Declare War on the High Seas with the Dreadnought Skiff Skin

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<h3>Free Macaw Wings Glider Combo</h3>
<p>Log in to Guild Wars 2 anytime in June and pick up a free Macaw Wings Glider Combo! Show off your rainbow feathers&mdash;a celebration of your aunthentic self! Happy Pride Month, Tyria!</p>
<h3>Dreadnought Skiff Skin</h3>
<p>Steam across turbulent waves with heavy furnaces and an engine as sturdy as the Black Citadel itself.</p>
<p class="screenshot"><a href="//"><img src="//" alt="Dreadnought Skiff Skin" width="590" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-50957" /></a></p>
<h3>Salmon Run Fishing Rod Skin</h3>
<p>Find the tastiest fish with Bear’s guidance; your catches will be blessed by her spirit!</p>
<h3>What’s in Stock</h3>
<p>We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of permanent finishers and permanent lounge passes this Friday with a 20% discount. Some of the incredible discounted items include the Permanent Gift Finisher, Permanent Snowman Finisher, Mistlock Sanctuary Passkey, and more!</p>
<p><strong>Returning This Week</strong></p>
<p>Bank Tab Expansions and all permanent lounge passes are 20% off until June 12. Get everything you need with these amazing sales!</p>
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<h3>Available Now in the Gem Store!</h3>
<p>Log into <em>Guild Wars 2</em> and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!</p>

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Spark Hope in Battle with the Armored Tiger Warclaw Skin

  • Armored Tiger Warclaw Skin

Charge into battle on the back of a fearsome tiger. This majestic feline will inspire your companions.

Black Lion Chest Update: Ebonhawke Defender Chest

Inside each chest, you’re guaranteed to find a redeemable Black Lion Statuette, an End of Dragons Black Lion Material Bag, and two common items. You also have a chance to find something rarer in the fifth slot, including special items, glyphs, and skins from the Eternal Forged Weapon Collection and Bright Inquisitor Weapon Collection.

Exclusive Item: Ebonhawke Crossbow Rifle

The night will become yours with the swift protection of a sturdy crossbow.

Paladin’s Decree Weapon Collection

Follow your truthful heart with this new, sacred weapon skin collection, available from your local Black Lion Weapons Specialist for one Black Lion Claim Ticket per skin.


What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of unique mount skins with a 20% discount. Some of the incredible discounted items include the Dreadnought Raptor Skin, Dark Monarch Skyscale Skin, Primal Spirit Jackal Skin, Synergetics Cyberscale Skyscale Skin, and many more!

Returning This Week

Storage Expanders, Recharging Teleport to Friend, Black Lion Hunters Contracts, and Black Lion Garden Plot Deeds are 20% off until June 5. Pick up everything you need!

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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Play “What Lies Within” Today!

The story of Guild Wars 2 continues today with “What Lies Within”—a new update that’s free for owners of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons™. After investigating troubling rumors surrounding Jade Brotherhood mining operations in “What Lies Beneath,” the commander and their allies must now push the crisis in Gyala Delve to its resolution, driving the ravenous wanderer that is plaguing the depths up to the surface and destroying it there.

To experience the new story, navigate to the story journal in your Hero panel, select “What Lies Within,” then click “Play This Episode.” A letter from Gorrik will arrive to get you started.

This release expands the Gyala Delve explorable zone and meta-event and concludes the post-Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons story. After the epic finale of the meta-event, enjoy some time to explore the whole map—maybe by trying your hand at the downhill roller beetle time trial? The fun continues in previous maps: Seitung Province, New Kaineng City, and the Echovald Wilds are all getting updated with new adventures. Bring a friend along for the first-ever co-op siege turtle adventures, discover new adventures that take advantage of jade bot tech, and test your navigation skills in two permanent skiff races. “What Lies Within” also adds new events to other Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons maps in the form of oni ambushes, so keep your wits about you as you travel through out-of-the-way corners of Cantha.


Free Content Unlocks

What Lies Within’ will remain permanently free to play for owners of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons. If you haven’t logged in to check out the previous story update yet, you’re in luck—’What Lies Beneath’ is still available to play for free today! That means if you didn’t log in for “What Lies Beneath,” you’re in luck—that content is still available to you today!

We’re making that change to reflect how we’re thinking of expansions and related content moving forward. If you want to read up on the change and more context behind it, check out our Studio Update posts from February and May of this year.

Rewards Lie Within


This release comes with new aesthetic rewards for the discerning adventurer:

  • Special Ops armor set—a look that can be used on heavy, medium, and light armor
  • Special Ops Captain’s Helmet Skin
  • Hazard Response Pack back item
  • Energized Luxon Hunter’s weapon set
  • Mini Phoenix

And mining caches now have a chance to drop the following new weapons:

  • Xunlai Deep-Mining Hand Drill (mace)
  • Repurposed Drill Leveler (staff)
  • Xunlai Nephrite Crusher (hammer)

Additionally, Thruster Control Units—one of the items required to unlock the siege turtle mount and previously accessible only through Strike Missions—are now available from Jade Brotherhood Requisitions Specialists in Gyala Delve.

To celebrate the release, we’ve also activated a new set of Twitch Drops! From now through May 28, you can earn a Warrior Quaggan Backpack Set, Upgrade Extractors, the End of Dragons Emblem Clothing Outfit, and a Bag Slot Expansion just by watching Guild Wars 2 on Twitch! Head here to learn more.

Check out the full release notes on the Guild Wars 2 forums.

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Classic Fashion Is Perfected with Artisan Zharra’s Cape and Hood Combo


Artisan Zharra’s Cape and Hood Combo

Breeze through the crowds in a beautiful fantasy. Your new attire will make you look like a seasoned artist.

What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of mount licenses and packs with a 20% discount. Some of the incredible discounted items include the Istani Isles Mount Adoption and Select Licenses, Imperial Wonders Mount Adoption and Select Licenses, Mad Realm Mounts Pack, and more!

Returning This Week

Shared Inventory Slots are 20% off until May 29. Get them while they’re hot!

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 Digital Edge Is Yours with the Exo-Sword Skin


Exo-Sword Skin

Mechanized holographic magic will slice open new paths for you; wield the power of the future itself.

What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of dye kits this Friday with a 20% discount. Some of the incredible discounted items include the Mad King Dye Kit, Shadow Dye Kit, Awakened Dye Kit, Crimson Lion Dye Kit, Elonian Landscape Dye Kit, Deathly Dye Kit, Zhaitan Dye Kit, and Toxic Dye Kit!

Returning This Week

Transmutation Charges, Total Makeover Kits, Self-Style Hair Kits, and Name Change Contracts are 20% off until May 22. Give your character a total new look!

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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Studio Update: Spring 2023

Hello, Commanders!

Welcome to the latest installment of the ArenaNet Studio Update, your go-to resource for Guild Wars 2 development news. Today we’ll address some community questions regarding our announcement back in February, share an updated roadmap through the beginning of summer, and then talk at a high level about our longer-term projects that extend beyond June.

Content Model Q&A

In our February Studio Update, we outlined some changes we’re making in our development approach that allow us to deliver new content, features, and core game updates more consistently. It was a lot of information to take in, and understandably, there are some lingering questions from the community about the changes. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the discussion, and below we’ve compiled responses to some of the more prominent community questions.

Q: I’ve been lost in the Tangled Depths for the last two months with no cell phone service and I missed the news. What’s the tl;dr?

We’re changing how we deliver updates to the game so that we can adopt a more consistent release schedule, minimize “content droughts,” and increase our support for the core game. Rather than releasing an expansion every 2–4 years with 1–2 seasons of Living World in between, we’ll be releasing smaller expansions, with a lower price, much more frequently.

In this new model, the first release in an expansion cycle will introduce a new story arc and setting, two new open-world maps, two Strike Missions, new gameplay and combat features, new Masteries, and new rewards. In the following quarterly updates, we’ll add story chapters, an additional open-world map, challenge modes for the Strike Missions, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode, new rewards, additions to the new systems introduced in that expansion, and—depending on the release plan for that expansion—new gameplay and combat features. Alongside these expansion content updates, we’re beefing up our support for the core game so we can iterate and improve on Guild Wars 2, even while releasing new expansion content on a more consistent schedule. Once that expansion’s year-long cycle is complete, the next expansion will be just around the corner.

You can read a more detailed overview of the change in the February Studio Update.

Q: Do smaller expansions mean that there are fewer developers working on Guild Wars 2?

Nope, quite the contrary. In fact, thanks to the growth that Guild Wars 2 saw in 2022, we’re increasing the size of the Guild Wars 2 development team—largely in content and systems design. We’ve already hired a bunch of new folks since January, and we’ll be opening additional roles throughout the year.

Q: How does this shift result in more support for the core game?

Let’s start by defining the “core game.” Core is typically viewed as synonymous with the base Guild Wars 2 experience—anything that doesn’t require an expansion. Systems-wise, that’s a huge chunk of the game: core Tyria and the story up to level 80, professions, World vs. World, structured Player vs. Player, dungeons, Fractals of the Mists dungeons, crafting—the list goes on. In the context of supporting the live game and our new development strategy, “core” also encapsulates the long list of content and features that have been added to the game over the past decade. When we introduce features to Guild Wars 2, we want those new tools to be relevant across the entire game—past, present, and future. Because the systems introduced in expansions like Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire™, and Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons™ are so ubiquitous and central to the player experience, they deserve iteration just as much as any true “core” system.

Over the past decade, our development strategy has skewed more toward addition, rather than iteration. That’s not a bad thing by default, but every development strategy has tradeoffs—different pros and cons. In this case, it meant that the core game took a back seat. Meanwhile, the number of features slowly crept upward, without a plan or designated resources to maintain them.

More than ever, we’re confident in our future and we’re committed to long-term support for this community. This is why we’re taking on projects that will keep the game healthy in the long run, like refactoring large swaths of old code, optimizing our development tools, future-proofing WvW with the World Restructuring system, and updating our engine. Improving existing systems is also a key part of our strategy for Guild Wars 2, and by rescoping and redefining our future expansions, we were able to get started on core game improvements right after the release of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons. In a little over a year, those teams delivered a significant list of changes, all while expansion 4 has been in development.

  • The return of Living World Season 1
  • Steam launch
  • Updated visuals and mechanics for multiple world bosses
  • Emboldened mode for raids
  • Reworked fractal Mistlock Instabilities
  • Updated default key bindings and settings for new players
  • Custom key-binding profiles
  • Multiple major profession updates
  • A new Super Adventure Box map
  • An update to dungeon, Strike Mission, and raid rewards
  • High-contrast mouse cursors
  • A change to prevent all story instances from ejecting players who cross the instance boundary
  • WvW quality-of-life improvements and rewards updates
  • A wide range of improvements to the new-player experience
  • Bank access from the Mystic Forge
  • A wardrobe and dye randomizer option
  • A Black Lion Statuette overhaul to make collecting and exchanging them more rewarding
  • Megaserver map queues
  • Allied player visual-effect filtering (spoiler!)
  • And more!

Despite that progress, there is still much left to do. We take a lot of pride in our work and making our players happy, and there’s a nearly infinite list of things we’d like to do. However, both time and development resources are finite (if you’ve ever heard a developer talk about “constraints,” that’s what they’re lamenting), so we must be very intentional with where we focus our efforts. For now, we’re addressing systems that will positively impact as many players as possible. As time goes on, we hope to dig into more niche areas of the game.

Q: The February Studio Update said that future expansions would include “combat features” and didn’t mention elite specializations at all. What does that mean?

In the current design and implementation of elite specializations, we feel that with every new expansion there’s been increasingly limited “design space” left to add new and differentiated roles for each profession. In other words, most of the playstyles that we’d like to see supported for each profession already exist or should exist within their existing elite specialization options.

With our next expansion, our goal is to further augment the combat options for each profession by adding new tools to their arsenal and by lifting constraints that will unlock an unprecedented number of playstyle customization options—while keeping the feel of Guild Wars 2 combat true to its origins. Theorycrafters are going to be very busy.

Q: How does the “What Lies Beneath” quarterly release differ from future expansions’ quarterly releases?

Beginning with the fourth expansion, there will be new content updates every three to four months following an expansion release. For context, there was no new Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons story content released between February 2022 and February 2023, largely because the team worked on the expansion up until its release, delaying new content development until a month or two later. Comparatively, the fourth expansion hasn’t even been officially revealed yet, and we’re already making headway on its quarterly release content. This is one of the biggest reasons we’re excited about this transition.
Additionally, as we laid out earlier in this blog, the fourth expansion’s quarterly releases will be augmented by other types of content and feature updates that aren’t included in the Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons quarterly releases.

Spring/Summer Roadmap Updates

Here’s a more detailed look at what’s to come over the next two months.


May 2: Profession Balance Update

Tomorrow’s update will include profession balance changes aimed at addressing outstanding balance issues and bringing up some underperforming elite specializations, like reaper. We’re keeping this update on the lighter side—with just over 100 changes in total—so the team can focus on delivering a larger balance update on June 27 (more on that later in the blog). If you missed the balance update preview that was posted on April 21, you can check it out on the official Guild Wars 2 forums.

May 23: New End of Dragons Content, “What Lies Within”

The next update for Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons arrives on May 23, concluding the story that began earlier this year in “What Lies Beneath.” Together with your allies, you’ll tackle new story chapters and a new capstone encounter for the Gyala Delve meta-event that will have your squad breaking through an old tunnel to the surface to put an end to the demons of the depths.

Once the danger has been cleared out of Gyala Delve, the map will enter a more peaceful state fit for exploring. Several new adventures will become available, including our first cooperative adventure featuring the siege turtle. Earlier Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons maps will share in the updates, with new siege turtle, jade bot, and skiff adventures. You’ll also start running into oni in the Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons maps—stalking from the shadows to strike unsuspecting adventurers.

Alongside the new content, we’ve got a plethora of new rewards to pursue. In addition to a bevy of treasure chests and achievements awaiting your triumph in Gyala Delve, new collections will put you on the road to unlocking a new set of armor skins fit for braving Cantha’s dangers, and there will be new weapon skins and unique weapons to earn as well.

This release will be the last story update in the Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons release cycle. Keep an eye out for hints toward the future, and look forward to the upcoming fractal where you can peer further into the shadows under the Jade Sea.

June 6: Dragon Bash, Allied Player Visual-Effect Filtering, and World vs. World Rewards Update

The annual celebration of our penchant for dragon slaying, the Dragon Bash festival, returns to Tyria on June 6!

The June 6 release will also introduce a new option in the settings menu, Hide Ally Visual Effects, that will give you control over whether visual effects are shown for allied players, pets, and minions. While the default setting hides no visual effects (just as it works now), you will now be able to choose from three new options to hide visual effects for all allied players, hide them for allied players who aren’t in your squad, or hide them for allied players who aren’t in your party. Some high-impact allied visual effects that convey important information in combat, such as combo fields, cannot be hidden.

Note: this option only applies to allied players, so you won’t be surprised by any invisible attacks from enemy players or creatures!


As part of our focus on core game modes, we’ll be releasing another round of World vs. World improvements, including the addition of a new infusion and weapon set and new ways to spend your unused Skirmish Claim Tickets and Emblems of the Avenger.

An account-bound version of the infusion can be purchased after completing an achievement in World vs. World. Keep lords will also have a chance to drop a tradeable version of the infusion when defeated. RIP, keep lords.

June 27: Cantha-Themed Fractal Dungeon and Profession Balance Update

New Fractals of the Mists content is just around the corner, but you’re going to need to wait a little bit longer to hear the juicy details. However, we did want to share a quick note on how we’re approaching its design. When we started development on the new fractal, we took some time to review the feedback from our last fractal release, Sunqua Peak. One of the main themes in the feedback was that players prefer less waiting around and more action, especially when you’re replaying the instance often. One of our goals for this upcoming release is to deliver a fractal with a tighter gameplay experience, while still providing story content as fractals do. The challenge mode is scheduled for the following update so we can tune the encounter and address any bugs stemming from the normal version.

As for the balance update, here’s what we’re looking to address:

  • Improving the feeling of moment-to-moment gameplay for many boon support builds. We want these builds to have more flexibility in their utility skill choice, and not be required to press a particular utility type on cooldown to provide quickness or alacrity.
  • Introducing alternate playstyles for some specializations, including quickness-support deadeye and damage builds for druid and tempest.
  • Tuning up some underutilized weapons and solidifying their roles within their professions. For example, we’re looking at further defining ranger sword as a mobile, power damage weapon.
  • Removing additional skill-type-specific recharge-reduction traits and rolling the reduction into baseline skills where it makes sense to do so. The goal of these changes is to give players more interesting trait options to choose from.

We’re excited to see what new builds get unearthed after the update goes live!

Long-Range Development Initiatives

Hearing about what’s coming through the end of June is cool and all, but what else is there, you ask? Here’s a high-level look at some of our active initiatives on the Guild Wars 2 team.

Core Game Updates

After the allied visual-effect filtering feature releases on June 6, the team primarily responsible for core game updates will be turning their attention toward completing their most ambitious project yet—a rework of an existing core game reward system. Intriguing, right? This feature is still many months away from shipping and we’re not ready to talk about it quite yet, but we wanted to let you know that they’ll be heads down on this one for a while. Just want to make sure you don’t assume they’ve been kidnapped by skritt or something. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye on feedback regarding the megaserver map queue and the allied visual-effect features and will make additional changes there as needed.

Infrastructure Improvements

As of April 18, DirectX 9 is no longer an option in the settings menu, meaning that Guild Wars 2 is now officially running on DirectX 11! So, what’s next for the engine programming team? Our near-term focus is to knock out any new bugs and crashes related to the upgrade, finish updating our art production pipeline to DirectX 11, and, finally, begin the work of removing all DirectX 9 code from the engine.

Removing this code is the last remaining step that’s preventing us from moving on to the most exciting part of this initiative, which is digging into the various technology upgrades that DirectX 11 enables for Guild Wars 2. We’re going to need some time to look into the feasibility of each once we finish removing the guts of DirectX 9, so we don’t have too many details to share yet. At a high level, our investigation will focus on two areas: performance optimizations and graphics upgrades. While there are some global graphical upgrades we’ll be exploring, most of the improvements would probably come in the form of new tools and functionality that our artists can leverage for future content.

The April 18 update also included an upgrade to Chromium Embedded Framework, the web UI SDK that powers many of the interfaces in the game and sets us up for long-term improvements. Aside from better load times and responsiveness for the menus that leverage the tech, most of the improvements here are invisible to the player. Our engine programming team published a blog that covers the recent upgrade in detail.

World vs. World

The team has continued to mercilessly hammer code into compliance in preparation for the next phase of World Restructuring—the introduction of alliances. That work breaks down into three main categories: 1) wrapping up the server plumbing needed to support alliances (client data management, to be specific), 2) implementing the first pass of the alliance management interface, and 3) fixing bugs related to matchmaking, team assignments, and WvW queues.

We’re targeting early to mid-summer to run the first World Restructuring beta with alliances. Functionality will be straightforward, but it should give guilds and alliances everything they need to manage their communities: creating alliances, inviting guilds, kicking guilds, and leaving. All players that have selected a battle guild in an alliance will be placed on a team together after the World Restructuring event.

Prior to that, we plan to run one more World Restructuring test without alliances so we can test recent fixes to matchmaking, team assignments, queues, and some backend work we’ve done to support the alliances feature. This will be our first multiweek World Restructuring beta test, meaning that we’ll also be able to verify that teams are properly moving into different matchups and tiers using the one-up, one-down system. We’ll follow up with a date for this test once it’s been confirmed.

Expansion 4

You already know all there is to know about the next expansion at this point, but we’d be remiss not to include it in this list. This is one of our top priorities right now, and each day the team is hard at work bringing a new part of Tyria to life, complete with a whole lineup of fearsome baddies for the commander to beat up now that the Elder Dragons are no longer viable punching bags. Here’s a small taste of what we’re cooking up.


Until Next Time

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to learn about what our team is up to. We’re excited about all the things lining up for the game this year, and we’re glad to be sharing the journey with you.

—The Guild Wars 2 Team

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Sunny Hikes Become Cuddlier with the Adventurous Cat Appearance Package


Adventurous Cat Appearance Package

Venture into whimsical fairytales with your ears perked up and a bouncy tail! This package includes the Adventurous Cat Outfit, Cuddly Cat Backpack and Glider Combo, and a Total Makeover Kit. The outfit and backpack and glider combo are also sold individually.


What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of novelty chairs this Friday with a 20% discount. Some of the incredible discounted items include the Comfy Cat Chair, Teatime Chair, Throne of Shadows, Mystic Lotus Chair, Bough of the Grove Chair, Emblazoned Dragon Throne, Night Watch Stool, and Festive Harvest Chair!

Returning This Week

Black Lion Instant Level 80 Tickets and Living World episodes are 20% off until May 15. Experience the amazing story of the ever-evolving Tyria!

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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Inside ArenaNet: Chromium Embedded Framework in Guild Wars 2

I’m Ben Dunkin, a Senior Engine Programmer on the Guild Wars 2 team. I joined ArenaNet last year to round out the newly reformed engine team. This is the same team that’s been working on the DirectX 11 upgrade. That project is going quite well, but I’m here to talk about something else we’ve been working on: replacing CoherentUI with Chromium Embedded Framework!

What Are We Replacing?

We are replacing CoherentUI, a library that lets us run a web browser inside the game. We use CoherentUI in a bunch of places, including in-game books, the launcher, and the Trading Post. We will be replacing it with Chromium Embedded Framework (henceforth referred to as CEF). CEF is used to create the UIs of many other programs like Steam, the launcher, and the Epic Games launcher.

Why Are We Replacing It?

One of the engine team’s areas of focus is modernizing the codebase. We have a lot of code that hasn’t changed in a long time. This has become an issue for us, as we are pushing old systems past their limits. A significant number of issues arise from our third-party libraries (pieces of code that we get from someone else). Some examples are DirectX 9 (for drawing to the screen), Havok (for physics), Umbra (for occlusion culling), and CoherentUI (for some of our UI).

Some libraries are difficult to update, requiring careful planning and cost-benefit analysis before upgrading. We made the decision to update DirectX 9 to DirectX 11 (see our previous blog post here). It has been a huge effort, but we expect the result to be worth it. On the other hand, we decided not to upgrade Havok. It is even more tightly integrated into the game than DirectX 9 was, and there is an unacceptable risk of introducing gameplay-breaking physics bugs.

CoherentUI is a simpler library to update, and we chose it next for a couple of reasons:

  • CoherentUI doesn’t support emerging security standards. Our third-party payment processing partners have indicated this will be an issue in the future. This is a serious risk impacting our ability to fund future development of the game.
  • CoherentUI is no longer supported by its vendor. We can’t improve its performance or fix its bugs ourselves. This ultimately manifests as unresolvable Trading Post bugs and performance issues.
  • CoherentUI is old. It has limited support for modern programming, formatting, and language standards, and it is not supported by modern tools that would help us develop for it faster.

CEF addresses these points and more. Payment processors are happy with it, its performance is much better, and it supports the latest tools and standards. It also gives us many more options to improve the performance further if we need to. We plan to keep it updated on a reasonable cadence so we don’t fall behind on performance improvements and bug fixes.

Some of you may have noticed that we upgraded CoherentUI last year, so why are we making another upgrade? We did the upgrade last year to temporarily address the first point above, giving us time to replace CoherentUI completely. Payment processors were satisfied with the newer version of CoherentUI, but we knew they would eventually say it, too, didn’t meet their standards.

What Will You See After This Change Is Made?

You might notice the Trading Post running a little more smoothly, but not much else. Our goal is to replace the underlying system as transparently as possible. We want to ensure the upgrade is working properly before working on performance or functionality improvements.

There are, however, significant differences between CoherentUI and CEF that you won’t see but which do help us develop faster. For example, here is the Guild Wars 2 website displayed in both.

CoherentUI displaying


CEF displaying


Note how CoherentUI doesn’t display the top bar, dropdown menu, news items, or carousel navigation correctly. With CEF we won’t have to work around these kinds of limitations, meaning we can develop the UI faster.

Here is a performance profile of loading the Trading Post.

CoherentUI loading the Trading Post:


CEF loading the Trading Post:


CoherentUI takes 19.241 milliseconds, while CEF takes 6.99 milliseconds. For reference, a game running at 60 frames per second renders a whole frame in 16.66 milliseconds. As you can see, CEF takes 36% of the time CoherentUI does on this task. This means we can spend less time optimizing web-based UI because it is already fast.

Note: There is a difference between UI performance and network performance. Sometimes the Trading Post appears slow because network requests are taking a long time, not because the UI is slow. Upgrading to CEF will not do anything to address slow network requests.

Release Strategy

After our previous attempt to release—and subsequently rolling it back—I saw some people ask a reasonable question: Why can’t we roll this out slowly, or by allowing people to opt in like we did with DirectX 11?

It would be our first choice to roll this change out slowly, but there are some complications that prevent us from doing so. We don’t currently have the tools necessary to release it slowly, and the same complicating factors that make it difficult to release slowly also apply to adding new tools.

Rolling things out slowly requires the game to contact our servers with an account ID so we can tell who to use the new system and who not to. The launcher runs before a player has logged in, which means we have a “chicken and egg” problem. We need an ID to determine which system to use, but we need the system to get an ID. Opting in has a similar problem. Settings are per account, but we don’t have the account yet when the launcher starts. Adding a new configuration system that didn’t use account IDs would require modifying the launcher as well, which means we would have all the same issues in rolling out the new configuration system as we do for the CEF system. We decided to minimize our risk with one change rather than two, although we may add such a configuration system in the future.

With DirectX 11, failing to initialize was a recoverable error. That means the game gets told initialization failed and can respond to that error. We responded by changing the setting back to DirectX 9 so that on the next launch, the game could start again. Unfortunately for us, the issues we see with CEF cause the launcher to crash immediately, which means we don’t have the ability to automatically switch back to CoherentUI. In other words, when things go bad, the only option players have would be to modify command line flags. Command line flags are a last resort to resolve player’s problems, so we treat even a relatively small number of launcher crashes as players being unable to play the game.

Being unable to play the game is one of the worst situations a player can be in, which is why the previous release was rolled back so quickly. It is also the reason we don’t gain anything by making it opt-in. For those who opt in and have issues, our only reasonable response is to roll back the change. That’s the same response as if there was no opt-in, except we get less information because only a small percentage of players would opt in.

A balance must be struck between minimizing player disruption and maximizing the information gained. The errors we are seeing are quite obscure. Only a tiny fraction of players encounters them, and we are unable to reproduce them internally. This means we need a large number of players running the new system just to get a few reports of errors. Since this is a critical system and a necessary upgrade, we have chosen to lean more toward maximizing information. We will limit how long players are potentially disrupted from playing the game by being quick to roll back if we receive enough crash reports.

Current Status

Our release of the CEF on March 14 had enough issues that we rolled it back. We fixed all the issues that we could reproduce and put in mitigations that we expect resolved the rest.

Both the launcher and Trading Post are mission-critical systems and are heavily tested internally before we attempt these releases. Our QA team is amazing and they have tested this upgrade on a variety of hardware and software configurations, but we can’t test all of the thousands of configurations our players use. The number of times the launcher is run during weeks of internal testing is small compared to even one day of our players starting up the game. We released a second time in the April 18 update, and if we see more serious issues, we will promptly roll back the release again until we can address them.

I can’t wait to see what improvements this upgrade unlocks for our players!

—Ben Dunkin

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Welcome the Spirit of Spring with the Quiet Woods Chair Skin

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<h3>Quiet Woods Chair Skin</h3>
<p>Sit beneath the shade of a gentle tree and spend your afternoon relaxing! A remnant of Melandru’s blessings will sooth your nap.</p>
<h3>What’s in Stock</h3>
<p>We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of unique weapon skins this Friday with a 20% discount. Some of the amazing discounted items include the Dreamwalker Scythe Staff Skin, Dreamwalker Dagger Skin, Dreamwalker Longbow Skin, Dreamwalker Sword Skin, Ritualist Staff Skin, Nightspeaker Greatsword Skin, Tea Time Focus Skin, Ravensoul Dagger Skin, Belinda’s Greatsword Skin, Kurzick Dual Axe Skin, and much more!</p>
<p><strong>Returning This Week</strong></p>
<p>Bag Slot Expansions are 20% off until May 8. Don’t miss out!</p>
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<h3>Available Now in the Gem Store!</h3>
<p>Log into <em>Guild Wars 2</em> and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!</p>

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Primastic Light Guides You with the Infinite Herald of Aurene Gathering Tools


Infinite Herald of Aurene Gathering Tools

Channel the Prismatic Elder Dragon power within your cosmic soul to gather the materials you need. This pack comes with a Herald of Aurene Mining Tool, Herald of Aurene Harvesting Tool, and Herald of Aurene Logging Tool for unlimited gathering. The tools are equipped with a Glyph of Bounty, Glyph of the Forester, and Glyph of the Prospector. Shine away!

Gem Store Packaging Update

We are updating selected gliders and novelties to match the current Gem Store combo format. They will be sold exclusively as combo items that contain both the glider and the matching novelty. If you already bought one of these items individually, you can claim the matching glider or novelty for free from Black Lion Exchange Specialists. This change will be permanent, and you can exchange your glider and novelty items at any time!

Exchangable Gliders and Novelties

  • Electromagnetic Ascender
  • Electromagnetic-Descender Glider
  • Inquest Overseer Chair
  • Inquest Overseer Glider
  • Magic Carpet
  • Magic Carpet Glider
  • Riding Broom
  • Riding Broom Glider
  • Bloodstone Ascender
  • Shattered Bloodstone Glider


Black Lion Chest Update: Eternal Knowledge Chest

Inside each chest, you’re guaranteed to find a redeemable Black Lion Statuette, an upgradeable Mini Blue Skimmer Pup, and two common items. You also have a chance to find something rarer in the fifth slot, including special items, glyphs, and skins from the Steel Lotus Weapon Collection and Lorekeeper Weapon Collection.

Exclusive Item: Scrivener’s Knowledge Shoulders Skin

Prophecies are written as the world hangs heavy on your shoulders. Embrace destiny.

What’s in Stock

We’re refreshing our seasonal selection of back items this Friday with a 20% discount. Some of the discounted back items include the Celestial Ministry Cape, Jora’s Cape, Forest Archer Pack, Butterfly Wings Backpack, Plush Quaggan Backpack Cover, and more. Look as stylish as you want to be!

Returning This Week

Character Slot Expansions are 20% off until May 1. Expand your character collection!

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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