Pro Power Players
Long-Term Planning Ahead
To understand the Exalted, you must first understand the dragon Glint. Glint was created by the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik to be its champion, but her connection to the mortal races of Tyria led her to break with her master and protect as many sentient races as she could from the Elder Dragons’ predation. These selfless acts cost Glint her life when Kralkatorrik rose in the modern era, but before Glint died, she took steps to help ensure the sentient races of Tyria would survive the rise of Kralkatorrik and the other Elder Dragons. With the gift of prophecy and the Forgotten as her stalwart attendants, Glint prepared a legacy that would continue her great work even after she herself had died.
Under Glint’s instructions, roughly 300 years ago the Forgotten sought out human volunteers who shared their reverence for Glint’s dream of securing a peaceful future. After a rigorous set of tests and trials, the most worthy of these volunteers underwent a ritual that converted their bodies into pure magical energy which were then encased in golden metal armor. From this point forward, they were known as the Exalted.
As beings of pure eldritch energy, the Exalted have a much more advanced facility with magic than their former fleshy selves ever did. They are also effectively immortal?they do not age and are extremely durable, though they can still be killed by violence or by draining their essential magic. Exalted retain their names, personalities, and memories of the past, but they no longer eat or require sleep, allowing them to devote their attention and energy entirely to their duties.
Working for a Better Tomorrow
The Exalted are true believers in Glint’s message of hope and peace, wholly dedicated to preserving Glint’s legacy?as humans, they literally gave their lives in order to become the custodians of a brighter future. It’s hard work, but their training and the process that converted them into Exalted prepared them well for the noble duties they’re sworn to perform.
There are three basic types of Exalted, broken out by the type of work they were created to do: burnishers, bastions, and sages. While the Exalted are dedicated to a peaceful and harmonious future, they do not shrink from combat if called upon to fight.
Burnishers create and maintain the infrastructure of Tarir, shaping and infusing raw magic into buildings, roads, and complex devices. They are primarily responsible for keeping Tarir in working order, including the city’s formidable magical shields that defend it from external threats. They are also responsible for the upkeep of Tarir’s watchposts, a series of remote locations strategically placed to defend the city and observe the surrounding jungle. In combat, Exalted burnishers can summon temporary walls to protect themselves and their comrades, and they can create energy wells that heal their allies.
Bastions are the most martial members of the Exalted family, serving as the sentries, soldiers, and defenders of both Tarir and Glint’s legacy. They patrol the city and its watchposts to protect their home from Mordrem and other jungle threats. Individual bastions often form long-term partnerships with individual burnishers to defend and maintain a specific watchpost as a coordinated pair. Bastions can shape magical energy into ranged or melee weapons, or use it to shield themselves from incoming attacks.
Sages are the Exalted’s spell-casting class, who focus and direct the vast quantities of magic Tarir requires to keep the city functioning at full capacity. They also ensure that there is a steady supply of arcane energy flowing through the city and its watchposts for other Exalted to manipulate. Sages’ most important tasks are the creation and maintenance of Tarir’s rune-based teleportation system that allows instant point-to-point travel to specific locations inside the city as well as to and from its watchposts. Sages also employ a magical beam attack that doesn’t do a lot of damage but does help keep the enemy at bay.
Once Tarir was complete and ready to receive Glint’s legacy, the Exalted began to go dormant in order to conserve their magical resources until they were needed. Then, after Glint’s egg began to stir and the Zephyrite Master of Peace set out to deliver it to the fabled golden city, Tarir and its Exalted inhabitants responded. Magic began to flow; burnishers, bastions, and sages awoke to resume their duties; and both the Exalted and their city prepared to finally begin the task for which they had been created.
Unfortunately, Scarlet Briar had already awakened Mordremoth, and the Jungle Dragon’s colonization of Maguuma was well underway. The Exalted discovered the jungle was even more dangerous than they remembered and that allies they had made among Maguuma’s residents were missing, perhaps gone forever. Worst of all, they found an implacable and voracious horde of dragon minions eager to seize as much magic as they could for their master. The Exalted watched with sadness and horror as Mordremoth destroyed the Pact fleet, and some even wondered if their august duty was doomed to fail just as it was truly getting started.
Will the Exalted rally to fend off the Mordrem and make Tarir the safe haven it was designed to be? Under their care, will Glint’s legacy be the salvation that Glint, the Forgotten, and the Exalted themselves labored so hard to create?
In Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns?, players will not only see how the Exalted deal with these and other challenges, but they will also take an active hand in determining the final fate of Glint’s legacy?and the noble souls who serve it.
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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns? will bring a number of new Player vs. Player reward tracks, along with some exciting updates to both current and future reward tracks. Let’s take a look!
Mist Champion Reward Tracks: Me and My Mini MC
In previous blog posts?and over the course of several beta weekends and playtests?we introduced you to Stronghold, our new PvP game mode in which you hire troops to help you storm your enemy’s stronghold and defeat their lord. Along with Stronghold, we introduced Mist Champions, who are powerful allies in your struggle to defeat your foes. Now we want to give you a little more info about Mist Champion reward tracks.
To unlock a Mist Champion reward track, simply open the Mist Champions tab in the PvP Build panel and right-click on the Mist Champion of your choice. Just like obtaining build items in PvP, unlocking Mist Champions requires a small gold fee. Grymm Svaard’s reward track will be available for unlock by everyone. Nika and all future Mist Champion reward tracks will require Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Turai Ossa will be available for immediate use by everyone and will not have an associated reward track.
As a fun bonus for unlocking Mist Champions through these reward tracks, players will also have the opportunity to complete a second reward track to earn that Mist Champion’s miniature. Going forward, completion of any new Mist Champion reward track will also unlock bonus tracks for acquiring their miniature versions.
Rank Reward Tracks: A New Dragon Deserves a New Dragon Finisher
In addition to Mist Champion rewards tracks, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will bring a new series of reward tracks that unlock based on your rank in PvP. These reward tracks give you an alternate version of your rank finisher, themed for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Every player who owns the expansion will start with the new Jungle Rabbit reward track. As you finish each rank reward track, the subsequent tracks will unlock until you reach your current rank, all the way up to Dragon. And speaking of dragons, the Jungle Dragon Finisher is an entirely new finisher made especially for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns!
Shards of Glory and Black Lion Chest Keys
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will introduce Shards of Glory, a new tradable crafting material obtained through PvP. Because Shards of Glory are going to be a part of legendary crafting?which you’ll learn more about in the coming week?we’re updating all reward tracks with them. To accommodate this change, we’re replacing two of the four transmutation stones on each reward track with Shards of Glory.
Finally, while there are several opportunities to earn Black Lion Chest Keys via your personal story, there hasn’t been a way for players who choose to spend their time in PvP to earn them. I’m super excited to let you know that we’re going to start incorporating Black Lion Chest Keys into some of our new one-shot reward tracks. This will include all of the upcoming Mist Champion reward tracks and all of the rank reward tracks mentioned above!
With Mist Champions, new miniatures, new finishers, legendary materials, Black Lion Chest Keys, and a whole new Jungle Dragon Finisher, there are a ton of exciting new rewards to look forward to in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns PvP! We can’t wait for you to join us in advancing our reward tracks with the lamentations of our defeated foes!
See you on the battlefield!
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- Phantom’s Hood
The Phantom’s Hood is back by popular demand! Shroud your face with this seasonal hood.
Dress up as the king of Halloween himself with the Mad King’s Outfit, or if you’re feeling more rebellious, grab the Bloody Prince’s Outfit. If neither will do for you, then don the Witch’s Outfit this year!
Miniature Spooky Trio
This set contains the Mini Spooky Ghost, Mini Spooky Spider, and Mini Spooky Skeleton. Combine all three together in the Mystic Forge to create the terrifying Chainsaw the Skeleton miniature!
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Part OneGame Designer McKenna Berdrow, QA Embed Dara Potocska, and Gameplay Programmer Darren Mason talked about the Guild Initiative Headquarters, guild expeditions, guild missions, and the updated Guild panel.
Part TwoGameplay Programmer Seth Chadwick, Environment Artist Jesse Christensen, and Dara unveiled the second of two guild-hall maps coming in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns?the Lost Precipice.
Part ThreeRubi Bayer sat down with Game Designer Matthew Pennebaker to talk about the new scribing crafting discipline, and then Dara and Seth were joined by Game Director Colin Johanson to demonstrate how you can use decorations to let your creativity run wild in your guild hall and arena!
Part FourGuest host Elizabeth Stewart brought Colin back to wrap up Guild Week and answer plenty of player questions.
Thank you for joining us for Guild Week?we can’t wait for you and your guild to come home to guild halls in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns!
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A Combat Sandbox
As you progress through the restoration of your guild hall you will meet a colorful personality?a human named Castor Shoutsman?who will petition you to restore nearby ruins into a combat arena. Once restored, this structure features a large, circular arena platform overlooked by an elevated spectating ring. You can enter the arena by speaking with any of several NPCs, each of which represent a different team. Once on the platform you will find that those who were foolish enough to choose a different team appear as hostile and can be attacked. That is (mostly) all there is to it.
This freeform simplicity is quite intentional. Unlike other parts of the game the experiences you have in the arena will not be crafted by our talented designers, but rather by your own imagination and the collective imaginations of your guild and the larger Guild Wars 2 community. We provide the tools; you decide how you’ll use them. So let?s take a look at these tools, shall we?
Red versus Blue versus…
When you first gain access to the arena, there will be two teams: red and blue. A third green team can be unlocked via an upgrade. These are the three basic teams. They work as one would expect: you are friendly toward your team members but hostile toward members of the other two teams.
Positioned about the edge of the platform are teleport pads. One is used to exit the arena, and the others are the starting positions for the various teams.
Between the edge of the platform and the spectator ring is a treacherous gap. I am sure many players will enjoy the various opportunities this building code violation provides in combat; however, it is understood that at other times this may be an annoyance. Fortunately, Castor has your back. Provide him with the resource he requires, and he’ll happily erect an easy-to-toggle energy fence to provide protection for the less sure of foot.
Level Design 101
But what if you and your guild want something a bit more exciting than a flat arena? Perhaps some walls to provide you cover from those pesky ranged players? Some pillars to act as goal posts? Torches you can light to help keep score? A fear turret carefully positioned to keep players out of the center? What you need are arena obstacles. Once you have completed the requisite upgrade, an Arena Obstacles Coordinator NPC will appear. Speaking to this individual will allow you to teleport onto the platform as an arena decorator. This will place you on a special team that’s friendly to everyone, and replace your skills with those needed to select, place, and remove arena obstacles. You can do this at any time?even during the heat of battle?and it works the same as placing decorations in the guild hall proper. Note that normal guild hall decorations are not permitted in the Arena, and likewise, arena obstacles are not permitted outside of the platform.
Aside from the red, green, and blue teams, there are two additional teams you may unlock?the free-for-all team and the invincible team.
The free-for-all team is, as it sounds, one in which any player on the team is hostile to not only the other teams but also to their own team members. May the best player win!
The invincible team is an otherwise normal team, except that they cannot have their health reduced to zero. How you make use of this team is entirely up to you, of course.
Fighting Players in Other Guilds
Brawling among yourselves is fun for sure, but there comes a time when you may wish to take your competition up to the next level. Inviting another guild to fight with you is as simple as inviting them into your guild hall. You may enter any guild hall that either belongs to a guild you are a part of or that has a member of your party or squad currently in the map. To invite someone to your hall, first invite them to your party or squad, enter the map yourself, and then have the other player enter either via the in world portal or via a waypoint if they have it unlocked. Once in the map the guests may interact with the arena NPCs to join a team and teleport to the platform.
Please note that a single instance of a guild hall map has a specific maximum number of players it can support. If that number is surpassed more players can still enter, but the game will need to prepare a new, larger map for you. You will see a message on the left of your screen informing you that a new map is available and a grace period counting down. You may choose to travel immediately or wait and be teleported once the grace period expires. Normally this is no big deal (as you already have the assets for the map loaded, the required load is very short), but this can cause disruption if it happens in the middle of a competition in the arena. We recommend that you make sure all expected players are present before beginning your event.
We have tested the arena internally for teams up to 20 vs. 20 and more. While we had a ton of fun with it in our testing, for those who participate in the guild versus guild community in World vs. World, we wanted to make you aware that the arena is slightly smaller than the playable space in Obsidian Sanctum arena. It?s about 75% of the middle area without the stands. In our testing this worked out well, and while we had fun with it, we understand it is a little smaller than what the GvG community is used to in WvW. We think it?s going to get a ton of use for large-team guild battles, especially once players let their creativity fly in building their own arena configurations. For folks who want a little more space, we want to let you know that we already have an upgrade for a second, larger arena for bigger battles in the works.
The arena gives players a space to let their creativity go wild in designing exciting and deadly encounters for a variety of team sizes and number of teams. You can shake out your build by dueling with guildies, make up your own competitive games, have a large team battle with another guild, or hold a free-for-all deadly disco. The possibilities are endless, and we can?t wait to see what your guild does with it!
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New Guild-Mission Types
Previously, the only types of guild missions that existed in Guild Wars 2 were the PvE missions: Bounty, Trek, Rush, Challenge, and Puzzle. Since guild missions are an essential part of leveling up your guild halls in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, we’ve decided to add new guild-mission types for both WvW and Player vs. Player. These new missions will allow players to earn favor?a requirement for leveling up guild halls?by playing their preferred game mode.
These missions include new categories that better fit with their game modes. For example, WvW Capture and Hold will require guilds to capture an objective type in WvW and hold the objective until it reaches tier one; PvP Conquest will require a guild team?or several guild teams?to work together to kill a certain amount of players on or near capture points. PvP Conquest is also an example of the new progress-style missions we’re adding. Progress missions will require you to incrementally advance a progress bar to complete the mission.
Along with adding these new mission types, we’ve added a new mission preference option that will allow guilds to select which types of missions they’d like to play each week. So if your guild only wants to play PvE missions, they have the option to select PvE as their preferred mission type. Once mission rollover happens the following week, all of their mission slots apart from dedicated slots (more about these later) will be PvE missions only. It’s important to note that if your guild does not have a mission preference selected, they’ll not only get a mix of PvE, PvP, and WvW missions, but they’ll also receive a 10% favor bonus on their missions.
Link mentioned instanced missions in his blog post, but I thought I’d go into a little more detail. All guild challenges and puzzles are now instanced missions. Since every guild will roll the same guild missions every week, we wanted to make sure that guilds wouldn’t have to wait for other guilds to complete their missions before they could participate. Instancing the missions allows several guilds to complete their challenges and puzzles at the same time without having to worry about who’s going to receive credit. However, if you want to participate in guild challenges and puzzles with friends and other guilds, you can still ferry players into the puzzles and challenges. We want to make sure that we aren’t blocking guilds from playing their missions when they want, while also allowing them to play with players outside of their guild.
Entering instanced missions is really easy! The same guild-mission flags that exist in the open world still exist, except this time when you interact with them and agree to start the mission, a blue portal will surround the flag. Players can then enter the instance if they’re in the guild or partied with a guild member. It’s as simple as that!
The New Guild-Mission Panel
There are a lot of new changes coming to guilds in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and the Guild Mission panel is included in these changes. Guilds will begin on day one of the expansion with three guild missions available to them: one easy, one medium, and one hard. Missions are now broken up into difficulty levels based on the number of players needed to complete a guild mission. We made several improvements to missions to make them more or less difficult depending on the mission. We’ve adjusted the amount of time some missions need to be completed, and we’ve balanced the number of targets some missions require. Smaller guilds should be able to complete the less difficult missions, whereas medium or hard missions will require either more players or higher-skilled players to complete. The amount of favor rewarded is dependent on the difficulty of the mission; easy gives the least amount of favor, and hard rewards the most.
Unlocking New Mission Slots
As players advance their guild hall, they’ll be able to purchase new mission-slot upgrades that will give them more options for missions they can complete each week. There are also three dedicated mission slots that are specific to each game mode: one each for PvE, PvP, and WvW. These dedicated mission slots will not change even if players have their mission preference set, and they can be easy, medium, or hard in difficulty.
There are weekly and overall favor caps on missions. This means that each week guilds can only earn so much favor before they hit the maximum amount of favor they can earn for the week, and this won’t always require completing every single mission available to a guild. Since hard missions reward the most favor, guilds will be able to reach their weekly favor cap much quicker if they play hard missions as opposed to easy missions. Similarly, if you’re in a large guild, you might be earning favor faster than you can spend it, and the favor cap will help regulate the rate at which small and large guilds can progress.
What’s the point of doing guild missions if you’ve hit your favor cap? Just like in the existing PvE guild missions, you can still earn personal rewards. However, there have been a couple of changes to how personal rewards work in the new system. In-world chests have been removed from existing PvE missions and have been replaced with personal reward chests. The great thing about giving personal rewards this way is that it allows us to reward players even if they disconnect or log out before they receive their mission rewards. As long as you participated in the mission and the mission has completed, you’ll receive your rewards, either when the mission completes or the next time you log in. Another important thing about new personal rewards is that you can only be rewarded once per mission slot, and you cannot be rewarded for the same slot in a different guild. If you’ve earned your personal reward for the mission slot, the reward is earned for the week and you’ll have to wait until rollover to earn a reward in that slot again.
Previously, Link mentioned that group play would be rewarded with a new item called a resonating shard. After internal testing and looking for how we could simplify the system, we’ve decided it isn’t necessary to incentivize guild members to party up. Players should make parties when it makes sense to them, not when the game offers them a reward for doing so. As a result, we’ve moved the rewards that were going to come from resonating shards into personal mission rewards?just one more reason to help each other complete as many missions as possible each week.
Prerolled vs. Random Target
There are now two types of missions: prerolled and random target. Prerolled missions are missions that allow you to see everything that’s required of your guild as soon as the mission is rolled. Most guild missions currently work like random target guild missions, but once Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is released, we’ll be moving most missions over to prerolled, and only Bounties and Treks will remain random target missions. Random target missions will also work differently than they currently do in that you’ll be able to see how many targets there are. For example, you’ll now be able to see that the bounty mission you have requires you to kill five targets, but you won’t know which five targets they might be until you launch the mission.
That’s it for this in-depth look at how guild missions are changing in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. I hope everyone is getting ready to start earning the best guild hall possible!
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Welcome to the community showcase, where we?ll be highlighting some of our favorite amazing projects, activities, and other fan works created by Guild Wars 2 players from all over the world! This month?s selection includes crafts, cosplay, fan art, and events. Check it out below!
To celebrate Guild Wars 2?s three-year anniversary, chostopher created this gorgeous art.
impressive and imposing sculpt of their character. Look at that detail!
Marjory Delaqua and Kasmeer Meade.
call to arms from Zinniy!
Serakirah is a German cosplayer who also loves to knit and compose music. We had the pleasure of meeting her at this year?s gamescom, where she was equipped with her new armor and the legendary weapons Meteorlogicus and Incinerator.
English and German.
On September 16, French event organizers GW2 PvP Corp hosted a 2v2 PvP tournament. Congratulations to winners Alkore Argi (First Place), Exaltation (Second Place), and Mist Heart Is Our Home (Third Place)!
Le Bus Magique is a French fansite as well, and they?ll be running an international event very soon. Safari 2015 challenges players to earn points by matching screenshots taken around Tyria. Read up on the rules in French, English, German, and Spanish to get ready!
Last but not least, don’t forget to take a look at all of the entries in our guild emblem contest on Flickr!
We love seeing fans’ works of art, creativity, and community organization from around the world. Keep up the excellent work! Hungry for more Guild Wars 2 fan projects? Ready to show off your own? Head to the official Guild Wars 2 Tumblr and read up on the submission guidelines! You can submit your works via the Guild Wars 2 Tumblr, send us a tweet @GuildWars2, or share on the official Community Creations subforum.
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