GW2 – Details for Upcoming Event: Cutthroat Politics

Thanks to the official Guild Wars 2 site, we have a ton of info regarding the upcoming patch: Cutthroat Politics. Beginning July 23rd, GW2 players will be able to vote for their favorite candidate to fill the assassination-created opening on the Captain’s Council of Lion’s Arch. Also, four major events will occur during the “festivities”, along with some new in-game items.

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GW2 Cutthroat Politics Update, Coming July 23

Cutthroat Politics

An assassination has created a vacancy on the Captain’s Council of Lion’s Arch. Two candidates —war hero Ellen Kiel and prominent merchant Evon Gnashblade —both want to occupy that empty seat, but they can’t do it without your support!

To prove they have what it takes to sit on the powerful ruling council, Kiel and Gnashblade will compete to secure a lucrative trade agreement with the merchants of the Zephyr Sanctum. Support your favorite candidate as you experience two weeks of new events, activities, features and rewards beginning July 23!

Events

  • Support Your Candidate – July 23 to August 5

    Evon Gnashblade and Ellen Kiel are trying to work out a trade agreement with the Zephyr Sanctum in order to help them secure a spot on the Captain’s Council of Lion’s Arch. Use Support Tokens and coins to help out your candidate of choice!

  • New Activity – Southsun Survival – Begins July 23

    Scheme, kill, and scavenge your way to the top in this new competitive activity! Armed with only a bow and whatever supplies you can find, you’ll face off against other players in a battle to be the last one standing. Earn karma and coins for each round you play, plus a rare chance at an exclusive Back Item!

  • New PvP Activity – Aspect Arena – Begins July 23

    Pick one of the Aspects of Sun, Wind, or Lightning, and face off in teams to collect crystals. Each Aspect will grant you different skills with which to maneuver and fight. Earn karma and coins for each round you play, plus a rare chance at an exclusive Back Item!

  • Candidate Trials Challenge – Begins July 23

    Enter into the Candidate Trials alone or with a group in support of your chosen candidate. You’ll test your battle skills by facing off against waves of Aetherblade pirates – hold out for as long as you can to earn Support Tokens and loot! The challenge is great, but so are the rewards – you may even earn a rare chance at an Aetherized weapon!

Meet the Candidates

Evon Gnashblade

As owner and proprietor of the Black Lion Trading Company, I have the proven leadership skills and business acumen that is sorely needed on the Captain’s Council. With your support, I will secure a trade agreement with the Zephyrites that benefits us all.

If I am elected to the Captain’s Council, I’ll show my gratitude for your support in the following ways:

  • I’ll slash prices on Black Lion Keys for four whole weeks
  • I’ll sponsor important Fractals of the Mist research into the Fall of Abaddon, to be completed by the end of the year
  • I’ll host a rotation of popular activities like Crab Toss and Southsun Survival.

You can find me in the Zephyr Sanctum, working for the best interest of Lion’s Arch.

Ellen Kiel

I’ve stood by the people of Lion’s Arch in good times and bad, defending her from all manner of threat. Now I want to ensure the security of our beloved city in a different capacity, as a member of the Captain’s Council. I’ll need your support to establish a fair trade treaty between Zephyr Sanctum and Lion’s Arch.

If I’m fortunate enough to earn a position on the Captain’s Council, here’s what you can expect from Ellen Kiel:

  • I’ll reduce waypoint travel prices for four weeks’ time
  • I’ll support important Fractals of the Mists research into the Thaumanova Reactor explosion by the end of the year
  • I’ll introduce a rotating schedule of activities such as Crab Toss and Southsun Survival.

Come find me in Zephyr Sanctum; let’s work together for
a brighter future!

New Rewards

Exclusive New Back Items

Two new exclusive back items, the Desert Rose and Zephyr Rucksack, are available as rare drops from the Southsun Survival and Aspect Arena activities respectively.

Mini Ellen Kiel and Mini Evon Gnashblade

Complete the Gnashblade Supporter and Kiel Supporter meta achievements to unlock a miniature Evon Gnashblade and Ellen Kiel of your very own!

New Features

New World vs. World Ability Line – Catapult Mastery

This month’s World vs. World ability line addition is Catapult Mastery! Invest points in Catapult Mastery to increase damage done to walls, extra damage against other siege, increase your attack radius, and unlock a new, powerful skill.

Guild Wars 2: Invitational Tournament!

After several years of major Guild Wars PVP competitions, Guild Wars 2 has tossed its hat into the ring. This is a 64-team tournament that will include up to 320 players representing both Europe and North America. The 5-man teams will compete in best 2 out of 3, single elimination matches. The final match will be played during this year’s PAX Prime on August 31st in Seattle, WA! The winning team receives $10,000 in cash!

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Announcing the Guild Wars 2 Invitational and Regional Qualifying Tournaments

We’re proud to announce the very first Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament on August 31, 2013 at PAX Prime!  We’re teaming up with our partner MMORPG.com to host an exciting PvP tournament where the top North American and European teams will face off in a best-three-games-out-of-five match with a cash prize pool of $10,000 on the line.

To determine which teams from each territory will qualify for the Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament, teams of five players from Europe and North America will compete in regional qualifying tournaments hosted by MMORPG.com and Mist League.

The European regional tournament will be on July 27-28 and the North American regional will take place on August 3-4.

Both regional qualifying tournaments will have a maximum of 32 teams. The format will be five vs. five single elimination matches, and the winners of each match will be determined by the victors of two out of three games. After the qualifying tournaments are complete, the winning teams will be hosted on August 31, 2013 during PAX Prime for a competition between the two best Guild Wars 2 teams.

We’re very excited to be working with both MMORPG.com and the Mist League on this tournament, and we can’t wait to see the incredible competition at the regional qualifying tournaments and to host the Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament during PAX Prime 2013.

Registration will open next week, for players that live in Canada, United States of America, Mexico, and European Union countries and are 18 years of age or older, so solidify your team and watch GuildWars2.com for more information about registration, rules, and eligibility requirements.

Original GW2 Article

GW2: Short Story – The Trek of the Zephyrites

Angel McCoy has written a short story for ArenaNet. It’s a bit “late”, but I’m hoping GW2 lore continues to expand like this. I miss how TERA’s lore was shared extensively with dozens of exclusive articles, lore stories, and even a Twitter follow-along for one character. The original article is over here.

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Scribe’s Note: The following journal page was retrieved, undoubtedly without permission, from the Zephyr Sanctum, and in 1326 it came into the hands of the Durmand Priory. The author remains unidentified, and the veracity and authenticity of this account has not been verified. Believe at your own risk.

09 Season of the Scion 1320

Exhaustion and heat may kill us before we get out of here, if the minor irritations don’t get us first. The desert winds blow sand into everything. The grains are like tiny biting mites that get between your skin and your clothes, cling to your scalp, and grind between your toes.

My companions have remained taciturn throughout our journey, and as we approach the battlegrounds, we’ve stopped conversing about anything nonessential to our survival. We’re too exhausted to do anything but plod onward.

It’s as if the wind, sun, and weather were conspiring to slow our progress. I’m beginning to understand why someone keen on security would make this the location of her lair.

10 Season of the Scion 1320

Our trek into the Crystal Desert has taken weeks longer than expected. The weather has proven unpredictable, but we have finally arrived at our destination.

I write this now from a hill overlooking the battlefield. An air of solemnity rises from the sand in waves like the shimmer of heat, making it difficult to breath.  This is where Destiny’s Edge confronted the crystal dragon, and where our protector died defending us from her Elder kin. I imagine I can see the crystalline remains of her corpse from here. Tomorrow, we will know.

11 Season of the Scion 1320

Our predecessors, the dwarven Brotherhood, knew she was different. They forged an alliance with her and let her into their minds. They guarded her legacy for as long as they could, but sadly, their race was not to live forever. Destiny decided otherwise, and thus the torch was passed to my ancestors. We hid ourselves away for hundreds of years, helping her as we could and keeping her secrets. It breaks my heart that we did not witness her final moments. She’d lived for millennia, and yet was gone in the blink of an eye.

We’re coming here to retrieve whatever remains of her magical corpus, so that her sacred bones won’t fall into the wrong hands. Dragons consume magic, but they do not destroy it. They hold it within themselves like a sponge holds water. I only hope we’re faster than the scavengers and power-mongers who would use her body to advance their own evil or selfish plots.

I know now what great value there is in her crystal remains. Holding a portion of her in my hand, I was able to walk on the wind, ride the lightning, and channel the sun to my will. We will take her back with us and build a new sanctum where we can rise above the mundane violence of the world. There, we will foster peace and seed the crystals we make with touches of her magic, so that others too can experience her legacy.

I write with some confidence that once we leave this forsaken desert landscape, I will never return. It’s everything we are not: inhospitable, lifeless, and cruel. We’ll take her to a resting place with fresh breezes and gentle sunshine. She deserves nothing less.

She was as old as the Shiverpeaks, older than the gods. None will ever hear her true name spoken properly. And so we will remember her only as Glint, the one and only dragon who fought the destruction of our world. While we live, she will never be forgotten.

GW2: Guide to Bazaar of the Four Winds (Spoiler-Free)

The folks over at ArenaNet have put together a “spoiler-free” guide to their new content, including several tips for each of the content locations! Definitely worth a look as this just launched. You can check out the original article over here.

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A Guide to Bazaar of the Four Winds

Welcome to our newest release, the Bazaar of the Four Winds! You may be wondering what there is to do and how to get around, so what follows is a short guide to point you in the right direction.

Spoiler-free guide

  • When you log in to Guild Wars 2, you’ll receive a mail detailing the current situation. Be sure to press the “Show me” button at the bottom of the mail to get pointed in the right direction.
  • To get to the Bazaar, head to Lion’s Arch and look for the Labyrinthine Cliffs Transport Facilitator. He is marked on the map with a gold star and is in the same spot that was used to boat players over to Southsun Cove before the asura portal was finished.
  • Once you arrive in the Labyrinthine Cliffs, you can travel through the Bazaar up to the cliff peaks to reach the Zephyr Sanctum. However, you will need to utilize the three Aspect skills that are available in the map to make it to the top. You can acquire these skills by collecting the Aspect Crystals located next to Sun, Wind, or Lightning Adepts or sprinkled throughout the map.

BotFW-guide-01

What are Aspect skills?

  • The citizens of the Zephyr Sanctum (“Zephyrites,” as they call themselves) have developed a unique understanding of wind, lightning, and the sun. They have learned how to utilize these Aspects in their daily lives. By imbuing crystals with the energy of the Aspects, the Zephyrites are able to share a taste of this knowledge with others.
  • In order to ease the paths of weary travelers, the Zephyrites have scattered these Aspect Crystals throughout the Labyrinthine Cliffs while they are docked to trade goods at the Bazaar of the Four Winds. Walking over an Aspect Crystal will grant you 10 charges of a movement skill associate with that aspect.
  • Wind Crystals have a blue glow and allow you to leap to new heights! Sun Crystals glow orange and grant bursts of speed. Lightning Crystals are purple and allow you to launch yourself across wide gaps and leap with precision.

A few tips:

  • Using the Sun and Wind Aspect skills together allows you to perform a leaping dash. Players who master this technique will discover many shortcuts and beautiful views along the cliffside.
  • When you gain the Aspect of Lightning, the skill is ground targetable. However, as you traverse the cliffs, you may notice purple tether points along the way. Using the Lightning skill near these will automatically launch you to a matching tether point with no additional targeting required.
  • The Zephyrites have thoughtfully painted symbols on the rocks and walkways to provide hints regarding what Aspect must be used to overcome nearby obstacles.

What can I do at the bazaar?

  • Lessons from the Sky
    • The Zephyrites have scattered Sky Crystals amongst the rocky nooks and crannies of the Labyrinthine Cliffs. Players can utilize the three Aspect skills to reach these locations and prove that they are as nimble as any Zephyrite.

    A few tips:

    • The Zephyrites have placed over 50 Sky Crystals in the area, but you need to find only 40 to earn your reward.
    • If you have not activated a Sky Crystal, its name will be visible if you press your Control key. Once you have activated one, the name will no longer be visible. Use this to quickly scan an area for new crystals or to remember if you have gotten a crystal before.
    • Players can earn a model of the Zephyr Sanctum by completing the Lessons from the Sky achievement. When you double-click the item in your inventory, the model will appear. You can then interact with it to view a cinematic of the Zephyr Sanctum. Please note that you can only use this item in cities.

    BotFW-guide-02

  • Sanctum Sprint
    • Sanctum Sprint, a new racing activity that takes place in the crags and crevices near the Labyrinthine Cliffs, is now available. This activity will only be available for this release, but may return in the future.
    • Players must use the three Aspect skills to complete the course and reach the top. There are also offensive and defensive boosts to be found and used against your opponents.
    • To enter the activity, you must talk to the Aspect Master, who is standing near the entrance to Zephyr Sanctum at the top of the Labyrinthine cliffs.

    A few tips:

    • In the Sanctum Sprint, your Aspect movement skills can be empowered by running over Aspect Crystals. You will often need the powered-up version to access the quickest route through the track.
    • Scattered about the track are blue crystals that boost endurance as well as red crystals that grant swiftness and vigor.
    • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t finish first. Everyone who crosses the finish line before the time limit will earn a chance to win a tradable Aspect Back Item from the chest that appears!
  • Belcher’s Bluff
    • Stop by the tavern on your way to the top of the Bazaar and you’ll meet Poyaqui, leader of the mysterious Order of Om – a group of competitive drinkers whose drink of choice is Omnomberry juice.
    • Any chef worth their salt knows that cooking Omnomberries removes the vile taste as well as nearly all harmful effects, but these drinkers actually chill the stuff so they can find out who can drink the most in a new permanent activity called Belcher’s Bluff.
    • In order to challenge Poyaqui to a game of Belcher’s Bluff, you must first defeat the 5 other members of the Order of Om. Poyaqui will send you a mail detailing their exact locations if you attempt to challenge him.
    • The nearby Bartender also sells Belcher’s Bluff kits, which allow you to challenge other players to drinking matches. In fact, all bartenders in Tyria should now offer these kits to interested parties.

    A few tips:

    • Each member of the Order of Om uses a unique signature skill that they have developed. By defeating them, you can learn these extra skills, which may give you just the edge you need against Poyaqui or other players.
    • Icons will also appear above the heads of players indicating what action they took. Also pay attention to your opponent’s health bar – whether it rises, falls or stays the same should indicate which skills they are using, allowing you to predict what they are going to do next.
  • Trade opportunities!
    • Merchants have trekked many miles to bring bulk orders of cooking ingredients from all over Tyria to the bazaar. It’s a one-stop cooking shop!
    • The Zephyrites are looking to stock up on supplies that can’t be found while flying around in their Sanctum. You can find them near the repair merchant on your map. They are willing to take various resources (such as ore, wood, candy and more) in trade for Zephyr Sanctum supply boxes. These supply boxes contain new items including recipes for weapons and armor with a new stat combination.
    • Also located by the repair merchant is a Fortune Scrap Vendor, who will trade Fortune Scraps for unique Zephyrite items, including Zephyrite Aspect Helms and Zephyrite Aspect Backpacks.

    BotFW-guide-03

    A few tips:

    • Fortune Scraps can be found in Kite Fortunes, which will drop off all creatures in the game. Each Kite Fortune yields at least one fortune scrap and also provides a 10 minute random buff that stacks duration. Kite Fortunes are also being sold in bulk through the Black Lion Trading Company.

What can I do in the open world?

  • Kite Baskets
    • The Zephyrites are launching numerous kite baskets, and they are landing nearly everywhere in Tyria! Find these kite baskets in all explorable areas (except for Orr) for a chance at quartz (a new resource used for crafting), new armor and weapon recipes and kite fortunes.

    A few tips:

    • Each kite basket will yield two supply bags that everyone can interact with. However you will only be able to grab supplies from a specific location once per day. Plan a route through Tyria to make the most of your basket hunt!
    • You can also find Quartz nodes in the Labyrinthine cliffs, and completing the Meta achievement will allow you to receive a personal quartz node in your home instance, so you will never run dry, even after the Sanctum departs.
  • Stolen Kite Baskets
    • Thieving skritt have pilfered a handful of Kite Baskets from the Sanctum. Players can locate these at the top of several jumping puzzles throughout Tyria and open them for extra rewards.

GW2: Stylish New Items Available in the Gem Store

Stylish New Items Available in the Gem Store!

Thanks to the innovation and efforts of the Black Lion Trading Company, you can now show off your trendy side with our new armor skins, honor one of the Order of Whispers’ finest agents with a special new plush backpack, and shred your enemies in the comfort of your own custom arena. We’ve also got items that are on the way out – read on for more details!

New—Aetherblade Armors

The summer season is kicking into gear, which means it’s time to update your wardrobe! The Black Lion Trading Company is pleased to present our new line of Aetherblade armor skins, complete with full heavy, medium, and light sets.

New—Custom Arena Starter Kits

Start honing your battle skills today with the help of our custom PvP arenas! Custom arenas allow players to host private matches and customize their match settings. These starter kits are now available for all players to purchase.

New in the Black Lion Chests – Tybalt Plush Backpack

We’ve introduced a new item to Black Lion Chests – now every chest has a rare chance at a Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw plush backpack! This fuzzy backpack is especially well-suited for holding apples.

Leaving Soon – Free Accessory

Biviane Marriner’s little doll, Polla, is only in the Gem Store until July 1. Stop by the Upgrades category today to pick up this free accessory item!

Available Now in the Gem Store!

Log into Guild Wars 2 and press “O” to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

Original ArenaNet Article

GW2: Sky Pirates of Tyria Patch Notes

It’s a doozie! Better grab some coffee to get you through the read.

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Sky Pirates of Tyria Begins Today

A murder at the Dragon Bash has thrown lion’s Arch into Chaos! The culprits responsible for the mayhem have holed up in their hideout. Inspector Ellen Kiel spearheaded the investigation into the murder, and she’s now gathering teams of deputies to capture the perpetrator. Better sharpen your weapons and skills—this criminal promises to be a slippery eel!

June 25 Content Release Notes
LIVING WORLD
Sky Pirates of Tyria
Attention: the skies of Tyria have turned treacherous. A new breed of pirates is descending upon Tyria! Lethal and precise, they strike from above like a bolt of lightning. The Lionguard knows little about them, but this violent faction was behind the attack on the Dragon Bash effigy ceremony and is responsible for a growing swath of murders. With help from citizens like you, we thwarted their plot to usurp a seat on the Ship’s Council, but the Lionguard will not rest. Today, all who read this are deputized to join me in discovering the Aetherblades’ secret headquarters and bringing these killers to justice.
—Captain Ellen Kiel of the Ship’s Council
Aetherblade Retreat

  • A secret entrance to an Aetherblade hideout has been discovered in Lion’s Arch behind the waterfall by the Diverse Ledges. A Lionguard is stationed outside of the entrance to easily route players to Inspector Kiel, who is gathering a squad to infiltrate the secret Aetherblade lair. This is a challenging story dungeon designed for parties of five that takes the fight to the Aetherblades. Players will encounter swarms of Aetherblade cutthroats, the devious asura engineer Frizz, and ultimately, Captain Mai Trin and her hard-hitting first mate Horrik.

Open World

  • Heralds in all the major cities have been notified of the disturbances caused by the Aetherblade pirates.
  • Dragon Bash continues. The Lionguard vows to protect the city during the festival, despite the Aetherblade threat. All Dragon Bash activities (except the fireworks show) will remain available until the last day of the festival. This includes, for those who haven’t played it, the single-player living story that starts with the Memorials on the Pyre instance.
  • In honor of the release of the new Guild Wars 2 novel, Sea of Sorrows, follow the footsteps of Lion’s Arch’s founder Cobiah Marriner to a dozen locations across the city and Orr; each location contains a plaque detailing its significance to the historical figure. Talk to the NPC by the Cobiah Marriner statue for more information. For additional information, his journey can be followed in the Sea of Sorrows novel.
  • There are widespread reports that Aetherblades are tampering with the hologram projectors across Tyria. Approach them with caution.
  • Aetherblade pirates have been spotted guarding caches in select mini-dungeons and jumping puzzles across Tyria. Pirates have also been spotted around the Obsidian Sanctumjumping puzzle in the Mists.
  • The familiar face of Lady Kasmeer Meade can be found in the Grand Piazza enjoying the Dragon Bash festivities.Achievements
  • A new category of Sky Pirate achievements has been added covering the Aetherblade Retreat mini-dungeon and the appearance of the Aetherblade Caches.
  • A new meta-achievement, Against the Aetherblades, has been added, which requires players to complete 12 of 20 of the previous achievements.
  • The History Buff achievement has been added to the Explorer category for the Sea of Sorrows scavenger hunt.
  • The Not So Secret jumping puzzle achievement will become available July 2nd and will be a permanent addition.

NEW FEATURES AND CONTENT
World vs. World

  • Mortar Mastery has been added to the Ranks and Abilities tab.
    • Increases blast radius on all skills.
    • Increases fire field duration.
    • Reduces recharge on all mortar skills.
    • Increases damage on all mortar skills.
    • New Skill: Mortar Barrage
      • Launches a barrage of rounds that pushes back foes where they land.

AoE Looting

  • Players can now loot all creatures and loot chests dropped by creatures in a small radius with a single interact.
  • This feature can be used by either:
    • Selecting a new “AoE Loot On Interact” option, which will use the same key binding as the “Interact” key but will only trigger the AoE Loot functionality while none of the forms of the interact dialog are visible.
    • Creating a new key binding named “AoE Loot” under the “Miscellaneous” section of the key bindings tab on the options panel.
  • Important notes:
    • The radius of AoE Looting is equal to that of a skill with a 900-unit range.
    • The AoE Looting functionality can only be triggered once per second.
    • Once the player’s inventory has filled up or the player becomes encumbered, AoE Looting cannot be triggered again until space has been cleared in the inventory. If the player’s inventory fills up while processing an AoE Loot request, it will finish processing all items so that any stackable items will still be looted.BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
      World Polish
  • Blazeridge Steppes
    • Fuming soldiers around Foewatch will now repeat their lines in a timely manner.
  • Bloodtide Coast
    • Phill the Fisher has grown tired of being attacked by drakes and is now retired. Other lesser-skilled fishermen have moved in to take his spot.
  • Brisban Wildlands
    • The UI displayed during the fight between the skritt and the bandits at Plunder Hold has been cleaned up.
    • The “Skritt to be revived” counter in the event to help Tromgi’gark and Wenski will now reset properly during repeated runs of the event.
    • The Heart of the Terebinth now appears as a visible spirit and is a karma merchant instead of a coin merchant.
  • Caledon Forest
    • The “under construction” icon from the event where players return escaped experiments to Zaxis has been removed.
  • Fields of Ruin
    • When attacking Foulbear Kraal, Iron Legion engineers will now defend themselves if an enemy gets too close.
    • Watchman Brikken now has a “thank you” conversation when the player’s helped to secure Tyler’s Bivouac.
  • Gendarran Fields
    • The giant skelk scavenger in the Bloodfields now hates centaurs.
  • Harathi Hinterlands
    • Ulgoth the Modniir is now more aggressive about attacking ranged enemies.
    • Fixed a silver ore node that was failing to spawn.
  • Malchor’s Leap
    • The black crocus node that was floating above the terrain has been removed.
    • The aetheric interrupter at the Cathedral of Zephyrs will no longer be visible before Historian Vermoth builds it.
    • Players will no longer get stuck when using the Union Waypoint.
  • Mount Maelstrom
    • The difficulty level of the event where players defend Quandry Scratch has been reduced when fewer participants are involved.
  • Queensdale
    • Added some additional staging when Charice and her Seraph guard spawn and prepare the carnival caravan.
    • Skelk in the Scaver Plateau are now hostile to Seraph guards in the region.
    • Chloe in the Shire of Beetletun carnival will only ask players near her to participate in the Moa or Man? game rather than asking random players on the map.
  • Straits of Devastation
    • The largos Azzan no longer has “Veteran” displayed in front of his name.
    • Risen mines and rotmouths in the Strait of Sacrilege will no longer be visible outside of their associated events.
  • Wayfarer Foothills
    • Ulfred’s attempt to fool the grawl has been divided into two events: collecting magical ice for him and defending him while he sculpts the ice.

General

  • A more appropriate error message now appears when a player attempts to invite another player who is in too many guilds.
  • Players who have never obtained a Tome of Influence or Black Lion Chest guild influence item will now properly see the item’s name in the guild history list instead of “ENCRYPTED_STRING”.
  • Guild ranks displayed in the promotion context menu are now sorted by rank, rather than order of creation.
  • The issue with target selection that occurred when not moving the cursor has been fixed

Dungeons
General

  • Zojja now uses similar skills in dungeons that she does in personal story steps.

Ascalonian Catacombs

  • The ghost transformation no longer locks out utility and elite skills for some medium armor characters.

Twilight Arbor

  • Additional turrets that spawn further out from the Nightmare Tree have been added.

Sorrow’s Embrace

  • Improved the teleport effect for Tazza.

The Ruined City of Arah

  • Korga the Mighty’s leash range has now been reduced.
  • Fixed an exploit where Korga the Mighty could be safely attacked from max range.

Fractals of the Mists

  • Cliffside: Cultists will now respawn if the instance is reset by a party wipe.

Personal Story

  • General: Fixed an issue that prevented some Risen enemies in the story from using the same animations as their open world counterparts.
  • “Forewarned is Forearmed”: Added some safety checks to prevent the story step from stalling.
  • “Track the Seraph”: Adjusted levels of Lionguard to make them the same as the open world and reduced the difficulty of the final abomination attack.

Profession Skills
General

  • Weakness: Changed from 50% fumble on regular attacks to 50% fumble on all attacks. Now only stacks up to 5 times (still stacks duration).
  • Torment: Added a new condition called Torment. This does damage every second (75% of bleeding) and double damage to foes that are moving (150% of bleeding). Stacks intensity.
  • Fixed confusion to no longer fire extra times on skills due to hidden script actions.
  • Battle Standard, Spirit of Nature, Gathering Plague, Vortex, Morph Tuna, Time Warp, Mass Invisibility, Purifying Blast, Whirlpool, Murky Water, and Undercurrent have had their underwater aftercast reduced by 1.1 seconds.
  • All elite player transforms (racial and profession) now have a 1-second cooldown on leaving them. This was done to prevent unintentionally leaving through double-clicking.
  • Mistfire Wolf: This elite now has a 150-second recharge (down from 240), and can now be cast while moving. This pet’s health has been increased by 100%.
  • White Raven, Rainbow Jellyfish, Black Moa, and Black Widow Spider have had their health updated to match the other pets of their type.
  • Blindness: Fixed an issue that caused blind to be removed when an attack was used while not in range of any targets.

Elementalist:

  • Arcane Wave: This skill now hits 5 targets instead of 6.
  • Signet of Air: This skill is now a stun breaker. Increased the cooldown to 30 seconds.
  • Lightning Flash: This skill is no longer a stun breaker. Increased damage by 50%. Reduced the cooldown to 40 seconds.
  • Cleansing Fire: This skill is no longer a stun breaker. Decreased the recharge to 40 seconds.
  • Glyph of Elemental Power: This skill is now a stun breaker.
  • Gust: This skill now passes through enemies, striking multiple foes in a line.
  • Windborne Speed: Reduced the aftercast by .2 seconds.
  • Chain Lightning: Reduced the aftercast by .1 seconds.
  • Static Field: Reduced the aftercast by .3 seconds.
  • Eruption: Reduced the cast time from 1.8 seconds to 1.2 seconds.
  • Unsteady Ground: Increased the duration from 9 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Shockwave: Reduced the aftercast by .3 seconds.
  • Lava Font: Reduced the cast time from .36 seconds to .2 seconds. Reduced the aftercast from .34 seconds to .2 seconds.
  • Meteor Shower: Reduced the cast time from 4.2 seconds to 3.8 seconds.
  • Water Blast: Reduced the aftercast by .1 seconds. Increased the size of the effect to more accurately show the area healed.
  • Geyser: Reduced the cast time from 1.1 seconds to .6 seconds. Reduced the aftercast from .25 seconds to .2 seconds.
  • Frozen Ground: Reduced the cast time from .36 seconds to .2 seconds. Reduced the aftercast from .34 seconds to .2 seconds.
  • Healing Rain: Reduced the aftercast by .3 seconds.
  • Gale: Reduced the aftercast by .4 seconds.
  • Flamewall: Reduced the cast time from 1.1 seconds to .6 seconds. Reduced the aftercast from .25 seconds to .2 seconds.
  • Freezing Gust: Reduced the aftercast by .35 seconds.
  • Shatterstone: Reduced the aftercast by .75 seconds. This skill now shows its cast time and cast bar correctly.
  • Tornado: Reduced the cooldown to 150 seconds.
  • Phoenix: Doubled the velocity. Added an unblockable skill fact.
  • Meteor Shower: Increased the size of the area that each meteor strikes. This ability has been optimized. As a result, no functionality has been changed, but the amount of meteor effects has been reduced. Previously, extra meteor effects that didn’t actually do any damage would play. We now only display the meteors that deal damage on impact.
  • Magma Orb: Increased the damage by 33%.
  • Ice Wall—Detonate: Increased the chill duration from 2 seconds to 3 seconds.
  • Forked Lightning: Increased the damage by 33%.
  • Electrocute: Increased the damage by 50%. Increased the recharge from 5 seconds to 12 seconds. This skill now applies 5 stacks of vulnerability for 6 seconds.
  • Murky Water: Reduced recharge from 45 seconds to 40 seconds.

Air Magic

  • Arcane Lightning: This trait now grants a non-stacking 10% bonus critical damage for 15 seconds after using an arcane utility skill.
  • Grounded: This trait has been merged with Tempest Defense.
  • Tempest Defense: Reduced the internal cooldown from 90 seconds to 60 seconds. Damage to stunned and knocked down enemies is increased by 20%.
  • New Grandmaster trait – Fresh Air: Critical strikes will now recharge Air Attunement. This effect can only occur once every 5 seconds.

Arcane

  • Windborne Dagger: Movement speed in combat is increased by 15% for wielding a main-hand dagger, 10% for an off-hand dagger, with 25% total for both.

Earth

  • Obsidian Focus: Increased toughness while channeling, from 170 at level 80 to 300 at level 80.
  • Salt Stone: This trait has been merged with Stone Splinters.
  • Stone Splinters: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier. It now deals 5% bonus damage to bleeding opponents and increases outgoing bleeding duration by 20%.
  • Rock Solid: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • New Grandmaster trait – Diamond Skin: 10% of total toughness is now converted into condition damage.

Fire

  • Lava Tomb: This trait’s internal cooldown has been reduced to 10 seconds. Damage from Lava Font is increased by 33%. Damage dealt while in the downed state is increased by 33%.
  • Persisting Flame: Updated this trait to also allow blast finishers to give fury (10 seconds) as well as might.

Water

  • Bountiful Power: Damage increase per boon on the elementalist has been reduced from 2% to 1%.

Engineer:

  • Jump Shot: Increased the radius of the second attack from 120 units to 240 units.
  • Jump Shot: Decreased the aftercast on this skill so that other skills can chain off of it more easily.
  • Jump Shot: Cleaned up the movement on this skill so that it will more accurately move to the target location.
  • Tool Kit: Smack and Whack now each apply 2 stacks of vulnerability instead of 1 stack.
  • Rocket Boots: This trait now shoots the player forward and doesn’t inhibit the player. Reduced the cooldown to 20 seconds. This trait is no longer a stun breaker.
  • Rumble: This ability now breaks stuns. Added 1 second of stability.
  • Static Shield: The Static Shield buff is now removed if the player cancels this skill. The buff is no longer removed when the player blocks a melee attack. The stun duration has been reduced from 2 seconds to 1 second.
  • Throw Shield: Projectiles from this skill no longer passes through walls.
  • Blowtorch: Reduced the aftercast from .65 seconds to .4 seconds.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed engineers to execute back-to-back heals by using the underwater transition.
  • Elixir X: Reduced the cooldown to 105 seconds.
  • Elixir U: Reduced the cooldown to 50 seconds.
  • Launch Ice Mortar: Reduced the cooldown to 20 seconds.
  • Launch Personal Battering Ram: Reduced the recharge to 15 seconds.
  • Personal Battering Ram: Reduced the recharge to 25 seconds.
  • Analyze: Reduced the recharge to 30 seconds.
  • Throw Napalm: Increased the burn duration to 5 seconds.
  • Harpoon (Harpoon Turret—Tool Belt): Decreased the cooldown to 10 seconds. Increased the damage by 25%.
  • Surprise Shot (Rifle Turret—Tool Belt): Increased the damage by 33%.
  • Rocket (Rocket Turret—Tool Belt): Decreased the cooldown to 30 seconds.
  • Elixir U: This ability now functions correctly with Potent Elixirs.
  • Elixir R: This skill is no longer a stun breaker. Decreased the cooldown to 30 seconds.
  • Super Speed: This skill now breaks stuns.
  • Slick Shoes: The effect for this skill now actually displays.
  • Grenade Kit: This kit no longer destroys itself 6 minutes after being equipped.
  • Net Turret: Fixed an issue where spamming Net Turret would allow it to fire the electrified net three times in a row.

Alchemy

  • Acidic Coating: This trait now applies blind instead of poison to the target for 3 seconds, on a 10-second recharge.
  • Backpack Regenerator: This trait has been reworded so that it doesn’t imply that it adds the regeneration boon. This now scales with healing power from 125 to 192 (1500 healing power).

Explosives

  • Acidic Elixirs: This trait now removes a boon when they land, in addition to dealing damage.
  • Autodefense Bomb Dispenser: The internal cooldown of this trait has been reduced to 30 seconds.

Firearms

  • Knee Shot: This trait has been merged with Sitting Duck.
  • Sitting Duck: Inflicting immobilize on an enemy also cripples them for 5 seconds and applies 5 stacks of vulnerability for 8 seconds. This effect can only occur once every 5 seconds.
  • Fireforged Trigger: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.
  • Juggernaut: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • Coated Bullets: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • Napalm Specialist: This trait has been moved to the Grandmaster tier. The duration of burns that the player applies has been increased by 33%.
  • New Grandmaster trait—Modified Ammunition: Damage is increased by 2% per condition on the target, when wielding a pistol or rifle.

Inventions

  • Stabilized Armor: Reduced the damage by 20% when the player is knocked down or stunned.
  • Elite Supplies: This trait now improves mortar range.

Tools

  • Always Prepared: This trait now only drops bandages when the engineer is downed (10-second cooldown). Damage while downed is increased by 25%.
  • Packaged Stimulants: This trait now improves the effectiveness of the thrown medkit by 25%.
  • Scope: Critical chance is increased by 10% when the distance to the target is greater than 600.
  • Leg Mods: The duration of crippled, chilled, and immobilized has been reduced by 33%.
  • Armor Mods: This trait will now grant aegis for 5 seconds when critically hit. This effect has a 25-second internal cooldown.
  • Inertial Converter: This trait now functions with the underwater versions of Toss Elixir B and Toss Elixir H.

Guardian:

  • Orb of Wrath: Increased the projectile speed of this skill by 30%.
  • Wrathful Strike: Increased the might duration from 3 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Signet of Judgment: This ability now breaks stuns. Increased the cooldown to 30 seconds.
  • Shield of the Avenger: Command: This ability now breaks stuns.
  • Chains of Light: This ability now deals a small amount of damage.
  • Signet of Mercy: Reduced the cooldown to 150 seconds.
  • Bane Signet: Reduced the cooldown to 40 seconds.
  • Purifying Blast: Fixed the skill fact damage amounts.
  • Refraction: Decreased the cast time from 1.3 seconds to .5 seconds.
  • Tome of Wrath: Smiter’s Boon: This trait now applies to the caster as well.
  • Sanctuary: Fixed an issue where Consecrated Ground was also reducing the cast time of this skill.
  • Virtue of Justice: Updated the skill fact to correctly display the actual burning duration when the skill is activated.
  • Tome of Courage: Protective Spirit: This trait now applies to the caster as well.
  • Tome of Courage: Pacifism: Daze duration has been increased to the 3 seconds listed in the tooltip.

Honor

  • Pure of Heart: This trait now heals for its base amount +25% benefit from healing power, up from 10%.

Radiance

  • Blind Exposure: Vulnerability caused by this trait has been increased from 5 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Radiant Fire: This trait now grants a 20% bonus to burning duration, in addition to reducing the torch skill recharge by 20%. Fixed the description text to indicate the accurate recharge reduction.

Valor

  • Glacial Heart: This trait now applies 5 seconds of chill on a critical hit with a 100% activation rate (up from 4 seconds on a 50% rate). This effect’s recharge has been reduced from 45 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Mace of Justice: This trait now grants up to 250 healing power while wielding a mace.

Virtues

  • Shielded Mind: Courage now breaks stun for up to five allies when activated, instead of just the guardian.

Zeal

  • Wrathful Spirits: This trait now increases damage dealt by spirits by 50% (up from 10%).
  • Scepter Power: This trait has been increased from 5% bonus damage to 10% bonus damage.
  • Zealous Blade: This trait has been merged with Greatsword Power and is now labeled as a Tier 2 trait.
  • New Tier 3 trait—Kindled Zeal: 10% of the player’s power is now converted into condition damage.

Mesmer:

  • Mind Spike: Reduced the base damage by 20%. This skill does an additional 50% damage to targets with no boons.
  • Mind Stab: Reduced the aftercast by .4 seconds.
  • Illusionary Counter: This skill damage has been reduced to 50% of what it was. It now applies 5 stacks of torment for 8 seconds.
  • Magic Bullet: Reduced the aftercast by .2 seconds.
  • Into the Void: This skill now has a 1-second recharge before it can be used after placing Temporal Curtain.
  • Signet of Illusions: Clones and phantasms will now gain the passive effect of this signet when they are created, rather than a few moments after creation.
  • Siren’s Call
    • Bleed duration for players: Reduced from 2 seconds to 1 second.
    • Bleed duration for clones: Reduced from 2 seconds to 1 second.
  • Feigned Surge: Increased the damage by 33%.
  • Ineptitude: Fixed an issue that allowed this skill to be cast at infinite range.
  • Illusionary Leap: Fixed an exploit that allowed for more clone generation than intended.
  • Signet of Midnight: Increased the blind duration to 5 seconds. Decreased the cooldown to 30 seconds.
  • Illusion of Life: Fixed an issue so that Far-Reaching Manipulations no longer reduces the cast time of this skill.
  • Blurred Frenzy: This is now evasion instead of immunity. This means it will be affected by retaliation. Increased the cooldown to 12 seconds.
  • Signet of Illusions: Decreased the bonus hit points to clones and phantasms to 50%.
  • Split the hit point values of clones and phantasms by game type:
    • Increased the phantasm base hit points by 55% in PvP and WvW.
    • Increased the phantasm base hit points by 270% in PvE.
    • Decreased the clone base hit points by 25% in PvP and WvW.
    • Increased the clone base hit points by 28% in PvE.
  • Polymorph Moa:
    • Claw: This skill now jumps towards the target as it hits, and the animation was amended.
    • Kick: This ability is now a ground-targeted leap skill that damages and cripples enemies for 3 seconds where the player lands. Decreased the recharge to 4 seconds.
    • Peck: This ability now moves towards the target between each attack. Increased the damage by 10%. Decreased the recharge to 4 seconds.
    • Screech: This ability now damages and weakens foes for 3 seconds in a 300 radius. Lowered the cast time to 1.5 seconds. Decreased the recharge to 4 seconds.
    • Flee: Smoothed the animation and reduced the aftercast.
  • Polymorph Tuna:
    • Chomp: This ability now cripples for 3 seconds.
    • Frenzy: Increased the damage by 10%.
  • Phantasmal Berserker: Fixed an issue that was causing the damage from this summoned phantasm to not display. Updated the berserker’s attack to make it more reliably hit a static target with all 4 of the attacks.

Chaos

  • Prismatic Understanding: This trait now pulses once every second while stealthed.
  • Bountiful Interruption: This trait has been moved to the Master tier. In addition to granting a random boon on interrupt, this trait will also grant 5 stacks of might.
  • Chaotic Interruption: This trait has been moved to the Grandmaster tier. This ability now immobilizes the player’s target and randomly applies blind, cripple, or chill.

Domination

  • Halting Strike: Damage dealt when interrupting enemies has been increased by 500%.

Dueling

  • Protected Mantras: This trait now grants up to 400 toughness while channeling (up from 250).
  • Furious Interruption: This trait now grants 3 seconds of quickness when interrupting a foe. This effect can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • Vengeful Images: This trait now only applies retaliation for 5 seconds when they are created and does not persist after that.

Illusions

  • Imbued Diversion: This trait now allows Diversion to daze 5 targets (up from 3). In addition, the daze radius has been increased to 360 (up from 240).
  • Illusionary Retribution: Moved to the Adept Minor trait.
  • Shattered Strength: Moved to the Master Minor trait.
  • Illusionists Celerity: Moved to the Grandmaster Minor trait.

Inspiration

  • Malicious Sorcery: This trait grants up to 200 condition damage while wielding a scepter (based on level), up from 50.
  • Compounding Celerity: Movement speed per active illusion has been increased to 10%, allowing for 30% movement speed when three illusions are active.
  • Shattered Conditions: This trait now removes one condition from all allies around the mesmer.

Necromancer:

  • Putrid Curse: Increased the poison duration from 2 seconds to 4 seconds.
  • Necrotic Bite: Increased the life force gain from 4 to 6.
  • Corrupt Boon: Reduced the maximum amount of boons converted to 5.
  • Spectral Wall: Normalized the amount of protection gained to 5 seconds for allies. Replaced the vulnerability with a 1-second fear when enemies try to cross the wall. Added 4% life force gain on hit. Increased the recharge to 45 seconds. Reduced the base duration to 5 seconds and 7.5 seconds while traited with Spectral Attunement.
  • Wail of Doom: Added an unblockable skill fact.
  • Well of Power: This ability now breaks stuns. Added 1 second of stability. Reduced the cooldown to 50 seconds.
  • Well of Corruption: Reduced the cooldown to 40 seconds.
  • Well of Darkness: Reduced the cooldown to 50 seconds.
  • Well of Suffering: Reduced the cooldown to 35 seconds.
  • Unholy Feast: This ability now removes 1 boon from each target hit.
  • Spectral Armor: Reduced the recharge to 60 seconds.
  • Signet of Spite: Now applies 2 stacks of bleeding for 10 seconds, blind for 5 seconds, cripple for 10 seconds, poison for 10 seconds, 5 stacks of vulnerability for 10 seconds, and weakness for 10 seconds. Reduced the recharge to 60 seconds.
  • Death Shroud: No longer removes the Spectral Armor buff.
  • Death Shroud: No longer removes the Spectral Walk buff.
  • Signet of Undeath: Increased the cast time to 3 seconds.
  • Locust Swarm: Increased the radius to 210. Increased the animation size to better reflect its attack area.
  • Grim Specter: This ability can now be cast while moving.
  • Rigor Mortis: This ability is now instant.
  • Necrotic Grasp: Increased the projectile velocity by 10%.
  • Consume Conditions: This skill now consumes torment.
  • Chillblains: This ability now has the appropriate cast time when traited with greater marks.
  • Putrid Mark: This ability will now transfer blind to enemies it strikes, instead of missing.
  • Deathly Swarm: Increased the projectile velocity by 30%.
  • Crimson Tide: The bleed duration has been increased from 5 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Deadly Catch: The cripple duration has been increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Wicked Spiral: The vulnerability duration has been increased from 6 seconds to 10 seconds per hit.
  • Deadly Feast: The duration of feast has been increased from 6 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Death Shroud: Bone Fiend and Shadow Fiend now regenerate outside of combat.
    • New ability #5 – Tainted Shackles: This skill tethers all enemies within a 600 range, constantly dealing torment to them over time. At the end of the cast, Dark Binding immobilizes all affected enemies still within the radius.
    • Life Blast: This skill now scales based on range instead of amount of life force. At more than 600 units, this skill’s low value has been increased by 43%; at less than 600 units, this skill uses the old high value. Range has been increased to 1200.
    • Doom: This skill now scales based on range. If more than 600 units, it will apply 1 second of fear; If less than 600 units, it will apply 1.5 seconds of fear. This ability now lists the damage it deals to enemy targets.
    • Life Blast (Underwater): Decreased the cast time and reduced the aftercast.
  • Ghastly Claws: Increased the life force gain from 8 to 10.
  • Feast of Corruption: Increased the life force gain from 2/condition to 3/condition.
  • Necrotic Grasp: Increased the life force gain from 3 to 4.
  • Shadow Fiend Haunt: Increased the blind duration to 5 seconds.
  • Dark Path: Fixed an issue where the chill duration did not match the tooltip.
  • Reaper’s Touch: Fixed an issue so that it now applies the vulnerability before the damage. Updated the tooltip to state the correct amount of vulnerability.
  • Grim Specter: This skill is now unblockable.

_Blood Magic _

  • Dagger Mastery: This trait now grants a 20% recharge reduction.
  • Vampiric: This trait now scales up 6 additional points with power for its damage and healing for its healing per attack.

Curses

  • Withering Precision: This trait now applies 5 seconds of weakness on critical hits. This effect can only occur once every 20 seconds.
  • Terror: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • Focused Rituals: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.

Death Magic

  • Death Shiver: Vulnerability applied every 3 seconds while in Death Shroud has been increased to 3 stacks for 10 seconds (up from 1 stack).
  • Death Nova: Minions now deal damage when Death Nova is triggered.

Soul Reaping

  • Speed of Shadows: This trait now increases movement speed by 25% while in Death Shroud.
  • Decaying Swarm: This trait has been removed.
  • Near to Death: This trait has been moved to the Master tier. This trait now reduces the cooldown by 30% instead of 50%.
  • New Grandmaster trait—Deathly Perception: Players have a 50% greater critical chance while in Death Shroud.

Spite

  • Signet Power: This trait has been merged with Signet Mastery.
  • Signet Mastery: This trait now recharges signets 20% faster and grants 3 stacks of might for 10 seconds on signet use.
  • Axe Training: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • New Grandmaster trait—Dhuumfire: Players can inflict burning to opponents for 4 seconds on critical hit. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.

Ranger:

  • “Protect Me”: This ability now breaks stuns.
  • Splitblade: Reduced the aftercast from .4 seconds to .2 seconds.
  • Pet leash range increased to 2000 units.
  • Path of Scars: This skill now pulls enemies on the return flight.
  • Long Range Shot: Reduced the aftercast from .5 seconds to .25 seconds. Increased the arrow speed by 15%.
  • Rapid Fire: Reduced the initial cast time by .4 seconds. Increased the arrow speed by 15%.
  • Point Blank Shot: Increased the arrow speed by 15%.
  • Barrage: Increased the cripple duration by 50%.
  • Stalker’s Strike: This skill no longer loses evade duration when traited with Off-Hand Training. It now strikes targets more reliably in melee. It now functions with Off-Hand Training in PvE.
  • Crippling Talon: This skill now functions with Off-Hand Training in PvE.
  • Muddy Terrain: Decreased the duration from 20 seconds to 10 seconds. Increased the cripple duration per pulse from 1 second to 2 seconds. Decreased the cooldown from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
  • Lightning Reflexes: The travel distance for this skill has been halved when underwater.
  • Man O’ War: The base recharge has been increased from 18 to 25.
  • Counterstrike: The base recharge has been increased from 15 to 20.
  • Swirling Strike: Increased damage by 33%.
  • Crossfire: Decreased the range to 900.
  • Poison Volley: Decreased the range to 900.
  • Quick Shot: Decreased the range to 900. Increased the damage by 14%.
  • Crippling Shot: Decreased the range to 900. Increased the damage by 14%.
  • Concussion Shot: Decreased the range to 900. Increased the damage by 14%. Reduced the aftercast by .25 seconds.
  • Spirit-activated skill range increased from 180 to 240 (360 when traited).
  • Call Lightning: Increased the damage by 150%.
  • Solar Flare: Decreased the cast time from 1.7 seconds to .5 seconds.
  • Counterstrike: Fixed an issue with this ability that caused it to go on interrupt recharge when pressed twice rapidly to use Counter Throw.
  • Thunderclap (Downed Skill 2): Fixed an issue that caused this ability to have infinite range.
  • Winter’s Bite:. Fixed an issue so that it now chills for 3 seconds (as listed in the tooltip) instead of 2 seconds.

Pets

  • Armor Fish: Bite: Reduced the damage by 50%.
  • Bird: Slash: Increased the damage by 15%.
  • Eagle: Lacerating Slash: Reduced the damage by 50%.
  • Raven: Blinding Slash: Reduced the damage by 34%.
  • Canine: Bite: Reduced the damage by 27%.
  • Devourer: Twin Darts: Reduced the damage by 20%.
  • Drake: Bite: Reduced the damage by 27%.
  • Insect Swarm: This skill can no longer fire behind the drake.
  • Drake: Lightning Breath: Reduced the damage by 17%.
  • Feline: Maul: Reduced the damage by 50%.
  • Jaguar: Stalking: Critical chance increase while in stealth reduced to 25%.
  • Jellyfish: Tentacle Slash: Increased the damage by 50%.
  • Jellyfish Blue: Chilling Whirl: Decreased the damage by 33%.
  • Moa: Peck: Reduced the damage by 7%.
  • Pig: Jab: Reduced the damage by 25%.
  • Shark: Bite: Increased the damage by 10%.
  • Spider: Spit: Increased the damage by 10%.

Beastmastery

  • Instinctual Bond: This trait has been swapped with Zephyr’s Speed. Quickness has been increased to 3 seconds.
  • Stability Training: This trait now causes the pet to ignore the incoming crowd control skill as well as granting stability. This has a 10-second internal recharge.

Marksmanship

  • Keen Edge: This trait now activates when the player strikes a target whose health is below 50%, instead of when the player’s health reaches 75%.
  • Beastmaster’s Might: This trait now grants 3 stacks of might for 15 seconds.
  • Spotter: This trait has been increased from 70 precision to 150.

Nature Magic

  • Vigorous Spirits: This trait has been merged with Spiritual Knowledge.
  • Spiritual Knowledge: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.
  • Evasive Purity: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • New Grandmaster trait—Nature’s Voice: Shouts apply 10 seconds of regeneration and swiftness to allies in a 360 radius.

Skirmishing

  • Companion’s Might: This trait now grants 5 seconds of might to the player’s pet (up from 1 second).

Wilderness Survival

  • Peak Strength: Damage bonus when the player’s health is above 90% has been increased from 5% to 10%.
  • Healer’s Celerity: This trait now increases revive speed by 10%. Swiftness granted on revival has been increased from 3 seconds to 15 seconds.

Thief:

  • Lotus Strike: Increased the poison duration from 2 seconds to 4 seconds.
  • Shadow Trap: Increased the recharge to 45 seconds.
  • Destroy Shadow Trap: This ability now teleports the thief back to the trap location when it is destroyed. Added range skill facts. This skill now breaks stuns. Using this skill puts Shadow Trap on recharge.
  • Shadow Pursuit: This ability now grants fury and 10 stacks of might for 5 seconds along with stealth when used to teleport to the enemy who triggered Shadow Trap. This ability now breaks stuns. Using this skill puts Shadow Trap on recharge.
  • Death Blossom: This trait now costs 4 initiative.
  • Body Shot: Reduced the aftercast by .4 seconds. Decreased the vulnerability duration to 3 seconds. Increased to 10 stacks for vulnerability.
  • Pistol Whip: Decreased the time between the stun and the sword flurry.
  • Scorpion Wire: Decreased the aftercast by .2 seconds. Reduced the cooldown to 20 seconds.
  • Signet of Malice: Increased the base heal by 33% of the passive ability.
  • Steal: Reduced the recharge to 35 seconds.
  • Cluster Bomb: Decreased the range set from 1200 to 900.
  • Larcenous Strike: Increased the initiative cost to 2.
  • Nine Tailed Strike: Increased the initiative cost from 3 to 5.
  • Shadow Assault: Increased the initiative cost from 5 to 7.
  • The Ripper: Increased the bleed duration from 5 seconds to 7 seconds.
  • Deadly Strike:. Increased the damage from 1 to 1.2.
  • Skale Venom: Replaced weakness with torment.
  • Dancing Dagger: Reduced the initiative cost to 3.
  • Shadow Return (Infiltrator Strike Toggle): This skill is no longer a stun breaker.
  • Withdraw: The travel distance underwater has been cut in half to match the land distance.

Acrobatics

  • Assassin’s Retreat: This trait now grants 10 seconds of swiftness when players kill a foe. This effect has a 5-second internal cooldown.
  • Pain Response: Reduced the cooldown from 45 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Hard to Catch: Reduced the cooldown from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.

Critical Strikes

  • Furious Retaliation: This trait now grants 10 seconds of fury when striking a target whose health is below 50%. This effect can only occur once every 30 seconds.
  • Signets of Power: The 5 stacks of might that this trait grants have been increased to 10 seconds.

Deadly Arts

  • Corrosive Traps: This trait now grants 5 stacks of vulnerability for 8 seconds (up from 5 seconds).
  • Sundering Strikes: Vulnerability caused by this trait has been increased from 5 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Panic Strike: Reduced the cooldown from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Lotus Poison: Increased the weakness duration to 4 seconds, but it can only apply once every 20 seconds per target.

Shadow Arts

  • Last Refuge: Reduced the cooldown of this trait from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Slowed Pulse: The effect of this trait now occurs if the player has 2 or more stacks of bleeding.
  • Shadow Protector: This trait has been changed to apply 10 seconds of regeneration when the players stealth them. This effect will not occur if the ally already has regeneration on them.

Trickery

  • Merciful Ambush: This trait now grants 2 seconds of stealth to players and their allies when beginning a revive.
  • Long Reach: This trait now increases the range of Steal to 1500 (up from 1200).
  • Ricochet: The chance to bounce for this trait has been increased from 25% to 50%.
  • Sleight of Hand: In addition to dazing the player’s target, this trait now reduces the recharge of Steal by an additional 20%.
  • Instinctual Response: This trait now properly blinds enemies struck by the feathers. Increased the radius from 120 to 180.
  • Bountiful Theft: This trait will now trigger before Sleight of Hand.

Warrior:

  • Tremor: Increased the projectile velocity by 33%.
  • Axe Chain: Moved the damage more toward the end of the chain without reducing overall DPS.
    • Chop: Reduced the damage by 9%.
    • Double Chop: Reduced the damage by 12%.
    • Triple Chop: Reduced the damage of the first two hits by 20%. Increased the damage on the final hit by 75%.
  • Final Thrust: This skill has been moved to slot #3. Now it does more damage and extra damage versus foes whose health is below 50%.
  • Hamstring: This skill has been moved to the end of the skill chain. Reduced the cripple duration to 1 second.
  • Savage Leap: This skill now applies 3 seconds of cripple.
  • Leg Specialist: This trait now has an internal cooldown of 5 seconds.
  • Skull Crack: Increased the stun duration from 1, 1.5, 2 to 1, 2, 3. Increased the damage by 50%.
  • Endure Pain: Reduced the recharge from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Stomp: This ability now breaks stuns. Added 1 second of stability. Reduced the cooldown to 45 seconds.
  • Dolyak Signet: This is now an instant stun breaker.
  • Throw Bolas: Reduced the aftercast by .3 seconds.
  • Kick: Doubled the damage.
  • Berserker’s Stance: Increased the recharge to 60 seconds. Reduced the duration to 4 seconds. This stance now reduces incoming condition duration by 100%, so only modified conditions can get through.
  • Balanced Stance: This now also applies swiftness.
  • Dual Strike: Reduced the aftercast from .5 seconds to .25 seconds.
  • Whirling Axe: Reduced the aftercast by .2 seconds.
  • Rush: Reduced the aftercast by .2 seconds. The transition between the run and swing portion has been smoothed out for hitting moving targets.
  • Hammer Shock: Reduced the aftercast by .4 seconds.
  • Staggering Blow: Reduced the aftercast by .25 seconds.
  • Backbreaker: Reduced the aftercast by .25 seconds.
  • Crushing Blow: Reduced the aftercast by .2 seconds.
  • Brutal Shot: Reduced the aftercast by .3 seconds.
  • Rampage: Reduced the cooldown to 150 seconds.
  • Brutal Shot: This skill now adds 5 stacks of vulnerability (up from 1). The duration of vulnerability applied changed from 15 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Knot Shot: Reduced the recharge from 25 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • Untraited Longbow: Increased the range from 900 to 1000.
  • Riposte: When players block an attack from range, it no longer cancels the blocking.
  • Whirling Axe: Increased the damage by 50% in PvP only.
  • “Fear Me!”: Reduced the recharge to 60 seconds.

Arms

  • Deep Strike: This trait now scales with level rather than granting a flat bonus.
  • Furious Speed: Players gain 10 seconds of swiftness on critical hits. This effect can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • Opportunist: This trait grants 10 seconds of fury when players immobilize a target. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.
  • Furious: This trait has been updated to indicate that triple adrenaline is rewarded on critical attacks.
  • Last Chance: Reduced the recharge to 45 seconds (down from 60 seconds).

Defense

  • Defy Pain: Reduced the cooldown of this trait from 90 seconds to 60 seconds. This trait will now have a 4-second duration, 5 seconds when traited with Sure-Footed.
  • Vigorous Return: This trait now grants an additional 100% endurance when players rally.
  • Sundering Mace: Fixed an issue causing this trait to apply weakness on mace critical strikes.
  • Embrace the Pain: This trait has been merged with a new Master tier trait, Cleansing Ire.
  • Cleansing Ire: New Master tier trait with the following effects: Gain adrenaline when hit. Remove a condition for every bar of adrenaline spent.
  • Shield Master: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.
  • Adrenal Health: This trait now scales with healing power:

Discipline

  • Burst Recharge: The Discipline trait line no longer improves burst damage. It now decreases burst cooldown by 1% per point in Discipline.
  • Warrior’s Sprint: Increased the movement speed from 10% to 25%.
  • Sharpened Axes: Reduced the axe skills by 20% in addition to increasing adrenaline with axe critical hits.
  • Vigorous Focus: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.
  • Destruction of the Empowered: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • Heightened Focus: This trait has been moved to the Grandmaster tier and grants 5%, 10%, and 15% critical chance based on adrenaline level.
  • Burst Mastery: This no longer reduces burst cooldown. It now increases burst damage by 10%.

Strength

  • Physical Training: This trait has been moved to the Master tier.
  • Dual Wielding: This trait has been moved to the Adept tier.
  • Berserker’s Power: This trait has been moved to the Grandmaster tier. Damage bonus has been increased to 5%, 10%, and 15% based on adrenaline level.
  • Berserker’s Might: This trait now passively builds 2 strikes of adrenaline every 3 seconds, while the players are in combat.
  • Distracting Strikes: This trait now applies 4 stacks of confusion for 8 seconds upon interrupting an enemy.

Tactics

  • Burning Arrows: Reduced the recharge of longbow abilities by 20% in addition to dealing 10% bonus damage against burning foes.
  • Desperate Power: Increased the threshold of this trait, dealing 20% additional damage while the player is below 50% health instead of below 25%.
  • Empower Allies: This trait has been increased to 150 points of power.

Structured Player vs. Player

  • Fixed an issue where PvP Apprentice and Chainmail items would salvage into PvE materials.
  • Added the Rawhide Armor set to the Deer rank chests.
  • Updated several spectator camera locations, in various maps.
  • Updated kill notifications to show defeats and used brighter team colors.
  • Spectators can reliably use the Escape menu now.

World vs. World

  • Mesmers can no longer create clones of siege golems.
  • The buff Guard Leech, acquired from rank 10 of Guard Killer, now adds 20 power and 20 condition damage per stack.
  • Supply caravan ambushes now provide 10 WXP when killed.
  • Omega Siege Golems now correctly require 150 supply to be built.
  • Cannon skills now show the correct skill facts when upgraded via Cannon Mastery.
  • Ballista skills now show the correct skill facts when upgraded via Ballista Mastery.
  • The Outmanned buff is now hidden from enemies.
  • Superior siege weapons now correctly indicate the damage from their skills in their skill facts.

BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
New Items and Promotions

  • Aetherblade Armor Skins have been added to the Gem Store in the Style category for 800 gems each. Light, medium, and heavy versions, each with their own unique design, are available. Please remember that each class can only equip one armor weight and to check the character’s armor class before purchasing.
  • The new Plush Tybalt Backpack Cover can now be obtained through the Black Lion Chest. This adorable backpack cover is modeled after the character Tybalt and can be applied to any backpack. Players can open Black Lion Chests using the Black Lion Chest Key found in the Gem Store under the Consumable category.
  • Now players can start their own custom PvP arena with the Custom Arena Starter Kit available in the Gem Store in the Services category for 1600 gems each. Each Custom Arena Starter Kit contains one arena and 30 days of active time. Anyone can add additional time to the arena with the Custom Arena Time Token, which is also available in the Services category in packages of 5 for 150 gems or 20 for 480 gems.

Improvements

  • Most items in the Gem Store are now available to be purchased as a gift. Gifting allows players to purchase an item with gems but have it delivered to one of their friends. Simply select the orange gift box icon next to the price of the gift item and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • The drop chances in the Black Lion Chest have been adjusted so there is a greater chance to receive a plush backpack cover item with each key. However, backpack covers are still a rare drop from the Black Lion Chest.

Bug-fixes

  • Fixed a bug with Rich Dragon Coffers where recipes were not included in the drop table. There is now a rare chance to receive the Dragon’s Revelry Starcake recipe. Dragon’s Revelry Starcakes give a 30 minute buff to all armor stats, Magic Find, and experience from kills.
  • All players that purchased a Rich Dragon Coffer before the fix above was added will receive 1 Dragon’s Revelry Starcake recipe via in game mail as compensation. This compensation is scheduled to be delivered in a few days.
  • Fixed a bug with Rich Dragon Coffers where recipes were not included in the drop table. There is now a rare chance to receive the Dragon’s Revelry Starcake recipe. Dragon’s Revelry Starcakes give a 30 minute buff to all armor stats, Magic Find, and experience from kills.
  • All players that purchased a Rich Dragon Coffer before the fix above was added will receive 1 Dragon’s Revelry Starcake recipe via in game mail as compensation. This compensation is scheduled to be delivered in a few days.

Original ArenaNet Article

 

GW2: Who Are the Aetherblades?

ArenaNet offers an interesting behind the scenes look into how they came up with the new Aetherblades pirate clan. They talk about initial concepts, costume/armor design, mob types and attack abilities, and some ways they can interact with current game lore.

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Hey everyone, game designer Steve Hwang here with some background how we put together the Aetherblades, our Sky Pirates of Tyira, for the upcoming release.

Not much is currently known about the Aetherblades, as they have only recently appeared in Lion’s Arch.

The Dragon Bash was in full swing in Lion’s Arch, with citizens gleefully bashing dragon piñatas, eating Zhaitaffy, and shooting fireworks. Everyone was enjoying the festival – until tragedy struck at the effigy lighting ceremony. After tampering with an effigy to make it emit an arcane pulse, the Aetherblades descended from the sky with Inquest golems to ambush the council and kill one of its members. If not for the bravery of heroes who aided the Lionguard, many more council members would’ve been lost. But be wary: the Aetherblades have just begun to permeate Tyria.

Out of Thin Aether

When the June Living World team formed, we needed to create a new alliance of pirates and the asuran Inquest which would crash the Dragon Bash party in Lion’s Arch and trigger a chain of events that would forever change the Ship’s Council.

I jokingly called this new alliance the “Pin-Quest” until the team found their true name. We use a lot of internal names at ArenaNet to help us wrap our heads around what a certain faction is, what they look like, and what skills they would use. Similarly, “Fledge” was the temporary name for the Flame Legion and Dredge before we named them the Molten Alliance.

Now, Tyria is no stranger to pirates. There are several established pirate factions in Guild Wars 2already, such as Covington’s Pirates in Bloodtide Coast or the triple threat of Slade, Jackdaw, and Wiley’s pirate crews in Gendarran Fields. Given that many players have already fought pirates, how could create a distinctive look and feel for our new buccaneers?

Steampunk + Airships + Lightning

First, we needed to establish a unique pirate aesthetic. We based the Aetherblades on a steampunk-style armor set that was in development.

Next, all proper pirates have ships: Long John Silver, Jack Sparrow, Captain Harlock… and so should our new pirate clan.

However, instead of being traditional water-based scoundrels, the Aetherblades come from the skies – which of course meant providing them with an appropriate mode of travel. We figured our sky pirates, being felonious by nature, would steal their rides from the Pact, who have their own fleet of airships.

But the sky pirates needed to really feel different; not just in how they look, but in how they played. They were allied with the Inquest, the unscrupulous asuran organization whose research knows no moral limits. Their asuran alchemy could certainly lend itself to the steampunk vibe of the sky pirates. In this case, we imbued the Aetherblades a lightning aesthetic: they arrive in a bolt of lightning, and their skill effects, traps and, weapons are all laced with electrical effects.

Lastly, we needed a solid name to convey that both pirates and Inquest were working together. We kept coming back to one name that our writer, John Ryan, had proposed: the Aetherblades.

The word “aether” has air and magic connotations, and “blades” helps convey the swashbuckling side of pirates. Short names are nice, being simpler to remember, and it gives players an easily recognizable prefix to the enemy variations, such as Aetherblade Strikers, Aetherblade Thugs, and Aetherblade Swashbucklers.

A Gallery of Rogues

We have a very iterative and collaborative development process for all our Living World releases. The earlier we can get content into the game in a playable form, the more time we can get feedback from co-workers and alpha testers and then revise it. Even before the steampunk armor set was added to the game and before the story dungeon map was laid out, designer Elijah Miller had created a test map where we could fight the Aetherblades, try out their different skills, tweak their effects and timing, and establish an initial difficulty tuning.

We wanted to create an army that plays off their roles and compliments each of their skills and conditions. Here’s a preview of the Aetherblade army you’ll face. Beware, the veteran versions have extra skills not listed here…

* Aetherblade Thug: This slow-moving power hitter can immobilize and knock down his opponents.
* Aetherblade Thumper: This hearty pirate has a three-hit combo and a protective shield.
* Aetherblade Swashbuckler: This pirate deals bleeding and crippling, and throws daggers to opponents beyond the reach of her rapier.
* Aetherblade Taskmaster: What these brutes lack in speed they make up for in applying conditions.
* Aetherblade Striker: This caster can channel a lightning attack and a dazing aura.
* Aetherblade Grenadier: Like the name implies, this scoundrels throw grenades that pack a wallop.

Meet the Officers

Those of you who venture into the Aetherblade Retreat story dungeon will find a few new bosses with their own challenging mechanics. Parties will come across an asuran engineer with rotating electrical walls, a first mate who shoulders a ship’s cannon and rains cannonballs, and lastly a captain who’s deft with the rapier and is a shockingly good shot. I don’t want to spoil too much, so you should definitely discover them for yourselves.

Inspector Kiel’s going to need your skill and your resolve to put a stop to the Aetherblade menace. So step up, fight for Lion’s Arch, and show the Aetherblades they can run, but they can’t hide. We’ll see you in-game!

Original GW2 Article

GW2: Dragon Bash Celebration (June 11-July 9)

If you’re still into GW2, despite – IMO – a serious lack of things to do after level cap, then you’re probably wetting your armor with the month-long celebration that starts next week! There’s a lot of new content including rewards, a livestream, and even a ball (whip our your fanciest garb so you can stand out from the crowd)!

https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/releases/june-11-2013/

Dragon Bash

Lion’s Arch honors the defiant spirit of its citizenry with the rousing Dragon Bash festival, when revelers laugh in the face of fear! Sponsored by the Captain’s Council of Lion’s Arch, Dragon Bash is a month-long celebration packed with all-new activities, fireworks, exclusive rewards, and surprises galore! The festival begins on June 11 and ends on July 9.

Show no fear – Dragon Bash is here!

Video

Dragon Bash Events

  • Dragon Bash Activities in Lion’s Arch – Begins June 11

    Lion’s Arch is the bustling epicenter of the Dragon Bash festivities. The Captain’s Council has spared no expense in decorating this proud, battered city, as evidenced by the giant holographic dragon harmlessly soaring overhead.

  • Bash the Dragon! – Begins June 11

    Look for holographic projectors scattered all across Tyria during the celebration. These mini-projector devices contain hologram minions which can drop a Dragon Bash surprise… a Dragon Coffer! Starting June 18, you’ll also find dragon effigies all across Tyria during Dragon Bash. Perform a ritual dance and light the effigy to receive a temporary boost!

  • Developer Livestream – June 11 at 12PM PDT

    Take an inside look at Dragon Bash with ArenaNet devs during the livestream on ourTwitch channel on Tuesday, June 11 at 12PM PDT.

  • Dragon Ball – Begins June 11

    The ancient Tyrian pastime of Dragon Ball returns! Teams of players test their Dragon Ball skills against one another in this fast-paced game of skill and reflexes. Get ready to dodge!

  • Moa Racing – Begins June 11

    Pick the fastest moa! Farshore Ward in Lion’s Arch is the site of fast and furious Moa Racing, where you can bet on your favorite moa racers!

  • Dragon Piñatas – Begins June 11

    In major cities around Tyria, you’ll find dragon piñatas strung up in honor of the festival. Break these open to receive tasty Dragon Bash candy!

  • Dragon Bash Fireworks – June 14-17

    Watch the skies above Lion’s Arch come alive with an explosive fireworks show every night in-game. The fireworks begin at 9AM PDT on Friday, June 14 and will go off every two hours until 12PM PDT Monday, June 17. Stay through the spectacular finale and receive a unique festival helm – The Horns of the Dragon!

  • The Dragon Effigy Lighting Ceremony – Begins June 18

    Join the Captain’s Council and other dignitaries as they light dragon effigies in the Grand Piazza of Lion’s Arch starting June 18. Hosted by the jovial Magnus the Bloody Handed, this ceremony will be full of merriment and surprises.

New Rewards

  • Horns of the Dragon

    This unique helm is only available to players who attend an entire fireworks show in Lion’s Arch, which occurs every two hours during the in-game evening from June 14 to June 17.

  • Holographic Dragon Wings

    This dragon wing back item is only available as a very rare drop in the Dragon Ball Arena and throughout Tyria during the celebration. Ambitious adventurers who collect a large amount of Dragon Bash candy can obtain these exclusive holographic festival wings.

  • Holographic Shattered Dragon Wings

    Dedicated festival goers who earn the Dragon Bash Meta Achievement will receive this imposing back item – a set of holographic Shattered dragon wings!

  • Dragon Coffer

    This special reward chest, which drops only during Dragon Bash, is packed with treats and a chance for fireworks, a hologram minion mini, and Dragon’s Jade weapon skins!

  • Dragon’s Jade Weapon Skins

    Show your Dragon Bash spirit with these cool new weapon skins with a distinctly draconic look. You can find weapon tickets inside Rich Dragon Coffers and (rarely) in Dragon Coffers, and exchange them for weapon skins from Black Lion Weapon Specialists in every major city!

  • Helmed Moa Racer Mini

    You’ll only find this adorable helmed version of the moa mini during Dragon Bash! Purchase this mini with vouchers earned from the Moa Racing activity.

New Features in this Release

Fight to Keep Your Spot on the PvP Leaderboards

Fight to Keep Your Spot on the PvP Leaderboards

We’ve improved the way that the PvP leaderboards reflect excellence! Inactive players will automatically start to slip down the leaderboards over time, allowing new and active players an opportunity to fight their way up to a higher rank. This means that the leaderboards will more accurately represent the best PvP players.

Authorized Shoutcaster Program

Authorized Shoutcaster Program

In the new Authorized Shoutcaster Program, when highly rated PvP teams are matched-up in rated play, authorized shoutcasters will receive a notification and be allowed to enter that match as a spectator to bring you the action on a slight time delay.

Guild Wars 2: Devon Carver on the Future of World vs. World

Since launch, there’s been a steady stream of complaints about WvWvW and how zergs rule all, especially in a game where players really don’t have any defined roles (the “trinity” is gone). Looks like ArenaNet’s at least hoping to make some big changes so folks have a lot more fun and spend a lot more time in WvWvW. Take a look below.

https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/devon-carver-on-the-future-of-world-vs-world/

Greetings! My name is Devon Carver and I’m a designer and the coordinator for the World vs. World team. Over the past few months, we’ve started implementing a series of new mechanics and updates to WvW. Some of these have been small changes, some big. For example, you might have noticed that you can now see all of the people rolling over you in a tide of death.

We’ve been shifting our focus from major new features to solidifying WvW as it currently exists because while we all love the heck out of it, we know that it still has room for improvement, and we want to continue striving towards making it as good as it can be. To that end, I wanted to provide some insight into what we think about the game and how we hope to continue to make it better.

Current State

If you’ve logged in to play WvW lately, you’ve seen a game that can be exhilarating and frustrating by turns. Holding a tower against all odds with some smart siege placement and a bit of luck may be one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in a video game. At the same time, feeling overwhelmed by superior numbers with no way to stop them from stomping me into the ground has caused me to turtle up in my keep and weep on more than one occasion.

Large groups usually rule the field, and if that large group is rapidly building arrow carts, I’d suggest you get your affairs in order and send a note to your loved ones. World Abilities is a great feature, but it is one that takes a pretty dedicated player to take full advantage of due to the sheer amount of time required to gain significant rank. Support play is vital to victory but unevenly rewarded in terms of World XP, XP, gold, karma, badges, and other tangibles. While those players rebuilding your walls may be performing a vital service, theirs is usually thankless work.

Some of the major systems in place currently are not nearly as robust as they could be. Commanders are a major part of the battle, but right now their tools for commanding are few. Guilds are an important part of strategic gameplay as well, but they aren’t rewarded much for taking an active, positive role. These are things we want to improve on because we feel that not only can they increase player investment in the outcome of any particular play session or match, but they simply make the game better for everyone.

Finally, we’ve seen that matchups have not been as dynamic as we would like them to be. While it is important to have matchups that don’t feel wildly unbalanced, it’s also good to have some variety in the servers that are matched up against one another so they all get a chance to test their mettle against multiple opponents. That is why we are continuing to evaluate and change the way we create those matchups to inject much-needed variety to the system.

Future Plans

All of that may be well and good, but addressing all of those issues is a tremendous undertaking — one that won’t happen overnight. To explain where we are heading, I want to also explain what we want WvW to be.

Player Roles:

Something that has developed naturally over time and that we would like to encourage is the definition of roles within WvW. Everyone has likely seen a commander laying out battle plans and then subsequently seen that one thief mucking up those plans. It’s our goal to introduce more systems that encourage play within a wide variety of roles, not just those two. Scouts, siege masters, and defenders are only a sampling of the roles we intend to add to. We think that these are all a vital part of the success of any server in WvW, so we want to reward players who do these tasks so that they feel like their time is properly valued.

Zergs:

Everyone who plays WvW has encountered the zerg, either as a member or as a victim. The zerg is an important part of the game, but it shouldn’t be the best strategy for victory.

An important distinction should be made between large, organized groups of players making strategic strikes and mindless groups of players running around in a mob. The former are deadly and effective. The latter can be deadly at times but tend to be sorely lacking in strategy. Our goal is to continue to encourage organized large groups while giving small, tactical groups the necessary tools to put a dent into larger mobs of less-skilled players. We think that it can be fun to run around in a zerg — but we also think that the game should be about tactical acumen and skill more than sheer numbers.

In order to achieve that, we will continue to make tweaks to the scoring system to properly reward smart play and to make it possible for a server to prevail over superior numbers with superior tactics. We will also continue to make changes to siege weapons and introduce new siege weaponry to throw the balance in favor of well-organized groups while retaining the joy of jumping right into things for more casual WvW players.

Variety:

One of the things that makes WvW great is the variety of things you experience when you play. Every session has a different story and while your team’ls ultimate objective is the same, the goals of single play sessions can vary greatly. That being said, there is much that can be done to make WvW a much more diverse experience. This starts with the matchups. We are making many changes to not only the way we create the matchups, but to the way we score those matchups.

Right now our game rewards you for holding an objective, not necessarily for taking it, and overwhelmingly favors the last server to log out for the day. We have some ideas in the pipeline to try to increase scoring when people are playing the game and to make it much more difficult to keep your territory without actively guarding it.

We’ve also been tossing around some ideas to introduce variety into the matches on a weekly basis. Just imagine the possibility of rule changes that come in for a week and then disappear into the Mists. We’ll go into more detail about this in the future, but we think it will be a big boost to players who want to see some more variety.

Siege:

Siege weapons are an integral part of WvW. Not only are they the primary way of capturing and defending objectives, but a well-placed siege weapon can turn the tide of a battle in a heartbeat. Our World Abilities have started adding more to the existing siege weapons, and we’ve made adjustments to the overall balance of siege weapons.

We are going to take a much closer look at all of the siege in the game to bring it in line with where we want it to be. Arrow carts should be deadly for players who get caught beneath their hail of arrows, but there should be a viable way to counter them with other siege — we don’t think that “MOAR arrow carts!” should be the answer to every situation. WvW is a mix of players fighting other players and players fighting against the various weapons of war, so we’ll be introducing balance changes that will give you a reason to use every piece of siege at the proper time.

And More…?

This is only a sampling of what we intend to add to WvW. We have a lot of ideas (some crazy, some not) that we hope to release to make WvW an even more vibrant game; a game that will continue to grow and evolve for years to come.

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