Bite-Sized Fun on Guild Chat

<p>Join host Rubi Bayer and her developer guests on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...uildwars2/">the official <em>Guild Wars 2</em> Twitch channel</a> for this Friday&#8217;s Guild Chat. If you&#8217;ve got limited time to play, this week&#8217;s episode will help guide you to some of the activities you can do in thirty minutes or less in <em>Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™</em>!</p>
<p>We’ll be hosting <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...Reyana_ATac</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...r">Bogotter</a> starting at 10:30 AM Pacific Time (UTC- 8) before the show, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...ightyteapot</a> after the show.</p>
<p>Guild Chat will air on February 12 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-8).</p>
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Creature Design on Guild Chat: A Summary

On the latest episode of the Guild Chat livestream, Game Designer Ben Phongluangtham and Animator Brian Walter sat down with host Rubi Bayer to reveal the creative process the Guild Wars 2 creature team uses to populate the jungle environment of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™.
Each creature model is built on a rigging that allows the animators to move it. Since building a rig takes a lot of time and resources, the team looks for opportunities to build several different creatures on the same rig. Brian showed examples of enemies that look different and behave in different ways despite using the same rig—bristlebacks were built on the same rig as quaggan, vampire beasts use the skale rig, and mushroom enemies use a skritt rig.
Once the developers decide which types of creatures they need, concept artists begin to explore what the creatures look like and provide references. During the modeling process, the animators are given a basic, untextured version of the creature to begin skill animation prototyping. Elements like timing and effects are used to give attacks a feeling of power; slower attacks that take longer to follow through provide a sense of weight. Animations are polished to a finished state in a thorough process of playtesting, feedback, and iteration, and it can take months for a creature to go from its initial design to a finished product.
Ben and Brian unleashed several monsters inside a testing lobby, a simple space that makes it easy to see attacks and animations clearly. The first monster they demonstrated was the Mordrem maggot, which splits into two separate maggots on death; the animation of the new maggots hitting the ground serves as their spawning effect. “Unlurk” animations let enemies fly down, crawl up from the ground, or otherwise make a stylish entrance that’s much cooler than simply fading into existence.
Next up were mushroom bombers. Early versions of the bombers presented little challenge to ranged players, so Ben gave them the ability to launch mushroom sporelings. Players have asked why mushroom enemies happen to have such well-defined posteriors—the anatomy makes sense for a mushroom with two legs, especially since there aren’t any two-legged mushrooms in real life to compare them to.
Enemies are divided into “families,” and each family has an affinity set that defines whether they’re neutral, allied, or hostile to other types of creatures. Some of the enemies might even ignore players for the sake of fighting each other, which adds life to the world. One type of enemy that’s unlikely to ignore players is pocket raptors; the deceptively tiny terrors have been responsible for well over one million player deaths so far!
If you missed this episode of Guild Chat, you can check out the recording below.

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Soaring Weapons, Wings of Love, and Wedding Preparation Package in the Gem Store!

Love is in the air this week at the Black Lion Trading Company! Celebrate the bonds you have with those you love with a new glider skin, a weapon set, a package deal, and many returning items!
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    Soaring Weapons

    Rise above your peers with these gorgeous, streamlined weapons. Your style will be escalated to a whole new level with these Soaring weapons.


  • Wings of Love

    Soar through the air on these fantastic wings powered by love! This glider skin will spread love through the air.
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    Wedding Preparation Package

    This love-filled pack contains the Bouquet of Roses toy, five Teleport to Friend consumables, one Total Makeover Kit, one Wedding Attire Outfit, and one Name Change Contract.


  • 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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Creature Feature on Guild Chat

<p>Join host Rubi Bayer and her developer guests Brian Walter and Ben Phongluangtham on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...uildwars2/">the official <em>Guild Wars 2</em> Twitch channel</a> for this Friday&#8217;s Guild Chat. This week&#8217;s episode will give you a closer look at some of the wild and weird creatures in <em>Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™</em>.</p>
<p>We’ll be hosting <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...Reyana_ATac</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...r">Bogotter</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...r">Gladomer</a> starting at 10:30 AM Pacific Time (UTC- 8) before the show, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...ks">Mmoinks</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitch.tv...elizerGames</a> after the show.</p>
<p>Guild Chat will air on February 5 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-8).</p>
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The Shatterer on Guild Chat: A Summary

On the most recent episode of Guild Chat, Game Designers Andrew Gray, McKenna Berdrow, and Sean Hughes talked about their work on the updated Shatterer fight, while Game Director Colin Johanson discussed the recent Winter Quarterly Update and what’s coming in the future.
Colin said that the next quarterly update will address player feedback received since the launch of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™. While the developers are happy with the level of challenge in the jungle’s open world, one of the expansion’s major goals was for players to be able to play for a short amount of time and still make meaningful progress. Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns content will be reviewed to bring it in line with that goal while preserving the challenge.
The updates to the Shatterer battle began with a fix to an issue which blocked progress on a legendary journey. The Shatterer was the only world boss which could be permanently blinded, and that prevented players from being hit by its crystalizing attack. Players could also stand in certain parts of the battlefield to be safe throughout the fight. Fixing those issues alone would have been simple to implement, but after the team learned the release date for the Winter Quarterly Update, they decided to work on making the fight more fun.
The new encounter is meant to be more challenging while still being level appropriate for the Blazeridge Steppes zone. Beating the Shatterer isn’t as difficult as some of the other open-world fights, such as Triple Trouble, but the achievements are harder than defeating the dragon itself. McKenna said that they wanted to make sure that the new achievements helped guide players through the encounter and directed them to things that have changed.
Sean talked about the new Branded enemies. The rock dog and devourer are dangerous, but they’re not as deadly as the more elite minotaur and griffon. The griffon is considerably more powerful in the air, but it now has a defiance bar that can force it to the ground and make it easier to fight. Sean’s favorite is the minotaur, which charges up a knockdown effect that can take a player down quickly if they don’t break out of it.
Andrew designed many of the Shatterer’s new skills, added the new enemies, implemented gliding as part of the fight, and made siege weapons more user friendly. Turrets now move more quickly, allow players to provide efficient healing for their allies, and have crowd-control abilities to assist with bringing down defiance bars. Andrew said that his favorite part of working on the updated fight was adding gliding, which let him give people airborne bombardier and healing skills. Since he didn’t want to create a new safe zone in the air, there’s plenty of opportunity for the Shatterer to bring flying aces down—which will turn you into a living bomb if you land on your friends!
If you missed this week’s episode, you can check out a recording below.

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Phoenix Kite Glider in the Gemstore

As promised, we’re offering a new glider skin each week this month. Don’t forget to check in next week!
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    Phoenix Kite Glider

    This week we have the Phoenix Kite Glider! Soar through the world with this glider skin styled after a beautiful mythical creature.


  • 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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The Shatterer on Guild Chat

Join host Rubi Bayer and developer guests Colin Johanson, McKenna Berdrow, Andrew Gray, and Sean Hughes on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel for this Friday’s Guild Chat. They’ll discuss the updated Shatterer battle and more!
On Point airs right after Guild Chat. Shoutcasters Jebro and Heurix will recap the week’s Pro League matches for both North American and European leagues, break down key moments in league play, and discuss changes in the meta and strategy as the competitive season progresses. The show will also regularly feature top players from the Pro League giving insight on high-level play and the hottest new builds.
We’ll be hosting Aurora_Peachy, Reyana_ATac, and MMOINKS starting at 10:30 AM Pacific Time (UTC-8) before the show, and Kremchek, MightyTeapot, and GameWithStorm after the show.
Guild Chat and On Point will air on January 29 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-8).

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Winter Quarterly Update Preview on Guild Chat: A Summary

On last week’s episode of the Guild Chat livestream, host Rubi Bayer invited several developer guests to talk about the Winter 2016 Quarterly Update. To kick off the episode, Rubi let players know that costs for the scribing profession will see adjustments in the future.
The first guest, Gameplay Programmer Joel Helmich, jumped at the chance to work on gliding in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ because he loves mobility in games. It isn’t much fun to come back to Central Tyria and plummet to your doom after soaring through the Heart of Maguuma, but the team didn’t have enough time to expand gliding to the entire open world before the expansion launched. Once it shipped, they went back to revisit it. Gliding isn’t available in Player vs. Player or World vs. World right now, but you’ll be able to glide in the Heart of the Mists. No-fly zones have been implemented at the ends of some jumping puzzles and will knock you out of flight if you ignore the warning to turn back. Joel also gave a brief explanation of how client-controlled gliding works in comparison to server-controlled gliding and why a switch was made to client-controlled so that lag wouldn’t cause delays in glider deployment.
Associate Game Director John Corpening was up next to talk about upcoming goals and changes to World vs. World. He said that the team has been very busy working on bug fixes and core balance, and there are a number of changes in the works. Adjustments to automatic upgrading will allow players to kill dolyaks to stop upgrades, and players who enjoy skirmishing will receive points for both kills and finishers in equal measure. People who have been fully defeated can no longer be resurrected by a player in combat in WvW, and the number of players who can rally off a single kill has been reduced to one, with the rally going to the player closest to the kill.
The items sold by the Heroics Notary will no longer require badges of honor, since it cost too many badges for players to obtain their hero points. Walls in Eternal Battlegrounds are occasionally bugged to either not take damage or to flicker, becoming “phantom walls”; fixes for both of these are in the works. Issues with lag in WvW are being addressed as well. John also said that banners were meant to “enhance the battle, not be the battle,” and they’ll be adjusted to bring them in line.
The next guest, Gameplay Programmer Jon Olson, discussed changes to the enhanced squad UI. Commanders can now appoint lieutenants to help them manage squad tasks, such as placing markers and inviting and removing members. In creating the map markers, Jon says the team used shapes and high contrast colors to create a simple visual language as well as allowing colorblind players to more easily identify the markers.
Finally, Game Designer Hugh Norfolk arrived to tell the story of how Tybalt Leftpaw arrived from the Mists to become Stronghold’s newest Mist Champion. Using apple-themed abilities, Tybalt will help you by cleansing conditions, defending your team, and even dropping rotten apples on enemies’ heads.
If you missed this episode, you can catch the video below!

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Lunar New Year Items in the Gem Store!

The Year of the Monkey is sure to be a prosperous and successful one! We have lots of items available for you to celebrate a bright future, good knowledge, and great success. For the duration of the celebration, we’ll be packing every Black Lion Chest with a Personalized Homemade Lucky Red Envelope.
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    Wing Glider and Backpack Skins

    We have three glider and backpack combo skins returning: black feather wings, white wings, and bat wings. In celebration of gliding coming to Central Tyria, we’ll have a new glider available each week for the next month!


  • Weapon Skins

    Crimson Lion and Dragon’s Jade weapon skins return! Show off your prideful side for this celebration with these intricate weapons.
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    Much More

    We’ve packed the store with many other returning items. Grab the Red Lantern Kite, the Crimson Lion Dye Kit, and the Confetti Mail Carrier!


  • 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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