Hi, I’m Paul Ella, producer for Guild Wars 2 raids, and today I am happy to reveal the launch of legendary armor.
First, a little background.
When we started creating raids, our aim was to produce complex endgame combat that would really give players a chance to demonstrate their skills, abilities, and tactical thinking in overcoming its challenges. As a reward for defeating the raid bosses, we realized early on that we would need something that reflects your success to other players. Enter legendary armor—the ultimate pinnacle of armor in all of Tyria.
Creating the armor has been a very long and intense process; we’ve never produced any armor set as complicated as the legendary armor. A key original requirement was that the armor should animate. However, when we started digging into what that entailed, it soon became apparent that this wouldn’t be simple: for us to accommodate that design vision required multiple engineering changes to the underlying game engine.
To clip or not to clip…
The one key premise we’ve had for legendary armor is that it shouldn’t clip with itself. That might sound like a simple thing, but let me tell you—it’s far easier said than done. Remember, what we’re doing with this armor is different from anything else in the game. The way the models for the Guild Wars 2 characters are made makes it an exercise in compromise. For example, if a player character’s hand clips through a skirt, we could move the hand—but the hand now clips through a weapon. We can move the weapon’s stow point—but the weapon now floats too far away from the body. We can use a particle effect to hide the gap…but that impacts the frame rate, and so on, and so on. Every change we make has consequences. Where we are now with the armor is the result of hundreds of hours of making similar decisions. There will be clipping—it’s the level of clipping that is important.
The armor makes the human—or norn, charr, asura, or sylvari.
As I mentioned in my previous armor blog, we want the legendary armor to transform you into a killing machine, laying waste to your enemies upon entering combat and then returning you to a serene state in time for tea and medals. The silhouette of each armor set is unique, as are the design concepts behind each set, but the artists responsible for the armor can explain it better.
The heavy armor conveys images of chivalrous knights—plated ‘iron soldiers’ of war. With a flash, and the flare of winged magic, the armor transforms and is imbued with mystical energy. Since the heavy armor was our first implementation of this new armor tech, the challenge quickly grew beyond making a good-looking armor; we had to figure out how to convey a sense of awe that grows with the armor through its transformation while navigating through the confines of new technical limitations compounded on top of the already existing ones. —Bojin Shi
Medium armor is crafted from a collection of the finest bones of legendary foes. These special bones hold magical powers that are channeled throughout the armor, culminating in a surge of mystical energy. When the transformation is complete, excess energy is expelled from the wyvern skulls. —Loraine Howard III
The light armor is based on the mystical energy of crystals. It’s surrounded by crystal energy, and holds magical power within. When entering combat, the crystal energy is released to transform the armor into its combat form. The energy is distributed among crystal spikes, manifesting as an electrical aura. The armor transformation was a huge challenge, but the result is quite satisfying. — Mia Kim
It’ll all end in runes.
As with legendary weapons, each piece of the legendary armor will let you select its stats from any of those available in the game when you’re out of combat. If you want to use Yassith’s headpiece with Zojja’s tassets and Ahamid’s boots, it’s as simple as clicking on that armor piece and selecting those stats.
Take the example I run into on a regular basis: as a warrior, I normally run a Phalanx Strength build, using a set of ascended armor with berserker stats and Superior Runes of the Scholar. However, sometimes a fight calls for me to run a condition build. This requires a separate set of armor with different stats and different runes.
Legendary armor with selectable stats would address the need for two sets of armor with different stats—but what about the runes? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
When you apply an upgrade (rune or infusion) to a piece of legendary armor and there is already an upgrade in the slot you have selected, the existing upgrade will be moved to your inventory and the new upgrade will replace it. Simple as that.
Go get it!
When Flashpoint releases next Tuesday, players will be able to complete the collection and legendary armor will be obtainable (and viewable in the wardrobe). Each piece can be worn individually or as a complete set, so you are free to mix and match.
To complete the collection, players will need to visit and interact with the only living thing remaining in the Bastion of the Penitent once the prison has been cleared.
Good luck, and see you in the game.