Studio Update: Guild Wars 2 in Spring and Summer 2024

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on May 14, 2024

Greetings, Guild Wars community!

My name is Josh Davis, and I’m the game director for Guild Wars 2®. Today, I’m excited to present the Spring and Summer 2024 Studio Update and give you the latest scoop on what’s coming to Tyria. We have a lot of ground to cover today—from Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™ to World vs. World to Player vs. Player and more—so let’s dive right into things.

Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure: “The Midnight King”

The final update for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, “The Midnight King,” will arrive next Tuesday, May 21. This content will be available for free to all current and future owners of Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure.

These final story chapters will bring the commander deeper into the world of Nayos, to the Citadel of Zakiros, where the indomitable Midnight King himself resides. These story chapters come with expanded playable space in Inner Nayos and a climactic meta-event chain. In addition, this release also includes the Lonely Tower—our latest fractal dungeon, the second tier of the legendary Obsidian armor set, refreshed Wizard’s Vault rewards and challenges, and six new relics. We’ll spend a few weeks monitoring the fractal dungeon and balancing the encounter if needed, and then on June 4 we will introduce the fractal’s challenge mode.

Speaking of challenge mode, we’re excited to announce that the May 21 release will also introduce a challenge mode for the squad-based version of Convergences and its five legendary bosses (yes, a fifth boss is incoming). You’ll fight amped-up versions of each encounter while dealing with stricter resurrection rules. You’ll earn extra rewards for your efforts, and achieving a gold-ranked clear time on all five encounters will net you a new title to show off to all your pals. We’re also adding an in-game leaderboard for all five bosses, so you can compete with your friends for the fastest clear times and bragging rights.

Finally, we have three exciting quality-of-life updates coming with this release. First, squad messages will now appear when hovering over commander icons on the minimap. This will make it easier to identify the purpose of a squad, especially when you have multiple commanders operating on the same map. Second, by popular request, we’re introducing a nifty accessibility upgrade that allows players to customize the color and shape of the targeting reticle while using the action camera mode. And finally, we are increasing the guild membership limit from five to six for all players. Time to make some more friends!

The action camera targeting reticle now has new customization options.

World vs. World Updates

It’s happening! We’re excited to announce that the World Restructuring system will be moving into an always-on beta status beginning with the WvW reset on June 14.

This feature has been a long time coming, and there will undoubtedly be kinks that we’ll need to iron out with the launch, but making the feature perpetually available to players will allow us to iterate on the system more quickly than the limited beta events we’ve run previously . For example, we are continuing to hammer out the remaining queue bugs.

To further mitigate the queue issue in the short term, we’ll add an additional tier to both NA and EU WvW, which will reduce the queue length for maps during prime time. (As a note, the end of the final relinking period will be extended from May 31 to June 14.)

We have a few important changes coming to help prepare for the introduction of World Restructuring. We are increasing the guild membership limit from five to six to give WvW players some added flexibility in creating or joining guilds for World Restructuring. Second, we’re introducing an in-game timer under the name “Next team creation lockout” in the guild panel to help communicate when changes to battle guilds will take effect.

Finally, to help memorialize the worlds we’ve been battling over for the past twelve years, you’ll be able to don a new title to honor them (example: Anvil Rock Veteran). These will be available as a free one-time purchase from Commander War Razor in WvW. We recognize that the world you consider your true home may not be the world you currently reside on, so we’re leaving it up to you to choose the title that means the most to you. Choose carefully!

The guild UI showing that there is now a 6th guild slot.

The May 21 update also brings some quality-of-life and balance adjustments, largely in response to the feedback we’ve been monitoring since our last round of changes on April 16. We’re continuing to observe the impact of recent changes and expect to iterate more on WvW systems in future updates.

  • The health bar for objective lords will now be displayed in the event UI, making their status much easier to track. Pro tip: clicking the lord’s health bar in the event UI will make them your active target. Works for PvE events, too!
  • Siege disruptors will now be unblockable.
  • We’re increasing the base-level and tier 3 supply capacities for keeps by 50 and increasing the amount of supply granted by the Supply Drop tactic by 100 to add some power back to defending.
  • The Chilling Fog tactivator now heals allied players every few seconds for its duration instead of chilling enemy players.

We’re also planning a round of WvW changes for the July 16 release that are focused on scoring adjustments. We’ll be back in a few months to talk about those changes in more detail!

Champion tower lords' health will now be shown in the event UI.

Player vs. Player Updates

On June 25, we’ll be introducing some quality-of-life and rewards improvements in preparation for the start of the next ranked season on July 2. To add some new build options, we’re introducing two new attribute amulets: Heretic (+1,000 power, +1,000 precision, +500 healing power, +500 ferocity) and Tyrant (+1,000 power, +1,000 condition damage, +500 precision, +500 toughness), and adding Ogre and Tormenting runes.

On the rewards front, our goal is to make ascended armor and weapons more accessible in PvP by increasing the number of grandmaster marks that can be earned each season and decreasing the number of ascended shards of glory needed to purchase ascended armor and weapons. We’ll also be reintroducing reward track potions and adding new sources for karma from PvP rewards. Finally, like the prestigious colored titles we’ve added for WvW and endgame PvE, we’ll be updating the Champion Brawler title awarded for winning 10,000 rated arena games to a colored version.

In the July 16 update, we’ll adjust the frequency of our daily automated tournaments to consolidate teams into fewer events and increase competitiveness. We’ll also add a new weekly tournament event on Sunday in each region that features increased rewards. This seems like a good time to mention that we’ll also be bringing back the Tournament of Legends event on a twice-yearly cadence—and we’ll be back in the near future to confirm the next event date.

We’ll also address some long-standing feedback on the Djinn’s Dominion map in the July 16 update by making some improvements to the secondary map objective and the associated special action skills.

Skills and Balance Update

Our next set of skills and balance updates will arrive on June 25. We’re primarily focused on improving the usability of underpowered skills, utilities, and traits and bringing in outlier builds where necessary. As usual, the Skills and Balance Team will be live on Twitch next Friday, May 24, at noon Pacific Time (UTC-8) to give a preview of the update, and the release notes preview will be live on our forums shortly after. We’ll see you there!

Landscape in Nayos depicting a black and red structure atop a dark mountain.

Festivals and Bonus Events

Here’s the full schedule of festivals and bonus events coming to Guild Wars 2 in the next few months:

  • June 4–June 25: Dragon Bash
  • July 2: Start of PvP Conquest Season 42
  • July 2–July 9: Sunken Treasure Week
  • July 9–July 16: Dungeon Rush Bonus Event
  • July 16–July 23: PvP Rush Bonus Event
  • July 23–July 30: Living World Season 3 Bonus Event
  • July 30–August 20: Festival of the Four Winds

Don’t forget to bookmark our handy event calendar to keep tabs on what’s happening in the game!

Aren’t You Forgetting Something?

Oh, right. What happens after “The Midnight King”? Well, you’ll find out very soon, as it turns out. In the next few weeks, we’ll post a development retrospective blog post for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure that talks about what we learned from the process and how we’re taking those lessons forward into our next expansion. Shortly after that, you’ll get your first look at what that next expansion has to offer. Between that and everything we talked about above, it’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting summer!

As a final note, I’d like to take a moment to extend a heartfelt congratulations to four remarkable individuals who recently celebrated their 20-year anniversaries working at ArenaNet: Tami Foote (Environment Art Lead), Aaron Coberly (Art Director), Andrew “Frosty” Gray (Lead Designer), and Matthew Medina (Narrative Designer). Thank you for your undying dedication, creativity, and passion. Here’s to many more years of crafting incredible experiences together!

And to our community, as always, thank you for your continued support. We’ll see you in the game!

Josh “Not an Actual Grouch” Davis, Game Director

A roadmap graphic showing in-game events from May 21 until July 30.