We met up with ArenaNet's Will Fairfield in Lion's Arch for a guided tour of the Dragon Bash festivities. With a full party and bags full of fireworks, we set out to discover what Dragon Bash was really all about. While he had time, we also asked him the various community questions we received that hadn't yet been answered.
Heading into Lion's Arch after receiving a mail from our respective racial mentors, we went over to speak to Magnus in the Grand Piazza to discuss what activities were available. After a few moments the holographic Shatterer appeared, flying across the skyline as a hulking ghostly spectre. Projected from the converted fountain, not only is it enormous but it is visually stunning. Taking several steps back to get a better view (I'd really recommend you gain a higher vantage point). The firework display that came next, complete with moving golems and various other references only topped off a striking introduction to Dragon Bash; let's celebrate.
As an event only available during the first weekend of Dragon Bash (you really don't want to miss it), it's the only way to obtain the Dragon Helm that has been so heavily promoted in screenshots. Not only is this helmet awesome to look at, but it's also combat ready as opposed to being just town clothes. Unfortunately, if you miss the fireworks, there will be no other way to obtain it.
With helmet equipped (see below) we set out to smash up some pinatas. Scattered around Lion's Arch in various locations are the brightly coloured toys just waiting to be bashed. Destroying them will award players with Zhaitaffy, a consumable that increases movement speed by 10% or what will eventually become a currency that people can exchange to a vendor for a variety of items (including the bat-winged back piece). What I will add is the fact that it takes 1,000 Zhaitaffy for 1 Jorbreaker with the bat-winged back piece requiring 100 Jorbreakers (so 100,000 Zhaitaffy). However, Jorbreakers will be available on the Trading Post to buy.
With the vendor thoroughly exhausted (and wings equipped!) we headed out to the Moa race track. As a permanent addition to Guild Wars 2, it sees players bet 50 silver on one of 5 (Meep, Motti, Mortt, Monna and Mystery Moa). The race track descends down the hill and around to Lion's Shadow Inn Waypoint before looping back on itself. I will add that it all seems very random and while Will assured me there was around a 20% chance of coming first (and some tactics involved) I really couldn't see it. My Moa only won once and is now on its way to the Charr kitchens of the Black Citadel. When you do win however, you'll be awarded with a Race Track Voucher that you can reedem for silver or if you collect enough, the very limited edition mini-moa complete with dragon helm.
Having had enough of Moa racing, it was time to head on over to Dragon Ball. We've covered the death match arena in more detail over on our guide, but what I will say is that it's a whole lot of fun and it's a shame to hear that it isn't a permanent addition to the game. Fast and frantic it's the most fun I've had in a structured arena for a long time even if Will Fairfield as a terrorizing asura continues to hunt you down. With a chance to win various goodies (including more Zhaitaffy and the much sought after winged back pieces) it's well worth a play through.
Lastly, we headed out into the game world to track down the dragon holograms that have begun to appear in the game world. Once activated, they spawn several creatures (similar to Wintersday or Halloween) that you can kill and loot. Although relatively easy to kill and plentiful on each map, it's a great distraction as the loot of Zhaitaffy and the chances of obtaining a weapon ticket is quite generous. We've covered the holograms in much more depth here.
With the tour coming to an end, Will Fairfield showed off some embargoed content players can come to expect next week. While we're unable to talk about it yet, all I can say is Dragon Bash has yet to truly start, with the biggest and best parts still to come. Catching Will before he left, we asked him our community questions that were still unanswered.
GW2Hub: Is there anything for new Guild Wars 2 players in Dragon Bash?
Will: Something we're doing for the first time is offering a promotional item in our gem store for all new players. Something akin to the founders ring we gave with our collectors edition. This will just be a small stat item that gives experience to new players- to help people new to the game and leveling.
GW2Hub: Will Dragon Ball be available in custom arenas?
Will: Unfortunately not, it's only available from the NPC in Lion's Arch but is available throughout the celebrations.
GW2Hub: Will there be any combat-non-pvp-related content in the dragon bash event? Does this only take place in Lions Arch or can we expect to have a ongoing story somewhere else too? Is there a story-progression or is this paused at the moment?
Will: There are the holograms in the world that players can interact with, much like the doors from Halloween or presents from Wintersday. Those will have open world combat, and during the second week (which we can't talk about yet!) there will be plenty more.
GW2Hub: What do you think you've learned from previous events?
Will: With holiday's we've always tried to push and expand our content that we haven't been before. Like for instance with Tokk's laboratory and all of the doors in the world. I feel with Dragon Bash we're going back to a lot of that by adding the open world holograms and other non-combat things to do. We really feel players enjoy seeing the world come to life and that's something we've tried to learn from.
GW2Hub: People are keen to avoid the RNG that has plagued some of the previous content, is there going to be a large proportion of randomness to obtaining the best items or can players expect to complete the content and be rewarded?
Will: We feel with this that we have a good mix of both of those. We have one set of holographic wings that come from Dragon Ball (a rare chance of getting it) and also the meta-achievement to get another set of wings. They are the shattered wings while the drop wings are bat-like. Those can also be bought off the Zhaitaffy vendor. As far as weapon drops, we will have a weapon set available and tickets will drop in regular and rich Dragon Coffers which you can get in the gem store. The regular Dragon Coffers, unlike other festival boxes will be tradable. They will drop off everything in the world and are rewarded them for doing almost everything.
We like the RNG style, but we also like to offer players several different ways to get rewards. We've given RNG and a way of working at it as well. The odds are much better than before. We've also modified multiples of rewards so you get them much more (as opposed to once). We feel that'll give players the more ability to get what they want. Lastly, the weapon sets available is also a full set and we're adding a Black Lion Specialist where players can use any previously unused tickets to obtain items from Wintersday or a choice of the molten weapons.
GW2Hub: The dragon festival was traditionally a Canthan holiday celebrating the new year. Does this Dragon Bash have any roots in the old Canthan festival and will we see any Cantha/Elona related content in the future?
Will: While there are some references, we've seperated Dragon Bash out from the Dragon Festival of old by turning it into a festival about bashing dragons as opposed to tying it to the new year. At least this way if we choose to do a new year festival we can change it. We wanted something familiar to players, but new enough to provide that new experience.
GW2Hub: Will the full version of the song you released be available on iTunes or sound cloud?
GW2Hub: Are we going to see any story related cutscenes similarly to those in the personal story?
Will: You might but its a surprise! ;)
GW2Hub: Are there any lore related collectables?
Will: Yes, there's going to be a Marriner's Horn available for players from the gem store which plays music similar to the Wintersday bell.
GW2Hub: Can we dye back items yet or in the near future?
Will: Not yet!
We want to thank ArenaNet and Will Fairfield for his fantastic tour of the Dragon Bash content and you can view all our Dragon Bash content by hitting the Waypoint below!