It’s a day of grand restoration in Guild Wars 2, starting with the re-opening of Lion’s Arch. Today’s patch debuts what ArenaNet is calling New Lion’s Arch, a rebuilt trading harbor following its destruction last year by the hand of Scarlet Briar.
Lion’s Arch isn’t the only thing that’s making a return. The dev team also restored sections of the personal story that were removed for retooling. The revamped storyline features minor and major improvements, including allowing solo players to finish the final missions.
Want more? Guild Wars 2 players will discover the old trait system gone and the new specialization system in its place, skill points converted into spirit shards, a better leveling experience, and some combat conditions reworked to allow for more flexibility.
You can go on two New Lion’s Arch video tours after the break!
The Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns pre-purchase announcement sent the community into a state of agitation, to put it mildly. This was exacerbated by a silence on the part of ArenaNet, a silence which has been broken today as the studio addressed the various related issues head-on in a new post.
For starters, ArenaNet announced that it will be adding a free character slot to all veteran players who had registered their accounts before January 23, 2015. This means that players looking to roll up a new Revenant come the expansion will not have to worry about space issues.
Tomorrow’s Guild Wars 2 patch features a change inspired by player feedback, according to game director Colin Johanson. “We decided getting to level 80 will give you enough hero points to unlock all the core skills and traits entirely,” Johanson says. Doing hero challenges will allow players to earn all the skills/traits before level 80, he continues.
When the Heart of Thorns expansion releases, there will be options on which to spend your excess hero points. Tomorrow’s patch also seems to be focused on making the one-to-80 experience better, according to Johanson’s forum post. “There are a number of other changes on 6/23 to make [the leveling experience] more exciting, better paced, rewarding, and fun,” he says.
Reddit has a rundown of things worth remembering for tomorrow’s update.
Beep… beep… beep. That’s the sound of a gargantuan Guild Wars 2 info truck that’s preparing to unload its sizable cargo into your cortex. Ready?
We’ll start with a series of Heart of Thorns guild hall dev blogs on the official site. It begins with a tour through the steps necessary to build a guild hall. Then comes the task of creating decorations and guild items to populate the vast space of these instances. Beyond that, players will be kept busy with a bevy of guild hall missions. All of the work on the guild halls has prompted the team to reevaluate guild features and upgrades as well.
There’s also a pair of dev blogs focusing on PvP features of the expansion amd covering PvP guild teams and guild objective claiming in world vs. world action. ArenaNet is warning players to beware of third-party sales of Heart of Thorns, as these are likely fraudulent.
The last few years around convention time, I took a moment in The Daily Grind to ponder whether E3 had become irrelevant for MMO gamers in particular. This year, I can’t even ask that question with a straight face. While the con wasn’t swarming with true MMOs, the MMO announcements circling the expo were huge. Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing what to its storyline and factions? Guild Wars 2’s expansion is prepurchasable at what price? EVE: Valkyrie hasn’t been abandoned yet? (I kid, I kid.) Never mind that there’s an expansion on the way for Final Fantasy XIV, a patch for World of Warcraft next week, Blade & Soul en route and a F2P relaunch for WildStar, and oh yeah, Elder Scrolls Online console launch anyone? Almost every major MMO player showed up with something big this week.
But what was the biggest? What was the MMO highlight of E3? Bonus question: What was the highlight of E3 overall?
On the surface, ArenaNet
killed it at E3
, kicking ass with a much-wanted and huge expansion for Guild Wars 2
, one of the biggest MMORPGs in the market. The studio unveiled a massive new guild hall system, one players have been begging for, one that will satisfy everyone from teeny tiny guilds to classic Guild Wars
fans. Those devs were riding high. They built it all up, and then they surprise-announced prepurchase tiers for the expansion. Cheering! Expansion! Woohoo! Take my money!
But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.
Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.
Here’s your Guild Wars 2 public service announcement of the day: Don’t get so caught up in the expansion fever and the price wars that you forget that there’s a sizable content patch coming between now and Heart of Thorns!
One of the big changes with the upcoming patch is the replacement of the current trait system with the new specializations. Enterprising Guild Wars 2 fan site Into the Mists is helping players prepare for the change by creating a handy build calculator for both PvE and PvP characters.
The calculator walks you through potential new builds step by step. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Or you can go sign the petition and try to get your money back at the cost of your account. Either one. Pitchforks for everyone.
Massively Opinionated welcomes some very special guests today from ArenaNet to debate content from its first expansion for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
Guild Wars 2 has obsessive fans who like to pick apart every little tidbit of information ArenaNet has to dish out. Well, GW2 fans, here’s your chance to comb through every word that they have to say about the upcoming expansion. Our host, Larry Everett, invited Content Marketing Manager Rubi Bayer and Narrative Designer Scott McGough to debate GW2 tropes with superfan and YouTuber Aurora Peachy.
Some secrets for the upcoming expansion might have slipped out, but you’ll only know what they are if you check out this week’s vidcast!
When Heart of Thorns
was announced back in January, the Guild Wars 2
community exploded with buzz as guild halls were mentioned as a main feature that the expansion would bring to the game. I was just as ecstatic, so I’ve been bursting to know more ever since the feature was discussed in a CDI proposal thread on the GW2
forum. Last night (or crazy early morning for me… see what I do for you?), Colin Johanson took to the E3
stage to give the expectant audience a brief synopsis of the guild hall system and the mechanics it would add to the expansion, and our very own MJ Guthrie
braved the E3 floor to bring us an interview on the topic
. Now that we know more, I want to unpack the basics and compare what we’re getting to the speculation.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I will unfold the new guild hall system in as much detail as we know, and I’ll also look to the further development of the feature and inclusions I’d love to see upon release. Game Director Colin Johanson’s time on PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show was admittedly very brief, and I wasn’t blown away with the show’s format in comparison to other E3 presentations. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to unpack before we see the guild halls running in-game this Friday in a special livestream on the official GW2 Twitch channel.
By now you are no doubt familiar with the guild halls arriving in Guild Wars 2‘s Heart of Thorns expansion. What you probably didn’t expect is that the expansion is available for purchase as of tonight and is already stirring up controversy for its $49.99 standard rate that comes along with a copy of the base game whether you’ve already got it or not. The deluxe version will run $74.99 and come with an extra character slot and several cosmetic goodies, while the ultimate edition runs $99.99 and is just like the deluxe set only with 4000 gems in addition to the fluff. All editions grant access to weekend beta events slated for the game, and many of the in-game goodies will be unlocked on accounts now instead of when the expansion launches.
But earlier today, ArenaNet wanted to dish on the guild halls coming to the game, and it was worth the flight to LA! I sat down with ArenaNet Game Designer Link Hughes, Design Lead Crystin Cox, and PvP Test Lead Jessica Boettiger here at E3 2015 to get a look at and talk all about guild housing. Here’s the scoop (and a video, too!).
I’m going to do something I don’t do a lot in Massively Overthinking — or anywhere, really.
I’m going to ask you to whine.
MOP Kickstarter donor Kayletta sent in this question, which I posed to our writers and our special Patreon guest, Roger, this week:
What’s the most nitpicky detail in an MMO that has caused you to log out/walk away/quit game in annoyance?
Let’s do this!
In all of the Heart of Thorns hoopla and specializations diaries, did you forget that guild halls will also be arriving in Guild Wars 2 later this year? We might have too.
That’s OK, because ArenaNet will be on hand to remind us of the guild housing feature when it unveils it at E3 next week. There, the studio will “reveal how [the expansion] will create new ways for you and your guild to play, battle, socialize, and progress together through the guild hall system.”
An in-depth look into guild halls and their features will be broadcast on Twitch on June 19 for anyone interested.
One question that consistently pops up across the MMO gaming circuit is, “What are the most popular/healthy/active MMOs out there?” Every time I see this question, I sympathize with the concern behind asking it. For some players, finding a game that not only exists but is hopping and has the greatest potential for a future is of paramount concern.
Massively OP reader Duffy suggested that we cover this very topic when he asked, “Which MMOs are struggling and which seem to be rolling in gravy? Do MMOs in general do very well or are most just able to keep the lights on?”
It’s a difficult question to answer off-the-cuff because there are a lot of variables to consider. Instead, I researched several angles, including player tracking services, frequency of patches, financial reports, and even how often each game pops up on blogs. While the following isn’t definitive, I feel strongly that the following 10 games are the healthiest live MMOs on the western market right now.