By now ArenaNet has announced that The Dragon’s Reach Part 2 is going to be the start of midseason break. This will give them time to get ahead in the creation of the living story and give us time to fully learn and appreciate the new Feature Pack.
It was the Feature Pack that occupied most of the press meeting with the Guild Wars 2 creators. ArenaNet has proved that they are listening to the pleas of the WvW players and PvP players with this pack and the features in it.
After the September 9th launch of the feature pack WvW will never be the same. There are two major focuses for WvW in this pack. The first is the introduction of Siege Golem Mastery. It works much like the other mastery skills and offers some abilities that will be very interesting to anyone who has always wanted to use siege golems but found they have limited usefullness. Golems will be given a speed boost after the destruction of walls and doors. This allows them to keep up with the group as they run for the next target inside. Your golem will also now be able to not only shield players in a bubble but that bubble will also be an AOE heal. The end of a Siege Golem’s life is also getting a change. When the golem’s health is gone instead of being downed your character will now be forcefully ejected. This makes it much easier for you to get back into battle quickly. Siege disablers will prevent siege weapons from attacking for 40 seconds, plenty of time for it to be destroyed or ignored as you walk past.
The other major change coming to WvW has to do with Commanders. New Commander tags will be introduced that come in a variety of colors. This gives the potential for several Commanders to be on the same map leading different groups with completely different objectives. Imagine the red Commander leading an attack on the castle while blue operates a sneak attack to claim a mine. These are just some of the possibilities. Though there is also the risk that people will flag with the color of their choice just because they like the color. These new Commander tags will be unlocked account wide. As a result the cost of them is triple the current tags at 300 gold. Though they will be extremely costly I know many, many commanders who will happily buy them.
Equally exciting to the WvW announcements are all the changes coming to sPvP. Biggest of all was the announcement of an all new worldwide tournament. The Tournament of Glory will take place over three events. The first of these events will be held in late November or sometime in December. It all kicks off with an exciting tournament in Beijing and will travel the world as the event progresses. There will be exclusive armors available to those who compete in PvP. There is also a new PvP track system which allows you to track your progress on certain things and unlock sweet awards like an awesome new armor set that is exclusive to the track. Though the Glorious version of the armorn is available in the tournament only.
The staple of every MMO update will of course be present. I'm talking about class changes. Classes are ever evolving in Guild Wars 2 and this update will bring something new to every class. In particular they highlighted Guardian Spirit weapons which are rarely used at the moment. To make them viable opens for players they will all be made more powerful.
Finally, there was a discussion on why Feature Packs exist. Basically it comes down to not wanting people to overlook all the changes in favor of the content. This way players will be able to dedicate time to learning the changes without the pressure of completing content over their heads. Updates were previously getting lost in the noise. This is no longer the case thanks to feature packs. So, we have many more feature packs to look forward to in the future. Season 2 of the living story will be returning this fall.
All in all it was fantastic to see Guild Wars 2's presentation. They started it all off by showing a couple of amazing fan made videos. We talked very briefly about why GW2 doesn't call their competitive play eSports. The answer to that quite simply is that the term comes with a lot of baggage and a lot of expectations. So instead of focusing on that they focus on making an awesome game people love to play. And of course we got to get all the details on the next feature pack. We didn't go anywhere near the living story, simply because they don't want to spoil it all for us the players. I for one am quite glad they did this and can't wait for all of it to come. As with the previous feature pack Arenanet will be slowly announcing each feature over time, so keep an eye out for those!