Zwift has released a major game update allowing Zwifters to choose between two worlds when they begin a session. No longer restricted to the scheduled world of the day, Zwifters can opt to ride in the less-populated “Guest Map” if they choose.
Home World, Guest World
The new functionality is straightforward enough. First: Watopia will always be available as the “home world.”
Second: the other four worlds (London, New York, Innsbruck and Richmond) will take turns rotating into the “Guest World” spot. The guest world schedule will be released monthly, much as the monthly schedule has been released up to this point.
The “Join Another Zwifter?” rider list changes depending on the world you choose, allowing you to see which world riders are in.
Why Not All Worlds?
Since its inception, Zwift has focused on the social side of cycling (and now running). They chose not to open up all worlds concurrently because they want to protect that social experience–they don’t want anyone riding alone in a sparsely-populated world.
People I’ve spoken with at Zwift HQ have been quick to point out that, in some sense, Zwifters do have access to all worlds at all times, since event organizers can hold events in any world. Zwift is happy with organizers holding rides on “off-calendar” worlds, of course, because those group events maintain the social aspect of Zwifting no matter which world they are held on.
World Hack: “Third World” Access?
Does the tried and true world hack still work in this new Guest World system? Yes! Whatever world you hack into will replace Watopia on the World Choice menu.
What Happened to the Airport?
When Jon Mayfield posted about Zwift’s plans for world choice back in November he shared a mockup of an airport which would act as the transportation hub between worlds. With no airport in tonight’s release I can only assume Zwift decided to scrap this idea in order to get Guest World functionality launched. And I think that’s a smart move!
See you out on course!