One fun in-game photography trick is to use reflections, mirrors, and glass to offer a different — and sometimes more artistic — vision of a scene. I have to applaud reader Jake’s use of the water’s reflection in this piece because it makes it beautiful times two!
“I’m leveling a Sylvari Ranger for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, and I found this beautiful little nook off the beaten path in Brisban Wildlands,” Jake wrote. “There is no vista or point of interest in this location; you just have to be nosing about to find it. That’s one of the things I like about this game: The map was designed with exploration in mind. And jumping (sigh).”
We don’t usually list expansions in our little master list, but Guild Wars 2 has started doing some testing of its first expansion. In very, very small doses. Another dose of the Stronghold beta is also due for the game in the not-too-distant future, hopefully ameliorating the current lack of information about when the expansion will actually launch.
Other beta news? Oh, fine, I guess we can.
And of course we have that lovely list of games in testing past the break. Did something slip into open testing or soft launch without us finding out? Let us know down in the comments.
ArenaNet has announced that it will host the second Stronghold PvP public beta for Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns expansion on June 2nd. The throwdown starts at 3:00 p.m. EDT, and the map will be live for 24 hours, according to the latest website update, which also details the “first ever Stronghold tournaments available on live servers.”
In other GW2 tourney news, the third North American Tournament of Legends is scheduled for May 30th and will boast over 100 teams, each of which will be battling for a legendary weapon prize of their choosing.
Curious what’s up with Guild Wars 2’s promised plans to restore the game’s personal story to full working order, complete with a soloable final mission? You and many, many other players, apparently.
ArenaNet Lead Writer Bobby Stein took to the forums to say that it’s being worked on but couldn’t say when it will happen: “All major assets for the personal story restoration are in place in our development environment. We’re testing and bug fixing now. While I don’t have an official release date to share at this time, I can say that you have a little more time to get your characters into the desired state of personal story progress.”
Speaking of restoration, former Guild Wars 2 Director of Design Chris Whiteside formally announced his arrival on Firefall’s team as its new design director yesterday. This wasn’t a terribly big surprise, as those following Whiteside’s Twitter account might have noticed his mention of the move back in April.
I have no doubt that Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is going to be big, both for the studio and its playerbase. It’s looking to add zones, new forms of progression, a new class, specializations for existing classes, and all other manner of goodies. Right now, it’s one of the hottest beta tickets in town.
And yet the more I hear about it, the less excited I’ve become. I used to enjoy Guild Wars 2 on a daily basis but for a variety of reasons have fallen out of love with it. I assumed that the expansion would rev my interest back up, but so far none of the features is really a “must play” to me. Plus, hearing that we’ll have even more platforming with the jungle zones is a real mood killer.
Is the world ending? Is hell freezing over? It must be because Blade & Soul is actually coming to the west! On this week’s podcast, the hosts talk about this incredible development as well as progression servers, launch dates, and flying in Draenor. Get out your Bree Topic Bingo cards, as you’re guaranteed to be a big winner!
Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!
Are you ready to enter the Heart of Thorns? Because Guild Wars 2 is opening the testing doors today, allowing players to step in and experience a small amount of the expansion’s leveling content with a Revenant or the eight extant professions. There are three play windows open today: 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EDT, and 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. EDT. (That last one technically stretches testing to tomorrow in the Eastern time zone, but let’s not split hairs.)
We’ve seen a few of the expansion’s elite specs (Reaper, Dragonhunter, and Chronomancer), but you may not be able to play with those in depth. If you can, though, feel free to talk about them all over the place, as the beta test does not feature an NDA. If you were lucky enough to get a key (possibly through loot), feel free to let us know in the comments what you think of the expansion thus far!
Here’s a fun thought: What if we aren’t actually playing MMOs? What if we’re just sitting in front of blank screens, creating fantasy worlds with our imaginations and keeping ourselves company with phantom figments? What if they’re about to cart us away right now?
Oh, probably not. Probably. Either way, reader Mjcbarnes has great fun with her imaginary friends in-game. “Attached is a screenshot from Neverwinter’s alpha,” she submitted to One Shots. “For a time there was a bug where you could have more than one of your companions out at a time. It was awesome running around with two companions like a proper party. Here’s my rogue Nora with her dire wolf and a kobold companion. I took so many screenshots of the three of us. It was the best bug for cool screenies.”
ArenaNet has announced that closed beta testing for Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns expansion will begin on May 26th. It will run in two-hour blocks, and it’s intended to test the stability of GW2’s “new PvE outpost-event content structure.”
Testers can use a revenant or any of the game’s eight professions to play “a small amount of expansion story content” as well as beta outposts and associated adventures on the Verdant Brink map. Time blocks and further details are available on the official Guild Wars 2 website.
Don’t believe everything you read from online retailers. This is the lesson that we must learn again as a supposed summer release date for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns was denied by ArenaNet. “Retailers have been setting placeholder release dates for years,” the team posted to Twitter, retweeting its statement from 2012: “As always, we have not announced a launch date to any retailers, so they use their own placeholder dates.”
In other Guild Wars 2 news, a patch bug in the game’s World vs. World conflict actually stripped away the conflict entirely, turning all players friendly to each other. “We’re currently investigating a problem with world peace in WvW,” ArenaNet admitted. “Yes, you read that right — players on competing worlds are friendly to one another. The team working on the problem has been calling it W<3W while they work to sort out the problem.”
Meanwhile, ArenaNet has just released a new dev blog discussing the WvW upgrading changes coming in Heart of Thorns.
You can see what world peace in WvW looked like (after the patch — it was fixed yesterday!) as well as a tour of the Lion’s Arch reconstruction in videos after the jump!
When Guild Wars 2
‘s expansion was announced, most of the questions on our lips were permutations of “What’s the new level cap?” and “What new gear will we get?” This expectation of vertical progression is so deeply ingrained in the genre’s audience that some players just assumed that ArenaNet would follow in the footsteps of other MMO giants such as World of Warcraft
, but those people were surprised to find that Heart of Thorns
will have no extra levels or gear tiers. In a way, they shouldn’t be so surprised: Guild Wars
capped at 20 across all of its expansions, adding only new content, skills and professions. I expected that HoT
would follow this precedent since GW2
has generally remained so true to its predecessor despite its significant modernisation.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to explore ArenaNet’s radical choice more thoroughly as I look at the rationale behind a level-neutral expansion and the general perception-shaking outlook behind the decision. Heart of Thorns is most definitely a playground, readers, and ArenaNet is well-accustomed to surviving in the heat of the MMO jungle in the least expected ways.
Late last month, the classic Guild Wars transcended its 10th birthday and prompted a flood of nostalgic posts and shared stories. A few MMO bloggers tore their attention away from the current crop of games to talk about what they loved about their initial foray into Tyria.
“Not only did GW1 revitalize MMOs in general for me, but it gave me a mission and story-based online game that I could play with [my friend],” said Aywren. “I remembered the music, I remembered the world, the Jade Sea. The colours! Oh, how I had loved the look of the world,” Paeroka gushed.
Tasha had perhaps one of the best testimonials: “Getting involved in something like Guild Wars to the extent I did seeps into every part of your life. Over the years I’ve treated the game as an excuse to learn new skills and open doors into new experiences I might not have had.”
Buckle up for an exciting Global Chat, as we hear a rant on double-jumping, a return to Champions Online, a player vouching for World of Warcraft’s virtues, and more!
Guild Wars 2’s Lion’s Arch reconstruction has begun, declare patch notes and a new dev post released today by ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray. The patch notes, which also include a number of PvP and PvE tweaks, begin with this in-character announcement from Captain Kiel:
Attention, citizens of Lion’s Arch
The rebuilding effort has begun! Please tread carefully around the construction zones, and try to respect the workers as they transform our beloved port into something new. Planning has taken much time, as the architects have had to work through many engineering and architectural challenges before agreeing on the final design of the city. Thank you for your patience and resilience during this difficult time. Together we’ll make the new Lion’s Arch a metropolis for the ages.
The original city was wrecked by
everyone’s no one’s favorite villain Scarlet Briar during the first season of the living story. In her dev post, Gray explains that New LA has learned its lessons well and will be more heavily fortified yet still super pretty and convenient for players who want to gather there. Those of you who’ve been unhappy with ArenaNet’s name choices for the new class specs might want to take note of a player poll that will determine the names of the new city’s districts.
“While we don’t have a date for the final unveiling, we can say that—due to the advantages of off-site construction—one morning in the next few months you’ll awake to a newly refreshed Lion’s Arch,” Gray teases.
We’ve included the impossibly dreamy art of New LA below.