Guild Wars 2: Domain of Kourna Preview

Asura, Awakened, and Choya, oh my! Thanks to ArenaNet I got the opportunity to experience the Domain of Kourna, the latest zone added to Guild Wars 2 and I can happily say it’s quirky and a blast to play in. Though anyone familiar with the original Guild Wars has likely been there before. Before we get any further though there does need to be the standard warning. While there won’t be any plot spoilers you may see things about this update and the new zone that you don’t want to read until after you’ve experienced it for yourself. Ahead there be spoilers.

 

Rolling Around

Domain of Kourna Preview

Perhaps the most highly anticipated part of this update is the new mount. If you follow ArenaNet on social media you’ve already seen him dance, and it is an adorable little dance. Figuring out how it maneuvers has a little bit of a learning curve. It starts out fairly slow and terrible at climbing hills but once you get the hang of it you’ll be zooming around to your heart’s content. While it is fun though, I’m not sure it will replace the jackal which of course has its uses in this new area of the world.

Visually speaking it doesn’t seem to quite fit in. It’s high tech but not clearly made by an Asura. So, for me at least it stands out in an odd way. I am looking forward to future skins which will hopefully change how it looks. I’m also waiting to see how long it takes before our little bug friend is replaced with a Choya. Because it is almost certainly coming. Which of course has some disturbing connotations when you consider it.

 

Dance Choya Dance

Easily my favorite part of the entire zone is in the northernmost area where an Asura is studying a group of Choya who are dancing around some sort of shrine. The Asura is studying them and finds that their dance is actually a form of language. You can help them by…getting turned into a Choya. Yes! My dancing choya dreams have finally come true. Once you’ve been turned into a Choya the event is quite simple, watch the NPC choya dance and copy them. If you ever played Spore you’re already familiar with the idea. Stick around for the end of the dance, you won’t regret it.

So, with these new Choya as well as the group of them in the Desert Highlands we really need to consider what we’re doing to these poor, seemingly intelligent creatures. It seems to me like they’re becoming more and more like the Quaggan of the desert, which really means we should stop eating them and all of the other horrible things we do. You wouldn’t eat Quaggan….would you?

 

Cloud of Doom

A cloud of doom surrounds Gandara, the Moon Fortress and it will kill you, fast. The first time I went in I made the mistake of doing it mounted. So first my mount lost health and then I was too far from safety to get there in time. There isn’t enough healing in the world to save you from the cloud of doom. Trying to fly into Gandara from above you’re met with an incredibly annoying invisible wall. So there won’t be any sneaking in.

 

Ships Out of Reach

While we’re on the topic of Gandara there’s one thing that needs to be talked about. There are a few ships which provide great background scenery. In fact, you might actually think you can get on them. You can get close. Very close. The fact that they’re so close you can almost touch them but you actually can’t drove me a little bit insane. I totally understand why they’re there. It just bothered me so I needed to have a little rant. End rant.

 

The Enemy

When we left off in the living story the scarab plague the Inquest was working on was our new concern. It’s still on our minds as we explore this new zone and in fact, Inquest show up quite often in the zone. Though in a somewhat less obvious way than having a giant floating cube city. Of course, they aren’t the only enemy in the zone. We’ll also be going up against the undead and Joko sympathizers. Choyas are of course another issue we have to contend with. Especially while they attempt to attack and invade the areas where some new allies live.

Allies

Yes, we have new allies in this update. But, for those of us who were so happy to see the new Charr have no fear, they make an appearance as well. NPCs actually guard what is my favorite feature of the entire zone. Vine walls that have doors which will open when you get close. Vine walls in a desert? Yep. They stand out as a little bit odd but it’s also cool enough to totally forget that they feel out of place. Also, there is quite a bit of water in the zone. Some of it is toxic though so be careful where you travel. Finally, there are our new allies which I don’t want to talk about too much because there should be some surprises.

 

It’s exciting to be going back to another part of the world and seeing how it has changed over the last 200+ years. The zone is full of places to explore and creatures to kill. But without knowing what the story contains I can happily say that the best part of this update is the new mount. I can’t wait to see how he functions out in the rest of the world. I’m also looking forward to comparing speeds with the raptor and jackal. Will the roller beetle beat them all? Long Live the Lich seems to be packed full of things to keep us entertained and I’ve only barely scratched the surface.

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About Shannon Doyle

Shannon first discovered MMOs in 1999 when she picked up the newly launched Everquest. This started a lifelong love affair with online gaming that has taken her around the world and brought her to MMOGames.com. While she still pines for the streets of Paragon, the City of Heroes, today she spends most of her gaming time walking across Tyria in Guild Wars 2, roleplaying with anyone who says hello.