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


Arenanet has placed a blog post obline 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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A fair bit of news has spilled out of GuildWars2.com today.

First off, Stronghold is getting "Mist Champions", which are NPC allies from the original Guild Wars lore that offer various advantages to teams during a match. You'll now also be able to queue conquest and stronghold separately instead being required to alternate between the two in a single session.

There will also be an invite only World Vs World Desert Borderlands stress test on July 9th. If you do manage to get in, there's no NDA of any kind. Those less fortunate can still watch a stream of everything on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel. Back to Top

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Edit: ArenaNet has released a statement regarding the state of pre-purchases for Heart of Thorns.

During tonight's Guild Hall announcement showing at E3, ArenaNet has announced that you can finally pre-purchase Heart of Thorns. There are a few different editions available and many details to read through, so make sure you check out their FAQ page on the official site before heading over to the purchase page to ensure you choose the edition that's right for you.

Here's the basic edition structure of the Pre-Purchase system.

Standard ($49.99)
  • Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns expansion (includes Guild Wars 2 core game)
Deluxe ($74.99)
  • All Standard Edition Contents
  • Additional Character Slot
  • Miniature Revenant Rytlock
  • Revenant Finisher
  • Mordremoth's Bane Guild Hall Decoration
  • Heart of Thorns Glider Skin
Ultimate ($99.99)
  • All Deluxe Edition Contents
  • $50 in Gems
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Joshua Davis has unleashed a mighty beast of an update preview for the game's balance changes going live in the game next Tuesday, June 23rd. Each profession's traits and skills and have been combed through and tweaked extensively, along with some interesting changes to conditions and boons, so you'll definitely want to take a glance at what we'll be seeing in a mere eight days. I wasn't kidding when I said it was a huge list of changes, though. Prepare your "ctrl+f" buttons.

[Specialization Changes]

Edit: ArenaNet has sent us the rest of the patch notes for the update. The balance changes remain linked while miscellaneous changes will be places in a spoiler tag below.

Spoiler
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10 June 2015 Information Update


Arenanet has released two blog posts today outlining the new account wallet and combat updates.  The wallet changes go live in the next, Lion's Arch revamping update, and the combat changes will go live later.

Some wallet changes include map currencies (geodes, bandit crests), and relocation to the inventory panel.  Combat changes include the removal of conditions caps (to a number "too great to notice"), and tweaking of combat statistics to make them more impacting (points into condition damage now make a significant change).

You can read the wallet blog post here, and the combat changes blog post here. Back to Top

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Revenant: Compassion as a Way of Life


Arenanet has revealed the latest legend that can be channeled in the Revenant profession:  Ventari.  The ventari spec. focuses on healing and blocking.  You can read the entire announcement blog post here.

Most healing in Guild Wars 2 takes the form of pulsing spells, the combo system, or area-of-effect heals, but we wanted to push healing a bit more than what you’ve previously seen by creating a legend focused almost entirely on support. However, we needed an interesting way for healing abilities to interact and create a more active playstyle, and that led to the creation of Ventari’s Tablet.

Ventari’s Tablet is at the core of every skill for the Ventari legend. All of the skills either do something around the tablet or modify it, so positioning of the tablet is the key to being effective. This requires the revenant to command the tablet, and to communicate and interact with allies so that they can receive the tablet’s benefits.
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The next beta test for Heart of Thorns is scheduled to begin this Tuesday, May 26th. Aside from standard email invitations, players who received a portal in Dry Top or The Silverwastes are also able to help test the upcoming expansion. Aside from the Revenant being available, ArenaNet will be focusing on a new outpost event structure in Verdant Brink. A new version of the day/night cycle is also scheduled to make an appearance during the test.

If you didn't manage to snag an invitation via the in-game method, keep an eye on your email inbox to see if your test invite got thrown in the spam box. Also make sure you're signed up for e-mail notifications from ArenaNet, otherwise it's highly unlikely you'll see yourself invited.

The test schedule is as follows:
  • 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
  • 3:30 p.m.   Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
  • 7:30 p.m.   Pacific Time (UTC-7) to 9:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7)
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