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Revenant: The Master of the Mists


Arenanet has released a detailed blog post in which the new profession for Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns, the Revenant, is detailed.  The blog post includes information regarding mechanics, the legendary dwarf and demon stances, and the weapons that the revenant can use at launch of the expansion pack.  You can read the entire announcement/blog post on the official Guild Wars 2 website.

The blog post also details the first playable HoT demo during the first week of March, new conditions including slow and taunt, and other subtle hints at what is coming.

The revenant is the ninth profession, added into Guild Wars 2 as a unique archetype not seen in other games. Revenants are heavily armored masters of the Mists with abilities that allow them to harness and manipulate energy in order to perform immense attacks. They invoke powers from legends of the past to dominate foes and unleash chaos on the field of battle. Those familiar with lore from the original Guild Wars will see many familiar faces reappearing as legends, which you can invoke through this profession.
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Points of Interest: Heart of Thorns Gameplay


Arenanet has announced that tomorrow's Points of Interest stream show will be the first look at Heart of Thorns gameplay.  Some gameplay and overviews will be shown of both zones.

I’m back from our announcement at PAX South and ready to talk about Heart of Thorns! I loved the overview of all the major features, and I want to see more. Thankfully, this week’s dev guests are coming to the rescue. Expansion Content Designers Steve Hwang and Anthony Ordon are joining me tomorrow on Points of Interest for our first look at Heart of Thorns gameplay!

They’ll venture into the Maguuma Jungle to show you one of the adventures we heard about earlier this week. Plus, they’ll discuss how some of the systems work.

Today, a blog post was also launched regarding the mastery system, informing us about information and styles found in the new mastery system.

Through Masteries, players who’ve reached level 80 will have the opportunity to continue their journey by acquiring powerful new abilities for their entire account. Masteries are the way you will progress after reaching level 80 in PvE, but they’re quite a bit different than traditional progression, so let’s take a closer look at exactly how this new system will work.
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Journey into the Heart of Maguuma in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

Arenanet has just released a blog post with a video that shows off and describes the design process behind the new Maguuma maps in Heart of Thorns.  The blog post outlines how their old map design compares to these new maps, what activities and outposts are now and how they are being changed, and that the expansion's maps are focused on replayable, challenging content.


One of our focuses in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is to provide truly challenging content for our players to overcome. Within the jungle, you’ll encounter entirely new species, creatures, and bosses that are more advanced than the encounters we’ve introduced in the past. These encounters will require greater skills and tactics to overcome, whether you’re adventuring through our jungle on your own or with a party. Not only are we presenting these new challenges throughout the outposts and adventures you’ll find in the jungle, but they’ll also be layered across other types of content experiences. As we get closer to the release of the expansion, we’ll come back and give specific details on the new types of challenging group encounters we’ll be introducing to Guild Wars 2 and explain how these new types of challenges work within the Guild Wars 2 content experience.


You can find the full blog post on the official Guild Wars 2 website.

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Current Trait Unlock system will be removed in Heart of Thorns


Arenanet has just confirmed on their official forums that the current trait unlock system, which requires players to complete specific events or activites to earn them, will be removed in the upcoming Heart of Thorns expansion.  It was also confirmed that other grind/annoyance-based progression systems are being evaluated to be placed in the mastery system.

The mastery system has been confirmed to be account bound, meaning traits will also become account bound.

It has also been confirmed that masteries will be removing some other RNG/grind based system, including the acquisition of a precursor weapon.

Now that the HOT is out of the bag, we’re able to update this thread with more details. With the introduction of the new account based mastery system for end-game progression and growth in PvE, we’ll also be re-evaluating our other systems of character progression to ensure they match our over-all pillars and goals for Gw2.

In doing so: we’re going to be removing the current trait unlocking system currently on live and replacing it with a more simplified system that supports where skills-traits-specializations are going in the future. We’ll go into more details between now and the release of HOT on how skills, traits, and specializations will work in the new Gw2 world.
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The big, PAX round-up topic


Today, Arenanet is presenting their heart of thorns panel.  This thread will be updated with all announcements, important quotes, and information that is relevant.  If you wish to view the panel, you can view it on the official twitch channel.  Be sure to refresh this thread a lot... prepare your F5 keys!


Status:  Conference Finished.  All time are in GMT +1.

18:20 - Official trailer reveals new weapons for existing professions incoming.

18:18 - Official website.

18:17 - Colin leaves the stage.

18:15 - Heart of Thorns is "about the journey."

18:14 - Guild Hall is much more than what it has been.  It's a home and gathering location for guilds.  Guild Halls provide great adventures, a new sort of raids.  Guild Halls act as bases and are grown through those raids.

18:14 - Guild Halls confirmed.

18:14 - Stronghold allows teams to register as guild teams.  Guild teams are for leaderboards between Guilds.

18:13 - Guild versus Guild confirmed.

18:12 - Stronghold is a mode based on GvG, except for teams, and with buyable AI.

18:11 - Brand new sPvP game mode called Stronghold announced.

18:10 - Core world versus world will be changed to force worlds to hold objectives.

18:08 - New World versus World borderlands map confirmed.

18:06 - Revenant channels anicent Guild Wars heroes.  One channeling hero is King Jalies, granting the power of the great dwarf to the revenant.  Another hero is Mallyx the Unyielding, which can be channeled to use conditions and turn them against the enemies.

18:05 - Revenant profession allows control over the powers of the mists, Rytlock first revenant.

18:04 - Revenant profession confirmed, heavy.

18:03 - Another specialization:  "Why do all necromancers get greatswords?  It's another specialization!"

18:02 - Specializations allow each profession to learn one trait or mechanic that are not part of the core, almost like a second profession.  Colin Johanson gives an example:  "Rangers in the jungle should be able to master jungle connection elements.  So, a ranger can learn the ways of the druid.  When a ranger learns the druid mechanics, they can use the staff and learn new profession utility skill, healing skills, and mechanics."

18:01 - Brand new legendaries and precursors part of the expansion.

18:00 - Precursor crafting confirmed.

17:59 - Collections and crafting are also part of mastery.

17:57 - There will be mastery chains that focus on combo and combat changes.

17:57 - Another mastery is the ability to master languages of civilizations in the jungle, and gain lore.

17:56 - Hang gliders confirmed as a mastery trait.

17:54 - All level 80 character get masteries.  All masteries must be earned once, and are account bound upon unlocking/mastering.

17:53 - Heart of Thorns takes and focuses on the concept of bringing players together... making others should make you happy, according to Colin.

17:51 - The end of the Guild Wars one story is the start of the heart of thorns expansion.

17:50 - Maguuma region are incoming.  Deemed "area."  Consists of three biomes... the roots, the canopy, and the heart.

17:48 - Colin will go through all major features in the expansion.

17:47 - Colin "colinsmile" Johanson incoming, Mike O'Brien thanks fans for loyalty and patience.

17:46 - Heart of Thorns is not about loose features, it's one huge feature chain.

17:46 - Profession Specializations announced.

17:45 - New Group challenges are based on mastery mastery.

17:44 - Maguuma Jungle is a vertical environment.

17:43 - Masteries announced.  New character progression system.

17:42 - Max level characters with top-tier gear now will remain that way at the end of the expansion.

17:41 - O'Brien discusses problem with modern expansions:  gear and loot tiers, character degression.

17:40 - Mike O'Brien mentions GW2 development, from manifesto, to 40 LS updates, to now.

17:37 - Mike O'Brien confirms expansion.

17:36 - Trailer ended... contains flying combat, huge new zones.

17:34 - Trailer.

17:33 - "Mordremoth in Maguuma Jungle, so that's where we're heading next."

17:32 - Recap of season 2.

17:30 - Conference started.  Boomstick orchestra welcome Mike O'Brien.

17:28 - Ambient loading screen ends the pre-show.  Preparing for conference.

17:27 - Boom stick orchestra prepares for conference.

17:16- Arenanet's Rubi Bayer confirms that that next weeks' point of interests show will be a more in-depth look at many announcement of Heart of Thorns.

17:13 - Live Stream has begun, with Jennifer Hale (the voice of Queen Jennah, among many) doing some pre-show speculation.  Discussion is about the amount of people and audience polling. Back to Top

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PSA:  Arenanet aware of ongoing disconnection issues


As Arenanet prepares to announce what comes beyond the point of no return, their servers have also reached the point of no return and are throwing gamers out of the game with constant disconnects.  This issue has been ongoing for 12 hours since the evening of the 23rd of January.  Arenanet has updated players stating they are working on a hotfix for the issue, and that this is a problem on their end

We are aware of some connectivity issues for players, and are working on a solution. Thank you for your understanding and patience. ^RD


Be sure to stay tuned to Guru for coverage of the announcements later today, including a liveblog of the announcements for those that cannot watch the stream. Back to Top

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In an effort to fuel the hype train even more, ArenaNet has given us ten single day badges for PAX South this Saturday. And since we love you all so much, we're giving them to you guys. Though keep in mind there are a few points to consider before you place dibs on a pass.
  • You need to already have the means to attend the San Antonio, Texas area for the convention. The passes will be on hold for you at will call at the convention center.
  • In order to claim the pass at will call, you will need a valid government issued ID.
  • ArenaNet is having a panel on Saturday at 10:30am, so you'll need to be our eyes and ears. Post whatever juicy bits of info you can on your return, and you'll no doubt be praised as a god.
Also, you need to post in this thread by 11:59 PM Tuesday (yes, tomorrow) so we can give your name to ArenaNet in time. There are only ten badges available, so make sure you post sooner rather than later if you want one. (Note: I will edit your post saying your pass is reserved.)

If you have any questions, let me know via private message and I'll do my best to answer them.

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Preview of Upcoming Balance Changes


Arenanet has provided a preview of the upcoming balance changes for the 27 January 2015 patch.  The changes in this patch were made with "future content" in mind.  You can find the official post here.

The January 27 release will bring a number of general balance and profession changes to Tyria. We’d like to take a few moments to give some context to those changes and explain why some things are being changed in the ways that they are.

Balance Changes:
Spoiler
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LIVING WORLD
Point of No Return
Heroes stand at a precipice as Tyria hurtles toward a point of no return. The Pact Fleet is poised to launch its assault on Mordremoth. The search for Caithe—and Glint’s egg—is narrowing, yet the future is uncertain. What answers will be revealed inside the cave?

Achievements
After completing Point of No Return, showcase your tactical mastery as a hero of Tyria by completing challenging, episode-related achievements.

Rewards
  • Players can now complete their Carapace and Luminescent armor sets!
    • Collect Carapace Headgear Boxes by completing the Point of No Return episode. Additional boxes can be purchased for bandit crests.
    • Collect Carapace Coat Boxes by defeating the imposing Mordrem Vinewrath.
  • Complete the Bioluminescence collection to receive a new title, a choice of ascended armor pieces, and five transmutation charges.
  • Want some help completing your Luminescent boots and leg armor? Mordrem spleen and bladder extractors are now available for purchase with bandit crests.
  • Complete the Point of No Return episode to receive various rewards, including a bandit chest for your home instance!
  • Players who go up against the Mordrem Vinewrath will receive the Hero of the Wastes boon that grants 50% bonus magic find and extra bandit crests from various events throughout the map.
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
Profession Skills
Guardian
  • Hammer Swing / Hammer Bash: Fixed a bug that prevented the Number of Targets facts on these skills from displaying.
  • Sanctuary: Fixed a bug that caused the Master of Consecrations trait to create a duplicate skill fact.
Mesmer
  • Illusionary Leap: Removed the ability to use this skill in midair.
Necromancer
  • Lich Form:
    • Deathly Claws: Added a Pierces skill fact.
    • Marked for Death: Updated the Damage skill fact to correctly scale with the Spiteful Marks trait.
Ranger
  • Piercing Arrows: Added Pierces and Targets per Arrow skill facts.
  • Mighty Swap: Added a Combat Only trait fact.
  • Vigorous Training: Added a Combat Only trait fact.
Warrior
  • Fan of Fire: Added Pierces and Targets per Arrow skill facts.
  • Combustive Shot: Fixed a bug that caused the Damage skill fact to display a lower amount than the actual damage when Burst Mastery was equipped.
Structured Player vs. Player
  • Adjusted matchmaking for parties with higher-skilled players.
  • Added an accumulating grace period for disconnects, allowing players to reconnect and finish the game without receiving dishonor or taking a loss.
  • Losses will not count toward the leaderboard standings if a teammate outside your party has deserted.
  • Party members will receive a desertion leaderboard standing if a member of their party has deserted the game, but only the deserting player will receive dishonor.
  • Matchmaking ratings will not be updated if a game has player desertions.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from properly leaving a queue.
  • Fixed a bug that caused players to receive dishonor multiple times for the same infraction.
The winter PvP Ladder Test Season has ended. The following rewards will be distributed to players based on their leaderboard position at end of the season:
  • The top 5 players in each region will receive two pieces of Glorious Hero’s armor and one Mini Llama.
  • The top 20 players in each region will receive one piece of Glorious Hero’s armor and one Mini Llama.
  • The top 250 players in each region will receive one Mini Llama.
World vs. World
  • The Toxic Unveiling Volley skill no longer displays on an arrow cart’s skill bar until the skill has been unlocked.
  • Updated guild arrow cart skill damage tooltips to properly reflect their superior level of damage.
  • The WvW Sneak Attack special event has completed.
    • Player kills no longer score 1 point. Finishing a player while your world has Borderlands Bloodlust will award 1 point.
    • Objectives under attack will now display the white crossed-swords icon in World vs. World.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
New Items and Promotions
  • Mini Rox is now available in the Toys category of the Gem Store for 350 gems.
  • A new Mordrem weapon set is available from the Black Lion Weapon Specialist for the limited-time price of 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket. Tickets and ticket scraps can be found in Black Lion Chests.
  • The new Ghostly Mail Courier mail carrier is available in the Upgrades category of the Gem Store for 500 gems.
  • New exclusive colors for hair and eyes are now included in Total Makeover Kits, available in the Services category of the Gem Store for 350 gems.
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a bug in which finishers would sometimes reset to the default finisher after interaction with the Hero panel.
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Wintersday has come and gone, as has its fun and cheer. Now it's time for the Living Story to continue as the plot thickens with the Point of No Return. The teaser trailer in all its glory can be seen below.


Yep. Get hyped.

We also have a contest to run alongside the new chapter. ArenaNet has provided us with 20 Rytlock Brimstone t-shirts to give away to those who prove themselves this next week.
  • Silverwastes Screenshot Contest (10 Winners): Post a selfie with a Mordremoth vine, or grab a shot of the most breathtaking vista in the Silverwastes. Anything from episodes 5-8 are fair game.
  • Haiku Contest (10 Winners): Mordremoth, oh why; Your vines just broke that waypoint; Now I have to walk.
Contest Rules
  • T-shirt shipping limited to North America.
  • Original entries must be posted in this thread by midnight PST on January 13th, 2015 (patch day!).

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