ArenaNet: Panels Offered at PAX Prime 2013

Not to let their PVP Invitational finals be the shining jewel in the PAX crown, ArenaNet is hosting their very own Anniversary Bash along with a DOZEN PAX Dev and PAX Prime panels. That’s a major offering for one weekend. I can’t believe I live 15 minutes away and won’t be able to attend!

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Hi, everyone. Last week we announced our Guild Wars 2 First Anniversary Bash, which takes place at the Renaissance Hotel on Saturday, August 31 during PAX Prime weekend.

That’s not all we’ve got going on that weekend! A number of ArenaNet staffers will speak on different panels at PAX Dev and over the weekend at PAX Prime.

Head over to the PAX Dev and PAX websites for the full schedule and check for any changes at the con.

Hope to see you there!

PAX LOGO

PAX Dev Panels

Drinking from the Firehose: Continuously Shipping MMO Content

Wednesday, August 28 at 2:30pm in Grand III

Shipping is hard, but shipping every two weeks is crazy. In this session, ArenaNet’s tools engineers discuss the implementation of ArenaNet’s feature-based development model that allows the studio to ship large code and content patches into a live MMO every two weeks.

Featuring ArenaNet Tools Engineers Francis Crick and Mike Popoloski.

Building Community from the Ground Up: Tips for Small Game Studios

Thursday, August 29 at 2:45pm in Fifth Avenue Room

Building a community can be a big challenge for the indie developer or start up studio. Come join this panel for a lively conversation focusing on the positive and negative aspects of managing a small studio community.

Featuring ArenaNet Community Coordinator Donna “Danicia” Prior.

Writing Story and Characters for Video Games

Thursday, August 29 at 4:00pm in Cascade Ballroom

Games are getting bigger and story is becoming a driving force in the game experience. A panel of experts from several different MMORPGs will take the audience through the ins and outs of developing a world, a story, and hundreds of characters for a triple-A title. Panelists from the games Marvel HeroesTeraGuild Wars, and Wildstar will explain it all.

Featuring ArenaNet Lore and Continuity Designer Jeff Grubb

PAX PRIME Panels

All Your Words Are Belong To Us: How Localization Works (And Why It Sometimes Doesn’t)

Friday, August 30 at 4:30pm in Raven Theater

Ever wonder why some games come to your local retailer sounding as natural as your neighbor, while others read like bad kung fu movies? Our panel of editors, translators, and programmers will pull back the wrapper of “localization” and show just how many different challenges there are to convert a game’s text from one language to another.

Featuring ArenaNet Assistant Editor Eve Walter.

Arabian Fights: Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis

Friday, August 30 at 8:00pm in Pegasus Theatre

Disney’s Aladdin isn’t just an incredible film, but a defining moment in the great 16-bit wars as well. Hop a carpet and fly over to witness two teams of gaming aficionados debate to death the merits of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions of this Walt Disney masterpiece. It’s bound to be barbaric, but hey, it’s video games.

Featuring ArenaNet UI Designer Kate Welch.

Breaking Into Gaming: Vampires Do It Better!

Friday, August 30 at 10pm in the Wolfman Theatre

If you’re spending more than 5 hours a week playing video games, gaming could be your career! Join us as leading game journalists, community managers, publicists, marketers, devs, pro gamers and studio executives share how they got their lucky break, the fun stuff that makes up their work day, and why Nerf guns are so essential when night falls.

Featuring ArenaNet Lead Writer Bobby Stein.

Everything We Know Is Sexist. Now What?

Saturday, August 31 at 10:30am in Wolfman Theatre.

As demand increases for characters as diverse as the new player base, the games industry struggles to catch up. Writers and designers feel pressured to craft fresh, compelling stories that speak to a wider audience, but are often challenged by personal blind spots, professional culture, and business demands. Our panel of veteran writers and designers will look beyond blame and gender swapping to share their experiences-good, bad, and hilarious-of trying to break free from clichéd thinking.

Featuring ArenaNet North American Community Team Lead Regina Buenaobra and Game Designer Matthew Moore.

Creating & Building Inclusive Communities in Tabletop/Board Gaming

Saturday, August 31 at 11:30am in Raven Theatre

Our panelists will give you tips on creating tabletop game groups, finding public game meetups, and enjoying gaming conventions as a newbie. Want to be a better organizer? We’ll work with you to build positiveness to your current groups, how to find new players, and how to encourage their participation.

Featuring ArenaNet Community Coordinator Donna “Danicia” Prior.

From Tabletop to Digital: Crafting Stronger Interactive Narratives

Saturday, August 31 at 2:30pm in Raven Theatre

Whether creating a multi-session campaign for a table-top roleplaying game or writing a branching storyline for a video game, crafting interactive narratives can be a difficult task. Join our panelists as they discuss applying classic storytelling archetypes in an interactive environment, using creative problem-solving to deal with unexpected player choices, and creating interactive narrative structures for digital games.

Featuring ArenaNet Content Designer Leif Chappelle

Designing, Shaping, and Examining Online Player Behavior

Saturday, August 31 at 3:30pm in Unicorn Theatre

Game companies are acknowledging that they have a role to play in stamping out in-game harassment and abuse. Join us as we discuss how to design for a more welcoming community, learn about the community-shaping initiatives that developers are working on, and examine what we really know about ‘trolling.’

Featuring ArenaNet UI Designer Kate Welch.

Women & Tabletop Gaming

Sunday, September 1 at 2:00pm in Unicorn Theatre

Let’s move beyond gamer culture. Women are amazing roleplayers, strategists, creators, and game designers. Join us for a lively panel to discuss issues and excellence in tabletop gaming, with forays into miniatures wargaming, LARPing, board/card game culture, and creating your own inclusive game groups!

Featuring ArenaNet Community Coordinator Donna “Danicia” Prior.

Pranking PAX: When Landos and Potatoes Collide

Monday, September 2 at 11:30am in Raven Theatre

On the 5th anniversary of the first PAX Prank we decide to finally draw back the curtain and show you what goes into this little piece of improv entertainment. What’s that? Yes the PAX Prank has been around for over five years. Join the folks behind Bad Horsing, The Lando Society, and Aperture Safety; and learn more about the community that formed around them.

Featuring ArenaNet Community Special Operations Mark Katzbach.

GW2: PVP Invitational Team Introductions

ArenaNet embarks on its first ever International PVP finals next weekend at PAX Prime 2013. Read on to learn more about the North American and European champions, what classes they’ll be using for the finals, and what successful PVP strategies got them to the championship round.

Is it odd to anyone else that 4 of the 5 classes are identical?

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CAR CRASH EU Team

Car Crash – Europe Regional Champions

Strategies: Car Crash employed a tactic of concentrated force during the Qualifiers, using 4 players to tie down the opposition in a team fight while their engineer captured side nodes.

A Well-Oiled Machine: Going into the tournament, Car Crash felt confident. The team did well in scrimmage matches against top teams, which helped prepare them for the intense competition in the Qualifiers.

Feeling Confident: The team is excited to be part of GW2 PvP history and compete in the first ever Invitational Tournament. “We will do our best to represent Europe,” says team captain Ixl Super Ixl.

SYNC NA Team

[SYNC] – North American Regional Champions

Strategies: During the Qualifying Tournament [SYNC] favored a 3-point pressure strategy with a guardian and thief roaming between capture points.

Victory is Sweet: [SYNC] team members have fond memories of regaining their momentum and fighting back from a 0-2 score in a best-of-five set to win during the North American Qualifiers.

Looking Forward: [SYNC] is feeling confident going into the first Invitational Tournament during PAX Prime weekend in Seattle. Team Captain Caed says, “We’re all excited to be going and to show everyone that Guild Wars 2 is an exciting game to play (and watch)!”

GW2: Year One (By The Numbers) Infographic

Apparently this was first available on Reddit, but I found the link over on the official GW2 forums (also includes the author’s responses to a few of the often asked questions). Despite many players calling GW2 a failure and berating it’s “zerg” style combat, GW2 has been a phenomenal success for ArenaNet financially and they’ve definitely lived up to their promise of releasing a boat load of new content on a very regular basis. I may not be an active GW2 player anymore, but I can certainly appreciate the amount of effort the devs have put into their first year.

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Fanmade infographic summarizes Guild Wars 2's first year

Guild Wars 2: PVP Finalists Announced

The past week or so has been a gamer’s paradise!

UMG Atlanta / Arena Gaming League 9 for Black Ops 2. European Gaming League EGL 10 for Black Ops 2. North American StarCraft 2 World Championship League Finals. QuakeCon 2013. SOE Live 2013. Pokemon World Championships. Elder Scrolls Online first gamplay revealed. Dota 2 International. Guild Wars 2 North American and European PVP tournament semi-finals. Black Ops 2 eSniping Tournament. With PAX coming up the end of August, this summer promises to offer the biggest prize money in Major League Gaming history.

As I previously posted, Guild Wars 2 is having their PVP tournament finals in Seattle during PAX. Here’s the info they posted for which teams will be battling it out for $10K international prize.

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North American PVP Results

This past weekend (August 3-4), we hosted our first Regional Qualifying Tournament in North America, where PvP teams from across the continent competed for a spot in the Invitational Tournament. We’re happy to announce that Lack of a Scrim Feature [SYNC] has secured their place in our first ever Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament which takes place during PAX Prime weekend (August 31) in Seattle, WA. We’d like to thank all teams for their participation in the tournament.

Congratulations, team Lack of a Scrim Feature [SYNC]—we’ll see you in Seattle!

European PVP Results

On July 27 and 28, we watched our European community compete in the first Regional Qualifying Tournament. Through a lot of teamwork and discipline, Team Paradigm  faced off against Car Crash in a fight to secure their place in our first-ever Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament during PAX Prime weekend (August 31) in Seattle, WA.

While Team Paradigm won the day, a member of the team was unable to provide proof of residency in an eligible country. This means that Team Paradigm was not fielding a legal team of five players when qualifying. As a result, the second-place team, Car Crash, will be coming to theGuild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament as the representative from the European Qualifying Tournament. We’d like to thank all the teams that participated.

Congratulations, Car Crash – we’ll see you in Seattle!

Learn more about the tournament right here! Special thanks to our partners MMORPG.com and Mist League for organizing both Regional Qualifying Tournaments.

GW2: Completing Cutthroat Politics’ Meta Achievements (GuildWars2Hub.com)

Lee B. over at GuildWars2Hub.com has written up a quick guide on how to complete the meta achievements in GW2’s current event: Cutthroat Politics. Fortunately, the event’s achievements can be completed in PVP and PVE dailies.

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Meta-Achievement Guide

This guide is meant to help you knock out the “Kiel Supporter” and “Gnashblade Supporter” meta-achievements as quickly as possible to get your miniatures and get you well on your way to focusing all your time on supporting your true candidate and getting you those Aetherblade weapons!

It’s important to note that the “Kiel Every Day” and “Gnash All the Blades” achievements can be done with both PvE and PvP daily achievements so it shouldn’t take you too much time.

Kiel: Homeland Support

Ellen Guide

I recommend you always start out this zone by going to the Champion Troll by the Vale Waypoint. Usually, especially if you tell the map, you will get a nice group going to cut the Troll down quickly. After head west to see if the Bandits are attacking the farm and, if not, head south to Clayent Falls to talk to Ine Duran ad likewise to look at the bee hives across the lake to see if bears are attacking.

Ine Duran will offer you two meta events with the first being a grub collection quest at the Troll cave. After she will head back to her dock where she will spawn a Veteran Barracuda you need to cut down for the second event.

Finally keep an eye on mapchat for the Corrupted Oakheart event, or occasionally check it yourself. Likewise look to the Crossing and Heartwood Pass Camp Waypoints to see if they ever get contested, which means events.

Doing this circuit, as well as keeping an eye on map chat to see if anyone calls out another event, should get you the achievement done in an hour or two.

Gnashblade: Homeland Support

Evon Guide

Here I recommend starting at the Greysteel Armory Waypoint, running across the bridge over Devourer’s Mouth, to Tela Range. Here there may be three events one after another in this small area that are very easy to complete and need not more than you turning in one or two things in order to get full reward.

After head south towards the Village of Smokestead, passing by the Cow Ranch and past the bar. Here two events may start where oen involves you fighting Harpies or disbanding a fight between the three Legions.

Head Northeast toward Lake Feritas, along the wall, and pass through the scrapyard on the way to the lake all the way up to Facula Castrum. The scrapyard has a two pronged event chain and the Lake occasionally has a tar elemental problem while everyone knows of the extremely fun (and difficult) Shaman event chain that occurs in Facula Castrum.

Go south after sweeping the Lake to Old Duke’s Estate and Barradin’s Vaults. You might run into the cub escort event, lodestone gathering event or the event to kill Barradin’s Ghost… AGAIN!

Finally swing on up to Calhaan’s Haunt all the way up to the Marty’rs Waypoint. In this stretch you may run into Calhaan for a quick an easy kill the Veteran, or bump into “Badazaar’s” champion.

Doing this circuit, and likewise paying attention to the map chat, will net you this achievement in an hour or two.

Recommended Six for Meta-Achievements

Kiel:

Ellen Cheevs

  • I Like Kiel
  • Dungeon Runner (Just knock out Cof P1)
  • Homeland Support
  • Direct Support
  • Every Day
  • Maw Mulcher

Gnashblade:

Evon Cheevs

  • I Like Evon
  • Dungeon Runner (Just tackle CoF P1)
  • Homeland Support
  • Direct Support
  • Gnash All the Blades
  • Maw Mulcher

Waypoint

Click the Waypoint to jump back to our Cutthroat Politics Content Coverage page for more information!

GW2: Game Content Roadmap for Rest of 2013

In an ArenaNet article today, Colin Johanson outlines the GW2 roadmap for the remainder of 2013. The best part? All your endgame gear won’t become useless with new content as they’ve decided to launch new skills and traits instead of gear progression. Also, crafting is also getting a boost to 500 and given access to a brand new tier of materials.

But the most shocking development? Magic Find goes boom. It’s being removed from gear and being applied account-wide to all characters you own based on account completion unlocks. I really hope it’s still possible to get the massive +MF stats the top “loot hunters” are used to having without a massive amount of time spent. I like having one class I can use to farm mats and gold drops. I don’t want to spend dozens (hundreds?) of hours completing account unlocks just to return to a shade of my former glory.

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Looking Ahead: Guild Wars 2 in 2013

In January, we talked about where we wanted Guild Wars 2 to go in 2013. We’re a little over halfway through the year, and we felt it was time to give you an update on where we stand, where we’re going, and discuss in more detail some of the systems you’ll see in the second half of 2013.

Living World and the Two-Week Release Schedule

At the start of the year, we talked about the Living World in Guild Wars 2 as a new initiative; a plan that we wanted to expand and grow, learn from, and make more frequent and larger in scale as the year progressed.

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We’ve learned a lot so far this year, resulting in our recent announcement of our new cadence of bi-weekly major releases for Guild Wars 2 and our goals for the future of Tyria as a living world. We’ve also transitioned from our original single Living World team, which operated with very short turn-around time for most of the first half of the year, to four Living World teams for the second half of the year. This will allow our teams a much greater amount of time to both develop and polish the content that drives the theme of each of our releases.

Our Living World releases will expand on the promise of what it means to be a continually growing game. In the future, you’ll see a wider array of content and experiences in each release, with a greater focus on permanently expanding content. We’ll go into specifics on the variety of playable content you’ll be receiving as each update approaches, but some of our focuses will include improving our existing world bosses, continuing to update and refine our dungeons and fractals, creating world events with a larger and more permanent impact, and expanding the number of dynamic events across the world.

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On top of all of this, look for the return of some of your favorite holiday festivals and super adventures  mixed in among our Living World updates, though the focus for the second half of the year will be on a mix of permanent and more impactful content.

So outside of new playable content in the world to experience, what else will you be seeing?

Progression Advancement

One of the core points we addressed back in January but didn’t provide specifics on yet related to progression.

We’ve seen a lot of questions in regards to this after the release of ascended gear: What will the core reward system be for Guild Wars 2 in the future after ascended gear has all been released? We specifically said we don’t want to get caught up in the trap where every 3-6 months the game adds another tier of gear to the game; that invalidates all your hard work and the rewards you’ve earned.

So what are we going to do instead?

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New Skill and Traits

We’ll begin regularly adding new skills and traits to the game for each profession to expand your characters and builds! You will be able to earn these new traits and skills by unlocking them. To go along with this, we’ll expand the content and options to earn skill points to help encourage players to experience different challenges and content throughout the world. These skills and traits will be designed to be balanced with the existing skills/traits we currently have in the game, and will simply compliment and expand the range of abilities and tactics available to each profession. Both WvW and PvE players can acquire skills and traits, and additional means of earning skill points will be addressed for both core content areas.

The regular addition of skills and traits that you can earn as you play provides us an extremely stable, easily expandable reward system that fits neatly into the pillars of progression and advancement that Guild Wars 2 are all about. Your character will be able to grow and change for years to come without invalidating everything you’ve earned so far.

Rewards

One of the main areas of focus for our blog at the start of the year was rewards. We’ve already rolled out some of the core systems we discussed back then: rewards for daily/monthly achievements, the ability to choose between achievements, the account achievement reward system, the guild mission reward system, mega-event reward chests, expanded ascended gear/infusions, and progression rewards in WvW.

Despite all of these new reward systems, we still have a lot of work we want to do to help ensure playing every aspect of our game truly rewards the time and effort put in. So, what’s coming? Let’s dive into the details:

Champion Rewards

Champions in the game will be updated so each will always drop a guaranteed reward box for any player that qualifies for a reward from the boss. This chest will contain things like crafting materials, skill points, unique skins, lodestones, and more. This change will make champions more rewarding, and will make playing in Orr and Southsun Cove (where events can scale up to add champions) more exciting and fruitful for guilds and players joining together in the open world.

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Dungeon Complete Bonus Rewards

In order to make playing all of our unique dungeons more rewarding, we’ll give you a bonus gold reward for each dungeon path you complete each day. Coins will be removed from the current bosses (replaced by the champion reward box listed above) to coincide with this bonus payout for completing each path. Completion rewards will be guaranteed, and we’ll vary the amount of gold earned based on difficulty and length of each dungeon path.

To encourage players to participate in a wider array of dungeon content, we’ve designed the system so if you complete the same dungeon path twice in one day, you’ll receive the normal reward for completion, but won’t receive the bonus gold reward again during that day.

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New Crafting Material Rewards

We’ll also add a new set of account-bound crafting materials to the game. You’ll receive these materials as guaranteed rewards once per day per unique location for completing content within a category of gameplay in Guild Wars 2.

For example, capturing camps, towers, and keeps in WvW will earn you these crafting materials. In the Living World, you can earn them for killing giant world bosses, defeating dungeons, completing jumping puzzles, completing mini-dungeons, finishing some types of guild missions, capturing temples in Orr, and other activities.

Mix it up and try your favorite mini-dungeons one day, your favorite jumping puzzles the next day, and on an another day capture supply camps in WvW instead to earn the crafting material. Or if you want to do all three in one day, the choice is yours! Players can earn each of these guaranteed reward crafting materials from a variety of content across both PvE and WvW to give players choice in what type of content they enjoy.

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Account Magic Find

We want to remove the choice players are currently being forced to make on their gear: “Do I go with better stats, or better loot?” This isn’t in the spirit of cooperation that Guild Wars 2 is all about. As such, we’ll be removing magic find entirely as an item stat and turning it into account stat that improved the odds of rare drops for all your characters.

You can improve your account magic find through the account achievement reward system and from consumable items found in game. As your magic find increases, it will require more consumables to keep raising it higher. In the near future, we’ll detail the system we’ll use to replace the existing magic find items. Our goal will be to have as little disruption as possible to those who currently own items with a magic find stat on them.

Salvaging Fine and Masterwork Items

Otherwise known as blues and greens, we want to give more reason to care about these item types when they drop. When the account magic find system is implemented, there will be a chance you can acquire account magic find consumables from salvaging both fine and masterwork items.

Crafting Taken to 500!

We’ll expand all crafting professions to allow them to reach a new milestone: 500 points!

At 500, crafters will be able to craft ascended weapons and armor. Once you reach 500, a new tier of crafting materials will be available to you; this new tier of materials will be made by combining lower tier materials. This tier is time-constrained, so each item can only be made once per day in order to help give high-level crafters their own economy of items to build and sell that retain their value and rarity.

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This new tier of crafting material, along with the new guaranteed material rewards mentioned earlier and some other materials we’ll introduce will be used to craft ascended weapons, armor, and more. These weapons and armor will also be able to be found as rare drops from locations in the world. Ascended weapons and armor will remain account-bound like other ascended gear.

Legendary Gear and Precursors

We aren’t quite ready to go into all the details here, but what I can say is you will see a specific way to build precursor items on your way to a legendary. On top of this, you’ll also see new legendary weapons and new types of legendary gear in 2013. Building your precursor will require a large amount of the new crafting material rewards listed above, 500 in crafting, and likely a combination of other items earned for completing more specific content in the game.

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In addition, we’ll also improve the functionality of legendaries, allowing you to set their stats when out of combat to any stat combo available, so you don’t need to transmute stat changes for legendaries. Legendary gear will remain with the same tier of stats as ascended gear and will not be made more powerful than other gear, it will simply be slightly more convenient since it will no longer need transmutations to change stats.

What About World vs. World?

So far this year WvW has seen some major updates: from the removal of culling to the new progression, reward and ability system, our WvW population has been rapidly on the rise since January.

Our WvW team coordinator Devon Carver did a fantastic job summarizing where we want to take WvW in the future in his blog here. One additional exciting release you’ll see on top of the high-level notes Devon called out in his blog post is the replacement for the original WvW orb mechanic in our borderlands maps. This change should provide more diversity in the gameplay of WvW and make our borderlands more exciting. Of course, everything I’ve talked about in terms of progression and rewards in this post so far will be available in WvW as well!

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Wow This Got Long—What About PvP?

The addition of custom arenas, rated play, leaderboards, and spectator mode have already been big steps for Guild Wars 2 PvP in 2013. Going forward, we’ll continue to work with and support the rapidly growing competitive PvP community with our eyes towards an extremely exciting future as we work towards solidifying the base. We know we have a lot of work to do to continue that momentum and ensure our PvP experience is everything we ever wanted it to be, so what are some of the things we have coming to get there?

The major focus of the PvP team for the second half of the year will be tied to improving the sense of reward in PvP. In the spirit of the high-level strategy listed above for PvE/WvW rewards that ensure players feel rewarded for their time, we’ll need to build systems that achieve the same goals in PvP. Our PvP team will go into more details on these systems once they are further along.

The addition of new skills and traits on a regular basis will of course mean expanded variety of abilities, builds, and tactics in PvP as well. As these additional skills and traits are added, they’ll be automatically unlocked and available for competitive PvP just like all existing skills/traits work today.

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We’ll also expand the competitive options for game play: providing a queue and leaderboards for solo rated play separate from team rated play, adding new map types, adding the ability to gain legendary weapon skins in PvP, providing additional rewards and growth to our major competitive PvP tournaments, hosting our own Year One PvP Championship at PAX, and more!

What Else is the Game Doing to Grow?

At well over 3 million copies sold in the US, Europe and Australia combined, Guild Wars 2 has had an amazing first year, but we have a long ways still to grow.

Many of the core regions for online gaming are on deck to join the Guild Wars 2 community in the years ahead and grow our base to new heights.

We’ve already done our first limited beta test in China, with future tests planned to help prepare the game for release with our incredible partner there, Kong Zhong. To prepare the game for its eastern release, we’re building a new comprehensive “level zero” optional tutorial that teaches the core basics of the game. We’re also adding new story steps at levels 5 and 10 to help better teach core mechanics as players grow. We will also be adding a much better hints system, and a new level-up messaging system all to better teach the game.

All of these systems will be added to the game not just in the east, but to help future new players in the west as well.

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And So Much More to Come…

From the upcoming release of our brand spanking new Looking for Group (LFG) tool, to investigating ways to limit culling in PvE, to the two-week content schedule our Living World teams have in store, the second half of 2013 has countless more exciting new things in store for our players than I can possibly cover here. As always, the content above is subject to change as we test and iterate on these systems.

We hope you’re excited as we are about where Guild Wars 2 is going in the second half of 2013. The world of Tyria is in for one hell of a ride in the months ahead and we hope you join us to experience it—you’re not going to want to miss it!

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.

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