Introduction To Roleplaying, Pt. II

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 04:16 PM

Introduction To Roleplaying, Pt. II
Interested in roleplaying in Guild Wars 2, but feel intimidated and don't know where to start? Here's a few tips to help out.

Small Group Roleplay

Perhaps you've made a few friends that are into roleplaying and you'd like to roleplay with them as a pair or small group, but anyone (be it you or your friends) still too intimidated to roleplay out in the open (publicly)? No problem. There are plenty of private places you can roleplay in – these places are called Instances. An instance is a copy of a game area, usually a small part of a larger map, that in most cases, holds up to five people (in other words, a full party; you and up to four other people) at once. People outside of an instance will not be able to see any text or emotes entered into the chatbox. Here is a list of instances to try out for roleplaying. Some are rather small, and some are much more roomier. There is quite a variety of instances, so there's sure to be something that'll fit the settings and needs of your small-group roleplay sessions.

Most of the time, to enter an instance with someone, you must be in the same party as them. As soon as one of the party members tries to enter an instance, a prompt will pop up showing the instance name and all invited party members. The prompt also has a timer bar (lasting approximately 15 seconds), asking if you want to join your party in the instance; if you want to join your party in the instance, click the 'Yes' button.

Home Instances

Each racial city (The Black Citadel, Divinity's Reach, The Grove, Hoelbrak, and Rata Sum) has an individual instance for your character. You can enter each instance regardless of your character's race. Besides being a good space to roleplay in, depending on what achievements you might've done or what you've bought through the Gem Store or got as a drop from a Black Lion Chest, you may have other resources scattered throughout, such as merchants, crafting material gathering nodes, a Belcher's Bluff minigame NPC, and other features that everyone in the party can use. The following Home Instances are:

Hero's Canton – The Black Citadel (Charr home instance)
Salma District – Divinity's Reach (Human home instance)
Dreamer's Terrace – The Grove (Sylvari home instance)
Hunter's Hearth – Hoelbrak (Norn home instance)
Applied Development Lab – Rata Sum (Asura home instance)

Other Racial City instances

These are other instanced areas in each racial city, some large and some small. These are also nice for specific roleplay settings, as each of these instances are themed by each playable race.

Ash Tribune Quarters – The Black Citadel (Charr city instance)
Blood Tribune Quarters – The Black Citadel (Charr city instance)
Citadel Stockade – The Black Citadel (Charr city instance)
The Command Core – The Black Citadel (Charr city instance)
Seraph Headquarters – Divinity's Reach (Human city instance)
Queen's Throne Room – Divinity's Reach (Human city instance)
The House of Caithe – The Grove (Sylvari city instance)
Omphalos Chamber – The Grove (Sylvari city instance)
Stonewright's Steading – Hoelbrak (Norn city instance)
Knut Whitebear's Loft – Hoelbrak (Norn city instance)
Council Level – Rata Sum (Asura city instance)
Snaff Memorial Lab – Rata Sum (Asura city instance)

Playable Content Instances

Most, if not all Personal Story and Living Story steps are open to full parties as well. In fact, after initially unlocking the Living Story chapters on a character (whether you did it initially when the content was first released, or bought the chapter through the Gem Store after the fact), many of the chapters encourage (or even require) people to form parties to help one another in earning the Achievements and rewards associated with the story chapter. There's nothing stopping you and your friends from roleplaying within these story instances after you're done playing the content, or even in the middle of playing through the content (though that may be a bit challenging when going after the hardest Achievements for each chapter).

Dungeons and Fractals

Dungeons and Fractals can also be interesting place to roleplay. You can roleplay in the starting areas for each dungeon, as there are no enemies there, as well as in the Central hub for Fractals (Mistlock Observatory). You can also roleplay in other areas of dungeons in both Story and Explorable modes and in fractals, provided you've cleared out any and all enemies (and if applicable, have all traps deactivated). There are actually interesting little Easter Eggs in certain dungeons and fractals that have a little bit of roleplaying potential, such as the hidden room with turkeys in Ascalonian Catacombs (seasonal roleplay, anyone?), and the dancing holograms in the Aetherblade Fractal (how about an in-character dance party?). The following is a list of persistent dungeons and fractals available year-round:

Dungeons –

Ascalonian Catacombs – Plains of Ashford
Caudecus's Manor – Queensdale
Twilight Arbor – Caledon Forest
Sorrow's Embrace – Dredgehaunt Cliffs
Citadel of Flame – Fireheart Rise
Honor of the Waves – Frostgorge Sound
Crucible of Eternity – Mount Maelstrom

Fractals –

Aetherblade Fractal
Aquatic Ruins Fractal
Cliffside Fractal
Molten Furnace Fractal
Snowblind Fractal
Swampland Fractal
Thaumanova Reactor Fractal
Uncategorized Fractal
Volcanic Fractal
Captain Mai Trin Boss Fractal
Molten Boss Fractal
Solid Ocean Fractal

Special and Seasonal Content

Unlike the dungeons and fractals listed above, there are certain special instances and dungeons only available during seasonal events such as Halloween and Wintersday. These seasonal instances include the following:

Ascent to Madness – Halloween dungeon
Tixx's Infinirarium – Wintersday dungeon
Toypocalypse – Wintersday activity
*Super Adventure Box – April Fool's Day/September 2013

*Super Adventure Box was released on April Fool's Day in 2013, was available for a month, then was disabled until September 2013, when it was open again for another month. The content/instance is currently disabled, and it is unknown when it will be enabled and accessible again. However, this is included in the list of 'special' content because the developers suggested that the Super Adventure Box content would return eventually, in case that should happen anytime soon.

Other Open-World Instances

There are several other instances found in the open-world PvE maps, three of which are based on the Orders. A party can enter these instances regardless of which Order your character has joined in the personal storyline (whether or not your character has reached that point in their storyline); however the two merchants available within each Order's Headquarters instance will only sell the unique Order-specific weapons and armor to characters who are already members of said Order. These three instances are:

Durmand Priory – Lornar's Pass (Durmand Priory headquarters)
Chantry of Secrets – Bloodtide Coast (Order of Whispers headquarters)
Vigil Keep – Gendarran Fields (The Vigil headquarters)

The other two instances found in open-world PvE maps are based on the Guild you are a member of. The Guild Initiative Headquarters in Lion's Arch can be entered with a party, as long as everyone is representing the same guild at the same time. The other Guild-dependent instance you can enter with a party is the Guild Hall, located and unlocked in the Heart of Thorns expansion maps (Lost Precipice on the Verdant Brink map, and Gilded Hollow on the Auric Basin map). The Guild Hall can be a great place to do some Heart of Thorns themed roleplay, especially if the guild you and your party is representing is specifically dedicated to roleplaying.

sPvP Custom Arenas

Even sPvP maps can be used for roleplaying. If you (or someone in your party) owns a sPvP Custom Arena, you could use the various maps available as a setting for roleplay. As an added bonus, if you need to roleplay a fight between characters, you can actually battle against one another. A custom arena owner can set a password (blocking most outsiders from entering), reserve slots for members and/or member guild(s), and more. Typically, an sPvP match has a maximum time limit of 30 minutes per match, but if you want to stay in a map instance for longer than that, make sure to set up a ready button and have everyone set it as off when loading onto the map together, so you and your roleplaying group can wander around the map and roleplay to your heart's content for as long as you want. For roleplayers comfortable with group roleplay involving more than five total people at a time, Custom Arena sPvP maps can be set to accomodate up to 20 people total, ten people per team (think of this as a twenty-person instance).

*Note – This only applies to custom arenas you or your friends own. If you try this on a generic or unfamiliar hot-join sPvP server (arena), you will be met with very unhappy people intent on actually PvPing outside of Unranked/Ranked Arena matches (or working on rank farming); instead of roleplaying. Here is a list of the maps you can include in an sPvP Custom Arena, some more suited to roleplaying than others:

Battle of Kyhlo
Forest of Niflhel
Legacy of the Foefire
Spirit Watch
Temple of the Silent Storm

Hopefully, this compilation of instances, sourced from all over the place will fit your small-group roleplaying needs. Have fun roleplaying out there.

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