You might have glimpsed it at the end of the EGX Rezzed Guild Wars 2 developer session, but here it is in full: the game’s second flying mount, a dragon, the Skyscale.
The Skyscale will be to Guild Wars 2 what a helicopter is to aviation in real-life, I’m told.
“We talked about the griffon [the game’s existing flying mount] being a jet engine,” Linsey Murdock, lead designer, told me – “it goes very fast in a straight line. But the dragon is more like a helicopter so it can take off from the ground and go up. It can gain altitude; the griffon can’t.”
The Skyscale has another trick up its, um, scaley sleeve, too.
“The really cool feature that surprised us all was wall jumping, or climbing,” said Murdock. “The Skyscale can actually stick to the wall and regain some of his endurance and then jump up and gain some altitude.”
In that way, she added, “It can climb a cliff,” reaching areas much higher than it otherwise could by flight alone.
And being a dragon means, naturally, breathing fire. It’s tied to a dismount ability; when you hop off, the Skyscale breathes a ring of fire, damaging enemies. You can see it in the video.
The Skyscale mount is coming to Guild Wars 2 in the game’s next Living World story drop, Episode 6: War Eternal, which will be the final episode of the fourth season. There’s no release date yet.
The ante, though, has been upped. In the fifth episode, ArenaNet went Game of Thrones and dared kill off a major character, both shocking and impressing fans. We saw a reaction trailer to the death during the EGX Rezzed talk. It was rather moving (but don’t watch it if you’re avoiding spoilers, obviously).
War Eternal, the next episode, picks up from the teary events of Episode 5, tracking mega-dragon Kralkatorrik – whose name I bet scores very highly in Scrabble – on his murderous path. Are there more surprises in store?
Murdock wouldn’t budge on plot details, understandably, but said there will of course be a new golden path storyline and a new map, as in all Season 4 episodes. The rest will be unveiled in time.