An area is a subdivision of an explorable zone. All zones, including cities, are subdivided into numerous areas, whose names appear in white on the main map, as well as on the top of the mini-map when the cursor is placed on it. Area boundaries are not shown in-game, but can be seen on the maps in this wiki. In reality, area boundaries slightly overlap those of neighboring areas.
Every map area (except within the cities) starts off by being covered, obscuring details of what the terrain is like, what settlements can be found there, as well as points of interest, waypoints and other icons locating service NPCs and other details. Entering the area from any side will remove the shroud and reveal it on the main map and yield experience points for exploration effort.
Areas are also temporarily revealed while talking to the numerous scouts whose job is to talk to you about the problems occurring in the surrounding areas and what you can do to aid the people there.
Some peripheral areas can only be accessed via well-hidden passages or access points. These are generally sites for exploration achievements or jumping puzzles. Discovering all the areas in the game is rewarded with several explorer achievements.
When a character first discovers an area they will occasionally say one of the following lines, depending on their race and gender.
|Asura|| More knowledge for me!
The thrill of discovery!
Ooh, can't wait to explore this place!
| I can't wait to explore this place!|
|Charr|| I need some space!
More to explore.
I'll need to scout all of this!
Look at that view!
Now this is interesting.
| Haven't seen this yet. |
Looks like new territory.
Can't wait to scout this place out!
Can't wait to tell my warband about this place!
I'll remember this place.
A whole new place to conquer.
More to explore.
All new to me.
Now that's a view.
Time to blaze a trail!
An unfamiliar place.
| Ah! Someplace new!|
I like new places.
Haven't been here yet.
A new place to explore! Can't wait!
Hmm. This is a new one.
Hmm. This is new.
My knowledge grows.
|Norn|| A new place.
New places to make my legend.
I shall explore all of it!
Seems a nice place for adventure.
| New land...? New land!|
A fresh horizon!
By Raven, there's no end to Tyria!
|Sylvari|| Life is discovery.
My destiny is taking root!
You can never learn enough.
New lands, new opportunities.
Exploring the world does have its benefits.
| I'll pass this along to the Pale Tree.|
Adventure in a strange land!
I wonder what's here.