Having played Guild Wars 1 a fair amount recently and as I’ve written before the lack of jump coupled with the extreme pathing did annoy me a fair amount. Now in Guild Wars 2 I get to enjoy the absolute freedom of movement that I expect from modern games. But GW2 actually makes some clever use of the desire to explore, climb and jump. The vista system, points of interest that give experience and a little cutscene video when you find them is a built-in reward for exploration. Somehow in the run up to GW2 launching I missed out on vistas as a feature, so it was a nice suprise to learn about them.
If you’re a completionist then finding these in every zone will be worth doing, plus they offer a different gameplay style from simply slaying things or clicking on things. Now of course SWTOR had datacrons as well. I think Bioware took the idea of treasure hunt a step to far. I very occasionally spotted the telltale glow of one. But I rarely managed to work out how to get the thing, they were designed pretty much as easter eggs that other players or a Wiki would have to help you find.
So far vistas have been easy enough to reach once you work out the path to follow. I’d liken SWTOR’s datacrons to hiding story inside raids. Nice for the explorers, but you have to be a pretty ‘hardcore’ explorer to want to wade through the endless horde of opponents to explore every square of a planet looking for them in the first place. Vistas are marked on the map in GW2 so you know how many there are and their locations – the challenge is in finding the way to get to them.
There is even some jumping not directly related to vista – like this floating stepping-stone bridge in the asura starting zone…