GW2 : Accidental off-the-grid exploration and a Vexa's Lab (shark tank) Dance Party

Qyn's picture


So I was putzing around in Fireheart Rise yesterday afternoon finishing up some map exploration when I noticed an enticing clump of butternut squash up on a cliff in the Apostate Wastes. It was not immediately apparent how to reach the squash so I decided to follow the edge of the rock face until I found a path up.

If I had gone right I would have found the way up and all would have been well and good. I did not go right. I went left which took me into a little rocky area, surrounded by more cliffs in a semi-circle. It was full of spiders. I was determined to blaze the trail onward and upward so I fought past the spiders, winding my way up the rocky outcroppings until I found myself in a little cave with a chest in it. Bonus! As soon as I set foot in the cave a veteran spider took issue with my presence unfolded itself from the ceiling.

After defeating the spider and opening the chest I decided to poke around the back of the shallow cave to see if perhaps there were any well hidden entrances to deeper secrets within.

As it turns out there were indeed deeper secrets within, albeit unintended ones (I assume).

I walked through the spider webs at the rear of the cave, expecting to hit solid rock wall, and much to my surprise I walked right through the wall and found myself in what looked to be an area outside of the bounds of the intended game map.

The whole area was chocked full of random bits of Asura architecture wedged in and around rock formations of various types. There were sheer drops with glimpses of water at the bottom and cracks and crevices glowing enticingly, beckoning me to jump down them to see where they went. I got stuck a number of times and had to port out of the area and then run back from the closest waypoint. The insubstantial wall at the back of the spider cave remained a viable entrance to this new secret area.

At one point I jumped down a couple of ledges, following the glow of lava I had seen through a hole in an untextured wall, and found myself standing on the top of a tunnel with an Asura gate at one end. As I was pondering the gate and wondering if it actually led anywhere an event notification popped up urging me to destroy corrupted test subjects inside Vexa's Lab. I realized then that I must be running around the exterior of the geometry making up Vexa's Lab, which would explain all of the Asura architecture and the gate.

I had completed the jumping puzzle as some point previously and remembered that Vexa had installed some rather large and impressive aquariums in her lab that were visible as you ran across platforms over shark-infested waters. I decided then that it would be fun to see if I could find a way into those aquariums from this "off stage" area.

I continued to explore the area and was joined by Caltha, Sigrid and Magres. After further poking around, falling into crevices, and screenshotting bizarrely textured areas we found a way into the lab dropped us directly into one of the shark tanks where the obvious next step was to hold a SHARK TANK DANCE PARTY!

Afterwards I wiki'd Vexa's lab and was surprised to see that ArenaNet noted the "alternate" entrance to the area themselves, "It is alternatively possible to access the dungeon via a cave containing several Veteran Canyon Spiders just east of Apostate Wastes. Going past the chest will give access to the roof of the dungeon and another fall allows access to the interior. It is possible to fall through a hole towards the north side of the dungeon roof that will drop you directly at the test subject event."

So it was not as secret as I previously assumed but still fun to explore!


Did Roger Podacter put you up to know, to find Snowflake?

N8's picture


Lol awesome post. You should put that on reddit for the community.

Brambles Everroot's picture

Brambles Everroot

Great write-up! (lovely narrative to it too!) Many thanks for inviting us to join you in the exploration! I second Nate's statement too!

I'm digg'n your concept of that place being "off-stage too!!! :D

Thanks for capturing the event in text and pictures!