This weekend, we got a sneak peak at some of the exciting changes that are coming to Guild Wars 2 later this month in the Flame and Frost content update. Some of the changes will not impact you if you are not a heavy player, but fear not: There are new things for even the most casual player! There are actually a couple of updates that, to me, seem to push the game closer to Guild Wars 1: Specifically, some of the updates will have us visiting specific areas for rewards.
As promised, you will no longer be limited to a set list of five activities to complete. Instead, you will now have a list of nine (for some reason not 10) that you can choose from. By default, the first five listed are tracked. As you progress toward each goal, the achievements you are fulfilling will automatically replace ones you are not. Alternatively, you can check off achievements you want to work on to create your own list of the ones you are aiming to complete. A new mix of achievements rotates in every day. Interestingly enough, Monthly and Daily PvP Achievements still use the old system.
In addition to this change, there are a bunch of new achievement categories. Some examples are Recycler (daily salvaging), Karma Spender, Keg Brawl Fumble Forcer, and Condition Remover. There are also some new ones that require you spend time in certain areas. To me, these are the most exciting because they will force me to visit new places and help me make some progress on World Completion.
As you probably already know, the new PvP map is Norn-themed. Pretty typical structure here: Control capture points or defeat enemy players to earn team points. First team to 500 wins. An interesting twist here is that you can earn additional points by bringing an orb from the map to control points, so it is a bit like capture the flag. Bringing the orb to a point your team controls will earn you more points than bringing it to one that is neutral. Bringing the orb to a point that the enemy team controls will neutralize the control point.
There is a ton of new Ascended Gear that you can buy with Laurels: They have added over 25 pieces of gear. If you are looking to get your hands on the new, powerful items, just having Laurels will not be enough. Not only will they set you back 40 Laurels, but each piece of Ascended Gear also requires 50 Ecto. Ouch. But, hey, some of them are themed around the original Guild Wars, which is a pretty nice touch. Among the new gear, you can choose a Preserved Red Iris Flower, Armbrace of Truth, or even an Ancient Mursaat Token. A lot of the new gear seems to fill Accessory slots.
You can also now get your hands on two Letters of Commendation for 16 Laurels, each of which will grant your guild some Influence. This is likely to help guilds get to the higher-tiers required to activate Guild Missions.
One of the most exciting features in this patch is the addition of Guild Missions. As you may have heard, your guild will need to have a high ranking in certain trees in order to start one of these missions. The first to be released is called a Bounty Hunt and requires Art of War rank 5. This type of mission will allow other guilds to help out, so smaller guilds do not have to worry about missing out on any of the fun. Bounty Hunts can span across multiple maps, too. All in all, it seems like they are trying to get players to branch out in the world, which is great to see.
Guild Missions also add a new permission type to guild ranks: Mission Control. Presumably, this permission is required to kick off any new missions and guild leaders will likely save this for officers and senior members.
That’s all for now, but we still have a lot to look forward to with the WvW update and the next installment of the Living Story. Don’t forget to check out our post on the London Meet & Greet for some insider info on what may be coming in the distant future!