Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons Offers First Look at the Jade Sea

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Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons gives a tour of the Jade Sea, an expansive bay of magical gemstone used as a power source by the continent of Cantha.

In the months leading up to Guild Wars 2’s third full expansion pack, End of Dragons, Arenanet has been showing off several areas and game features players will experience in the Eastern-themed continent of Cantha. The most recent area Guild Wars 2 featured was the Jade Sea – an expanse of water long since petrified and transformed into solid jade.

The Jade Sea first appeared in the original Guild Wars’ first expansion pack, Factions. During the cataclysmic Jade Wind, the sea was transformed into solid jade. The native Luxons, a formerly seafaring folk, became nomads across the now-frozen water, training Guild Wars‘ fan-favorite siege turtles to haul and protect their caravans.

About 250 years have passed since Guild Wars 1, and much has changed in the Jade Sea since then. The Empire of Cantha has discovered technological marvels powered with the magical mineral from the Jade Sea, lending to massive mining operations and quarries to claim the jade for themselves. Because the Jade Sea takes place later than the others chronologically, there was much the Guild Wars 2 developers could not show to avoid spoilers, but secrets and monsters to be uncovered in the deepest parts of the Jade Sea were teased. It was also hinted that parts of the petrified sea may be melting – an event that would devastate the jade-dependent Empire.

Guild Wars 2 has previously shown off Shing Jea Island and the Echovald Wilds, two other areas in End of Dragons recognizable from Guild Wars: Factions. It also showed off several upcoming features, including nine new elite specializations and the new siege turtle mount. Before the game launches, it a tour of New Kaineng City will be given, which is the bustling, jade-powered metropolis of the Canthan Empire.

Both veteran and new players of Guild Wars 2 were thrilled to see what the Jade Sea looked like after 250 years. The Jade Sea fascinated players back in Guild Wars, and seeing how it has changed – and how it has stayed the same – will be a journey for players as they explore the area. The exceptional detail put into the architecture and scenery, especially the frozen waves of the bright Jade Sea itself, were some of the most highly-praised parts of the tour.

Though it may not have been making headlines as much as its competitors, Guild Wars 2 is still strong as ever. Though it may have seemed like the MMO genre was losing steam over the last few years, with new MMORPGs hitting the market like New World, and with staples like SWTORGuild Wars 2Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft releasing major story-concluding content over the next months, a new era of MMOs may be dawning on the gaming community for a new decade.