After over a year of work on increasing and stabilizing DirectX 11 support in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has announced that the game will begin the process of ending support for DirectX 9 on February 6th.
While the change to the minimum system requirements will take effect on that date, the Guild Wars 2 team plans a gradual migration over an eight-week period, so there will be a bit of a grace period before support for DirectX 9 comes to an end around April 18th. If you don't run a system that can handle DirectX 11 via hardware, there will be another way to play Guild Wars 2 if you need some extra time beyond that. And that is through a cloud gaming service like Nvidia GeForce now.
DirectX 11 was originally released in 2009, as the team notes, so if your system is newer than that then it should be DirectX 11 capable. Though by continuing to have the streaming service option, it won't mean players get completely locked out if they somehow do have a really old system they've been playing on.
The Guild Wars 2 team has kept the community informed about the pending changes, including the introduction of a DirectX 11 beta in late 2021, so this move isn’t unexpected.
This is just the latest game to take steps like this to modernize development.. Games like EVE Online, EverQuest 2, World of Warcraft, and just this week, Pearl Abyss announced that Black Desert Online will move to recommend DirectX 11 compatible systems as they too seem to be preparing the end of DirectX 9 support. Essentially, a number of development teams would like to be left burdened by the need to keep optimizing all updates for really old systems.
For more, read the announcement by the Guild Wars 2 team on these upcoming changes.