Guild Wars 2 Summer Roadmap and July 19 Update Preview

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on July 13, 2022

In the June 2022 studio update, we mentioned that we’d be back in mid-July to share our release roadmap from now through the end of the summer. We have that for you, plus a preview of next week’s update. Let’s get to it!

Let the Clockwork Chaos Begin

The third episode of Living World Season 1 returns on July 19!

Queen Jennah is preparing to wrap up her gala Jubilee with a momentous speech to her loyal subjects and visitors—but the nefarious villain Scarlet Briar has other plans!

As a reminder, Living World Season 1 content is free for all players, permanently. Complete the original episode achievements and new achievements to earn rewards!

World’s Best (World) Boss

World boss encounters are some of the most unique and quintessential Guild Wars 2 experiences, with each requiring dozens of players to band together in pursuit of a common goal: defeating the baddie. They do an excellent job of showcasing the highly social and collaborative gameplay that Guild Wars 2 is known for. Four of these world bosses reside in low-level starting zones and are the first large-scale encounters that new players experience as they venture into the world of Tyria. These bosses were first introduced nearly ten years ago, and since then we’ve significantly raised the bar on our encounter design standards. It’s important that these encounters leave a strong first impression for newer players and continue to be enjoyable for veteran players, so we’ve given each a bit of love as we prepare for the future launch of Guild Wars 2 on Steam.

In the July 19 update, we’ll be making some improvements to the Great Jungle Wurm, Shadow Behemoth, Svanir Shaman Chieftain, and Fire Elemental world boss events. Our goal is to bring them up to our current design standards by adding skill telegraphs and defiance bars, improving encounter mechanics, and rebalancing health pools to accommodate the power level of modern profession builds. The Great Jungle Wurm, Shadow Behemoth, and Svanir Shaman Chieftain will also receive some model and texture quality improvements, and one champion loot bag will be added to the completion rewards for each event.

These changes will give players a better preview of the gameplay and boss encounters they will see during their future adventures in Tyria.

Simplifying and Improving Raid Rewards

We’re proud of the gameplay that endgame content like raids offers, but the perceived high barrier to entry makes it somewhat of a niche game mode. There’s a lot of opportunity to grow the endgame PvE community, and one of our goals this year has been to break down some of the barriers discouraging players from jumping into the content. We feel that it’s important for future Steam players to see that there’s a healthy PvE community waiting for them at the endgame.

We’ve already taken a few steps toward our goal of making raid content more accessible. On June 7, we made the Special Forces Training Area more accessible to give players an easier way to practice for raid content. On June 28, we introduced the Emboldened system, which gives new raid players an easier onramp into the content as they learn the encounter mechanics and their roles. These efforts are already paying off as a wave of new raiders have stepped into the content and cleared their first wing, and many have even chosen to charge forward into later wings without Emboldened to bolster them. We’d like to extend our gratitude to the raiding community for welcoming these new players in and helping them succeed. We’ll have the best shot of growing the endgame PvE community if we work together.

In the July 19 update, we’ll be making some changes to raid rewards to help address some long-standing pain points and reduce unnecessary complexity in raid currencies. All existing Gaeting Crystals are being converted to Magnetite Shards, and Gaeting Crystals as a currency will be retired. The weekly Magnetite Shard cap will be doubled from 150 to 300 to account for the previous weekly cap of 150 Gaeting Crystals. All rewards that previously required Gaeting Crystals to purchase will cost Magnetite Shards instead. You’ll still need to complete specific encounters to unlock their associated rewards, but now you’ll be able to work toward any item you want to purchase by playing any raid.

Additionally, existing Legendary Divinations are being converted into Legendary Insights, and Legendary Insights are being converted from an item in your inventory into a currency. You’ll now be able to purchase Gifts of Compassion and Gifts of Prowess from Scholar Glenna at the same cost as the previous Mystic Forge recipes for those items.

Challenge mode raid rewards are also seeing a major update. Going forward, completing any challenge mode raid encounter will award a bonus chest containing 2 gold, 2 Provisioner Tokens, 10 Magnetite Shards, bonus experience, and a random exotic item. This reward can be obtained once per week per encounter. The Top-Tiered Terror Toppler achievement will be retired.

We believe it should be easy to understand the path toward earning a reward, and players should feel rewarded for the time and effort they put into learning and completing raid content. Simple as that.

Stabilizing Fractal Instabilities

The Mistlock Instability system is intended to keep Fractals of the Mists feeling fresh, with each instability introducing a new twist that provides additional challenges when completing an encounter. However, some instability combinations have a tendency to be more frustrating than challenging or fun. In the July 19 update, we are making adjustments to nearly every Mistlock Instability to reduce frustrating difficulty spikes, reward players for taking advantage of positive play opportunities, and increase synergy between instabilities across the board. A full breakdown of the changes and the design commentary for those changes will be waiting for you in the release notes on July 19.

Summer Roadmap

Here’s a look at our major release dates through the end of summer.

  • July 19—Living World Season 1 Episode 3, World Boss Improvements, Raid Reward Changes, and Mistlock Instabilities Update
  • August 2—Festival of the Four Winds, Kralkatorrik Legendary Weapon Skin Variants, Balance Update
  • August 23—Guild Wars 2 10-Year Anniversary
  • September 13—Living World Season 1 Episode 4

We might still have a few surprises up our sleeve for the summer months!

Wrapping Up

On June 28, we introduced the challenge mode for the Harvest Temple Strike Mission. Without a doubt, this is the most difficult encounter that has been introduced in Guild Wars 2 to date. After five grueling days and hundreds of raid wipes—all livestreamed to thousands of viewers on Twitch—a group of ten indomitable raiders succeeded in becoming the first in the world to overcome this challenging encounter. Congratulations to the guild Snow Crows for their monumental achievement. We had a blast following the action on Twitch over the last week as multiple groups raced to claim world first. In case you missed it, you can relive the last moments of Snow Crows’ first clear here. (Note: This video is in English only and contains some explicit language.)

We’ll see you in game,
—The Guild Wars 2 Team