Today we got a long-awaited blog post, letting us know where ArenaNet is taking Guild Wars 2 through the end of the year.
To put it mildly, I am pleased. I’ve seen a few complaints on twitter, but for the most part, the reaction is positive, and I personally am very happy.
New permanent additions to the Living World. Champion reward revamps. Dungeon reward revamps. NEW CRAFTING TIERS <3. Craftable ascended gear. CRAFTABLE PRECURSORS. New legendaries. Choose-your-own stats for legendaries. Magic Find being removed as a stat. New skills and traits.
Yeah I’m not going to lie, some of those I’m more excited about than others. Crafting, guys. Craftable precursors. Come on! That’s awesome!
So, permanent Living World stuff. One of my chief complaints about the move towards Living Story releases being the primary way of adding new content is that so far, nearly everything has been temporary. I am happy to see that this will not always be the case.
Champion and dungeon reward revamps are a welcome change. The guaranteed blue drop for killing a champion was a start, but still not enough to really make it worth it…and there’ve been many a time where I’ve killed a champ or legendary enemy and still not even gotten that. I definitely like the new reward chests; unique skins are always welcome and it is very reminiscent of the green weapons from Guild Wars 1. Anyone working on a legendary will tell you how valuable skill points are. Crafting mats and lodestones are always useful. So in all…definitely an improvement over the guaranteed blue item.
The reward change for champions is tied directly into the reward revamp for dungeons. Now, instead of a coin bonus for defeating a boss, you get one of these reward chests. You then also get a guaranteed gold bonus at the end of the dungeon path, but you only get this once a day per path, though (similar to the bonus tokens you get for completion). I like this for several reasons. If you die during a boss fight and cannot be revived, you will still get rewards. If for some reason the game decides you didn’t tag the boss enough (and sometimes it can be truly buggy in this), you still get rewards. Citadel of Flame farmers? Have to find a new hobby. It’s a minor change, but as someone who enjoys dungeons, I like it.
So, crafting. I like crafting. I finished Master Crafter pretty quickly, and I’ve re-done every crafting profession at least once more (in the case of Artificer, Cooking, and Jewelcrafting…quite a few times more) in the process of leveling my alts. One of my quibbles about crafting is that there’s really not much variety in what you can make, skin-wise, and that crafting is not a viable way of making money in the game. You’re generally better off selling the raw materials and buying the items you want than crafting them yourself. Well, it appears that this will be changing. First and foremost crafting will be raised from having 400 levels to 500, adding a new tier. This new tier will allow you to craft ascended items. As I don’t really care for fractals and would rather use my laurels for other things (like kitty tonics and tier 6 materials and dye), this gives me another way to get ascended items for my characters. This gives everyone another way of doing that. And to keep it valuable, you can’t just go and craft everything ever at once, but rather there is a time-gating aspect to it. The actual armor and weapons will be account-bound, but the components can be traded.
And if you don’t want to craft them yourself…ascended armor and weapons will also be available as rare drops.
Now. The biggest thing that made me happy. LEGENDARIES. I currently have Kudzu on my ranger. I am working on Bifrost for my mesmer. I am familiar with legendaries and the process that goes into making them and I have written about it before in detail. They are making some changes, and all are only for the better. The first is that there will be more legendary items being added. New weapons, and other types of gear (read: armor). YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CRAFT YOUR PRECURSOR. I hate precursors. They are horrible and expensive and argh. With crafting being brought up to 500, and new crafting mats being added, though, precursors will be crafted. Nothing says whether or not this replaces the scavenger hunt they had been talking about in the past, but I would guess so.
Also, while out of combat? You can change the stats on your legendary. As of right now, all legendaries have Soldier stats (power/vitality/toughness)…which while not a bad combo by any means, is not ideal for every build. Right now, your choices are to deal with it (what I decided was best), or transmute it onto an exotic with the stats you want…and hope it doesn’t break your legendary and turn it into an exotic. No longer will that be the case. We’ll be able to set the stats we want while out of combat. My Kudzu will be a berserker bow at last!
Oh, and never fear about the new addition of ascended weapons and armor. Legendaries will be upgraded to match ascended stats, as was promised before when ascended gear was initially introduced.
The last thing I want to touch on is a change that will likely make a good number of people unhappy. Magic Find is being removed as a stat type on gear. Magic find as a whole is something I’ve always been pretty opposed to. Omnomberry Bars are great and all in the open world, but other than that, you’re simply hindering yourself with the hope that you’ll get slightly better loot. On top of that, you’re hindering the people you play with. Removing it as a stat type and turning it into something account-bound that is not tied to anything else is a good move in all ways. For starters, you can play at your full effectiveness and still get the MF boost. Second, you get that on all characters, and can use all characters to improve it. They’ll introduce some sort of system to replace magic find, which wasn’t talked about yet, but it did say in the post that it will come in the future.
There were other things talked about – WvW and sPvP changes (less to my interest), new skills and traits being added as a form of progression, as well as mention of a few other things – a LFG tool and the possible removal of culling from PvE…and overall. all of it is stuff that really is great for the game and the community as a whole. I personally am excited, and pleased with everything I read in there – and that’s a rarity for me.