As we sign off for our annual holiday break, we’re wishing you and yours a splendid season. In 2019, you brought down Kralkatorrik, defeated Qadim the Peerless, attended the biggest charr party ever as a guest of honor, and faced treachery in the Far Shiverpeaks. You’ve befriended skyscales, bonded with Raven, tackled four Strike Missions, and kicked back at festivals throughout the year.
In 2019, you’ve:
- Rocked out to almost 10,000 Metal Legion concerts
- Cooked nearly 1,000,000 ascended meals
- Participated in over 200,000 mount races
- Got knocked out (but you got up again) over 63,000,000 times
In the first quarter of 2020, we’re continuing to deliver content updates every month, from Living World episodes to competitive updates. An upgraded Lunar New Year experience with a new activity and rewards is on its way after the holiday break, followed by Episode 2 of The Icebrood Saga in January. The competitive team is still hard at work on Swiss tournaments and balancing, efforts that will bear fruit not long after the holidays. And after that, we’ll debut a new type of Living World content called Visions of the Past: a story that will take you out of the commander’s shoes and give you a new perspective on Ryland Steelcatcher—along with some unannounced surprises we can’t wait to unveil…
Now it’s time to rest, relax, and look forward to what comes next! Before we head home to spend time with our families, we wanted to give members of the Guild Wars 2 team an opportunity to talk about these updates in their own words.
Cal Cohen, Game Designer—Competitive Update
“The big thing we have coming down the line for both PvP and WvW is a major balance update. We’ve talked a little about it on the forums and on the WvW weekly stream, but to reiterate: our main goal is to reevaluate the desired power level for competitive game modes. We’re reviewing every skill and trait in the game to bring them more in line with our goals. This update will be a large step in the direction we want to move, but there will certainly be more work that follows and more problems to address. This balance update is currently targeted for Q1 of 2020, assuming everything goes according to plan.
On the PvP side of things, we’ve made some great progress with Swiss tournaments. We’re looking at running a beta event to test the system at a larger scale. Players who participate in Swiss tournaments during the event will earn a unique title. The beta is targeted for early next year, and the full release will follow after any outstanding bugs are squashed.
For WvW, we’re planning to address some of the problems introduced by the warclaw, namely its overall movement speed and elusiveness via evades. We’ll be removing the increased movement speed in owned territory and replacing it with a new Mastery that we’re still working out. We’ll also be reducing the warclaw’s endurance to give players more opportunities to chase it down and force a dismount.”
Joe Kimmes, Content Designer—Lunar New Year
“The first festival of 2020 will be Lunar New Year, starting soon after the holiday break. Historically, this celebration has been smaller, but this coming year we’re taking the first steps to bring it to parity with its fellow Tyrian holidays.
For the first time, Lunar New Year is getting its own weapon set and a new armor piece. You can start your seasonal look with the Shining Aureate weapons, earned by completing sets of daily achievements throughout the festival. The new armor piece will continue a standard set by 2019’s festivals and be available from the festival meta-achievement.
It won’t just be lighting fireworks and selling steamed red dumplings, though—in 2020, we’re adding a new PvE activity for Lunar New Year, the Celestial Challenge. Similar to Dragon Bash’s Dragon Arena, it’s a small group activity in the center pavilion of Divinity’s Reach in which you’ll be put to the test in a variety of events. Earn the favor of the celestial animals and more tangible rewards, such as discounted Divine Lucky Envelopes.
We’ll be watching your feedback to bring the best of each festival to the others throughout the year, so give it a try! I hope you enjoy the festival, and I’ll see you in game!”
Elijah Miller, Senior Designer—Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire
“Scry into the past and witness what life is like as a member of Ryland’s elite Steel Warband. Armed with the finest charr technology, the group will head into deadly snowstorms, dwarven ruins, and even explore the Darkrime Delves.
As a recruit, you are expected to assist the warband in a variety of tasks. Take up sniper rifles to fend off threats, gather components to bolster allies, and partake in friendly competitions to see who can defeat the most enemies.
Of course, there are additional perks to being in the Steel Warband—the troop is equipped with the latest armored vehicle. Recruits are expected to maintain the vehicle, but if you gather some ammo, you will be more than welcome to hop into one of the gunner seats and rain fiery death down upon any foe foolish enough to oppose the warband.”
The Icebrood Saga Episode Two Arrives January 28
Something big is coming. Watch the teaser below!
We’ll be back in the studio on January 2, 2020, ready to hit the ground running. Thank you for all your support in 2019, and we can’t wait to play along with you again next year!