ArenaNet are celebrating this Thursday's Chinese release of Guild Wars 2 with a global festival, one that will be available to update-hungry players everywhere. Festival of the Four Winds marks the return of the Zephyrites—the kite-ship flying traders that were inserted into last year's Living Story. As part of the event, players will be able compete in challenges and activities, raising money towards the eventual rebuilding of Lion's Arch, the game's central city.
First encountered last year as part of the Bazaar of the Four Winds event, the Zephyrites will again land at their custom-built zone on Labyrinthine Cliffs. The original update not only introduced the elemental skill-set used as part of the Sanctum Sprint activity, but also a series of traders selling special items for goods and materials. With any luck, their return marks the point that regular players can offload some of their multiple-thousands of Blade Shards.
Lion's Arch was destroyed as part of the finale of the Living Story's first season . While ArenaNet were quiet about whether it would return, the safe money was always on "yes, of course it would."
It doesn't seem like this release marks the official beginning of the Living Story's second season, but—with the developers tying Lion's Arch's revival directly into the plot—hopefully it's a sign that regular updates are planned for the near-future. Previously, ArenaNet expressed a desire to separate out their content updates from new features; as seen in the recent April Feature Patch release.
Festival of the Four Winds will release on May 20th.