Tomorrow, on Tuesday January 8th, ArenaNet will release the latest episode for Guild Wars 2‘s Living World Season 4 entitled All or Nothing, teased last month with a brief trailer. We were invited to a sneak peek of the upcoming content, and here’s what we found. Players who own the Path of Fire expansion to the six-year-old game will get this content for free. As the trailer teased, we will be able to visit the dwarven Thunderhead Keep, where we can learn about and acquire new Dragonsblood weapons in time for our next big battle: a final confrontation with the Elder Crystal Dragon Kralkatorrik. There’s also a new fractal accessible from Lion’s Arch to explore with ghost pirates to deal with, a new Diviner gear set to collect, a new mount mastery called Bond of Faith, and a very sweet new legendary bow named Pharus to acquire. We were advised by the dev team led by Designer Clayton Kisko that Pharus will be obtained through Collections, the same as previous legendary weapons. It’s cosmic-based and has some amazing animations, including footprints that trail behind you and a summoning column of light from above as you equip it.
During our play session, we went through a bit of the episode continuing our adventure as Champion to the adolescent blue dragon Aurene, who has returned to us after flying away during the previous episode in reaction to fears about her future. While not wishing to get into spoiler territory too much, let’s just say that early on in the episode, both you and she will face this fear as you are tested to see if you’re ready. The setting for this test and history lesson is a beautiful crystalline landscape, iridescent colors dashing around in varying hues as well as transparent crystals. For the sake of preserving spoilers, we won’t say more about the actual story. It’s up to you to play through it and discover it for yourselves.
Afterwards, you’re granted access to Thunderhead Keep, a long-desired area from the original Guild Wars reborn in the newer game. There, players will work toward building up an army via the Dragonsblood Forge to assist Aurene with her quest to defeat the Elder Crystal Dragon. There will be vendors and plenty of leading NPCs to advance the story and provide quests and events for players to complete to progress. It was confirmed in our session that each of the sixteen Dragonsblood weapons won’t take quite as much time to acquire as each of the armor sets from the previous episode, but they work on the same Collections system as before, so veteran players will be familiar with the mechanic.
Outside the Keep, the Thunderhead Peaks will provide a challenge to players with various events and achievements to be completed, including one involving riding the roller beetle mount down the icy mountainside, making all the jumps, and landing in a specific hole in the ice. The environmental team is to be commended for just how breathtaking the landscapes are in this new update.
In all, it looks like an exciting time to play the game, with a truly legendary conflict soon to be resolved one way or the other. Even a player new to GW2 or an outsider can appreciate just how involved and epic this storytelling is. Coupled with an amazing in-game soundtrack, All or Nothing seems very much poised to live up to its name. Let us know in the comments what you think.
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