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A map zone, or "spawn" as they are called internally by some ArenaNet members, are a technical entity in the game world of Guild Wars.

They consists of a number of variables.

  • A name, which is not always unique.
  • A region to which they belong.
  • A 'Terrain block' that is used as the underlying territory.
  • A number that determines whether the instance is a staging or a combat area — staging areas are persistent, massively multiplayer, and can have multiple districts; combat areas are instanced and contain only the player characters that entered at creation of the instance.
  • A set of objectives in some of them (see mission.)
  • A long list of entities that are to 'spawn' in them.

Quests can further affect the entities that spawn.

Zoning and rezoning[edit]

Refers to moving into a new zone. Rezoning refers to leaving a zone and immediately reentering. This has the following effects:

  • Health and energy are fully restored
  • Any dead party member or pets are resurrected.
  • All bundles are removed.
  • Any minions are destroyed.
  • Both zones are recreated (which re-populates foes, redistributes bosses and chests, and resets any unfinished quests).

There are several ways to zone:

  • Using a portal, from another zone.
  • Via map travel to a town or outpost.
  • Through an NPC's dialogue option, which can be used to continue a quest, start a mission, or enter an otherwise restricted area.
  • Waiting for a timer to expire, when starting a mission, completing certain missions, defeating a dungeon boss or boss-like foe, or ending a PvP match.
  • By using the /resign special command, which, when used by all players in the party, allows the leader to return the party to the last visited outpost/town.

There are various types of zones
  • Staging area - a place you can meet other random players, divided into districts
    • Town
    • Outpost - including those for Cooperative Missions, Competitive Missions, Challenge Missions, etc.
    • PvP location - staging area before entering the arena to fight
    • Guild Hall
  • Instanced area - a place where your party gets a unique instance of the game
    • Explorable area - a map instance where you can kill monsters, vanquish, or complete quests
    • Mission area/instance - Some missions have an exclusive map, other missions share the same terrain with explorable areas.
    • Quest instance - while most quests simply take place in an explorable area with additional NPC/monster/objects spawned, some quests create a completely new instance sharing only the terrain of the explorable area (similar to missions).
    • Dungeon
    • Arena

"To Zone"[edit]

"To zone" means to travel through an area boundary or using the map to go to a new zone. Example: "Everybody ready to zone in?", "Just zone, all the dead players will come back to life." This has the same general meaning as the term rezone, with slightly different usage.