The epidemic has caused issues for several developers, including ArenaNet, which postponed the long-awaited release of Guild Wars 2 on Steam last year in order to work on the big End of Dragons expansion, which is scheduled by the end of this year. Then it was postponed till early next year as well. Things are starting to get back on track, and we’ve had our first glimpse of what’s to come.
For those who haven’t heard of Guild Wars 2, it’s a fantastic MMO that has PCG’s Phil licking his lips at the mere mention of the dragon Mordremoth. There are a lot of dragons in the area. End of Dragons (I mean, you’d hope so) adds new gameplay elements including the region of Cantha, which is a reimagined version of a location from the first Guild Wars expansion, Factions.
It’s a lush-looking location, and if you want to get a feel of how it’s evolved between the two games, attempt to figure out which one is which.
In a sense, the greatest news is that End of Dragons will feature the game’s first multiplayer mount: the siege turtle. Let’s take the time to process it. You can sit on its back in a small throne with your buddy and control sections of it in co-op after raising what starts off as a little and quite a cute-looking turtle into a tank-sized reptile with numerous laser guns. That seems like good clean fun to me, and look at this gorgeous baby.
Because Cantha is a watery location, the expansion includes player skiffs for navigation and—drum roll please—fishing! It always felt weird to me that you couldn’t fish in Guild Wars 2, considering it’s one of the things I associate most with MMOs. These games require ‘downtime’ diversions, and this has always been one of my favorites in World of Warcraft and others. Anyway, you may go fishing today, and there will be fishing contests as well.
End of Dragons, like previous expansions, will provide new ‘elite specializations’ for each of the nine professions, basically, a new skill path and playstyle centered on a weapon that the player could not previously equip. These will be put to the test in beta events beginning on August 17 and going through November. There’s also the expected new weaponry, strike missions (10-player mini-raids), and a new set of masteries (the end-game progression system: basically, where all your XP goes once you’ve reached level 80).
The expansion is set to be released in February 2022 and will cost $30/£26 for the normal edition, with a number of super-duper versions available with various bonuses. You can also purchase a plastic statue of a dragon for $120, which leads me to believe that ArenaNet’s marketing team missed a trick: where’s the siege turtle plushie?