Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons has been confirmed for release on February 28. As the launch of the Canthan expansion approaches, ArenaNet has been showing off some of the new features and content coming to the MMORPG. You may have seen the recent trailer that revealed New Kaineng City. Well, I was treated to an in-character tour of the city with the developers. During the preview, I was also shown what I think could be the coolest new feature of End of Dragons — the Jade Bots.
The first thing you’ll notice about New Kaineng is that it looks nothing like old Kaineng. Nor is it reminiscent of Kaineng City from Guild Wars: Factions. It is now a thriving metropolis powered by the latest in jade tech. It’s a luminous, welcoming hub of activity and energy.
The age of prosperity
The people driving all this progress are the Xunlai Jade Corporation. Guild Wars players may remember that name from the storage chests in the original trilogy. After the events of Factions, when Zhaitan destroyed Kaineng, the Xunlai Guild used its wealth to become the forerunners in jade tech and rebuild the city, better than ever. They did a spectacular job.
I think New Kaineng is one of the most inviting locations ever seen in Guild Wars 2. You can’t help but want to explore and discover more of its secrets. And there is a lot to find. The city’s prosperity is on display for all to see in the gorgeous buildings and the displays of art scattered around. In our preview, we watched a purple holographic whale swim through the skies. We saw an archway-shaped fountain of fish swimming. You can discover a spectacular view of the city if you’re up for the climb.
New Kianeng is a blend of the historic culture of Cantha and the new-age steampunk technology. You can quickly move from a buzzing market with neon signs to a tranquil waterway with cherry blossoms and wooden red pagodas. The contrast is striking but tastefully done. And it’s nice to escape to a secluded spot when you’ve been in the chaos for too long. You can hop on your skiff or pull out your fishing rod on the shoreline and partake in the latest Guild Wars 2 pastime. It’ll give you a chance to take in your surroundings before diving back into your adventure.
What makes New Kaineng even more exciting is that it’s an active zone with dynamic events. So, while you’re exploring of your own volition, an event will pop up and drag you off to another location within the city to discover something else. It’s very easy to get distracted – in a good way.
The power of jade tech
You’ll notice a green glow emanating from almost everything in New Kaineng. It comes from the jade tech powering the lights, consoles, constructs, weapons, and many other aspects of the city. As part of your adventure into Cantha, you will also get to reap the benefits of jade tech in the form of your very own Jade Bot companion.
The cute little companions are multipurpose and a wonderful addition to Guild Wars 2. They have their own Mastery line which you will need to progress through to unlock all of their benefits. Plus, they have equipment and module slots that can provide your character with some additional perks.
Your Jade Bot will allow you to interact with features unique to Cantha – like the ziplines in New Kaineng and tech that has been powered down. You will need to absorb charges from Jade Batteries — you can find them all over — to utilize some of your bot’s features. A particularly fun thing your Jade Bot can do is fly around like a drone. It’s a great way to check what’s around you without having to struggle to get to a hard-to-reach place.
A welcome companion
The module slots of a Jade Bot can provide you with a range of benefits and could be considered a minor vertical progressions system — something I think Guild Wars 2 needs. You can plug modules into your bot that slightly increase your vitality, increase mount speed, or even auto-loot items. During the preview, the developers told us that there are loads of Jade Bot modules coming with End of Dragons. But what I find most exciting is that ArenaNet can create new modules to provide unique perks whenever the need arises. Or simply if the team comes up with something fun.
Your Jade Bot will also give you three new skills to use, unlocked through the Mastery line. You will be able to get a vertical boost while gliding, and you can create a personal waypoint to teleport to whenever you like – this is probably the most convenient skill. And finally, you can use the bot to revive yourself if you go down. This will be particularly useful when you’re questing alone.
Between this preview of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons and my previous one, you should have a clear picture of what’s coming with the next expansions. If you’d like to know more about adventuring in Cantha, you can learn more about End of Dragons from the game’s official site.