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Guild Wars 2 September 2014 Features Pack Coming!

gw2-september-Celebration

ArenaNet is going to come out with another features pack in September! Living Story will be put on hold in order to deliver this. This features pack will start off with PvP and WvW.

From ZAM, we can see at least 2 things that will be in the features pack: an improved squad party UI including changing the commander tag color and a golem mastery. This is all go0d for WvW but I hope there will be more to it than that. WvW is fun but can get a bit stagnate. I’m not saying a new map is needed but something new to mix it up would be nice.

Regarding the commander tags, according to guildnews.de a commander tag will be account bound and will be 300 gold starting September 9th. Refunds for extra purchased tags can be handled by support. Another feature is that you must buy the colors for the tag but it’s not clear if it’s a smaller fee of say 50 gold or you have to spend another 300 gold for another color which would be just ridiculous in my opinion. Hopefully it’s not the second option. If it were, there’s 4 to 5 colors to choose from so that would be a 1200-1500 gold sync if you wanted all the colors and had to buy a new tag each time. That’s basically buying a high end precursor. Maybe the majority of people with commander tags have that kind of money to spend, I really don’t know. I can’t say the same for people who play regularly but not 6 – 12 hours a day everyday. I can say this for sure though: if you want to save 200 gold and don’t care about having a blue colored tag, buy a commander tag before September 9th.

For SPvP I don’t play it as much as I would like to these days. I would imagine there will be a new map or a new mode, maybe both, and some quality of life changes. Probably even a new standings feature for better structuring their SPvP tournaments.

Right now, according to a GW2 post, we know of Standard Model feature where players have the option to make enemies appear as a human model (if the game mode supports them). This is to make knowing the skills characters use easier to read. We’ll have to see how it goes but I’m not so sure I like this too much. The very reason I’d run an Asura is to be small and harder to spot so I can kite and fight, for example on my Asuran Thief. The reason I’d run a Charr or a Norn is to be visually spot able as if to say “Hit me!” but then they get hurt by my retaliation (I run a Norn Guardian). Another PvP change we know of is PvP exclusive armor which is nice for the PvP players having some distinguishing features than PvE players.

I’m interested if there will be much for PvE. The commander icons/squad change would be beneficial for things like the Evolved Jungle Wurm or Tequatl. The post Colin put out announcing the pack did say “To kick things off, we’ll be focusing on new PvP and WvW updates“. We’ll see if there’s more in store for PvE but it seems the focus at the moment will be on PvP and WvW. Fingers crossed for precursor crafting!

The April 2014 Features pack was awesome, especially for PvE players. Hopefully the September pack benefits the PvP and WvW players a lot. I can’t wait to see what else is coming!

New Traits Coming In Guild Wars 2 April 2014 Features Update

april-2014-features

Well, I thought I wouldn’t have anything really good to talk about this week but man this one is quite good. ArenaNet have released a new page the contains a list of blog posts, and future blog topics, about the upcoming features patch which has been confirmed for April 15th. So far we got the details about traits so let’s go over that.

How Traits Work Now

First off, traits are changing on how they work. ArenaNet made the trait system use 14 points instead of 70. So that means you’ll only need 1 point to unlock a trait instead of 5. That also means that you gain trait points at certain levels starting at 30. So the feel of gaining a new trait while leveling stays relatively the same. In the Traits Unleashed blog post it said:

You’ll start acquiring points at level 30, when the adept trait tier is unlocked, then you’ll earn one trait point every six levels until level 66, when you’ll start earning two trait points at a time.”

If I did the math right and understood the post correctly, that means you’ll get 4 points when you hit 30. The tiers are unlocked at a certain level: Adept at 30, Master at 60, Grandmaster at 80. ArenaNet have also updated the UI so that you can change your traits around as you see fit. All of this for free, no need to spend gold anymore! All we need now is a save build feature and then we’re all good!

The New Stuff

In order to gain major traits (aka the traits you can currently select every 10 points) starting Apirl 15th is by a GW1 feature they’re bringing back: profession skill books, well in this case trait guides. You can obtain these books as a drop and you can buy them or the trait from an NPC as well. If you already have a character before the patch, you get to keep the major traits already in the game. New major traits, starting with the features patch, can be obtained via the trait guide.  Now for the new traits. Every trait line for each profession will get a new grandmaster trait. Since each profession has 5 trait lines, that’s 40 new traits. ArenaNet outlined in their blog one new grandmaster trait for each profession in a blog post and they’ll probably go over a bunch of them in their Ready Up vlog that’s today (March 21st).

Traits I’m Looking Forward To

From the traits outlined in the Traits Unleashed blog post they all sound good in one way or another. I’m really looking forward to the ranger’s “Read the Wind” trait which doubles longbow velocity shots. I really disliked the longbow solely because of the attack speed. Maybe this trait is exactly what I need to consider using the longbow. Another trait I’m interested in is the Thief’s “Invigorating Precision” where you get 5% healed when you crit. This helps with survivability. Not sure by how much though, I’ll have to run some numbers. The Warrior’s “Dual-Wield Agility” where you get 10% more attack speed when wielding an off hand weapon makes me want to try a bleed spec build. The Necromancer’s Unholy Sanctuary that let’s you gain health while in Death Shroud is really good. You gain that extra survivability. Again, I’ll have to run numbers on that.

What do you guys think of the update to traits and the new traits mentioned in the blog? Do you think it will help your main profession or make other professions more fun?