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Guild Wars 2 Column: Cutthroat Politics

By David North on July 22, 2013

Guild Wars 2 has changed alot since its release as ArenaNet continues to add new content and changes to make the experience more fluid and enjoyable.  Now content will be added to the game every two weeks.  Guess what, it’s that time again!  The newest content for Guild wars 2 is called Cutthroat  Politics, and it will start a new age in Tyria, where the actions and decisions of players will change the world.

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Ever since the assassination back during The Dragon Bash, the seat on the Captain’s Council has remained empty.  This powerful position is being pursued by Ellen Kiel, and Evon Gnashblade.  But this power can only be obtained through election.  Each will make some promises to players in order to secure votes.  Ellen will reduce the cost of waypoint uses for four weeks, and start fractal research dealing with the Thaumanova Reactor explosion.  Evon will reduce the cost of the black Lion keys for four weeks, and will start research on the fall of the old God Abaddon.   Fans of the original may find Evons offerings a bit more interesting.  One thing to remember when supporting your favorite candidate, whatever option loses, will never see the light of day.  The development team hasn’t created this content yet.  They are waiting to hear what the players want.

To support a candidate, the development team will add support buttons (like the kind you wear on a real election day) and using this places an icon by your name so you can proudly show who you believe is fit to join the Captain’s Council.  By showing support you can give the candidate tokens, and also work towards some new achievements.  Two new categories are being added, one for each candidate.  For completing the achievements you will receive either a mini of Ellen, or Evon.  It will be possible to complete both new categories to get both minis.

No good political race is complete without entertainment.  Each candidate will bring in new PvP-style mini games.  Remember the Hunger Royale from the beta events?  Similar gameplay will return in a new event called Southsun Survival.  Players will go against each other in the dangerous wilderness of eastern Southsun Cove.  Players will be equipped with nothing but a bow and a few arrows as they scavenge for passion fruit food rations to survive.

Hunger is a new status effect that will slowly reduce your health until you starve in this mini-game.  As the game progresses, hunger will begin to stack, causing you to starve faster.  To make matters worse, players can trigger traps that alarms others of their location, or even trip and drop all of their equipment.  For those that prefer to hunt, be sure to take aim, because missed shots will allow enemy players to pick your arrow out of the ground and use it against you.

If you do happen to die, don’t worry because the fun isn’t over yet.  Death results in you fading into the mist.  You can now walk the grounds as a spirit, following other players that are still alive.  You may even stalk the one who killed you.  You can torment them using traps, and even summon a karka to their location.

Another fun PvP activity being added is the Aspect Arena.  Here players will try to collect crystals for the team.  Combatants will choose their favorite aspect, and gain a whole new set of abilities to move around the map, and attack players.  If you choose the sun aspect, get ready to do some sniping.  Long range attacks will allow you to take players out before they get a chance to strike you.  Wind will allow you to be an expert at mid-range combat, throwing balls of wind to bring the hurt.  If you prefer to take out your opponent while you look them in the eyes, then the lightning aspect is just for you.  Control the dangerous element in short range combat. 

If you prefer a more cooperative experience, then you will want to check out the Candidate Trials Challenge.  Here you will fight waves of Aetherblade Pirates that are trying to capture the treasures of crashed air ships.  There are four tiers to the challenge, with each one proving to be more difficult than the last.  While the first tier may be completed alone, it’s recommended you bring some friends along for the later tiers.  If you’re successful, you’ll receive aetherized weapons, and support tokens to give to your favorite candidate.

Last week I talked about how permanent changes could be introduced by ArenaNet  It seems we are already seeing Arenanet putting some of the control into the players hands.  While the changes won’t leave a scar on the landscape of Tyria directly, the types of events and chapters in the Living Story will be affected by this election for months or years to come.  I was never a fan of politics, but this election has me very excited.

David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com.  David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them!  If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.


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