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A large and still growing thread has popped up on the Guild Wars 2 forums over the past 24 hours, following a change to the way players can exchange in-game currency for cash shop Gems in order to purchase cash shop items. When a thread becomes this large on a game forum, it’s usually a safe bet that players aren’t happy.

The change involves taking away a player’s ability to exchange in-game gold for the exact amount of cash shop Gems they wish to purchase based on the current exchange rate. If a player wanted to just purchase 100 Gems for a particular item, they could do so in the old system. The new system has taken away that ability, and instead players can now only exchange their in-game gold for set amounts of Gems, starting at 400 Gems, with denominations of 800, 1,200, and 2,000 available as well. The new system is now reflective of the real money exchange for Gems.

pc 2 mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg featured     Guild Wars 2 Currency Exchange Revamp Ignites Player Backlash
Image via GW2 forum thread.

The flexibility of the old system is gone, leaving many players with only the option to buy more Gems than they actually want at the time. Obviously the forum thread is a result of players who utilize the in-game gold exchange losing the flexibility they once enjoyed.

The forum thread isn’t the only place where players are voicing their displeasure. Lewis Burnell of TenTonHammer has also written a lengthy editorial on the matter, saying that he feels ArenaNet is “nickel and diming” the playerbase with this change. Burnell is also very critical of the response from ArenaNet thus far.

Here’s the first response post from Gaile Gray, ArenaNet’s Communications Team Lead:

Ok, guys. Some of you are unhappy about this change, I can see that. BUT… quite honestly, most of you are sort of (I hate to use the word) ranting (sorry!) instead of offering suggestions.

I assure you, the team leader told me not 15 minutes ago, they will listen to suggestions.

Does that mean you get everything you want? Probably not.

Does that mean you should suggest something? Yes, of course! Because they’re expecting player input.

So you want lower increments? Think it through and present a suggestion! You want XYZ in the interface? Post that idea. You would rather see something else? Post what you think about that other thing. Please don’t get into the whole “I’m going to kick the devs and their little dogs, too” because it’s not doing you or us any good at all.

I’m not here to apologize. I’m here to communicate and right now, the communication is coming in without a whole lot of substance. Over to you for suggestions and constructive input!

ArenaNet has also stated that part of the justification for this change was to create less confusion for new players when using the currency exchange, and that only a small percentage of currency exchange users were purchasing Gem totals smaller than the 400 Gem starting point now on the exchange.

Guild Wars 2 players are left wondering where new players are getting enough gold to purchase 400 Gems in the exchange.

As far as the small percentage of players who purchase less than 400 Gems at a time; it looks like every single one of them have showed up to voice their displeasure with the new system.

 

October beckons the return of spooky events in many MMORPGs, and Guild Wars 2 is bringing back its Blood and Madness event once again.

The activities and events in Blood and Madness will be the same as last year, but the rewards have been revamped, with all new items to collect.

pc 2 mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Blood And Madness Event Returns To Guild Wars 2 Today

Doors are opening up all over Tyria, and players can go trick-or-treating and stumble upon the entrance to the Mad King’s realm, as well as take on the Bloody Prince.

pc 2 mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Blood And Madness Event Returns To Guild Wars 2 Today

 

Following the Blood and Madness event will be the return of the Living Story on November 4, with ArenaNet’s Colin Johanson promising that this season of Living Story will feature “stories with roots deep in the very heart of Guild Wars lore”. Johanson also promises that this season’s final episode will be “unforgettable”.

As a fan of Guild Wars 2, you know Jonathan Sharp as one of the primary voices for the game. Unfortunately, it’s time for him to leave ArenaNet. According to a post on the official forums, the designer has moved on to greener pastures. But he couldn’t leave without giving a farewell to the community.

“I’m sad to say that I’ll be leaving ArenaNet after 8 years with the company, and it’s been an amazing ride!

I’ve chatted with many of you on vent, we’ve debated on State of the game, we’ve tossed ideas back and forth on the forums, and I’ve met many of you in person at various cons!

It has been my privilege, pleasure and honor to work with such a passionate and intelligent group of fans. You guys have always kept me honest, you’ve pushed me to better myself, and your ideas have helped to create GW2’s success – we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your love, passion and communication.

I will always look back on my time here with love and gratitude, and much of that is owed to you, our wonderful fans.”

Is ArenaNet looking to jump into esports with Guild Wars 2? It’s an odd jump for a game that’s approaching two years old now. However, during its trip to EGX London, Guild Wars 2 appeared to reintroduce itself to many players, specifically the esports crowd.

In the video above and the one below, the Competitive Events Manager (that’s right ‘competitive events) Joshua Davis takes a half an hour to show us where Guild Wars 2 fits into the esports world. Then Community Coordinators Rubi Bayer and Elisabeth Cardy introduce the basics other basics of the game if you’re just now getting into it or maybe need a refresher if you’re returning.

 

What you wanted more than what the titles says? Fine. Besides the teaser image which indicates that a new Guild Wars 2 zone is forthcoming, ArenaNet shared this statement:

The fate of Tyria hangs in the balance. The world’s races are uniting against the Elder Dragon Mordremoth. Their first lesson – there is no sanctuary.

At the culmination of the first half of Season 2, Tyria’s leaders had gathered for a secret summit at the Grove, at the base of the sylvari’s sacred Pale Tree. They proved an easy target for Mordremoth’s forces, facing a surprise attack by the Shadow of the Dragon.

Tyria’s heroes are now scattered across the world but in pursuit of one goal: how to bring the battle to Mordremoth. The secret may lie in a vision delivered by the Pale Tree moments after she was badly wounded by the Shadow of the Dragon.

What did the vision mean, and will a united Tyria be enough to thwart the threat from this powerful Elder Dragon?

The fight continues…

[via Massively]

Today another large Feature Pack went live in Guild Wars 2, and it comes packed with plenty of updates to improve the experience of players both new and veteran.

The WvW experience has been improved, a new Trading Post UI has been implemented, wardrobes and collections have been updated, and the new player experience should be better than ever. Take a look at the rundown of what dropped in today’s patch.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 September Feature Pack Is Live

  • Wardrobe Updates

The April 2014 Feature Pack brought the account Wardrobe, a system that made it easier than ever for players to manage clothing looks and dye colors. Now, it’s being expanded with new features and functionality, including Wardrobe support to store and manage combat Finishers and ‘Miniatures’ (mini-pets), which can be account unlocked and equipped via a new mini-equip slot.

 

 

  • New Trading Post

The update features a brand-new Trading Post interface which provides a better overview and is easier to navigate, meaning it will be much easier for players to find and buy the items they desire.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 September Feature Pack Is Live

 

  • Collection Achievements

A new Collections Achievement category will reward players for amassing items from all over Tyria. By sampling all of the ales, stockpiling trinkets, and collecting themed sets of gear players can earn rewards like new equipment, recipes or even a rare treasure chest for their home instance.

 

  • World vs. World Updates
    From Commander tag updates to the Siege Golem ability line and the new Siege Disabler Trick, there are many exciting additions in the feature pack affecting strategy and tactics in Guild Wars 2’s popular competitive mode, World vs. World. Furthermore players from across the globe will have the chance to put their abilities to the test in the forthcoming World vs. Wold Fall Tournament 2014 which commences on Friday September 12.

 

  • New Player Experience
    The latest update includes a series of improvements designed to ensure that Guild Wars 2’s early levelling and learning experience is more engaging, easier to follow and rewarding.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 September Feature Pack Is Live

 

If you were a fan of the feature pack Guild Wars 2 put out earlier this year, with tons of updates and improvements, you’re gonna love what’s coming in next week’s September Feature pack.

Already announced to be coming in the September Feature Pack are improvements to competitive play, class balance changes, a change to the starting experience, and wardrobe and collection UI improvements.

Now ArenaNet has given us the 411 on a pretty big Trading Post update, bringing a faster auction house experience with a better interface.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Trading Post Getting Big Time Upgrades In September Feature Pack

The Trading Post has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, and functions much more like the gem store, which will not only improve functionality but make it easier for players to find what they are looking for without having to sort through thousands of items.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Trading Post Getting Big Time Upgrades In September Feature Pack

The expanded filtering options available when searching in the new Trading Post include:

  • Category (completely reorganized to better fit expectations)
  • Subcategory (also completely reorganized)
  • Rarity
  • Level
  • “Available now” to limit search results to only items with active listings
  • Attributes like power and precision (and many more) are available within the Armor and Weapons categories
  • Profession is now a filter available within the Armor and Weapons categories;  Armor will apply a weight filter (light, medium, heavy), and Weapons will filter to only those types appropriate for your character
  • Bag size
  • Crafting discipline and level

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Trading Post Getting Big Time Upgrades In September Feature Pack

“One of the biggest challenges about the Trading Post has been ensuring that users understand what’s happening. It’s not terribly common to have a game market that works more like a stock market than an auction house, and that means that we need to do a great job of messaging. Never is clear messaging and useful, timely feedback more important than when you’re about to spend some gold or sell one of your hard-won items from your inventory.”

You can check out the official site for all the details.

Guild Wars 2 is getting ready for its big Feature Pack release on September 9, but details on what’s coming in this huge update are still rolling in.

Today ArenaNet talked about improvements being made to the wardrobe UI, better differentiating between your slotted equipment and your wardrobe, allowing you to easily sort and preview different looks for you character.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Improving Wardrobe, Adding Finishers & Miniatures Collections

Along with this improvement comes the addition of Finishers to the wardrobe tab as recognition of the feature as a true form of customizing your character.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Improving Wardrobe, Adding Finishers & Miniatures Collections

And finally, they are adding a Miniatures collection tab to the UI, and all Minis are now treated as account unlocks in your wardrobe instead of storing them in your bank. New minis can also be previewed via the wardrobe window before purchasing, save for a few rare minis that remain hidden until unlocked.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Improving Wardrobe, Adding Finishers & Miniatures Collections

This September Features Pack is really shaping up to be a great update, and is bringing some fantastic quality of life improvements.

In an effort to make the new-player experience better, ArenaNet is revamping the starting zones and the leveling process for Guild Wars 2.

ANet posted a lengthy article outlining the things that will be changing for beginners, but I will give you the highlights here. The team would like to give a clearer sense of direction and a better rewards system, including a revamp of the interface. Stat awards have changed to be more significant to the players, and the personal story has changed so that you can have a complete playthrough of a chapter without awkward starts and stops.

The full article can be found on the GW2 website, and look for the update this September.

The September Feature Pack coming to Guild Wars 2 is looking to be quite an update, with already announced changes coming to PvP and WvW. Add to that now, a first look at profession balance changes that are coming once the feature pack goes live sometime next month.

We don’t have a ton of specifics for you right now, but there is a lengthy overview of the incoming Guild Wars 2 class changes which you can check out below. ArenaNet says there will be more details on this Friday’s “Ready Up” livestream at 12pm pst.

Elementalist

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

The elementalist’s cantrips are popular in all parts of the game, and in the interest of promoting build diversity, we’ll be using the feature pack as an opportunity to work on other types of utility skills. For example, the fire and air storms from the Glyph of Storms will now apply conditions of their own. In addition, we’ll rework some of the new grandmaster traits that currently don’t have enough of a payoff or are too difficult to use. Finally, we’ll be addressing the Tornado and Fiery Greatsword elite skills; we’ll make some usability improvements and tone down some of their unintended functionality.

Engineer

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

In this balance pass, we’ve focused on giving some love to lesser-used kits and several non-kit utilities. With this update, you’ll see some changes to a few of your elixirs that will give them a bit more functionality, like Elixir R, which we’ve altered to also remove immobilized. Likewise, we’ve looked at a few of the gadgets and updated them to have a more defined purpose and a clear use.

Guardian

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

With the guardian, our intent for this balance update is to improve some of the less popular utility skills and open up some build diversity in both support and offense. The active skills of some of the spirit weapons have been reworked to include more supportive functionality. One change we’re excited to tell you about is Spirit Bow’s command ability, which will now heal in a targeted area rather than just around the bow itself. We’ve also adjusted the guardian’s elite skills; the tomes have received considerable number changes and quality-of-life updates.

Mesmer

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

The mesmer has seen adjustments in a few areas. For this update, we’re looking at improving multiple traits, utility skills, weapon skills, and illusions. We’ve taken a look at some of the new grandmaster traits and improved upon their original implementation. We’ve altered the scepter a bit, pushing it more toward the condition role we would like it to have. In addition, you’ll see some awesome improvements to offensive mantras and a rework of the Mimic skill, which will now copy all boons on your target to yourself.

Necromancer

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

Our focus for necromancers in this balance update has been on improving their survivability through utilities and traits as well as improving the overall effectiveness of their melee and skirmishing weapons. You’ll see that the dagger auto-attack will now hit two targets, while the axe’s animations have been tuned to be more fluid. Along with weapon skill updates, your utility skills have been updated to provide more survivability over time.

Ranger

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

The balance team has given the ranger a lot of love during this balance update. Rangers will be seeing a rework of Signet of the Beastmaster, which will be replaced by a new trait entitled Predator’s Onslaught. With this change, Signet of the Beastmaster’s effects will be rolled into the baseline signet skills. We’ll also be updating several Beastmastery traits to remove pet specificity, allowing you to choose which pets you’d like to use rather than the traits themselves requiring a specific family. Along with these improvements, we’ll be updating quite a few weapon skills to improve their base functionality and responsiveness.

Thief

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

The goal for the thief during this balance pass has been to improve upon the new grandmaster traits that were recently added and increase the overall value of a few other traits through small tweaks. For example, Venomous Aura will now use your own stats rather than your allies’, so if you’re a master of condition damage, your shared venoms will be more effective than ever. As with the necromancer, you’ll be seeing increases to the number of targets that your dagger auto-attacks can strike. Additionally, we’ll be introducing a small range increase for pistol attacks when using the Ricochet trait.

Warrior

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Reveals Class Balance Changes Coming In September

In this update, we’ll be adjusting how the warrior uses and loses adrenaline. We felt that the warrior maintained their adrenaline a little too well, in that there wasn’t a real consequence to missing with an adrenaline skill or simply keeping it from fight to fight. We’ll be adjusting adrenaline so that it’s lost if you miss with a burst ability as well as draining slowly when you exit combat. With these changes, however, we will be updating the greatsword’s adrenaline burst ability to be a cleaving, execution-style attack more fitting for the weapon. In addition to this, we’ll be updating multiple skills and traits, increasing and decreasing some adrenaline-gain abilities, and addressing multiple traits to have better effects.

 

The world of competitive play can certainly draw a crowd, and Guild Wars 2 seems to be focusing on improving their PvP and WvW with a second feature pack due out sometime in September.

While the details will be slowly coming over the next few days, ArenaNet has said that they are focused on embracing the fast growing popularity of competitive game modes in Guild Wars 2.

So far they have announced a feature which will allow PvP players to standardize enemy models, making all other players look the same, allowing for easier visual recognition of attacks and abilities.

guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Bringing Feature Pack & Focus To Competitive Play

 

Guild Wars 2 will also be adding a PvP armor and reward track, giving players the ability to work towards and earn improved PvP gear.

guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Bringing Feature Pack & Focus To Competitive Play

 

Along with the continuing upcoming announcements of all the goodies coming in the September feature pack, ArenaNet has also announced the World Tournament Series, the first ever global competition for Guild Wars 2 with a $150,000 prize pool up for grabs.

guild wars 2 mmorpg featured news     Guild Wars 2 Bringing Feature Pack & Focus To Competitive Play

It sounds like some fun times are ahead for Guild Wars 2 PvP and WvW players.

Season 2 of Guild Wars 2‘s Living Story is still going strong, and ArenaNet launched the latest addition today. In fact, Dragon’s Reach: Part 2 is called the mid-season finale.

We are half-way to the end, and based on the trailer, it looks like we might be facing another dragon. ANet tell us that the second half will resume this fall.

[via Massively]

The new chapter of Guild Wars 2 living story launches to day. The studio is excited to give it to the world.

“The third episode in this second season of Living World sees the whole of Tyria now threatened by the Elder Dragon Mordremoth.”

Check out the images below, then I guess the only thing left to do is to log in.

[source: Press release via Massively]

When Corruption Spreads

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2 featured     Dissecting The Guild Wars 2 Dragons Reach TrailerWell, I guess no one made any weed repellent strong enough just yet because the vines have spread out to at least the Black Citadel/Plains of Ashford area. I noticed that the corruption spread distance from Dry Top to Timberline Falls (from episode 1 to 2) is relatively the same distance from Timberline Falls to The Black Citadel. If the corruption spreads in all directions, then we could be looking at the bottom of Frostgorge Sound having a few vines as well.

I do wonder if the corruption could even spread into the Shiverpeaks. If it’s possible, the spread would be quite bad. The reason I question if it’s possible is that The Risen have only spread up to Lion’s Arch (starting from the bottom left of Tyria) during personal story. It looks like Mordremoth’s vines are either following a path of waypoints or the ley lines which pretty much covers Tyria either way.

Alliances Are Tested

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2 featured     Dissecting The Guild Wars 2 Dragons Reach Trailer

This patch features Destiny’s Edge 2.0 making what seems like some hard decisions. We see Rox talking with Rytlock, Braham about to talk to his mother Eir, and we see Taimi with other Asura looking as if they want an answer out of her.

These “tests” definitely follow the personal issues of each character I mentioned above from Living Story Season 1. From Season 1 we know there’s friction between Braham and Eir. We also know that Rox had to make decisions between her friends (mainly Braham at the time) and her getting into Rytlock’s warband. Taimi I’m not so sure of but there may be some Asura not too thrilled with her infatuation with Scarlet or with her research of Scarlet.

It will be interesting to see how these characters will proceed if personal issues get in the way. The members of the first Destiny’s Edge had big personal issues as well; and we all know that turned out badly.

“Ascalon, I Free You From This Curse!”

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2 featured     Dissecting The Guild Wars 2 Dragons Reach TrailerHands down, this line is the single biggest thing in that video. I had a dumbfounded expression on my face but was internally freaking out when I saw that. It appears to me that Rytlock is going to release the Ghosts of Ascalon; possibly to fight for him. You know, the ones who harbor insane hatred for the Charr for over 200 years? Yea those ones. That scene reminded me of Aragorn from Lord of Rings: Return of the King when he got the ghosts to fight for him. Rytlock is pretty much Aragorn in this case. Oddly enough, they both need a sword to release the ghosts from their spectral curse.

The fact that Rytlock resorts to these measures really signifies that Mordremoth presents a huge problem next patch. However, if the ghosts are bound to help Rytlock fight Mordremoth in exchange for something, I’m guessing letting their spirits being freed, that’s a different case and could very well prove to make the story more interesting.

To Sum It Up

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2 featured     Dissecting The Guild Wars 2 Dragons Reach Trailer

All in all, ArenaNet has been doing a great job on the story. I hope they’re not burning through all the good stuff right now as I feel we’re reaching the climax rather quickly. I could be wrong though and this could very well be only a small sample of the good stuff yet to come.

Personally, the Gates of Maguuma patch was okay for me, it felt like a normal LS patch: a bit of speculation and decent story setup for next patch. Entanglement is what woke me up, the trailer was fine but the ending of that episode was so good and had me wondering what was coming next. Now we see that the trailer for Dragon’s Reach: Part 1 is amazing and full of intrigue. It naturally leads me to believe the patch will be amazing as well.

I have to force myself to remember to dial it back a bit as next episode is Part 1 of the story. I assume there will be two episodes to make up the story of Dragon’s Reach but you never know!

So what did you think of when you finished the trailer? How excited are you for the next Living Story patch? You can leave your answers and more in the comments below!

The second part of Living World Season 2 kicks off today with the Entanglement Patch and some things are already afoot. Early this morning a vine appeared and took out the Mirkrise waypoint which has shut it down completely (when looked at from the map it appears permanently contested). All signs point to this only being the first sign of the Vine Spread.

When the Entanglement episode becomes available players will meet-up with Braham to check on Taimi who was, perhaps foolishly, left behind in Prosperity to do research. Players will also find new foes and discover new secrets in Dry Top as they continue searching for the ley line hub. Possibly another jumping puzzle as well?

Also don’t forget if you haven’t finished the last storyline you can still go back and finish anything which was missed; and as long as you log on between now and July 28th the second episode will also be permanently unlocked for you.

Today is the day Guild Wars 2 fans have been waiting for. Season 2 of the Living World story kicks off today with the launch of Gates of Maguuma. The Living World story will see a few updates this season, including a story journal which will allow players to replay their favorite moments in the story.

There’s a strange disturbance in the tangled western reaches of the Brisban Wildlands, and it’s up to you to find out what’s afoot! Meet up with Seraph forces in Brisban and get to the root of the problem.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2 Begins Today

 

The Fall of the Zephyrites

The Zephyrites are in need of your aid! After they departed from the Labyrinthine Cliffs and the festivities there, the Zephyrites met with trouble in the air. You’ll need to find the ship and its inhabitants and figure out what went wrong.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2 Begins Today

Digging Deeper

Meet up with Marjory, Kasmeer, Braham, Rox, and Taimi and Scruffy to investigate what’s causing such a commotion and how it’s connected to the fallen Zephyr Sanctum. It’ll take courage and no small amount of teamwork to get to the bottom of things!

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2 Begins Today

Against the Inquest

The commotion in the Maguuma region has garnered the attention of the notorious Inquest. As you venture through Dry Top, keep an eye out for Inquest devices and operatives. They’ll stop at nothing to reach their nefarious goals, so you’d best be prepared for a fight!

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2 Begins Today

 

Elite Achievements

Once you’ve completed the storyline for Gates of Maguuma, you’ll unlock access to challenging achievements that will push your wits and skills to the limit! Perform daring feats of valor, strength, and sheer guts to prove your worth and unlock rewards! Read more about the Story Journal feature that’s making all Living World story content permanent!

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2 Begins Today

Rich Rewards

This release brings in a whole passel of new rewards, including new crafting materials. Refine Ambrite into sheets to be used in crafting gear with bonuses to Toughness, Healing, and Vitality, or harvest cacti to create delicious new dishes! You’ll also have a chance to find the new Adventurer’s Spectacles and Adventurer’s Scarf, which can be combined to create the stylish and functional Adventurer’s Mantle!

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 2 Begins Today

Guild Wars 2 is making a bit of an overhaul to their Living Story system, now allowing players to “unlock” each episode to re-play through later or on another character. During each two-week episode time period, all you have to do is log in and that episode of the Season 2 Living Story will be added to your new Living World Journal. You’ll then be able to play through episodes of the Living Story again simply by accessing your Journal.

According to the blog post by Colin Johanson, level 80 characters will be able to choose between playing their Personal Story and the Living Story. Sub-80 characters will be able to see the unlocked Living Story quests, but not play through them via the Journal until level 80.

Writes Johanson: “With this addition to the story Journal, content from Living World episodes will be a mix of new story steps and open world content. Story steps will work just like existing story steps in the game today by taking you on a journey specific to your selected episode, which ties into a broader narrative from the season’s continual story progress.  Open world content additions to Living World updates will permanently expand or change the world of Tyria and will tie to the theme and story of the episode.”

If you are unable to log in during an episode’s two-week window, episodes will be available to be unlocked via the store for 200 gems.

Season 1 will not be included in the new Journal, but ArenaNet hope to add it in to the new system at a later date.

Achievements are also being changed in Season 2, with rewards coming at the end of each episode’s storyline, and a variety of rewards will be available via the open world content of each episode. Also, once one character on your account has completed an episode in their story journal, every character on your account will then have access to a set of challenging achievements. At any time once unlocked, you can return and attempt to replay that episode in order to complete the achievements. The achievements will be much more difficult to complete than those traditionally found in Season 1, and are intended to be challenging achievements for skilled players to overcome. Each achievement will award both achievement points and material rewards.

This all kicks off when Season 2 begins on July 1st.

 

It’s been a few months since the first Living Story Season wrapped up with the defeat of Scarlet and the revelation what she was trying to do was wake-up the sleeping Elder Dragon Mordremoth. Apparently Scarlet felt it would be better for him to wake-up now instead of whenever his cycle would have been up.

We were left with many questions, least of which is what is the Sylvari relationship with Mordremoth? Way back when we first met Scarlet we saw a vision where the Pale Tree told her she was delving into the forces that created them… which (if it was a true vision) could mean the Sylvari are creations of an Elder Dragon.

Arenanet released a teaser picture today with the announcement Living Story Season 2 starts on July 1st. With a whole month to go before it officially starts you can be sure there will be even more teasers to come. Also, make sure you have everything you want done in the Festival of the Four Winds because when the Living Story starts again, the Festival ends.

The Guild Wars 2 WvW Spring Tournament brings out some interesting strategies, most notably the 2v1 strategy

So I’ve been getting back into WvW as of late. Some might not like it because they think it’s simply a “zerg fest”. However, I find that it actually takes some skill to play in WvW as a zerg or as a small group. That’s what I feel the WvW tournaments are about: which servers are the best at moving around, communicating, winning vital fights, and capturing objectives. This brings me to a strategy that’s been brought up a little bit in the WvW community: the 2v1 strategy.

Here’s an example of how this strategy is being used in the WvW gold tier. The Blackgate server fought Jade Quarry and Tarnished Coast in the starting weeks of the WvW Spring tournament. These are the top 3 WvW servers in North America. The thing is, Blackgate was literally fighting both Jade Quarry AND Tarnished Coast. JQ and TC were trading wins in order to gain a higher ranking than Blackgate because Blackgate is known as a server to beat for 1st in WvW. At the moment Blackgate got bumped down to 4th and are now fighting the Dragonbrand and Maguuma servers.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Guild Wars 2 WvW 2v1 Strategy: Is It An Issue?

Narrowing It Down

You can’t complain about the Jade Quarry and Tarnished Coast servers cooperating because it is a viable strategy to perform. One of the issues is the trading wins bit. I feel that trading wins like this during a tournament kind of defeats the purpose of having a tournament to begin with. There can be some competition when two smaller servers join forces to even the odds against a dominate server. However, there’s no real counter play to the strategy when two top tier WvW servers join forces to take down another server which is the other issue. At least I haven’t heard of one yet. The awesome Commander Siegecrusher NPC a server gets when you fall behind can only help so much. The only way at the moment is to figure out a strategy to fight an overwhelming 2v1.  This also doesn’t help the servers just below either. Since Blackgate is decimating the 5th and 6th placed servers (as far as I can see), it doesn’t give them a chance to get 4th place.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Guild Wars 2 WvW 2v1 Strategy: Is It An Issue?

What Needs To Be Looked At

Before the next WvW tournament, I think ArenaNet needs to figure out a way to keep 2v1 a viable strategy but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the server getting ganged up on too much. Since I don’t play WvW a lot, I can’t really go into details of how this could be done. Who knows? Maybe someone will figure out how to win against a 2v1 matchup down the road. The flip side to all of this is that it changes the server matches up from time to time but even then the matchups might be uneven. What do you guys make of the 2v1 strategy? Does it negatively affect WvW? Let me know in the comments!

The first season of the Guild Wars 2 Living Story wrapped up back in the middle of March and the “Big Features” patch is done, so now seems like a good time to start thinking about what I’d like to see happen in the next season.

Mordremoth and the Sylvari

In the very last story instance to wrap up everything from Season 1 Taimi talked about how Scarlet has awoken Mordremoth. She sets the stage for what will likely be the first act of the next Living Story Season, Mordremoth awakening and becoming active.

We know he is starting to stir because of the tyriaquakes which have been happening ever since Scarlet set off her device. However, he’s clearly not fully awake since nothing catastrophic has happened just yet. When he does wake we should see some zone altering changes and an outpouring of plant minions.

On that note the fact this Elder Dragon will be obviously of a plant type, there should be some interesting implications for the Sylvari. I wouldn’t be surprised to be meet another group of Sylvari who represent what they would have become if the Pale Tree’s seed hadn’t been stolen. If no one else does the Priory should be able to connect the dots on it. Assuming the truth of the Sylvari isn’t just said outright, there might be some people questioning if any Sylvari can truly be trusted. Additionally it will be interesting to see how the Nightmare Court reacts to all of this. I’d expect the Sylvari to also have a lot of soul searching to do. If any of them suspect they are creations of Mordremoth’s then there would be a whole interesting moral dilemma for them to deal with. What matters more? Who created them and why or what happened to them which made them different than what they were intended to be?

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Lets Talk About Guild Wars 2s Living Story Season 2

Rebuilding Lion’s Arch

Currently Lion’s Arch is just a mere shadow of it’s former self, which it should be. Rebuilding this city should absolutely take a lot of time and we definitely should not get LA back to exactly how it had been before. Rebuilding too quickly or making it exactly the same again would just undermine the importance of it being destroyed.

At the same time it shouldn’t just be an NPC only rebuilding process. Instead of having the rebuilding be a small event which happens during this season Arenanet could make it longer one which spans the whole season or more. For example one part could be a collection of wood and metal to help the rebuilding. Every person who contributed could help the process along and once a certain number of materials were collected that stage would be done.

With the implementation of the megaserver Arenanet could even set to goals for the entire population of GW2 to work on together. And it doesn’t need to just be collecting materials, there’s all sorts of events which could be utilized to help players feel like they really had an important part to play in the rebuilding.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Lets Talk About Guild Wars 2s Living Story Season 2

New Boss Fight

Currently in the new universal Boss Timers there is a spot for an TBD boss. Now first thing first, it is unlikely this fight will be Mordremoth himself. I’m not sure how Arenanet intends to implement Elder Dragon fights in the future but making them a reoccurring fight seems unlikely. The only way I could that working out is if we fought him until he was forced to retreat, and then after he was beaten a certain number of times the final fight would be triggered (which would probably be a different fight). After that the time slot would go back to being a held time-slot for when the other Elder Dragons are faced.

While all that is possible, I don’t think it is likely. All the other dragon fights on the timers are champions of other dragons so it probably makes sense for Arenanet to stick with this pattern. The only real issue with making the new boss fight be the Champion of Mordremoth’s is we might find ourself in a similar situation as we are with Teq. If the plan with Living Story content is truly to tell stories which have a real and tangible affect on Tyria, fighting the same bosses forever will need to be addressed at some point. The current issue of still having to fight Teq after Zaihtan has been defeated for people who have finished the Personal Story.

Pacing

I’m not too worried about this next season of the Living Story starting of as slow as the last one. Near the end Arenanet really seemed to get a handle on how to present the story in an engaging way and when to reveal important info.

What I am concerned about is better story progression overall. My biggest annoyance with Scarlet was how we were always trailing behind her and never actually prevented her from doing anything. Every time we faced her it was on her terms and while we might have accomplished little things (like destroying the nightmare tower) it was only after she had accomplished her goal for that particular endeavor.

We a absolutely should face technical failures when facing very formidable beings. But never having any real success is extremely discouraging. I’m not saying we should be given some simple tasks to get our successes and make us feel good, but we should be able to at least occasionally actually accomplish something.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Lets Talk About Guild Wars 2s Living Story Season 2

The new icons

One big loose end still out there is Rox needs to go face Rytlock and wrap up the whole part about how she was supposed to help kill Scarlet to get into his warband. I was really disappointed to see there was no real personal growth and self awareness from her at the end of the last season. Braham could use some personal growth and self awareness as well.

Mr. E… Yea we still don’t know that is or really anything aside from whoever it is was trying to help Marjory. I really hope that side story is developed more.

Taimi and Zojja could really use some “on screen” time together. All of their interactions so far have happened somewhere else and the we just get a recounting of what happened from Taimi, which is just disappointing. I’d really like to see how those two affect each other over time.

All that boils down to…

A catastrophic awakening of Mordremoth, some interesting consequences for the Sylvari, a new dragon fight, new icon character development, and an engaging rebuilding of Lion’s Arch. For everything I am expecting to happen (and I am sure there will be other things I haven’t thought of) I would guess the next season will last either an entire year or maybe a bit more. What are you looking forward/hoping to see?

It been long enough, let’s review the Guild Wars 2 April 2014 Features Pack!

Today I’d like to go over the Guild Wars 2 Features Pack that launched this month. Overall, the pack was a major plus in my book and even brought back some players. However, there are some things here and there I think could be worked on. Let’s jump into it and break it down.

Traits

To put it in a few words: very good upgrade. Better trait UI, free re-traiting, new Grandmaster traits, can choose to go out and get major traits or buy them. One thing that is peculiar is that some traits have a bit of a “level block” for new characters created after the patch. For example, the 8th major trait (which is a Master trait) in the first trait line for any profession requires the player to beat Citadel of Flames which is a level 70+ dungeon. So when you hit 60, which unlocks the Master trait tier, you can’t instantly opt into trying to get that trait unless you buy it from a vendor. Kind of annoying if you just wanted that one trait to complement your build.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Reviewing The Guild Wars 2 April 2014 Features Pack

Wardrobe System

I swear this feature made me tear up a bit. You have an account wide skin storage of weapons, armor and backpacks. You can also transmute them a lot more easily using the new transmutation system. I love it.

An issue I, and quite possibly a lot of people with alts, have is skinning pre-80 armor and weapons. While leveling I like to look awesome. At all times. That’s why I like the transmutation stones: to skin pre-80 armor. With the new system, you have a limited amount of transmutation charges (without buying any from the gem store) and your pretty much have to hold off transmutating pre-80 gear to save the charges for a final skin overhaul when your character is at max level and you have all the armor and weapons you want for said character.

Another issue that was quite the outcry by the community was town clothes sets. Clothes sets like the Mad King will be unified as a single appearance in the wardrobe so no mix matching a pumpkin head with Wintersday town clothes. Not sure how long the grace period is for a refund on gem bought clothing sets so you might want to jump on that if you planned for it.

Finally, the last issue I personally have is the UI switching from Equipment, Wardrobe and Dyes in the hero tab. I would have preferred that they had the 3 options of Equipment, Wardrobe and Dyes in the top left and simply highlight the view option you select which would change the view to the selected option. What we have now is a menu of the three options which changes the view but replaces the menu with a back button. I find it’s a bit annoying to flip back and forth, maybe it’s the efficient programmer in me.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Reviewing The Guild Wars 2 April 2014 Features Pack

PvP Rewards Track

I don’t do a lot of PvP but I like the new reward track system. It gives players a more visual goal progression wise and I’m glad PvP players are finally getting good rewards for their efforts. Kind of surprised that some non-PvP players actually complained about not getting the rewards PvP players were getting.

The Megaserver

This is basically a solution to deal with world boss events and living story where players want to group with their guild or party. This new feature makes me wonder if guesting will be required when it’s fully implemented. That’s a topic for another day. Overall I like the new system for PvE. Each map is more populated so the game feels more active and hard events can actually be done.

The down side to the megaserver is longer loading times to get on a map. Another other down side is, due to the nature of how megaservers are implemented, more contested waypoints. A bit annoying to deal with but I guess the tradeoff of having populated maps for events is worth it.

A final point about megaservers that I’d like to bring up is the new schedule for bosses around the world. There’s always a boss to fight pretty much every 15 minutes. People who want to do the boss gather around and with the megaserver there will be more than enough people. This may or may not be good for people with intense schedules, I’m not really sure. If you want an event timer, Dulfy has a great one here.

guild wars 2 mmorpg features 2     Reviewing The Guild Wars 2 April 2014 Features Pack

Other Extra Features

The changes to Critical Damage makes the stat overall easier to understand. I am glad that account bound dyes and WXP are a thing now but I think we can all agree that this should have been implemented at the start. Account bound legendaries and ascended gear is great if you wanted to swap gear from character to character every once in a while.

So that’s my take on the Guild Wars 2 April 2014 Features Pack. Again, the changes overall were great with a few small grips here and there. What do you guys think of the Features Pack? Also, I may have left something out so feel free to comment below!

ArenaNet has announced changes to the upcoming Tournament of Legends as a result of “overwhelming turnout.” More than 200 teams have registered for the event, causing ArenaNet to work together with Mistpedia in order to accommodate as many teams as possible.  As of now, each region will hold 64 teams — instead of the original 16 — for a grand total of 128 teams.

In addition, the team has also decided that since turnout is so great this time around, they will be be setting up another tournament in June or July.

The day has finally come for Guild Wars 2 players who have been anticipating the release of the much talked about April Feature Pack. With today’s update comes a ton of changes to many core game features, and this update should represent significant quality-of-life changes for GW2 players of all types.

Megaserver System

Today’s update brings with it the first stages of the new Guild Wars 2 megaserver system. World shards and the players within are being brought together by a system that dynamically opens and closes maps in order to bring the world to life and fill it with players who are interested in doing the same things you are. You will still have a home world shard, but the megaserver system will bring PvE players together and remove the barriers that world shards can bring. 

guild wars 2 mmorpg     The Guild Wars 2 Changes Everyones Talking About Starts Today

The megaserver system is going to be rolled out slowly over time, beginning in low level zones, but as testing is done and tweaks are made, the system will end up across the whole of Tyria, bringing players together and allowing them to easily play with others.

Traits Unleashed

New traits are coming to Guild Wars 2, and the way we get them is being tweaked. Gone are the days of paying to unlock trait tiers, as are the days of paying to respec. The new system allows for more freedom in trying different builds in different situations, and also awards traits for acts of bravery and daring. Explore the world, conquer challenges, and improve your abilities.

Account Bound The Way You Want It

One of the best aspects of Guild Wars 2 has long been the way your game is centralized around your account, and in turn you, instead of each individual character. ArenaNet has continued to expand upon that idea as it evolves, and now we are taking another giant step in the right direction as more of the things you do and enjoy can help all your characters in GW2.

The wardrobe system is getting an overhaul with a panel somewhat similar to that of the crafting bank. Every time one of your characters acquires a new piece of gear, it unlocks that style for use across all characters on that account through the account bound wardrobe system.

guild wars 2 mmorpg     The Guild Wars 2 Changes Everyones Talking About Starts Today

To make things even better, dyes are now account bound and available to all your characters on your account. One of your alts have just the perfect color you need on another? Now they both have it!

Add to that the fact that legendary items are now account bound, and all of your alts can rejoice knowing that just because you’re not currently playing them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t getting cool stuff.

PvP For The Rewards You Want

The new PvP rewards track allows players who don’t necessarily enjoy doing PvE dungeon content to earn the same rewards by doing what they love, PvPing. Choose the reward you want to work towards, then PvP your days away until you unlock your reward. This update unifies PvP and PvE gear, so the new system allows PvP players to still be able to get the best gear out there, without having to do content they aren’t interested in.

guild wars 2 mmorpg     The Guild Wars 2 Changes Everyones Talking About Starts Today

It’s All About Playing The Way You Want

At the end of the day, the new Guild Wars 2 feature pack is geared toward letting you play the way you want, on the character you want, every time you log in, without the worry of missing out on progressing something else. It’s a huge step in the right direction, and a step more MMOs should take a look at as an example of doing it right.

 

Areanet conducted a livestream yesterday to answer a lot of questions players have about the Features Patch on April 15th. John Corpening (Associate Game Designer), Kate Welsh (UI Designer), and Ryan Diederich (Gameplay Designer) were the three people at the helm answering questions.

One thing they clarified, which I know a lot of people were wondering about, is armor weights will still matter and cultural armor will still only be usable by the appropriate race. So for example I won’t be able to make it look like my Norn Ranger is wearing the Human Cultural Light armor because that character is neither human or a light armor wearer. Also transmutation charges will still be a reward for exploring.

Definitely watch the whole video. There are a lot of answers to many questions people have been wondering about.

A few weeks ago I pre-purchased the Warlords of Dreanor expansion and boosted my baby monk up to level 90. After a few weeks of gearing up and learning the rotation/priority list for Windwalker I have a few thoughts about the boosting experience which relates to MMOs on a broad scale. But first, just so you know where I am coming from on this…

A brief history of my time in WoW…

For people who are used to seeing me write about Guild Wars 2 it might seem weird to be writing about World of Warcraft now. However, when it comes to MMOs, WoW was in a lot of ways my first love. It wasn’t the first MMO I ever played but it was the first one I really stuck with.

I made my first character back in February 2005, a Night Elf Warrior. From the first moments the game gripped me and I was caught up in everything about Teldrassil. It’s even still my favorite area in the game. I mostly played Fury back then, but I did switch to Arms when I got really into PvP (though I always wanted to be Fury).

Unfortunately right after I attained the Commander rank, Blizzard opened up server transfers. While most people would say this was a good thing, it unfortunately ruined PvP for me. I suddenly found instead of being able to leisurely PvP when I wanted to (which admittedly was most of the time), I suddenly found I had to PvP 24/7 just to have a chance of ranking up. Unfortunately it wasn’t really possible since I also had a full time job and was getting ready to go back to college. I tried even though I knew it was futile and quickly burnt myself out so badly that even now the prospect of taking part in PvP in any game generally gets a firm ‘meh’ from me.

At this point I transitioned into raiding, which was a lot of fun. I mean I got to be Fury again and that was awesome. I slowly worked through the ranks and before long I was the Warrior Class Lead, in charge of Recruitment, and the main Raid Leader in my guild. It was pretty much all around awesome. We had trouble transitioning from a 20 man guild into a solid 40 man guild, so we partnered up with another guild in similar circumstances. That partnership was pretty awesome. We jointly tore through Molten Core and one shot Onyxia on our first try. Like I said it was pretty grand.

Then as we were getting ready to move on to BWL/AQ40 The Burning Crusade was announced… And it’s pretty fair to say everyone playing WoW lost their minds for awhile. I actually learned to love Warrior Tanking in TBC (Heroic Shattered Halls was my favorite dungeon) but unfortunately my guild got torn apart by internal politics a good ways into the expansion. Then the next Guild I joined, was awesome and more progressed… Well that guild fell apart due to the Guild Master and the assistant GM getting divorced.

So it was going into Wrath of the Lich King I made my own guild with only friends and we decided to focus on only doing 10 man raiding. It was also at this point I rerolled to be a Shadow Priest. We did well until Trial of the Crusader pushed us and the divide between the people who really wanted to progress and be top raiders and the people who just wanted to play with friends fractured us.

From there I went through a few guilds, and all of them ended up splitting for one reason or another. One had a spit because the guild leader was an asshole, another fell apart because they decided to switch from 25 man to 10, another because the GM was clueless. On it went until finally in MoP as I was getting ready to be married and having just moved I decided to take a break. Also I didn’t want to find another group of friends just to watch it all crumble again. All in all I felt tired.

features 2     Lets Talk About Level Boosting In World Of Warcraft

Boosting to level 90

Ok, that wasn’t very brief but keep in mind that’s 9 years of history there. After the announcements at Blizzcon I was once again excited about playing WoW. The announcement of the boosting process also piqued my interest as it made the possibility of re-rolling much simpler, which I needed to do because I realized I missed tanking.

I won’t bore you with all the details of why I settled on Monk, but a big part of the decision was because the guild I had found already had a Bear tank and they had no Monks of any spec. However, before I could earn a tanking spot I needed to prove myself as a solid DPSer (which is completely fair for any raiding guild).

So it was I found myself running around Timeless Isle and running LFRs to gear up and settle into the rotation/priority list for Windwalker. Overall it’s been fun, though it was really weird being in melee again after playing ranged DPS for so long, but it felt a bit like a sort of homecoming to me. I’m not even exaggerating. It hit me during one LFR run, Windwalker Monk feels a lot like the old Vanilla Fury Warrior spec.

One of the things people had a hard time grasping with Fury back in Vanilla was it wasn’t bursty at all. It was just consistent DPS, but had the drawback if you didn’t hit your abilities in the right order you would have really low DPS. In a way Fury was a demanding spec because there was little room for error. Windwalker functions the same way. In fact if an execute was added in, it would be pretty near identical.

features 2     Lets Talk About Level Boosting In World Of Warcraft

The Revelation

I had previously made a few other Monks before the one I boosted. I spec’ed Windwalker on all of them because in general it’s easiest to level as a DPS spec. However I never realized what Windwalker had in common with the old Fury Warrior. Granted I never got particularly far in leveling, even with all the BoA gear. It’s not that it was hard, just it was boring. And I liked playing Monk but I didn’t love it.

The reason I never realized how much I would love playing a Windwalker Monk is due to a fact I have been aware of for a long time but it just never hit home to me how silly it is. Play style for leveling and end game are completely different. I know nothing groundbreaking or surprising there, but it’s absolutely true. I would never have realized I should be playing a Monk if it weren’t for the lvl 90 boost.

Since how a class is played at max level is completely different for the two phases of the game, it sort of renders leveling as pointless. You aren’t learning how to play your class. You might learn about some of the game systems, but there’s no real reason why those systems can’t be learned about at max level.

Even the argument leveling is about learning how to play your role correctly falls away in WoW’s current form. Even when done on level appropriate characters most leveling dungeons are done in one big crazy zerg. Occasionally a healer might need to toss out a heal or two, but for the most part even the healers tend to spend a fair amount of time DPSing instead of healing. And tanks definitely rarely learn anything about how to build and keep aggro.

Leveling just feels like wasted time. A part of the game players take part in before the real game starts.

Next Generation MMOs

Leveling is an artifact of the RPG part of MMORPG, but it’s really outlived it’s usefulness. At endgame the most common way of giving the feeling of progression is by doing harder and harder objectives (often raids) to obtain better and better gear. This is enough motivation for people they often rush through leveling content and barely pay attention to what’s going on.

One of the hallmarks of the next generation of MMOs (the real next generation not the ones who are basically doing the same old thing) will get rid the old leveling system and will let players form up and start on normal “endgame” content right away. There can still be quest chains and content which is normally associated with leveling for people who like things like that. This also allows Devs to focus their time on content a large part of the player base won’t just rush through.

Another positive upshot of moving towards a model without levels is those dang tutorial starter areas could finally be made optional. For people who have been playing MMOs for a decade or more those “hey let’s teach you about how a MMO works” areas are extremely tiresome and really don’t serve much purpose. Heck they could even institute something similar to what LoL does and ask players how much MMO experience they have. Then based on the answers have more or less training wheels on to start.

Anyway, that’s how the boost to 90 experiment has changed my perspective on leveling. I have now gone completely 180 in my opinion. What are your thoughts about the function of leveling in WoW and other MMOs?

On a day of fun and frivolity Arenanet brings us… Bobble heads! For an example check out this Vine which features a bobble head Eir, Logan, Zojja, Caithe, and Rytlock dancing together. Additionally players will get to experience being a bobble head today as well when they log on today. Check out this infographic about the bobble heads.

pc 2 guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Gets Big Heads

In mostly unrelated news Dulfy has announced that she is taking over the official GW2 Wiki in a $2 million deal which includes $400 thousand in gems and 23.1 thousand gold. There is also a  potential bonus of $300 thousand gems depending on if certain goals are reached. The Wiki has already been updated to match the look and feel of Dulfy’s main site.

Elder Scrolls Online Pre-Order Now at 20% Off! (Digital Imperial Edition Too)

This week on TWIMMO: Elder Scrolls Online endgame, Guild Wars 2 Features update, Rift PvP Dimension tools and more!

The official launch of Elder Scrolls Online is near and Zenimax has released some info on endgame, which is kind of important for players to know about before launch. Weird that they left the post to go out practically a week before launch but at least it’s out. We’ve got some news on the Guild Wars 2 and Rift front as well!

ESO Veteran Content

Yes, endgame for Elder Scrolls Online is called Veteran Content. First off there’s Cyrodiil PvP content such as Solo Play, Duo Play, Small Group Party and Large Group Party. That’s quite a bit Cyrodiil has to offer. For PvE fans, there are Veteran Rank Zones  for Solo and Duo Play. When you reach level 50, you go into another faction’s zone and do it all over gain. You earn Veteran ranks instead of levels. There are Six 4-person veteran dungeons at launch. There’s the Craglorn Adventure zone which is a regular zone but made for groups of four, but this may not make the official launch. There’s 12-person group content called Trials which sounds like a horde mode or a gauntlet of some sort. Hopefully that will be a good amount of content endgame wise.

Guild Wars 2 Features Patch

ArenaNet is releasing a patch on April 15th with a ton of features such as free repair costs,  free trait resets, account bound world vs world xp, account bound legendaries and ascended armor, account wide dyes, a wardrobe system, better LFG tool, new traits and a ton of balance and bug fixes. That’s quite a lot of features!

Rift PvP Dimension Tools

Player housing just got more fun. Trion has released PvP tools for dimensions aka Rift‘s player housing. Essentially this means that players can build their own arenas! Can’t wait to see what creative stuff Rift players will make!

We have a lot more content to look forward to on future TWIMMO episodes with the highly anticipated MMO games getting closer to release. So be sure to return next week for your weekly dose of MMO news.

Elder Scrolls Online Pre-Order Now at 20% Off! (Digital Imperial Edition Too)

The last couple of weeks have seen a ton of announced changes for the upcoming Features Patch. Now seemed like a good time to compile a list of everything which has been announced so far. Keep in mind we still have the post about “A Solid Foundation” and three more blog posts about “Facilitating Friendly Play” to get through, so this is only listing changes and Features already announced.

Traits

  • Number of trait points is being reduced from 70 to 14
  • From level 30 to 60 players will gain 1 trait point every six levels
  • At level 66, 72, and 78 players will gain 2 trait points
  • Refunding trait points is free
  • Traits can be refunded anytime a player is out of combat or not in a PvP match
  • Minus button has been added to the UI
  • Major Traits will be unlocked by using an item called a Trait Guide which can be obtain by completing various types of content or they can be bought from Profession trainers
  • 40 new Grandmaster Traits

Runes and Sigils

  • Rune set bonuses being adjusted to make getting four, five, and six set bonus more attractive
  • Updated rune sets to fill some of the niches that were currently unfilled
  • The six-rune bonus proc for superior rune sets will have a 50% likelihood
  • Removing the divide between PvE and PvP Rune Sets
  • Will only equip one Rune in PvP and will receive all the bonuses as if you had put in six Runes
  • Sigils of the same type will trigger the recharge for each other, even if they are different tiers.
  • Recharges for Sigils of different types will be separate
  • On kill Sigils will reward one stack for killing a monster and 5 stacks for killing a player
  • Won’t be able to gain 25 stacks from an “on kill” Sigil and then unequip it
  • Two handed weapons will have two Sigils
  • Balancing pass to make more Sigils viable
  • Sigils of Ice, Purity, Frailty, and Water will grant their bonus on hit (instead of on critical hit)

Profession Balancing

  • Elementalists with a dagger in their main hand will gain an extra evasion on their Burning Speed and a blast finisher on their Frozen Burst.
  • Elementalists in PvP the skill split on Signet of Restoration and the Cleansing Water grandmaster trait is removed
  • Engineers will find that there have been quite a few bug fixes for their turrets, as well as new trait functionality to help support your team with them
  • Engineers skills like A.E.D. are having their cast time reduced in order to make them easier to execute in battle
  • Warrior Healing Signet will be reduced by 8% and Pin Down will be moving from a ¼ second cast time to a ¾ second cast time
  • The Necromancer Major Trait Dhuumfire is being unified for PvE and PvP and moved to Life Blast instead of requiring the Necro to critically hit an enemy
  • Minions are no longer a required element of the Death Magic line
  • Adding Armored Shroud, which grants bonus toughness while in Death Shroud
  • Adding Soul Comprehension which increases the base life-force gain from surrounding deaths
  • Rangers commanding their pet to use a skill or attack will happen immediately
  • The skill activated by Keen Edge is now considered a Survival skill and will benefit from other traits that impact this skill type
  • Thief’s poison duration of Choking Gas will be slightly reduced
  • Mesmer clones and phantasms will receive some updates and bug fixes, including the repair of the Illusionary Warden

Critical Damage

  • Renamed to Ferocity
  • Reduction in total amount Critical Damage attainable
  • At level 80 15 ferocity will equal 1% Crit Damage

Account Bound

  • Skin Wardrobe which gives access to all skins a player has discovered on any character
  • Use Transmutation charges to transmute gear
  • 3 Transmutation Stones will convert to 1 charge, 1 Transmutation Crystal will give you 1 charge, 1 Transmutation Splitter will give you 5 charges
  • Town clothes will be usable on armor, but if it’s part of an outfit you have to use the entire thing
  • Individual town clothes (like the reading glasses) will still only take one slot.
  • All Dyes are account wide
  • New preview option for dyes so you know you are putting the color in the right spot
  • Unidentified Dyes won’t drop as loot anymore
  • Ascended Equipment will be Account Bound
  • Legendary Weapons will become account bound once they are equipped for the first time
  • Account WXP is going live
  • Each character on an account can distribute their World Ability Points differently
  • All World Ability Points will be reset

Miscellaneous

  • Repairing gear will be free
  • Raw gold which drops from Champion loot bags and events will be reduced
  • The variety of rare and exotic items which the Mysitic forge will produce is being increased (precursors are not affected)

 

 

 

In today’s first blog post about the Features Patch, Arenanet announced we would finally see account wide WXP go into effect.  After the patch players will just need to log into each character once to add their WXp to their total. Also all spent points will be refunded with the patch as well. The surprise announcement is, all existing and future Legendary and Ascended equipment will be Account Bound instead of Soulbound. Legendaries will still be sellable on the TP until they have been equipped once, at that point they’ll become Account Bound.

The second update today had more of a mixed bag. Repair Costs are going away as are the costs to reset traits. The flipside of those two changes is raw gold which drops from champion loot bags and events will be decreased. The variation of exotics and rares dropped from the mystic forge will also be increased (precursors excluded).

Today’s dev blogs for the upcoming Features Patch on April 15th addresses two things fans of Guild Wars 2 have been asking for since the game launched.

The first change is account wide dye unlocks. This is a huge thing we have been asking for since it can be quite frustrating unlocking colors on different characters and definitely makes alts less exciting. Also as a part of the implementation and copies of a color players have on different characters will yield one unidentified dye per repeated color. The only sort of downside is unidentified dyes won’t drop as loot anymore.

The second, and much bigger change, is the introduction of the Account Wide Wardrobe system. After the patch players will just have to log on to each of their characters to open every skin that character has across the account. These skins are then placed in the account wardrobe and will be usable as much as a player wants. Transmutation crystals and stones will be converted into transmutation charges (freeing up more bank space) and transmuting looks will now cost charges instead of those stones.

 For a demonstration of how everything works there is a new video with Matt Wuerffel going over these changes.

Want to know what the rest of the new Guild Wars 2 traits are before the patch in April? We’ve got you covered.

A recent blog post by ArenaNet told us of the new trait changes coming and that there are 40 new Grandmaster traits in the Feature Pack in April. The Guild Wars 2 Ready Up (episode 8) developer stream explain each of the 40 new traits in detail so here they are for your viewing and theory crafting pleasure. Note that any numbers for the traits could change between now and the features patch.

Elementalist

  • Fire - Binding Ashes - Burning foes also blinds them for 5 seconds (5 second cooldown)
  • Air - Lightning Rod - When you interrupt a target, shoot a lightning bolt on the target that weakens them for 5 seconds
  • Earth - Stone Heart - Cannot get critically hit while attuned to earth
  • Water - Aquatic Benevolence - Healing towards other allies is increased by 25% (doesn’t apply to self)
  • Arcane - Elemental Contingency - Being struck will result in defense boons based on your current attunement:
    • Fire: 3.5 seconds of Retaliation
    • Air: 5 seconds of Fury
    • Earth: 2.5 seconds of Protection
    • Water: 3 seconds of Vigor

Engineer

  • Explosives - Synaptic Overload - Gain 3 seconds of quickness when using a knockback on a foe (20 second cooldown)
  • Firearms - Bunker Down - When you critically hit, you create a mine that lasts 10 seconds at your location (2 second cooldown)
  • Inventions - Fortified Turrets - Creates a reflective shield for 4 seconds on newly spawned turrets. Shield ends if turret is picked up or destroyed
  • Alchemy - Experimental Turrets - Turrets apply boons to allies every 10 seconds based on the turret:
    • Thumper Turret: 3 seconds of Protection
    • Net Turret: 10 seconds of Swiftness
    • Rifle Turret: 5 seconds of Fury
    • Healing Turret: 3 seconds of Vigor
    • Rocket Turret: 3 seconds of Retaliation
    • Flame Turret: 3 stacks of Might for 10 seconds
  • Tools - Gadgeteer - Gadgets applies boons upon use based on the gadget:
    • A.E.D.: 3.5 seconds of Retaliation
    • Personal Battering Ram: 5 seconds of Fury
    • Rocket Boots: 4 seconds of Vigor
    • Slick Shoes: 8 seconds of Regeneration
    • Throw Mine: 6 seconds of Aegis
    • Utility Goggles: 5 stacks of Might for 8 seconds

Guardian

  • Zeal - Amplified Wrath - Burning damage increased by 33%
  • Radiance - Radiant Retaliation - Retaliation damage scales from condition damage instead of power
  • Valor - Communal Defenses - Grant Aegis for 5 seconds to allies when you block an attack (360 range)
  • Honor - Force of Will - Gain up to 300 Vitality, based on your level
  • Virtues - Purity of Body - Resolve‘s passive effect increases endurance regeneration by 15%

Mesmer

  • Domination - Power Block - Enemy skills interrupted increases the cooldown of the interrupted skill by 10 seconds
  • Dueling - Triumphant Distortion - Gain 3 seconds of Distortion upon defeating an enemy
  • Chaos - Bountiful Disillusionment - Gain boons every time a shatter skill is used:
    • Mind Wrack: 3 seconds of Retaliation
    • Cry of Frustration: 3 stacks of Might for 15 seconds
    • Diversion: 5 seconds of Fury
    • Distortion: 8 seconds of Regeneration
  • Inspiration - Disruptor’s Sustainment - Gain 1000 Healing Power for 5 seconds when you interrupt a foe
  • Illusions - Maim the Disillusioned - Enemies hit by a shatter skill are inflicted with Torment

Necromancer

  • Spite - Parasitic Contagion - 5% of your Condition Damage heals you (does not scale with Healing Power)
  • Curses - Path of Corruption - Dark Path additionally converts 2 boons into conditions
  • Death Magic - Unholy Sanctuary - Regenerate health while in Death Shroud
  • Blood Magic - Unholy Martyr - While in Death Shroud, draw 1 condition every 3 seconds from allies. Gain 5% life force for each condition drawn
  • Soul Reaping - Renewing Blast - Life Blast heals allies that it passes through

Ranger

  • Marksmanship - Read the Wind - Longbow and Harpoon Gun projectile velocity increased by 100%
  • Skirmishing - Strider’s Defense - 15% chance to block ranged attacks while in melee
  • Wilderness - Poison Master - Poison Damage increased by 50% and the first attack by a swapped in pet applies Poison
  • Nature Magic - Survival of the Fittest - Remove 2 conditions and gain Fury when using a survival skill
  • Beastmastery - Invigorating Bond - Pets heal in an area when using the command ability (F2 skill)

Thief

  • Deadly Arts - Revealed Training - Gain up to 200 extra Power when you are Revealed, based your on level
  • Critical Strikes - Invigorating Precision - You are healed by 5% of critical strike damage you inflict
  • Shadow Arts - Resilience of Shadows - Stealth you apply reduces incoming attack damage by 50%
  • Acrobatics - Assassin’s Equilibrium - Gain 1 second of stability when you are Revealed
  • Trickery - Bewildering Ambush - Stealing applies 5 stacks of confusion on the target for 5 seconds

Warrior

  • Strength - Burst Precision - Burst skills critically hit
  • Arms - Duel Wield Agility - Attack speed increased by 10% when wielding an offhand sword, mace, or axe
  • Defense - Rousing Resilience - Gain up to 1000 toughness for 4 seconds when you break out of a stun, based on your level
  • Tactics - Phalanx Strength - Grant 6 seconds of might to allies when you grant yourself Might
  • Discipline - Brawler’s Recovery - Remove blindness when you swap weapons

If you want to find out more about the new PvP map, the rune and sigil changes or about the profession balances, you can check out the Ready Up video on Guild Wars 2′s Twitch channel or you can check out Dulfy’s notes about the livestream. If you have any questions or comments about the traits, feel free to share your thoughts below!

Following up on yesterday’s Feature Pack announcement, Guild Wars 2 Dev Roy Cronacher has penned an in-depth post on the changes coming to critical damage. According to the post, one of the things being introduced is a brand new stat named “Ferocity” which will affect critical damage.

The idea is to make bonus critical damage more easily understood and scaled across the whole game.

Full details on Ferocity — as well as other changes coming to critical damage — can be viewed on the official post.

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