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Retconning Heart of Thorns

By William Murphy on April 19, 2016 | Previews | Comments

Retconning Heart of Thorns

DUNGEON LOVE! (A LITTLE, AT LEAST)

But what about Dungeons? Seemingly not completely forgotten by ArenaNet, perhaps even showing signs of life, there’s a new repeatable achievement for dungeons where any time you complete any 8 paths in dungeons you’ll get 5 gold and 150 tokens of any chosen dungeon currency. You’ll also get 80 tokens from the daily bonus chest for your first daily completion, as opposed to the old 40.  Additionally, the Aether weapons now have an increased drop rate from the Clockheart boss in Twilight Arbor.

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NEW DAILY ACHIEVEMENTS

New dailies are being added to the regular rotation – HoT specific versions of events, gathering, and vistas. Completing bronze challenges in specific adventures will get you another daily. Completing specific jumping puzzles will get you another, and even Mini-Dungeons and completing any path of any dungeon will get you another.  Additionally, when you complete the meta daily achievement, you’ll be rewarded with 2 gold! That’s enough right there to make doing the dailies worth it again.

FRACTAL REWORKS AND A NEW LEGENDARY WEAPON

Fractals are also getting an upgrade, with four tiers from Fractal Level 1-25, 26-50, 51-75, and 76-100 being the new setup. Fractal daily achievements are added for completing islands in specific tiers. The team also did a balance pass on the Cliffside fractal and reworked the boss. Mystlock Instability has seen adjustments like adding cooldowns to abilities like No Pain, No Gain – which granted boons when players critically hit. Overall, the daily achievement for completing islands should make people actually play more of the fractals, as there’s now incentive to do so.

The final Legendary weapon we’ll be seeing for a while has been added to the game as well: a brand new shortbow with its own legendary journey involving tiger cubs and growing and adventuring with them. Additionally, the final collection for the Fractal Backpack Ad Infinitum has been added so Fractal nuts can complete that epic looking back item.

WORLD V WORLD AND PVP UPDATES

Not to be outdone the WvW and PVP teams have a slew of changes coming too. World Linking is going into beta, and that means more population for everyone. Not to be confused with server merges, this is essentially taking smaller worlds and joining them with other worlds to make a “world team” for the purpose of WvW. This is only for the purpose of WvW, not the rest of the game. You can even mouse over a world in the WvW menu to see what worlds are part of the team. And since they’re shaking up team membership, ArenaNet is also resetting the matchmaking date. There’ll be some new variation in the matchups, and the world team groups won’t be permanent either. As populations ebb and flow, the team will adjust the matchings.  It’s in beta for this update, to test it on the live servers.

Additionally, Reward Tracks similar to what’s found in PVP is coming to WvW. Whereas PVP rewards are doled out at the end of each match, WvW rewards will come to you every fifteen minutes (roughly the same as PVP matches) and rewards will be based off of your own contribution or participation score. As you do anything in WvW, whether it’s part of a small group or a large fight, you’ll earn participation and get rewards based on that. One of the new reward tracks even offers players a chance to earn the new WvW exclusive Triumphant Armor set!

Oh, and for you scouts in WvW? Don’t worry. One of every five people in a commander’s squad can be designated as a scout in the party UI. That person, while not directly affecting the battle or partaking in many fights, will still earn participation based off the squad’s actual participation score. So yes, even scouts can earn rewards in WvW without having to do it adhoc as has been done by the community in the past.

There’s also a new WvW ability line called Provisions Master. This will let you get tricks and traps from the Provisioner, a new portable provisioner that can be used like the portable banks and other merchants, auto-looting in WvW, and an increase to badges of honor looted from fallen foes.  As a part of all these changes, experience will no longer be awarded in WvW. Instead, you’ll get Tomes of Knowledge in the Rank Up chests and with the reward tracks. All of this comes on top of a huge change to Stability, Player Walls, and an overhaul of the Desert Borderlands map layout.

Lastly, two PVP maps have been updated with the goal of working them into the competitive/ranked play. Spirt Watch and Skyhammer have both had a number of changes to make them more in line with other maps. Provided things go well on live, the maps should be added to the ranked rotation soon.

Still with me? Good, because it’s clear that ArenaNet meant it when they said this Spring Update would be a game changer. I’m most intrigued to see how playable the HoT map changes make the areas when you’re solo or in small groups. I have a feeling it’ll go over extremely well with the community, but I definitely need to test it myself to see if it cures HoT of the “herd mentality” in the Maguuma Maps. We’ve still got some time before the Living World story picks up, and I’ll be interested to see if this makes the community happier until more content is pipelined into Tyria. Will you be trying the new update?

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.
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