Guild Wars 2: Bazaar of the Four Winds Preview

ZAM gets an early look at all the fun things in the new Guild Wars 2 content patch

UPDATE: The brand new Bazaar of the Four Winds content is live today!

The Bazaar is returning to Tyria and this time players will be invited. The Bazaar of the Four Winds update for Guild Wars 2 is out today along with many new things for players to experience; including a new resource to collect, the spiritual successor to GW1’s roller beetle racing and a new permanent mini-game.

Upon logging in, players will receive a mail directing them to witness a conversation between Captain Magnus, the Bloody-Handed, and Kiel over the upcoming Bazaar. The Bazaar is a spur of the moment trade gathering that brings in many traders, including some selling less than legal goods. Kiel is being sent to broker a trade agreement between Lion’s Arch and the Zephyr Sanctum, a flying community that is a large focus of the new content. Kiel is not the only one trying to broker the trade agreement, however, as the reward for success is too good for some to pass up.

Players can make their way to the Bazaar by taking a boat out of Lion’s Arch after talking to the Labyrinthine Cliffs Transport Facilitator at the end of the docks near the Sanctum Harbor Waypoint. Players who remember taking a boat to Southsun Cove will find this NPC in the same location as the Lionguards who ferried players back then.

On this new, temporary, map players will come across three Adepts for the Sun, Lightning and Wind Aspects who will introduce and explain their respective aspects to players. Next to each of these Adepts (and located throughout the map) are aspect crystals. Walking over these crystals will change the player’s 1-5 skills, unlocking and giving 10 charges for the respective aspect skills. These new skills will be needed in order to progress farther into the map and reach more content. This is done in a way to teach players what each of the aspects does before reaching the new Sanctum Sprint race.

Sanctum Sprint is a PvP race of up to 12 players. At the start of the race, players have weaker versions of the three aspects. Throughout the race players can pick up powerups that either give more skills to fill out the rest of their skill bar or buff the player or the aspects. The same crystals players would gain charges to use the aspects in the new map will also be found in the race, buffing that specific aspect to its fully buffed version. There are also two other types of crystals: a blue crystal that refills endurance (which is used up with the sun aspect) and an orange crystal that grants vigor and swiftness to the player. Other powerups are seen as small bags that can either benefit the player or cause a negative effect to other racers.

If players join a race late, they are not completely out of the race as they will spawn in at the last checkpoint reached by the current players. Reaching the end of the race will reward players with a loot chest that gives out the same rewards independent of the racer’s finishing position. The chest gives the usual loot plus a rare chance at one of the three new back pieces themed after the three aspects.

The aspect skills will not be used only to navigate through the new map and race. Hidden throughout the map are Sky Crystals that players must find and navigate to by some clever use of the aspect skills. Activating these sky crystals does nothing save for making progress in the Lessons from the Sky achievement which awards players with the Zephyr Sanctum Model. When used this item places a small model on the ground which anyone can interact with to view a cutscene showcasing the Zephyr Sanctum. If finding and reaching all of these sky crystals sounds a bit daunting, know that not every crystal must be found. The achievement requires finding 40 of the 52 crystals on the map.

As the Zephyr Sanctum is a floating community, it doesn’t have easy access to some of the common materials we land dwellers have. During the Bazaar, members of the Zephyr Sanctum (known as Zephyrites) will be trading materials for Zephyr Sanctum Supply Boxes. Materials that can be exchanged for these boxes include tier 1-6 ore, cloth scraps, leather sections, wood logs and candy (Candy Corn and Zhaitaffy). There are five NPCs trading, one for each type of material. There is only one material trade listed in each tab of the merchant, so if you want to trade higher than tier 1 materials you need to find the appropriate tab on the left side of the merchant window.

The Zephyr Sanctum Supply Boxes will always give players a handful of Quartz (testing shows anywhere between 4 and 8 pieces per box) and one of the new Celestial recipes for weapons, armor and jewelry. In addition to these guaranteed drops, there is also a chance of receiving a Kite Fortune.

Crafting, Kite Fortunes, Belcher's Bluff and Achievement Rewards -->

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