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Today, ArenaNet posted that there are new items in the Gem Store, however I don't see them just yet, so don't open your BLC's until the patch is out. I'll update this post with gem prices once they're available.

Update: Hi-yo! Patch is live, but the Gem Store is in maintenance mode. If you already have some keys, feel free to open your chests up!
  • Aetherblade Armors (800 Posted Image each): The summer season is kicking into gear, which means it’s time to update your wardrobe! The Black Lion Trading Company is pleased to present our new line of Aetherblade armor skins, complete with full heavy, medium, and light sets.
  • Custom Arena Starter Kits (1600 Posted Image): Start honing your battle skills today with the help of our custom PvP arenas! Custom arenas allow players to host private matches and customize their match settings. These starter kits are now available for all players to purchase.
  • New in the Black Lion Chests – Tybalt Plush Backpack (keys: 125 Posted Image or 5/450 Posted Image): We’ve introduced a new item to Black Lion Chests – now every chest has a rare chance at a Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw plush backpack! This fuzzy backpack is especially well-suited for holding apples.
  • Leaving Soon – Free Accessory (free): Biviane Marriner’s little doll, Polla, is only in the Gem Store until July 1. Stop by the Upgrades category today to pick up this free accessory item!

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Just a mere two weeks after the Dragon Bash flew into Lion's Arch, we now have another new living story build that we were able to get our grubby little claws on. This update contains a mix of temporary and permanent content, so there's little rush to  get everything done within this two week period. Below you'll find an overview of the content launching tomorrow, as well as some screenshots and news about the Sea of Sorrows novel that is also being released tomorrow.

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Despite the murder during the festival's effigy lighting ceremony, the Dragon Bash continues to run as scheduled. However, the investigation that has been quietly running in the background has finally made some significant progress. With the culprit in the sights of the Lionguard, players will team up with Inspector Ellen Keil as they find themselves in the middle of an invasion of sky pirates. Get ready for the Aetherblades.

The meat of the update is the new Aetherblade Retreat story dungeon. Much like the dungeon shown in the Flame and Frost story arc, this dungeon has been designed to introduce important mechanics in phases to prepare players for the boss encounters inside. One moment players will find themselves moving through a corridor of laser force-fields, and later the very same piece of inquest technology will build in intensity to provide a hectic challenge. This design strategy once again works itself cleanly into the content, so hopefully the trend continues and evolves as more dungeons get introduced (and reworked) into the game. The dungeon takes roughly 45 minutes for the standard group to push through, though I was told there are a few crazy achievements stuck in there for those of you who want to squeeze as much out of it as you can before it leaves on the 9th.

Now, I don't want to spoil the dungeon too much, but in between Aetherblade assassinations I was able to snag a few screenshots of what you all can expect to find once the build goes live tomorrow.


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Many of you have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the third Guild Wars book to hit store shelves for several years now, and finally it's just around the corner. Written by ArenaNet's very own Ree Soesbee, Sea of Sorrows covers the period of reconstruction for Lion's Arch and the life of the new city's eventual founder, Cobiah Marriner. Lore junkies will no doubt sink their teeth into the pages the first chance they get, but this time there's a pretty nifty in-game tie-in to make what's sweet even sweeter. Players will be able launch Guild Wars 2 and visit plaques left behind by Cobiah during the events of the Sea of Sorrows book. For maximum enjoyment, stay away from the wiki and experience the hunt in its natural form. Rushing through this hunt will do nothing except slightly increase your growing pile of skill points.

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Also, if you haven't checked out our contest for a signed copy of the book yet, head over here to get your name in the hat before the deadline!

As far as the gem store goes, this is the update that includes the new Aetherblade armors. After last preview's misunderstanding, I have definite developer confirmation that these will be available on June 25th and a bunch of images for the new armors as well. Also, if you haven't grabbed your rich dragon coffers, fireworks, or the holographic mini pet packs yet, those will all be leaving within 2-3 weeks.

[Aetherblade Light] [Aetherblade Medium] [Aetherblade Heavy]


Aside from all of this, don't forget about the miscellaneous updates that will be included in this build. Custom arenas and Spectator Mode are officially out of beta, the mortar skill line is being added to World Vs World, and the giant trait and skill update will be introduced as well. The official update page also makes note of a new jumping puzzle that will be available just a week after this first update hits, so mark your calendars for July 1st and get some practice in beforehand (or befriend a mesmer)!

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Who Are the Aetherblades?


A blog post by Arenanet's Steve Hwang outlines the Aetherblades, the new enemies that appeared during the Dragon Bash.  These sky pirates are making their bigger debute in the upcoming game update/chapter.  Read the blog post here!


The Dragon Bash was in full swing in Lion’s Arch, with citizens gleefully bashing dragon piñatas, eating Zhaitaffy, and shooting fireworks. Everyone was enjoying the festival – until tragedy struck at the effigy lighting ceremony. After tampering with an effigy to make it emit an arcane pulse, the Aetherblades descended from the sky with Inquest golems to ambush the council and kill one of its members. If not for the bravery of heroes who aided the Lionguard, many more councilmembers would’ve been lost. But be wary: the Aetherblades have just begun to permeate Tyria.
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This Friday June 21 through Sunday June 23, Evon Gnashblade is slashing the price of Total Makeover Kits, Name Change Contracts, and Transmutation Crystals – everything you need to update your look! Pick these items up for 20% off all through the weekend. [Source]
  • Total Makeover Kits: 280 Posted Image or 5/1120 Posted Image
  • Name Change Contracts: now 640 Posted Image
  • Transmutation Crystals: 5/160 Posted Image or 10/288 Posted Image or 25/640 Posted Image
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Hey everyone! With a big thank you to ArenaNet and NCsoft, we have five copies of Sea of Sorrows, signed by Ree Soesbee, to give away to the community! To put your name into the hat, the following conditions must be met:
  • You must be living in the US (sorry EU!)
  • You must reply to this thread and tell us about your best Guild Wars 2 experience so far (in-game and out-of-game stories are accepted!)
That's it! Submissions will be taken throughout the weekend (ending June 23rd at midnight pacific) and names will be drawn and announced on June 25th. Good luck and I can't wait to read your stories! Back to Top

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Sea of Sorrows is Available for Preorder!



Arenanet has just announced that the latest Guild Wars 2 novel, Sea of Sorrows (by Ree Soesbee), can be pre-ordered today!  Check out the announcement page for all the latest details, and you can pre-order the novel here.

The lost kingdom of Orr lies beneath the ocean waves, an entire civilization swallowed by an ancient cataclysm. For centuries, the depths have lain dormant, those ancient secrets lost.

Until now.

The Elder Dragon Zhaitan has risen. In its wake, the drowned kingdom of Orr is reborn—and another is destroyed. The city of Lion’s Arch, for generations a cornerstone of civilization in Tyria, is brutally swept beneath the waves, leaving nothing but ruins. Among the survivors is Cobiah Marriner, a human sailor shipwrecked by the tsunami and stranded at sea. When he is rescued by a ferocious charr, Cobiah knows that he’s been plunged into a world forever changed.

Now, Zhaitan’s undead servants dominate the sea, destroying port after port and slaughtering anything in their path. In the midst of ruin, Cobiah vows to see Lion’s Arch rebuilt. Amid the storm of the dragon’s rising, Cobiah must become a hero to his crew and an admiral to the pirate fleet, and face the ghosts of his past. Only then will he master the Sea of Sorrows and crush the armada of Orr.
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Today we have a new blog post written by Jonathan Sharp about upcoming skill and trait changes. You can catch the full article here, but I'll list the highlights below:
  • Traits have been balanced more: traits that were less effective will now be more desirable, traits have been shuffled and merged, new Grandmaster traits
  • Necromancers gain a 5th Death Shroud ability called Tainted Shackles which will allow the necro to control nearby condition-inflicted enemies if they don't act quickly
  • New condition for some professions (mesmer, thief, necro(?)): Torment, which is a DoT and moving makes it worse (increases in intensity)
  • Weakness condition change: will now cause all hits (crit & non-crits) to have a chance to become a glancing blow
  • Stun breakers were spread out in utility skills to help diversify builds

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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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