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Guild Wars 2's fourth season peaks with a Crystal Dragon hunt

Gem-cutting at its most extreme

Guild Wars 2 got a little off track with Path Of Fire's god-hunting story arc, but tomorrow those with their sights on the deadliest game of all (Elder Dragons, duh) should be pleased. Season four, episode five of the MMORPG's 'living world' updates goes live tomorrow adding a new mountain zone to explore, a chunk of new story, and what sounds like a nigh-suicidal plan to kill Kralkatorrik, the big purple Crystal Dragon.

While my interest in this new episode is tarnished somewhat by ArenaNet's questionable firing of two of this season's key writers back in July 2018, I admit some curiosity in where the story is headed. Check out the trailer below, featuring some familiar faces and locations from past chapters and the original Guild Wars.

It looks like most of the new chapter's action will be taking place in the Thunderhead Peaks. Fans of the original Guild Wars will recognise Thunderhead Keep, old stronghold of the now-mostly-extinct Dwarves. It's a welcome change of scenery after Path Of Fire. Lovely as the crystal desert can be, all that sand starts to look the same after a while. The steep verticality of the new zone should make for some fun traversal - either with gliders or the new Bond Of Faith ability, apparently giving you the dragon-boosted ability to dismount to cover huge horizontal gaps.

There's also going to be a new Fractal (replayable side-dungeon) named Siren's Reef, boosted with a new set of Mistlock Instabilities, random modifiers which can be applied to higher difficulty Fractals. While there's no expicit mention of it, I'm also hoping for a dragon-themed raid. Given how persistent Kralkatorrik has been (his minion, The Shatterer, was the iconic baddie for Guild Wars 2 leading up to release) I'd be rather disappointed if he went down without at least a few full party wipes.

Episode 5 - All Or Nothing - goes live tomorrow, January 8th, and will be free to anyone who owns the Path of Fire expansion and logs in while it's the latest available episode. If you've not logged in to claim Episode 4 on your account, you'd best do so soon, or you'll have to pay money for it if you want to play it later. Guild Wars 2's original campaign remains free-to-play, available here.

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