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06/14/2016 – June 14 Release Notes

RAIDS
  • The victory at Salvation Pass revealed the terrible truth of the White Mantle’s return. Take the fight to the enemy and strike at their heart, deep in the Maguuma Jungle, where unknown dangers and powerful enemies lurk. All is not as it seems in the Stronghold of the Faithful, where the White Mantle’s innermost secrets and dark magic fester. It’s a race against time to stop the plans in motion in this high-stakes, white-knuckle conclusion to the Forsaken Thicket raid.
    Thanks!
    Some members of the following guilds had access to the raid at some stage in development. We’d like to thank them for their time and feedback.
    • [ATT] Attuned
    • [DD] Dragons Descent
    • [EG] Ethereal Guardians
    • [KING] Immortal Kingdom
    • [NA] The Sickest Guild
    • [RAID] Immortal Raiders
    • [RtG] Rise to Glory
    • [SC] Snow Crows
  • Spirit Woods
    • Adjusted Gorseval’s AI to improve its willingness to follow the player with the highest toughness.
    • Fixed a bug that prevented Gorseval’s Rampage pattern from properly resetting in some situations.
  • Salvation Pass
    • A ley-line gliding path will now appear after clearing all of the raid bosses, leading players to Stronghold of the Faithful.
    • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the cage cinematic to trigger during the Matthias Gabrel encounter.
STRUCTURED PLAYER VS. PLAYER
  • The Heart of Maguuma PvP reward track now includes Chak weapons, Auric weapons, Plated weapons, Bladed armor, and Leystone armor as options in the Mordremoth Cache.
  • The Silverwastes PvP reward track Carapace Armor Box now contains all pieces of Carapace armor instead of just the gloves.
  • Gathering tools can now be equipped when double-clicked in the PvP lobby.
WORLD VS. WORLD
  • The Reward Track and Participation systems are officially out of beta testing!
  • Added the Gift of Battle Item reward track and removed the vendors that previously sold gifts of battle.
  • Daily achievement chests now award Potions of WvW Rewards instead of Experience Boosters.
  • The Outnumbered effect now also grants 50% increased participation gain.
  • Added a new guild hall upgrade to the war room that unlocks a new potion at the tavern that increases WvW reward-track gain.
  • A new reward track has been added that awards the WvW Hero’s weapon skins.
  • The Heart of Maguuma WvW reward track now includes Chak weapons, Auric weapons, Plated weapons, Bladed armor, and Leystone armor as an option in the Mordremoth Cache.
  • The Silverwastes WvW reward track Carapace Armor Box now contains all pieces of Carapace armor instead of just the gloves.
  • The Provisions Master now has a sixth pip that allows players to buy Heart of Thorns™ recipes, sigils, and runes from the Heroics Notary vendor for proofs of heroics and gold.
  • The Max Supply +5 upgrade is now the first Guild Objective Aura upgrade guilds unlock.
  • The Magic Find +20% upgrade is now the last Guild Objective Aura guilds unlock.
  • Updated the Outnumbered effect to no longer list that it grants bonus experience, as experience gain is disabled in WvW.
  • Shield Generator—Force Dome: Stability duration has been reduced from 9 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Fixed a bug in which trebuchet conditions were allowed to scale based on player stats.
  • The WvW tick timer has been reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes.
    • Objective Points per Tick (PPT) has been rebalanced to support the faster ticks.
      • Camps—2 points
      • Towers—4 points
      • Keeps—8 points
      • Castle—12 points
      • This results in slightly more total war score earned from objectives.
    • Reward-track points awarded for participation have also been rebalanced to support faster ticks.
      • Tier 1—25 points
      • Tier 2—60 points
      • Tier 3—95 points
      • Tier 4—125 points
      • Tier 5—160 points
      • Tier 6—195 points
      • This results in slightly more reward-track points earned.
Eternal Battlegrounds
  • Klovan Gully: Fixed a display bug in which the blue “Defend Klovan Gully” event would list an additional event objective.
Alpine Borderlands
  • Fixed a bug that prevented hero challenges from displaying or functioning correctly.
  • Tower Northeast: Fixed a bug that prevented the tower lord’s health from scaling properly.
Desert Borderlands
  • Fixed a bug with the teleporter on the dunes above the Fire Keep.
  • Fixed a bug with automatic blessing at the east Earth Shrine.
  • Fixed a bug with a jump pad on the north side of the Air Keep.
  • Fixed a bug with a floating mortar in the Air Keep.
Obsidian Sanctum
  • Fixed a bug in which players were no longer given immunity while standing at their starting location.
GENERAL
  • Fixed a bug that would cause Mai Trin to teleport to walls.
  • Fixed an issue in which, once selected, the guild music themes “The Music of the Barren Heights” and “The Music of the Golden Chambers” did not play upon reentry to the guild hall. Once a guild in Lost Precipice has selected the theme “The Music of the Barren Heights,” the song will now consistently play first upon entry to the guild hall and then cycle through the songs belonging to its theme set. Once a guild in Gilded Hollow has selected the theme “The Music of the Golden Chambers,” the song will now consistently play upon first entry to the guild hall and then cycle through the songs belonging to its theme set.
  • Added Amalgamated Gemstones as a choice on the Verdant Brink, Auric Basin, Tangled Depths, and Dragon’s Stand Hero’s Choice Chests.
  • Unrest is spreading in Kryta.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
New Items and Promotions
  • A new Phoenix Glider is available for a very limited time in the Style category of the Gem Store for 500 gems.
  • The Heroes Dye Pack includes one of each of the following dye kits: Taimi’s, Glint’s, Lion’s Arch Survivors, Lion’s Arch Rebuild, and Lion’s Arch Commemorative. This can be found in the Style category of the Gem Store for 500 gems.
  • The new Privateer weapon set is now available at Black Lion Weapons Specialists for 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket. Unlike previous weapon sets, these are account bound and cannot be traded once purchased.
  • Crystallized Magic no longer drops from Black Lion Chests. Contracts have returned to normal drop rates.
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In our third video on the design of Stronghold of the Faithful’s first raid boss, the Guild Wars 2audio team grinds, growls, and snarls their way through the creation of the Keep Construct’s creature noises.

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In our second video exploring the design of the Keep Construct raid boss, the art team talks about this lumbering monstrosity’s evolution and animation!

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In the first of our series of videos about designing Stronghold of the Faithful’s first raid boss, the Keep Construct, members of the Guild Wars 2 raid team discuss how this stony monstrosity came to life in concept and design. Check it out below!

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Above is the new teaser trailer for the third and final wing of Stronghold of the Faithful. Hopefully we'll hear more once E3 rolls around! Back to Top

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Well that was quite the rundown. I just got done with the preview of Guild Wars 2's upcoming build and I am swimming in changes. Changes to PvP maps, WvW linking, new legendaries, a Raid Lobby, LFG changes, and improvements to playability and rewards in Heart of Thorns. I don't have any sneaky tidbits of new upcoming content this time, but the existing content is getting some needed tweaks.

First off, I don't play PvP or WvW in GW2. As such, I can't comment too much on the impact of various changes being made in the new build. The changes sound positive, but I don't have my ear to the ground in that realm of play as I spend my time in GW2 running around in the underbrush and through caves haphazardly with reckless abandon. I don't have the experience and in game knowledge needed to make relevant comments on the potential impact of PvP style game changes. With all that in mind, I am going to focus on content changes to PvE. I do have to bring up the big new change in WvW first though.


The update rolls out World Linking for WvW. World linking was described to me as an attempt to create a population balance effect for WvW. Different worlds will be linked together to form temporary alliances for WvW in an attempt to improve matchups without increasing queues. The base description reminded me of the description of the megaserver system but unlike that system, world linking is done manually by the devs.

One of the downsides that had been brought up about the megaserver system was the fractioning of the communities that had developed on the servers before implementation. ArenaNet wants to avoid forcing the existing communities to rewrite and reorder themselves as these links are made and the system's manual nature allows them to stay cognizant of the interpersonal relations that exist between guilds and worlds. Honestly, I wish them best of luck. I don't envy those that take on the task of choosing these links.

WvW and PvP also have updates in the build to their reward systems and to some of the maps and borderlands. I suggest you check out the patch notes for specifics on those updates (though the update is going to be quite large). On to the PvE side of the world.


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Level 80 boost.

Yup, an item that boosts a character straight to level 80 has been added to Heart of Thorns with the new build. Double click it and launch yourself into the expansion's jungle (which has been re-balanced with a more friendly reward and progression system) to your heart's content. An interesting feature is a "try before you buy" state where you get to effectively preview the level up on as many characters as you want before choosing which one to level up permanently. The boost is only available to those who have the expansion though, so the preview is limited to the expansion content.

The goal of the boost is to get players into the content as soon as possible. Heart of Thorns has a lot of gating in it progression wise and the boost allows players to skip the level gate entirely. The mastery progression gates are still in place, but you only need one level 80 character to begin unlocking those so the level boost is there to ensure that all players are able to begin that process.


With the level 80 boost making getting to the content a little less painful, most of the build then focuses on increasing the rewards for content, or makes getting to individual content segments faster. The HoT maps have large overarching metaevents that had their rewards tied to them. The build is going to decouple the rewards from the metaevent (mostly) to make a player's reward less reliant on the map state and when they were able to play.

Verdant Brink, for example, is a map divided into a day night cycle where players prep for the night battles during the day and are then rewarded. With the update, the two cycles are going to be further separated with the day cycle rewards being separated from the metaevent's reward coordinator. The Night Cycle events will largely be the same but the actual start of the event will be disconnected from the progress players achieved during the day cycle. This is to reduce players feeling like they ended up in a "bad map" and trying to ferry into a map that did better during the Day Cycle.

This schism continues for the other maps in the expansion content as well. Separating the major metaevent cycle into a smaller time slot with progression rewards while the "main" time slot is filled with more "explorer friendly" content that metaevent progression rewards. Roadblocks in maps that prevent players from accessing certain fun areas of the map except during the metaevent have been shifted around some, once again with the goal of allowing players to access the fun more readily.


Some changes to Raids, Dungeons, the LFG tool, and Daily Rewards focus on making it easier and more rewarding for players to participate in the content. More gold for repeatable reward achievements, a central meeting area for Raids, more flexible and rewarding dungeon tokens, and some tweaks to fractal advancement are all included in the update (but talking about them would quickly skyrocket this write-up's length to that of the update notes itself.

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Flying around the new Raid Lobby.

Instead, what are the impacts? For an established player, the build updates are largely just going to make the expansion's content more rewarding. If you have level 80 characters, the boost is nice, but it I don't see it having a large impact on your play time unless you are lacking in alt characters just due to not wanting to grind out levels. For a new player, the boost makes purchasing the expansion more attractive. While GW2 doesn't have an ever increasing gear gate, leveling up and unlocking masteries does take a lot of time investment that the boost helps with and more rewards makes it easier for new or less active players to kit out their characters.

I myself found the structuring of the expansion zones to be somewhat stifling. I fall in to the traditional explorer archetype in how I like to play GW2 and I look forward to seeing if the shift in metaevents improves my ability to play the way I prefer to instead of training around the map completing metaevents that don't interest me as much as getting to the top of that tree over there.

The build looks for be a Quality of Life improvement that sweeps across all aspects of the game to benefit all players, which is good to see.



Oh, and the LFG tool is now getting a search function for roleplayers and new players looking for mentors to find groups. I look forward to seeing those uses of the tool populate in the weeks after the update. Back to Top

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Coming April 19th, the Spring update is about helping Guild Wars 2 players get to the fun of Heart of Thorns gameplay faster by reducing grind, clearing away some tedium and improving rewards. ArenaNet has always said Guilds Wars 2 should be about having fun rather than preparing to have fun, and the Spring update dropping on Tuesday is all about getting back to that core philosophy. Back to Top

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SAB is back!!! From today's patch notes:
  • Super Adventure Box has returned with the Super Adventure Festival!
    • Play World 01 and World 02 on Normal, Infantile, or Tribulation Modes.
    • Play through World 02 in record time, utilizing brand-new shortcuts.
    • Seek out new hidden furniture shops and collect Fancy Furniture Coins to purchase decorations for your guild hall.
  • Speak with Moto in Rata Sum and browse his reward items.
    • If you own the Infinite Continue Coin, speak with Moto to receive your free Super Bee Dog Mail Carrier.
    • The Infinite Continue Coin will now grant 99 lives when used in Super Adventure Box.
  • Moto has created a set of orange Super weapon skins.
    • Complete Moto’s Course Work daily achievements for extra baubles, and earn an orange Super weapon skin.
  • Festivities are scheduled to end April 19.
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Upcoming Changes for PvP League Season Two


Arenanet has announced the changes for the upcoming PvP season.  The finals for the ESL league also start this saturday, and during the Arenanet stream gifts from Corsair, Sennheiser, and precursor weapons from Arenanet!  You can view an overview of the changes in PvP below:
  • For matchmaking, groups of five people will no longer be matched with smaller groups or solo queueing players.
  • For matchmaking, the search times have been decreased a lot.
  • For matchmaking, pips and ranking will have a greater effect on the enemy players, meaning matches should be closer to your skill level.
  • For rankings, pips will always award one pip, and losing will always remove one pip.
  • Players that leave matches will always lose one pip, and teams that lose a player will not lose a pip.
  • Win streaks have been introduced, giving an extra pip per victory after three initial streak victories.
  • For rankings, multiple tiers have had pips added or removed to balance them accordingly.
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ArenaNet has released its Winter 2016 update for Guild Wars 2 and Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns players today, one of many free updates that we'll see throughout the year. In this update, we'll see many new features introduced to the game, including the ability for Heart of Thorns players to use their gliders throughout Tyria. For those that don't have the HoT expansion (yet), there are many other updates that will be available to them with this update. Here are some of the major features:
  • The Shatterer Unleashed: The Shatterer, champion of the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik, has powered up and learned new tactics. Accompanied by dangerous Branded forces, it’s ready to terrorize Blazeridge Steppes like never before. Stay on your toes and defend your siege weapons, and if you’ve learned to glide in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, you can even use your glider to attack from the air!
  • Squad Markers and Lieutenants: It’s easier than ever to keep your squad in shape! Commanders can now promote lieutenants to organize subgroups, invite or remove players, and broadcast messages. Squad leaders will also be able to place marker symbols, which will appear both in the game world and on your compass.
  • Lunar New Year: Celebrate the start of a whole new year in Divinity’s Reach! From January 26 through February 9, stop by the Crown Pavilion to shoot off fireworks, play the Dragon Ball PvP minigame, and earn rewards.
  • Mist Champion Tybalt Leftpaw: Order of Whispers Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw can now join you in Stronghold as a Mist Champion! Unlock him by completing his Player vs. Player reward track, and you’ll be able to summon him into battle to help defend your team.
  • Eldvin Monastery Brew of the Month Club: Speak with Master Brewer Desch Metz at Queensdale’s Eldvin Monastery to sample a year’s worth of handcrafted beers. Each brew is available for one month only--try them all and you’ll be rewarded for your adventurous palate with a title, a backpack skin, and a guild decoration.
  • Major Balance Update: Each quarterly update will contain adjustments to professions and their skills, weapons, and traits to keep gameplay fun and exciting.
Source: Press release

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