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Play For Free Today

Category: farrier's blog
Today we’re happy to announce that the Guild Wars 2 core game is available for everyone to play for free. With Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns? launching soon, there’s no better time to introduce the game to your friends.



Our Business Model


Guild Wars 2 has the simplest of business models: buy the game and play it as long as you want with no monthly fees. We’ve been championing this as a great business model for MMOs since launching the first Guild Wars® a decade ago. We continue to believe in buy-to-play. It’s good for gamers and good for developers.

This business model has been fantastic for Guild Wars 2 and our fans. Since launching three years ago?almost to the day, today?we’ve sold more than 5 million copies of the game. And we’ve delivered more than 40 major content releases, with world-changing events, Living World episodes, and feature packs, all free of charge.

Expansions are the one place where the buy-to-play model gets a little tricky. When you’re coming in as a new player to a game that has a bunch of expansions, what exactly should you buy in order to play with your friends? The base game and also every single expansion? We’ve seen examples in the industry where that kind of thing has gotten out of control. It doesn’t seem right, and we want to do better. As we get ready to ship our first expansion for Guild Wars 2, we want to ensure that we keep the business model friendly and simple. So let’s be clear that when we say Guild Wars 2 is buy-to-play, we’re only asking you to buy one thing: the current release, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

To accomplish that, we’ve already included the core game as a free bundle for anyone who buys Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. And today we’ll go a step further: we’re making the core game free for everyone. For anyone who’s been curious about Guild Wars 2, now you can just go to guildwars2.com, download the game, and start playing.
If anyone can play Guild Wars 2 for free now, does that mean we’re switching business models to free-to-play? Are we going to be one of those games that aggressively monetizes free players through microtransactions? Absolutely not. Guild Wars 2 remains the same game it always has been. We’re making the core game experience free because we’re confident that anyone who loves Guild Wars 2 will buy Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.



Getting the Details Right


A game like Guild Wars 2 lives and dies by its community. Our goal is to protect our current community but also to make it as easy as possible for you to introduce the game to your friends, to recruit new players into your guilds, to challenge new players to Player vs. Player matches, and so on.

It’s trickier than you’d think to accomplish both objectives. We have to ensure that free accounts can’t be used to abuse the game or its current players (through botting, cheating, spamming, or RMT) while still making sure that free accounts get the authentic Guild Wars 2 experience.

Here are the changes we made for free accounts.

First, free accounts start with fewer character slots and bag slots than the paid version of the game. But they still get the full complement of slots as soon as they buy Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

Second, free accounts have some chat restrictions and economy restrictions so that they can’t be used to disrupt the game for other players. Free accounts can use local chat and whispers, but not map chat. With whispers, they can both start new conversations and reply to existing conversations but are limited to starting new conversations no more than once every 30 seconds. Free accounts can buy and sell common goods on the trading post. They can’t mail gold or items directly to other players, trade gold for gems, or access guild vaults.

Third, free accounts have some restrictions to prevent them from skipping ahead to places where they could be used to disrupt the game. They must play to level 10 before leaving the starter zones, to level 30 before using LFG, and to level 60 before using World vs. World. They can play PvP immediately but must get to rank 20 before using custom and unranked arenas.

We’ve found in testing that it’s hard to read a list like this and know how it’s going to feel in action. All these changes are live today, so we invite you to see for yourself. Test with a free account and see that it’s the same Guild Wars 2 you know and love; test with a veteran account and confirm that the community is protected.

We have an exhaustive FAQ covering these changes and other topics related to the free game, so check it out if you have additional questions.

royal guard outfit


A Call to Action


Guild Wars 2 is famous for having the friendliest community in online gaming, and that community continues to grow. With Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns on the horizon, of course the game was going to have an influx of new players. And now, with this change, it will have a larger one. I ask you, the game’s veterans, to be the friendly faces that will welcome all these new players to the game.

To celebrate this special three-year anniversary of Guild Wars 2, we’re giving current players an all-new Royal Guard Outfit. Wear it with pride whenever you want to show that you were there early on, and that you’re someone that new players can go to for help.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is full of end-game content, including Masteries, Fractals, Stronghold, and our newly announced challenging group content, raids. It’s coming on October 23, just 55 days from now! This is the perfect time to bring new players into your guild, to help them level up and master their professions, to practice coordinating as a team, and to prepare for all the challenges that the jungle will bring.

Mike O’Brien

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Raids in Guild Wars 2

Category: farrier's blog
Spirit-Wall
You asked for the ultimate challenging content in Guild Wars 2?challenges that would put your skills to the test and push you and your friends to the edge to achieve victory. Now the answer is here. Today at PAX Prime, we announced that the “challenging group content” that we said would arrive with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns? is Raids! Built on top of our ground-breaking combat and dynamic event systems, the ultimate challenge is coming.

Players who purchase Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will get access to our first raid, with the first of the three associated raid wings to be activated shortly after launch. During this window, we?ll be looking at balance with our new profession and elite specializations as well as giving players some time to train the Heart of Maguuma Masteries that will be used in the first raid wing. The remaining two raid wings will follow in sequence soon after.

ArenaNet has always challenged conventions and looked to innovate, and Raids in Guild Wars 2 will be no different. But for those of you that weren?t able to see our presentation at PAX, you might be asking yourselves…



What Are Raids in Guild Wars 2?


Raids are 10-player, instanced content that will introduce very challenging bosses, epic encounters, and more! And we’re building them on top of our amazing combat and dynamic event systems to create a variety of difficult challenges that will require your raiding team to bring a high level of skill, strategy, and coordination in order to succeed.

Expecting to be able to just watch the UI to beat a boss? Guess again! Raiding in Guild Wars 2 is an action-oriented, engaging experience. You’ll have to actively manage your position, dodge, coordinate on objectives, and much more. You’ll have moments of anticipation where your next action could spell victory or death. And with a diverse range of difficult challenges, being able to customize your build will really pay off. You’ll be dependent on keeping yourself alive and helping support your team while playing your profession. Everyone will be expected to pitch in and execute at a high level to ensure success.

Raids will also tie into our new, advanced Mastery system of progression. We’ll be introducing new Mastery tracks and abilities that will be closely tied to progressing though raids, which our designers will be talking about in an upcoming blog. We’ll also be introducing new rewards. Which rewards, you ask? We’ll talk about that in more detail a little later, but let’s just say they’re legendary…

Pylon-Minions


A Fresh Take On Raiding


Raids in Guild Wars 2 are not about waiting to have fun. You don’t need to wait for your healer to get online. Our build-customization and weapon-swapping systems allow anyone to change their build to meet a particular challenge. And while a warrior might support a group differently than an elementalist would in terms of playstyle, our systems allow you to adjust your team’s composition and strategy to overcome any challenge.

Raids are not about an endless gear grind to get tiers of gear to go tackle the next raid. Raids won’t become easier because a new tier of gear or a level-cap raise made them irrelevant. We think beating a raid encounter should be a big deal?not just when you beat it, but for the life of the game. It takes away the meaning of your victory when suddenly new tiers of gear or more powerful experience levels are introduced that leave a wasteland of raids in their wake. If you beat a raid in Guild Wars 2, it means something and always will.

Bandit-Boss-Flame


The First Raid


In the first Raid wing, players will face three awesome, diverse, and very challenging bosses as well as an epic event that will leave players literally running for their lives. Each encounter will introduce different mechanics that require unique strategies to overcome and will be a big accomplishment if defeated. For each encounter, our goal is that you’ll need to face it many times to learn how to defeat it, continuing to develop your strategies, refining your communication and honing your tactics through practice, in order to execute to a high degree with the hope of eventually conquering it and moving on to the next encounter in the wing.

Altogether, players can expect to face big challenges in all three wings that will stretch the abilities of even our most battle-hardened adventurers. Raids will also become a key part of our live strategy for Guild Wars 2 in the future, but we’ll discuss that more down the road.

As players embark on this new adventure, they’ll start their journey in search of a Pact recon squad that vanished while on assignment. Following their trail, you’ll fight your way deeper into forgotten territory, encounter dangerous new enemies, and witness mystifying events. So join up with your friends, family, guild, or just a group of heroes from our friendly MMO community.

Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to launch.

I’ll see you in game!

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Meet the Daredevil: Thief?s Elite Specialization

Category: farrier's blog
Glamour-2
Hail, Tyrians! I’m Karl McLain, and today we’re here to talk about the thief’s elite specialization for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns?. In the expansion, you’ll be able to specialize as the daredevil, a high-evasion death machine who roams the battlefield in search of their next target. The daredevil will wield a staff, use physical skills, and take advantage of unique dodge-roll abilities against the legions of Mordremoth.



A Bold Approach


To start off, let’s talk about the overall vision and theme for this specialization. The daredevil is an up-close fighter that can engage multiple enemies at a time with sustained area-of-effect damage while retaining high lethality toward single enemies. This high-flying damage dealer has an easier time maintaining fights in close range and has the tools to turn a fight the moment they find an advantage. With its high evasion potential, we’re excited to see the daredevil zipping around the battlefield, crushing vulnerable groups of enemies, and pressing the fight forward to the end.



Dodge


As it goes, thieves have a low health pool and a few different ways to supplement their survivability, notably shadowstepping, stealth, and evasion. With this specialization, we want to draw specific attention to evasion; you’ll have an extra endurance bar, bringing your total endurance to 150. Furthermore, your endurance abilities will be increasingly enhanced with the grandmaster trait line, where you’ll choose one of three different dodge-roll enhancement options:

Lotus Training
Your dodge changes to Impaling Lotus. While in combat, each dodge you use will throw daggers that bleed, torment, and cripple enemies. Additionally, this dodge functions as a whirl finisher.

Bounding Dodger
Your dodge changes to Bound, which gives you the ability to leap in a direction, dealing crushing damage at the location where you land. This dodge ability also functions as a leap finisher.

Unhindered Combatant
Your dodge ability changes to Dash, which removes cripple and chill effects from you and increases the distance you dodge.

Glamour


Staff


While wielding a staff, you’ll remain elusive while gaining access to regular area-of-effect melee damage. You’ll be able to make frequent use of weakness and blindness in addition to having evasion available to keep you mobile on the battlefield. Here are a few abilities you’ll have access to with this weapon:

  • Weakening Charge: Twist forward, dealing damage and weakening enemies you strike.
  • Debilitating Arc: Swing your staff forward, crippling enemies and launching you backward.
  • Vault: Leap to a targeted area, dealing massive damage to enemies struck.


Physical Skills


To bolster the nature of the daredevil, the specialization will feature the use of the physical skill type. These abilities are single-target based, with a focus on disabling and eliminating weakened foes. The daredevil’s physical skills will have a variety of unique effects that aren’t normally available to the thief.



Heal


Channeled Vigor: Channel your energy to gain endurance and health per pulse. Heal for more if your endurance is full.



Utility


Fist Flurry: Strike your enemy multiple times. If all attacks hit, gain access to Palm Strike.

Palm Strike: Strike your enemy once to deal massive damage and stun your enemy, marking them with a Pulmonary Impact. After a few moments, Pulmonary Impact delivers a second blow. This ability cannot critically hit enemies.

Bandit’s Defense: Briefly block incoming attacks. If you block an enemy in melee range, retaliate and knock enemies down.

Distracting Daggers: Equip a set of daggers that can be thrown to daze and interrupt enemies. Interrupting a skill with this ability increases the recharge of the skill interrupted.

Impairing Daggers: Fling multiple afflicting daggers at a single enemy, delivering poison, slow, and immobilize to the enemy struck.



Elite


This skill is a combo. You’ll be able to deliver three strikes in quick succession to your enemies, with the final skill granting the daredevil access to the first skill-based finisher available to players.

  • Combo Skill 1?Impact Strike: Strike your enemy and daze them.
  • Combo Skill 2?Uppercut: Deal a heavy blow with your fist, sending enemies flying in place (they do not move any distance).
  • Combo Skill 3?Finishing Blow: Deal a downward strike on your foe. Downed enemies struck with this ability are finished.
Weapon-Skill-4-Dust-Strike


Traits


In addition to the grandmaster traits that change your dodge ability, there will be multiple other traits available to the daredevil that help bolster their in-combat prowess and enable them to constantly move around the battlefield. The first minor trait unlocks your first endurance bar, and the remaining minor traits will allow you to regain endurance upon stealing as well as gain health when you successfully evade an attack. Here are the other major traits you’ll have access to:

  • Adept Traits

  • Evasive Empowerment: After dodge rolling, your next attack deals bonus damage.
  • Weakening Strikes: Cause weakness to enemies you critically hit.
  • Brawler’s Tenacity: Gain endurance when you first activate a physical skill. Physical skills have reduced cooldowns.
  • Master Traits

  • Staff Master: While wielding a staff, gain endurance for each initiative point spent. Deal bonus damage when your endurance is not full while wielding a staff.
  • Escapist’s Absolution: Remove a condition when you successfully evade an attack.
  • Impacting Disruption: Enemies that you interrupt suffer a Pulmonary Impact. After a few moments, Pulmonary Impact delivers a massive blow to your foe.
The daredevil presses forward. Through Mordrem, through Orrians, through enemies of the realm?felling enemies with deft blows as their tireless staves and fists fly true. See you all again soon!

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Meet the Daredevil: Thief?s Elite Specialization

Category: farrier's blog
Glamour-2
Hail, Tyrians! I’m Karl McLain, and today we’re here to talk about the thief’s elite specialization for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns?. In the expansion, you’ll be able to specialize as the daredevil, a high-evasion death machine who roams the battlefield in search of their next target. The daredevil will wield a staff, use physical skills, and take advantage of unique dodge-roll abilities against the legions of Mordremoth.



A Bold Approach


To start off, let’s talk about the overall vision and theme for this specialization. The daredevil is an up-close fighter that can engage multiple enemies at a time with sustained area-of-effect damage while retaining high lethality toward single enemies. This high-flying damage dealer has an easier time maintaining fights in close range and has the tools to turn a fight the moment they find an advantage. With its high evasion potential, we’re excited to see the daredevil zipping around the battlefield, crushing vulnerable groups of enemies, and pressing the fight forward to the end.



Dodge


As it goes, thieves have a low health pool and a few different ways to supplement their survivability, notably shadowstepping, stealth, and evasion. With this specialization, we want to draw specific attention to evasion; you’ll have an extra endurance bar, bringing your total endurance to 150. Furthermore, your endurance abilities will be increasingly enhanced with the grandmaster trait line, where you’ll choose one of three different dodge-roll enhancement options:

Lotus Training
Your dodge changes to Impaling Lotus. While in combat, each dodge you use will throw daggers that bleed, torment, and cripple enemies. Additionally, this dodge functions as a whirl finisher.

Bounding Dodger
Your dodge changes to Bound, which gives you the ability to leap in a direction, dealing crushing damage at the location where you land. This dodge ability also functions as a leap finisher.

Unhindered Combatant
Your dodge ability changes to Dash, which removes cripple and chill effects from you and increases the distance you dodge.

Glamour


Staff


While wielding a staff, you’ll remain elusive while gaining access to regular area-of-effect melee damage. You’ll be able to make frequent use of weakness and blindness in addition to having evasion available to keep you mobile on the battlefield. Here are a few abilities you’ll have access to with this weapon:

  • Weakening Charge: Twist forward, dealing damage and weakening enemies you strike.
  • Debilitating Arc: Swing your staff forward, crippling enemies and launching you backward.
  • Vault: Leap to a targeted area, dealing massive damage to enemies struck.


Physical Skills


To bolster the nature of the daredevil, the specialization will feature the use of the physical skill type. These abilities are single-target based, with a focus on disabling and eliminating weakened foes. The daredevil’s physical skills will have a variety of unique effects that aren’t normally available to the thief.



Heal


Channeled Vigor: Channel your energy to gain endurance and health per pulse. Heal for more if your endurance is full.



Utility


Fist Flurry: Strike your enemy multiple times. If all attacks hit, gain access to Palm Strike.

Palm Strike: Strike your enemy once to deal massive damage and stun your enemy, marking them with a Pulmonary Impact. After a few moments, Pulmonary Impact delivers a second blow. This ability cannot critically hit enemies.

Bandit’s Defense: Briefly block incoming attacks. If you block an enemy in melee range, retaliate and knock enemies down.

Distracting Daggers: Equip a set of daggers that can be thrown to daze and interrupt enemies. Interrupting a skill with this ability increases the recharge of the skill interrupted.

Impairing Daggers: Fling multiple afflicting daggers at a single enemy, delivering poison, slow, and immobilize to the enemy struck.



Elite


This skill is a combo. You’ll be able to deliver three strikes in quick succession to your enemies, with the final skill granting the daredevil access to the first skill-based finisher available to players.

  • Combo Skill 1?Impact Strike: Strike your enemy and daze them.
  • Combo Skill 2?Uppercut: Deal a heavy blow with your fist, sending enemies flying in place (they do not move any distance).
  • Combo Skill 3?Finishing Blow: Deal a downward strike on your foe. Downed enemies struck with this ability are finished.
Weapon-Skill-4-Dust-Strike


Traits


In addition to the grandmaster traits that change your dodge ability, there will be multiple other traits available to the daredevil that help bolster their in-combat prowess and enable them to constantly move around the battlefield. The first minor trait unlocks your first endurance bar, and the remaining minor traits will allow you to regain endurance upon stealing as well as gain health when you successfully evade an attack. Here are the other major traits you’ll have access to:

  • Adept Traits

  • Evasive Empowerment: After dodge rolling, your next attack deals bonus damage.
  • Weakening Strikes: Cause weakness to enemies you critically hit.
  • Brawler’s Tenacity: Gain endurance when you first activate a physical skill. Physical skills have reduced cooldowns.
  • Master Traits

  • Staff Master: While wielding a staff, gain endurance for each initiative point spent. Deal bonus damage when your endurance is not full while wielding a staff.
  • Escapist’s Absolution: Remove a condition when you successfully evade an attack.
  • Impacting Disruption: Enemies that you interrupt suffer a Pulmonary Impact. After a few moments, Pulmonary Impact delivers a massive blow to your foe.
The daredevil presses forward. Through Mordrem, through Orrians, through enemies of the realm?felling enemies with deft blows as their tireless staves and fists fly true. See you all again soon!

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Check Out the Daredevil on Points of Interest!

Category: farrier's blog

On this week?s Points of Interest, host Rubi Bayer will be joined by Karl McLain for an in-game look at the thief?s elite specialization, the daredevil, and its skills, weapon, and traits.

We?ll be hosting Reyana_ATac, gladomer, and sir_koroshi starting at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) before the show, and GameWithStorm, MMOINKS, and RPGShack until 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) after the show.

Points of Interest will air live on Friday, August 28 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7) on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel.



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Check Out the Daredevil on Points of Interest!

Category: farrier's blog

On this week?s Points of Interest, host Rubi Bayer will be joined by Karl McLain for an in-game look at the thief?s elite specialization, the daredevil, and its skills, weapon, and traits.

We?ll be hosting Reyana_ATac, gladomer, and sir_koroshi starting at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) before the show, and GameWithStorm, MMOINKS, and RPGShack until 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) after the show.

Points of Interest will air live on Friday, August 28 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7) on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel.



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