Greetings all! Guild Wars 2 Game Director Colin Johanson recently made a State of the Game post for the first quarter of 2016. There are some things we know and some new things we don’t. I’ll summarize each piece coming this year and my thoughts will be laid out at the end; so you can skip to that if you read the state of the game already. Now, let’s delve in.
What’s Coming January 26th
Gliding To Central Tyria: If you have the gliding mastery you’ll be able to use your glider in any open world map or city in Central Tyria (no dungeons, story instances or Fractals). There will be some No-Fly zones around some areas such as the end of jumping puzzles to prevent skipping content.
Updated Shatterer Fight: This world boss fight is getting an update as well as an achievement category, upgraded reward chest, increased experience earned & unique back item.
World & Raid Boss Decorations: Speaking of bosses, certain raid and world bosses will drop tokens your guild can use to buy decorations. These decorations can be further upgraded into trophies that resemble the chests after you defeat these bosses.
Quality of Life Fractal Updates: LFG tool will be updated to help for looking for higher scale fractals. Daily fractals will appear as the daily in the top right daily achievement UI when inside Fractals. The fractal hub will also be updated to allow players to swap fractal level while inside to negate rezoning to Lion’s Arch to do so.
Healer Recognition: Healer’s will still have to tag an enemy for participation but healing, removing conditions, and applying buffs to allies will now count for additional contribution.
Squad UI Upgrades: Squad leaders will have access to markers to place on the map that show up for squad in the game world and the mini map. Leaders can also make lieutenants to help lead subgroups, invite/remove players & broadcast messages.
WvW Upgrades: Secured, Reinforced and Fortified objective upgrade levels for objectives will be done after a certain number of dolyaks have reached the objective; this is to allow upgrade denial. Each kill in WvW will award 1 point to your world’s War Score. The number of players that can rally of a kill will be reduced from 5 to 1. Finally, a player cannot revive fully dead players while in combat.
New Stronghold Mist Champion: Tybalt Leftpaw will be a Mist Champion available to players by completing his reward track.
Major Balance Update: an update to balance each profession for a new meta. You can read about that here.
More Controls: There will be additional key binding controls for action camera, snap ground targeting, auto targeting to allow for push-to-toggle or hold-to toggle use. A new check box for viewing object names in the world (without holding down a key) will also be added.
Eldvin Monastery Brew of the Month Club: Master Brewer Desch Metz in Queensdale is starting a monthly brew club. Visit a major city once a month to receive a package in the mail for that month’s brew. After getting all 12 brews, you will receive a title, a brewer’s backpack skin and a guild decoration.
Future Early 2016 Content
Note that this content is set to come out between now (January) and the end of March.
Lunar New Year Event: the yearly lunar event will be available in Divinity’s Reach on January 26th till February 9th. There will be Dragon Ball PvP, fireworks, and decorations.
New Raid Wing – Salvation Pass: Later in the year, the next raid wing will continue investigating the missing PAct Squad along with new challenging bosses, rewards, masteries and access to more for the legendary armor collection.
New PvP League Season: Ranked season will start on February 23rd with all new improvements to the League system. Badges and the guild leaderboard will be reset. You can continue building your legendary PvP back item.
Pro League Season 1 Finals + Relegation Tournament: In February the Pro League Season One Championship will take place where team will compete for a $200,000 USD prize pool.
Later In 2016
Living World Season 3: This will continue the story post HoT and hit on some questions that weren’t answered in the main HoT story line.
Fractal Update: This includes the needed steps to finish the legendary back item, fractal leaderboards, brand new fractals, polish and balance to existing fractals, rewards, and instabilities.
Big WvW Update: This is the big overhaul to WvW that was suppose to come out before HoT. This project has been worked on for the past year to solve core WvW issues like population balance, scoring, rewards, and the need for 24-hour coverage. There will be a beta phase for this sometime later. WvW tournaments will return once this update comes into play.
My Thoughts On The Content Coming
So I’m not personally excited for all the changes coming at the end of the month. I will admit that some of these changes are great. Gliding in core Tyria will be fun, I’ll be jumping off all the things, and looking forward to the Shatterer fight. Fractal and Squad UI quality of life changes were really needed. I like the viewing object names option we’ll be getting as it’ll let me free up ctrl key for key bindings. I can honestly say the major balance update has me more on the edge of my seat than anything else due to waiting and seeing what happens to Thief (which is my main profession). I have very strong opinions when it comes to Thief balance.
Early 2016 content were expected things but I am interested in. The 2nd season of PvP League will be better due to a stronger ladder to climb without (hopefully) dealing with fewer exploitation issues. Of course, I want to play the new raid wing as well; I feel that the first wing was done really well and is one of the best things about Heart of Thorns.
Later in 2016 content is what I’m really interested in. Living World was always something to look forward to, new fractals would be fun and the WvW overhaul will be very interesting to see since it was to be shipped (ideally) before HoT. Sadly this will probably be around or after June. I think personally I’ll have enough content to do until the bigger changes roll in.