If you're new to Guild Wars, it can be a little confusing. What's going on here? Why are we partying? Where do I find the event? Why is everyone talking about a mask? Why did that Grawl just drop a Victory Token? (I don't get that last thing either. Do Grawl take pleasure cruises to other continents now? Was it a souvenir that he picked up while visiting?)
At any rate, as I did with the Canthan New Year festival earlier this year, I've put together a little guide to help you navigate the event. Follow along after the jump to be all ready for the Dragon Festival!
My character isn't Canthan. So I can't attend, right?
I almost decided to skip this step on the assumption that everyone knows how to get to Shing Jea, but thinking back, every single festival that I've attended in Shing Jea has proved me wrong. So here we go.
If you've got a character who's not a native of Cantha, never fear, you're still invited. Let's just get you to Shing Jea Island -- it's not too hard. If you've not been to Cantha at all, you'll need to go to either Lion's Arch or Kamadan, depending on which campaign you're from. In Lion's Arch, you'll need to take the quest called "Mhenlo's Request," from Firstwatch Sergio. This is an extremely quick quest with no fighting, and at the end of it you'll find yourself in Cantha -- specifically on Bejunkan Pier. Nightfall characters leaving from Kamadan have a similar path. Talk to Funwah Shento in Kamadan, pick up the quest "Plague in Cantha," and arrive on Bejunkan Pier.
Talk with the dockhand for your reward, and pick up his next quest to be guided to Kaineng Center. You don't need to complete that quest for this purpose; it simply provides you with the map marker to help you find Kaineng Center. You will encounter a single small group of enemies on the way, but Mhenlo is there and he'll keep you healed as you fight them off. It's a quick and easy battle, and then you'll head into Kaineng Center.
Once you've arrived in Kaineng Center, you'll need to head south to the Marketplace. Again, it's quick and easy. You can usually find someone willing to make the run, but it's just as easy to follow the map on the Guild Wars Wiki. If you follow that path, you can get to the Marketplace without encountering any enemies.
Whew! You're almost there, I promise. Once you've arrived in the Marketplace, take the northwest exit to the Kaineng Docks. Go talk to First Mate Xiang, laugh at him when he tells you that there's not much to do on Shing Jea Island, then make him take you there. You'll arrive in Seitung Harbor. Run straight across the town to the Saoshang Trail exit, and follow the path. Take a handful of heroes or henchmen if you want to make it a quicker run -- the path is strewn with low level Mantids, and they can prove a problem due to sheer numbers. Follow the path to Linnok Courtyard, run inside, then through the archway and down the stairs. Welcome to the party!
There are quite a few events, many of them repeating, some easy, some difficult, but all fun. It's easy to get lost, so let's look through what's available. Between the official Guild Wars festival page and the Guild Wars Wiki, there are some fantastic guides out there, and I'm relying heavily on links to those guides here. They're a valuable resource -- hang on to some of these throughout the festival.
The quest series given by Imperial Guard Hanso is a must-do for several reasons. First of all, the quests are funny. The events are staged recreations of historical Canthan events, and the actors in each event are pretty amusing. Second, they're easy Victory Tokens. Doing all four quests will earn you a total of 240 Tokens, and every enemy you'll encounter is below level 20. The quests are not repeatable, but it's common practice for players to run the quests on every character they have for the token rewards.
You may want to check out the missions from Captain Rujiyo as well. Be warned, these are much more challenging than the quest series. Enemies are high-level, usually in the mid-to-upper 20s, and a group limit of four means that an unprepared group will be wiped out very quickly. These missions are available at set times throughout the festival, and a schedule can be found near the end of the Dragon Festival page on the Guild Wars site.
Finally, there's the Shing Jea Boardwalk. Talk to the Monastery Keeper to gain access to this area. This is where you'll find hordes of players playing Nine Rings to gain points on their Lucky and Unlucky titles, or Rings of Fortune, a smaller version of the same game. Rollerbeetle Racing and the Dragon Arena are also extremely popular events, even more so if you're a PvP fan.
Now, one last extremely important thing: the finale. On Sunday, July 4th, Emperor Kisu will appear in Shing Jea Monastery every two hours. If you're there at the time and have 250 tokens in your inventory, you'll receive this year's commemorative mask. He also hands out presents, another big festival draw. If you miss out, don't worry -- you can still get your mask. Just look for Imperial Supply Master Kagno in Shing Jea once the festival is over. He'll be trading masks until July 11th to those who couldn't make it Sunday.
All right, there you go. Your beginner's guide to the Dragon Festival should get you to the party and ready to join in the fun, so I'll see you in Shing Jea!