In this guide our subject is The Coast, the third zone of act 1 and the first area that actually has some notable differences between the layouts.
There is a total of 9 distinct layouts for this area, or 8 depending how one wants to differentiate them. For the purpose of this guide, we will be separating them to 9 different layouts. Each of the layouts can be recognized almost immediately first by looking at the orientation of the entrance, and then the wall connecting to the entrance. There are few other different tells between different layouts, however each one can be recognized just with these two.
Shown below are the two different starting orientations for this area:
If you were to draw a line with an arrow pointing towards the direction the character is heading after exiting the staircase, in the Left Orientation it would be pointing towards bottom left corner of the image, or shortly put left. And in the Right Orientation it would be pointing towards bottom right corner of the image, or right.
It is important to recognize the orientation you start with, as you can deduct the amount of layouts possible immediately depending which one you start with.
If you were lucky enough to start with the left orientation, you now only have to worry about 3 different layouts, which in this guide we refer to as:
The first and easiest layout of the left orientation and of The Coast in general is the Top layout, where you will very quickly notice that there is no way to keep going North-East or East from the start, but instead it forces you towards South. From there the pathing is always as shown below (green line):
For the other two layouts of the left orientation, you can tell immediately which one of the layouts you are in by looking at the wall right at the start, but if you somehow miss it then there are later tells too which have been highlighted in the images below:
LedgeLeft is named based on the start orientation (left) and that the optimal pathing is through the ledge.
FakeLedge however is named based on that if you were to follow the ledge you would make a detour that would cost you quite a few seconds.
However, most of the time when entering The Coast you are starting with the right orientation, so it's much more important to be able to recognize them too. Here's the list of all different layouts that have the right orientation:
Let's start with the dream layout, the Pocket. You recognize this layout by seeing a small "pocket" in the wall and you are allowed to go directly towards north. You then know to turn immediately towards North-East. It is always orientated the same way (it won't rotate) and it's size is exactly like shown in the image below:
Now, let's take a look at 3 different layouts that start very much the same but do have differences.
In all of these 3 layouts there is open area generated directly towards North-West and/or West of the start. You can compare these three to the Pocket layout for example, where it doesn't have area generated towards North-West right from the start, but instead just North of the start. It takes a long travel before you are actually able to go further North-West.
Regardless which layout you are in, you start it by going North, usually slightly tilted to the West and scouting for the blocking ledge that forces you to go left. If this blocking ledge is seen, you know you're in the ZigZag layout and from there you just hug to the right side until you get to the waypoint.
If this ledge isn't seen within the very first few screens, you just keep north and go up the ledge the moment you can. It can be sometimes difficult to differentiate if you're in the Pistol or UTurn layout, and mistaking Pistol for Uturn will result in some painful extra running. Gladly, it's quite easy to tell the difference. By looking at the ledge generated (big pocket in Pistol vs instant wall connection in UTurn) it's very easy to not mistake these two anymore.
And then for the last two layouts that are the easiest to mix, and especially in the case of the Bait layout the result of misreading the zone will lead to a very long detour, so it's important to tell the difference. That's why Bait layout is named like that, because people often follow the ledge and end up running around the whole area instead of taking the shortcut.
There are 3 different tells you can use, but when familiar with you can tell the difference immediately.
The wall connecting to the entrance immediately after the start
Work in progress