Pathing is the process of determining how a mobile object, creature, or character will move from their current location to their assigned destination or target. This can be a single straight line disregarding any potential obstacles crossing that path, but is more commonly a combinations of straight lines around obstacles to avoid obstructions. Pathing does not take body blocking into account.
In general, there are restrictions to successful pathing calculations, such as:
- If the target destination is not within compass range of the departure location, pathing will often default to a single straight line towards it.
- If the target destination is within compass range of the departure location, but the shortest possible route is not (fully) visible on the compass, pathing will often be disregarded and no movement will follow.
- Primarily in Guild Wars Prophecies, many stationary obstacles are not checked for when calculating the shortest path.
- When stationary characters or creatures are obstructing a calculated path (also known as body blocking), the traversing targets will attempt to make their way around occasionally. If this appears to be a fruitless effort, the movement will halt until further notice.
Using the aforementioned limitations, players can choose to use pathing and the lack of its efficiency to their advantage. Enemies will always make their way towards their targets, most usually in a straight line until they can activate skills or attacks. Using this in combination with present terrain and other obstructions, it is possible to obstruct their projectiles and other line of sight-related skills, as well as keeping enemies clumped together to have them prone to area of effect skills.