Guild Wars 2: Feature Pack Preview

We caught up with ArenaNet at PAX East to talk about today's patch for Guild Wars 2.

Last weekend was PAX East and ZAM was able to sit down with Colin Johanson and Jon Peters of ArenaNet to talk about today’s Feature Pack patch, as well as the Living World and Guild Wars 2 China.

Colin and Jon walked us through many of the features coming later in today’s patch, including a look at the new trait, wardrobe and PvP reward track systems as well as some playtime on the new deathmatch PvP map. For a full rundown of these changes and more that are coming in today’s patch, check out our article here on ZAM where we outline everything there is to know.

As Jon walked us through the new trait system, he explained that the new system was inspired by the original Guild Wars. Players really enjoyed going out and capturing skills in the original, and the updated trait system is designed for players to get out into the world and unlock these new traits. It will also give more meaning to the existing traits for new players as they unlock these traits one by one instead of the previous large dump of available traits.


Each trait will have a specific requirement to unlock (or a chunk of gold if you are not up for the adventure). We asked if the unlock requirement matched the trait that would be unlock, such as if a trait that buffed a Necromancer’s Death Shroud was unlocked by killing a Necromancer boss that used this trait in Death Shroud. The answer was not really. There is some correlation, such as falling damage traits being unlocked at the end of jumping puzzles, but for now it just wasn’t feasible to create new content for every existing trait’s unlock. Going forward this is something that ArenaNet is really interested in doing as new traits are added.

Each individual trait, however, does not have its own unique unlock requirement. Instead, the system works in a way where the 5th trait in the first line for every class is unlocked in the same way. There was some reordering of traits to allow this (such as every classes falling damage trait being lined up). With this, there shouldn’t be that one unlucky class whose traits were harder to unlock, as every class will be doing the same things to get those new XIII traits unlocked. In addition to previously mentioned jumping puzzles and group event bosses for trait unlock objectives, killing the Karka Queen will be the unlock requirement for one of the traits (which will only be spawning at 3 set times a day with the new boss schedule).


Next, Colin walked us through the new Wardrobe system. Again, most of what we were shown is information that was already revealed and outlined in our previous article. Colin did say that transmutation charges will be obtainable through normal gameplay in what sounded like any place where players could previously obtain transmutation stones or crystals, as well as some new places like the PvP reward tracks. There is one change with charges, however, in that charges will not be an item that players receive. Instead, any charges that are obtained will be automatically added to your current charges pool in a fashion similar to other currency types.

One thing we were curious about were skins that are no longer obtainable. Owning unique skins that other players can’t get any more makes the skins feel special, but not owning them can diminish the desire to try and keep up. Colin said that they are trying to find a balance between these two extremes and that ArenaNet is curious to see players’ reactions once they can look at the Wardrobe Vault and see everything they are missing. He did comment that in a future build they might make it so legacy items, such as previous Living World skins that can no longer be acquired, won’t appear in the Wardrobe Vault to players that don’t have them unlocked.


Jon then talked about the new PvP systems including the new deathmatch map, but other than getting to see the system work firsthand there wasn’t any new information revealed to us. Colin, however, got to talk about the Living World and how it all got started. He mentioned that Living World Season 2 would be coming soon and that it would pick up the story where Season 1 ended. We have also been told that going forward the studio plans to continue releasing Feature Packs separate from the more story focused and story driven game-play of Living World releases.

To finish off our time with ArenaNet, Colin said that they are excited for the launch in China. Guild Wars 2 became the fastest selling MMO in the West and they are looking forward to launching the game in the largest PC gaming market. In about two weeks the pre-launch will start for early entry and about another two weeks after that Guild Wars 2 will be fully launched in China.

Guild Wars 2, any player who logs in between the launch of today’s Feature Pack patch and Noon Pacific tomorrow will be given five free transmutation charges. So log in and check out all of the new and exciting features being added to Guild Wars 2 and get some free transmutation charges!

Listen to our PAX East 2014 chat with ArenaNet on Soundcloud!

Matt "Mattsta" Adams

Follow me @MattstaNinja


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