Ready Up Episode 30 Summary

On Episode 30 of Ready Up, host Joshua Davis was joined by Environment Artist Tirzah Bauer and Game Designer Tyler Bearce to discuss the new desert Borderlands World vs. World map . Tirzah and Tyler—known within ArenaNet as “T&T”—worked together to create the new map; Tirzah built the environments, and Tyler populated them with enemies, events, and other content.
Josh passed along some questions from the community for Tyler and Tirzah to answer. Like the classic alpine Borderlands, home citadels will contain crafting stations and other services. Jumping puzzles will not be included in the map, but there will be flat areas for guilds to fight in, and Tyler and Tirzah hinted that something might be hiding in the sparse areas of water. The desert Borderlands will have roughly the same population cap as the alpine Borderlands.
A tour around the map showed off the three elementally themed keeps, as well as towers styled after their necromantic, charr, or ogre inhabitants. Tirzah and Tyler wanted to make sure that each objective is unique so that the map feels like a real place and capturing and defending remains meaningful and fresh. While this means less parity between objectives, the benefit is more interesting gameplay. Tirzah even built encampments for the sentries so they can wait for players to kill them in comfort!
Each keep will provide a set of bonuses to the team that holds it. The earth keep creates rock walls to halt invaders, powers up earth turrets to cause damage, and summons a massive sandstorm to grant stealth. The lava keep transforms players into lava dogs, activates gargoyles to rain down fireballs, and grants the power to run unharmed over rivers of lava. If you love jumping off high places, one of the air keep’s bonuses will let you fall as far as you like without taking any damage, as Tirzah demonstrated in an impressive way! In addition, all of the keep lords have unique abilities. For example, the air lord is a tengu who creates wind prisons to entrap players, throws slashing boomerang projectiles, teleports, and activates wind turrets.
The Ruins of Power and Borderlands Bloodlust mechanics from the alpine Borderlands will not make an appearance; the desert has its own unique mechanic in the form of the oasis. Every three hours, an event will begin in the lush jungle at the center of the map. Each team can potentially charge up an asuran superweapon by bringing power cells back to their camp. Unfortunately, dinosaurs have swallowed the cells and must be defeated in order to retrieve them. Once one team succeeds in powering up their weapon, the event will end and their superweapon will be deployed, doing massive damage to the doors of enemy keeps. An unrepaired wooden door can be destroyed outright by the weapon, but repairs and upgrades can help mitigate the damage.
To cap off the stream, Josh premiered a video to commemorate the World Tournament Series at PAX East in Boston, where EU team Orange Logo claimed the championship. Check out the recording of the livestream below!

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Aviator Quaggan Mail Carrier, Mad Scientist’s Harvesting Tool, and Black Lion Chest Update in the Gem Store!

What if a quaggan could fly? We here at the Black Lion Trading Company were brave enough to investigate exactly what would happen, and the result is magical. With this new discovery, we’re proud to unveil our new all-quaggan mail delivery force! On top of that, we also have the next in our line of mad scientist gathering tools and an exciting update to the Black Lion Chest!
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    Aviator Quaggan Mail Carrier

    Make a quaggan’s dreams come true each time you send mail! With the Aviator Quaggan Mail Carrier, every time you send a mail, a quaggan will majestically take flight with a balloon to deliver it!


  • Mad Scientist’s Harvesting Tool

    Pull vegetation straight out of the earth in mostly pristine condition with the Mad Scientist’s Harvesting Tool. This permanent gathering tool can gather all plants effortlessly.
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  • Black Lion Chest Update

    We’ve changed our packing procedures for Black Lion Chests, so now we can cram even more intriguing items inside them. We’ve significantly increased the drop rates for Teleport to Friend consumables and Black Lion Claim Ticket Scraps. We’ve also updated the rare drops as follows:
    New Rare Drops
    • Mini Super Monkey
    • Mini Super Spider
    • Mini Super Bee Dog
    • Mini Super Yeti
    • Mini Super Raccoon
    • Mini Super Banana
    • Shadow Dye Kit
    • Crimson Lion Dye Kit
    • Glint’s Winter Dye Kit
    Removed Drops
    • Toxic Dye Kit
    • Deathly Dye Kit
    • Metallurgic Dye Kit
    • Taimi’s Dye Kit
    You can check this wiki article  for an up-to-date list of all drops from the Black Lion Chest.


  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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This Week on Ready Up: World vs. World Borderlands and WTS Recap

This week on Ready Up, Josh will be joined by Game Designer Tyler Bearce and Environment Artist Tirzah Bauer to show off even more of the newly revealed desert Borderlands map coming in the Guild Wars: Heart of Thorns™ expansion. We’ll explore the map and answer your questions from Twitch chat. Stay tuned after the deep dive for the premiere of the World Tournament Series—Boston recap to relive the excitement of the largest tournament we’ve hosted on North American soil.
Ready Up will air live on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel this Friday, March 27, at noon PDT (19:00 UTC). We’ll see you then!

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A Legendary Journey

Beginning the long process of crafting a legendary weapon can be a daunting task, particularly acquiring the associated precursor weapon and gathering all of the materials needed to upgrade it to a legendary weapon. With Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™, the new Map Bonuses system will give you a directed method for acquiring crafting materials. Getting a precursor will become an epic journey to discover the essence of your chosen legendary weapon, ending with a fully formed precursor ready to be crafted into its final legendary form. Let’s take a closer look at these two new systems.
Crafting Your Precursor

In Heart of Thorns, you’ll have access to a special Mastery track for unlocking precursor crafting. Mastery tracks are a new progression system being introduced in the expansion that will allow you to put experience earned toward training specific abilities once you hit level 80.  You can read all about them in this blog.
This particular Mastery track is all about legendary crafting, and the first three tiers are dedicated to guiding you through the three tiers required to craft the first set of precursors that were introduced with the original release of Guild Wars 2. Completing the first tier allows you to unlock the start of a journey to acquire any of these original-release precursors by visiting the Mastery vendor and choosing which precursor you want to work on first.
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Each legendary weapon has two main themes that will be represented in the precursor journey. The first tier of a precursor journey starts with a collection built around one of these themes. Let’s use the Moot as an example. A moot is a norn celebration of prowess, so that’s the basis of our themes for the legendary mace named for it. The first collection is all about the hunt, so you’ll be proving your abilities by fighting fierce creatures around Tyria and acquiring a trophy to show for it. By completing this collection, you’ll unlock a recipe to craft the first iteration of your precursor—a nontradable exotic weapon with a distressed version of the existing precursor skin. It could use a little polish and refinement, which will be the focus of the second tier collection.
The second collection in your journey involves doing your research, talking to the experts, and honing your craft. You’ll need to barter for knowledge, seek out great minds and convince them to teach you their tricks, and prove your ability at the crafting workbench. All this work allows you to refine your base precursor into its next iteration. Completing this collection unlocks a recipe to do just that, resulting in another nontradable exotic weapon with the existing precursor skin.
The final collections in these precursor journeys return to the themes of their respective legendary weapon. For the Moot, this is where the celebrating starts. Since the Moot’s theme is all about partying, you’ll participate in a range of activities that include dancing with world leaders, setting off fireworks for the Spirits of the Wild, and sampling delicacies and libations from around Tyria. This final collection unlocks the recipe to craft the polished final iteration of the precursor. For all of our existing precursors, this is a tradable exotic weapon, but they will all be updated to use new skins that look much like the legendary weapons they’ll one day become. We like to think of these new precursor skins as the legendary weapon before it is embodied by its soul. Unlocking one of these new skins in your wardrobe will also unlock the two previous tiers of skins. So, should you get lucky and find a precursor out in the world, you won’t miss out on the skins.
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This crafting system is an account-based activity, which means you’ll only be able to craft each precursor this way once. However, all of the currently existing precursor acquisition methods will remain intact in addition to this new acquisition method. That means that if you want a particular precursor more than once, you’ll have to fall back to the original methods of acquisition.
Once you have your completed precursor, you are free to begin the process of turning it into a legendary weapon. It’s a long process of gathering the required materials to craft gifts that will eventually be given to Zommoros—the djinn at the heart of the Mystic Forge—who in return gifts you with your powerful legendary weapon.
Map Bonuses

While the update to precursor acquisition makes for a huge change in the way we craft legendary weapons, our new Map Bonuses system will also make acquiring the materials you need a more directed activity. With Heart of Thorns, most explorable maps will have an associated set of bonus rewards that rotate on a regular basis. Starter maps will not be included in order to preserve the new-player experience. By completing events, jumping puzzles, and mini-dungeons in a map, you’ll be periodically awarded with one of its associated bonuses in addition to the normal rewards. For most maps, the bonus reward will be crafting materials. For instance, playing in Cursed Shore could reward you with ancient bones, charged cores, charged lodestones, or giant eyes during one rotation, and powerful venom sacs, glacial cores, glacial lodestones, or globs of ectoplasm during another rotation.
Maps like the Silverwastes or Dry Top that have a dedicated currency will work a little differently. For these maps, bandit crests and geodes have been something of a test for this concept, where you’re rewarded with these currencies through a bouncy chest for playing on the map. The Map Bonuses system is a more streamlined experience, and with Heart of Thorns, these maps will be updated to always award currencies through the Map Bonuses system. Moving forward, any map with a similar currency will also work within the Map Bonuses system.
The goals of this system are to provide ways for players to target the materials they need, let players know exactly where to obtain those materials, and help all explorable maps always feel like relevant and rewarding places to play.
New Legendary Weapons

I know you’re all dying for more information on new legendary weapons, but we’d like to delve into them more with a dedicated blog post in the future. For now, I’ll say that we’ve been working hard on new legendary weapons, the first handful of which will be introduced in Heart of Thorns, with more to come in subsequent updates. The methods by which you’ll craft these legendary weapons are similar to the existing system, but we’ve refined it into more of a journey, similar to precursor crafting. We also want to better preserve the prestige associated with crafting a legendary weapon, so the new legendary weapons, and their precursors, will not be tradable. Keep an eye out—we can’t wait to start showing them off when they’re ready!

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Musical Bass Guitar and Mad Scientist’s Mining Tool in the Gem Store!

My fellow charr revolutionized war by inventing guns. We revolutionized education with the printing press. Now we’re revolutionizing music with our Musical Bass Guitar! Combining technology from salvaged sonic periscopes with the musicality of a stringed instrument, we’ve created a unique and powerful sound. And the innovations don’t stop there! We’re also bringing you the Mad Scientist’s Mining Tool, which will let you blast ore nodes with a devastating cutting beam.
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    Musical Bass Guitar

    This industrious charr innovation will blast your ears with low and resonant sounds like you’ve never heard!


  • Mad Scientist Mining Tool

    I recommend wearing goggles with this one! This unlimited mining tool will let you blast mining nodes, cutting out valuable materials with the greatest of ease.
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  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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Lion’s Arch Commemorative Sale!

In this exciting and chaotic time, it’s easy to forget the hard lessons we’ve learned. We here at the Black Lion Trading Company would like to honor the memory of Lion’s Arch after Ellen Kiel’s tragic failure to protect it from the dastardly Scarlet Briar. For this event, we’re bringing back a boatload of exciting items you can use to show your respect!
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    Lion's Arch Dye Kits

    The soul of Lion’s Arch has always been vibrant and strong. As an homage to that vigorous spirit, we have two vivid, high-contrast dye packs—the Lion’s Arch Survivors Dye Kit and the Lion’s Arch Commemorative Dye Kit.


  • Permanent Captain's Airship Pass

    Available for one day only! Get permanent access to the Havoc’s Heir airship from any PvE map! With every conceivable convenience—from Black Lion Traders, to crafting stations, to our own Mystic Forge—this is a one-stop shop for all your needs!
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    Scarlet's Armor Pieces

    Wear these armor pieces like trophies! Celebrate the hard-earned defeat of a terrible villain. The Scarlet’s Grasp and Scarlet’s Spaulders skins are wearable by any armor class!


  • Toxic Armor Pieces

    These carefully crafted glove and shoulder pieces are infused with deadly toxic energy. The Toxic Gloves and Toxic Mantle skins are wearable by any armor class!
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  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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Test Your Mettle in the Second Player vs. Player Ladder Test Season

We’re excited to announce the kickoff of our second PvP Ladder Test Season, starting Friday, March 20, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (16:00 UTC) and ending Thursday, May 14, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (16:00 UTC). Participate to win prizes—including glory, bragging rights, and double the Mini Llamas—and help us continue to polish the matchmaking and ranking systems.
With the help of the feedback we received from the inaugural Ladder Test Season we ran from December to January, we’ve gone ahead and made careful changes to the algorithm that determines player positions on the PvP Ranked Arena leaderboard. In the newest version of this system, we’re putting a much stronger focus on wins, with less weight given to the sheer number of games played over a period of time. This means that simply having the most games played during the season will not  guarantee high placement on the leaderboard—you’ll need to win those games, too! Additionally, we’re going to increase the length of our next season to eight total weeks in order to gather data on how the algorithm performs over a longer period of time.Leaderboard PositionRewardTop 500 players per regionOne Mini LlamaTop 25 players per regionOne piece of Glorious Hero’s armorTop 10 players per regionTwo pieces of Glorious Hero’s armor
Have you ever sat there admiring a Mini Llama and thought that it’d be so much cuter and fancier if it sported a bow tie, monocle, or top hat—or possibly all three? Well, my friends, the time has come. Once this next test season has concluded, you’ll be able to approach Zommoros, carefully place a few Mini Llamas together in a scientific (and hopefully humane) fashion, and combine them to create the ultimate form of cuteness and fuzziness. Mini Llamas that you received prior to the Ladder Test Seasons can also go through this transformation, so don’t let any that you may already have in your possession run away!
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As we draw closer to the season’s end, more information will become available on how you can grow your Mini Llama into a model of dapperness. Until then, good luck, and we’ll see you in the Mists!

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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Coverage from EGX Rezzed

This past weekend, ArenaNet brought Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ to the show floor at EGX Rezzed to give European fans their first opportunity to play the first expansion to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. ArenaNet developers also hosted a panel that gave an in-depth tour of the new WvW desert Borderlands map. Here’s a roundup of media coverage and impressions from EGX Rezzed.
English

Others

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Shadow Dye Kit, Raiment of the Lich, Crystal Nomad Outfit, and Mini Golden Pig in the Gem Store!

This week, we worked with some of the most ingenious fashion designers in Tyria. We’re excited to offer you a pack of our darkest dyes yet! To accompany these exciting new dyes, we’re bringing back the Raiment of the Lich, the Crystal Nomad Outfit, and Mini Golden Pig.
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    Shadow Dye Kit

    Tint yourself in all-new sleek and deadly shadow colors with these exclusive dyes. You’ll be the envy of all your allies in these stand-out shades.


  • Raiment of the Lich

    The Raiment of the Lich has returned for a limited time! This outfit is the perfect complement to dealing death and destruction on the battlefield.
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    Crystal Nomad Outfit

    The battle-ready Crystal Nomad Outfit has the pragmatic practicality of nomadic accoutrement, adorned with decorative Zephyrite crystals.


  • Mini Golden Pig

    Bathe in the glory of the Mini Golden Pig! This pure-gold miniature is sure to make you feel lucky and prosperous.
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  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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Essential Elements of the New Borderlands

Hello, my name is Tyler Bearce, a Game Designer here at ArenaNet, and I’m here to tell you about the new World vs. World desert Borderlands map that we’ve been hard at work creating for the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ expansion. This map will replace the map used for each of the three current Borderlands.
So, why the new map? Well, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in the time since releasing the original game, and we decided this would be a good opportunity to create an even richer WvW experience. We know players are hungry for something new—after all, you’ve been waging war over the same Borderlands map for years now, and it’s time to give you a new battleground to learn and conquer.
Before I go into what’s new in the desert Borderlands map, I’d like to first tell you about the things that will still be familiar if you’ve played the current Borderlands map. At the highest level, much is the same as what you’ve grown used to. The map has the same number of keeps (3), towers (4), and supply camps (6) as the existing Borderlands. These objectives are also in roughly the same positions on the map. Capturing and holding these objectives still awards points per scoring tick for your team’s Mist War score, and dolyaks still travel on the roads, shuttling supply between supply camps and other objectives.
Now to tell you how we’ve spiced up the experience!


“The terrain is more complex, the cliffs are higher, and the paths are windier…”

Increased Verticality

The desert map is much more layered and vertical than the existing alpine Borderlands map. As an example, you may run across a span of rolling sand dunes, find a gap in the sands, follow a shadowy obsidian staircase plunging deep into a massive cavern, and lay siege to an entire fiery keep hidden within. The terrain is more complex, the cliffs are higher, and the paths are windier, resulting in an even deeper field of battle.
Thematic Objectives

Keeps and towers are more distinctive than before. They all have unique architecture, unique guards, and a unique lord protecting the capture point. The three keeps are elementally themed—air, earth, and fire. The air keep was inspired by the historical city of Petra. It is a keep cut directly into the rose-colored stone canyon walls, with tengu guarding its heights. In contrast, the fire keep is our first entirely underground objective. Lava flows outside the keep while fire imps and charred fleshreavers guard its gates. The earth keep is a corrupted asuran complex. Rocks jut strangely from the walls, and massive stones float in the sky just out of reach. Only golems remain to guard the ruins of this technologically advanced structure. The towers you’ll encounter include an ogre outpost, a charr military depot, an academy of magic, and a necromantic spire.
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More Strategic Layout

We’ve made towers more strategically important. Rather than simply being isolated landmarks for invaders to easily sidestep, towers now wall off larger sections of the map and create real choke points. Controlling one of these towers not only allows your team to pass easily into another section of the map but also creates a noticeable impediment to the movement of enemy armies. The gates of towers and keeps are now more dangerous to attack head-on. Invaders must pass underneath a kill box of arched walls, putting them at risk for attacks from above on all sides. Even the terrain itself is more geared toward giving players the opportunity to make intelligent—or foolish—tactical plays in nuanced terrain.
Shrines

Along the outskirts of each of the three elemental keeps are three shrines of matching elements, making a total of nine shrines. Much like a sentry post, these can be captured by a single player. Controlling shrines gives you two important advantages. First, by interacting with a shrine that your team controls, you will gain a five-minute elemental blessing effect. This effect increases both your movement speed and either your attack damage, critical-strike chance, or defense, depending on which elemental blessing you received. More importantly, the other reason to control shrines is that they confer important strategic bonuses to the team that controls the keep of the same element. And for each shrine controlled, the team controlling the keep gains an additional benefit. For example, for each Shrine of Air controlled, the defending team gains access to things like jump pads, wind turrets that can blow invaders off the cliff face, and even immunity to falling damage while within the region. At the fire keep, controlling Shrines of Fire grants the defending team the ability to transform into fiery hounds, turns on fireball-spitting gargoyle turrets, and grants immunity to burning and lava damage. The earth keep gains automatic defenses like lodestones that impair enemy movement, pop-up rock walls that block off sections of the canyons when invaders approach, and a sandstorm that provides stealth for allies within.
Oasis

The center of the map is a giant jungle oasis. It’s filled with complex rocky terrain, winding streams, bamboo walkways through the trees, an enormous golden temple, and dinosaurs. This is an environment that caters to roamers, ambushers, and gankers. Once every three hours, an event begins within the oasis. An energy cannon of great power sits atop the golden temple, and naturally that means your team will want to be the first to charge it up and fire it! Players will scatter throughout the oasis, defeating dinosaurs that have swallowed the weapon’s power cores and returning those cores to any of three Durmand Priory research camps located on the outskirts of the oasis. It’s not as easy as it sounds; enemy players will try to attack your team’s carriers and steal the cores for themselves. Once a team has collected enough cores to power the weapon, the cannon will begin firing blasts of energy at the outer gates of all enemy-owned towers and keeps in the map, gradually obliterating them. Even if your team already controls all of these objectives, you’ll still want to control the weapon, if only to prevent the enemy teams from using it against you!
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Dolyaks and Sentries

Dolyaks have gained a new defensive ability. As long as an allied player is near the dolyak, the dolyak gains an effect called Protected Caravan. While this effect is active, the dolyak is greatly resistant to both damage and conditions. Undefended dolyak caravans are just as vulnerable as ever, but if players are escorting a dolyak, enemies are now forced to either deal with the players or spend significantly more time attacking and wearing down the dolyak to ultimately kill it. Sentries have also had a few tweaks. They now guard tiny outposts and have a skill that cripples enemy dolyaks for several minutes, noticeably increasing the time it takes for the dolyaks to carry supply to their next objective. Friendly players can also pick up temporary med-kit bundles—which are very similar to the Med Kit engineer healing skill—at allied sentry posts. These can be used to cure a crippled dolyak, quickly gain some health, or grant swiftness on the fly.
We want to give players solid reasons to keep their keeps, so you might find that running up to knock on your enemy’s front door with a big group isn’t the most efficient path to victory. In turn, you’ll have plenty of new strategies to discover and important decisions to make when using the landscape to your advantage. We’ll be back to tell you more about how we plan to apply these concepts to World vs. World as a whole, so be on the lookout between now and the launch of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
Even though this will initially replace the existing Borderlands, we have plans to bring back the classic alpine Borderlands. More information on that will come in the future.
I hope you folks enjoyed this peek at what’s to come and are excited to try out the new map and mechanics. See you on the battlefield!

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