Introducing Our Latest Quality-of-Life Feature: Cosmetic Inspection

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on April 15, 2024

Hello, Tyrians,

As we all know, fashion is the real endgame in Guild Wars 2®—and we have an update coming on April 16 that should help level the playing field for new and aspiring fashionistas.

After countless requests and much anticipation, the stage is finally set for a revolution in Tyria’s fashion scene with the introduction of cosmetic inspection! In tomorrow’s release you’ll find a new option titled “Inspect Cosmetics” in the context menu (accessed by right-clicking on another player’s portrait). Selecting this option will pop open a new panel that allows you to view that player’s equipped outfit, weapon, and armor cosmetic appearances and their associated dye choices.

This dialog can also be opened by entering the “/inspect” chat command with another player targeted. You’ll notice that some items have been updated with text that outlines how that item can be obtained, and we’ll be adding even more source descriptions in coming releases.

It’s important to note that this is a cosmetics-focused feature. Inspection does not give players information about the rarity or attribute selection of any item, nor does it provide details about equipped infusions, runes, or sigils. Additionally, to preserve competitive integrity in the PvP and WvW game modes, cosmetic inspection cannot be used to determine what weapons enemy players have equipped.

Life Gets Better

The cosmetic inspection feature is the latest quality-of-life improvement from the Guild Wars 2 Live Team. Their mandate over the past few years has been to address player problems and introduce improvements to areas of the game, such as the new-player experience, crafting, and group encounters. Here are some of their accomplishments in service of that goal:

  • The Legendary Armory
  • The Wizard’s Vault
  • Reintroduction of Living World Season 1
  • New and refreshed Bonus Week events
  • Allied player visual-effect toggle
  • Granular postprocessing options
  • Character selection-screen background customization
  • Progress bars for meta-achievements
  • Guild hall game-mode options
  • Filtering options in the Trading Post for skins you have unlocked
  • Recent rework of gobbler items

Sometimes our work on this front is less obvious or impacts the community in a roundabout way—like the work we’re doing to improve our development pipeline and tools and the work we’re doing to improve the technology that underlies Guild Wars 2, such as our engine.

Our commitment to not just maintaining but enhancing Guild Wars 2 is rooted in our belief that for a game to remain vibrant and engaging, it must evolve. The shift to DirectX11 was a milestone that marked just the beginning of our journey toward technological enhancement. This move was not simply about keeping up with the times; it was a declaration of our dedication to providing our players with an experience that continuously improves.

Thanks to DX11, we’ve been able to increase the number of armature bones and lighting objects for new models and environments, build full 360-degree skyboxes, and begin using vertex animation (or point-level animation). One of the engine improvements we’re working on right now is an upgrade to BC7 texture compression, a significant jump over the technology that we’ve been leveraging since the launch of the game. This will improve the clarity and fidelity of in-development and future textures, most notably for weapons, visual effects, environments, and creatures. In the longer term, we’ll be evaluating the feasibility of upgrading existing, already-shipped textures to BC7 compression, but there are some technical hurdles for us to overcome before we commit.

These enhancements not only pave the way for better visuals and smoother gameplay but also ensure that Guild Wars 2 remains a competitive, dynamic world that evolves with its community. We’ll have more developments to share on this front as the team continues their work.

Here’s a sneak peek at a new location from the fifth Guild Wars 2 expansion—shipping later this year:

A landscape screenshot from the fifth expansion featuring a beautiful sunlit path through a forest.

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you in the game.

—Josh Davis, Game Director