Staging areas are enclosed, non-instanced locations, as opposed to explorable areas. They are enclosed locations that serve as a starting point for quests, missions or for exploring open areas. They also offer services for players that allow them to purchase/enhance equipment and meet and interact with other players. Staging areas are split into districts, although there may only be one district if there are less than 150 characters in a staging area.
In general, staging areas:
- Allow you to form a party, either with other human players or with the available henchmen.
- Allow you to trade with other players.
- Allow you to access your Vault Box through the Xunlai Chest NPC.
- Can be accessed at any time through map travel.
- Prevent player characters from engaging in combat.
There are 5 types of staging areas:
- The staging areas in Pre-Searing Ascalon have no henchmen and no Xunlai Chests.
- The outposts for Elite Missions have no henchmen.
- "When in town" in the description for a consumable refers to any staging area, not just those identified specifically as towns.
- While players are prevented from engaging in combat inside staging areas, this restriction can be removed from NPCs for certain scripted events.
- Persistent combat between NPCs can be observed in Ascalon City (Pre-Searing), Chahbek Village, and D'Alessio Seaboard. Brief combat can also be observed whenever a faction-controlled outpost in Echovald Forest or The Jade Sea changes hands.
- The last two Beta Weekend Events and the Factions Preview Event ended with the "invasion" of Lion's Arch and Cavalon, respectively, with players unable to fight back.
- Whenever a player logs in to a banned or blocked account, Dhuum will appear briefly to "reap" the player's character.