I am often stunned by the sheer level of detail that went into the design and implementation of Guild Wars 2. Yes, I love questing, but when I don’t have the time or just want to do something relaxing, there’s so much more to do in Tyria. One of my favorite GW2 pastimes is swimming (no jokes about the natural buoyancy of sylvari, please…).
GW2 really hit the mark here. Not only is the water beautiful and realistic, but swimming feels authentic. On my first full day of GW2, I spent over an hour just splashing around, swimming and exploring in a single area. I love that there is no timer for underwater areas, no oxygen meter to keep up with. Swimming is hassle-free. I’m not great at underwater combat; spear guns and harpoons really aren’t my forte. Combat feels as it should though, and I have to admit, trying to fire an arrow or swing a greatsword would be pretty ridiculous in those situations.
I thought I would share a couple of my favorite splashy haunts, which I love for varying reasons. There is so much more than scenery to be had on your aquatic adventures (though there’s plenty of that, too!).
For the player seeking relaxation and peaceful vistas, I recommend swimming to the area just east of Laughing Gull Island along the Bloodtide Coast. Here, if you don’t mind fighting your way across the island, you will be rewarded by spectacular views and water that you just know is warm and inviting. The weather and the time of day play games of light and shadow with the water, the sky, and the picturesque islands directly opposite Laughing Gull. If you’re screenshot-happy like me, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the 360-degree beauty of this spot as you swim through the narrow channel (the chef in me insists on reminding you that there are sugar pumpkin nodes, lots of them, on Laughing Gull Island, though they’re surrounded by angry trolls — soloing them is not your best bet if you’re not playing a melee char.)
If you’re looking for more adventure and excitement on your soggy sojourn, look no further than Sanctum Harbor in Lion’s Arch. Yes, LA is a travel and trade hub, but it also offers water-bound wonders you shouldn’t pass up.
Old Lion’s Arch is sadly only accessible by water at this point. Don’t forget to check out the incredible detail carried over from GW1. If you don’t get nostalgic at the sight of the beloved lion statues, now guarding fish-claimed ruins several feet below civilization, you didn’t play the same game I did!
In addition to exploring the remnants of Old LA (*sniffle*), intrepid adventurers can also wander through sewer tunnels far beneath the bustle of commerce. (Rangers, you can charm an armor fish here if you know where to look.) The sun on the water is particularly nice around LA, and there are various little islands and rocky outcroppings to check out, including a vista gained only through asuran help. More on that another time.
You definitely won’t want to miss Diverse Ledges while you’re in the area. Swim over to White Crane Terrace, southwest of LA proper across the harbor, and climb the tall tower there. Not only will you gain the waypoint, but you’ll get the chance to perfect your cannonball. Yes, this is the famed high dive of Lion’s Arch, and it is insanely entertaining. Make sure to don swimming goggles before you dive, because who wants to hit the water in full armor?? Talk about sinking like a stone!
There are far too many fun watery pursuits in Tyria to list here. Give these a try and let me know what you think! What are your favorite ways to make a splash in Tyria?
About the author: Vine is a veteran gamer who spends about as much time customizing her characters as she does questing. Don’t let that fool you, though; this busy mom and author with perfectly dyed armor is deadly with scepters, bows, and snark. Find her in GW2 as Vine, and GW1 as Arashi Skysunder.