PAX West attendees and GW2 Fans packed the Moore Theater in Seattle this morning for a big announcement from the Guild Wars 2 team.
The GW2 team started by thanking the community for the 7th anniversary and taking a look back on the game’s development.
Today’s showcase event was heavily focused on the changes coming to the Living World. It was voiced that the next major focus is balancing the environment.
Character Builds & Gear Systems
A more overarching feature that will be included in this update is new build and gear templates. These will allow players to easily swap between builds and share their builds with fellow players.
These new 10 player missions were described as an introduction to raids. Players will be able to queue for these strike missions in the LFG system, giving players that don’t have 10 friends to raid with a chance to experience the comradery of a traditional raid.
Not allot was said about PvP except that they are working on “swiss-style” tournaments and mini-seasons between the conquest seasons.
Expansion Bundle (PoF + HoT)
Next week and going forward GW2 players will get the Heart of Thorns expansion free if they already own Path of Fire or purchase Path of Fire. Not only will Heart of Thorns be bundled with Path of Fire, but players who already own these expansions will also get a Veteran Pack.
If you already own the expansion they are giving away free now, you will get a Veterans Pack to show gratitude for your loyalty. The Veterans Pack includes a unique Mordrem-themed glider and your choice of armor from the HoT Veteran’s Armor Voucher box.
The next chapter of the Living World, The Icebrood Saga, will be centered around the Charr and Norn (fire vs ice). We know now based on the announcements and previews that players will be spending more time in the Northern Shiverpeaks and Blood Legion homelands.
The Icebrood Saga
The new Living World Season will hit GW2 as a “Saga”. Although they have chosen to call the newest season a saga, the team promises to still release the content in the episodic bites of content with a twist.
GW2 expressed that the content team has been divided up into four separate teams each focusing on different aspects of the game. They chose to change it up this season by giving each of the teams the freedom to try out some new content ideas. They were pretty cryptic about what exactly this will entail, but they did give us some little nuggets to cling to.
The new Mastery Line will stem from Norn roots, the Spirits of the Wild. We don’t know what the ability will be, but we do know that our first spirit will be the Raven. Similar to other mastery lines, each new episode will release a new skill, and in this particular saga, I’m guessing a spirit is going to inspire each skill.
The GW2 briefly noted that these masteries will “evolve” as the saga progresses. I am not going to attempt to guess what that could encompass, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
Similar to other seasons, The Icebrood Saga brings a new gear set along with a wide variety of new features. We can expect to see a new map, new activities and new achievements to play through. This season feels like we are moving toward the dark side of the content spectrum. An ominous Gw1 creature, Drakkar is making his debut in the second episode of the Icebrood Saga along with other, lurking threats.
Some concept art of The Bone Skinner was teased. They said something along the lines of… players will be looking over their shoulders, not knowing where this creature will be. Is he a world boss? Is he similar to The Rogue Agent in the Division 2? Do we have to complete a sequence of quests or hidden riddles for him to reveal himself? Does he pop out at random times and strike? Allot is a mystery, but we are excited to uncover the secret of this Bone Skinner.
On September 17th, players who have purchased the Path of Fire expansion will get access to the Icebrood Saga completely free. The prologue marks the start of many episodes to come in this season.
Want another reason to attend the next GW2 event? Well, during the event, attendees were given special codes to get the Ascended Aurene Clothing Outfit in-game.
GW2 Merch Partnerships
In addition to the Wild Bangarang partnership, GW2 has expanded their apparel partnerships to bring the community more designs to represent their favorite game.
In the upcoming future we can expect to see new designs from these three brands:
If you don’t like t-shirts and hoodies, but still want to collect some Guild Wars 2 merchandise, new Funko Pop figurines will be available in January 2020. They debuted three designs; baby Aurene, Rytlock, and Palawa Joko. Each figurine will include a code that unlocks a miniature replica of the toy in-game.
A partnership with Razer brings players the opportunity to rep GW2 with new phone cases and mouse pads. There is no release date for these items except for “soon”.
And last but not least, TIDAL brings the fans of the in-game music a way to listen while offline. Starting August 30th 2019, players will be able to stream original music from previous living seasons, Heart of Thorns, and Path of Fire.