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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is replacing its trait unlock system

Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Make it ever so much easier to not be bad.
Do you like the current unlocking system for traits in Guild Wars 2? If you don't, you're in good company; very few people actually like it. The good news, at least, is that it doesn't appear that it's going to be a problem in the near future. Game director Colin Johanson spoke out recently on the game's forums stating that the pending release of Heart of Thorns gave the team more freedom for discussing future plans and core gameplay changes.

With the inclusions of specializations and account-wide masteries, the existing trait system is going to be replaced by a simpler system to ensure that progress and advancement is where the development team wants it for all Guild Wars 2 characters. More updates on how the system will work are promised as the release draws closer, but if you don't like the existing system, you can at least take heart that it's going to be gone before too much longer.

PAX South 2015: O'Brien and Johanson on Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Interviews, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
ArenaNet's Mike O'Brien and Colin Johanson (and Commander Shepard) took to the PAX South 2015 stage yesterday morning to announce Heart of Thorns, the first-ever expansion for Guild Wars 2. If you're not up to speed, check out our post covering the announcement and the official site to get the broad strokes on the expansion's new zone, new profession, new progression system, and more.

News of the expansion raised many a question from our readers (and our staff!). Massively's Larry Everett and I sat down with O'Brien and Johanson to try to get those questions answered and dive a little deeper into the changes coming to Guild Wars 2's living world.

And no, there isn't a release date.

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PAX South 2015: The Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns experience

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, PvE, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Charr v Dragon
As MMO players surely know by now, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the first expansion ever for the ArenaNet MMORPG. In fact, most everyone suspected the announcement thanks to the leaked trademark information. But that didn't stop fans from being excited about it, nor did that bit of information satisfy their hunger.

The emcee for the reveal event was none other than voice actor Jennifer Hale, whose voice players might recognize as Queen Jennah's. President and CEO of ArenaNet Mike O'Brien and game director Colin Johanson teased the PAX South crowd of over 1,500 fans waiting in the main theater. But the anticipation for the new expansion started well before anyone even came to the stage.

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PAX South 2015: Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns is an expansion

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Buy-to-Play

ArenaNet has just announced that Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is indeed an expansion.

Speaking from a packed main theater at PAX South 2015, ANet President Mike O'Brien formally confirmed the rumored expansion, saying it will take players "deep into the heart of the Maguuma jungle" and will avoid traditional expansion powercreep and gear treadmills by not raising the level cap. The expansion will introduce new group challenges, new profession specializations, and an account-based "masteries" system for character progression through the new territories.

Game Director Colin Johanson told cheering fans that new legendary weapons and precursors are inbound, as are epic quests that help players acquire their precursors. The expansion will include one new class, the Revenant, which is a heavy armor class that channels the spirits of the mists and famous characters from Guild Wars lore. Each existing class will receive new mechanics and weapons that "fundamentally" change how they play; for example, Rangers can become druids and Necromancers will be able to use greatswords. WvW will also finally get some love, and there will be a new GvG game mode called Stronghold, which of course means... guild halls!

The official site is live now, and the brand-new trailer is now below the cut. Massively's Larry Everett and Mike Foster are live at the event; we'll have more from San Antonio later this afternoon. Fans can follow the festivities on Twitch.

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PAX South 2015: Jennifer Hale will host Guild Wars 2 panel, herald 75% off sale

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Community Q&A, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

So you already knew about Guild Wars 2's big event at PAX South this Saturday, the Point of No Return panel, which has players crossing their fingers for an expansion announcement. If you can't go in person, you can watch the whole shebang on Twitch for the low, low price of nothing. And that deal just got even sweeter, as ArenaNet has just declared this morning that gaming icon and voice actress Jennifer Hale, known to GW2 fans as the voice of Queen Jennah and to everyone else as the voice of approximately eight million other characters, will be hosting the livestream.

Meanwhile, the studio has vowed to slash the price of the buy-to-play MMO to $9.99 on Saturday and Sunday in honor of the hoopla, marking the biggest sale for the game it's held to date. Characters in-game will be showered with sales on boosters and a free double-experience bonus that lasts all weekend.

Massively GW2 expert Anatoli Ingram speculated about the possible expansion and analyzed the final season 2 episode in his most recent columns.

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Guild Wars 2 player redesigns ANet's UI

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2

A Guild Wars 2 player who goes by the name of Amax on the official forums has redesigned the game's UI to correct "some flaws in the game's user experience."

Changes include the character panel, the guild tab, the LFG panel, the story journal, and the addition of a lore journal. You can peruse a 28-page PDF complete with design notes and logic or check out a JPG screenshot showing off the concept just past the break.

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Global Chat: Guild Wars 2's economy is broken

EverQuest II, Culture, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, The Repopulation, Elite: Dangerous

Guild Wars 2's economy remains a hot-button issue even two-and-a-half years after its release. In this week's exploration of the blogosphere, one writer pulls out all the stops to let you know what's broken about this MMO's economy -- and how it can be fixed.

In addition to this thoughtful read, Global Chat will hear some snark on silly hotbar icons, pontificate about poor MMO names, deliver The Repopulation first impressions, and invite you to participate in a grand MUD experiment. Let's get going!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Rooting through Guild Wars 2's Point of no Return

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Races, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

You have been visited by the SPOILER FLOWER. You are safe from spoilers. Now run.
How about that Guild Wars 2 season finale, huh? Although it's not the major event last year's was, it threw a huge chunk of fuel on the ol' rumor bonfires. Despite the buzz surrounding GW2 lately, I know a lot of players expected ArenaNet to underplay the last chapter of season two.

Instead, we got a massive reveal and a surprise look at what ArenaNet plans to show off at PAX South on January 24th, and it's more full of exciting possibilities than I could have predicted. This article will necessarily contain spoilers, more spoilers, and even more spoilers, so make sure you're up to speed before reading further. Or don't, and suffer the consequences (I love saying that).

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Guild Wars 2 to nerf might, buff confusion

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

There will be a few small but significant balance changes coming to Guild Wars 2 with its January 27th patch as outlined in a new dev diary today.

The devs declared that the might boon is "exceptionally strong" and will see a nerf with the patch, bringing down the amount of power and condition damage that might stacks emitted. On the flip side, confusion will hit for 33% more, but in PvE combat only.

Other patch balance changes include nerfing a few items and tweaking professions due to the might nerf. "The profession-specific updates this time around will be a bit more focused on the general usability of certain skills, with targeted reductions on outlier skills," the team said.

There's a Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns teaser in today's update

Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

Guess what awaits you at the end of Guild Wars 2's Point of No Return living story arc? Yes, it's a brief teaser for Heart of Thorns along with a reveal date. If you're attending PAX South you can see the reveal in-person at 11:30 a.m. EDT. If you can't make that, you can catch it on Twitch.

We've embedded the Point of No Return cutscene just past the break, but don't click on it if you're concerned about spoilers!

[Thanks Pete!]

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Guild Wars 2's Point of No Return launches today amidst 'Heart of Thorns' expansion rumors

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

Last week we showed you the preview vid for Guild Wars 2's latest living story update. Today ArenaNet is publishing the full patch, as Point of the No Return has officially gone live. The firm says that "in addition to bringing the Season 2 storyline to its epic conclusion, Point of No Return delivers new gameplay and access to new treasures." Completing the story will get you the Carapace armor set headgear while fighting the Mordrem Vinewrath gives you a chance to loot the Carapace chest, according to the latest GW2 press release.

In other Guild Wars 2 news, thanks to a recent ArenaNet trademark filing, clever Redditors have uncovered what they suspect is the name of the game's rumored expansion: Heart of Thorns. Think they're right? We've included the logo below.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Here's a PvP event schedule for Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet has given us a heads-up relative to Guild Wars 2's near-future PvP events. Global events go down every Sunday, whereas North America gets a weekly 2v2 shindig each Tuesday. If neither of those days work for you, hit up the full announcement post because there's basically something PvP-related happening in GW2 all week long.

Korean investment firm forecasts Guild Wars 2 expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Rumors, Buy-to-Play

It has to be true, it's on a chart.
This year's biggest trend thus far in the MMO space is to talk about the Guild Wars 2 expansion as if it's already here. But it's not! It hasn't even been announced yet. Gamers are speculating on whether or not it even exists. This didn't stop Daewoo Securities from predicting that NCsoft's income will see a nice boost in Q3 thanks to the sales of the presumed Guild Wars 2 expansion.

Daewoo Securities is not an official NCsoft source, of course, but it sure does throw another bit of kindling on the fire. ArenaNet will be at PAX South very soon to discuss the future of Guild Wars 2, and while the word "expansion" hasn't been used, the expectation that it's going to be the big announcement has been echoed by our own Guild Wars 2 columnist. Whether or not it'll be out by Q3 2015 is another story altogether.

Flameseeker Chronicles: Is 2015 the Guild Wars 2 expansion year?

Fantasy, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Rumors, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

This scarf was lovingly hand-knitted by a charr. I love this scarf, it is my favorite scarf.
Way back in the ancient era of 2013, I wrote an article about why I thought Guild Wars 2 could use one of those fancy expansion doodlehoppers MMORPGs tend to get after they've been running for a while. You might not be surprised to learn that my opinions have changed only slightly since then, and mostly in the direction of, "Yes, GW2 really does need an expansion pack."

If GW2 fans have sounded a little like hungry baby birds repeatedly peeping, "Expansion!" for the past couple of months, it's not without reason: The most recent NCsoft financial report conference call reportedly contained hints at expansion plans, and ArenaNet seems to have something mysterious in the works for PAX South this year. But are there any real reasons to think that we might be getting an expansion announcement in 2015 when we've gotten our hopes up to no avail before?

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Guild Wars 2's Season 2 finale is past the point of no return

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is gearing up for the finale of its Living World Season 2 story arc. "With Glint's egg still missing, Tyria's heroes must rally their allies and prepare the pact fleet as they begin to launch an assault against Mordremoth," ArenaNet says in its latest press blurb.

Players will ultimately face "a decisive moment" during the finale, which is probably why ANet dubbed the update "Point of No Return." Be sure and catch the teaser clip just beyond the break.

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