Happy launch day! Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons is finally here! A big, meaty chunk of content the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2017. Guild Wars 2 plays host to a wide variety of content types and numerous playstyles, and just about everyone should have something to look forward to in this expansion.
Obviously, everyone will want to begin by starting the story. When you log in after purchasing the expansion, you should get a prompt, but if not, open up your story journal and select End of Dragons. You will be directed to the Eye of the North, and from there you will follow the story and soon end up in Cantha. From there, what you want to focus on will depend on what type of player you are.
If you want to dive into a new elite spec right away
Hero points aren’t expansion-specific, so your options are pretty wide open. Both of the game’s previous two expansions have a good deal more hero points than the 250 that are needed to fill out an elite spec. You might consider hopping aboard a hero point train, which can frequently be found in the group finder for Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire zones, though a good number of hero points are soloable, especially in POF.
Cantha continues the tradition of having mostly soloable HPs, and the first two maps (Seitung Province and New Kaineng City) host nine hero challenges each, which will get you more than half way through your new elite spec.
If you’re interested in learning more about your new elite spec’s lore, be on the lookout for your spec’s icon on the map to talk to your specialization mentor. For instance, the Specter’s mentor is found within Shing Jea Monastery, and the Willbender’s is near Seitung Harbor. These mentors, like their counterparts in Path of Fire, don’t do anything gameplay-wise, but add some nice flavor to the world.
If you’re a crafter
Guild Wars 2 isn’t the most crafting-centric game, but when it does add new crafting recipes, they can be quite lucrative, especially if you get in on the ground floor.
You will find gear recipes with two new stat combinations: Ritualist’s and Dragon’s. The Ascended versions are prefixed Togo’s and Suun’s, respectively, and the books can be bought from most heart vendors for laurels and imperial favor. The latter currency is easily obtained from events and hearts. Dragon’s gear focuses on power and ferocity, with additional precision and vitality, while Ritualist’s gear focuses on vitality and condition damage, with additional concentration and expertise. Here are the stats on a legendary headpiece, for reference:
If you are a jeweler, you will want to dump all of your mastery points into jade bots so you can craft higher tier jade bot cores. Recipes for cores, as well as recipes for modules that let your bot perform a variety of quality-of-life tasks, can be bought with research notes, which are gained when salvaging most types of crafted items with the new Research Kit item. Research kits and jade bot recipes can both be bought from research merchants found all over Cantha.
If you’re a legendary chaser
If your main goal is to be among the first to wield one of those sparkly new Aurene legendary weapons, believe it or not, you’re going to want to start by doing some fishing. There is a new material called Ancient Ambergris that is integral to the legendary crafting process this time around. It is awarded by fishing achievements in zones all around the world, and by trading flawless fish fillets, which can be salvaged from ascended quality fish, or traded up from lower quality fish. If you’re wondering, yes, all of the fish names are alliterative; in order from blue to orange quality, the adjectives preceding these fillets are fine, fabulous, flavorful, and fantastic. Five of each can be traded for the next quality tier, so don’t throw back even the small fries.
You will also want to keep an eye out for Jade Runestones, of which I found a few in chests. For some reason, these don’t deposit to your crafting bank like other materials, which is a little frustrating.
If you just want your siege turtle
Unfortunately, if you want your siege turtle, you will need to be a bit patient. You see, like Heart of Thorns, the final map of End of Dragons hosts a big meta-event, and finishing that event is required to start the turtle collection. So you’re going to have to complete almost all of the story before you can go there. Technically, I suppose you could join a public group on the group finder and use a teleport to friend item to go straight there, but the entire map is basically one big spoiler, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you care about the story in the least.
If group content is your thing
End of Dragons is launching with four brand-new strike missions. Each of these four strikes are souped-up versions of boss fights you will do during the game’s story, with added mechanics and difficulty set for ten players. While the strike versions have most of the story elements removed, they are still pretty spoilery, so while you could join the strike mission instance of a friend who has blitzed through the story, you will most certainly run into some spoilers, so be warned. The story mode version of the first strike mission is pretty early on, and they are spread out throughout the story all the way up to the final boss.
Also, remember that if those strikes aren’t difficult enough to satisfy you, challenge modes are coming at a later date.
What are you doing first when you reach Cantha? Is it one of these, a combination of everything, or something else entirely? Let us know down in the comments!