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Recently, the MMO WildStar was hit with a gold exploit that resulted in a rather imbalanced in game economy. Community manager Tony Rey jumped on the official WildStar forums to let everyone know that things are being taken care of.

“At this point, we are working to get a hotfix put together as soon as possible. A rollback will not be necessary at this time; the current scope of abuse is not outside our ability to manually correct where necessary.”

Although Carbine is taking this exploit very seriously, they are giving offenders 24 hours to contact customer service. Customer service will then remove the exploited items and reduce your punishment.

Lastly, the team has temporarily turned off gardening to prevent future exploits.

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If you’ve been missing the schizophrenic computer AI called the Caretaker, then you have to look no further than the next update for WildStar.

The mysterious of Nexus are becoming less and less mysterious but more and more frightening. In the latest update, players will face the Caretaker again in Omnicore-1 and the Strain and Phagelord Koral in Black Focus. That those are just the start.

Watch the video above, and if that’s not enough to get you to jump back into WildStar, then maybe the update page will entice you more.

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Carbine Studios, the creator of WildStar, recently laid off about 60 people in a restructure move. But that number doesn’t include the numerous people who left the company before the layoffs. According to a report on The Escapist, the management — or mismanagement — attributed the most to the discontent at the studio.

The Glassdoor rating for management at Carbine sits very low; less than 50%. However, one employee claimed that the majority of the issues stemmed from the lack of management rather than actual management issues.

“When you have key people who leave, it leaves a void.”

If we look at the other Glassdoor comments, though, we see a trend toward mismanagement overall. One even left a list of issues.

  • Abysmal wages, morale, and job security.
  • Astonishingly inept resource allocation.
  • Disregard for employee and player incentives
  • Inability to put the word to the deed: deadlines routinely missed, poor quality assurance, sweatshop workplace conditions.
  • Amateurish design, management, PR.
  • Boys’ club.


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WildStar had some struggles. Top-level designers and community leaders have jumped to other projects or left the industry altogether. Needless to say morale for the budding studio is down over all, but thanks to the latest developer blog, things might be on an upward swing.

The next content patch introduces a new “Mystery” zone that will provide brand new content for level 50s. The developers promise content of all kinds.

“We’ve added content for players of all stripes, from lore-filled immersive solo content, to fast and furious 5-player quests and massive 20-player public events.”

If you’re a person who’s on the fence about what to think about WildStar, then take a trip to the dev blog. You might want to come back.

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After trying to enchant a weapon in Lineage worth $28,000 and destroying it , a 64 year-old Korean woman sued NCSoft for refusing to replace the item.

Yes, you read that right. NCSoft was sued by a 64 year-old woman this past spring after refusing to replace a sword she destroyed while trying to enchant it. The sword in question — an very rare item named “Jin Myung Hwang’s Conduct Sword” — can go for as much as 30 million won (or $28,000 American) on the resale market.

After attempting to enchant the sword and failing — resulting in the destruction of the item — the woman asked NCSoft to replace it stating that she attempted to enchant the sword by accident thinking it was a different item. According to Kotaku, she added that she would have never actively tried to enchant the item and risk it’s destruction.

When NCSoft refused, she filed a law suit.

Unfortunately, the court proceedings did not go her way as the woman’s gaming log showed her to have continued enchanting items after the sword was destroyed. It was also noted that she failed to enchant other items and purchased an in-game scroll to increase her chances.

Viewing the records, the court ruled in favor of NCSoft stating:

Other items were enchanted along with the item in question so it is hard to rule out that losing the item was an isolated case.

The court went on to say that even if she had destroyed the sword by accident, NCSoft has no responsibility to restore it.

There is, of course, a lesson to be learned here by all gamers. Pay attention to what you’re doing to items in your inventory — especially if one of them is a rare item worth several thousand dollars.


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    Molten Studio

    A former Blizzard, Sony Online, and Relic developers have come together to form a new AAA online gaming company, Molten Games.

    A brand new online gaming company Molten Games, created by former Blizzard, Sony Online, and Relic developers, has been announced.  Paul Della Bitta, Blizzards former senior director of global community development and eSports is now the co-founder and chief product officer for Molten games.  Who’s the other co-founder?  That would be Blaine Smith, former lead designer on Pox Nora for SOE; as well as, the former lead designer on Company of Heroes Online at Relic Entertainment.  Smith will be Molten’s VP of creative development.

    Their first title is supposedly a AAA online game with the help of an investment – multimillions –  from NCSoft.

    Molten Games has assembled a wildly talented and experienced team, and we absolutely believe they will create and run an amazing new game experience,” Taek Jin Kim, CEO of NCSoft said in a press statement. “They’re setting the bar high for themselves, with a strong desire to shake up the online gaming space by creating something new and unique in our industry.”

    Based in San Diego, California, Molten Games is officially hiring everything for concept artists to gameplay engineers.  The new company states “this is not your typical, boring, “go nowhere” enviroment.  At this work-hard, play-hard start-up, you are not only encouraged but expected to be an innovator – you’ll need every ounce of your imagination to solve the technical and creative challenges of developing extraordinary games on the cutting edge of technology.

    While their first title is still in the “hush-hush” stages, what we do know is that it will not be a MMORPG like World of Warcraft; nor will it be a MOBA like League of Legends.  I’m a fairly patient person, but I know some of you gamers are not.  You don’t want to know what it won’t be, but what it will be.  How about I ask you, what do you think it will be? 


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    Guild Wars

    Arenanet currently has no plans to shut down Guild Wars.

    Good news for everyone who wants to continue playing Guild Wars, it will be up and running for the foreseeable future. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Mike Zadorojny said “The game itself was so efficient on the server side in terms of the resources, like, it runs on a fraction of the hardware that we need for running Guild Wars 2, so having that on the back-burner is nothing compared to GW2.” This does not however mean you should expect new content since the team left tending to Guild Wars is tiny.

    I am really excited to hear about this. I have never played Guild Wars before and had been thinking about it, mostly because of Hall of Monuments stuff. The main reason I haven’t bought it yet is because getting all the points would take a fair amount of time and I know I’ll still keep playing Guild Wars 2 mostly in the meantime. That leaves me with very minimal time to actually put into Guild Wars. I was concerned I would get a little bit into it and then they would announce they were shutting down the servers (that’s just how my luck generally goes). Now I don’t have to worry.

    Some people may wonder, does anyone still play Guild Wars anyway? In response to that Zadorojny had this to say, “There’s still a community there that’s really passionate and really thriving in there, so we want to support them as best we can.” So never fear! You won’t be alone.

    All in all it’s pretty impressive Arenanet is willing to keep Guild Wars going for their fans. It is definitely a change of pace from many developers. If you would like to read the full interview you can find it here. What do you think? Are you going to take any time to play Guild Wars or just focus on Guild Wars 2?

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    Wildstar Economy

    Charles “Bull” Durham, Senior Systems Designer, took some time on Friday to answer questions about the Wildstar Economy as it relates to money sinks.

    One area Charles “Bull” Durham talked about a lot was crafting, which is no surprise since professions tend to be an area MMO players care a whole lot about. The first big thing he revealed about crafting is “Elder Game crafting is hard and requires tenacity.” Obviously there are a lot of missing details here but lets just stop and think about some of the possible implications here. To me “requires tenacity” means it’ll have an element which requires you to just keep at it. For instance maybe when you craft something Elder Game level there is a percentage chance failure rate? Or finding high level patterns will require finding them out in the world by killing mobs or literally finding them. I am not sure how crafting can be hard, though. Most things I can think of are really just time consuming which isn’t really a hard thing. One possibility is you might have to figure some recipes out on your own.

     The way crafting is currently set-up, crafters should always be making things people need throughout the leveling experience. However, low level resources will not be useful to high level characters to prevent high levels from going to an area and stripping it of all of its resources. On a sad note Durham indicates they really like the concept of “work order boards” to help crafters make things people actually want. The sad part is they had to put the idea on the back burner for now due to too many concerns about players trolling each other through the boards.

     With no work order boards, crafters will need a way to sell their wares to the people who need them, so how about having a storefront? Unfortunately storefronts won’t be an option in Wildstar. As neat of an option as they would be I do find myself sort of agreeing with Durham on this one. Storefronts do have the downside of slowing down trade because players would have to come to your store specifically. Without them it opens the option of just letting people send things through the mail system which would be quicker.

    The last area I want to touch on is RMT. Sadly as Durham correctly points out as long as people are willing to spend real money to get in game money RMT will always exist (so if you know anyone who has done this you should totally kick them in the junk). The Wildstar Dev team is taking into consideration everything they can do to discourage gold farmers. An example of one way they are accomplishing this task is the gathering nodes which will try to eat you. Sort of hard to bot around if nodes randomly turn into monsters. Additionally Durham also points out they will rely heavily on reports from community members so they can get any bots out as soon as possible.

    One different thing Wildstar is planning on doing is travel costs will be based on the level of the area you are traveling through, not player level. Basically the result of this choice is players won’t be discouraged from traveling around the world when they get to max level. I am personally really happy about this.

    If you want to read everything Durham talks about head over to the Wildstar Uplink page.

     Also thanks to Wildcast for inspiring the image for this piece. Check them out for interesting and entertaining podcasts about all things Wildstar.

    Guild Wars 2

    Guild Wars 2 “Sea of Sorrows” Novel Hits Shelves June 25th

    No worries, this article is completely spoiler-free.

    Guild Wars 2 features a living story that changes and expands as the game’s life goes on, but the current living story isn’t the only tale to be told in Tyria. “Sea of Sorrows” is penned by Guild Wars 2 Narrative Designer Ree Soesbee, and tells the story of a young boy as tragedy puts him on a path to destiny.

    “Sea of Sorrows” takes place around 150 years before the Guild Wars 2 MMORPG timeline, which puts right in between the time period of the original Guild Wars and the current time period of Guild Wars 2.

    mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     The Fall Of Lions Arch In New Guild Wars 2 Sea of Sorrows Novel

    In the Guild Wars 2 novel “Sea of Sorrows” we follow the adventures of Cobiah Mariner from his time as a young boy in old Lion’s Arch, and through the years of his life as he grows, for better or worse, into a man. Cobiah is our main point-of-view as the story of the destruction of Lion’s Arch is told. The Elder Dragon of Orr rises, destroying the great city, and we get to be there as it happens.

    Cobiah is integral to the rebuilding and defense of Lion’s Arch following this tragedy, and that story, as well as his adventures on the high seas, are told in “Sea of Sorrows”. The newest Guild Wars 2 novel also gives us at a glimpse into a point in history when all the races of Tyria did not necessarily get along. All those races are represented in “Sea of Sorrows”, but there will certainly be conflict due to differences in their views of the world. The Sylvari of course do not yet exist in this time period.

    The Guild Wars 2 “Sea of Sorrows” novel brings to life some of the aspects of the war against the undead that can be difficult to portray in the game. Where we see waves of mindless zombies in game, the novel portrays them as friends and loved-ones returning from the grave. It’s easy to shoot a random zombie in the face, maybe not so easy to shoot your newly risen mother.

    The Book And The Game

    Author Ree Soesbee told us that she spent time running around the in-game version of Lion’s Arch, and that her descriptions of the rebuilt version of the city in “Sea of Sorrows” come directly from how the city exists in Guild Wars 2. Those who know Lion’s Arch like the back of their hand should be able to identify some familiar locales in the novel.

    It was important Soesbee says to also make sure fighting in “Sea of Sorrows” resembles class abilities and limitations in Guild Wars 2. Characters may not always be directly identified as a thief or mesmer, for example, but the descriptions of fights should leave GW2 players with a sense of which class is being represented by each character.

    There are in-game events and living story elements that are coming to Guild Wars 2 with the release of “Sea of Sorrows”. One you might have noticed already. Been wondering what the Polla doll was, where it came from, and what significance it holds to GW2? You’ll have all your answers by the end of chapter one.

    “Sea of Sorrows” hits shelves on June 25th. I’ve had the opportunity to begin reading and advanced copy of the book, and can tell you that by the third page I was completely drawn into the story and had a hard time putting it down to write this. 


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    Wildstar’s Charles Durham discusses the in-game economy and their plans to steal your stuff.

    Have you ever wondered how your in-game economy works?  I’m sure you’ve pondered (at least once in your gaming life) why a lower level crafting material costs so much when several years ago it was barely worth listing on the market.  An interesting blog from Wildstar’s senior system designer, Charles Durham, gives us a little insight on why and how this happens; as well as, how they will be trying to make Wildstar’s economy different by stealing your stuff back.  

    wildstar mmorpg mmorpg     Wildstars Plans To Steal Your StuffYou save $240 for a brand new Model-T, but then you are cryogenically frozen for a hundred years because you forgot to pay your subscription fee. When you are unfrozen a century later, you find that the $240 you worked so hard to save up can now barely buy a single tire. – Charles Durham

    Inflation?  Blame D&D!

    A problem Durham focused on was inflation.  Basically, your online world pulls money from thin air, and presents it to you in the form of a loot piñata.  You kill a monster, there’s some loot.  This goes all the way back to Dungeons & Dragons.  We were spoiled by random rooms filled with treasure that now we’ve come to expect it.  What ends up happening is over time players have stored up a ton of resources.  It becomes no problem to slap down a ridiculous sum of money for items.  In the end, this makes it difficult for new and returning players, who don’t have the built up resources like everyone else, to enjoy the game to the fullest extent.

    As well, the developers realize that they needs to find that happy balance with handing out the proper amount of rewards (loot/treasure/currency) without overloading the economy.  They need to put a value to items that is attainable by players, but also will pull a decent amount of currency from the economy.  

    Save, Save, And Save Some More

    Durham briefly touched on players who enjoy working and manipulating the marketplace.  The developers realize that many players enjoy making money in their games; however, they also would like to make the use of resources just as fun.  

    The goal (in Wildstar) is to have players making decisions on what they should be purchasing by the importance of the item.  If you must have that item, then you need to learn how to earn your money by saving up for it.  Almost like when you were ten years old and your parents made you earn and save for your new bicycle.  You may have wanted to take some of that hard earned money and spend it on candy, but you knew that doing so would push that bike further from your reach.  

    Wait!  You’re Going To Steal My Stuff?

    It’s not as bad as it sounds.  Initially, I assumed they meant that if I disappeared from the game for several months they would remove my stored up wealth.  What Durham was actually referring to was resource sinks, most of which are not completely unheard of in a MMO.

    Gear repairs and market fees are simple concepts (that many MMO’s have) to pull some money from the economy.  They will also have many items that are just too amazing to not own, such as mounts and player housing options.  

    Durham did mention taxes, but he didn’t go into any further details on them.  I am intrigued as to what form these taxes will take.  Will they be just another name for market fees?  Or will the entirety of my wealth be taxed once a month?  

    In the end, Durham did mention that their economic design will have to adapt as more content is released.  Eventually, the rewards will seem small and players will be expecting more.  With the introduction of better items, Wildstar will have to also offer better and more expensive items for purchase to maintain the balance of resources. 



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    Microtransactions from the Gem Store is a success for NCSoft

    Well, it looks like Guild Wars 2’s model with Gem Store microtransactions has been going, and is still going, pretty well. NCSoft has declared that Gem Stores sales are “consistent and strong”.

    The Results

    Managing Director Nah Seong Chan was talking about the profit made from digital transactions during NCSoft’s first quarter earnings call. He said “it is difficult for us to talk about the specifics in this area because it is a business issue“. However he surmised that digital transactions for Guild Wars 2 are still doing very well.

    …when compared to our initial expectation in terms of the box sales and the item sales, we have seen very consistent and strong performance in this area, and we do believe that we will be consistent going forward.

    What This Means For Guild Wars 2

    This means the development team at ArenaNet can continue making more great content for Guild Wars 2 players and hopefully in the near future an expansion!

    As the saying goes for free-to-play or buy-to-play games with cash shops: if the game and cash shop is good, people will buy from the cash shop. And it seems that a lot of players are happily supporting Guild Wars 2 through the Gem Store. Which usually translate to “we like this game… we like this game a lot”. Well… that and they probably wanted the limited Gem Store items. However it’s good that ArenaNet can provide Gem Store items that players wilfully shell out money for. Hopefully, they keep up the good work.

    So Guild Wars 2 gem purchasers, you can feel happy knowing that your support is keeping Guild Wars 2 strong. And to all you Guild Wars 2 players out there, you can go and enjoy the new Secrets of Southsun living story content that ArenaNet has recently released.

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    Stormtalon's Lair

    Wildstar’s First Dungeon, Stormtalon’s Lair, Has Been Revealed.

    NCSoft has revealed some information on their first Wildstar dungeon, Stormtalon’s Lair, a cave deep in the Gale Canyon within Galeras.  The story behind Stormtalon’s Lair is a fairly familiar one for most MMO players.  The cave itself has been surrounded by mystery, watched over by a tribe of Thundercall Pell.  However, as of just recently the cave has begun emitting a strange energy source.  The Exile Academy of Science has picked up on this energy and has sent a team in to investigate.  They never return.  Luckily, you are here to save them… or at least find out what happened.  

    wildstar mmorpg mmorpg     Wildstar: A Look At Stormtalons Lair

    Gather a team and fight your way through the cave to help uncover why the native tribe has been acting odd, and put a stop to their strange rituals.  You will discover new magics and technologies at work and will need to find a way to combat them.  You and your team will discover who (or what) Stormtalon is and will hopefully defeat him before it’s too late.  

    What do you think of Wildstar’s first dungeon reveal?  I love lore, and it seems like this dungeon will be filled with it.  I am excited to see what is driving the Pell to perform these rituals and what their end goal actually is.  I would really like to know who (or what) exactly Stormtalon turns out to be.  Will he be a main antagonist for the story, or will we defeat him fairly fast and move on to the next big “baddie?”  

    wildstar mmorpg mmorpg     Wildstar: A Look At Stormtalons Lair

    While I wish there was some sort of video taking us through, the screenshots look amazing.  I do love that NCSoft chose to make Wildstar cartoony, as opposed to the realistic feel.  All in all, I cannot wait to give this dungeon a try and am looking forward to seeing more.


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      hacker report

      Russian based security company has uncovered an ongoing massive 4-year long security-compromising cyber espionage plot.

      In mid 2011, a Trojan virus was detected on a large number of gamers’ computers. Every instance was the same: these users played an undisclosed popular online game. Most players were infected by malware that landed on their computers via regular game updates and patches from the official update servers.

      The Russian security company that has been researching the Trojan, Kaspersky Lab, released this massive 95-page report on the cyber attacks. The PDF is a bit intimidating, so I’ll just go over some of the facts: there is an international cybercrime group that uses code stolen from online gaming companies via malware in order to create software that has been used to spy on activists and steal aerospace secrets.

      Kaspersky is calling this group Winnti.

      Is this a movie yet? Because this should be a movie.

      In an interview Kurt Baumgartner, a Colorado-based senior security researcher for Kaspersky, told Polygon that the investigation began in 2011 but the attacks have actually been going on since 2009.

      Winnti’s chief goal, he said, is to steal the digital certificates used by companies to authenticate that their software is not malicious. Once stolen, members of Winnti either sell or trade those certificates to other “threat actors” who then use the certificate to get their malicious software onto target computers.This could mean a future of dangerous Trojan viruses with super trustworthy certificates.

      Who is affected?

      We don’t have the names of games, but we do know some companies have been affected: NCsoft, Trion, GameNet, and NEXON to name a few.

      If you’ve been infected: don’t worry. The attacks are not directed at gamers and the malware will not ruin your system. Technically, you are safe. The developers are the ones being targeted in order to steal their information and code. The real targets are activist groups entirely outside of the gaming world.

      The stolen certificates have been linked to attempts to spy on Tibetan and Uyghur activists last month, according to Baumgartner. So far, we’re not totally sure of all the intended uses of this information.

      news main     Winnti: International Cybercrime Group Attacks Game Developers

      Due to the occurrence of code with Chinese characters and the geographic attack patterns, the group is likely based out of China. If you look at the map at the top of the page, you’ll see that most attacks have been concentrated in South East Asia. While the internet is borderless, hacker groups are more likely to stick to the geographic areas they know best – it is much easier to play in your own backyard, so to speak.

      Craziest thing? These attacks are still ongoing.

      Surprisingly, this is still an ongoing issue. Just because the research has been done and an official report is out, doesn’t mean that Winnti has been stopped. The attacks are usually spear-headed by phishing scams (a malicious email or website that uses game assets to look trustworthy).

      Additionally, Winnti is using the infected games to generate in-game currency to sell to other players. We’re not sure if these are traditional gold-farmer type bots or actual code hacks. But, it seems likely that the hacker group is financing itself by selling in-game money and abusing currency systems of various in-game economies.

      “The Winnti hacking group is not the first and not the last…By making our research paper available to the public, we hope that it will not only spread the knowledge among security researchers but also will help system administrators and security officials in all type of organizations around the world to learn the tactics and tools of the perpetrators. We hope that our shared knowledge will help to better protect IT infrastructure. We also hope that our message will reach Chinese law enforcement agencies. If the current research is not enough to initiate criminal investigation, we hope that it will be enough at least to make some checks and probably prevent other malicious activity from reaching out foreign countries and business within China.”

      Want more info? The cyber security website SecureList put out this great FAQ and put out a short preliminary analysis article earlier this week.

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      First Wildstar Arkship Weekend Kept Under NDA

      This past weekend Carbine hosted its very first Wildstar Arkship event for fan site partners. Members of fan sites (and potential fan sites) signed a Non-disclosure agreement for a weekend of what seemed like just playing games and hanging out.

      “By putting the whole event under NDA, our studio didn’t have to worry about watching what they were saying, and could engage in an open dialogue with the attendees about WildStar and ways to improve the current game. “ Team WildStar 

      The Carbine WildStar Wednesday blog post about the WildStar Arkship event described a busy weekend that kicked off with a meeting with those who have a fan site, podcast or blog. The next day, there was a surprise appearance by Protostar CEO P. T. Rotostar played by Carbine writer Cory Herndon. Everyone seemed to have fun playing the game and giving notes about what they thought was great and what could be improved. Of course they all went out, sang karaoke and posted embarrassing photos on Facebook.

      Bill “Leathality” Leonard, a blogger who was in attendance, wrote “Volumes of awesome could be written about the Carbine staff and how they made all attendees feel almost like valued members of the team, not to mention their late-night karaoke prowess.” But he was really there to play the game. He wasn’t much into the “floaty” character controls, as they seemed to add a weird feel to combat.

      wildstar mmorpg mmorpg     Wildstar Wednesday: Wildstar Arkship Event Hosted For Fans

      Maer, of WildStar Radio, described the event as “Magic” and set his blog post to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody.

      Ravious of Kill Ten Rats wrote about how they were pressed for feedback from Carbine reps and that they weren’t able to dodge the “what didn’t you like” question for very long. Ravious also described the prop room during the Carbine tour and how they were able to chat to the prop designers. “Draken props centered around humorous displays of animals in various states of butcherment and trophy-display. I really liked the thought and

      wit that went in to many of those props, such as a bloated creature stuck through with multiple spears to hold it in place or a crocodile-rug with a sword through its head.”

      The big news we can take from this is that WildStar Arkship events are not closed situations for the elite members of the press. More dates will be announced in more locations and more invitations will be sent. If you are someone who has started a fan site or is thinking of starting one, Carbine wants to know. The best way to get invited to a future WildStar Arkship is to be a contributing community member. There’s no date announced for the next Arkship, but we do know it will be in the UK.



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      Guild Wars 2 Expansion

      Time for your monthly update on all things NCSoft from our good friends at Korean investment firm, KDB Daewoo Securities — and they’ve got a doozy of a proclamation this time.

      Last month’s report hinted at a Q3/Q4 2013 surge in profits, which we speculated as being related to a Guild Wars 2 expansion in the latter half of the year, an impression KDB representatives may have received after visiting NCSoft’s Korean offices. This month’s report is somewhat less vague:

      [quote]We anticipate NCsoft will also launch a mobile version of Blade & Soul in 1H through one of Japan’s leading mobile-gaming platform operators, DeNA. NCsoft plans to roll out its new title WildStar (currently being developed by US-based Carbine Studios) in 2H using CD packages in the US and Europe. It also intends to launch Guild Wars 2 in China, Taiwan, and Japan. An expansion pack for Guild Wars 2 is slated for a 2H release in the US and Europe.[/quote]

      Well, then.

      While that’s not quite as set-in-stone as hearing it straight from the horse’s (i.e., NCSoft’s or ArenaNet‘s) mouth, KDB obviously has a direct pipeline to NCSoft bigwigs, as evidenced by their recent office visit, and as we learned during the 38 Studios fiasco, folks who aren’t in the gaming industry and who don’t understand the importance of leaking release dates… well, tend to do so.

      As for other NCSoft-related properties — hey, there’s a second half of 2013 launch predicted for WildStar! The report alsocites Blade & Soul‘s launch as “underwhelming” and singles out Aion as a game that exhibits “a decline in the number of players.” The report also praises GW2 and Lineage as primary reasons for the company’s 654.4% (!) increase in year-to-year operating profit.

      So what do you think? Does this pretty much solidify for you the notion that we’ll see a Guild Wars 2 expansion before the end of the year?

      living story

      ArenaNet’s narrative designer, Angel McCoy, wrote a blog post yesterday giving us details about the living story that was introduced into Guild Wars 2 in the January update. The living story is a series of dynamic events that introduce a storyline that will continue to play out over the course of several months.

      The living story occurs organically in the world and players are encouraged to check back frequently for developments in game:

      “The Living Story is simultaneously transitory and permanent. As the story arcs play out, the tale evolves. Each portion of the Living Story narrative will only be available for a certain period of time, yet it will have repercussions in the world and upon the people living in it. The occurrences in the Living Story leave their mark—both scars and flowerbeds—and these wounds and blessings are permanent.”

      The Flame & Frost prelude update has introduced the first part of the living story to Guild Wars 2. There’s trouble brewing in Diessa Plateau and Wayfarer Foothills and many norn and charr have had their homes destroyed and are seeking refuge in the major cities. What is causing this wanton destruction? It’s currently a mystery, but we know it involves strange steam vents which have been popping up throughout the land. The video above highlights the living story that you can witness in the game during the prelude so far.

      New achievements have been added to accompany the living story and completing them will reward players with titles and, eventually, other rewards. For helping the norn and charr refugees you can earn the “volunteer” title, which you can use to show how darn helpful you are!

      If you want to see more Guild Wars 2 videos, check out my YouTube channel and subscribe!



      Guild Wars 2 Gem Store

      The Flame and Frost game update for Guild Wars 2 has introduced two new items to the gem store: quaggan backpacks and riding brooms. The quaggan backpack is a plush skin for your back slot and comes complete with a goldfish zipper, dangling button eye, and rag doll physics. The riding broom is a cosmetic mount that has fun animations, but doesn’t confer any speed increase. The broom is great for anyone who didn’t have a chance to purchase the witch/warlock costume during the Halloween event, but if you already have that, this broom is redundant.

      Evon Gnashblade’s Box o’ Fun has been updated and improved with new effects and a rotating preview icon indicating what type of novelty is about to pop out to anyone who clicks on it. Some of the effects this toy can produce are fireworks, character color changes, random creature transformations, making your character huge, and turning you to stone.

      The quaggan backpack costs 300 gems and the riding broom will set you back 250. The Box o’ Fun has been discounted to 80 gems each or 5 for 320. What do you think of the latest additions to the gem store? Let us know if you’ve purchased any of these items in the comments below.

      If you want to see more Guild Wars 2 videos, check out my YouTube channel and subscribe!

      guild wars 2 guesting

      Guesting and Paid Server Transfers Coming in January Update

      At long last, Guild Wars 2 guesting will be implemented on January 28! And there was much rejoicing.  In case you haven’t been watching GuildCast (and shame on you, really!), guesting is the ability to visit other servers and play with friends who call a different world home. Everyone thought this feature would be implemented at—or shortly after—release, so we’ve been waiting quite some time for it to rear its glorious tardy head.

      But the announcement didn’t evoke smiles from everyone. The internet is particularly adept at finding the rotten spot on the perfect apple. The guesting feature will NOT allow you to visit players in a different region. European players can’t visit North American home worlds and vice versa. This is disappointing, but ArenaNet explains why this restriction is in place:

      “There are two databases: European player data is stored in our European datacenter, American player data is stored in our American datacenter. This is to ensure that people in these regions can still properly play in case there is an issue with the connection between the datacenters.

      When you do a world transfer from the US to the EU (and vice versa) your player data is transferred from one datacenter to the other. This is not the case with guesting, as you are still “registered” on your home world.”

      Many people seem to be upset because it’s the first time that we’ve been made aware of those restrictions. It’s a valid point, but considering that most MMOs don’t allow you to visit other servers for free at all, it’s still an amazing feature that the majority of the community will be thrilled with.

      There are a few other conditions to keep in mind regarding guesting:

      • You cannot participate in World vs. World while guesting.
      • You can only guest for 2 different worlds at a time. Each time you guest, that world becomes one of your eligible guest worlds for a 24 hour period.
      • When you guest, you earn guild influence on the guesting server and not your home world.

      Paid server transfers are also being introduced at the same time as guesting. This will, hopefully, encourage server populations to stabilize and instill a sense of loyalty and pride among World vs. World fanatics.

      Guesting will be available in less than two weeks and that also means the next game update will take place on January 28.  Check out the full announcement for further details.  What do you think of the guesting plan? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

      magic find leech

      I stumbled upon a Reddit thread where a particular honest individual admits that he is a magic find leech in Guild Wars 2. What is a magic find leech?  The magic find statistic replaces other attributes on your gear that can increase your character’s power. Wearing a magic find set makes you less effective in combat, but increases your chance to find good loot. If you don your set of magic gear, it can effectively slow down a dungeon run while you leech better rewards for yourself. Nice, eh?

      This Redditor isn’t proud of his actions, but claims that the way Guild Wars 2 is designed encourages this behavior. You cannot inspect the gear of other players, so you cannot detect if someone is using a magic find set. His argument is that it’s a dog eat dog world. Wearing normal gear isn’t rewarded and it’s possible for others to be leeching off of you, so you’re better off doing it as well. It’s perhaps a cynical viewpoint, but it’s also likely occurred to a decent percentage of the player population. It’s easier to self-regulate when you’re playing with friends or guildmates, but what happens when you join a pug? Do you think his selfishness is justified because of the way the game is designed or do we have a moral obligation to a group of strangers to be at the top of our game?

      Magic find is always a contentious statistic in games but there are mechanics you can implement to curb negative behaviors. Some developers combat these issues by giving all party members a loot boost based on the average magic find score of the group. Others grant magic find buffs to those who repeatedly defeat boss encounters without dying. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.

      Are you a magic find leech in Guild Wars 2? How would you like to see these issues addressed? Should they remove magic find completely or is it a fun mechanic? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

      guild wars 2 sold 3 million

      ArenaNet Unveils Their 2013 Plans for Guild Wars 2

      ArenaNet’s Colin Johanson revealed today that Guild Wars 2 sold 3 million copies since its launch in late August 2012. He also discussed their high-level plans for the next six months of the game, during which they will be applying what they’ve learned from their previous content patches.

      Mr. Johanson states that the key pillars of Guild Wars 2 are the sense of community and the dynamic, living world. In 2013, they are aiming to build upon those areas by adding more content, events, and stories to the open world and incentivizing all players to explore and experience them.

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Sold 3 Million Copies, Outlines Plan For 2013 How will they reward players of all levels to experience new content in lower level maps? They are planning on leveraging the achievement system, granting tokens for accomplishments that can be traded in for ascended gear and infusions. They also want to add variety to daily achievements so they are different each day of the week and, eventually, give players the choice to skip a few requirements and still get their daily rewards.

      He also reaffirmed that they are not looking to turn Guild Wars 2 into a gear grind. They are aiming to provide a new rewards system that is exciting and has things that you seek over time, but does not have a new tier of gear every six months. He even went as far as to say that we will not see another tier between ascended and legendary in 2013. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.

      We’ve spoken at length on GuildCast about there not being much for guilds to do together, especially in PvE. Well it seems like ArenaNet is aiming to address this. In early 2013, they are going to add guild missions which can either be something your guild has to accomplish together within a certain time limit or can be creations your guild makes that can be experienced by everyone in the world. Details are scarce on guild missions at this point, but I look forward to hearing more about them in the coming months.

      On the World vs. World side of things, they will introduce a prestige and advancement system that will allow players to earn new WvW exclusive abilities and bonuses. They are also making strides towards eliminating that pesky culling issue that causes enemies to not appear on your screen for several seconds.

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Guild Wars 2 Sold 3 Million Copies, Outlines Plan For 2013 Paid server transfers with time limitations are also on the horizon, which should help stabilize server populations and impact World vs. World matchups. It also opens the door for the guesting feature to finally be added, which will make many of us jump for joy!

      PvP enthusiasts aren’t left out of the plan and can expect many improvements and a new system in 2013. Improved rewards will give players a reason to log in and compete every day. Custom arenas will give teams a private area to set up scrimmages and practice strategies. A match-making system will be added to pit players of similar skill levels together and the long-awaited spectator mode will be making its debut.

      In addition to the scads of features listed above, ArenaNet is also looking at adding leaderboards, revamping and expanding dungeons encounters, continuing the fight against botters and hackers, and improving the looking for group tool.  For a complete look at the lengthy blog post, click here and let us know what you think of the Guild Wars 2 roadmap for 2013 by leaving us a comment below!



      Guild Wars 2 Dungeon Armor

      Looking for the coolest Guild Wars 2 armor sets? Here you go!

      In most MMORPGs, acquiring loot is a key motivation for the players, and it’s no different in when it comes to Guild Wars 2 armor.  We want our avatars to look as bad-ass as possible, so we’re willing to go on massive quests, farm endless materials, and trounce the most malignant forces in search of shiny baubles.  In Guild Wars 2, obtaining gear is mostly a cosmetic affair.  Once you snag the best stats with level 80 exotic armor, the hunt begins for armor sets that will make you stand out and turn heads.

      Some armor sets are easy to find while others are more obscure.  If you’re searching for the perfect Guild Wars 2 armor to strut your stuff in, then you’ve come to the right place.  In this first in a series of Gamebreaker guides, we’ll be covering the dungeon armor sets.

      Guild Wars 2 launched with eight dungeons each with a story mode and three explorable mode paths.  Running the dungeons on explorable mode rewards players with dungeon tokens, which can be used to purchase special armor sets.  Each set of dungeon armor has a rare and exotic version and is available in all three armor types: light, medium, and heavy.  The vendors that peddle these goods are found in the Fort Marriner section of Lion’s Arch.

      Completing each explorable path awards 60 dungeon tokens the first time they are run each day. The amount of tokens awarded diminish with subsequent runs of the same dungeon wing, so if you’re not in a rush, wait for the daily reset before repeating the same path.  Dungeon tokens can also be found in Bags of Wondrous Goods, which are awarded after boss encounters.  The prices, stats, and images for the various dungeon armor sets can be found below, but keep in mind that dyeing the pieces different colors will drastically change the way they appear.

      Ascalonian Catacombs Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Healing Power/+Precision/+Vitality
      +Power/+Precision/+Condition Damage

      Light:  Ascalonian Clergy Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Ascalonian Clergy Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Ascalonian Clergy Cowl
      Ascalonian Clergy Mantle
      Ascalonian Clergy Vestments
      Ascalonian Clergy Gloves
      Ascalonian Clergy Pants
      Ascalonian Clergy Shoes

      Medium: Ascalonian Leather Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Ascalonian Leather Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Ascalonian Leather Hat
      Ascalonian Leather Shoulderguards
      Ascalonian Leather Chestguard
      Ascalonian Leather Gloves
      Ascalonian Leather Leggings
      Ascalonian Leather Boots

      Heavy:  Ascalonian Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Ascalonian Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Ascalonian Helm
      Ascalonian Pauldrons
      Ascalonian Breastplate
      Ascalonian Gauntlets
      Ascalonian Legguards
      Ascalonian Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency:  Ascalonian  Tear

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 30):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 160, Chest: 260, Gloves: 180, Legs: 240, Feet: 180


      Caudecus’s Manor Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Power/+Precision/+Condition Damage
      +Precision/+Toughness/+Condition Damage
      +Vitality/+Healing Power/+Condition Damage

      Light: Noble’s Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Noble’s Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Noble’s Circlet
      Noble’s Mantle
      Noble’s Gloves
      Noble’s Pants
      Noble’s Shoes

      Medium: Divinity Councils Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Divinity Councils Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Divinity Councils Hat
      Divinity Councils Shoulderguards
      Divinity Councils Chestguard
      Divinity Councils Gloves
      Divinity Councils Leggings
      Divinity Councils Boots

      Heavy: Nobleman’s Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Nobleman’s Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Nobleman’s Helm
      Nobleman’s Pauldrons
      Nobleman’s Breastplate
      Nobleman’s Gauntlets
      Nobleman’s Legguards
      Nobleman’s Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency: Seal of Beetletun

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 45):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Twilight Arbor Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Condition Damage/+Toughness+Precision
      +Healing Power/+Vitality/+Precision
      +Precision/+Power/+Condition Damage

      Light: Nightmare Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Nightmare Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Nightmare Cowl
      Nightmare Mantle
      Nightmare Vestments
      Nightmare Gloves
      Nightmare Pants
      Nightmare Shoes

      Medium: Nightmare Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Nightmare Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Nightmare Helm
      Nightmare Pauldrons
      Nightmare Breastplate
      Nightmare Gauntlets
      Nightmare Legguards
      Nightmare Greaves

      Heavy: Nightmare Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Nightmare Helmet
      Nightmare Pauldrons
      Nightmare Cuirass
      Nightmare Gauntlets
      Nightmare Legguards
      Nightmare Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency: Deadly Bloom

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 55):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Sorrow’s Embrace Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Power/+Vitality/+Condition Damage

      Light: Furnace Reward Light Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Furnace Reward Light Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Furnace Reward Light Helm
      Furnace Reward Pauldrons
      Furnace Reward Light Coat
      Furnace Reward Light Gloves
      Furnace Reward Light Leggings
      Furnace Reward Light Boots

      Medium: Furnace Reward Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Furnace Reward Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Furnace Reward Helm
      Furnace Reward Pauldrons
      Furnace Reward Breastplate
      Furnace Reward Gauntlets
      Furnace Reward Legguards
      Furnace Reward Greaves

      Heavy: Dredge Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Dredge Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Dredge Helm
      Dredge Pauldrons
      Dredge Breastplate
      Dredge Gauntlets
      Dredge Legguards
      Dredge Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency: Manifesto of the Moletariate

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 65):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Citadel of Flame Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Power/+Precision/+Critical Damage
      +Condition Damage/+Power/+Vitality
      +Precision/+Power/+Condition Damage

      Light: Flame Legion Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Flame Legion Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Flame Legion Mask
      Flame Legion Mantle
      Flame Legion Vestments
      Flame Legion Gloves
      Flame Leg Guards
      Flame Legion Shoes

      Medium: Shaman Reward Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Shaman Reward Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Shaman Reward Helm
      Shaman Reward Pauldrons
      Shaman Reward Breastplate
      Shaman Reward Gauntlets
      Shaman Reward Legguards
      Shaman Reward Greaves

      Heavy: Flame Legion Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Flame Legion Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Flame Legion Helm
      Flame Legion Pauldrons
      Flame Legion Breastplate
      Flame Legion Gauntlets
      Flame Legion Legguards
      Flame Legion Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency: Flame Legion Charr Carving

      Token Costs: 
      Rare (Level 70):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Honor of the Waves Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Precision/+Toughness/+Condition Damage
      +Precision/+Vitality/+Healing Power

      Light: Svanir Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Svanir Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Svanir Masque
      Svanir Shoulderguards
      Svanir Chestguard
      Svanir Gloves
      Svanir Leggings
      Svanir Boots

      Medium: Svanir Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Svanir Masque
      Svanir Shoulderguards
      Svanir Chestguard
      Svanir Gloves
      Svanir Leggings
      Svanir Boots

      Heavy: Koda Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Koda Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Mind of Koda
      Arms of Koda
      Heart of Koda
      Paws of Koda
      Fur of Koda
      Paws of Koda

      Dungeon Token Currency: Symbol of Koda

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 80):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Crucible of Eternity Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Power/+Precision/+Critical Damage
      +Power/+Precision/+Condition Damage
      +Power/+Condition Damage/+Magic Find

      Light: Inquest Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Inquest Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Inquest Cowl
      Inquest Mantle
      Inquest Vestments
      Inquest Gloves
      Inquest Pants
      Inquest Shoes

      Medium: Inquest Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Inquest Helm
      Inquest Pauldrons
      Inquest Breastplate
      Inquest Gauntlets
      Inquest Legguards
      Inquest Greaves

      Heavy: Inquest Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Inquest Helm
      Inquest Pauldrons
      Inquest Breastplate
      Inquest Gauntlets
      Inquest Legguards
      Inquest Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency: Knowledge  Crystal

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 80):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Ruined City of Arah Armor

      Stat Options:

      +Power/+Precision/+Critical Damage
      +Precision/+Toughness/+Condition Damage

      Light: Corrupted Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Corrupted Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Corrupted Orrian Masque
      Corrupted Orrian Mantle
      Corrupted Orrian Vestments
      Corrupted Orrian Gloves
      Corrupted Orrian Pants
      Corrupted Orrian Shoes

      Medium: Orrian Reward Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Orrian Reward Armor – Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Orrian Reward Helm
      Orrian Reward Pauldrons
      Orrian Reward Breastplate
      Orrian Reward Gauntlets
      Orrian Reward Legguards
      Orrian Reward Greaves

      Heavy: Orrian Reward Armor

      [styled_image h=”150″ align=”left” lightbox=”yes” alt=”Guild Wars 2 Armor” image=””]
      Orrian Helm
      Orrian Pauldrons
      Orrian Breastplate
      Orrian Gauntlets
      Orrian Legguards
      Orrian Greaves

      Dungeon Token Currency: Shard of Zhaitan

      Token Costs:
      Rare (Level 80):  Head: 30, Shoulders: 30, Chest: 50, Gloves: 30, Legs: 40, Feet: 30
      Exotic: Head: 180, Shoulders: 210, Chest: 330, Gloves: 180, Legs: 300, Feet: 180


      Guild Wars 2 legendary

      Remember when ArenaNet’s Linsey Murdock wrote that blog post in November unveiling the new ascended gear?  One of nuggets of information she shared was that new Guild Wars 2 legendary weapons were coming and that precursor items would be acquired via a more “scavenger hunt” approach than the current methods.

      Knowledge of these forthcoming goodies impacted the way I approached my quest for a legendary weapon.  Why toss expensive exotics into the mystic forge for a rare chance at a precursor item, when they might soon introduce new and more fun ways of getting my grubby little paws all over them?

      Well, that question has been answered.  It seems like gambling for your precursors is going to remain the most viable method of acquiring them at least for the next several months.  Colin Johanson gave scavenger hunt hopefuls a bit of bad news on the forums with this statement:

      “We’re not currently actively working on building any sort of legendary precursor scavenger hunt, this is something we want to do in the future and we’re in the midst of designing how this would function, but no one is actively building this feature and you should not expect in the Jan/Feb/March releases at this point. “

      He later clarified and confirmed that they are indeed working on a design to add precursor scavenger hunts, but they are not currently implementing it.  In other words, it’s going to be a while.

      But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Mr. Johanson confirmed that we’ll be seeing some overhauls to the reward systems as early as the January content release.  Their goal is to make the open world more rewarding and adding new ways to earn precursors as rewards is part of their mission.

      We should be seeing a blog post sometime this week that summarizes ArenaNet’s high level plan for the first half of 2013.  We should also be getting some previews of what January’s content patch has in store for Guild Wars 2 players.   In the meantime, leave us a comment to let us know how you feel about Mr. Johanson’s news about Guild Wars 2 legendary scavenger hunts and the plans to revamp the reward systems.

      A new exploit has been discovered in Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet is ringing in the new year by issuing bans to the worst offenders.  Jewelry made from Wintersday snowflakes was being crafted and then salvaged for globs of ectoplasm and other materials.  The snowflake jewel, however, was returned around 80% of the time when salvaged, creating an excessively lucrative loop.  The exploit has since been closed and a round of permanent bans has been delivered.

      The official forums (and other sites like Reddit) have been set ablaze with all sorts of opinions on the issue.  Some blame ArenaNet for not catching the potential exploit themselves.  Others state there shouldn’t be bans without warnings and that creating the snowflake jewelry and salvaging it is very similar to legitimate ways to make money.  I believe ArenaNet has already set the precedent in their earlier dealings with exploits that they will not hesitate to smack people with permanent bans if they behave against the terms of service and jeopardize the in-game economy.  If it seems too good to be true, it’s an exploit.

      ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray is quick to point out that they have only targeted the worthy offenders stating, “I’ve seen the numbers, and the damage to the economy could have been substantial, if the exploit wasn’t closed down and if these people were allowed to use their ill-gotten gains. People whose accounts were terminated were the worst offenders. I’m talking a lot of ill gotten gains, and a significant risk to the economy.”

      Where do you stand on this debate?  Should there be warnings before bans?  Do you trust ArenaNet’s statistics and support their bans on the abusers?  Chime in and let us know what you think in the comments section below.


      GW2 New WvW Maps

      As people recover from their holiday-induced food comas and hangovers, it’s time to scour the internet for any small morsel of news to report upon.  Digging through scads of customer support red posts on the Guild Wars 2 forums did turn up one shining gem from Colin Johanson.  On the topic of World vs. World he teases this juicy nugget:

      “It’s worth noting, while they said we’re not working on new versions of the home maps currently, they didn’t say anything about new maps in general…..”

      What?!  We know that in February, we’re going to see a WvW-focused content update and that combined with January’s update it will be about the size of an expansion.  But I don’t think anyone was expecting new WvW maps!  The three borderlands and the Eternal Battlegrounds are gigantic as it is, but my imagination is running rampant at the prospect of additional maps being added.

      He also took some time to address the long-standing culling issue that has plagued WvW since launch.  In case you’re not familiar with the term, often times in WvW there’s a delay in rendering assets on your screen so you can wander into what you think is an open field only to be surrounded by hostiles a few seconds later.  Mr. Johanson states, “… the culling work requires re-building almost entirely the way our game compiles, loads, and handles assets in general. For many companies, this task could literally years, we’re trying to pull it off in a matter of months, these guys are rock stars.”

      Are you excited about the potential of new maps in World vs. World?  Do you think they will be full maps and how do you think it will work with the current scoring system they have in place?  Let us know in the comments below!

      by -
      Guild Wars 2 Expansion Incoming

      Is there a Guild Wars 2 expansion in the works? Probably.

      When will it be out, though? That’s anyone’s guess — though some guesses have a bit more to go on than others.

      The latest report from Korean securities firm KDB Daewoo has mostly good things to say about NCSoft, particularly regarding the launch of Guild Wars 2 and its first few months of operation. Specifically, Q4 2012 is cited as setting a record in operating profit for the company, with GW2 leading the way to the tune of 118 billion Korean won ($110 million USD). Combined with a 3Q OP of W46 billion ($43 million), that makes for a grand total of over $150 million.

      Lineage II also gets some of the credit for NCSoft’s strong fourth quarter, with Blade & Soul and Aion expected to “remain flat.”

      As for the future, the report considers the overseas — i.e., North America and Europe — market to be the most lucrative in 2013, including this exciting tidbit:

      In China, the company is planning to launch Blade & Soul (via a publishing agreement with Tencent) in 3Q13 and Guild Wars 2 in 4Q13 (via a publishing agreement with Kong Zhong). Furthermore, we expect NCsoft to release an expansion pack for Guild Wars 2 in Europe and the US in 2H13.

      OK, but we all figure a GW2 expansion is planned at some point in the next year or so. So what gives this estimate any credence? For that answer, look back at the first few words of the report:

      We recently visited NCsoft

      Now, we don’t think they walked in the doors of the NCSoft office and some executive said, “Hey, we’re doing a Guild Wars 2 expansion in the second half of 2013.” But they probably saw some projections and were able to piece together what they did see to come up with a reasonable explanation for whatever spike(s) they may have seen. And this is about as close to the source as you can get without visiting ArenaNet‘s offices.

      KDB Daewoo also predicted that a Guild Wars 2 launch date announcement was “imminent” about three weeks before the actual announcement was made, so they’ve got something of a track record.

      Then again, they also predicted Guild Wars 2 would launch before Thanksgiving. Technically correct, but about three months off. Close enough? We’ll have to wait and see.

      Buying Legendaries With Gold

      Legendary weapons have recently been spotted on the trading post in Guild Wars 2 and has caused some confusion and outrage in the community.  At first, players assumed this was a bug or a mistake because surely the hardest to acquire items in the game would be account or soulbound, right?  Well, that’s not the case.  ArenaNet has clarified on the forums that this is not a bug and legendary weapons can be traded and sold until they are equipped.

      The prices for these amazing implements of destruction range from 3K to 10K gold, which will keep them out of the hands of most of the population.  But just seeing them appear on the trading post has sparked an interesting debate as to whether or not these prestigious items should be account bound.  On the one hand, it would be nice to think that everyone walking around with a Twilight greatsword has earned it through their own efforts.  On the other hand, acquiring a legendary requires many rare materials and players can already fast track their progress by converting real cash to gold.

      I’ve also seen comments from the community stating that legendaries on the trading post means that Guild Wars 2 is pay to win.  Um no.  No no.  NO. Never.  The legendary weapons aren’t more powerful then an exotic weapon you can craft yourself or buy from the trading post for 3 gold.  Their power may improve once ascended weapons are introduced, but not only is that a long way off, they will not be more powerful than easier to acquire items.  It’s not pay to win.  It’s pay to look cool more quickly.

      I think the majority of players would probably prefer if legendary weapons were account bound when created, but does it really matter when acquiring one is mostly a rare material grind?  If ArenaNet does implement more legendaries that are discovered through a more scavenger hunt type approach, then it may warrant them being soulbound.  Let us know where you stand on this issue in the comments below!

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      Action MMORPG transitioning to new model in Korea, Japan

      It’s not an announcement for the U.S. or European version, but it looks like TERA will soon be free-to-play in Japan and Korea. NHN, who runs the game in Asia, is taking steps to ensure a transition to free-to-play in Korea by Jan. 10 and in Japan by mid-February, according to MMO Culture.

      In Korea, free-to-play players will have three character slots and 72 storage slots. Dungeon cooldowns will also be twice as long as they are for paying members. In Japan, free-to-play players will have four character slots and 72 storage slots, and dungeon cooldowns are so far unannounced.

      The free-to-play conversion is coming with a big content update. The “Federation” update will focus on enhancing guild, political, and PvP systems, and it will also add new loot, dungeons, maps, and other features MMO players have come to expect from patches.

      En Masse, who runs TERA in the United States, has not commented on any changes to the current U.S. business model.

      In Europe, a Nov. 5 post from community manager Raven fueled speculation about a possible move to free-to-play. In the post, Raven said premium services, the cash shop, and Chronoscrolls, which let TERA players pay for subscriptions with in-game money, will not hit European servers in 2012. He then added, “I cannot tell you the reasons for it, but they will be pretty clear within this year.” Gameforge, who runs the game in Europe, has not announced further details since the post was made.

      What do you think? Will TERA go free-to-play in the United States and Europe? Make sure to comment below.

      The Lost Shores patch in November introduced Guild Wars 2 players to the unique Fractals of the Mists dungeon.  While much of the feedback on the mini-dungeon system has been positive, there have been two major points of contention which have marred the experience.

      The first is a bug that prevents players from rejoining their party if they get disconnected while doing a dungeon run.  Many keyboards, mice, and monitors have been beat up and destroyed as a result of disconnecting on the final fractal of a set.  The second issue is the impracticality of finding a group that is on the same difficulty level as you.  Currently, you cannot set the dungeon to a higher difficulty setting than the lowest level unlocked by any member of the group.  This creates an impossible scenario where everyone is on a different fractal step and unable to find a group that is mutually beneficial.

      Fortunately, a blog post from ArenaNet heralds fixes to both of these issues coming at the end of January.  The resolution of the disconnect issue is straightforward, but Isaiah Cartwright took the time to detail the changes surrounding the difficulty level system.  Once the changes are implemented, players will be able to choose any fractal difficulty level up to the highest level unlocked in the party.  When the set of fractals is completed, all players equal to or lower than the chosen fractal level will unlock one difficulty level higher than they were previously allowed.  Anyone who has progressed further than the completed level will instead receive karma.

      It’s a bit complicated to explain on paper, but the fix is a good one.  Basically, it will mean that everyone can group up with anyone else and completing the fractals will benefit everyone in the party.  This is a far better system than they currently have in place and combined with the disconnect fix should bring a lot of players flooding back to the Fractals.  The end of January can’t come quick enough.

      What do you think of these changes?  Post a comment and let us know!


      Fans of Guild Wars 2 are merrily celebrating the Wintersday content and ArenaNet is offering a smattering of new items for purchase in the gem store.  There are festive weapon skins, holiday costumes, and winter-themed minis to acquire.  Players can also purchase Wintersday mystery boxes, which have random goodies inside including a rare chance at some exclusive account bound mini pets.

      During the Shadow of the Mad King patch in October, you could buy the mini pets directly and the rare weapon skins were placed inside of the RNG boxes.  Is ArenaNet going to continue rotating which items are available outright and which ones require luck?  Or are they merely experimenting and collecting data at this point and will eventually settle on the method that balances profit and player satisfaction?

      It’s reasonable to assume that each person’s spending habits are different and having various methods of acquiring items can appeal to a broader population.  Also, while randomness is typically frowned upon, you could argue that these mystery boxes increases the value and prestige of owning one of the rarer items.  Having all minis or weapon skins available on the gem store cheapens them and makes them less desirable.

      What kind of purchaser are you?  Do you only buy if you know what you’re getting in advance or does the thrill of the mystery box make you reach for your wallet?  Which method do you think brings in more money for ArenaNet?  Let me know in the comments below!

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      Design your ideal Bard weapon, and it could be in the game!

      The Bard class is coming in Aion 4.0, and now’s your chance to leave a lasting mark on the game.  Between now and January 3rd 2013 Aion is looking for submissions of concept art for Bard weapons.  Your imagination is the limit.  Sketch out the item you think best defines a Bard, and your design might make it into the game.

      mmorpg f2p news aion     Design A Weapon In Aion

      This is not a ‘contest’, and there are no prizes for NA participants, therefore there are no regional restrictions.  You will however receive recognition for your design, and a hand in the naming process for the item if it is selected.  The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm, Thursday January 3 2013.

      Entries may be either hand-drawn or computer generated, must include a front and sideview, and include an explanation of the intent of the design.  Check out the official rules for all the details on how to enter.

      Wintersday is in full swing in Guild Wars 2 and players are busy fighting off malfunctioning toys, throwing snowballs, and playing the choir bells.  One of the more popular additions to the holiday event is the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle.  The new platforming exercise draws comparisons to the beloved Mad King’s Clocktower, but while they both are timed jumping puzzles, the similarities stop there.

      The Clocktower was only completed by a small percentage of the player base and was an extremely difficult and taxing experience.  Despite the difficulty, players loved the challenge and the exotic level rewards were top-notch.  While the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle is much easier, it sports many improvements over the Clocktower including: multiple paths so other players aren’t in your way, the ability to watch other players go through the puzzle, and snowballs on the waiting platform to chuck at your friends!

      While the rewards are fairly tame, you can repeat the jumping puzzle each day for another gulp of karma and other assorted goodies.  Overall, the Winter Wonderland is an extremely fun experience set in a gorgeous wintry environment.  It’s even more incredible when you extend your awareness skyward and realize where this entire experience takes place.

      I hope this video guide helps you complete this frosty jumping puzzle and let me know how many attempts it took you in the comment section below!  For more Guild Wars 2 Wintersday videos, head over to my YouTube channel.

      Last week, ArenaNet’s Jonathan Sharp participated in a lengthy discussion with GW2Guru to highlight the state of the PvP game in Guild Wars 2.  He revealed both short and long term plans for structured PvP and even spoke about systems they need to have in place before the game could be considered ready for E-sports.

      He said matchmaking was their top priority, which would pit players of similar skill against each other in PvP matches.  Custom arenas are also a focus and would grant teams a place to scrimmage and practice their tactics.  Spectator mode, leaderboards, improved stats and scoring, and even dueling round out the list of features they are looking to add over the next year.

      There was one nugget of information he let loose that I thought was worth discussing.  He mentioned that eventually they would like to add items to the PvP glory vendor that would be useful in other areas of the game.  By “other areas” we can only assume he was referring to PvE and/or World vs. World.  What kind of non-PvP items do you think would be enticing to someone who was mainly focused on structured PvP?

      Could it be items that allow the PvP skins to be used outside of the Mists or vice versa?  I’m sure there are some that would jump at the chance to run around the Forest of Niflhel sporting the legendary greatsword, Twilight!  We could also speculate that ArenaNet might add convenience items that help avid PvP fans catch up their character’s progression in World vs. World or PvE.  It could be interesting to spend glory for skill points or karma.

      What non-PvP items do you think ArenaNet could add to the glory vendors in Guild Wars 2?  Let us know in the comments below!

      This Friday, the Guild Wars 2 Wintersday event will begin and Tyrians of every race will celebrate the arrival of Toymaker Tixx.  The festive asura and his mechamagical golem, Toxx, will be visiting each major city in his massive airship toy workshop before finally landing in Lion’s Arch as the Wintersday guest of honor.  His airship isn’t just for show either, as groups of 5 players can enter his workshop and create all sorts of holiday mischief.

      Things kick off this Friday when Tyria will be transformed into a wintry paradise complete with snowmen, candy canes, and a giant snow globe mystic forge.  If you enjoyed pegging children with snowballs in the Wayfarer Foothills (didn’t we all?), then you’ll want to check out the Snowball Mayhem PvP activity.  For the musically inclined there’s the Bell Choir musical activity that is accessed from the Bell Maestro at the Lion’s Arch snow globe.  And if you thought the Mad King’s Clocktower was evil, how about a jumping puzzle covered in ice?  That’s right; the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle will test the patience of the cheeriest holiday reveler.

      ArenaNet has revealed the schedule for the multi-week event and each day the events begin at 10:00 a.m. PST.  There is no mention of one-time events, so I believe they will last at least until the next phase begins.

      Schedule of festivities:

      • December 15:  Toymaker Tixx visits the sylvari at the Grove.
      • December 16:  Tixx and Toxx head over to Divinity’s Reach.
      • December 17:  The Charr of the Black Citadel are visited by the wacky asura.
      • December 18:  The halls of Hoelbrak will host the Toymaker as he visits the norn.
      • December 19:  Tixx returns to his home town of Rata Sum.
      • December 20:  Toymaker Tixx arrives in Lion’s Arch and will remain there until the event ends on January 3.  He will be handing out a special Wintersday gift to everyone who visits him and players can enter his workshop to replay all of the previous toy events.

      Finally, players can engage in a zany activity called Toypocalypse where you will defend gift-delivering dolyaks and the toy-making machine from throngs of maniacal toys gone haywire!   That sounds a lot like raising small children…except the dolyak part.

      It appears that ArenaNet has responded to the community’s feedback about one-time events and have made these festivities available for longer time periods.  It also looks like players will be able to enter the airship to replay some of the content that they’ve missed.  This could go a long way in alleviating some of the negative energy surrounding the Lost Shores content.  What do you think of their Wintersday lineup?  Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

      Wintersday: Tixx and Toxx

      Wintersday is indeed coming to Guild Wars 2 as evidenced by the latest trailer, which showcases Toymaker Tixx and his mechamagical golem, Toxx.   The festive asura will visit each major city in Tyria in his colossal airship toy workshop and deliver toys and other goodies to its inhabitants.  From the preview we can clearly see that Tyria will be transformed into an icy paradise complete with snowflakes and candy canes decor.  Take a peek at 0:43 in the trailer for what looks to be an insanely evil (but fun) jumping puzzle.  I’m sure after 200 attempts, I’m going to want to smack those coal grins from the faces of those gigantic snowmen.

      Wintersday will run from December 14 through January 3, which will provide ample time for players to whet their wintry appetites on all of the snow-themed surprises.  Does the trailer get you excited to see what ArenaNet has conjured up for us?  Let us know in the comments below!

      Earlier this week, ArenaNet released a small patch for Guild Wars 2 aimed at squashing bugs in dynamic events, dungeons, and other areas of the game.  Unfortunately, the patch also added a new issue that made finishing the Cliffside Fractal in the Fractal of the Mists dungeon, a rather difficult task.

      During the Lost Shores events, there were several bugs that marred the experience for some players.  Some players got disconnected during the Ancient Karka finale and are still waiting to receive their rewards for participating.  Certain NPCs were bugged making it impossible to complete the karka investigation quests.  And we’re also still waiting for a fix that will allow players to rejoin their parties if they get disconnected during the Fractals of the Mists dungeon.

      In light of all of this, should ArenaNet consider having a player test realm (PTR) to enlist the help of the community in order to test their new content prior to it hitting the live servers?  Many popular MMOs adopt this strategy with great success, but would the cleaner content updates be worth losing the element of surprise?  The patches in Guild Wars 2 have come in multiple acts, each bringing new story elements and activities, which fueled further speculation from the community.  If we got to see these stories and events unfold in advance on a PTR, do you think people would bother logging in for?

      What do you think?  Should ArenaNet release a testing environment to make sure their content releases with as few bugs as possible?  Or would you rather hope they can improve their internal testing methods so they can keep the updates shrouded in mystery?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

      GuildCast - Guild Wars 2 Show - Episode 52

      Panic on the streets of London…

      But enough Smiths references, there’s no need to be running around waving your hands in a frantic manner for ArenaNet, NCSoft‘s “realignment” announcement isn’t related to Guild Wars 2 in any way, as confirmed by Martin Kerstein today. We discuss the ramifications of the sad news of job losses for NCSoft and the way ArenaNet’s staff model seems to differ to that of many MMO developers.

      Colin Johanson got chatty this week and revealed some saliva inducing info for PvP worshipers. Is the infrastructure that could get competitive eSport PvP on its way? How long will it be until the work the designers are putting in right now bears fruit? We ponder the possibilities and talk about eSports and MMOs in general.

      Also we are apparently about to be blown over by a tidal force of new content. Enough new bells and whistles in January and February will be added to add up to a free expansion’s worth of content. First of all, that’s a bit good isn’t it? But does this set up a precedent that will be difficult to match? Is ArenaNet planning on a constant deluge of new awesomesauce?

      With patch notes and viewer questions — yes my overlords, they are finally getting your triumphant message, I am preparing them oh masters — the crew is on hand to guide you through.

      Join Gary Gannon, Massively‘s Elisabeth Cardy and Richie Procopio with some odd English bloke from ZAM for this week’s GuildCast!

      If you’re itching for a new challenge in Guild Wars 2, but have been averse to jump into the Fractals of the Mists dungeon, then this tutorial is the perfect tool to get caught up and earning fractal relics in no time.  This quick and dirty guide cuts out the fluff and shares just the critical highlights you need to survive a set of fractals for the first time.

      Fractaling 101

      You get to the Fractals of the Mists dungeon through an asura gate in Lion’s Arch near the Claw Island Portage waypoint.  There you and your party will enter a central hub where you can repair and access vendors.  When you’re ready for the shenanigans to begin, simply step onto the central platform and you’ll be whisked away to your first challenge.  This dungeon will pit your group against a random set of three fractals (mini-dungeons).  There are eight fractals and each will test your group in a variety of ways.

      After completing your first set of three fractals, you unlock the second difficulty level of the dungeon.  Finishing a cycle of fractals on an even difficulty setting will pit your party against a special boss fractal where you will test your mettle against the tentacular Jade Maw.  Higher difficulty levels will grant your enemies new abilities and increase their power, but consequently the rewards get sweeter as well.  After difficulty level 10, a nasty condition called Agony is introduced, which eventually requires special infused ascended gear to mitigate, but that’s not important for the purposes of this beginner’s guide.

      The Fractals In 200 Words Or Less

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Fractals Of The Mists Guide In 200 Words Or Less

      Cliffside Fractal 

      Gawk at the awesome colossus, but feel sad that he’s imprisoned by magical seals.  Defeat Legendary Archdiviner and steal his hammer.  Charge hammer by killing enemies.  Hit hammer skill 4 to break two ankle seals binding the colossus.  Drop hammer and let others grab it every 30 seconds to avoid corruption.

      Climb up scaffolding.  Don’t let gargoyles blow you off.  Break more seals while avoiding area-of-effect damage.  In the next area, there are two seals separated by a hallway.  After damaging one of the seals, it becomes immune until you hit the other one. Go back and forth killing adds, charging hammer, and damaging the seals until they break.

      Climb up while avoiding explosions on ramp.  Fight boss.  At 75% life, grab hammer, charge it and hit seal. Repeat every 25% life until seal is broken.  If you’re locked in a cage, break out.  Free colossus and watch him walk away.

      Bonus achievement:  Do a /bow or /wave emote when the colossus does his silent thank you.

      Aquatic Ruins Fractal

      Go underwater.  Save fisherman from cages while killing krait.  In the next part, you will either be turned into a defenseless dolphin or not.  If you’re a dolphin, you need to use your abilities to sneak passed the krait.  Skill 1 reveals hidden krait.  Skill 2 creates a fish to distract krait.  Skill 3 surges you forward in a straight line.  Skill 5 revives allies and ports them to you.

      If you’re not a dolphin, you need to swim in the dark following paths of bioluminescent plants on the sea floor.  Stay in the dark too long and you’ll get eaten by a school of ill-tempered fish. The bubbling geysers are safe spots.  Use them as checkpoints.  Some luminous plants can be carried for short time periods and provide immunity to the fish.  They also can resurrect fallen foes by using skill 1.

      Fight big jellyfish boss.  He spawns adds, swallows you whole, and shocks you for no noticeable damage.  Kill him faster near electrified cages.

      Bonus achievement:  As a dolphin, swim passed the krait without getting caught.

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Fractals Of The Mists Guide In 200 Words Or Less

      Underground Facility Fractal

      Stand on pressure plates to open gates. There’s one plate to the left that opens the first gate.  Then there is a path to the right with another plate, which opens the second gate.  Once everyone is past the second gate, you’ll fight ever-spawning dredge in the central room.  One person needs to channel the control panel uninterrupted, while two others stand on the two pressure plates in the room.

      Next fight many dredge and blow open the door.  You will either blast through it using dredge mining cannons or you will plant bombs to do so.  Next fight Champion Rabsovich and his friends.  Kill little dredge until they stop coming.  Then focus fire on Rabsovich and interrupt the veteran dredge’s gong playing with crowd control.

      The final boss is either the Legendary Dredge Powersuit or the Legendary Hulking Ice Elemental. The group stays together, kiting the boss around the room while one member runs up the platforms and drops buckets of molten lava on the boss.  This superheats the boss and makes him vulnerable to damage.  Keep him superheated at all times while avoiding his attacks and you’ll destroy him.

      Bonus achievement:  Defeat Rabsovich without dying.

      Swampland Fractal

      If this is the first fractal in your set of three, consider going back to the hub and starting over!  This one can be a bit rough on an inexperienced group.  Three stumps.  Three wisps.  All three wisps need to be brought back to the stumps within a small window of time.  Split up group.  Three people carry the wisps and the other two will help protect them.  Watch for traps and use condition removal to stop them from slowing you.  The trees can move blocking your path.  Prepare to curse at them.  Killing the swamp creatures is fruitless as they respawn.

      After getting the wisps to the stumps, you’ll need to fight one of two bosses.  Bloomhunger is an ornery tree who summons adds.  Kill them.  Kill him.  The Mossman (He-Man for the win!) summons wolves and hits with devastating melee attacks.  Kill him.

      Bonus achievement:  Don’t trigger any traps in the swamp.

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Fractals Of The Mists Guide In 200 Words Or Less

      Uncategorized Fractal 

      We heard you like jumping puzzles.  Hop along platforms while killing harpies.  In the first room, destroy the power node to release four monsters.  Defeat them in size order:  vorpal bunny, bandit, flame legion shaman, and ettin. Next you will run up a ramp as pulses of electricity arc down towards you.  Use dodges to make it to the top.  There are three consoles at the top, which can turn off the trap if they are activated at the same time.

      Face your first cat-golem, named Old Tom.  He has a nasty poison, which can be countered by activating the exhaust fan behind him.  The fan will need to be activated multiple times during the fight.  Kill him.

      More jumping with harpies.  Hooray!

      Face the raving asura and his four cat-golems.  The meowing robots will activate one at a time and then you’ll fight them all at the same time.  Professor Mew will charge the group with either positive or negative energy, illustrated by an icon over your character’s head.  Group up with like charges and avoid people with the opposite.  Once the cat-golems are down, the fight is over.

      Bonus achievement:  Don’t fall during the jumping puzzle.

      Snowblind Fractal

      It’s cold.  You get frostbite.  Stay near lit bonfires to get stacks of warmth.  Light bonfires using rusty torches.  When you get to the wall of ice, melt it by burning wood stacks.  Kill Sons of Svanir while you do this.

      Kill the ice elemental.  Light fire pits to stay warm.  Keep torches near the fire pits to relight them when the boss puts them out.  Spread out as the boss will attack with AoE and knockbacks.  He will teleport the party to random places and summon adds.  Kill him and it gets much warmer without the need for hot chocolate.

      Grab a torch and go through the dark forest.  Follow tracks and search for survivors.  Find the cave and engage the Legendary Shaman.  When he kneels, he’s healing.  Smack him to stop it.  He will encase people in ice with his frosty breath.  Break out of it.  When he teleports up to the platform, get ready to dodge AoE ice attacks.

      Bonus achievement:  Light every bonfire in the fractal.

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Fractals Of The Mists Guide In 200 Words Or Less

      Volcanic Fractal

      Kill waves of grawl.  Avoid flaming boulders, Indiana Jones-style.  Defeat the champion grawl shaman.  He has a shield, which can be destroyed by throwing flaming rocks at him.  Stop his veterans from knocking the captives off the cliff.

      Run down broken mine cart track killing bats along the way.  Kill the legendary grawl shaman.  Don’t fall in the lava.  Keep moving to avoid taking damage from a nasty debuff.  Avoid pools of lava.  Every 25% he will put up a shield, spawn adds, and try to kill a villager to heal.  Knock his shield down with quick hits and conditions.

      Bonus achievement:  Don’t fall in the lava.

      Urban Battlegrounds Fractal

      You’re a Flame Legion charr.  You hate humans.  Hug the left wall and travel around the battlefield to the gate.  Defeat the nearest ballista and then target the three vats of burning oil on top of the gate.  Then focus down siegemaster Dulfy before she can repair the siege weapons.

      Go through the gate and fight your way through packs of Ascalonians to make it to the courtyard.  Approach the courtyard cautiously and draw packs of enemies away from siege weapons to take them out methodically.  Once the courtyard is clear, a Flame Legion shaman will join you.  Protect him while he does an evil fiery ritual.

      Captain Amysh will appear and is the final boss of this fractal.  He hits hard and has protection and retaliation boons on him.  Dodge the attacks of his summoned squires, while you spread out and attack him.  At 25% health increments, he may cast devastating fire spells, so be prepared to dodge them.

      Bonus achievement:  Slay all of the chickens in Ascalon prior to defeating Captain Amysh.

      mmorpg guild wars 2 mmorpg     Fractals Of The Mists Guide In 200 Words Or Less

      Solid Ocean Fractal

      This is a special bonus boss event that appears at the end of an even-difficulty set of fractals.  You’ll jump on some platforms and kill some enemies and then face a giant one-eyed menace called the Jade Maw.  Stay together and clear enemies on his platform.  Then kill the tentacles from range.  Killing enemies will cause them to drop reflecting crystals, which are used to reflect the Jaw Maw’s death ray attack.

      When the Jade Maw targets you, a bright red skull icon will appear above your head.  Quickly grab a reflecting crystal, which will absorb the attack.  Now throw the charged crystal at the Jade Maw to hurt it.  If you don’t have a crystal, dodge the beam or die.  No pressure!  Tentacles will continue to respawn until the boss is defeated.  When the boss dies, he does one last death laser, which will kill everyone unless they are holding a crystal.

      Bonus achievement:  Slay every creature in the fractal.