I was recently given the opportunity to see the Spring 2016 update ahead of launch. There was so much to take in, it was hard to know exactly where to start. The patch notes, which by now you will have likely seen, have over 16,000 words in them. And it’s not all just ‘OMG FIREBALL’ repeated 8,000 times, though it certainly could be. That’s right, Fireball is back baby! Below you will find Fireball and many other things in my list of things you need to see in the Guild Wars 2 Spring 2016 update.
WvW Got Some Major Love
Times have been a bit tough for WvW players since Heart of Thorns released. The new desert borderlands weren’t very popular and if you wanted any of the items from Heart of Thorns, you had to leave WvW. ArenaNet has heard the cries of the community. No, the Alpine borderlands aren’t back yet. They did make some small changes to the desert borderlands, but that isn’t the biggest part of the update for WvW players.
Taking an idea from PvP, you will now see Reward Tracks in WvW. This will allow you to earn dungeon gear, rewards from the Silverwastes, Heart of Thorns maps, dungeons, and a brand new armor set that is only available as part of the reward track. Once again players are able to play Guild Wars 2 the way they want to play and still earn great rewards for it. This single change will revitalize World vs World.
For servers with WvW population issues there is good news. Smaller servers will become allies with each other in order to compete with the stronger and larger servers giving every Guild Wars 2 player a chance at being the best. These aren’t server merges, instead ArenaNet describes them as ‘alliances’ between the two servers. About the pairing, it was said that you’ll never have a case where the official German and French servers would be paired. That would make communication and organization next to impossible.
Scouting is Now Rewarding
Previously, if you decided to be a scout for your group you wouldn’t be rewarded for your hard work. ArenaNet recognized this flaw and fixed it. For every 5 players in a squad one player can be nominated as the scout. This person will then get a share of the squad’s participation rewards. Now you can do that thing you did for free before because you loved it and actually get rewarded for it.
Participation Rewards Introduced
Using the reward tracking system you’ve come to know in Heart of Thorns, WvW now rewards based on Participation. Participation points are earned…well, by participating in the fight. Kill players, defend keeps, attack caravans. Participation is turned into Reward Track points which is where you get all your sweet dungeon loot from.
Quality of Life Changes
Looking for someone to RP as your dolyak on an adventure across the world? Previously your best bet would have been GW2Roleplayers or one of the two major RP guilds (NA & EU) but not anymore! Now there’s a section in the LFG tool for roleplayers to find each other. Hopefully this will result in a whole lot more RP out in the world. RP Dragon’s Stand anyone?
Fireball is Back
Chances are pretty good you’ve at least heard about the reduction in the size of the fireball in the respective Elementalist Staff skill. It was tiny and caused all sorts of uproar in the community. Well it’s back! Fireball is big and beautiful again. I imagine we’ll see a few more Elementalists running around for a while spamming Fireball just because they can. Sadly the same wasn’t done for Engineer’s Orbital Strike, but we live in hope.
Ranger Pets in Dragon’s Stand No Longer Locked
Up until now, if you wanted a tiger or an electric wyvern you would have to successfully complete the Dragon’s Stand meta as they were in locations that only became available once it was finished. All of these areas on the map have been unlocked, with the exception of the very end of the map. You’ll now be able to access almost the entire map all the time. In addition, there’s a wyvern nest on the map granting you access to the electric wyverns all the time. This was done because ArenaNet wants pets to be tools not rewards.
Level 80 Boost
Awwwyeah, a level 80 boost is being introduced! It isn’t like the level boosts you’ve experienced in the past from birthdays. This one you can actually try before you decide. What does that mean? Well lets say you’ve rolled up a new baby Thief and you want to try out Daredevil before you actually use the booster. You can activate a trial which will give you exotic gear, a basic build and transport you to the Silverwastes. While there you can take part in all the events to really get a feel for Daredevil. If you’re happy with it, you can eat the boost and you’re level 80. If you still aren’t sure and you want to try out a high end Guardian, you can do that too! Try out as many as you like before you eat the boost. But once you pick a character and eat it then it is used forever. The best news? The boost is free! Oh and it comes with an account wide inventory slot.
The Legendary Bow
One of the most talked about parts of this update has of course been the last Legendary weapon, the shortbow called Chuka and Champawat. If you’re familiar with the Pony based Legendary shortbow then you already know what to expect in the new one. They are very similar except it’s tigers instead of ponies. This is the legendary weapon for shortbow users who are a little more metal. \m/
This is of course just the tip of the iceberg for this update. Here are a few other things you can look forward to once you’ve finished patching the Guild Wars 2 Spring 2016 update:
- Every PvP Map Updated
- 2 Gold Added to Rewards for Completing Daily Achievements
- More Dailies, including HoT and jumping puzzles
- Final Tier of the Fractal Backpack
- Cliffside Fractal Update
- Fractals Updated
- Diminishing Returns Deactivated in HoT
- New Reward system for HoT maps
- LFG for Raids, Achievement Hunters, Mentors, and more
Related: ArenaNet, Developer, Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, MMORPG, Patch, PvP, Raids, Roleplaying, Update, WvW