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Heart of Thorns releases 23 October, 2015


Arenanet has announced the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will release on 23 October 2015.  To learn more about the expansion and to pre-purchase, check out the official website.

Do not forget to join us tomorrow for coverage of the incoming PAX announcement, in which Arenanet will detail surprises and show what the "challenging group challenges" actually is.


Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns launches October 23, 2015. Pre-purchase bonuses available now!
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A new beta event has been scheduled for the weekend of September 4th, 2015. This event runs similarly to some of the more recent tests that've been held, mostly adding in the newly announced elite specializations that have been announced since (most notably the berserker and upcoming thief spec). Stronghold will also be available to test in addition to some light story and map content to avoid spoilers, along with the chance to play in the core game if you're really wanting to save yourself for the official release.

Progress also will not be wiped at the conclusion of this weekend, so it's your chance to commit to a beta character until the expansion's launch sometime this year.

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source: https://forum-en.gui...rst#post5414083

08/25/15 August 25 Release Notes
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
World Polish
  • Fields of Ruin:
    • Fixed several bugs in the Ogre Wars meta-event that could cause the event chain to stall or lock.
General
  • Character Select:
    • Double-clicking an empty character slot or empty beta character slot will start the associated character-creation process.
    • Added and updated tooltips to reflect these changes.
Profession Skills
  • Fixed a bug that prevented minions from quickly targeting your attack target.
Elementalist
  • Arcane Brilliance: Fixed a bug that caused this skill’s blast finisher to occur at your target’s location instead of your own.
  • Soothing Power: Updated the tooltip for this trait to reflect the actual effectiveness increase of 100%.
Engineer
  • Bombs: Increased the radius of bomb skills with a radius of 180 to 240. This change includes bombs created by the traits Evasive Powder Keg and Autodefense Bomb Dispenser.
  • Elixir Tool Belt Skills: Fixed a bug that caused these skills to have a longer recharge than intended when used underwater.
  • Toss Elixir X (Underwater):
    • Increased the recharge to 120 seconds to match the terrestrial version of the skill.
    • Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from applying might when using the trait HGH under some circumstances.
    • Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from being affected by the recharge reduction provided by the trait HGH.
  • Toss Elixir H (Underwater): Fixed errors with the skill-fact display from the traits HGH and Alchemical Tinctures.
  • Toss Elixir S (Underwater): Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from being affected by the recharge reduction provided by the trait HGH.
  • Rocket Kick: Updated the burning skill fact to reflect the actual amount of burning applied.
  • Healing Mist: Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from gaining the benefits from the trait HGH.
  • Hidden Flask:
    • Fixed skill-fact errors with this trait when equipped with the trait HGH.
    • Fixed incorrect recharge of this trait while equipped with the trait HGH.
  • Optimized Activation: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to activate on canceled tool-belt skills.
  • HGH: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to apply an incorrect number of might stacks for some thrown elixir skills.
  • Over Shield: Fixed an incorrect protection-duration skill fact for this trait. This trait now properly updates skill facts for the shield skills it affects.
  • Aim-Assisted Rocket: The rocket fired by this trait can now activate the effects of the trait Shrapnel.
  • Experimental Turrets: Fixed a bug that prevented turrets summoned by the Supply Crate elite skill from functioning with this trait.
Guardian
  • “Retreat!”: This shout can now be used while airborne.
  • Purging Flames: Updated the underwater version of this skill to be self-targeted instead of ground targeted.
  • Sanctuary: Updated the underwater version of this skill to be self-targeted instead of ground targeted.
  • Sword of Justice (Command): Fixed a bug that caused this skill to sometimes fail if the player was using the trait Expeditious Spirit.
  • Zealous Blade:
    • Fixed a bug that caused this trait to incorrectly grant healing for scepter skills.
    • Fixed a bug that caused this trait to fail to grant healing for some greatsword skills.
  • Courageous Return: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to fail when the player was also using the trait Indomitable Courage.
  • Zealot’s Embrace: Fixed a bug that required this skill to fully recharge if the cast was interrupted by the target moving behind the caster.
Mesmer
  • Power Break—Mantra of Concentration: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to apply more than the listed number of stability stacks.
  • The Prestige: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to fail to go on recharge if interrupted by effects such as Shocking Aura.
  • Veil: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to apply stealth for longer than its listed value.
  • Phantasmal Warden: Fixed a bug that caused this phantasm to incorrectly activate the trait Fencer’s Finesse.
  • Desperate Decoy: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to have a recharge longer than its listed value.
  • Illusionary Riposte: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to fail to summon a clone while the player had a scepter equipped as their main-hand weapon.
  • Ether Clone: Fixed a bug that caused the clone summoned by this skill to have no equipped off-hand.
  • Ineptitude: Fixed a crash bug.
  • Mender’s Purity:
    • Fixed a bug that caused this trait to fail under some circumstances.
    • Fixed a bug that caused this trait to require Mantra of Resolve to fully recharge when triggered.
Necromancer
  • Grasping Dead (PvP):
    • Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from gaining the benefits of the trait Lingering Curse.
    • Fixed an incorrect number of bleeding stacks on the skill fact for this skill.
  • Signet of Spite: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to inflict less bleeding than indicated in its tooltip.
  • Ritual of Life: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait’s recharge from being reduced by the effects of Vampiric Rituals.
  • Bitter Chill: Updated skill facts for necromancer skills that are influenced by this trait.
  • Plague Sending: This trait will no longer attempt to activate Plague Signet if the player is either out of range or does not have a line of sight to the target.
Ranger
  • Ambidexterity: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from reducing the recharge of Throw Torch.
  • “Strength of the Pack!”: Fixed a bug that prevented this skill from displaying the correct icon.
  • Swoop: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to trigger leap finishers twice. This skill now only triggers a leap finisher when the character jumps toward their target.
  • Whirling Defense: This skill now triggers multiple whirl finishers over its duration instead of just one.
  • Healing Spring: This skill now also heals your pet when it is initially activated. Activating or unslotting Healing Spring will destroy all previously existing, untriggered Healing Springs.
  • Enlargement: Fixed a bug in which this trait’s active skill showed an incorrect recharge when using the trait Brutish Seals. The correct recharge with the trait is 48 seconds.
Thief
  • Trappers Respite: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from being affected by the recharge reduction provided by the trait Deadly Trapper.
Warrior
  • Thick Skin: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to provide an incorrect amount of armor per level.
  • Versatile Power: Added a 5-second internal cooldown to the might gain from this trait.
  • Warrior’s Sprint: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to remove immobilization too slowly, preventing Bull’s Charge from moving properly.
  • Bladetrail: Fixed a bug that required this skill to fully recharge if the cast was interrupted by the target moving behind the caster.
Structured Player vs. Player
  • The Practice button has been removed from the PvP panel. Custom arenas can still be accessed using the Game Browser tab on the left-hand side of the PvP panel.
  • Ranked Arena is now restricted to players rank 20 and above.
  • New players will no longer be required to complete the PvP tutorial before gaining access to the Heart of the Mists.
World vs. World
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Superior Arrow Cart and Guild Arrow Cart skills to ignore line-of-sight checks.
  • Alpine Borderlands: Fixed a bug that allowed players to repeatedly drain the citadel supply depot if they were carrying more than 15 supply.
  • Edge of the Mists: Fixed a bug that allowed players to delay the Mechanical Siege Devourer transform by using items like tonics and instruments.
  • Service NPCs have been switched to a noncombatant team to prevent them from being killed through various exploits.
  • Players will now be killed if they travel too far outside of the playable space on the maps.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
New Items and Promotions
Our biggest anniversary sale continues throughout the coming weeks. Check the Black Lion Trading Company Gem Store for daily updates!
  • A new Wedding Attire Outfit is available in the Style category of the Gem Store. Uniquely customized for every race, you can pick up an account unlock for all of them for 1000 gems.
  • The Romantic Gift Pack containing a Bouquet of Roses and a Box of Chocolates is available in the Gem Store. Treat yourself or gift it to a friend for 400 gems.
  • For six days only, the White Feather Wings Set has returned to the Style category of the Gem Store for 500 gems.
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Meet the Berserker: Warrior’s Elite Specialization


Arenanet has revealed the details on the Warrior specialization in the Heart of Thorns expansion, The Berserker.  The Berserker uses primal rage to turn enemies into projectiles and manipulates adrenaline to activate powerful skills.  You can read more on the official blog.

After building enough adrenaline, the berserker can enter berserk mode. This mode dramatically changes the berserker’s adrenaline bar. The entire bar changes from a three-tiered bar consisting of 30 adrenaline into a single merged adrenaline bar consisting of only 10 adrenaline. With this new adrenaline bar, the berserker gains access to special “primal” burst skills. These special weapon burst skills have lower recharges than their nonberserk counterparts, allowing them to be used much more often in conjunction with the shortened adrenaline bar.
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Glint Revealed


Arenanet has posted a teaser for the Revenant elite specialization, Glint.  Choosing Glint will allows you to add Glint to the spirit roster and use skills based on Glint's magic and abilities.  Arenanet is expected to provide a full release sometime this week.  You can see the teaser here.

She was as old as the Shiverpeaks, older than the gods.

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In an effort to further enhance the structured PvP game mode and community, ArenaNet has announced that they will be adding "Leagues" into Heart of Thorns. As you'd expect, this builds upon the current ranking and progression system already in the game, but in a way that increases both risk and reward for anyone who participates. Check out the full scoop below.

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The Brand-New Fractals of the Mists, Legendary Backpacks, Ascended Salvaging, and More!


Arenanet has placed a blog post online which outlines some changes regarding higher level content in an upcoming update.  A focus lies on fractals of the mists, which will now be a single fractal instead of 3-4, will be scheduled, and the fractal ranks and rewards will be increased from 50 to 100.  Furthermore, ascended crafting and legendary backapacks are coming to the game.  You can read the entire blog post here.

Before I go, I know there are a couple things that group-content enthusiasts have been waiting to hear more about. One is fractal leaderboards. When we sat down to resolve some of the issues with fractal leaderboards that we’d discovered when we prepared to launch them in the Fractured update, it became clear that we wanted to do more to make them successful. The changes that I covered in this post are just part of our plans for fractals inGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and we’ll cover more details—including where we’re going with fractal leaderboards—in a future announcement.

The second is that—while we view fractals as our infinitely expandable, endgame version of 5-man dungeon content, and while we will be continuing to discuss fractals in futureGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns announcements—this is not the new “challenging group content” that Colin announced on stage when he first revealed the expansion at PAX South. This is instead a way for us to continue to expand the content and rewards for fractals while simultaneously trying to make them more approachable to a wider audience in Guild Wars 2. Stay tuned for details about both the fractal leaderboards and our challenging new group-content feature for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns at a future date.
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Magister Ela Makkay of the Durmand Priory has been busy chronicling Scarlet’s War (known outside of Tyria as Living World Season 1). She’d like to share her research with you when you’re ready. Simply activate “Season 1 History Lesson,” located under Scarlet’s War in your Story Journal, to learn more. (Note: You must use a level 80 character to access this recap.)
  • We’ve added new graphics options for players with higher-end machines.
    • Tune the look of your scene with ambient occlusion or light adaptation.
    • Choose between two extra antialiasing options: SMAA Low and SMAA High.
World Polish
  • Lion’s Arch
    • Added a dungeon vendor marker.
    • Added repair-station markers.
    • Fixed the marker for Fractals of the Mists.
General
  • Changed the color of squad chat to blue-green to make it more distinct from GM whisper.
  • Fixed an issue in which equipping the Monk’s Outfit caused characters’ legs to disappear.
  • Fixed a bug in which achievement points and titles for Hall of Monuments were incorrectly given to some players. The points and titles have been removed. Any achievement chests that were received as a result of this bug were kept intact but will not be given out a second time.
  • Fixed a bug in which a cryptobotanist gave too many bandit crests in exchange for a Mordrem heart.
Personal Story
  • Fixed a bug in the Story Journal that activated the most recently unlocked Living World episode upon Personal Story completion. The system will now check for the next available episode in release order. If that episode is already unlocked but not completed, it will be activated. If it is not unlocked, the user must manually select the desired Living World episode.
  • The Living World Season 1 recap video has English voice-over only. VO and subtitles for additional supported languages will be implemented in a future release.
Items
  • Sigil of Doom: Updated this sigil to apply poison for 4, 6, and 8 seconds, based on the item tier.
Profession Skills

Elementalist
  • Ferocious Winds: Fixed an issue that caused this trait to contribute toughness to ferocity instead of precision as intended.
  • Fresh Air: The internal cooldown for this trait has been correctly removed.
Engineer
  • Hip Shot: Increased the range to 1200.
  • Net Shot: Increased the range to 1200.
  • Blunderbuss: Increased the range to 700.
  • Overcharged Shot: Increased the range to 600.
  • Jump Shot: Increased the range to 800.
  • Over Shield: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from properly reducing the recharge of the Static Shield skill.
  • Mortar Kit—Flash Shell: Fixed an issue that caused this skill to pulse every 2 seconds instead of every second.
  • Bomb Kit—Smoke Bomb: Fixed an issue that caused this skill to detonate at the player location rather than the bomb location.
Guardian
  • Sword of Justice: Removed the unnecessary skill fact when Expeditious Spirit is equipped.
  • Invigorated Bulwark: Fixed an issue that caused this ability to apply for 8 seconds instead of the full 10 seconds.
  • Wrath of Justice: This skill no longer incorrectly sets Signet of Wrath on cooldown.
  • Judge’s Intervention: Fixed a bug that caused this skill’s recharge to be reduced by Smiter’s Boon.
  • Justice is Blind: This trait no longer penetrates through defenses such as block and evasion.
Mesmer
  • Mender’s Purity: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from working with the last charge of Mantra of Recovery.
  • Imagined Burden: This trait now grants might only while you are in combat.
  • Malicious Sorcery: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from properly applying its increased attack-speed effect.
  • Blinding Dissipation: This trait no longer penetrates through defenses such as block and evasion.
  • Confounding Suggestions: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to function improperly with some runes and sigils.
  • Ineptitude: This trait no longer penetrates through defenses such as block and evasion.
  • Mirror Blade: Reduced number of bounces from 4 to 3.
  • Mantras: Fixed a bug that caused mantras to begin recharging as soon as the preparation skill was complete instead of when the last charge was expended.
  • Mantra of Distraction: Reduced this skill’s recharge from 30 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Harmonious Mantras: Reduced the damage bonus per stack of this trait from 4% to 3%.
Necromancer
  • Signet of Vampirism: Fixed a bug that caused this skill to heal for more than its listed value.
  • Chilling Darkness: This trait now activates on all targets that are blinded by a single area-of-effect blinding strike before it goes on cooldown.
  • Spinal Shivers: Removed an incorrect unblockable skill fact from this skill. While this skill does remove aegis before striking, it is not unblockable.
  • Unholy Martyr: Reduced life-force generation from 10% to 7% when transferring a condition.
  • Corruptions: Self-applied, nondamaging conditions from these skills no longer have their durations increased by condition duration stats.
Ranger
  • Pets: Increased the power, precision, toughness, and vitality of pets by up to 150 at level 80.
  • Crippling Talon: Increased the range to 1200.
  • Throw Torch: Increased the range to 1200.
  • Bonfire: Increased the radius to 240.
  • Hunter’s Call: Increased the range to 1200.
  • Call of the Wild: Increased the radius to 750.
  • Whirling Defense: Increased the reflection radius to 150.
  • Path of Scars: Increased the base range to 1200.
  • Nature’s Vengeance: Fixed an issue that caused spirit effects to list a 70% chance on hit when using this trait.
  • Light on Your Feet: Fixed an issue in which this trait granted 3 seconds of the effect instead of 4 seconds.
  • “We Heal as One!”: Fixed an issue that prevented this skill from displaying the bonuses from the Resounding Timbre trait (the bonuses were still being properly applied).
  • “Strength of the Pack!”: Fixed an issue that prevented this skill from displaying the bonuses from the Resounding Timbre trait (the bonuses were still being properly applied).
  • Natural Healing: Fixed an issue that prevented this trait from affecting pets as frequently as it should have.
  • Go for the Eyes: Fixed an issue that prevented this trait from activating while in a downed state.
  • Wilting Strike: Fixed an issue that prevented this trait from activating while in a downed state.
  • Beastly Warden: Fixed an issue that prevented this trait from activating while in a downed state.
Thief
  • Unrelenting Strikes: Fixed an issue that prevented this trait from functioning correctly with missile attacks.
  • Deadly Trapper: Increased the duration of might granted from this trait from 8 seconds to 10 seconds. Vulnerability now correctly applies for 10 seconds.
  • Ambush: This trap now correctly applies might to the thief when triggered while Deadly Trapper is equipped.
  • Shadow Trap—Shadow Pursuit: Fixed an issue that prevented this ability from recognizing the Deadly Trapper trait when applying might.
  • No Quarter: This trait now applies ferocity bonuses to all instances of fury applied to the thief instead of all instances of fury that the thief applies (which included ferocity applied to allies).
  • Feline Grace: Increased the duration of vigor from 2 seconds to 4 seconds.
Warrior
  • Blademaster: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from reducing the recharge of Riposte.
  • Signet of Might: Added a description for the unblockable effect caused by this skill.
  • Berserker’s Power: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from functioning when used with the longbow burst skill Combustive Shot.
  • Rampage: Lowered the duration from 20 seconds to 15 seconds. Increased the recharge from 150 seconds to 180 seconds.
New Items and Promotions
Dreamthistle weapons have returned to Black Lion Weapons Specialists for three Black Lion Claim Tickets per skin. Black Lion Claim Tickets and Black Lion Claim Ticket Scraps can be found in Black Lion Chests. Back to Top

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Revenant Hero and Adventures Reveal


Arenanet has revelealed a major feature for the Heart of Thorns expansion pack, and a new legend for the Revenant class.  Adventures were detailed in a blog post, and are meant to fill the gap between events and static content.  According to designer Byron Miller, the adventures will also feature leaderboards between friends and guildies.

In the early, conceptual phases of Adventures design, we examined some of our more static content types—things like skill challenges, jumping puzzles, and renown regions—in an effort to determine where they were successful and where we thought they could be improved. We felt that these types of content lacked replay value, had limited ties to the game world and its story, and didn’t do enough to encourage social interaction. Our open-world event structure didn’t make it clear which activities were available to participate in when events weren’t running, which frequently left our world in a state where there were either active events to do or seemingly nothing to do.  Adventures are our answer to these problems. Each Adventure showcases a seemingly simple path to victory that requires strategy, practice, and mastery in order to excel and ultimately achieve success.

The second blog post outlined Shiro Tagachi, the former factions enemy returning as a legend for the Revenant.  Shiro is able to wield double swords and blades, and has a focus on damaging multiple enemies rapidly.

We’ve been discussing this legend and weapon set since we first mentioned the revenant profession and how it called upon legends of the past. Currently we offer a defensive set, a condition set, and a support set as legend options. Now, I think there might be one missing. Oh, right, a physical-damage-focused legend! How about a dark and sinister one? Let’s add lots of slashing and mobility into the mix. Let’s also make sure it’s a name worth remembering. I’m happy to announce the infamous assassin Shiro Tagachi as the next revenant legend!
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WvW and PvE skill bar split incoming


One of Arenanet's programmers, Bill Freist, has confirmed that a WvW skill bar split, akin to the one that currently exists in PvE and PvP, is coming in the next update.  He did not confirm when the update would be dropping.

Since traits/specializations seem to be separate for PvP, PvE, and WvW now, it only makes sense to have a separate skillbar for WvW, like how PvE and PvP have it.
I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this, but has Anet acknowledged this? Will they make this change soon?

Your guess is as good as mine if and when this will happen.

Hint: My guess is the next release.
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