Guild Wars 2 – Fractals of the Mists

Enter the improved Fractals of the Mists, an endless dungeon experience for the brave and skilled! Now you can experience the Thaumanova Reactor and two other new Fractals mini-dungeons. Plus, join the final battle inside the Tower of Nightmares! It all starts November 26!

Learn more about the Fractured release on the release page: https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-gam…

To know more about the Guild Wars 2 Living World, make sure to regularly check the Releases page of the website: https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-gam…

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Wintersday – December 2012 | GuildWars2.com

Wintersday: The Wondrous Workshop of Toymaker Tixx

December 14 to January 3

The nights may be long and dark, but Tyrians of all races keep joy alive during the ancient holiday of Wintersday. While each race celebrates Wintersday in their own unique way, children all over Tyria share a common love of one thing: toys.

This year the city of Lion’s Arch will host the asuran Toymaker Tixx as their special Wintersday guest of honor. Before Tixx arrives in Lion’s Arch in his massive airship toy workshop, he’ll visit every major city in Tyria to deliver Wintersday toys and holiday cheer.

Wintersday – December 2012 | GuildWars2.com.

Guild Wars 2 Update Notes – October 1st 2012

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

General

  • Fixed bugs for various stuck events and skill challenges.
  • Fixed bugs for various map areas that allowed players to get outside of the playable space.
  • Fixed a bug in dungeon speed-clearing code. Players should no longer experience reward reductions without triggering the speed-clearing debuff.
  • Fixed a bug that was automatically killing players as they entered Sharkmaw Caverns in Lion’s Arch.
  • Fixed an exploit in renown regions that allowed players to quickly complete them by interacting with objects while their inventory was full.
  • Fixed a bug that caused charr characters to enter a state where any fall resulted in a long falling yell.
  • Fixed a bug that caused older characters to have their monthly achievement reset upon completion before the current month ended.
  • Fixed the conversion on all items that were changed from soulbound to account bound to actually be account bound now.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing certain music from playing.
  • Fixed an issue with the loot table for undead grubs.
  • Fixed a camera bug which occasionally caused the camera to get too close to the player’s backside.
  • Updated the Barrel and Green Plant environmental weapons to disappear after lying on the ground for a set time. This will prevent map issues caused by hundreds of these bundles idling on the ground.
  • Updated Rune of the Adventurer and Sigil of Energy to each grant 25% endurance when activated.
  • Updated map completion rewards for Plains of Ashford and all World-versus-World maps to match the map level/content.
  • Added an appropriate error message for players when trying to accept too many guild invites.
  • Armor that is currently equipped can no longer be transmuted.
  • Keg Brawl has received some updates:
    • Lob: This skill is now ground-targeted.
    • Throw: This skill now has the range of the old Lob but with a casting time.
  • Master Weaponsmiths now sell their goods for coin instead of karma, as was originally intended.
  • Miss Mipp at Almuten Mansion now sells Curry Buns instead of directly selling outdated buffs.
  • Surfacing while downed underwater no longer grants invulnerability. This change was made to stop players from exploiting the surface of the water to maintain permanent invulnerability.
  • The Trading Post will properly refresh when using item context menus from your inventory.
  • Transmuted cultural armor now prevents opposing races from equipping it.
  • Valkyrie armor boxes will now properly contain a coat instead of two helms when crafted.

Story

  • Fixed bugs in the story step “Ships of the Line.”
  • Fixed blocking bugs in the following story steps: “Forging the Pact,” “Killing Fields,” “Shell Shock,” “Short Fuse,” “The Battle of Fort Trinity,” “The Machine in Action,” and “Tower Down.”
  • Updated difficulty of the following story steps: “Killing Fields,” “Lines of Communication,” “Minotaur Rampant,” “Mired Deep,” “Ships of the Line,” “The Battle of Fort Trinity,” “The Greater Good,” and “The Queen’s Justice.”

Events

  • Fixed a bug that was periodically preventing the Claw of Jormag event from completing.
  • Added catapults and scaling veterans to the bridge repair event in Kessex Hills.

Dungeons
Crucible of Eternity

  • Reduced the difficulty of creatures and bosses, particularly health and armor.

Citadel of Flame

  • Fixed exploits that allowing players to speed clear paths of this dungeon.
  • Reduced difficulty of the Searing Effigy.

Arah

  • Fixed map exploit that was allowing players to speed-clear paths of this dungeon.
  • Fixed a blocking bug in story mode.

Player versus Player

  • Games will no longer autobalance after one team has reached 80% of the maximum score if the game ends by score.
  • Games will no longer autobalance when within two minutes of the end of the game if the game ends by time.
  • Autobalance functionality has been updated to give a new volunteer bonus to any players who volunteer for balancing, as well as giving any players balanced the winner bonus. When volunteers are lacking, random selection will be used. The text for this system has also been updated.

World versus World

  • Updated the Red Portal Keep in the Eternal Battlegrounds to ensure the “no siege” debuff encompasses the entire start point.
  • Fixed a bug with Keep Lords in World versus World where they could become immune to damage.

Professions
General

  • Profession bundle weapons (engineer kits, elementalist conjure skills, warrior banners) can now save their autoattack status.
  • The following profession skills now hit 3 targets instead of 1:
    • Elementalist Dagger: Lightning Whip, Lightning Touch
    • Mesmer Spear: Stab, Jab, Evasive Strike
    • Ranger Spear: Stab, Jab, Evasive Strike, Dart, Counterstrike
    • Thief Spear: Stab, Jab, Poison Tip Strike, Nine Tailed Strike
    • Warrior Spear: Stab, Jab, Impale, Mariner’s Frenzy, Parry

Elementalist

  • Flame Burst: This skill will no longer fire if the target is behind the player.
  • Lightning Surge: This skill no longer has infinite range and cannot fire at targets behind the player. It also is properly affected by line of sight and works with the Arcana trait Blasting Staff.

Engineer

  • Elixir X: This skill now gains a duration increase from both the Inventions trait Elite Supplies and the Alchemy trait Potent Elixirs.
  • Freeze Grenade: This skill no longer benefits from the Explosives trait Grenadier for 5-second cooldown reduction.
  • Knee Shot: This Firearms trait now effects all immobilize skills for engineers. The effect can only trigger once every 5 seconds to prevent players from exploiting it to stack massive amounts of cripple.
  • Mortar: This skill is now properly affected by the Inventions trait Rifled Turret Barrels.
  • Rifled Barrels: This Firearms trait now works with the Elixir Gun kit when underwater.

Guardian

  • Bane Signet: This skill’s animation will now work properly when activated by greatsword and hammer users.
  • Line of Warding: This skill now lasts for 5 seconds instead of 8 seconds.
  • Merciful Intervention: This skill has been updated to heal when it completes and isn’t aborted.
  • Renewed Focus: This skill now functions better while underwater (players are able to use abilities sooner) and functions with the Virtues trait Elite Focus. This skill now also properly refreshes Virtue of Courage when it is being affected by traits.
  • Shield of Absorption: This skill will now appear correctly for all races.
  • Wrathful Spirit: This Honor trait’s retaliation duration has been decreased from 10 seconds to 3 seconds.

Mesmer

  • Updated all phantasms and clones available to the mesmer to ensure they activate within their range.
  • Updated mantras to now function underwater as they do above water. They also no longer go on full recharge when interrupted.
  • Illusionary Riposte: This skill now functions properly with the Dueling trait Blade Training.
  • Phantasmal Warden: This skill no longer has a 0-second recharge when affected by traits. It now has approximately a 5-second recharge.

Necromancer

  • Blood Is Power: This skill now grants 10 stacks of might but does not grant additional life force.
  • Chill of Death: This Spite trait no longer slows down the player’s autoattack when activated.
  • Epidemic: This skill no longer has infinite range.
  • Haunt: This Shadow Fiend skill now triggers instantly.
  • Last Gasp: This Soul Reaping trait will now apply protection and remove stun as if using Spectral Armor. It also now has the displayed 60-second recharge, and the duration has been reduced to 6 seconds to properly match the skill.
  • Life Transfer: This skill will now work properly with the Soul Reaping trait Path of Midnight.
  • Life Siphon: This skill now properly applies damage at its intended range of 600.
  • Spectral Grasp: This skill now also grants 10% life force when used. It also benefits from the Curses trait Spectral Attunement to properly increase the chill duration to 6 seconds.
  • Spectral Walk: This skill now stops granting life force when struck if the player activates Death Shroud, Plague, or Lich Form.
  • Vampiric: This Blood Magic trait’s interaction with the Bloodthirst trait now increases health siphoning appropriately.

Ranger

  • Entangle: This skill is now properly affected by the Wilderness Survival trait Wilderness Knowledge.
  • Lick Wounds: This skill now functions only with ranger pets.

Mac Beta Client Update:

  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from entering the at sign (@) in the launcher’s log-in fields when using French Apple keyboards.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented gem purchases.

UPDATE:

General

  • We published a second build to fix a bug causing a client crash.

NCSOFT ANNOUNCES LARGEST FREE CONTENT EXPANSION FOR GUILD WARS !

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The Struggle for Cantha Continues in Winds of Change Part 2!

Guild Wars Beyond continues with the second chapter of Winds of Change, the largest free content expansion in Guild Wars to date. This release sees the addition of 11 more quests, 5 respawned zones, and numerous hidden scenes for players looking to experience the story to the fullest.

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In the previous instalment, players were introduced to the Ministry of Purity, an organisation that sought to bring peace and order back to an embattled Cantha. The Ministry began their righteous crusade by seeking to purge the land of the Afflicted – horrors unleashed during the events of Guild Wars Factions. The Ministry rallied the people to its cause under the belief that Cantha was a land that did not need heroes; only people with the strength and the will to stand up for themselves. From these simple beginnings, the Ministry grew in size and gained influence as the Afflicted were purged from the lands. People disillusioned with Cantha’s emperor for his inability to protect them looked to the Ministry as a source of hope.

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As the players vanquished the last of the Afflicted, the Ministry of Purity soon set their sights on their next target: the gangs of Kaineng; the Jade Brotherhood and the Am Fah. The gangs have long been a threat that has existed within Canthan life – the empire is not strong enough to stop them. The Am Fah and Jade Brotherhood have continuously been at war with each other, and their struggle keeps them from being enough to threaten the empire directly. The three have existed as a system of checks and balances against each other – an uneasy balance of power that threatens to boil over into violence at any given moment. Under the leadership of Minister Reiko, the Ministry of Purity has declared that the gangs’ reign of fear must come to an end, by any means necessary.

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In this second instalment of the three-part Winds of Change the conflict between the Ministry of Purity and the gangs escalates. The Jade Brotherhood and the Am Fah find themselves pushed back and resorting to desperate, destructive measures to retaliate. Some people begin to wonder – is the price being paid for security worth it? Where will the line be drawn for what is considered a threat? The motives of the Ministry of Purity become suspect with the arrival of an Assassin that has historical ties to the Ministry’s leadership.

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The players find themselves caught in the middle of this struggle as loyalties shift and tensions boil over. Change has come to Cantha – but will the land be able to survive it?

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Opinion: Guild Wars 2 Fights The Subscription Racket

Opinion:  Guild Wars 2  Fights The Subscription Racket

[Gamasutra contributor Phill Cameron examines Guild Wars 2‘s subscription-free model, as ArenaNet lead content designer flatly asks, “If you’re paying a monthly fee for a game, what are you getting for your money?”]

ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have a subscription.

And Guild Wars 2 won’t be funded by microtransactions.

I didn’t realize the significance of those two facts until I finally got my hands on the game. It seems like they’re just payment options, seems like they’re just a nice big bonus for players that takes off some of the pressure that other MMOs exert down upon you. Instead, there’s a much more impressive revelation couched in those two little facts.

So far, MMOs have kind of been wasting your time.

You’ve got the almighty grind. Hours upon hours killing meaningless mobs to make a bar slowly tick upwards, and see your wallet grow ever fatter. You’ve got the endless trudging from location to location, nominally a way for them to attach the carrot of mounts to a stick protruding out of your back, but really just a way to tick off another ten minutes of your time. You’ve got the zen-like trance that you slip into while waiting for a battleground, waiting for a group, waiting for crafting to tick over, waiting, waiting, waiting…

MMOs have been wasting your time, because, quite literally, time is money. If you didn’t have all these little, cumulative time sinks, you might get bored. You might even, (gasp), cancel your subscription. So your time is wasted, just enough for you not to really mind, but enough to keep the spread of content thin enough to last to the end of the month.

Gosh, that sounds awfully cynical. But the wool has been lifted from mine eyes, and I have seen the true face of the massively multiplayer. Somehow, it’s all ok, though, because I’ve also seen the alternative.

Guild Wars 2 doesn’t waste your time. The fundamentals of how it works seem starkly obvious, in many ways, and the cynic in me is thinking that the reason they haven’t been implemented before is because they subvert the time sinks.

Take the Holy Trinity. Tank, Healer, DPS (damage per second). It’s becoming increasingly clear that the ‘Holy’ is there because to mess with it would be sacrilege. Guild Wars 2 does away with it, because, to quote Colin Johanson, lead content designer at NCsoft-owned Guild Wars studio ArenaNet: “The Holy Trinity, in a lot of ways, prevents you from playing with other people, because you spend a lot of time waiting for other players before you can play the game.”

It just makes sense. Why should I have to spend my time waiting half an hour for a tank, when I’m an elementalist with a firm grasp over the power of earth? I can just cake myself in rock, and bingo, I’m a tank. People are versatile. They adapt. Fixing them in place seems redundant.

“From day one we already knew we weren’t going to charge a subscription fee, and that’s informed our game,” Johanson said.

It’s the same fundamental approach that ArenaNet took with the similarly subscription-free original Guild Wars from 2005. That series — which sold a reported 6 million units total — relied primarily upon the sales of regularly-released, standalone installments to the franchise, rather than subscriptions or microtransactions.

That makes it sound like this is the franchise bucking the trend, allowing a business decision to dictate how the studio going to go about their design. However, the impression is that this is almost a liberation, that suddenly they’re not bound by how things have been. Building an MMO with a subscription in mind must be difficult, to say the least.

“MMOs have gotten away with it for all these years, and I think the question you have to ask is, if you’re paying a monthly fee for a game, what are you getting for your money? If you’re getting enough content and enough great service to make up for it, then fantastic. But if you’re not, you need to ask why you’re paying a monthly fee.”

Which could make it sound like Johanson is almost placing a safety net for Guild Wars 2, but it seems more like they’re using it to raise the watermark, show players that here is what you can get without a subscription fee. So what are you getting with one?

“The market is going to go where all the major games are going. If Guild Wars 2 is extremely successful, you’re going to see other games going without a monthly fee.” Which would almost imply that this has been a racket, all along. What, exactly, have we been paying for? Servers?

Apparently, not. “There’s an incorrect belief out there that it’s more expensive server-wise to run a giant open world game than it is to run an instanced game such as Guild Wars.” There’s a confidence about Johanson when he talks about the way MMOs are, an assured-ness that’s almost akin to an investigative journalist blowing open some great story.

“The server bandwidth now is getting reasonably inexpensive enough that you don’t need to charge a fee for online games,” he explained. “We made plenty of profit off Guild Wars 1, and that’s what we’re going to do with Guild Wars 2.”

From playing the game, I can’t see if there’s a con to going without a subscription fee. There are no obnoxious ads popping up telling me to buy an experience boost or some other game-altering bonus. There are no closed off areas with a price tag informing me that for a small fee I can have access to all that extra content. Of course, Guild Wars 2 isn’t a free to play game, but the difference in price of just one full retail copy (which subscription MMOs still charge for) to a continued subscription is phenomenal.

It’s easy to become somewhat indignant after realizing quite how much the minute to minute of previous MMOs have been dictated by their payment model. Easier still to resent them, but at the same time it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s only recently that the internet has become quite so fast. Perhaps subscriptions really were necessary five or so years ago, when we didn’t have fiber-optics veining the first world. That was then, though. Right now, things are different. We don’t have to stand for the subscription model saturating our online experience, and we certainly don’t have to pay for it.

Gamasutra – News – Opinion: Guild Wars 2 Fights The Subscription Racket.

SOE’s John Smedley – TOR Has Legit Shot At 2 Million Subscribers

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (right) and Padawan O...

Image via Wikipedia

There are a lot of industry analysts, pundits and big-wigs who believe that Star Wars: The Old Republic can garner more than 2 million subscribers, even in the face of increased “competition” from free-to-play titles. The latest endorsement comes from none other than Sony Online Entertainment President, John Smedley.

Gamesinustry.biz posted a guest editorial by Smedley on the the industry’s march toward the free-to-play model (with DC Universe being the latest switcher.) The piece is entitled The Free Future and is great reading for anyone involved in the games industry, or even just enjoy keeping an eye on it.

Smedley feels that TOR will be the last large-scale MMO to go this route:

There’s another large juggernaut coming out soon in Star Wars: The Old Republic from EA/Bioware. That’s a game that I think has a legitimate shot at a 2 million subscription user base and I believe they will stick with the subscription method. In my opinion this is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model.

The SOE President goes on to talk about Guild Wars and the “buy the box” model, as well as emerging markets. In the end though, he argues that free-to-play is the future for MMOs. Perhaps most poignant, he gives advice to developers:

Let players be able to get most things that you sell in the store just by playing the game.  Even if it’s difficult, giving free players the chance to get things without ever paying you a dime is the right thing to do.

Head on over to Gamesindustry.biz for the full read. If you’re interested in the business, this is a great piece.

Ask A Jedi.