Let’s go to Cantha!
Back during the Original Guild Wars, players would travel to different regions of the world. That's right, Tyria was only the stepping stone into a wonderful and enchanting world. The first of the new lands we explored was called Cantha, which had a variety of rich environments that hid deadly new enemies around every corner! Yes we all remember, and love Elona as well, but for some reason Cantha just has a special place in our hearts. This is why players are asking ArenaNet: when can we go back to Cantha?
I remember when I first read about Guild Wars. I had a few friends who played Prophecies, and Factions had just been released. I decided to pick it up, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made, well at least when it comes to picking out a video game anyways. Not only was the game designed well, but Factions offered more variety within its environments than anything I had ever seen, until Guild Wars 2. Each area was filled with insane amounts of detail allowing it to come to life. I was incredibly spoiled having my first adventures take place in Cantha, but that’s where my story really began.
Tyria is a realm harboring a human race that has a more western take on design, which is what is commonly used in fantasy games. Cantha offered a new style based on the different Asian themes we can see in our own world. Different styles were all fused into a single harmonious design. It didn't just stop with clothing and buildings, the creatures themselves also fit into this new land perfectly. It all flowed so well, that for the first time I was truly immersed within the world of an online game. I think Factions visual style did play a big part in my purchase of the game, which lead to me eventually buying the rest of the campaigns.
In Guild Wars 2, Tyria is filled with even more detail and new design elements thanks to new technology. New races have emerged, giving us new cultures to meet and explore. New and unique enemies have also come out of the shadows, changing the face of the world since last we traversed it. So why is Cantha so important? It comes down to the fact that Cantha is a part of the world. We've already seen it, and know it's there. To just completely ignore these lands makes the game world feel empty.
Really it's not just Cantha. Elona also needs to be represented as well! We played the original games, and this creates expectations. Really did anyone pick up Guild Wars 2, not feeling any excitement about seeing the changes to Elona and Cantha as well? We all bought the game expecting to see these lands once again.
One could argue that we don't need new cultures with the new races available in Guild Wars 2. They also haven't actually been to Cantha, which might make them have a hard time fitting in. But that just seems silly. I believe they could actually benefit from the experience. The Sylvari would flock to the new lands, eagerly awaiting to experience new things. The Asura would be interested to see foreign magics. And last, but not least, just close your eyes and picture a Charr warrior in Canthan style armor. Now you understand!
Not only will the races get a chance to evolve a bit, but it opens up the possibilities for new skills, new professions, new weapons, and most importantly, new races! The Tengu were all over the place in Cantha. We already see them running around in Tyria. I think it's about time we all get our wish.
I feel very confident that we will see Cantha once again. We already see parts of it in Tyria. Refugees wash up on shore, and are left waiting to hear back from their homeland. Sadly, no word has been heard yet, but hope is not lost. In a way, it's almost like ArenaNet placed us into the game. Hopeful people waiting to go back home. We know it will be different from the last time we saw it, but still we wait.
There is always a Cantha thread on every forum, and it's always five miles long. The land was a gateway for many of us into the series, so there are some very strong feelings towards it. My story started in Cantha, with a Human Necromancer. He traveled over over all three lands actually, helping to put an end to the great evils that plagued them. All of this is written in the Hall of Monuments, which is his mark on this world. But it doesn't end there. I created a new human in Guild Wars 2, which carries on this bloodline. He's been to the Eye of the North, and has read the tales of his ancestor. Whenever he reads the word Cantha, a strange calmness washes over him. He wants to see his homeland.
Do you miss Cantha? Would you rather see the Sands of Elona? Or would you prefer to see a whole new continent to explore? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com. David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them! If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.
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