Last night in Gendarran Fields my ranger dinged 30. I opened the map to waypoint to somewhere and do something or other when I just happened to notice, way down in the bottom south-eastern corner, the faint white numbers "30-40". Must be an omen. All the other maps around my level are 25 - 35 but here's the Goldilocks zone. Hadn't I better go there right now and check it out?
It was a plan with but one flaw: there didn't appear to be any rational way to get there. So far, every map in Tyria has been contiguous with another of the level below it, allowing a logical, natural progression. This appears to be about the only place where that's not happening.
The map to the west is a non-map called Deldrimor Front, a place that exists in the world but not in the game. To the north-west it abuts the edge of Plains of Ashford, but there appears to be a solid mountain range between them. It seems the only possible access is from the north, through Blazeridge Steps, a map flagged 40-50.
|Waypoint, meet Portal|
As is the way in Tyria, another waypoint stands just across the border. Unfortunately, it's the only one between me and where I wanted to go. My first run got me about half-way before some sort of air-strike painted a red circle around me and sent me in one hit back to The Last Whiskey Bar. (That's the name of the waypoint, not some cheesy metaphor for death, by the way).
I dusted myself off for another run. This time I got 90% of the way, hugging the zone wall like the good old days in Kithicor. Unfortunately some devourers live on the far end of that wall and I dithered a moment too long before jinking to the left as I should have done.
At this point it should have been back to the bar. I was, as usual, lying in the dirt contemplating the map and thinking along these very lines when the now-familiar words appeared on my screen: "A noble soul is trying to revive you".
|Room at the Inn?|
By the kindness of strangers I was able to stagger on without further fatality to reach the tunnel that took me from the deadly Blazeridge into the merely dangerous Fields of Ruin. Here the creatures only took three-quarters of my health and killed my faithful Wolf-Bear as I ran full-pelt for the signs of civilization I could see in the deep south.
Oh, and what should I find inside the Stronghold but an Asura Gate. And where does that Asura Gate lead? Divinity's Reach. So that 30-40 map does have a level-appropriate access route after all. But where's the fun in that?