This week in Guild Wars 2

It’s been another busy week in the Guild Wars 2 community, with the January release of Flame and Frost: Prelude, the first part of the Living Story series. The update was released on Monday, but the first part of the new content didn’t actually start until Tuesday — which lead to some confusion in the discussion forums (and map chat). The new daily achievement rotation is still subject to noisy debate: most players seem to be happy with the change, while others seem to resent having to pay attention to what is required to get the achievement — and the achievement is much more relevant now that it also includes Laurels in the reward package. I did see a few players wondering if the requirement to kill veterans as part of the daily would eliminate solo play — in my opinion (and I’m not a great player) if you’re over level 40 and can’t take on a veteran single-handedly, you may have bigger problems than achieving the daily!

I think every site I follow linked to the Flame and Frost release notes, and a high proportion reproduced most or all of the content in their own posts. To avoid all that duplication, I’ve just linked to the original ArenaNet posts except where the fan site has included significantly more analysis or commentary. (This is what I normally do, but this week had a significantly higher proportion of posts that just repeated the official information from ArenaNet.)

Missing scenery in a jumping puzzleOn a personal note, I’ve mentioned several times that I’m not a fan of jumping puzzles. I missed out on January’s monthly due to my jumping puzzle allergy, although I was told I could just get to the start of the puzzle to get the credit. It’s even more difficult to complete a jumping puzzle (and some vistas) when significant parts of the puzzle aren’t rendered on your screen. It was like this: I was trying to finish mapping the Straits of Devastation on my ranger, but there was a vista up on top of a hill that I couldn’t seem to get to. I had two of my guildmates come along to help me (someone’s got to scrape me off the landscape when I fall from a great height). We made our way up the hill, then they both appeared to jump off into mid-air and continue climbing. As you can see from the screenshot, I didn’t see anything there to support them.

They then had to take turns standing exactly where I needed to jump or move while I took the literal leap-of-faith. It worked: I got the vista, but it would have been literally impossible without their help. My thanks again to Zen Nightwing and Greytful Dead for their patience!

Also thanks to ArenaNet’s Community Management team for retweeting last week’s round-up: we certainly noticed a surge in traffic, but (unlike other CM retweets in the past) our site wasn’t taken offline by the fabled ArenaNet laser of death. But do feel free to try again this week ;-)

Official Guild Wars 2 news

  • On the official Guild Wars 2 forums, Mark Katzbach posted on the topic Game Update Notes – January 28, 2013: “A mystery presents itself in this first entry in a multipart Living Story series. What could be causing such discord in the foothills of the Shiverpeaks? All those poor homesteaders and ranchers displaced with nowhere to go calls into question if the storms could be that bad — or if there’s something more sinister stirring up the flame and frost. The ground is shaking, and the sky is falling in northern Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. Norn and charr refugees, crawling from the wreckage of their homes, are fighting their way to shelter in Hoelbrak and the Black Citadel. Many are in shock and wounded; most have only what they can carry on their backs. A call has gone out for volunteers to assist them in their time of need, when the environment itself seems to have become their enemy.” [Raphia: Supplementary update notes here, here, and here, and one update from Evan Teicheira here.]
  • — New Rewards and the Achievements System. “Hey, everybody! I’m Matt Wuerffel, one of the game designers on Guild Wars 2. I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the things we’ve been working on recently: new rewards and updates to the achievements system.”
  • — Robert Hrouda on Upcoming Changes to Dungeon Mechanics. “Hey folks, I’m Robert Hrouda, a content designer on Guild Wars 2. In the coming months, we’ll make some changes to dungeon mechanics to make them a more fun and challenging experience. I wanted to give you a heads-up on our plans for phase 1 of our dungeons evolution — specifically, the removal of “res-rushing
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