Ever since its release in November, Guild Wars 2 has been going through a lot of changes within the first 6 months of introduction. I’m not sure whether this is a frantic push to keep things interesting or sheer boredom on the dev teams, but they’re going for the gold it seems. The current living story event, Flame & Frost has been adding more and more content since January, currently sitting at the half-way point in the story.
Flame & Frost has added a new story line implying that the Flame Legion, the antagonistic fire-worshipping Charr, and the Dredge, a tyrannical mole-like people, have joined forces to try and conquer the Northern regions, forcing other races to seek refuge in the south. As a part of the fighting force of players, you’ll be tasked with driving this incursion back so that prosperity can continue in the north… well, as much as one can expect as we’ve still got one of the world-ending dragons living up there.
Some new additions and changes have cropped up in the mean time, though sadly, none of which included a P2P trade system, or Guild Halls for that matter. Still, those that have come to fruition are nice little additions, no less.
Daily achievements have changed a bit, mainly with the PvE Daily’s, as now you have a larger variety to choose from for specific PvE events, allowing you to do things like killing a Champion-grade monster, to gathering so many materials. Along with the Living Story portion is the addition of the Living Story achievement which when completed earns you rewards and titles, as a part of the current Flame & Frost event, you’ll be helping refugees and fighting off conquering forces. With completing comes earning a new currency called Laurels which allow you to purchase items from specific Laurel vendors, from special infusions, armors, and other such items. You’ll gain one laurel per completed daily achievement, and 10 laurels per one completed monthly achievement.
Fractals of the Mists, implemented last year during the Lost Shores event, has seen an update to where joining a lower level player earns you more karma, though still only gives you the same amount of rewards as the lowest Fractal level player in the group. While there were disconnection issues which forced you out of the Fractals, and your team all the weaker for it, you can now reconnect to your team without this hindrance, as well as connect to a group that is already in the Fractals event.
Guesting allows for players to log into a different world shard, allowing them play with friends on different servers, without making a character move. With guesting comes restrictions, of course, such as being region locked, WvW access restricted to your home world, allowed only 2 different worlds to access in a given 24 hour period, and any guild influence obtained added to your home-world guild. Guesting negates the gem fee of a full transfer, but with limitations, as listed already, so if you have a friend on a different server who doesn’t want to pay the fee to switch, you can still play with them for a limited time, and my guest as often as you wish, as long as the server is not full.
Along with these new additions comes Guild Missions. These are a new mission subset that allows for guilds to partake in a persistent instance for various group-focused challenges. Between jumping puzzles to speed challenges, you’ll earn merits and guild-focused upgrades, as well as further Guild Missions.
PvP has been given some rather basic changes, a rotation change up and round count have been altered, though I’m not a big PvP guy myself. They added a new map in there, so you’ll at least get to see some new scenery in there. One of the more interesting, and probably most game-changing is the removal of character culling in WvW, instead using place-holder models to shift load times for the better.
More details can be gleaned from the Game Update notes posted on the Guild Wars 2 event page, including World Polish updates that have aided in balancing everything dungeons, story missions, player classes, and general bugs. So far the changes haven’t been too grandiose, playing more along the lines of a DLC pack, barring the unnecessary price of admission for something so small, though the end of the year will see an expansion, as what was announced last year. Many are speculating what will be included, but it the general talk is that of a new class and playable race. Many hope to see new weapons added to the armory, such as two-handed axes.
Expect more updates at this Living Story continues to expand.