Weeklong Bonus Event: Fractal Rush

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Bringing back something tangible from the chaos of the Mists is always fun—unless it’s a Champion Branded Riftstalker—and next week you’ll earn even more rewards.

From September 29 to October 6, completing Fractals of the Mists will award Sense of Community Trophies. Trade your trophies in to Fractal Researchers outside asura gates leading to the Mists to contribute to the community goal. Participants will receive more Bonus Boxes of Goods for progressing the goal to higher tiers.

It’s a great time for veteran players and new fractal explorers alike to play together as a community and get extra rewards. We are pretty sure these changes to the Mists won’t destabilize anything important, so enjoy yourself!

Weeklong Bonus: Fractal Rush
  • Date and Time: From 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on September 29 to 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on October 6 (UTC-7)
  • Gameplay Variant: Earn Sense of Community Trophies for completing fractals and trade them to Fractal Researchers to progress the community goal.


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Accessorize with the Celestial Ministry Cape

  • Celestial Ministry Cape

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Made from the finest materials, this divine new cape is sure to be a key element in your wardrobe.

What’s in Stock

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Kick up your heels! How to Dance, Volume 1 is 40% off this week, and our entire stock of musical instruments will be 35% off starting Friday.

We’re refreshing our inventory of minis to prepare for autumn, so check back this week and pick up returning favorites.

Returning Today

  • Knight of the Grove Package
  • Shiverpeaks Mount Pack
  • Skyscale Ascension Mounts Pack

Returning This Week

  • Thunderstrike Harvesting Tool
  • Earthshaker Mining Tool
  • Firestorm Logging Tool
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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Guild Chat: Sunqua Peak Development

Go behind the scenes of the new Sunqua Peak fractal! Host Rubi Bayer will be joined by Game Designer Cameron Rich, VFX Lead Lee Bledsoe, Sound Design Apprentice Jasmine Serrano, QA Analyst Matthew Burke, and Environment Artist Meagan Glennon.

Guild Chat will air Friday, September 18 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7) on the official Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook channels.


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Fun School Fashion with the Queensdale Academy Package

  • Queensdale Academy Package

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It’s important to dress for success when entering a new school year—adherence to uniform regulations promotes party cooperation and school pride. For the purposes of self-expression, uniforms may be dyed to the student’s preference—within reason, please—and two wand variants will be provided to choose from.

The Black Lion Trading Company is proud to offer the Queensdale Academy Package, containing everything you need to start off on the right foot. You’ll receive a Queensdale Academy Outfit, Aurous Wand Scepter Skin, Cerulean Wand Scepter Skin, five Sacred Dye Kits, and a Total Makeover Kit.

The Queensdale Academy Outfit and Queensdale Academy Wand Set can also be purchased separately.

Dark Matter Chest

Inside each chest, you’re guaranteed to find a redeemable Black Lion Statuette, a Fine Black Lion Dye Canister—Yellow, and two common items. You also have a chance to find something rarer in the fifth slot, including exclusive items, glyphs, and skins from the Devoted Weapon Collection and Balthazar’s Weapon Collection.

Guaranteed Item: Fine Black Lion Dye Canister—Yellow
Collect and use these dye canisters to unlock four exclusive new yellow dyes: Straw, Pineapple, Seraphim, and Yellow Lion. Each dye is purchased with a canister of a different rarity tier, and you can obtain higher-tier canisters by combining lower-tier canisters.

Exclusive Item: Dark Matter Cape
Embrace your inner lich and clad yourself in flickering shadows. This tenebrous garb will ensure your memory haunts everyone you meet.

The Envoy Scythe Staff is also back as an uncommon drop for a limited time.

Travel the Seas in Style

Pirate-themed items are on sale this week! Even if you’ve never sailed on so much as a sloop, at least you’ll look the part in Lion’s Arch.

  • Pirate Outfit—30% Off
  • Magnus’s Eye Patch—40% Off
  • Pirate Hook Skin—40% Off
  • Peg-Leg Boots Skin—40% Off
  • Pirate Corsair Hat—40% Off
What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal outfit inventory this week, so keep an eye out for returning favorites.

Returning Today

  • Elite Reinforcements Package

Returning This Week

  • Infinite Volatile Magic Gathering Tools
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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Sunqua Peak: Journey to a Sacred Land

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Hey, everyone. My name’s Cam, and I’m here to talk about our new fractal, Sunqua Peak. Today we’ll talk about the philosophies behind its design and dive into the processes we followed during its development. Sunqua Peak is very special to us and took an enormous effort from everyone involved. Be warned, there are light spoilers for the fractal below! If you haven’t yet experienced Sunqua Peak and want to go in blind, turn back now!

Seriously, this is your final warning.

Still with me? Awesome. Let’s jump into it.

Impetus—The Journey Begins

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#CANTHACONFIRMED

It feels so good to be able to say that. Or…type that? You know what I mean. From the beginning, we knew we wanted this fractal to be players’ first taste of Cantha in Guild Wars 2. What we didn’t want, however, was to spoil the surprise of visiting Cantha in our upcoming expansion, Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons. The need to satisfy both goals created a difficult challenge, but one we were eager to tackle.

First, we brainstormed a bunch of ideas for when this fractal would take place. Setting the fractal in ancient history, the far future, and alongside the story of Guild Wars: Factions® were all candidates at one point early on. But something about these time periods didn’t resonate as strongly as we would have hoped. We wanted a setting that would feel strangely familiar to players, something that bordered on the uncanny, as though you were traveling through a forgotten memory. Ideally, players should know where they are almost immediately but still experience the wonder and awe of stepping into a new world for the first time.

This led us to a time between the end of the storyline in “Winds of Change” and the start of Guild Wars 2, a period only briefly mentioned in the records of history; an era when Cantha was on the verge of radical transformation in the eyes of her citizens—and indeed, the whole of Tyria.

With the “when” figured out, the “where” quickly revealed itself. One of the early decisions behind this fractal was to reuse aspects of a previous map from another fractal that was scrapped in favor of Shattered Observatory. This fractal, internally called “Mountain,” saw players climbing a mountain in the middle of a furious storm. This setting provided the basis for our new fractal, and the themes therein helped to inform both its mechanics and general flow.

Once our setting had been locked in, we got to work building a brand-new map that fully realized our vision.

Ideation—Working Together

Fractal development starts, like any video game, in a stage called preproduction, or “pre-pro” for short. During pre-pro, the team focuses on high-level details. What is the setting? What are the themes, both visually and narratively, that we want to focus on? What is our target audience? As we answer these questions and set our goals, a plan begins to take shape.

Each profession begins to outline their vision. Narrative designers set the stage and tone of the story and begin to outline the characters involved. Artists create mood boards and set visual targets for their work. Programmers research and develop new tech and tools to use in creating content. Game designers plot out the flow of gameplay and begin to prototype mechanics. QA analysts and producers help us plan our development time line and ensure our work is stable and sustainable throughout. Though it may seem that each individual is “in charge” of their own aspect of the game, it is only when a team works closely together, sharing ideas and inspiring solutions, that our greatest works are crafted.

As the team nears the end of preproduction, they create a “pitch deck”—a visualization of their plan presented to a group of individuals representing each profession in studio leadership. Everyone gets a voice in the conversation, offering critique, concerns, or approval. At the end of the pitch, the team either returns to iterate on the plan and address critical feedback or receives the green light to move into the next phase of development: full production.

Implementation—Nuts and Bolts

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The Sunqua Peak project held a few key themes that we followed when building out the fractal. We aimed to focus on an emotionally intelligent narrative, one that focused on bringing calm to a turbulent space. To achieve this, the team worked together to express the emotional tone through each facet of the content.

To start, our map artist set the stage, creating a moonlit Sunqua Peak, and wrapping it within a terrible, vicious storm. Keep an eye to the sky, for as you journey through the fractal, the weather will shift in response to your actions.

As the environment began to take shape, Narrative and Design worked closely together to craft the story and characters. Many hours were spent ensuring that each emotional beat served the greater whole, and that the series of events was conducive to the repeatable nature of the fractal content format.

In turn, our story informed the mechanical language of the fractal, and it inspired gameplay that was deeply connected to its narrative. “Weathering the storm” became one of our central themes, which led us to focus on visually powerful, high-damage signature attacks that required group coordination to endure, especially at higher tiers of difficulty.

This process continued until we felt that a sturdy framework had been built on a solid foundation. Once we reached that milestone, it was time to drill down into the details and flesh out the core encounters.

Iteration—Follow the Fun

In the process of development, there comes a time when you’ve successfully put together the structure of your game, but the experience fails to reach its potential. Sometimes the delivery of your story isn’t hitting the right notes, or perhaps the core gameplay loop struggles to engage players for more than a couple hours.

When these moments arise, there’s a common saying we often use to guide our development methodology: “Fail faster and follow the fun.”

This phrase embodies two major philosophies. First, it’s better to try, fail, and try again than to spend that time attempting to make things perfect the first time around. Iteration is key to success. Second, as you build and test your game, look for what elicits the most joy from the player, and focus your efforts on enhancing that experience. Even if it means cutting something you really wanted to be in the game that just isn’t working.

When developing fractals, we attempt to follow this mantra as closely as possible. For Sunqua Peak, we knew development needed to jump into a rapid iteration cycle with frequent playtesting so that we could quickly identify the fun and have time to capitalize on it. To achieve this, we split the content of the fractal into separate playable chunks.

The final boss combines all the mechanics taught throughout Sunqua Peak into one epic encounter, so it made sense to start development there. When a mechanic needed to be tweaked or refined for the boss fight, those changes would propagate down to the rest of the fractal. And if that mechanic wasn’t working out for any reason, we could safely cut it without needing to revisit and rethink other encounters.

This top-down development method enabled us to fix bugs, action on feedback, and efficiently push new builds at a rapid pace. Toward the end of development, we were testing new iterations two to three times per week!

In Conclusion

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This fractal started earlier this year as a call to action to create an experience that served many different purposes: to give a taste of Cantha, to provide a memorable story, and to challenge players in new and interesting ways.

As the year progressed, development evolved and adapted to meet the needs of changing to a work-from-home environment. The story within the fractal took on new meaning as the team faced new challenges, embodying the feelings of hope, courage, and love that we tightly hold on to.

I hope you are able to find joy in playing through Sunqua Peak. Gather your allies and set forth to bring peace to a place of turmoil…and for those seeking to take on the Harbinger’s Challenge, remember: together, you are stronger than you could ever be alone.

Never doubt that.


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Make Unique Friends with the Bizarre Beasts Mount Skin Collection

Bizarre Beasts Mount Skin Collection

From a raptor that sparkles like Aurene to a warclaw that’s ready for Halloween, you’ll find plenty to love in this collection of fascinating skins! There’s something for each of your mounts—available exclusively through Bizarre Beasts Mount Select Licenses and Bizarre Beasts Mount Adoption Licenses.

  • Raptor: Aurene’s Prismatic Raptor, Marshland Salamander
  • Springer: Spotted Springtail
  • Skimmer: Primeval Skimmer, Elonian Waverider
  • Jackal: Luminous Jackal, Kintsugi Jackal
  • Griffon: Darkmist Shrike
  • Roller Beetle: Exo-Suit Roller Beetle
  • Skyscale: Exalted Sky Emperor, Bearded Dragon, Shattered Nightscale
  • Warclaw: Vital Geode, Mad Realm Warclaw, Bighorn Charger
8th Anniversary Supply Drop Requisition

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It’s the third week to pick up the 8th Anniversary Supply Drop Requisition and receive four weekly shipments of valuable goods from the Black Lion Trading Company. Learn all about what you’ll find inside here.

There’s just one week left to purchase it at a discount off the total price, so get yours today!

Appearance Package Sales Continue

Give your favorite character a fetching new look from head to toe with these popular appearance packages. Featuring outfits and additional matching items, exclusive weapon skins, and other Black Lion Trading Company goods, you’ve got everything you need to make a fashion statement!

Visit the Gem Store throughout the week for a 15% discount on the following packages:

  • Shrine Guardian Appearance Package
  • All or Nothing Appearance Package
  • Bandit Sniper Appearance Pack
  • Timekeeper Package
  • Taimi’s Package
  • Zafirah’s Package
What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal inventory of hat, shoulder, boot, and glove skins to prepare for fall. Keep an eye out for returning favorites!

  • Path of Fire Preparation Pack—25% Off
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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Ascend Sunqua Peak on September 15

Make sure your climbing boots have agony resistance! Dessa has detected another echo, and on September 15 she’ll call on skilled explorers to investigate a new Fractal of the Mists.

Sunqua Peak should be a peaceful place—suspended in a storm-lit sky, with beautiful stonework and flowering trees to mark the path up the mountainside. But something here is wounded, and the elemental spirits need your help to heal their home.

After proving their mastery of the fractal, advanced players will be able to tackle a more brutal version of the final fight in challenge mode.

Get a Preview on Guild Chat

Join Cameron Rich and Rubi Bayer this Friday for a livestream preview of the Sunqua Peak fractal! Guild Chat will air September 11 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7) on the official Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook channels.


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