. The split happened during a time of charr rebellion against the Flame Legion, and more particularly the uprising of FEMALE charr as the oppressed minority. More importantly that same uprising had turned most of the charr against the shaman cast and magic users in general. The Sand summons are extremely reminiscent of molten effigies, and they are very clearly a shaman caste of charr (who in lore are originally described as a tribal people anyway) that neither fit in to the old regime (because flame legion), nor would have fit well in to the new (Because prejudice against magic/shaman). It makes sense that a group like this might have split off to try and find their own spot away from the rest of charr society. As to some of the finer details, the lore doesn't really get in to what charr shamans were like BEFORE the Flame Legion, but it's not too much of a stretch to think it was something like this.

I can follow how a split may have occurred, though it seems odd that such a split may have been led by a female charr, as I have my doubts females were part of the caste system at the time so they had little to gain by running away (and a genetic predisposition to run towards the fight).

Throwing away the fahrar system is another peculiarity. That system was created in order to deal with the aforementioned genetic predisposition for violence. How they can drop that, replace it with nothing, and somehow end up with a more pacific culture is unexplained and a little questionable.

Finally, there's the question of how they got there in the first place. In between the charr homelands and Sandswept Isles, first you have the Blazeridge Mountains, which are passable. South of that you have the Crystal Desert and Desolation, which are not. You can attempt to circumnavigate those, but then you have to get past Orr, which at the time is swarming with undead. And the charr of the time have no boatbuilding expertise because they've been landlocked for millennia.

They should also have much more limited metalworking expertise at the time, which makes that enormous metal structure on the beach something of a puzzle. If that's actually the vessel they used to get there, it's even more of a puzzle because it then raises the question of where all that metal came from, and how a small band of refugees transported that much over the mountains and assembled it into a ship. Keeping in mind that at the time of their exodus, that would have almost certainly been the first metal-hulled ship ever constructed.

Each individual factor can potentially be explained in a way that makes the story credible. It's the need for a coincidence of multiple unlikely events to explain the existence of this tribe that make it look nonsensical.

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