Guild Wars 2’s End of Dragons expansion takes us to Cantha in 2021

Guild Wars 2 turns 8 with underwater mount, Steam announcement, Cantha fractal, and expansion reveal

    
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There’s gobs of addenda to this post as the stream rolled along today, so scroll down to the bottom for the big news!

There’s a lot going on this week, what with New World’s test event and Elder Scrolls Online’s DLC, but this day truly belongs to Guild Wars 2 as it’s turning eight and dropping some epic new content to celebrate.

The centerpiece of today’s festivities include the introduction of underwater functionality for skimmer mounts; we’ll be diving into a new collection and mastery to buff up our skimmers for zipping through the water – under it, not just on top of it.

“Sibaha, a talented but arrogant skimmer trainer, has taken a squadron of skimmers with her on a quest to unlock their true potential. Players who have completed Path of Fire™ can head to any major city to start the collection to track her down, unlock a new mastery, and teach their own skimmer a few new tricks.”

Today is technically the game’s eighth birthday, and ArenaNet has already promised us a slew of gifts – mostly similar to past years, though the pink amulet and karma enrichment upgrade are an extra nice touch (and apparently you can . I logged into my oldest characters just before noon today and had my eighth birthday gift and anniversary pack already waiting for me.

Worth noting is that if for some reason you don’t already own the Guild Wars 2/Heart of Thorns/Path of Fire bundle, it’s marked down 50% through September 4th if you use the code ANNIVERSARY50, meaning you can get the standard version of the game with both expansions and a character booster for $15. (If you don’t own Path of Fire, you’re going to want it so you can get a skimmer mount and go diving!)

ArenaNet is running an anniversary dev stream right now:

Source: Patch notes
Update
So the stream kicked off with an announcement that the game is finally coming to Steam with full crossplay in November. Here’s the Steam page where you can watchlist it!

Definitely take a peek into the cash shop as well, as there’s a free gift in there too – and a new buyable turtle skimmer.

Update
Toward the end of the stream, ArenaNet announced that there’s a new fractal launching on September 15; it will ship with a challenge mode, contrary to most fractals. It’s called Sunqua Peak, which is notable as Sunqua Vale is a classic Guild Wars Cantha location, and of course, we already know that GW2’s next expansion is pushing us toward Cantha.

Update
#canthaconfirmed! So we knew it was coming, but now we know we’re going to Cantha in the next expansion, called End of Dragons, in 2021! There’s an official landing page up now, plus the trailer, which to be honest after two and half hours of that dev stream was very welcome indeed.

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Castagere Shaikura

The game was great before the expansions. Now it just seems like the game is all over the place with trying to please what’s left of the hardcore base. Notice the steam launch is only for new players. I guess they need more new money.

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Bruno Brito

Great is subjective. The game launched with terrible endgame, if you don’t recall. Expansions were actually a widely asked feature. The problem with them was the Elite Specs. The xpacs in themselves are fine.

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Fenrir Wolf

I’ve just heard that it thankfully won’t be what I (and a LOT of other people, actually way more than even I initially thought) feared. So many people reacted negatively to this that they ended up doing damage control and reassuring us that this isn’t the path they’re taking. I mean, with how many dragon fans GW2 has right now? That’d be… not ideal. It would be financial suicide.

I dunno how much people know about how dragon fans and Otherkin are but you’re looking at a lot of CEOs, bankers, and people with a LOT of money. That’s just how it is. There’s a lot of whales there. A lot of very easy money in fact as we’re an underserved demographic that’s easy to please and generous with our cash. That’s why I was terrified they were shooting themselves in the foot collectively with this… All that money. Why? Thankfully, this is not the case.

The dragon storyline is NOT over. More than that I can’t say.

What I will say for now is that any dragon fans freaking out over this? It’s still safe… For the moment. I’m going to continue giving them my money.

They were very sincere.

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Fenrir Wolf

I’ve just heard that it thankfully won’t be what I (and a LOT of other people, actually way more than even I initially thought) feared. So many people reacted negatively to this that they ended up doing damage control and reassuring us that this isn’t the path they’re taking. I mean, with how many dragon fans GW2 has right now? That’d be… not ideal. It would be financial suicide.

I dunno how much people know about how dragon fans and Otherkin are but you’re looking at a lot of CEOs, bankers, and people with a LOT of money. That’s just how it is. There’s a lot of whales there. A lot of very easy money in fact as we’re an underserved demographic that’s easy to please and generous with our cash. That’s why I was terrified they were shooting themselves in the foot collectively with this… All that money. Why? Thankfully, this is not the case.

The dragon storyline is NOT over. More than that I can’t say.

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Bruno Brito

Why are you assuming that GW2 biggest fans are dragon fans? What?

Have you spoken with every single GW2 player and made a statistical research? Or are you pulling those numbers out of anedoctal experience and thin air?

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James Crow

about the steam launch, its not the best move when they not allowing cross save like ESO and PSO2 bc vets not going to play there and new players going to see low numbers cuz lets be real, its an old game and the people who want to play it already tried it.

back to the expansion, i played GW1 for years but didnt like the whole players vs creatures aka dragons, as core fan i liked rurik, the lich king and shiro and more…
the only close thing to GW1 for me was TSW and we all know where is it now.

so story wise its look like we going in the right direction even if gw2 was lighter than gw1 lore.

the second thing i dont like its the gear progression but that’s not gonna change.

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Bruno Brito

the second thing i dont like its the gear progression but that’s not gonna change.

GW2 gear progression is the best thing the game has going for it. To the point were the addition of Ascended Armor was considered bad because it increased power by less than 10%.

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Chris Johnson

Are you kidding?

Are you aware that a good percentage of Steam users ONLY play games available on Steam? Guild Wars 2 will do exceptionally will on that platform, even though it’s a game created several years ago. It still has a very sizable population WITHOUT Steam.

Case and point: The Old Republic.

Released in 2011, BEFORE Guild Wars 2, it’s release on Steam towards the end of July was strong enough to make it the top ranked F2P title for the month. You will more than likely see the same happen with Guild Wars 2, which will only increase the games already sizable population.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Thought I’d never see the day GW2 was on Steam.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Seems to me the new expansion is tentatively scheduled for a November release?

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Yoshi Senpai

No, that is the steam release. The expansion is coming out next year.

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Bruno Brito

15 bucks is great to buy and i really want to but conversion rates from Dollar to Real are just disgusting ( 5x ).

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Fenrir Wolf

I worry this is going to be Heart of Thorns all over again. I genuinely think that this is what’s going to sink ArenaNet, if anything will see Guild Wars 2 sunsetted? It’s this.

No, not Cantha. The other part of this.

End of Dragons.

I’m in contact with a number of people who put a lot of money into Guild Wars 2. We’re dragon fans, we’re a loyal lot who tend to put a stupid amount of money into the things we love. For some time we’ve been telling ArenaNet that we don’t want to kill dragons anymore. We’d rather just redeem them, befriend them, and work towards creating a better world with them rather than against them.

I hope this title isn’t as literal as it appears. It probably is though.

Guild Wars 2’s dragons are beloved. Currently GW2 has seen so much money injected into it due to Aurene and Jormag alone.

Sometimes… I don’t know with ArenaNet…

Profitable Demographic: We love your dragons. Can we just… Can we stop killing them? It’s just toxic masculinity crap and we’d rather just redeem and befriend them. They’ve got such cool designs. We’d love to have Jormag, Primordius, and whatever others you have lurking around there as allies! Plus, hope is better than all of this death and despair in a world that’s stricken by a pandemic and dying of climate change.

ArenaNet: Announcing Guild Wars 2 — End of Dragons.

I can’t tell if they’re tone deaf, suicidal, or what. This is it, though, I feel. I hope I’m wrong. I like being wrong. I’ve been right about too many of my favourite games going the wrong way and when they’d die. I’m a bloody prophet. I hate it.

Let me be wrong just this once, ArenaNet.

But I’ve got that sinking feeling… Oh well, I was planning on checking out FF XIV now that they have the hrothgar. I think FF XIV is going to find itself seeing a sudden influx of profit.

It was good while it lasted. I really loved that game.

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Yoshi Senpai

Please end the dragons.

By time this comes out and has all of it’s patches we will have hit 10 years of them. There is a million other conflicts that will be way more interesting then dragons.

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Bruno Brito

Uh…what? We’re tired of the dragons. You don’t speak for others but yourself. I want to see GW2 focus way more on local/regional threats like bandits, pirates, Flame Legion, Inquest. They’re waaaaaaay more interesting than whatever WoW-ish draconic force they have this month.

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Bryan Turner

Yeah dragons are getting old, I want more antagonists like Palawa Joko.

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Greaterdivinity

I don’t think it’ll be quite that literal, but I also wonder if “dragon lovers” are really that key a demographic for their bottom line.

I’m not discounting the love of dragons or trying to harsh on it. Everyone likes different shit and that’s all cool! But at the same time, after nearly a decade of “dragons, Dragons, DRAGONS!” with only the occasional dragon-connected side-story like Balthazar or Joko, some of us are also very interested in exploring storylines that don’t largely revolve around a dragon at all, even if it would be taking the different route a la Aurene/Glint and allying with them.

It’s just toxic masculinity crap

What the hell does that have to do with killing dragons that were viewed, through ignorance or not, as literal threats to life on the planet? >.>

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treehuggerhannah

I don’t think the plotline will end with all the dragons being killed. It seems like the story has already established that would be a Bad Thing. I think they’ll just wrap up the arc.

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Axetwin .

Just because you “put a stupid amount of money into GW2” doesn’t give you the right to speak for everyone. It doesn’t give you the right to think you can dictate terms to the development team.

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Vitamin ω

Nobody tell them about Heavensward.

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Rob Hagaman

Just because you post walls of words doesn’t make yours the only opinion. There are plenty of us who LEFT the game because we miss stories of characters. Be it Char, human, whatever, we’re tired of dragons or some other huge creature being the center of the story. The Charr storyline was fine without dragging another dragon into it. The Sylvari were my favorite race…right up to the point they were dragged into the whole dragon mythos. I would be glad to see a land like Cantha, where the humanoid characters are the major part of the story, not some gigantic macguffin.

Seriously, if you don’t like it, fine. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. I’ll be replacing your character as I rejoin for Cantha…which has had a helluva lot more requests than “more dragons”.

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treehuggerhannah

Looking forward to Cantha for nostalgia reasons.

I hope they really will be wrapping up the dragons plotline. They’ve done some fun things with it, but after eight years I’m ready to move on.

I love that turtle mount skin!

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Greaterdivinity

That almost makes up for the Gryphicorn skin…almost : P

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Sleepy

Yay, new expansion! I really hope unlocking the underwater skimmer ability is nothing like the skyscale grind though, still mad at that.

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TomTurtle

Gaining the mastery points if you don’t already have enough and getting enough experience to fill out the mastery takes longer than the actual collection for the ability. It’s a bit messy right now since everyone is rushing to do it, but it can easily be done in a day. Nothing obscene like the skyscale collection thankfully.

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Axetwin .

For the Skyscale? It absolutely does not. The Skyscale takes a minimum of 4 days to unlock due to timegates alone. That says nothing of the almost 100 different locations you have to go to to either do an event or interact with an object. Getting the mastery points needed for the Skyscale is significantly less hassle than actually unlocking the damn thing.

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TomTurtle

For the skimmer’s underwater ability collection.