We’re updating the post with the big news at the end!
At noon today, ArenaNet is expected to take the wraps off Guild Wars 2’s fifth season, live on stream from its big-theater presentation in Seattle.tiny teaser earlier this week, when Anet updated the cash shop with the New Horizons Supply Drop Requisition bundle; the parallel to the War Eternal bundle and episode have convinced some gamers that’s the next episode’s name and that it’s coming soon. Others are pointing to the Endless Ocean weapon box included in the package as a clue that the episode will finally make use of the big underwater combat changes implemented last summer. We’ve already speculated plenty too!
Notably, the countdown for the stream has been slowly revealing an image over the course of the last few days – what looks like a charr wight army emerging from a snowy hellscape, if we’re being honest. That’d certainly help to confirm we’re headed back northward to the “new horizons” of the Far Shiverpeaks.
Either way, we’re about to find out, as the festivities begin at 12:00 p.m. EDT. We’ll be updating this article with the big news as it rolls out, but you can watch along with us below and leave your thoughts in the comments!
Game Director Mike Zadorojny’s taken the stage with the last seasonal trailer and a recap of everything that’s released in the last two years since Path of Fire rolled out. He’s also talking about things about to hit testing, like Swiss-style PvP tourneys and gear/build templates.
Now he’s moved on to the new trailer for the new season! We spy centaurs, underwater sunken ships, charr zombies, wintery hellscapes, and the new dragon. The season is called The Icebrood Saga. The season will focus on the Northern Shiverpeaks, the Charr and the Norn, and their enemies, Jormag and the Sons of Svanir. It’s a “different kind of dragon story,” according to the studio.
ArenaNet will also be bundling together Path of Fire and Heart of Thorns into one purchase (so Heart of Thorns is effectively free for Path of Fire owners). Aaaand there’s a new promo episode coming for existing POF owners before Icebrood begins – that’s called Bound by Blood, and it launches September 17th.
The team, by the way, is calling this whole thing a saga rather than a season, but Anet apparently now has four content teams, so don’t expect the episodes to be exactly the format of the previous season’s content – they’re gonna be trying new things. Old masteries will come into play as well, and Anet is adding in some new lower-key 10-man raids called Strikes with public mode too.
The press release just dropped with far more info:
SEATTLE – Aug. 30, 2019 – An ancient power stirring from beneath the ice of the Far Shiverpeaks is the latest threat Guild Wars 2 players will face in The Icebrood Saga, the game’s newest collection of episodic content. Players can get an early taste of the new locations, conflicts, and thrilling story coming to the award-winning MMO on September 17 with the release of the prologue episode, Bound by Blood. The entire Icebrood Saga, including Bound by Blood, will be free for players who own Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, with Episode One releasing this autumn.
In conjunction with the debut of this all-new Living World chapter, the first Guild Wars 2 expansion Heart of Thorns will be free for all players who own or purchase Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, beginning today. Any player who previously purchased Heart of Thorns will receive an exclusive Heart of Thorns Veteran’s Pack of in-game items containing a unique Mordrem glider, “Vanguard” title, and voucher for one of a possible sixteen different gem store armor skins.
The Icebrood Saga marks the beginning of a new adventure in Guild Wars 2’s storyline. It is a time of tentative celebration for all the races of Tyria in the wake of the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik’s heroic defeat by the members of Dragon’s Watch. But whispers from the Northern Shiverpeaks tell tales of ancient forces stirring from their slumber. While the Sons of Svanir—a renegade cult of norn who have turned away from worshipping the Spirits of the Wild—devote themselves to the elder ice dragon Jormag, stories of the dragon’s strength and virtues begin to spread alongside its corrupting influence.
The Icebrood Saga will introduce a wealth of new features, including Strike Missions, which are epic 10-man boss encounters that combine the group coordination skills of raids with the large-scale conflict of a Guild Wars 2 meta event. New boss creatures will also populate the environments of Grothmar Valley and the Northern Shiverpeaks, including the ominous, newly-awakened Drakkar first seen in the original Guild Wars, while new Masteries will be available in Episode One and Episode Two that will explore the history and influence of the Spirits of the Wild, the mystic animal deities of the norn.
In addition to this new Living World chapter, NCSOFT and ArenaNet are also debuting a variety of Guild Wars 2 product partnerships, including:
· A 20th anniversary art book in collaboration with Dark Horse Comics. Launching in the spring of 2020, the art book will feature an expansive collection of never-before-seen concept art, production material, and creator commentary from the Guild Wars franchise
· Guild Wars 2 Funko Pop! figures featuring fan-favorite characters. Aurene, Palawa Joko, and Rytlock Brimstone will be available beginning January 2020
· New Guild Wars 2-inspired apparel from Hot Topic and Insert Coin. The clothing range features new t-shirt and hoodie designs
· New Guild Wars 2 mouse pads and phone cases from Razer
· A music streaming partnership with global entertainment and streaming service TIDAL that makes the original musical scores of Path of Fire, Heart of Thorns, and Living World seasons two, three, and four available for listening across the TIDAL platform.