Seasonal Updates: Winter 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 07:40 PM

Seasonal Updates: Winter 2016
Seasonal updates are coming! Starting now in 2016, major seasonal updates to the game will be made about every three months, covering new content additions to the game, class balancing, updates to the various game types (PvE, sPvP, and WvW), and more. Each seasonal update's content and changes will be revealed gradually through ArenaNet's official blogs and videos until the major update goes live on its scheduled dates. The first seasonal update, Winter 2016 update will go live on January 26th.

This first seasonal update will include major class/profession-balancing changes, adding a Heart of Thorns-exclusive ability into the core game, updates to The Shatterer World Boss battle and Fractal of the Mists, an overhaul of certain World versus World mechanics, and other special features and events.

PvE Content Updates –

Heart of Thorns Gliding

This update will add the Gliding ability to Central Tyria (the original maps available at release), for those who have access to that Mastery ability through the Heart of Thorns expansion. Gliding will function on any open-world map and city in Central Tyria.

Updates to The Shatterer World Boss Fight

This World Boss' fight mechanics will be updated to be more challenging. Additionally, there will be a new Achievement category specific for The Shatterer, as well as new rewards, including extra experience and a new backpiece item or skin for completing all the achievements in this new World Boss Achievement category.

Quality of Life Updates to Fractals of the Mists

This update will allow players to adjust the Fractal Scale (difficulty) by interacting with an object inside the Fractal hub area, instead of forcing people to exit and reenter the instance to change the Fractal Scale. Additionally, Daily Fractal Achievements will show by default in the UI when inside Fractals areas.

Event Rewards

Players will get rewarded for contributing to events, regardless of what role they played. As things stand, you must still actively attack and hit an enemy (or enemies) a few times to receive credit for the event, but performing (support) actions such as condition removal, healing and reviving others will now count as contribution and participation towards event completion. In other words, even if you don't do the most damage to an enemy or enemies in an event but acted as more of a support/healing role, you'll get the same amount of event participation credit as those who did do the most damage.

WvW and sPvP Updates –

Squad Markers and Lieutenants

Commanders leading squads will now have special markers to mark and place targets on maps, players, and/or objectives, which will show up in squad members' UI and in-game. Additionally, Commanders will also have the ability to appoint Lieutenants from their squad. These lieutenants will be able to do certain tasks for the commander, such as inviting/removing players to a squad, make announcements, etc.

*WvW Objective Upgrades, Enemy Players, and Rallying/Reviving Defeated Allies

WvW objective upgrade levels will be based on the number of Dolyak caravans delivered and/or received, instead of being based on how long the objective is held continuously by a server. This change to the objective upgrade levels emphasizes both attacking and (especially) defending supply deliveries between objectives. Each enemy player killed now adds 1 point to the server's overall War Score, instead of requiring the use of a Finisher to make an enemy player kill count towards the War Score.  Another change being made in regards to other players in WvW is that you cannot revive fully defeated players while in combat. You will still be able to revive downed allies. However, fully defeated players cannot be revived until the fight is finished or they use a waypoint to revive. Additionally, only one person can rally off a single kill, instead of five people.

* These specific WvW updates will be the ones available with the Winter 2016 season update; there is a major overhaul to the entire system to be covered and released later in the year

Mist Champion Tybalt Leftpaw

Spoilers (at least for anyone who hasn't played the Order of Whispers chapter in the Personal Storyline)! Tybalt Leftpaw is back, now as an unlockable ally for the sPvP Stronghold game mode. You can acquire this Mist Champion through an sPvP Reward Track.

Other Updates and Upcoming Events –

Class/Profession Balance Changes

Ever since the Heart of Throns release, there has been a massive shakeup in class balancing and build diversity (or lack thereof). There will be changes to professions, specializations, traits, skills, and more. More detailed information about the class/profession balance changes are coming soon.

Preferences/UI Control Updates

A few new control settings will be avaible, including optional keybindings for the action camera, certain kinds of targeting (ground and auto), and a new checkbox to show the name of objects you can interact with.

Eldvin Monastery Brew of the Month Club

A new 'year-long event' is being introduced, where, if you join the Eldvin Monastery Brew of the Month Club, you will get a package in the Mail each month when entering a major city. After collecting all twelve brews (presumably, one per month over a period of a year), you will receive a special title, backpiece skin, and guild hall decoration.

New Guild Hall Decorations

New Guild Hall decorations are also being introduced with this seasonal update. When you kill certain World or Raid bosses, you will earn tokens to spend at the guild Decoration vendor. If you buy enough of these decorations, you can combine them into a larger trophy that looks like the unique chest that spawns after defeating a specific World or Raid boss.

Lunar New Year Event

Also coming with the January 26 seasonal update is the Lunar New Year event. This two-ween event takes place between January 26th through February 9th. The Dragon Ball activity will return, along with decorations, fireworks, and new rewards.

For more information, please visit the Guild Wars 2 site.

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