September 2014 Feature Pack: Improvements Galore

Hello, everybody, I’m Isaiah Cartwright, the lead game designer on Guild Wars 2. I’m going to be introducing you to three of the changes to Guild Wars 2 coming up in the September 2014 Feature Pack.

dungeon-owner

Dungeon Instance Owner

We’ve changed the way dungeon instances work. Currently, the instance is “owned” by the first person to enter the instance; this creates some issues when that person leaves or is kicked from the party. To prevent the dungeon instance from closing when any one person leaves, we’ve removed the concept of a dungeon “owner.” If everyone leaves an instance, it will close, but you don’t have to worry about one person leaving your party and having to restart your dungeon! Our goal here is to make instances more user-friendly, as the hidden owner concept was often hard to understand and resulted in people losing progress randomly when someone left.

Crafting UI

We’ve made a change to the way the crafting interface works! You can now open recipes and subcomponent recipes at the same time. This allows you to craft the parts required for a recipe and allows for faster navigation around the crafting interface.

One example of something you could do is filter for ascended items, and then navigate from the ascended item to all the subcomponents. You can also select any of the recipes in the list and it will navigate back to that recipe. These improvements make it easier for crafters to quickly build things.

crafting-ui-2

Performance Updates

We‘re always working on the performance of the game with every update, but we have a big batch of improvements coming in this feature pack. We’ve changed the way many of the underlying systems work, making them more cost-effective, which will reduce how often players will be seeing issues caused by performance. This is most notable in large combat situations like WvW and at the PvE world boss events. These improvements affect both the server and client performance, so in these situations, you should see increased frame rates as well!

That’s it for today! Come back tomorrow and learn about some of the cool new items we’re adding to each crafting discipline!

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

Take the Overwolf Guild Wars 2 WvW App Challenge!

Guild Wars 2 app developers, get ready to flex your creative muscles: we’ve partnered with Overwolf to bring you the Guild Wars 2 WvW App Challenge!
We’re looking for the best Guild Wars 2 WvW app, so show us your mist-war-tracking, squad-monitoring, eye-pleasing app. The winner is going to walk away with a prize package that includes SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 peripherals, 2,000 gems, and $2,000 cash!
The Guild Wars 2 WvW App Challenge is a part of Overwolf’s current app contest, so head over to their contest page for all the details. Good luck to all who enter!

View the full article

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

ArenaNet Activities Around PAX Prime

The Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Washington is coming up soon!

If you’re going to be at PAX, stop by “The Future of Online Games” panel on Friday, August 29, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sphinx Theatre, to hear Game Director Colin Johanson and other MMORPG industry veterans discuss where online games are headed and answer questions from fans.

2014_PAX_AN-MMORPG_2

We’re partnering with the folks at MMORPG.comto bring you a community meet and greet! We’ll have some Guild Wars 2 goodies on hand to raffle off, including charr plushies and Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Editions! We’re also giving away Guild Wars 2 Scarlet t-shirts to attendees, but sizes and supplies are limited. Join us on Saturday night to meet and hang out with our developers and the MMORPG.com team!

Here are the details:

Location: Gordon Biersch, Pacific Place, 600 Pine Street, Suite 401, Seattle, WA 98101

Date and Time: Saturday, August 30, 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Entry: Entry is free and no tickets (or PAX passes) are required, but space is limited to the capacity of the venue. You are welcome to RSVP on our Facebook event page, but this just gives us an idea of how many people plan on coming and doesn’t guarantee entry.

Food/Drink: Light appetizers will be served and we will provide two drink tickets per person; food and drink tickets are limited.

We’ll see you there!

View the full article

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

Continued Improvements to the Megaserver System

We’ll be using the September 2014 Feature Pack to bring some exciting changes to the megaserver system!

Megaserver-Laughing-Gull

Since first introducing it in the April 2014 Feature Pack, we’ve kept on improving the megaserver system on a regular basis. A lot of those changes were made during regularly scheduled updates and were targeted at improving what we call “integrity” metrics, which are how we measure how well the system works to get you into a map instance with people from your party, guild, home world, and language. Because the evolution was continuous and smooth, you might not have noticed much change, but the metrics got a lot better over time as we kept making the system smarter. We won’t stop there: with the second feature pack, we’re releasing some new systems and working to make the core system more effective!

Global Guilds (New to North America and Europe)

guild-upgrades

When we released the megaserver system, we told you that we’d be focusing on guilds for future improvements, and now we’re ready to introduce the global guild system to North America and Europe! This system has already been rolled out in China, and we’re very excited to bring it back over to our other regions. Instead of having a separate guild chapter on each world, everything in your guild—your bank, merits, influence, and upgrades—is now global and shared across all worlds. We built this in a way that makes sure that nothing is being lost for anyone:

  • The influence and the merits that your guild earned in each world will now be combined into your global guild. To make sure that you’re not losing anything there, the combined merits quantity can go over the normal limit of 250. However, your guild will not be able to earn more merits until the count gets back under that threshold.
  • Any upgrade you’ve unlocked on any world will be available in your global guild. If you’ve unlocked the same upgrade on multiple worlds, the influence and merit cost will be refunded. Again, the refunded merits will be allowed to exceed the normal limit, but you will be unable to earn more merits while over the limit.
  • All guild consumables unlocked on any world will be available in your global guild. For this purpose, the number of consumables in stock can go over the usual limits, but you will not be able to build new consumables of the same type before going back under the usual threshold.
  • Guild boosts that are enabled will be returned to your guild inventory and you will have to reenable them from your global guild to activate them.
  • The guild vault from the world that had the highest number of slots will become your global guild vault. If your guild had the same number of slots on multiple worlds, it’ll pick the one with the most items. However, the items from other worlds’ banks will not be lost—instead, their contents will be put into extra slots, which will only be available to withdraw from and will disappear once empty.

Guild Missions Improvement

guild-mission-site-Post-Review-1

Since the launch of the megaserver system, we’ve improved guild missions by making sure that all missions could be completed by multiple guilds simultaneously. With this feature pack, we’re making getting your guild together for a mission easier than ever by introducing significant improvements to the way guild missions work in the open world. The megaserver system will be extended with a reservation system that is automatically enabled whenever a guild member joins a map to do a guild mission, which will prioritize adding guild members to that map. This system, however, is limited in the number of spaces that get reserved on the map instance, so it’ll work best for small- and medium-sized guilds.

We are working on further improvements that are focused on larger guilds.

Finding Allies in Different Map Copies

As the population on a map changes over time, the megaserver system sometimes needs to close certain copies of that map. It does that by ceasing to add new players to that map (unless they intentionally join to be with their party) and by waiting until that map copy is empty to finally close it. This has occasionally created an odd experience for players left in the map, who will see fewer and fewer companions.

With the September 2014 Feature Pack, we’re introducing a new mechanism to solve this problem. When certain copies of a map need to be closed, the players on those copies will be notified and will have the option to be moved to a different map copy right away. This will help you make sure that there are always allies by your side, and it’ll help us more efficiently manage maps—which in turn makes everyone’s experience better. If you choose to volunteer to move to a new map, you’ll even get a reward in the form of a new effect, the Volunteer’s Blessing, which increases movement speed by 15%, karma gain by 5%, and experience from kills by 10% for 10 minutes. This effect persists if you move to another map, but the movement speed bonus is applied only in PvE.

Language in Europe

One experience we’ve been working to improve between April and today is the European language diversity. We’ve deployed several system updates to better sort players by language, especially when the population on a specific map is high.

Megaserver-Svanir-Dome

This is an important issue for us, and we’re still working hard on improving the game experience for our European players.

For now, we’ve decided not to entirely separate the different language communities onto unique map copies. While we understand that it might be difficult for some to communicate across the language barrier, we still think it’s important to have maps that feel populated no matter where in Tyria you go or at which hours you play. The megaserver system gives us an opportunity to expand the game world without having to fear that doing so would make some of the older parts of Tyria feel empty to the players who’d still like to enjoy them; splitting the European community by language would hinder that capacity to some extent. Our hope is to avoid doing so, relying instead on systematic improvements to megaservers and our amazingly friendly and awesome community of players.

We are always listening for your feedback, as it is very important for us to make the best possible game for you. Thanks to player feedback, we’ve decided to disable the chat filtering option by default. We had to deploy this system as a shield against harassment, but it was also impairing normal communication. As always, if you feel harassed, please use the in-game reporting tool. We want Guild Wars 2 to feel safe and inclusive, and our Customer Support team takes your reports very seriously.

We will keep on monitoring our metrics, collecting your feedback, and analyzing our data on a daily basis to keep improving the Guild Wars 2 experience for all players from all backgrounds.

Future Improvements

Our work on the megaserver system will continue after this feature pack gets released. We are monitoring the metrics on a daily basis, and we frequently make adjustments to enhance the social environment of Guild Wars 2. We’re working on further improvements to guild missions, language settings for European worlds, better population balance for every map, and more. As we stated in April, this is just the beginning—and we’re always working on making it better.

View the full article

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

Win a Mini Llama during the Tournament of Legends 2 Finals this weekend!

This weekend, play witness to the finals of the biggest tournament in Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 history! The Tournament of Legends 2 started with a total of 256 teams, and this weekend we’ll watch the top eight teams from each region duke it out for the right to call themselves the best team players in Guild Wars 2!
Are you not participating in the tournament but eager for a chance to get one of our coveted Mini Llamas? Watch the Tournament of Legends 2 finals livestreams for a chance to win a Mini Llama of your very own! Each day we’ll be finding loving new homes for five llamas through viewer giveaways.
You can find more information on the tournament, including prizes and rules, in our original Tournament of Legends 2 announcement blog post.
Livestream Information:

European Tournament of Legends Finals: August 23, 2014, at 12 p.m. PDT (19:00 UTC)
North American Tournament of Legends Finals: August 23, 2014, at 12 p.m. PDT (19:00 UTC)
German livestream: www.twitch.tv/guildnews
French livestream: www.twitch.tv/fureurwebtv
Chinese livestream: www.twitch.tv/gw2cbc
We’ll see you there!

View the full article

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

Sign Up for the Tournament of Glory Today!

We’ve teamed up with community organizers Digital Professional Sports and Mistpedia to bring you the Tournament of Glory, an opportunity for players of all skill levels to fight for the new tournament-exclusive Glorious Hero’s armor set, legendary crafting materials, and the ever-coveted Mini Llama! Even if you don’t make it into the finals, teams who win a single round will receive rewards for their efforts – so get a team and sign up today!

TOG and the World Tournament Series in Beijing

While the Tournament of Glory is a stand-alone tournament with its own prize structure, the top eight teams from each region will qualify for an invitation to the Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series Invitational Qualifier. More information on World Tournament Series eligibility is coming soon, but at a minimum, players will need to show that they are over 18 and allowed to travel to China in order to be invited to the Qualifier. Learn more about the World Tournament Series in our original announcement blog.

new-armor-image

Sign-up today!

Click here to sign up for the North American Tournament of Glory, hosted by Digital Professional Sports.

Click here to sign up for the European Tournament of Glory, hosted by Mistpedia.

Sign-ups will remain open until September 5, 2014.

Tournament Format

The Tournament of Glory is a single-elimination conquest PvP tournament consisting of teams of five players. The first two rounds (which will have 32 and 16 teams respectively) of each qualifier will be best of one. The remaining rounds of the qualifier will be best of three with the finals being a best of 5. Teams will be evenly distributed between the four qualifiers with a maximum of 32 teams per event, meaning that your team only plays in one qualifier event. The top eight teams from the qualifiers will move on to play in the Tournament of Glory Finals in October.

Schedule

  • September 5 – Tournament of Glory sign-ups close
  • September 13 and 14 – North American Tournament of Glory Qualifier 1 and 2
  • September 20 and 21 – European Tournament of Glory Qualifier 1 and 2
  • September 27 and 28 – North American Tournament of Glory Qualifier 3 and 4
  • October 4 and 5 – European Tournament of Glory Qualifier 3 and 4
  • October 11 – European Tournament of Glory Finals
  • October 12 – North American Tournament of Glory Finals

Rewards

Tournament of Glory Qualifier Prizes

  • 1st and 2nd Place: Placement in Finals, Finisher Choice Box, Mini Llama, 2000 gems per player
  • 3rd Place: 77 Mystic Clovers, 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket, Finisher Choice Box, Mini Llama, 800 gems per player
  • 4th Place: 77 Mystic Clovers, 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket, Finisher Choice Box, Mini Llama
  • 5th-8th Place: Finisher Choice Box, Mini Llama
  • 9th-16th Place: Mini Llama

Tournament of Glory Finals Prizes

  • 1st Place: 3 pieces of Glorious Hero’s Armor, 2 Black Lion Claim Tickets, 2,000 gems per player
  • 2nd Place: 2 pieces of Glorious Hero’s Armor, Gift of Mastery or Fortune, 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket, 800 gems per player
  • 3rd Place: 1 pieces of Glorious Hero’s Armor, Gift of Mastery or Fortune, 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket, 400 gems per player
  • 4th Place: Gift of Mastery or Fortune, Black Lion Claim Ticket
  • 5th – 8th Place: Gift of Might or Magic, 1 Black Lion Claim Ticket

Tournament Rules

  • Teams may request roster changes up until 24 hours before their first match. Players joining the roster may not have played for any other team during the tournament.
  • Only players that participate in the team’s final match in the tournament will receive rewards.
  • If a player disconnects during a tournament game, play must continue. The match game will not be restarted. In the event of a server crash or other event that causes all players to disconnect, the match game will be restarted.
  • Play will begin when all players have pressed the ready button, or when the judge manually begins the match game. Judges will manually begin a game after all players have entered into the map and the judges have told the players to leave spectator mode.
  • If all players are not present and ready at the designated start time, judges will wait no longer than 5 minutes to start the game.
  • In the event of a tie-breaker game, the team with the highest cumulative player score will be declared the winner.
  • Teams that forfeit any rounds in the finals will be disqualified and will not receive prizes.
  • Players are expected to act with courtesy and respect toward all other participants, administrators, and spectators. Any excessive vulgarity or “bad-mannering” may lead to a player or team’s disqualification from an event.
  • Guild names and player names must abide by the Guild Wars 2 Terms of Service and Code of Conduct.
  • All rules are subject to a tournament organizer or tournament administrator’s interpretation. We reserve the right to alter or amend any of the aforementioned rules without notice.

Tournament of Glory Qualifiers Map Rotation

  • Round 1: Legacy of the Foefire (best of one)
  • Round 2: Temple of the Silent Storm (best of one)
  • Round 3: Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire, Battle of Kyhlo (best of three)
  • Round 4: Temple of the Silent Storm, Forest of Niflhel, Battle of Kyhlo (best of three)
  • 3rd place Match: Legacy of the Foefire, Battle of Kyhlo, Temple of the Silent Storm (best of three)

Tournament of Glory Finals Map Rotation

All matches are best of three, except for the final round which is best of five.

  • Round 1: Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire, Battle of Kyhlo (best of three)
  • Round 2: Temple of the Silent Storm, Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire (best of three)
  • Finals: Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire, Battle of Kyhlo, Temple of the Silent Storm, Legacy of the Foefire (best of five)
  • 3rd place Match: Legacy of the Foefire, Battle of Kyhlo, Temple of the Silent Storm (best of three)

For our Chinese players, you can find information about the Tournament of Glory in China and the latest information on upcoming tournaments and events here: Kong Zhong Arena.

We’ll see you on the battlefield!

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

Ready Up: Episode 20

This week on Ready Up, join our Competitive Events Manager and host Josh Davis as he talks about the upcoming Tournament of Legends 2 Finals taking place this weekend and the Guild Wars 2 International All-Stars Tournament that took place at gamescom last week. He will also be discussing the upcoming Feature Pack details announced earlier this week.
Also, be sure to stay tuned until the end of the show for another installment of the Skill Bar with Karl McLain where he will be covering upcoming balance changes to the mesmer and elementalist professions.
The show starts Friday at 12:00pm PDT (19:00 UTC) on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel!

View the full article

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

Announcing the World vs. World Fall Tournament 2014

Greetings, Mist Warriors!

We’re excited to announce that the next World vs. World tournament is starting on September 12, the Friday after our September 2014 Feature Pack launches! We’d also like to welcome our Chinese players to experience their first WvW tournament! We’ve got some exciting changes in store for the World vs. World Fall Tournament 2014, so let’s get to it!

WvW-Runners

What’s New?

Tournament Duration

Our next tournament will be an extremely intense, exciting four-week-long tournament battle. The shorter format will ensure that worlds will not be repeatedly matched against one another, which will more closely resemble a true Swiss-style tournament. Each matchup will be unique, and every win—or upset—will make a huge difference!

Posttransfer Lockouts

It’s important to maintain a sense of loyalty during a WvW tournament, but we also want players to have the freedom to move around. In the past, we balanced these goals by implementing a lockout period after transfers, which lasted for the current and subsequent matchups. The purpose of this feature was to encourage players to give transferring careful consideration by imposing some risk to the reward. Because the World vs. World Fall Tournament 2014 will only last four weeks, we will not be enforcing these lockout periods.

Mistforged-Weapon

Achievements

For the fall tournament, participating players will earn a weekly achievement based on completing a small number of events in World vs. World. This differs a bit from previous tournament achievements in which players were required to complete several of each event, such as capturing keeps and supply camps. We wanted to experiment with a simplified version of the achievements to encourage players to focus more on playing WvW, rather than checking off an objective checklist. Siege objectives, defend your land, and you’ll be rewarded! Complete all four weekly achievements to unlock the meta-achievement and earn this tournament’s title, “Mist Treader”!

Reward Structure

We want to continue to reward a world’s overall performance in the tournament, but we’d like to focus the incentives on each world’s struggle for dominance each week. To accomplish this, the arrangement of rewards distribution will be slightly different in this tournament. The majority of rewards will be dispersed at the end of each matchup based on your world’s performance. This means that even if your world doesn’t come out on top of your entire league, the efforts you put forth in each match will be rewarded!

WvW-Tournament-Weapon-Staff

Weekly Matchup Placement Reward # of Tickets
1st Place 200
2nd Place 150
3rd Place 100

How Do I Get Rewards?

To be eligible for rewards for any given matchup, you need only earn that match’s weekly World Contributor achievement. Then, all you have to do is talk with the Battle Historian NPC during the next week’s matchup to earn your rewards. It is important to note: You must claim your rewards in the week following the matchup in which they were earned. Rewards that are not claimed during the following week will be forfeited. Please refer to the table below to make sure you don’t miss out on your rewards!

Fall Tournament Rewards Become Available Rewards Must be Claimed By
Match 1 Rewards Friday 9/19 after reset Friday 9/26 at reset
Match 2 Rewards Friday 9/26 after reset Friday 10/03 at reset
Match 3 Rewards Friday 10/03 after reset Friday 10/10 at reset
Match 4 Rewards Friday 10/10 after reset Friday 10/17 at reset

What Rewards Will I Get?

The Battle Historian, located at the portal keeps in each WvW map, will continue to offer WvW-exclusive weapons and other tournament rewards.

Item Cost in tickets
1 Mistforged Hero’s Weapon 300
Ascended Accessory 200
Mini Dolyak 200
1 Gift of Heroes 200
1 Hero’s Weapon 100
WvW Ascended Infusion 50
15 Obsidian Shards 50
40 Dragonite Ore 25
100 Empyreal Fragments 25
1 Thimble of Liquid WXP 25

A new statue will also be added to each citadel in World vs. World to help celebrate the tournament victors!

WvW-Dolyak-Statue

At 00:15 UTC on Sunday, October 12 (5:15 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 11), this majestic dolyak statue will bestow upon its visitors a one-time buff granting them increased WXP and XP gain for a short time. The duration of the buff will be determined by a world’s overall placement in the tournament, which breaks down as follows:

Place Duration (hrs.)
1 5
2 4.5
3 4
4 3.5
5 3
6 2.5
7 2
8 1.5
9-12 1

We hope you will enjoy the changes made for the World vs. World Fall Tournament 2014, and we look forward seeing you on the battlefield!

0 Comments | Add Your Comment

On YouTube: Points of Interest Episode 5

Kate, Peter, and Leif gathered to talk over The Dragon’s Reach: Part 2 from the Guild Wars 2 creator’s side last Friday. If you weren’t able to join us for the live show, you can watch it now on the Guild Wars 2 YouTube channel.
Watch now to catch up on their talk, a visit from Bill Murphy at MMORPG.com, the latest community-created art, and speculation about what’s to come in Guild Wars 2’s Living World!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay on top of our latest video releases!

View the full article

0 Comments | Add Your Comment