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A Zone is an area of the game. For technical reasons the world of Tyria and other locations in The Mists are divided into zones connected by boundaries. Every area boundary will always have a sign next to it indicating what zone it leads to. An area boundary can be recognized by the sign or by the thin translucent white barrier that marks the beginning of the adjacent zone.
There are various types of zones:
- Staging area - a place you can meet other random players, divided into districts
- 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 creates a completely new instance sharing only the terrain of the explorable area (similar to missions).
"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.