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Cracks in the Ice

15 November 2016 - 05:39 PM


Cracks in the Ice

Arenanet has announced through the press channels that the next Living Story episode, titled "Cracks in the Ice," will launch on 21 November 2016.  The release includes a new map in the shiverpeaks, and a new nightmare fractal.  The press release is found below.  


“The next episode of Living World Season 3, A Crack in the Ice, is coming next Monday, November 21. The season follows the aftermath of Heart of Thorns – a flood of unbound magic, the rise of two Elder Dragons, and the birth of the dragon Glint’s child, Aurene. In “A Crack in the Ice,” players will follow that story into the Northern Shiverpeaks, territory of the Elder Dragon Jormag. Along with “A Crack in the Ice” comes the brand-new Nightmare fractal. This five-person, instanced dungeon takes players on an upward climb through a massive tower, which is heavily guarded by powerful abominations and their toxic experiments.”

Rising Flames Release

20 September 2016 - 05:12 PM


Rising Flames Release

Arenanet released the newest Living World update today, Rising Flames!  Read the full press release below.

Today, ArenaNet has added the next episode of Living World Season 3 to its award-winning, industry-leading MMO, Guild Wars 2. Rising Flames is set in a location that is familiar to fans of Tyria’s lore and players of the original Guild Wars.”
In the previous Living World episode, Legate Minister Caudecus revealed himself as the leader of the nefarious White Mantle, but his plans for the organization were thrown into disarray when one of their ancient gods, a mursaat called Lazarus, reappeared and accused him of being a heretic. And the tumult in Tyria burns even hotter with the discovery that the Elder Dragon Primordus is stirring once again. Will players be consumed by the flames?
Along with Rising Flames comes a new PvP map called Eternal Coliseum. In this new conquest map, players will fight for the favor of a roaring ravenous crowd inside an arena inspired by the real-world Roman Coliseum. Players attempt to gain control of three capture points. Each conquest map features a unique secondary objective that gives the map additional strategic, tactical depth and can change the tide of battle. At set intervals during the match, artifacts of the gods will become available for capture. Capturing the Sword of Reaping will automatically defeat any downed enemies that you strike and provide a 20% damage bonus to your entire team. Capturing the Shield of Life will give the player that wields it a free resurrection when downed in addition to 5000 bonus health and 100 toughness for the entire team.
The release of both Rising Flames and Eternal Coliseum is in keeping with ArenaNet’s stated cadence of providing new Living World content on a 2-3 month schedule. The bundling of a Living World episode, a new PvP map, and updates to other areas of the game such as Fractals is designed to truly give a wide swath of our player base more of what they want and love on a regular basis.

Out of the Shadows Release and Impressions

26 July 2016 - 05:09 PM

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Out of the Shadows Released

Arenanet has released the first Living World update of Season 3, titled "Out of the Shadows." You can read the update notes here. Below, you can find the impressions of the release from the press demo I was able to partake in.


On the 21st of July, I had the opportunity to get some impressions on the Living Story Season 3 Episode 1 release, and play through some new content. I was unable to attend the PvP session, but did hear some great details that are coming with this update. Let us begin with the content I did not play.

PvP Updates

I overheard a few developers talking to the press about PvP updates. For starters, the big updates include the fact that queuing is now possible outside of Heart of the Mists, and that the two current beta maps are coming out of beta. Skyhammer has gotten some smaller changes, which I was unable to get details on. Revenge of the Capricorn is a reimagining of Raid on the Capricorn, the old sPvP map that was removed from the game due to the desire to push aquatic combat out of sPvP. PvP seasons will now be continuous, in which the current time periods where no season is active (such as up to this release) will become an off-season, with all the features of the current season system, but without a set time limit or rank reward.

Class Balancing

All the classes in Guild Wars 2 have received an update, as is standard for these update from Arenanet. I was unable to catch many of the changes, but many of the changes and balancing focused on removing certain builds from the current raid meta. I was only able to get a few details on the elementalist, which has had its staff skill 2 (lava font) and tempest overload air severely nerfed in an aim to remove it from the raid meta.


Although I was unable to play these, the new Chaos Isles fractal features the anomalies seen in the open world to create an almost dreamscape-like experience. The Chaos Isles show instability within the fractals, with certain existing fractals mashing together into an entirely new fractal.


Since the end of the Heart of Thorns expansion storyline, burials and ceremonies must be had, and celebrations occur throughout Tyria. As you progress through the aftermath, you receive a note from Taimi regarding a strange anomaly. You set out with Desiny's Edge to investigate this anomaly, which brings you to an area of an unstable bloodstone. As you approach the bloodstone in the pact's final airship, the bloodstone explodes (or rather, overloaded by ley energy and the instability caused by the players in the final raid wing), bringing you to the new map with this release, Bloodstone Fen.

Bloodstone Fen

Players of the first Guild Wars will remember Bloodstone Fen. The map, about 1/8th the size of the Silverwastes but more vertical than any other map seen before, features the bloodstone and its instability after the explosion. The map plays on the nostalgia from the first game, featuring more than a few references to the White Mantle, the organization which was initially a protagonist and eventually one of the main antagonist's of the game's original campaign. Justiciar Hablion features as one of the first open world bosses, where he throws you into the sky to discover one of the new feature of the new map, gliding skills. Arenanet discussed their desire to add environment specific skills to maps, and the new mastery allows you to unlock skills for use in Bloodstone Fen. The instability of the ley line energy around Bloodstone Fen, which spawns new items such as leyline updrafts, causes these skills to be extremely powerful. The first skill, a simple pulse, did an average of 2x as much damage against enemies as normal skills. More skills were unlockable, but this was locked for the press demo.

After the Hablion fight, spirits can be seen amassing during the night portion of the map's meta event. The bloodstone explosion has released many sacrificed generations to the bloodstone, and they are uncertain as to how to act. Many events rely on putting them to rest, or damaging them until they remember who they were, and that you are not the "bad guy." This map is one large homage to the White Mantle and the Bloodstone saga, and it seems obvious the story is heading in the direction of the eventual return or revival of the White Mantle, as hinted in by the trailer and the playable portion of the demo.

Story Hints

Only one mission was playable in the press demo that was completable (this particular story mission required a group to advance due to open world champions that have to be killed, which is difficult with one player). However, material provided by Arenanet shows hints that the Mursaat may be on the return. One image in particular which may be discussed is an image showing a heart that perfectly fits within a mursaat armor plate. This is, however, speculation.

In Closing

It was enjoyable to play a very small demo of the incoming PvE content and hear some upcoming changes for the game. As a fan of the Mursaat, this release excited me more than it should! It should be noted that the content outlined in this post was played in an unfinished stage, and changes may have occurred. There is also a lot more content in this release than outlined here. Living Story Season 3 Episode 1 release on the 26th of July 2016, under the name "Out of the Shadows."

Upcoming Changes for PvP League Season Two

18 February 2016 - 07:29 PM

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Upcoming Changes for PvP League Season Two

Arenanet has announced the changes for the upcoming PvP season. The finals for the ESL league also start this saturday, and during the Arenanet stream gifts from Corsair, Sennheiser, and precursor weapons from Arenanet! You can view an overview of the changes in PvP below:
  • For matchmaking, groups of five people will no longer be matched with smaller groups or solo queueing players.
  • For matchmaking, the search times have been decreased a lot.
  • For matchmaking, pips and ranking will have a greater effect on the enemy players, meaning matches should be closer to your skill level.
  • For rankings, pips will always award one pip, and losing will always remove one pip.
  • Players that leave matches will always lose one pip, and teams that lose a player will not lose a pip.
  • Win streaks have been introduced, giving an extra pip per victory after three initial streak victories.
  • For rankings, multiple tiers have had pips added or removed to balance them accordingly.

Guild Wars 2 gets first major release of 2016

11 January 2016 - 08:17 PM

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Guild Wars 2 gets first major release of 2016

Arenanet has formally announced (through a press release) and released a blog post outlining their plans and vision for Guild Wars 2 in 2016, including the announcement of the first major update of 2016. The blog post can be found here.

Seasonal Game Updates

The first major game update launches on 26 January 2016. This update is the first in a new seasonal game feature update schedule that focuses on enhancing the existing game. Some highlights from this update:
  • Gliding in Central Tyria - You can now glide in the heart of Tyria!
  • Shatterer Redesign - The shatterer has new achievements, a new boss fight with gliders, new rewards including a unique back-item, and more.
  • New Controls - New controls for the action camera, new options toggling NPC name display, and more.
  • Event Rework - Events have been reworked behind the scenes to now provide rewards for boon applying, condition removal, and other support actions.
  • World versus World Revamp - Forts and bases are no longer manual upgrades, but, just like in the Silverwastes, are now upgraded based on the amount of supply dolyaks that arrive.
  • Fractals - Fractals of the mist will recieve many Quality of Life changes and reward updates.
  • New Mist Champion - Tybalt Leftpaw is now a mist champion.
  • Balance Update - The update will include a major balance update for all professions. You can read more on that here.
Looking Ahead to the Coming Months

Arenanet has also outlined some of the changes and updates that are in store for Guild Wars 2 in the long run. A major development shift has occured, where instead of either working on live updates or on the expansion, the resources are now split among them.
  • New Raid Wing - The next wing of the raid, Salvation's pass, will be released. The fate of the pact squad is still uncertain, continue the hunt for new rewards.
  • Lunar New Year - Lunar New Year returns on 26 January 2016 and will run for two weeks. Get ready for fireworks and dragon ball!
  • PvP league launch - On 23 February 2016, the next PvP league will launch. Changes have been made to scoring and matching based on feedback of the past season.
Looking Ahead to the Coming Year

Beyond short term updates, Arenanet has revealed the following long term projects:
  • World versus World - A huge overhaul is being planned to world versus world, which has been worked on for a year. This overhaul will go live later this year, and focuses on population balance, rewards, and more.
  • Fractals of the Mists - A focus will be placed on fixing the currently broken or missing items from fractals of the mists, including missing collections and rewards. There will also be new fractals!
  • Living Story Season 3 - The third season of the Living Story will go live in 2016, which focuses on the next direction. Which dragon will be focused on next?