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The next living story content, Sky Pirates of Tyria, is expected to go live on June 25th.  ArenaNet has provided a preview of what to expect on Tuesday, but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any more information we're bound to uncover before then.

  • New Story Dungeon: Aetherblade Retreat – Find the hidden entrance to the Aetherblade base and take the fight to the pirates. It’ll take skill, courage, and no small measure of agility to battle through to the Aetherblade Captain and First Mate.
  • Sea of Sorrows Scavenger Hunt: In this new, permanent content, players search for clues to the locations of 12 plaques that have been set up to honor the history of the city and its founder, in the novel Sea of Sorrows by our very own Ree Soesbee, narrative designer, ArenaNet, hitting store shelves and Amazon on Tuesday, June 25.
  • New Rewards: A variety of new rewards are available, including Aetherblade caches, a First Mate Horrik miniature companion, a stylish monocle and more.
  • Skill and Trait Balance Update: The largest balance patch ever is being introduced in this build, which includes significant updates to traits and skills to introduce more viable build diversity. Every profession trait line is seeing changes.  Updates also have been made to some less popular skills to improve their effectiveness.
  • Custom Arenas and Spectator Mode leaves Beta: Custom PvP arenas allow players to host private matches, and customize their map settings. This feature is leaving beta, which means that Custom Arena Starter Kits will be available for anyone to purchase in the Gem Store. Spectator Mode also is officially out of beta. Together, these two features allow for practice, competitive play and tournaments.
  • Mortar Mastery Joins the Growing List of World vs. World Abilities: Players can increase their mortar effectiveness by training in Mortar Mastery. Improvements in this line include increasing mortar blast radius, beefing up on damage, reducing skill recharge, and even adding a new skill, Mortar Barrage.

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June 18th Addendum
Starting Tuesday, June 18th
  • The Dragon Effigy Lighting Ceremony single-player instance, Memorials on the Pyre, can be accessed by talking to Inspector Kiel.
  • Festival planners have added effigies to the explorable areas leading to Lion’s Arch. Players who dance before the effigies will be granted a health bonus of up to 10%.
  • What better way of celebrating Dragon Bash than with an epic fireworks display? This bundle provides 10 charges of red, blue, green, and yellow display fireworks, as well as a one-time dragon fireworks finale which grants 50% magic find boost to all nearby allies watching the show.
    • Note: We understand how exciting fireworks can be, but if you drop the bundle you will lose all remaining charges of the display fireworks. If you had not used the finale fireworks, a bundle will be created at your feet that, if recovered, will allow you to still use the one-time dragon finale.
Starting Wednesday, June 19th
  • A new story character, Marjory Delaqua, can be found in the Dead End Bar, a single-player instance in the Eastern Commons of Divinity’s Reach.
  • A new cinematic will introduce Marjory Delaqua in talks with Logan Thackeray.
  • The Scene of the Crime, a single-player story instance, opens June 19th. Investigator Kiel will allow access when the story is progressed.
    • Players with Fast-Cast Ground Targeting enabled will need to stand nearly on top of the target to use the Investigation Kit.
  • Three of the missing suspects can be found in Lion’s Arch, the Gendarran Fields, and the Bloodtide Coast.
Starting Thursday, June 20th
  • The last two missing suspects can be found in the Snowden Drifts and the Caledon Forest.
  • After finding all the suspects, Inspector Kiel will grant the player access again to The Scene of the Crime to finish the story.
  • Returning to the Dead End Bar reveals extra follow-up conversations with Marjory and Kasmeer.
UPDATES
LIVING WORLD
  • The hotfix will correctly set the meta achievement requirement for The Dragon Bash Experience to 8. And players who complete 8 of the required achievements will be rewarded the Holographic Shattered Dragon Wings skin.
BUGFIXES
  • Fixed various server crashes.
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Colin Johanson on Fractals and Fractal updates


Colin Johanson made some posts on the official forums regarding the Fractal of the Mists dungeon and upcoming updates.  He outlines how Fractals fill the historical role within GW2, and compares it to the Bonus Mission Pack from Guild Wars 1.  He also continues to outline that any future Fractal updates will also update the reward system surrounding it.

We feel like our fractals dungeon is the perfect fit for this kind of “historical” experience, similar to the way the BMP worked in Gw1. Even better, it already exists and has explanations behind why these slices of time are available to discover and experience within.
In the future, you’ll see certain types of content that was part of larger story experiences be updated to work within the fractals dungeon and return there where it makes sense to do so.

Of course, the specific rewards and achievements will not return since those are intended to be completed as the story unfolds, but the content itself will be used to expand out our fractals experience and serve as a place to continue to experience great (and strange) moments in history.

Any updates to the fractals will need to include additional update to the reward systems as well, agreed.

As for the jet pack, those specific rewards are intended as limited rewards you can only earn during that time, thus making them valuable. It wouldn’t be fair to the people who did earn jet packs for us to bring them back, and suddenly undercut their value entirely.

And yeah that F&F dungeon updated for size would make a good fractal wouldn’t it?
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To help you celebrate Dragon Bash, there are a couple new items available in the gem store, along with a warning that the ability to purchase the Consortium Harvesting Sickle is coming to an end:
  • Dragon's Fortune Fireworks (200 Posted Image or 5/800 Posted Image): A celebration just isn’t the same without personal explosives! A bundle of these fancy firecrackers will give you ten each of red, blue, green, and yellow fireworks to light off. As an added bonus, we’ve thrown in a special finale firework – set it off to share a Magic Find Boost with nearby part-goers! (Not available in WvW)
  • Marriner's Horn (800 Posted Image): The Black Lion Trading Company is proud to introduce the Marriner’s Horn. This permanent musical instrument is a perfect way to delight your fellow Dragon Bashers while showing off your Lion’s Arch pride.
  • Last Chance for the Consortium Harvesting Sickle (800 Posted Image): This permanent harvesting sickle, brought to you by the tireless efforts of The Consortium, is almost out of stock. Pick one up today and never worry about replacing your harvesting sickle again!
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This morning Colin Johanson answered a question from the community about if there are any plans to revitalize Orr. What was his answer? To put it simply, yes.

There are indeed!

We’ve had a lot of feedback from folks asking for more difficult places in the game that can be more rewarding to play in. Our intent with Orr (and Southsun) is to create areas that are more fun/difficult for groups to play through event chains, with events that scale better when larger groups of players show up than the rest of the game, rather than the old versions that fell apart when more than a group or so of players showed up.

Thus the continual updates this year to make the creatures in Orr have more varied skills, the swap over to the new event scaling system that creates veterans/champions as content scales up, and the updates to Southsun to have more playable content. The one thing that’s really missing is the rewards to help make playing in these locations more even exciting and rewarding than they are now.

We want champions to be more rewarding, so places like Orr/Southsun where events can scale up to create champions become one of the more fun and rewarding places in the game to play, since events there can be champion on demand generators to an extent. We’d also like to tie in additional unique rewards to the temple chains, to make those more worthwhile and differentiate them from the giant boss encounters (which we’ll also be upgrading to be more exciting) to give a reason to do each in a day. We’d also like to add more value and use to blue/green items, so things like killing vets feels more rewarding when those type of items drop when doing those events in Orr as well.

And of course, we’d like to remove culling from PvE as well so you can experience these events in all their glory when they do scale up.

We’ll go into specifics on all of this in an updated version of the Gw2 in 2013 blog post sometime in July focusing on our plan for the 2nd half of the year and how we plan to improve the core game experience. As a reminder, you can find the original detailing our high level plan here: https://www.guildwar...e-months-ahead/

He later on mentions that there are no plans to add new currencies because the game already has plenty of those. He also goes on to answer another question about reverting the changes that made Orr empty in the first place:

It’s certainly one of the options we discussed, however it brings us right back to the initial problem we set out to solve, a large part of the player base was asking for more exciting and difficult open world content in our top end areas. The original version of Orr events were painfully easy, they didn’t scale well, mobs evaporated into thin-air and you had to race to even get a hit in before they died to get credit for kills.

The ideal balance point we’d like to have is with the scaling and more exciting encounters we have now, so it’s actually fun and at least remotely challenging to play there, but also rewarding as well. The reward systems we want to roll out to support those areas are part of a larger reward revamp and aren’t done yet, but are on their way and tie more strongly into the comprehensive system we’re trying to develop, thus the swap.

In regards to regular mobs hitting for insane damage, we did find a bug about a month ago causing many of them to scale way out of proportion, it has since been fixed and normal bosses in Orr should be doing damage on par with other bosses in the game. If you find any that are still nutso, please give us a shout, the intent is they should be fun/challenging, not one-hit-wonders.

Hope that helps give more insight into what we’re trying to do here, these changes are directly tied to feedback we’ve received. You don’t have to agree with them, but it’s important we explain why we’re doing them so folks understand the end goal, which I don’t believe we’ve reached yet until the rewards are there as well.

And now off to do that work thing, thanks for the feedback folks, as always keep it coming we really appreciate it!

We'll be awaiting that blog post in July, Colin! Back to Top

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Coming up this Tuesday, the Dragon Bash festivities continue with the Effigy Lighting Ceremony; a new single-player instance appropriately named Memories on the Pyre. Several races across Tyria will gather to set fire to effigies as a tribute to those who have fallen to the dragons as well as reinforce their desire to fight them. So far, the confirmed guest-list includes a kodan, hylek, and an asura named Izurri, but more are sure to tag along for the event. It's also noted that the ceremony will introduce the next phase of the Dragon Bash storyline, so you'll definitely want to keep your eyes peeled on that front!

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These representatives and more have gathered in Lion’s Arch to pay tribute to those who have fallen and to strengthen their resolve to not live in fear of the dragons, to unite to bring them down. Magnus the Bloody-handed will be around to crack jokes, and Captains “Bonny” Anne Reid, Tokk, and Theo Ashford will pump up the crowd for the ceremonial lighting.

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LIVING WORLD
Dragon Bash
The Ship’s Council of Lion’s Arch is sponsoring Dragon Bash, a celebration of the Tyrian spirit and resolve to defeat the elder dragons. Bash on dragon piñatas in cities and shoot fireworks at the giant holographic Shatterer dragon projected over Lion’s Arch. Revel in activities such as the Dragon Ball Arena and bet on moa racing. Across the countryside, players will discover mini-projectors that will test their mettle versus holographic dragon minions!
The celebration includes two must-see events: The fireworks show during the first weekend repeats every two hours, and attendees who watch the finale will receive a dragon helm. Then the week after, players can enter the effigy ceremony and witness the cultural representatives as they join the Captain’s Council in burning the dragon effigies in the Grand Piazza of Lion’s Arch. It promises to be an exciting time for all.
“Bash the dragon! Smash the dragon! May it never rise up again!”
General
  • Dragon Coffers have been added to the list of potential loot drops for all creatures in the world.
Lion’s Arch
  • Lion’s Arch has been decorated with Dragon Bash decorations. A projector has been set up, where the Lion’s statue normally resides, to display the holographic Shatterer dragon that will circle the city. Zommoros has dressed up for the occasion, and various kites, posters, torches, and targets have been placed throughout the city. Firework launchers have also been added for players to join in the celebration.
  • Players can enter the new Dragon Ball Arena activity, which takes place in the sewer beneath the city, by talking with Finolla in the Mystic Court.
  • In Farshore Ward, players can bet on their favorite moa to win in the moa race and win various prizes.
  • The Captain’s Council will appear in the Grand Piazza to inform and direct players to all of the Dragon Bash festivities.
Explorable Areas Leading to Lion’s Arch
  • The explorable areas leading up to Lion’s Arch (Queensdale, Kessex Hills, Brisbane Wildlands, Caledon Forest, Metrica Province, Plains of Asford, Diessa Plateau, Wayfarer Foothills, Snowden Drifts and Gendarran Fields) has been seeded with mini hologram projectors that will create hologram minions to bash. In addition to normal loot drops, these minions have a greater chance of dropping Dragon Coffers and candy.
  • A new rock formation now appears in the Gendarran Fields.
All Major Cities
  • Heralds have been updated to announce the arrival of the Dragon Bash festival.
  • Dragon piñatas can now be found in all of the major cities for players to bash and collect festival candy.
Fireworks Event
  • During the first weekend, between 9am PDT June 14 and 9am PDT June 17th, a grand fireworks show will repeat every two hours. Players who witness the finale will be awarded a container holding three account-bound commemorative dragon helms, one for each armor class in the game.
Achievements
  • A new Dragon Bash category has been added for achievements involving the Dragon Bash festivities.
  • The Dragon Bash Experience meta-achievement will reward a set of Holographic Shattered Dragon Wings back item skin for players who have completed 10 out of the 14 total Dragon Bash achievements (Case Closed not included).
  • Fourteen new Dragon Bash festival achievements have been added. Please note that The Big Boom in the Big City, Case Closed, the Ceremony and Acrimony achievement line, and Burn Down The Dragons cannot be completed until additional Dragon Bash content is unlocked at a later time.
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
General
  • Added a new combat/movement toggle option: “Right-Click to Attack/Interact”.
World Polish
  • Living World
    • The chest that spawns after the Crazed Karka Queen is defeated is no longer limited to once a day.
  • Bloodtide Coast
    • Living Covington Pirates should no longer respawn when the player helps Bill and Hekja fight Risen Pirates.
  • Straits of Devastation
    • The Champion Ooze in the Zho’qafa event has been demoted to a veteran.
Personal Story
  • “Bad Blood”:
    • There is now a slight delay between the time the wind starts up and when it knocks the player off the wall. The audio cue has also been cleaned up to make it clearer.
  • “They Went Thataway”:
    • The Ministry guard now appears at the base of the stairs.
Items
  • Globs of Ectoplasm can now be salvaged into Piles of Crystalline Dust. This change should help Globs of Ectoplasm maintain a strong value in the economy and lower the cost of Crystalline Dust.
  • Master Tuning Crystals, Master Maintenance Oil, and Superior Sharpening Stone recipes now take more Piles of Crystalline Dust to craft. This change is to help these consumables maintain a high value with the new influx of dust.
Profession Skills
General:
  • Fixed a bug that caused sigils to be removed when the player died while transformed.
  • Fixed a bug that let teleport skills teleport players through certain walls, most notably the clock tower’s walls in The Battle of Khylo.
  • Fixed a bug that made line-of-sight checks frequently succeed when they shouldn’t.
  • Fixed a bug where skills that draw allied conditions would instantly cure any condition that was self-inflicted.
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  • Signet of Restoration:
    • This skill now has its cooldown reduced by the Signet Mastery in PvP.
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  • Parasitic Bond:
    • The healing from this trait will now display properly in the combat log.
  • Reaper’s Might:
    • Removed misleading text.
  • Reaper’s Touch:
    • Fixed a bug with this ability’s damage that caused an inconsistency when not traited with Spiteful Talisman. Damage while un-traited has been increased by 50%.
  • Spectral Grasp:
    • This ability will now pull the full 1200 range, instead of 900.
  • Spiteful Talisman:
    • This trait now works with Reaper’s Touch in PvE.
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  • Coral Shot:
    • This ability now lists bleeding dealt at different ranges. Bleeding damage has been increased from a maximum of 2 to a maximum of 4 at a range of 900.
  • Signet of the Hunt:
    • This ability now displays a skill fact for the damage increase of its active effect.
  • Quicksand with Stone Spirit:
    • This skill’s facts will now display properly.
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  • Counterblow:
    • This skill now has a range fact.
  • Endure Pain:
    • Updated the text of this skill and its buff to make it clearer.
  • Versatile Rage:
    • The effects of this trait will now only trigger once every 5 seconds.
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  • Strength of the Fallen:
    • Fixed a bug with this trait that makes it lose health 33% slower while downed instead of the previous 11%.
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  • Explosive Powder:
    • This trait now functions with detonating turrets.
  • Reserve Mines:
    • This trait now functions with other traits, such as Shrapnel, Steel Packed Powder, and Forceful Explosives. In addition, fixed a bug that caused the mines to not strip boons correctly. Explosive radius has been increased from 60 to 120.
  • Rifled Turret Barrels:
    • This trait no longer makes Rocket Turret fire invisible rockets.
  • Toss Elixir R:
    • All of the effects of this skill are now normalized to the correct radius of 180 units. Previously, some actions were only effective at 120 units.
  • Toss Elixir U:
    • This profession skill now functions with Acidic Elixir.
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  • Blurred Frenzy:
    • Updated the duration tooltip to indicate the actual duration of the evasion.
Structured Player vs. Player
  • Added a menu for custom arenas to reset to standard or tournament defaults from the configuration UI.
  • Added a name and owner search box to the game browser.
  • Added a default filter to the game browser to search for recently joined custom arenas.
  • Fixed a bug with ratings that caused inaccurate updates when players left before the end of a match.
  • Updated the matchmaking algorithm to better match new players.
  • Updated the ratings algorithm to reduce volatility.
  • Updated the profession icons on the map to use brighter team colors.
World vs. World
  • World Ability Points have been refunded to all players who earned them. Changes were made to Arrow Cart Mastery, allowing players to reallocate their points. This is a one-time reset.
  • Arrow Cart Mastery skills have had their range reduced to be better in balance with other siege weapons.
  • The WvW Ranks and Abilities tab now displays how many bonus rank-up chests a character has remaining.
  • Superior Siege and Omega Golem blueprints now have different icons from regular siege blueprints.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE

New Items and Promotions
  • The Rich Dragon Coffer is now available in the Consumable category of the Gem Store for 100 gems each, or 5 for 400 gems and 25 for 2,000 gems. This special festival box always contains Dragon Bash candy and also has a chance to contain fireworks, a Mini Holographic Risen Knight, and rarely a Dragon’s Jade Weapon Skin Ticket. Rich Dragon Coffers contain all the same items as the Dragon Coffers* *that drop commonly from Dragon Bash enemies, but have better chances at rare items.
  • The Dragon Bash Mini Pack is now available in the Minis category of the Gem Store for 500 gems. The Dragon Bash Mini Pack contains three exclusive holographic minis to commemorate the Dragon Bash festival. If you place all three minis from the Dragon Bash Mini Pack in the Mystic Forge along with the Mini Holographic Risen Knight (which can be obtained from either Rich Dragon Coffers or Dragon Coffers), you will receive a Mini Holographic Colossus.
  • Polla, Biviane’s doll, is now available in the Upgrades category of the Gem Store. This special doll commemorating Cobiah’s sister can be equipped in the accessory slot and is available for free to all players.
  • Named after Lion’s Arch’s founder, Cobiah Marriner, the Marriner’s Horn is a permanent instrument themed for spreading festive tunes.
UPDATED NOTES
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
  • Fixed a client crash during combat while transforming.
Living World
  • Dead players will no longer be left out when their team scores the win in Dragon Ball.
  • Tigg has become wise to attempts to rig his races! He has made the Moas more determined than ever to avoid this corruption!
  • Fixed a bug on the PvP version of the Dragon’s Jade weapons which disabled the upgrade slot.
  • The mystery Moa is now counted as part of The Winner’s Circle Achievement.
  • “Delete Me” Achievement Category has been… deleted.
  • Food consumables will no longer affect players in Dragon Ball.
  • Fixed an issue with Piñatas where players could interrupt each other and not get candy or achievement.
  • Fixed a bug where achievements were not being properly rewarded for activities.
WvW
  • Fixed an error that prevented the World Ability Point reset from taking effect. Players with spent world ability points have had their points refunded.
Living World
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Utility buffs to be used in Dragon Ball Arena.
  • Fixed a bug where the giant Holo Dragon in Lion’s Arch would freeze for some players when they got far from it.
  • Fixed an issue with the Piñatas where players could interrupt each other preventing players from getting candy or achievement progress.
  • Increased the health of all Holo Dragon Minions that appear from the Holo Projectors located around the world.
  • Changed the rarity of the Mini Holographic Risen Knight from Rare to Masterwork to reflect the actual value of the item.
  • Fixed a bug where the icon and chest of the Karka queen’s reward would persist on the map. The chest will now go away after five minutes.
  • Fixed a bug that could block the Meta event in Southsun.

GW2DB UPDATED

Skill Changes
Trait Changes
Achievement Changes

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Unless you've been living under a karka-sized rock for the past month, you've probably heard something about the upcoming Dragon Bash holiday event. An evolution of the Dragon Festival celebrated in the original Guild Wars, the Dragon Bash will introduce several new goodies and activities that will no doubt keep even the least festive spirit going for hours. Whether you have your eye on one (or all) of the new Jade weapon skins, or just want to kill a few hours a day in the Dragon Ball arena, in traditional Guild Wars fashion, the Dragon Bash gives something for everybody to sink their teeth into.

Goodies
What would a Guild Wars festival be without the mountains of goodies to collect? With collectibles ranging from weapons to fireworks to new sets of armor, you'll need to have a game plan ready to maximize your Zhaitaffy collection over these next few weeks. Be sure to remember that many of the items that can be collected during the festival can be traded on the trading post, including the mini pets and dragon wings collected from the dragon coffers scattered throughout the game world.

The Zhaitaffy merchant will remain in the game after the event's conclusion, so if you're out of town for the summer, you don't have to worry about missing everything. However, there are a few time-restricted items such as the Dragon Helm, which is rewarded for sitting through one of the fireworks shows throughout the duration of the event.

And yes, the new jade weapon skins are amazing.

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Moa Racing
Here you have a simple betting game using traditional game currency. Fifty silver grants you one bet for one of five moa racers. Once your bet has been placed, you can either find the best vantage point to cheer on your chosen racer, or, if standing still isn't your thing, run along side them throughout the course. Whichever you choose, be sure to remain in the area to avoid forfeiting your silver. While the entrance fee may seem a tad steep for some players, your moa only needs to come in second place for you to break even, and considering there are only five racers to begin with, the odds aren't too bad at all. However, if you've got your eye on the limited edition dragon bash themed moa mini pet, you'll want to have some extra cash on hand to keep those reward vouchers pouring in.




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Keep in mind that while the festive elements of this activity will leave at the conclusion of the celebration, Moa Racing will become a permanent edition to the world. The previously mentioned mini pet will be replaced with a standard yellow moa, so if you want to add it to your collection make sure you don't drag your feet!

Dragon Ball!
Presented in 5v5 deathmatch format, Dragon Ball is a fast-paced battle of reflexes. Upon entering the arena (and upon every revival), players are given a speed buff and a skill in their number one slot. While the main goal of the game is to smash your way to 500 points before the other team, you're going to want to pay attention to your surroundings as you fight. Upgrades are scattered throughout the playing field and grant new skills that remain until death, jump pads launch combatants skyward and forward across the map's layered format, and health orbs will decide who lives and who dies. The relatively short revival window means teammate resurrection only exists as a window of opportunity for your opponent to get the jump on you.

Once the bloodbath has subsided, the winning team will be given a dragon coffer that could contain some pretty nifty goodies. The losing team, in addition to the salty tears of defeat, is given Zhaitaffy to ease the pain.

Gem Store
As far as the gem store goes, there are a couple of items that will be introduced with the festival. Three new minis will be wrapped up in a pack of three for you to purchase. If any of you remember the halloween set, you can also throw these guys into the Mystic Forge to obtain a special fourth mini. Keep in mind that while the mini pets obtained from the gem store's Rich Dragon Coffers will be account bound, a tradable version of the exact same mini pets can be found in the regular dragon coffers. The next item is the Marriner's Horn, which is very similar to the Choir Bells that could be obtained during Wintersday last year. The horn is unlimited, so all of you who ripped apart those pesky RNG boxes to find an unbreakable Choir Bell can rest easy.

Holiday events create some of the most memorable moments players will have, and the Dragon Bash is no exception. Aside from the moody atmosphere and shiny goodies to collect, it's the perfect time to sit back and have a good time with your friends, guildies, and the community. I hope you're all as excited as I am for the build to hit the live servers on the 11th so things can really get started.

Who knows? Maybe I'll get the chance to destroy some of you in Dragon Ball ;) Back to Top

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Today, Allie Murdock, PvP Community Coordinator, has written a short blog article on the upcoming shoutcaster program that we learned about recently, which you can check out here.

In the Guild Wars 2 Authorized Shoutcaster Program, when highly rated teams are matched-up in rated play, authorized shoutcasters will receive a notification and be allowed to enter that match as a live spectator to bring you all the action. Since the shoutcasters will be watching the matches live, their video streams will be delayed so that it doesn’t impact the results of the match.

In addition to being given the special privilege of entering into rated play, authorized shoutcasters will be given a Custom Arena to assist them in hosting matches and or creating their own shows.

The first set of authorized shoutcasters was selected based on their contributions to the PvP community via shoutcasting and a current list can be found on the Guild Wars 2 forums.
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