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Flame & Frost: The Gathering Storm, February 26th, 2013

Earlier today, ArenaNet announced the next episode in the we now know to be the four-part saga of Flame and Frost, named The Gathering Storm.  The release date is February 26th.  This update advance the storyline of the refugees in Diessa Plateau and Wayfarer Foothills, and also includes a few new added goodies that the community is sure to like. 

The situation worsens for the citizens of Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. Volunteers have eased the burden, but more refugees hobble down from the Shiverpeaks. The storm there gains momentum, but the forces of good are beginning to rally. They’re sending their heroes to defend the land and its peoples. Someone must hold back the gathering storm.

In Flame and Frost: The Gathering Storm, the second installment in this four-part series, the stakes are raised, and battles rage, in the foothills of the Shiverpeaks.

The new features include…

  • New sPvP Arena: Spirit Watch – A new sPvP arena based around the shrines of the Norn Spirits of the Wild.  The mechanic in this new map involves an Orb of Ascension, which will give bonus points when delivered to a control point in a capture the flag/domination mashup.
  • Guild Missions – This new form of content sounds similar in function to dailies and monthlies, but it’s focused around group play instead of individual.  Guilds will be given missions including tasks such as bounties, puzzles, or other group challenges and earn guild merits, used for unlocking upgrades and rewards.
  • Two Team Rated Play in sPvP - We’ve had matchmaking for individual players since launch through the hot join system in sPvP, but now ArenaNet is adding a similar service for matching teams based on average player rating, giving sPvP groups another option outside of tournaments for playing together.
  • Choose Your Own Daily Achievements – Not satisfied with fixing Guild Wars 2 dailies once, the daily achievement system will be changed again to allow players to select which achievements they want to do, opening up more opportunities for different styles of play.

 Some of you may have noticed, but the storyline for Flame and Frost has been advancing ever so slowly as the refugees pour in from the north.  Villages have been erected and the world, ever so subtly, is evolving.  There’s plenty to look forward to in next month’s update.  Have a favorite new piece?  Let us know in the comments!

The official page for the new update can be found over at GuildWars2.com

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WvW Updates Delayed Until March

 

The much anticipated update to World vs World has been delayed from its anticipated launch of February to March, with ArenaNet saying they want more time to test and polish the new content.  Game Director Colin Johanson took to the forums to deliver the news, and to detail more of what we can expect for WvW updates in the future.  WvW is the one major area of Guild Wars 2 (the other two being PvE and sPvP) that has not received much attention.  While we’ve seen a new arena in sPvP and plenty of new content in PvE, WvW has soldiered on with only some balance changes since the release of GW2. 

Some of the new content we can expect to see in March include a new progression system, new titles, and WvW specific bonuses and abilities.  Johanson also laid out some other improvements we will be seeing for World vs World, not in March but in future updates beyond that.  Those include…

  • More work on the culling issue (where the engine cannot render models fast enough, leading to players being temporarily invisible.  This is prevalent in other parts of the game, but hits WvW the hardest, where entire enemy groups remain hidden until you’re already dead.)
  • More incentives to win in WvW beyond the point totals and the minor temporary bonuses that servers
  • Ways to help more people play WvW, such as dealing with queue issues that occur on very active WvW servers

Specific details are sparse as of now, but Johanson tells us that more concrete information will be given as the updates get closer to launch.  It’s apparent that ArenaNet are having trouble setting reasonable update timelines, as releases getting pushed back are becoming regular announcements.  The “expansion worth of content in January and February” has turned in to February and March, for example.  All of the free content has been awesome, but let’s hope the release date estimation improves in the future.

You can read the original forum post over on the Guild Wars 2 Forums

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Ranger Laurel Boxes Bugged

It’s been reported via the official forums that there is currently a bug with the Ranger Laurel Boxes in which they do not give ranger gear. Oops. Jason King, a “Live Response Embed”, whatever that is, followed up and said,

Thank you for the reports, everyone; the designers are working on a fix for this issue. In the meantime, if you’re planning on buying the laurel box, we’d recommend that you wait for now. Sorry for the bug!

So for all you Ranger players hold onto your laurels until the bug has been corrected. The original forum thread can be found here

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Dynamic Leveling Changes

Isaiah Cartwright posted a new blog which discusses the changes that have been made to the dynamic leveling system. You may have noticed that when playing in lower level areas that you are getting better rewards, and that your stats are more in line with that particular level. You’re still a bit over powered, but not nearly as much as previously. He states in the article:

As of the January 28 build, we made some changes to the dynamic scaling system to address these issues:

1.) We changed the formula for how attributes are calculated when the dynamic leveling adjustment system scales you down. This makes returning to lower level zones more fun and better balanced.
2.) We changed the formula for how rewards are calculated when scaled down to make it more rewarding for high-level players to visit lower level areas.

Check out the full article here for further details.