Guild Wars 2’s End of Dragons expansion launches February 2022, with preorders live now

    
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The day is finally here: We’re getting our first look at Cantha Cantha Cantha! Yes, Guild Wars 2 is taking the wraps off its long-awaited third expansion, End of Dragons. We’re crossing our fingers for some launch details (as the expansion was delayed from 2021 to 2022 already), plus ArenaNet has promised “expansion features, a new trailer, details on the story and setting, elite specialization beta information, interviews with the development team.” And of course, we’re eager to hear from the team – and the new team leads, including a returning Colin Johanson – directly.

The official kickoff for the stream is at noon EDT on Twitch and YouTube, a few minutes after this post goes live. We’ll be following along and updating this post with the big reveals as they come!

Stream notes:
• Colin Johanson and Andrew Gray are up and talking about how it’s been 15 years since since Guild Wars 1’s Factions.

• Yes, “Cantha when” has been a thing for so many years now.
• Kicking things off with the trailer!

• Devs noting that the last storyline in Cantha came during Classic Guild Wars 1’s Winds of Change, but the continent hasn’t remain locked in time – it has progressed affected by the major upheavel players have seen too.
• Allies are back – Marjory and Kasmeer are back. Yes, Jory the Detective will be a big deal again. Aurene figures prominently as well.
• Highlighting different maps – Echovald looks gorgeous. Oh yes, my friends, verticality is here to stay. Shing Jea is topographical different, but still familiar. They’re trying to make everything usable long-term and mount-explorable.
• Siege Turtles! Pew pew. Yep, they’re back as a multiplayer co-op mount, so you can pick up your dudes and drive around, though passengers can do stuff too. And they point that the Cantha tech has evolved a bit.

• Fishing is coming! It’s one of five new mastery tracks, along with turtles and skiffs. The other two are apparently not being revealed today. Yes, you can fish in every zone in the game, not just Cantha.
• Oh yeah, skiffs are also a thing! They didn’t dwell on this.
• Sixteen new Aurene-inspired legendary weapons will launch with the expansion. Precursors are baby Aurene; Legendaries are adult.
• Strike missions are changing things up with challenge modes available shortly after launch. Associated rewards are getting a simplification/standardization pass across the game.
• There’s a new guild hall, this one in Shing Jea. It’s stunning, with gobs of water for fishing. The expedition for this hall is better-scaled and is achievable for smaller teams.
• Elite specs are Cantha-inspired of course and Anet says it’s “broken a lot of its rules.” The one they’re showing today is for the Mesmer – it’s a Virtuoso with a dagger. It’s not exactly a bard, but it does use bladesong mechanics in lieu of clones, so kinda! Anet says it thinks the Virtuoso plays like a different class. They’re going to hold off on the other class specs for now.

• Colin Johanson stresses that End of Dragons is not the end of the game. It’s just the next big step for the franchise.
• The team is upgrading the game to DX11. Expect beta for this later this year. More info in August.

• There will also be four beta events for the elite specs, open even to F2P accounts. The first one starts August 17th, with the Virtuoso and two more. They tease one of them:

• Couple of promos here for a gaming chair and Aurene statue.
• End of Dragons launches in February 2022 with prepurchases open later today. We’ll include the preorder info shortly.
• Quick tease for “new looks” for characters too.

PR has given us the go-ahead to post the whole press release!

Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons Whisks Players Away to Mysterious Land of Cantha With New Expansion in February 2022 on Windows PC

Reveal Live Stream Showcases New Ways to Play as Players Return to the Mysterious Realm of Cantha Alongside New Legendary Weapons, Personal Skiffs, and New Co-op Mount

BELLEVUE, WA – July 27, 2021 – Today ArenaNet and NCSOFT provided the first look at Guild Wars 2®: End of Dragons, the third expansion for the award-winning and critically acclaimed MMORPG Guild Wars 2. Featuring a host of new gameplay features and epic adventures set in the lost land of Cantha, End of Dragons will enrich the vast, subscription-free online world of one of the most enduring and beloved PC games of all time.

The new Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons™ trailer can be viewed HERE, while further screenshots and concept images can be found at the online press kit.

End of Dragons™ will feature an all-new story set in the mysterious island realm of Cantha, a multi-ethnic land of magic that is home to the oldest nation of humans in all of Tyria. First seen in 2006’s Guild Wars Factions, this lush region dotted by islands and exotic architecture has been closed off and isolated from the rest of the world for over 200 years in the aftermath of The Jade Wind, a magical curse that petrified everything it touched and devastated the southeastern coastal regions. Canthan innovators have long sought practical applications for the material now known as “dragonjade,” achieving solutions undreamed of elsewhere in the world thanks to this vast store of magical energy. But the dragon cycle that has sustained and blighted Tyria for ages is collapsing…

“We’re incredibly excited to bring players back to the realm of Cantha for the first time in 15 years,” said Colin Johansen, studio director. “End of Dragons represents the realization of the entire development team’s passion for Guild Wars 2, and our continued commitment to creating quality content for players old and new.”

Players will take their first steps in rediscovering this hidden land when End of Dragons launches in February 2022. A roster of new voice talent, including Erika Ishii, Noshir Dalal, Ry Chase, Rina Hoshino, Tina Huang, and Sarah Sokolovic will serve as guides, allies, and foils on a new adventure that promises to reveal some of the Guild Wars franchise’s oldest canonical secrets.

End of Dragons will introduce a wealth of new features, activities, and storylines to the game, including the triumphant debut of the game’s first multiplayer mount, the Siege Turtle. Capable of hosting two riders, this walking war machine will bring co-op gameplay to Guild Wars 2’s renowned and acclaimed selection of game-changing mounted beasts.

New personal watercraft called Skiffs will serve as a mobile ferry for friends and guildmates, and for the first time fishing arrives in Guild Wars 2, providing a new way to interact with the fauna of Tyria, be it catching up some dinner or taking part in tournament events for new anglers.

As with previous expansions, new Elite Specializations for each of Guild Wars 2’s nine professions will provide new ways to play even maximum level characters, presenting new gameplay to master. All Guild Wars 2 players are invited to partake in monthly week-long Elite Specialization beta events coming to the game beginning August 17, and continuing in September, October, and November. Free for everyone, players can log in and create a new character during the beta period that will provide early access to the new Elite Specializations in advance of the expansion launch next year.

On top of a new set of Masteries, a new suite of third generation Legendary Weapons inspired by the iconic Elder Dragon Aurene will be available for players to seek out at launch, offering the ultimate heroic character reward, while new Strike Missions provide challenging encounters to tackle with a squad of 10 players. For the first time, challenge modes for each of the new Strikes will be enabled shortly after End of Dragons launches, which will put even the most battle-hardened groups to the test.

Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons is available for pre-purchase starting today at guildwars2.com/end-of-dragons for $29.99, and includes a bundle of pre-purchase bonus items, including a Flame Serpent Weapon Chest, a Shing Jea Mosaic Cape, a special Prodigy of Shing Jea character Title, a shared inventory slot, and a level 80 character boost. The Deluxe Edition ($54.99) comes with the standard edition bundle, plus another batch of exclusive items: a Shing Jea Dragon Boat Skiff skin, a Canthan Raptor mount skin, an additional character slot, and an Identity Repair Kit. The End of Dragons Ultimate Edition ($79.99) includes the exclusive Standard and Deluxe Edition items, plus 4,000 Gems, Guild Wars 2’s premium in-game store currency.

Additionally, to commemorate the launch of End of Dragons, ArenaNet is making available a special edition premium statue of the Elder Dragon Aurene, the player character’s stalwart in-game companion. Sized at 8-by-10 inches, this translucent crystalline sculpt of Aurene in her regal Eye of the North pose will be available for pre-order from the Guild Wars 2 web site between July 27 and August 20 for $120 plus tax and shipping. She will also come with a digital redemption for a unique in-game character cape with her logo emblazoned upon it.

ArenaNet and NCSOFT will reveal more about the expansion throughout the summer on their Twitch and YouTube channels via a series of Friday live streams, with many more surprises in store throughout the remainder of 2021.

The preorders are live now too!

There also appears to be a collection bundle if you need the earlier expansion set too.

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miol
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miol

I must say from what they’ve shown of the new maps, they seem to have cut some corners in the level of quality/details! E.g..: those jagged cherry blossom trees, reuse of Maguuma jungle assets, some of the simplistic looking buildings,… :/

I hope they are still work in progress, but usually you would see a disclaimer for that!

Not a fan of doubling down on Strike Missions as raids in disguise either!

Debbie Downer off! ;P

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Goettel

GW2 sucks. But for me it sucks less than any current MMO, and it does so gracefully. Voted with my wallet.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

Some people seem disappointed that there aren’t new races, legendaries seem like Black Lion Market weapon skins, new weapon types, housing, etc.

But..I guess some people had their expectations way to high considering the state of GW2? Did Arena Net get a massive financial boon I’m missing somewhere? Last I heard they had lay offs.

I get being excited and having dreams, but at GW2 hasn’t been exactly booming the past few years.

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SmiteDoctor

To be fair they barely have enough Staff to make Expansions and Content Updates.

There may be no New Races, or Housing but hey even at their lowest Anet still released more content than WoW. Plus ANet doesn’t sexually terrorize the women that work for them, or cause them to commit suicide so it’s all a matter of perspective as far as I am concerned.

I’m not trying to be comical about it either, it’s just the bold faced truth.

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psytic

I think people thought the rich parent NCSoft might share a little bit of that Lineage Mobile revenue to get this game back on track.

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Snacky

So excited for this expansion!

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SmiteDoctor

Could be promising, naturally they’re parsing out info to slow burn interest for the next 6 to 7 months.

Necromancer with a gun huh, ah well looks like another Elite Spec that won’t interest me; really hoping for a Shadow Knight some day, or something Dhuum inspired with a Hammer.

I’ll buy it when it’s released, not really interested in any of the preorder stuff, won’t Fashion War 2 and Canthan themed styles as Asian motifs do not interest me.

That Siege Turtle looks kind of fun.

If fishing is profitable I might do that.

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Winter

I’m excited but was a little underwhelmed with the presentation I was hoping for maybe a fly over but I guess they are possibly going to do that over the coming months. Still preordered :D

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psytic

Was hoping for housing and maybe like running trade routes on these boats or something more sand parky. This game having very little focus on end game raiding could excel with more sand park things to do in the world I think. Fishing and boats in general is a start though.

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Sarah Cushaway

Agreed. I’d love a PVE-focused sandbox game (with optional PVP, which GW2 has) and all kinds of stuff to do, like trade runs, fishing, housing, meaningful crafting, boats, etc… as well as actual monsters to fight, non-questhub world to explore.

GW2 -almost- had it, but it’s pretty shallow right now in most aspects. I’d play it if it would add some more stuff to do along those sandboxy lines.

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Bruno Brito

Soooo…that’s it?

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Dave

Got 6-7 months until release. If you go to the website, you’ll notice that not everything that IS on the site is revealed and there might be more we don’t know about.

That said, the process to get Alliances and DX11 done before the launch of the ExPac also it probably taking a LOT of dev time. Those are projects that change core parts of the game’s backend. The players won’t physically see most of the work from those projects, but they are much larger than you’d think due to how central they are to the games technical architecture

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Bruno Brito

I know there’s more things to come. I just don’t like them building hype to them cool it down.

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SmiteDoctor

It’s going to be a slow burn like the release of Heart of Thorns.

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Bruno Brito

Not looking forward to it.

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Michaela Anderson

Why not DX12? DX11 is already out of date, so it looks like I’ll keep using the DX12 mod.

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Dave

I’ll weigh in on this. The dx12pxy is similar to how the DXVK project translates older DX9 (DX10 and DX11 too in the case of DXVK) calls to DX12 or Vulkan respectively.

Converting the entire game to use DX12 is a LOT more work than it sounds. To put it as simply as possible – DX12 has more in common with the Vulkan API or Apple’s Metal API than it does DX9/10/11. It’s a completely different paradigm. Additionally, DX9 doesn’t have a lot of simple ways to upgrade to DX12, but it does have an upgrade path to DX11. From there DX11 has some paths that simplify the upgrade to DX12. It (and Vulkan and Metal) is a lot “closer” to the hardware than previous versions are. Like Vulkan and Metal, DX12 is based on AMD Mantle.

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psytic

Wonder how the new engine will compare to DXVK (Vulkan). I’m actually using that on GW2 on Windows and it works way better for me than dx12pxy

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Dave

It’ll probably be better than DXVK on Windows. For those of us using tools like Lutris or WINE on Linux, it probably won’t make much of a difference since DXVK supports DX9/10/11 -> Vulkan.

Side note: I completely forgot that DXVK can be run on Windows since most of the use-cases I’ve seen of it has been on Linux systems…. mostly through Steam’s Proton and Lutris’ managed DXVK

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psytic

Works well on Star Wars the Old Republic to in Windows. Really helps a lot.

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Emmanuel Carabott

There is also another possible reason that wasnt mentioned. Legacy support. If they switched the engine to DX12, they will probably have to maintain both DX9 and DX12 at the same time because its very possible some players might be running the game on video cards that do not support DX12. With DX11 that risk is substantially lower.

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Dave

Good point. I didn’t think about that. ANet likes to keep the game available to as many people as possible, so this makes sense.

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Sarah Cushaway

If they’d have added housing along with that fishing and skiffs, I might be tempted.

Buuuut since they didn’t–nah. Glad some folks are excited though.

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SmiteDoctor

You could get your self a personal Guild, give your self sole decoration rites when you unlock a Guild Hall, then level the skill line that makes decorations, then you have a small zone that you can decorate and level to your heart’s content.

There are people that do this but it’s a very long term project along the lines of crafting multiple legendaries.