Guild Wars 2's third expansion has a release date, ArenaNet announced today. On February 28, players will be jetting off to a much different Cantha than they saw in Guild Wars 1. The trailer above introduces the expansion in the way Guild Wars 2 expansions love to be introduced: with an airship blowing up.
As part of the tease, we get to see glimpses of the new Cantha region: a mix of traditional Chinese-style buildings and holographic sky whales. "They are the most powerful nation on Tyria," explains Kasmeer, "and they don't trust us".
The story appears to revolve around the return of the Aetherblades—steampunk sky pirates who appeared in Guild Wars 2's first Living World story season back in 2013. A few weeks ago I got to fight their leader, Mai Trin, in a hands-on demo (opens in new tab) of End of Dragons' Strike Missions—instanced endgame content that condenses raid-like mechanics into a single boss fight.
The announcement also reveals a mastery line for a new feature, Jade Bots—little robo-pals that, in the trailer, we see reviving players and providing an updraft while gliding. (We'll have more to reveal about them next week, on February 8.)
Elsewhere it's a round-up of the expansion's already announced features: skiffs, fishing, and the new elite specialisations that regular players will be familiar with from last year's End of Dragons beta events. There's also the new Siege Turtle mount, who I love dearly (opens in new tab).
Where Heart of Thorns brought gliding, and Path of Fire introduced mounts, End of Dragons' feature list doesn't feel as focused and transformative as its predecessors—a more disparate series of additions and enhancements, fun though they all look. Nonetheless, End of Dragons is an important release for ArenaNet. Final Fantasy XIV got all the attention from 2021's great World of Warcraft exodus, but Guild Wars 2 remains well worth checking out if you're still searching for your next MMO obsession. And if End of Dragons delivers the goods, it'll be the perfect time to jump in and see how it's evolved and improved over the years.