Studio Update: Guild Wars 2 in Autumn and Winter 2023

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on 24th October, 2023

Greetings, Tyrians,

The launch of Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™ has filled the skies of Tyria with skyscales, Halloween is in full swing, and we’re back with another update on all things Guild Wars 2.

Going through the Veil

“Through the Veil,” the first of three major updates to Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, is coming on November 7. As you may remember from previous update blogs and our expansion announcement, anyone who owns Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure will have full and permanent access to all new expansion content.

In ‘Through the Veil,’ three new story chapters will pick up where the launch story concluded and continue the adventure as you take your first brave steps into a new world: Nayos, the Realm of Dreams. If you haven’t gotten a chance to play yet, you’ve got about two weeks to get caught up on the story so far and get ready for the next installment. For folks who have already played the launch story (or want a glimpse of it), we’ve put together a little refresher on some of the key moments that have led to our situation at the start of “Through the Veil.”

In addition to new story chapters and the opening of the third map, the Cosmic Observatory Strike Mission Challenge Mode and the Oneiros-Spun armor set will also be released on November 7. In fact, to make it simple, here’s the chart we shared at launch that shows our plans for each Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure update.

August 22, 2023 November 7, 2023 Update 2 (2024) Update 3 (2024)
Story Launch Story Arc Story Continues Story Continues Story Concludes
Maps Skywatch Archipelago,
Outpost: Wizard’s Tower
Inner Nayos (Final Map) Introduced Final Map Extended Final Map Completed
Instanced Combat Strike: Cosmic Observatory,
Strike: Temple of Febe
Cosmic Observatory Challenge Mode Temple of Febe Challenge Mode Fractal with Challenge Mode
Weapons Weaponmaster Training New Weapon Proficiency for Each Profession
Masteries Heart of the Obscure Research,
Flight Training,
Astral Ward
Inner Nayos Masteries Mastery Updates Mastery Updates
Wizard’s Vault Wizard’s Vault Introduced Wizard’s Vault Seasonal Refresh Wizard’s Vault Seasonal Refresh Wizard’s Vault Seasonal Refresh
Armor Rift Hunter Armor,
Astral Ward Armor
Oneiros-Spun Armor Obsidian Legendary Armor Tier 1 Obsidian Legendary Armor Tier 2
Relics 40 Core Relics,
12 Secrets of the Obscure-Exclusive Relics
Additional Expansion Relics Legendary Relic Additional Expansion Relics
Rift Hunting Available in Secrets of the Obscure Maps and a Rotation of 12 Existing Maps

Convergences with Legendary Enemies,
Rift Hunting Map Rotation Completed
New Legendary Enemies New Legendary Enemies

Eagle-eyed observers will notice that the only real change from last time is that we moved up some items: we previously thought we’d need to add a few additional maps to the Rift Hunting rotation with each of the releases, but we were able to include six new maps to the rotation with the September 26 build. An additional six will be implemented with “Through the Veil,” completing the Rift Hunting map rotation.


Get ready, Rift Hunters! We’re excited to take demon hunting to a whole new level with Convergences, which are public or squad-based forays into enemy territory. The new story will introduce you to the concept of Convergences and unlock the associated Inner Nayos Mastery track.

Together with fellow Rift Hunters, you’ll open up a portal into the home realm of the Kryptis, where you’ll need to have your weapons at the ready and your wits about you. There are no waypoints in the hostile territory you’ll strike into; it’ll take coordination between players to keep yourselves and your allies alive long enough to complete your objective and take out the legendary Kryptis lurking in each Convergence.

The public version of Convergences operates on a timer, while squads can open Convergences on demand with unstable Kryptis motivations acquired from tier 2 and tier 3 bounties. You can also earn an unstable Kryptis motivation each week by participating in a Convergence.

a new type of rift hunting called Convergences

Wizard’s Vault Refresh

Each major expansion release comes with a Wizard’s Vault refresh (if you’re just catching up with Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, you can find more details on the Wizard’s Vault here). New seasons bring a new series of special objectives to complete for astral acclaim, which will all carry over. And you can then spend that Astral Acclaim on an updated roster of rewards!

The upcoming season of the Wizard’s Vault features an additional three unique armor pieces (to complement the three pieces from the season that’s about to end), a new infusion, a weapon set color variant, and more. And the rewards from the inaugural season aren’t going away: this release will add a Legacy Rewards tab, where all the exclusive cosmetic rewards from previous seasons will remain available (although at a slightly higher cost due to being out of season).

New Wizard's Vault Rewards

Weapons, Skills, and Balance

As you already read in the table above, six additional expansion relics will be available starting November 7. We’ll continue to expand the build options available to players through additional relics with the other two updates to follow.

Not too long after the release of “Through the Veil,” you can look forward to a skills and balance update on November 28. We’ll be sharing a preview of those changes, plus the new relics we just mentioned, this Friday, October 27, on our Twitch channel. As always, we appreciate your feedback beforehand, and we’ll be watching carefully when the changes ship so we can see how things evolve.

Speaking of November 28—this is also an important day because you will get your first chance to try out a new weapon on your favorite profession! While this Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure feature will launch during our second major expansion update in early 2024, we’re giving all players a chance to demo the expanded weapon proficiencies early to test them and provide feedback. This special beta event will run from the time our November 28 build goes live—around 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-8) until 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time on December 3. We’ll start sharing more information about each profession’s new weapon proficiency shortly after the release of “Through the Veil.”

World vs. World

We’ll have another blog out with more detailed information on World vs. World in a few weeks, but here are some highlights for this quarter.

In late January 2024, we’ll be expanding the ways you can use your guild hall to create unique gameplay experiences with a guild hall arena update, including a selector to control which game mode rules your guild arena uses. This new feature will give you the ability to set your personal game mode in the guild hall, enabling the skills and balancing for the Player vs. Player or World vs. World game modes. In addition, we’ll be introducing options to select teams outside of the confines of the guild arena, giving you access to the entire map so you can battle your friends.

We’ll also be running another World Restructuring beta in early 2024. As we discussed in our last studio update, the WvW team has shifted their priority to releasing a live version of the guild-based World Restructuring system. Doing this allows us to get consistent live data and feedback from the community to inform our continued development and improvement. Since our last beta, we’ve addressed a number of issues with guild selection, queue failures, reset issues, and more. In the next beta, we’ll be testing the new team builder, UI updates, and bug fixes. Assuming everything goes well with that test, we will be able to move forward with turning the system on full time. While we don’t have dates for the beta or initial release at this time, we will let you know as soon as possible to allow you time to organize your guilds.

Inner Nayos

The Busiest Time of the Year, except for All the Other Ones

Those are the major releases and system updates coming up soon, but there’s just a little more to cover. November and December will also include more events: a weeklong buff to support our Extra Life stream on November 3 and 4, a two-week New Hero Jump Start event, a Dungeon Rush week, and Wintersday coming up on December 12. Lunar New Year and a second skills and balance update will be coming along near the end of January 2024. Around then—or a little after—we’ll be back to talk about the next few months of Guild Wars 2.

Altogether, November through January looks something like this:

Secrets of the Obscure Events Gameplay Systems
  • Story Continues
  • Final Map Introduced
  • Convergences and Inner Nayos Mastery
  • Additional Expansion Relics
  • Wizard Vault Seasonal Refresh
  • New Armor Set
  • Cosmic Observatory Challenge Mode
  • Halloween (Ends November 7)
  • Extra Life Enhancement and Livestream
  • New Hero Jump Start
  • Dungeon Rush
  • Wintersday
  • Lunar New Year 2024
  • Skills and Balance Updates
  • Expanded Weapon Proficiency Beta
  • World Restructuring Beta
  • Guild Hall Arena Update

As a sign-off reminder, we’ve got two livestreams coming up. First, we’d love to have you join us this Friday at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7) for a preview of the November 28 balance patch. Then, come back on November 3 and 4 for our 24-hour Extra Life celebration starting at noon Pacific Time on Friday and running until noon Saturday. You can learn more about our Extra Life stream here. And you can always check our official Guild Wars 2 channels for the latest news and updates.

Happy adventuring, and we’ll see you in the game.

—The Guild Wars 2 Team