This week, Guild Wars 2 continues its aggressive schedule of releases with the Bazaar of the Four Winds. This in game shopping mall will attract beings from all over Tyria. We got the chance to talk with the team and find out what players can expect from this new patch. Also, they answered a few of our questions regarding further updates and how the new changes to the achievement system work.
ArenaNet is dedicated to keep Guild Wars 2 a living world every two weeks with an update. The Zephyr Sanctum has joined the Bazaar and offers players some new crystals to help them with their in game movement. The new crafting ingredient “quartz” will be all over the zone and give players some new options in the crafting system with new stats affixes. The story reunites players with some popular NPCs and brings the full scope of the Bazaar’s crafts for players to discover. But the real enjoyment comes from the enhanced movement modes, new PvP zone, and more importantly the player vs. player foot-race.
The Zephyr crystals are the biggest addition to GW2 and each one has a specific purpose. All of them impact player movement and give bonuses to how players can explore the zones as well as reach certain heights which were not possible before. The wind crystals are blue and allow the players to jump higher. The orange ones hold the power of the sun and grant a speed burst. The purple crystals are lightning in a gem and allow players to increase their leap for distance. All three can be put to use to give players a new way to move about the zones. The Zephyr themselves will be a major part of the patch and players can get to know this new faction.
ArenaNet has set up puzzles and even a racecourse for players to test their skills on. If you thought some console games were tough in terms of movement and timing, well the Bazaar will have areas that test your mettle. The Sanctum Sprint course hosts twelve players in a race against each other maximizing the use of their new found crystal power. The team explained that there are very precision jumps and leaps to be made throughout the course. If sprinting and leaping is not your game then perhaps you enjoy drinking? Belcher’s Bluff is a new minigame added to GW2 which will catch on quickly.
Belcher’s Bluff is a classic drinking contest which you can play against NPCs, NPC masters, and even other players. If the Sanctum course doesn’t see betting, than Belcher’s Bluff definitely will. You can also cheat during the contests and pretend not to drink or switch out your cup with water... just don’t get caught.
Skyhammer is the new PvP map which will be introduced for the hardcore fighters out there. However, this zone does not keep your feet on the ground. Skyhammer is a three capture-point map which features a giant floating energy cannon. The Asura have made sure anyone who enters the battle zone will come away with vertigo. The team is very excited to see how the zone works out for PvP players with adding the element of vertical heights and movement options it should add a whole new dimension to PvP.
We did get a few questions in during the call, too. The biggest was about the Achievement system. Now with the Bazaar players will be able to spend their achievement points on a host of new upgrades. We asked if the system is retroactive so that all of the points players have saved up can be used. The team confirmed that points will definitely count and the system is 100% retroactive. They want to make sure players are fully rewarded for their efforts dating back to launch. We also asked about the personal quartz node being the first step to make the home instances more updated. The team is taking a close look at home instances and want to include them more and more in the game as a place for player’s to visit. They did reveal that some of the Belcher’s Bluff masters which you can play against will be in the home instances as well. Lastly, we asked about the armor updates coming to the game and to see if some more heroic looking armor will be seen. The team always takes feedback and want to make sure players have plenty of options when choosing how they look, whether it’s heroic and serious, or silly too. No direct answer was given about armor updates, but they said it is something they are watching.
Guild Wars 2 has taken on a very unique goal with providing players content every two weeks. It is such a push for a major MMO we are still surprised that they continue to deliver. Right now players have the Bazaar of the Four Winds to look forward to. Check out Dave’s own hands-on look at the Bazaar, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Garrett Fuller is the Industry Relations Manager at MMORPG.com.
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