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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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Arenanet PAX South appearance


The Penny Arcade Expo (shorthand PAX) has confirmed that Arenanet's president and founder Mike O'Brien will be appearing with game director Colin Johanson to discuss what is happening with Guild Wars 2 after the Living Story patch of the 13th of January, which is deemed to be "the point of no return."  The panel will take place on the 24th of January 2015.  You can read more about this on the PAX announcement page.

The panel description hints at new information regarding the game and its updates for the post-season 2 timetable.  The final release for season 2 drops the 13th of January 2015.

Join ArenaNet president and co-founder Mike O’Brien and Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson for an exclusive sneak peek at what’s next in Guild Wars 2 and be among the first to hear how we’re setting up a new framework for how an MMO can grow its universe. The Living World was just the beginning.
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Interview With ArenaNet's Bobby Stein


Fansite TenTonHammer conducted an interview Bobby Stein, the lead writer for Arenanet.  The interview focuses on the lore and Living Story of Guild Wars 2.  You can find the interview here.

Its been a while since I last officially interviewed ArenaNet's Lead Writer, Bobby Stein, for a question and answer session. I think the last was back in July 2013. Having sat down with both Bobby and Steven Waller for a very brief discussion onPreparing For The Point Of No Return, there was too little time to really drill down on any specific questions. We did however decide that it would be good to get together at some point to discuss Guild Wars 2, its story and the Living World model. Fast forward many weeks and right before Christmas, Bobby was kind enough to put some time aside. Although we weren't able to ask several questions due to ArenaNet's strict policy on spoilers and future planning (we tried!), we managed a fair few. Here's how we got on.
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Enjoy! Happy Wintersday All!

Festival
A Very Merry Wintersday
The nights may be growing longer and colder, but Divinity’s Reach is merry with the warmth of the Wintersday spirit. Celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next in this traditional winter festival!
The Wondrous Workshop
  • Enter Toymaker Tixx’s workshop inside his golem-shaped airship—Tixx’s Infinirarium—to corral mischievous toys and set things to rights!
Wintersday Festivities
  • Celebrate the holiday with festive traditions: leap from snowflake to snowflake in the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle, ring in the season in the Bell Choir activity, defend gift-bearing dolyaks in Toypocalypse, and store up precious presents in Snowball Mayhem!
Warming Grawnk’s Heart
  • It’s your chance to save Wintersday! Grawnk has stolen ornaments from the children’s orphanage in Divinity’s Reach, and it’s up to you to track them down! If you succeed in your mission, you’ll be able to plant a beautiful Wintersday tree in your own home instance.
Wintersday Gift Tree
  • The latest trend in Tyrian holiday decor, these trees provide Wintersday gifts year-round and are attractive in any home, whether it’s in the heart of the Black Citadel or the outskirts of Rata Sum. Receive yours by helping the orphans of Divinity’s Reach find their lost ornaments. Also, the Star of Gratitude provides additional rewards for those of you with empyreal fragments to spare.
Toys and Treasures
  • Tixx has an assortment of new goodies for the citizens of Tyria! Complete three new collections to receive exclusive rewards, such as the Endless Gift Box Tonic.
  • Enjoy other festive rewards like the new Magnanimous Choir Bell and the Rime-Rimmed Mariner’s Rebreather.
NEW FEATURES AND CONTENT
New Daily Achievement System
  • Achievements have been divided into 3 categories: PvE, WvW, and PvP.
  • The number of available achievements per day is based on the highest-level character on an account:
    • Levels 1 – 10: 1 achievement per category
    • Levels 11 – 30: 3 achievements per category
    • Levels 31 – 80: 4 achievements per category
  • Completing daily achievements now awards players with items and/or experience based on their corresponding content type, such as WvW daily achievements rewarding world experience.
  • Completing daily achievements no longer awards players with achievement points.
  • A new Daily Completionist achievement has been added and is earned by completing any combination of daily achievements from the three categories.
  • Completing the Daily Completionist achievement rewards players with 10 achievement points.
  • December will be the final month to include monthly achievements.
  • Existing daily and monthly achievement rewards have been rolled into the new log-in reward system.
  • For more information, please see this blog post.
New Log-in Reward System
  • The first time you log in each day, you’ll receive a new item from the reward track.
  • Progress on the log-in reward track will reset only after claiming the 28th and final reward.
  • Players logged in after 4:00 p.m. PDT on December 15 will receive their first daily log-in reward chest after 4:00 p.m. PDT on December 16.
  • Players last logged out before 4:00 p.m. PDT on December 15 will receive their first daily log-in reward chest immediately after the update.
  • For more information, please see this blog post.
World vs. World
  • The World vs. World Sneak Attack event begins December 16. For the next month of World vs. World, the following rules will apply:
    • All player kills will award 1 point of world score. Using a finisher on a player while you have Borderlands Bloodlust will award 2 points.
    • The white crossed swords that appear when an objective is under attack have been removed from all objectives in World vs. World. Now a player must scout the objectives in order to see them being attacked.
    • All players will receive a Mist War Summons effect, which increases WXP gain by 15%, experience gain by 15%, and magic find by 50% while in WvW.
Structured Player vs. Player
  • The PvP Ladder test season begins December 16. For the next month of Player vs. Player, the following rules will apply:
    • Between the dates of December 16 and January 13, enter Ranked Arena during the ladder test season and compete for the top spots on the leaderboard to earn PvP-exclusive rewards.
    • At the end of the season, the top 250 players on the ladder in each region will each receive a PvP-exclusive Mini Llama.
    • The top 20 players in each region will receive a piece of the PvP-exclusive Glorious Hero’s armor, available only through tournaments and special events.
    • The top five players from each region will receive an additional piece of Glorious Hero’s armor.
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
General
The Contacts and LFG panel no longer resets continually when new entries are listed.
Items
Major Sigil of Leeching: Fixed a bug that occasionally caused this sigil to begin cooldown without triggering correctly.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
New Items and Promotions
  • A new Gifts Mail Delivery mail carrier is available in the Upgrades category of the Gem Store for 350 gems.
  • The new Arctic Explorer Outfit is available in the Style category of the Gem Store for 700 gems.
  • New Wintersday weapons are available from the Black Lion Weapons Specialist for 1 ticket each.
  • Every Black Lion Chest also includes a guaranteed Personalized Wintersday Gift (for a limited time).
  • The Royal Pass (2 weeks) has returned to the Special category of the Gem Store for 300 gems (for a limited time)
Source: https://forum-en.gui...9290.1418758524 Back to Top

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Introducing the New Daily Achievement System


Arenanet has just announced that the upcoming Wintersday patch (16 December 2014) will include an overhaul of the daily achievement system.  The system is being split into dailies (each with their own rewards), and log-in rewards, which can be acquired simply by logging onto the account and playing.  The rewards now also give context rewards, such as WvW dailies giving more badges, or fractal dailies giving a pristine relic.

The achievement points are also gone from each achievement.  SImply completing three dailies awards you with a daily meta that is worth 10 achievement points.  The daily points are still capped at 10,000.

You can read the full announcement here.

To help accomplish this, we’ve broken the daily achievements into three distinct categories based on their game types: PvE, WvW, and PvP. Additionally, we’ve created a separation of easier achievements like “Killing 3 Players in WvW,” and more challenging ones like “Win 1 Match in PvP as a Mesmer” or “Defeat the Shatterer.” Easier achievements are quicker to accomplish, but harder achievements will give players greater rewards.
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Another year, another Wintersday celebration. And with that, another contest.

This time, we're teaming up with ArenaNet and NCSoft to bring you one of our biggest contests to date.  Starting December 10th, participants will need to craft an original Printable Guild Wars 2 Stencil Design and submit it to our contest email address. Rules, prize details, and other information can be found below, so read up and get crackin' on a stencil design that Ho-Ho-Tron would be proud of.

For some inspiration, check out Zav's work on DeviantArt.


Original Contest submissions must be sent to "[email protected]" before January 20th, 2015 at 9am PST to be eligible to win one set of prizes listed below. Note that the prize pool is shared throughout every participating fansite. Multiple submissions are unnecessary. Only one entry per person. Winners considered minors must sign release form from parent/guardian upon victory. Fansite operators and affiliates are not eligible to win.

Submissions must be in 300dpi using .JPG, .PNG, TIFF or PDF format (note: The minimal size for all entries is A4 format and each entry must be the original digital version of the stencil that can be printed, cut and used directly on a window).

Also include the following information in your email:
  • Your in-game name (Name.1234)
  • The country that you live in

Regional Eligibility


Prizes
  • First place will receive a Guild Wars 2 signed artbook, a signed Rytlock notebook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a black Rytlock T-shirt, a Wintersday card, a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier, and a code for 400 gems.
  • Second place will win a Guild Wars 2 artbook, a Rytlock notebook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a gray Guild Wars 2 T-shirt, a Wintersday card, and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
  • Third place will get a Guild Wars 2 artbook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a gray Guild Wars 2 T-shirt, a Wintersday card, and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
  • Fourth prize includes a Wintersday card, a gray Guild Wars 2 T-shirt, and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
  • Fifth place will be rewarded with a Wintersday card, a gray Guild Wars 2 T-shirt, and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
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Season 2 Returns Jan 13th, Winter's Day, WvW Event, and more.


Arenanet has announced that the Living Story will continue with episode 8 on the 13th of January 2015.  Until then, Wintersday will be active starting the 16th of December 2014, with the event being hosted in Divinity's Reach.  There is also a WvW rule-flip tournament incoming, and a PvP tournament incoming, each providing their own call to the mists buff.  You can read the entire blog post announcement here.

A few months ago, we announced that Guild Wars 2‘s Living World experience was launching on a path that would result in our story-and the whole world of Tyria-reaching a point of no return. We’ve since ventured into the heart of Glint’s lair, discovered secrets in the depths of the Durmand Priory, witnessed the fall of the leader of the Zephyrites, recovered the last known dragon egg only to have it stolen out from under us by a longtime friend, and searched through the first memories of the sylvari race in our hunt to find her.

Our story now finds the Pact’s fleet of airships poised to launch their assault into the jungle, and our band of heroes standing before a sealed cave marked with ancient runes. On January 13, Living World Season 2 will return to take you beyond that seal, and you’ll discover moments that will forever change the course of Tyria.
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Seeds of Truth
The death of the Zephyrite Master of Peace and Caithe’s hasty exit with Glint’s egg have left more questions than answers. Why did Caithe take the egg? And, more importantly, how do you catch a thief?
Achievements
After completing Seeds of Truth, showcase your tactical mastery as a hero of Tyria by completing challenging, episode-related achievements.
Rewards
  • Continue collecting Carapace and Luminescent armor with the addition of heavy, medium, and light boots and leg armor.
    • Earn pieces of Carapace leg armor by completing the Seeds of Truth storyline. Extra pieces can also be purchased for bandit crests.
    • Carapace boots can be found in Lost Bandit Chests. Additionally, players who receive the Boot Requisition Order will be able to purchase boot pieces for bandit crests.
  • Recipes to craft ascended Sinister armor and weapons are now available.
    • Named for the fabled necromancer Verata, the inscription and insignia recipes can be purchased for bandit crests.
    • Recipes for weapons and armor can be found in recipe books in Lost Bandit Chests throughout the Silverwastes.
  • New and exciting treasures can be found in Lost Bandit Chests.
    • Players who find the Essence of Time will be able to create the new focus, Eternal Sands, in the Mystic Forge.
    • Mini Mordrem Thrashers and Endless Mordrem Thrasher Tonics may be found.
  • Bandit crest collectors have several new offerings.
    • Endless Mordrem Husk Tonic
    • Mini Mordrem Husk
    • Mordrem Fang Extraction Device
    • Bag of Rare Gear
  • Complete the Drydock Scratch jumping puzzle to find a Magnificent Chest that contains masterwork and rare gear, empyreal fragments, patchwork knapsacks, jewels, and a chance to find the new welding torch.
NEW FEATURES AND CONTENT
Arenas
  • Team and Solo Arena have been merged into Ranked Arena.
    • A party of any size can queue, including solo players.
    • Player statistics from Team Arena and Solo Arena have been combined to create Ranked Arena stats.
    • Legacy Team and Solo Arena stats can be viewed in the PvP panel.
    • Rewards are unchanged.
  • Unranked Arena has been added.
    • A party of any size can queue, including solo players.
    • Rewards are now the same as Ranked Arena.
  • All maps are available for play in Ranked Arena and Unranked Arena.
    • During the leaderboard test season, ranked play will have a limited set of maps.
Matchmaking and Leaderboards
  • Matchmaking will take into account other parameters in addition to matchmaking rating (MMR), such as largest group size and team composition.
  • Leaderboards will no longer use MMR as a basis. Instead, players will earn ladder points based on the quality of the matches they participate in.
Match Accept
  • Ranked Arena and Unranked Arena matches will now prompt players to accept the match before it can start.
  • The client will flash and play an alert sound when matches are ready.
  • Declining or failing to accept a match prompt within the time limit will cause players to accumulate dishonor and be prevented from queuing for a short period of time.
Map Selection
  • Players can now vote for the map they would like to play after accepting a match prompt.
  • The list of selectable maps is randomly generated.
  • The final map is picked via weighted roll. The more a map is picked by players, the higher the chance that map will be chosen.
Dishonor
  • Declining or not accepting a match prompt for Ranked Arena or Unranked Arena will result in dishonor and a timeout.
  • Disconnecting at any time during a running Ranked Arena or Unranked Arena game will result in dishonor and a timeout.
    • Players must continue playing the game on reconnect.
  • When dishonor is given, an immediate timeout is also applied. During a timeout, Ranked Arena and Unranked Arena are unavailable.
  • Timeout duration increases as dishonor accumulates on an account.
General
  • Rosters have been removed. Players will now queue with their party.
  • Banker, trading post, and laurel vendor NPCs have been added to the Heart of the Mists.
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
General
  • Megaserver: Joining a party member while playing on a map in which your guild has an active mission with an ongoing reservation in place will no longer silently fail.
Items
  • Gastronom Plikk in Rata Sum now sells the Vintner’s Guide used to unlock the Fine Wining item-collection achievement.
  • The Observational Zymology Manual used to unlock the Brewmaster item collection is now available for purchase from many bartenders around Tyria.
Structured Player vs. Player
  • The PvP panel stats tab has been reskinned.
  • Scoreboard UI has been reskinned.
  • Ready Button UI has been reskinned.
  • Autobalance UI has been reskinned.
World vs. World
  • Fixed an issue that prevented player pets from attacking gates in Edge of the Mists.
  • Reduced the radius of the Siege Disabler trick from 450 to 300.
  • Increased the skill recharge of the Siege Disabler from 5 seconds to 45 seconds.
  • Decreased the duration of the Siege Disabler trick from 45 seconds to 35 seconds. The duration on Siege Golems remains unchanged.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
New Items and Promotions
  • Glint’s Winter Dye Kit is now available in the Special category of the Gem Store for 125 gems.
  • The Black Lion Chest drops have been updated. Keys are available in the Special category of the Gem Store for 125 gems each.
    • Added a new Teleport to Friend consumable as an uncommon drop. This consumable will take you directly to a party member in PvE.
    • Home instance unlocks for orichalcum ore, elder wood logs, omnomberries, snow truffles, and lotuses have been added as very rare drops.
  • Winter’s weapons have returned to the Black Lion Weapon Specialists for the price of 2 Black Lion Claim Tickets each.
  • The Wintersday Minis 3-Pack, Toy Golem, Toy Soldier, Plush Griffon, Princess Doll, Toy Ventari, and Fancy Winter Outfit have all returned to the Gem Store this year.
Mail Carrier Customization in the Wardrobe
  • Mail carriers have been added to the Equipment section of the Hero panel for accounts with a character higher than level 71.
  • Once unlocked, players can select the default mail carrier for every character on their account to receive mail from the game or send their mail to other players.
  • When sending mail, a one-time mail carrier can be selected from the Compose mail dialog, affecting only the current mail being sent.
  • The currently selected mail carrier and additional options can be previewed in the Hero panel.
  • A new Griffon Mail Carrier is available in the Upgrades category of the Gem Store for 500 gems.
Improvements
  • The Replica Job-o-Tron Backpack will stop talking when the Hide/Unhide check box is unchecked.
Source: https://forum-en.gui...December-2-2014 Back to Top