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Zone and World Isolation

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Starting off with Bloodstone Fen, and really taking off post-Draconis Mons, I've noticed that zones in game are becoming increasingly isolated from the game world. What I mean by this is that they are not accessible by their adjacent regions, i.e. Siren's Landing is not accessible from neighboring Straits of Devastation, but from some story convenience (airship, boat, teleports, etc.) This became very noticeable when, in PoF, we didn't take the desert gate in Fields of Ruin to the Crystal Desert (like many had speculated we would until PoF released), but rather an airship. More puzzling is that Anet has in the past built the world in an interconnected way, as we accessed HoT regions from the Silverwastes (which was a LS map that was also accessible from already existing maps).

Admittedly, this isn't a major issue. In some cases, it makes sense, like with Ember Bay. But at the same time I feel that the game world is becoming divided into regions that feel really separated and isolated. Crystal Desert doesn't feel like a part of Tyria or the game world; its an isolated world that feels completely separate from the conflicts and areas that players have fought in for the past 5 years. Even Vabbi looks odd on the map because there is a strange, unfilled gap between it and the Desolation. This in turn I feel makes the world feel incredibly divided, and it doesn't help that the divisions feel artificial due to the fact that the maps are giant rectangles or squares. It's essentially bad world building in my view.

The maps in Crystal Desert feel great in part because they organically transition from three or so different feelings; the free and non-Joko dominated areas (Highlands, Oasis), to a contested region (Riverlands), to Joko's kingdom (Desolation, Vabbi). There is a real great sense of progression here, which is robbed from the rest of the game world because Crystal Desert essentially exists in a vacuum from the rest of the world. What would be worse is that we're robbed of this progression in further LS maps, and just take airships into different regions of Elona, robbing us of the excitement of actually moving into a new area the same way I felt excited to make headway into Joko's kingdom.

Tl;dr: Airship travel is bad, it breaks up the feeling that we're actually traversing a huge and unique world with different regions and instead creates a theme-park feeling.

Not sure if this is a repeated topic, I don't frequent the forums a lot but I don't see it in the most recent pages. Sorry if this is a repeat.

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I get your point, but as far as the Crystal Desert is concerned it has been closed off from Kryta for roughly 250 years. There is also a place where an Order of Shadows agent tells us about a tunnel that leads pretty much straight up to Desert gate (or somewhere south of it at least) that is not safe to use because of cave-ins etc. I would have loved to enter the Crystal Desert through the Desert Gate, but the way it's been done is perfectly tolerable for me.

I agree about the gaps between maps, like Desolation and Vabbi, but I think that is mostly to give some leeway in regards to design. It would probably be akward if the maps were "overlapping" but there was a huge portal separating them.

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