Review of Guild Wars 2: You’re scrambling up a cliff face to get to a waypoint, but you’re completely unaware of the simple stairway that’s just around the corner. Having just completed the difficult task of clearing the dungeon on Shing Jea Island, you’ve now arrived at a new, mountainous area of the archipelago. After climbing the cliff, you’ll be greeted by dozens of cats, all of whom you’re welcome to pet.
As a little respite from the raging turmoil of Guild Wars 2’s latest addition, End of Dragons (which you can buy right now), you’ll find yourself on Cat Island. In a peaceful area of Cantha, the new territory featured in End of Dragons, you get to pet Pickles, the most gorgeous boy you have ever seen. Whether you’re looking for a dungeon crawl or a catnap, this is a fantastic new place to explore! Excellent world-building, intrigue, and engrossing fantasy storytelling are all present in the expansion’s gameplay.
You’re immediately immersed in the campaign’s narrative. Jumping between Aetherblade pirate airships to save one of your friends throws you into a high-octane combat scene. You’re thousands of feet in the air, and your sole ally is the dragon Aurene. The Aetherblades crash-land on Cantha, a continent that has been missing for 250 years, in the midst of the commotion. After being exiled from their homeland, the people of Cantha now find themselves thrown back into the larger Tyria, where they must contend with the menace of the marooned Aetherblades, whose leader is hellbent on using the power of Cantha for terrible goals.
ArenaNet has grown as a company as a result of its failures in the past. Getting through the tale in Heart of Thorn felt hard for lone players; even with a good group, it was nearly impossible. For those with more casual interests, Path of Fire featured a shorter tale but boosted the difficulty level even further, making it even more difficult.
End of Dragons, on the other hand, has a tale that’s friendly to gamers playing on their own. Even though the difficulty is high, a solitary player can still get through the numerous encounters without too much difficulty. It took me less than a dozen hours to grind through the campaign, even with a subpar build, and that’s without considering the time you’ll spend getting distracted by Cantha’s numerous delights.
I spent hours scaling the tallest buildings and mountains in the area to get a bird’s-eye view of the island. In Shing Jea, for example, the rocky cliffs rise out of the calm oceans and the temples graze the sky. To put it another way, it’s the cultural center of Cantha, where the continent’s most important historical landmarks are located. On the other hand, the neon-lit metropolis of New Kaineng City is a hive of activity. Street sellers hawk their products on clogged thoroughfares while aloof nobles relax in the city’s wealthier areas, where you’ll discover holographic projections on the walls. Alternatively, you can take on a precocious phoenix.
It’s extremely uncommon for MMORPGs to give classes with a wide range of abilities the chance to get their hands dirty.
As far as world-building goes, End of Dragons is one of MMORPGs’ most impressive. A lot of the ambient chatter in Guild Wars 2 is worth listening to, but there are a few conversations in the End of Dragons expansion that particularly stand out. Cultural, economic, and technological issues are frequently broached in this book. As a result of technological advancements, many NPCs moan about needing to obtain fishing licenses or transit paperwork to use their vehicles. Overhearing two authors arguing about writing in the Shing Jea Monastery, one boasted about writing “LIT-THE-RAH-TURE, not rubbish for the public,” which was one of my favorite moments.
End of Dragons introduces a new set of gaming mechanics. It is possible to seek a new elite specialism for each class that offers a unique playstyle. In my role as a main ranger, I’m thrilled to see the ranger’s stereotype as a one-trick pony finally smashed by the introduction of the Untamed class specialization. It is possible for rangers to hold a fearsome weapon and launch themselves into crowds of adversaries, crushing them with the unfettered wrath of nature at their command. There aren’t many MMOs that allow ranged classes to get their hands dirty, so this is a refreshing twist.
Breaking MMO’s “holy trinity” of tanks, DPS, and support is the design ethos of Guild Wars 2, and the new abilities follow suit. Although all classes are technically capable of fulfilling one of these three roles, the overall balance has always been off, and the established meta reflects this. Elite specializations feel like a deliberate effort to shake up the game. The Untamed specialty, for example, provides a viable melee build that utilizes a sequence of cantrips to minimize damage taken or draw life from adversaries. For the Guardian, the Willbender elite specialization transforms them from a slow-moving tank with healing capabilities into a fast-moving tornado of suffering.
Classes that have been around for a while can now be used in new ways thanks to the addition of these new specializations. It also alters the landscape of the worldwide war. A magnificent combat experience is provided by the new class talents of master mesmers and mechanist engineers, both of whom create mechs to battle with you. In battle, there’s just a lot more going on, and brawls are usually a visual treat.
By employing appropriate teleporters and ziplines, you are able to travel about the world considerably more swiftly. The layout of New Kaineng City, like any major metropolis, is perplexing, therefore this is a useful skill to have. I can’t remember how many times I got lost and ended up in an alleyway where illegal activity was taking place. I avoided a life-or-death encounter with one of New Kaineng’s local gangs by zipping away with my Jade bot.
It’s safe to say that the introduction of fishing will be welcomed by many. Intrepid fishers will like the fishing minigame’s simple controls and myriad achievements. Relaxing on your skiff and casting a few lines is the best way to spend a day. In addition, the skiff provides an alternative method of traversing Cantha’s numerous waterways. If you’ve never played Path of Fire and haven’t unlocked the skimmer mount, this is a great tool to help you get around the game.
A LOT MORE IS HAPPENING IN BATTLE AND BRAWLS ARE ALWAYS AN EYE-CATCHING TREAT.
This is where Guild Wars 2 really shines – its balance between solitary play and entertaining multiplayer settings is unmatched. Meta events, which link together lesser events before culminating in a large boss fight, are the best examples of this. End of Dragons features some of the most difficult battles yet in these competitions. In the Shing Jea meta, for example, you will face elite adversaries who will repeatedly slaughter you, and the final boss, who litters the battlefield with devastating AOE hits, only makes things more difficult.
Because there’s generally something at stake if you fail at these activities, they’re the best. During one event, for example, you’re battling to save the city from being completely blacked out. There will be no way for residents in certain wards to get to work if the electricity in those areas isn’t restored.
However, End of Dragons still has several issues. The mechanics of some of the missions can be a bit aggravating. Platforming sequences in the expansion’s opening section use an unresponsive reticule, and I’m more than likely to clip through platforms before falling to my doom. Also included is a strange repair minigame that requires you to identify and match patterns that appear on the screen. It’s outdated and useless, like several of the features of End of Dragon.
End of Dragons, on the other hand, is one of the best Guild Wars 2 games ever. The new setting presents a rare opportunity to delve into a long-forgotten chapter of Tyria’s history. Veteran gamers and newcomers alike will be able to take on a wide variety of new adversaries without encountering an overwhelming difficulty or leveling curve. Perfecting what made Guild Wars 2 one of the most popular MMORPGs is its goal. Fashion battles are my life, and I’m more than willing to give it all up once again to become the most beautiful death dealer in the realm of Tyria.