ArenaNet just dropped a fresh studio update and a state of the game blog for Guild Wars 2, featuring check-ins from Game Director Josh Davis, Lead Systems Designer Cameron Rich, Senior Game Designer Nick Hernandez, and Lead Skills and Balance Designer Solar. Davis begins by admitting the team has been “keeping some secrets” from players – the good kind, though. Here are some of the highlights from the blog, homing in on what’s launching with the big patch on June 28th.
Strike missions: The studio is happy with the increase of players in normal and challenge strike missions, but it aims to take another pass on rewards, doubling gold earnings and adding a new high-end infusion. It’ll also continue polishing these missions. “[W]e’re committed to supporting the game mode as a core element of endgame PvE,” Rich says.
Core improvements: Remember how ArenaNet retooled the special forces training area earlier this month? The devs responsible have been working on other improvements to the core game; they’re adding mouse cursor accessibility, removing the need to repair armor and adding buffs for repairing, and making raids easier to jump into with new flags for LFG and a new optional “Emboldened” system for normal mode that progressively improves player damage and health as encounters are failed, at the cost of some achievements.
“Each week, one of the seven existing raid wings will be set to Emboldened mode. Upon entry, raid members will gain their first stack of the Emboldened enhancement, which grants additional health, damage output, and improved healing to aid in their battle against each boss. Each time the raid wipes against that boss, they’ll receive another stack of Emboldened, granting up to 100% additional health, 50% increased damage, and 50% increased healing output. Upon defeating the boss, the Emboldened stack will reset to one. Emboldened mode is entirely optional, and for those who prefer the challenge, it can be turned off by visiting the Emboldened mote inside that raid. Deadly encounter mechanics will still be deadly – and players will still need to respect them – but this system will give new raiders a chance to ease into learning them.”
Skills and balance: Finally, the studio is tweaking specific unique stacking bonuses to function as boons, buffing fury and might, and offering a full list of buffs for every profession (though perhaps not every elite spec). The complete class balancing patch notes should be out on June 24 ahead of the patch on the 28th.
Expect another developer blog “mid-July” with the roadmap for the rest of the summer.