Guild Wars 2: Echovald Wilds impressions - A ride down the nostalgia lane

Published: 14:01, 19 January 2022
Guild Wars 2 - Echovald Wilds
Guild Wars 2 - Echovald Wilds

Nostalgia train is going to hit hard with parts of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons, especially when the players reach a certain gloomy zone in Cantha.

Guild Wars 2 chronologically kicked off 250 years after Guild Wars and since then, we've been at war with dragons for years. That means we are a few decades short of 300 years of difference between the two games and ArenaNet tried to emphasise that with the map changes for Cantha. That said, some of the maps remained highly reminiscent of their original counterparts and this is true for at least some areas in the Echovald Forest.

It is now named Echovald Wilds and serves as a zone for the people who prefer living outside the city outside the bounds of some of the Empire's rules. Because of that, the Wilds became a fertile ground for gangs who would prey on Canthan civilians. 

One of those gangs bears a familiar name for the GW veterans - Jade Brotherhood. They have embraced Jade Tech and are basically operating as a high-tech gang in Echovald Wilds now and other than the name, they don't really have much connection to the old organisation. 

Their exact opposite are the Speakers, the other gang that likes terrorising people but they renounce Jade Tech, which probably has something to do with their leader being a Warden.

Finally, the third faction that Echovald Wilds are home to are the Kestrels. Unlike the other two, this Tengu-dominant faction is friendly as they formed up to protect the people from the aforementioned gangs. Furthermore, not everyone in the Jade Brotherhood and the Speakers is hostile either and that will be shown in Fort Aspenwood.

ArenaNet Guild Wars 2 - Fort Aspenwood Guild Wars 2 - Fort Aspenwood

The good ol' fort is no longer the place where Luxons and Kurzicks are killing each other over a weapon dispute. Instead, Jade Brotherhood has taken the place over and we are going to be tasked with dismantling their plans along with the upgraded Gods' Vengeance. 

FA itself certainly looks the same it did in Guild Wars but there is plenty of Jade Tech machinery sprinkled on the outside. On the inside, it's somewhat recognisable but you soon delve into metallic tunnels that quickly push out the sense of walking around Fort Aspenwood out.

Some other iconic pieces of Kurzick architecture remain almost untouched, however, which is going to make the old fans pretty happy. Arborstone is one such area and as you explore it, you will see the familiar pillars where you battled living statues once upon a time.

House zu Heltzer is largely intact as well but it no longer serves as a city. Once the capital of the Kurzick nation, it is now a part of the Echovald Wilds but it largely looks the same. The main difference is that you can explore it from angles and positions that were not possible due to the lack of the vertical axis in the original Guild Wars.

Overall, the petrified forest, which is slowly healing from the effects of the Jade Wind, still seems to hold a lot of potential for unravelling nostalgic memories, even though almost 300 years have passed between the games and the technology advanced even more.

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