With the release of the first expansion behind them, Guild Wars 2 players are anticipating what 2016 has in store for the game. In a first quarter State of the Game on the official website, ArenaNet developers point out what updates are on the horizon for MMORPG. Major seasonal game updates every three months, considerable polish to the existing game, and much more are part of the upcoming patches for Guild Wars 2.
In the first of these major seasonal updates, the Guild Wars 2 Winter 2016 update is releasing on January 26. Highlights of the update include the ability to glide in Central Tyria, a new Shatterer encounter, and support counting toward contribution. The gliding that the first expansion added to Guild Wars 2 will now extend beyond the expansion’s map. When the right Mastery unlocks, players can now glide across any open-world map or city located in Central Tyria.
Like the revamped battle with Tequatl the Sunless, the Shatterer encounter will see a few improvements when the Winter 2016 launches. Like Tequatl, a set of achievements will also be introduced for the Shatterer fight that rewards a unique back item. The battle will likely be much more difficult than standing on a few rocks whittling down the beast’s health, too. Expect more experience and better rewards from the redesigned Shatterer clash coming to Guild Wars 2.
Another feature of the Winter 2016 update coming to Guild Wars 2 is an important. Although the game boasts no traditional tank, damage, healer trinity, players can support their allies with a number of abilities for any given profession. Unfortunately, supporting allies never seemed to matter to the game’s contribution system. The update will rectify this with support earning contribution just like damage does. Players will still need to attack an enemy a little bit to be counted, but revives, healing, conditional removal, and other forms of support will soon increase a support character’s medal reward.
Additionally, a profession balance pass will also be contained in the Winter 2016 update. Although details on each profession’s changes are scheduled to appear over the coming weeks, a brief overview of the developer’s goals for each profession is available on the Guild Wars 2 website. Many professions will see improvements to their “less used” trait options. Some specializations might see a decrease in their damage while others might see more reliable damage. For instance, Guardians in Guild Wars 2 will likely see a reduction in their burst damage if they utilize the Dragonhunter specialization while Thief characters will see more damage from their auto attacks.
Guild Wars 2 players recently welcomed the game’s first expansion pack, Heart of Thorns, in October 2015. The expansion introduced the across the new Heart of Maguuma zone. The zone itself is very vertical with three distinctive areas including a deep root portion, the jungle floor, and the leafy canopy. Heart of Thorns also introduced the Mastery system to players at the level 80 cap. Unlocking and spending Mastery Points is account-wide and provides bonuses to all characters on the account. A new profession, new specializations, and much more were contained in Heart of Thorns.
As The Inquisitr reported, these trait changes released alongside the introduction of the Elite specializations. Heart of Thorns unlocked a new available weapon type and specialization for each of the existing professions in the game. For example, the Ranger now has access to the staff weapon and the Druid Elite specialization. The Guild Wars 2 expansion changed the way traits are earned with a new profession reward track now in place including one for those new skills and abilities.
Other features of the Winter 2016 update coming to Guild Wars 2 include a Lieutenant rank for squad Commanders, WvW changes, additional control options, and more. Action camera, snap ground targeting, and auto target will support a toggle function or a usable while a button is pressed function. Not to mention, players will be able to toggle on the names of items in the world much like the names of players and NPCs is currently available.
[Image via ArenaNet]