Is Cantha enough draw for Guild Wars 2?

Amid that whole Blizzard mess of last week was the full reveal of Guild Wars 2’s third expansion, End of Dragons. One can only hope that this will, indeed, be an end of the dragons, because that’s something that this MMO has run into the ground and sorely needs to move past.

Overall, it was a good reveal. Guild Wars 2 has had a very rough couple of years, but now it feels like it’s emerging with solid visible leadership, a big product for people to get excited about, and hope for the future. It’s one of those games that fell from glory a while back and needed a win. It’s too early to say if Cantha will be that win, but at least this is a nice boost of publicity and community excitement.

And good for Guild Wars 2, you know? I’ve had my ups and downs with this game, but I’ve never been at a point where I didn’t want it to win. There are many great features and designs, and it’s an easy game to return to. I’m sure this press reveal is stirring a lot of returns right now, because there’s nothing like an MMO coming alive again with a promise of big future stuff to call back the faithful.

As for the expansion reveal itself, I guess I’m a “5” out of a 1 to 10 scale. Right squat in the middle. To be honest, Cantha itself has never been a huge draw for me, both in the original Guild Wars or here. I know it has this rabid cult following, but I’m not part of that.

I was hoping that we’d get some news about some really exciting features — housing, for instance, no pun intended — but this reveal stopped short of dangling something that made me say, “Now I’ve GOT to play it!” There’s some new mount types, ok. Fishing? Yeah, that’s so underwhelming a feature that the only time I see someone hyping it up is a developer who needs another bullet point for a feature list. Some more story, some new elite specs, a whole lot of “more of the same.”

That’s not necessarily bad. Guild Wars 2 needed more ANYthing at this point, and this looks to be a full package. The skiffs — player boats? — is the most interesting-sounding of all of the features.

I’m looking at this expansion and feeling the equal pulls of apathy toward GW2 and the usual FOMO of a community rushing toward the bright new shiny. But it’s going to be warring with a lot of releases and launches for the rest of 2021 — and End of Dragons’ 2022 date is far past that. Perhaps it’ll be a revisit later this year or early next year to see if the Guild Wars 2 bug might bite again, but that’s a big “perhaps” with me.

5 thoughts on “Is Cantha enough draw for Guild Wars 2?

  1. As someone who’s played GW2 pretty much daily since launch End of Drsgons is a big “Meh” for me. It’s just more of the same, which would be fine if I liked what the game has turned into, but I don’t, much. It was better five years ago and a LOT better eight years ago.

    That said, it’s a ten-year-old mmorpg. What else do we expect? If a game doesn’t know what it is after a decade, when will it ever? Just because the end result turns out to be something other than what I would have liked doesn’t mean it’s the wrong result. Clearly lots of people love it. I’m just not really one of them any more. I still like it but as soon as something better comes along, that’s not going to be enough.

  2. For me personally, it’s a “nah” for quite different reasons. If i’d go for that, i would have to go through the living world season 4 and icebrood stuff. And i’d want to play through it with my Wife.

    Unfortunately this thing has a MASSIVE design flaw, happening again and again. You do content in the open world, to get the story forward. Anything you do is easy enough to be done solo. No challenging fights or anything. Till it sends you into a story mission. And there, in the -story- mission, you run into fights which really bring the hammer down. Some of them really seem to be scaled to equal hard mode of other MMOS group content. And we don’t run them in a full group, but as two players.

    So really, it’s quite a reliable thing since Path of Fire: whenever my wife found enough tolerance to go back to GW2, we played a bit, till we ran into one of those ultrahard fights, which took us many attempts to get though. It again left her with a bad experience and she didn’t want to return for weeks. Till we finally completely gave up on this.

    And mind you, i met my wife in TSW while doing dungeons in Nightmare difficulty. She can handle dungeons in ESO in veteran difficulty just fine… she’s not a bad player. But GW2 seems to be designed with the intention of frustrating players who want to follow the storyline. Which is a solid reason not to return and not to spend money on it any more.

  3. The Guild Wars games always had a weird thing for huge spikes in difficulties in certain missions. It’s not one of its better aspects.

  4. Yeah, my wife and I are occasionally frustrated by the instance fights. However, we have managed to muddle through everything we’ve encountered. Eventually.

  5. My biggest issues with GW2 are, I realise, some of the main draws for others. But the lack of the class trinity and the lack of any gear progression expansion on expansion both really get to me.

    Not to say I’ve never had fun with the game, I have — and I’ll no doubt revisit for this expansion too.

    But these disagreements with my own preferences will mean it never becomes a main game for me over a long period.

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