In a rather large post on the Guild Wars 2 website, the team at ArenaNet broke down some of the upcoming content and changes to the MMO, honing in on Strike missions, raids, and tech improvements.
The blog update kicks off with Lead Systems Designer Cameron Rich talking about End of Dragons Stike Missions. Rich states that since the introduction of challenge modes to the strike missions, players have been flocking to them more than ever, with Rich stating that they've seen an increase in players who are participating for the first time.
"We’re happy to report that both the normal and challenge mode versions of strikes are fulfilling their intended purposes—we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of players playing Strike Missions for the very first time, and challenge modes are testing the skill and coordination of our more experienced players. And while life is good, it could be better."
Additionally, the team has been listening to feedback regarding rewards for these missions, and on June 28th the team is tweaking this, starting with doubling the gold you'll earn on a Strike. A new "high-end reward" is also coming, which has two ways to earn it. The Imperial Everbloom Infusion will be available via a vendor after you've completed all the End of Dragons challenge modes, while simply completing one gives you a chance to earn an unbound version of the item.
The team is also tweaking how they polish Strike Missions, citing the recent delay of the Harvest Temple, to ensure that these updates release as bug and issue-free as possible.
Moving on, the team talked about improving raid accessibility, stating that they are aware that raiding in Guild Wars 2 can come with a high barrier of entry. As such, the team is looking to "break down" that barrier, and has introduced the Emboldened System.
The Emboldened system will increase a player's health, damage, and healing each time you fail an encounter in the form of a stack of Emboldening. These stacks will grant players additional health, healing and damage in order to better help tackle the challenge ahead.
"Each week, one of the seven existing raid wings will be set to Emboldened mode. Upon entry, raid members will gain their first stack of the Emboldened enhancement, which grants additional health, damage output, and improved healing to aid in their battle against each boss. Each time the raid wipes against that boss, they’ll receive another stack of Emboldened, granting up to 100% additional health, 50% increased damage, and 50% increased healing output. Upon defeating the boss, the Emboldened stack will reset to one. Emboldened mode is entirely optional, and for those who prefer the challenge, it can be turned off by visiting the Emboldened mote inside that raid."
The team states that this will be optional, and that traps that were deadly before are still very deadly. However, ArenaNet states that this new mode will help players break into raiding and tackle these encounters when they might not have been able to before. Prestigious achievements will not be earnable when using the Emboldened system.
There is a ton to unpack in the update, with the team also talking about making the boundaries in player story instances more noticeable, as well as how it's building on class balance, especially tweaking how unique stacking bonuses work in and out of groups. You can check out the full blog on the Guild Wars 2 website.