Flame and Frost: Prelude
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.
A new Living Story achievement category has been added, which will contain a series of achievements specific to the storylines unfolding in Tyria.
The first Living Story achievement, Refugee Volunteer, has been added. Players who complete this achievement by playing the Flame and Frost: Prelude content will be rewarded with the Volunteer title. They will also receive a karma reward via in-game mail.
More achievements will be added as the Living Story continues to unfold.
New Living Story events have been added to Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau.
Starting shortly after the January 28^th^ update, heralds will begin appearing in cities across Tyria. Their task is to keep adventurers apprised of the events currently underway that are driving the Living Story forward. Be sure to check in with them if you need direction.
Persistent world content related to the story of the refugees has been added to Wayfarer Foothills, Diessa Plateau, the Black Citadel, and Hoelbrak. This content will continue to change and evolve as the story unfolds, so be sure to keep checking back.
NEW FEATURES AND CONTENT
A new currency has been added: the laurel. Players earn one laurel for completion of the daily achievement category and ten laurels for completion of the monthly achievement category. This new currency can be spent at laurel vendors in all of the major cities to obtain over 90 items, including:
A new category of infusion, the utility infusion
Crafting starter kits
New boosters, advanced harvesting tools, and crafting trophy bags
A new, unique miniature: Goedulf, the mythical wolf-cub spirit that protects lost norn children
A new, unique miniature: Chauncey von Snuffles III, who placed second in the Divinity’s Reach Fanciest Cat competition
Achievement tracking UI has been added to provide at-a-glance information on daily and monthly achievements as well as quick access to the achievements panel.
New daily achievements have been added.
Daily achievements now rotate on a daily basis.
Daily achievements now only have a single tier.
The number of achievement points awarded for daily achievements has been adjusted.
Polished dungeons and removed the ability to use waypoints while any player is in combat.
Attribute calculations for dynamic level scaling have been rebalanced. In general, this means weaker when adjusted down, stronger when adjusted up. Rewards when adjusted down have been increased to compensate. It is now possible to receive your own level of loot from any level of enemy.
Fractals of the Mists
Players can now reconnect to the Fractals of the Mists if they are disconnected.
Players can now connect to a fractal map even if they are not part of the original group that created the fractal instance.
Players can revive at a checkpoint in fractal maps if the entire party is out of combat.
Players are no longer prevented from entering fractal maps. The difficulty of the fractals is shared, and players will receive rewards based on their “reward level.”
Reward level increases as players complete fractal rounds.
If players have a higher reward level than the current fractal difficulty, they will receive bonus karma at the end of a round. However, item rewards are set to the minimum of the fractal scale and reward level.
Daily Fractals of the Mists bonus chests are awarded after defeating the kraken. The rewards are now based off of the minimum of the player’s reward level or current fractal scale.
Players may now log in to a world other than their home world as a guest.
On the character select screen, click the “World Selection” button.
Choose a world you would like to guest on and click the “Guest” button.
Select any of your characters and select “Play” to log in to the world you chose as a guest.
Guesting has some limits and restrictions:
You may only guest on worlds in the same region as your home world. Players on American home worlds cannot guest on European worlds or vice versa.
You may not participate in World vs. World for any guest world. If you choose to enter World vs. World, you will be moved back to your home world. Only changing your home world using a world transfer can change your World vs. World participation.
You are only eligible to guest on 2 different worlds at a time. Each time you guest on a world, that world becomes available to play on for the next 24 hours. After 24 hours, you may choose to guest on a different world. You may log in to any active guesting world as many times as you wish with no restriction.
Guesting on worlds that are full or highly populated increases your risk of being put into an overflow map.
While guesting, all guild influence earned will be applied to your home world, and you will only have access to your home world guild benefits, including the guild vault.
World Transfer Fee
It now costs a gem fee to transfer your home world.
Gem fees for world transfers are based on the population of the world you are transferring to.
Each account is still limited to one transfer every 7 days.
Players still cannot transfer to servers that are “Full.”
The Risen creatures all across Orr have had their population density adjusted.
Areas, chests, and merchants in Orr now offer better rewards.
See “World Polish – Orr” below for more details.
Changes have been made to the attributes section of the hero panel to cleanly display more information.
Several PvP dialogs no longer take UI focus away from chat when opening.
Players can once again preview armor and weapons that cannot be equipped by their character.
Structured Player vs. Player
January 28th – February 4th Is Temple of the Silent Storm Week
Instead of 3-round paid tournaments, there will be a 1-round match between 2 teams on the Temple of the Silent Storm map.
The price for entry will be 3 tickets per player.
Rewards for the test will be reduced from the normal paid tournaments.
After the game is finished, both teams will be returned to the lobby, where they can reenter the tournament queue.
To participate, go to the PvP lobby and speak to the Tournament Master.
At the end of this period, the Temple of the Silent Storm map will be added to the tournament rotation.
Skillbars now have team-colored backgrounds in sPvP.
World vs. World
Character load times in WvW have been improved through the use of preloaded placeholder models.
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
Fixed a bug where creatures in dungeons were no longer becoming invulnerable to players they couldn’t reach.
Updated the costs of several dungeon reward items to be consistent with their costs in other dungeons. These include leggings, chestpieces, and shoulder armor from Ascalonian Catacombs; tridents and assorted armor pieces from Sorrow’s Embrace; and focuses from Caudecus’s Manor.
Fractals of the Mists
Swampland fractal: The tripwires have been rebuilt to reflect their names. Several have been lifted out of the ground and made more visible.
Fractal Marshes: The traps in the first area now scale with the difficulty scale of the fractal.
Fractals: Added day or night time to specific fractals. Day and night do not cycle.
Underwater Fractal: The Jelly boss will no longer try to devour NPCs like pets and minions before they try to eat players. If no players are around, it will eat NPCs.
Fixed various exploits and minor bugs.
Story—The Lovers: Reduced health for both bosses and damage from Ralena.
Story—Coffin Intro: Additional coffins cannot be interacted with once the boss shows up.
Story—Ranger: Damage has been reduced for the trap skill.
Story: Some enemy group compositions have been altered.
Story—Adelbern: Reduced damage and modified his melee attack.
Explorable—Detha’s Chain: Decreased the recharge time for cannons in the final event and modified their attacks.
Explorable—Detha’s Chain: Adjusted the respawn rate of the groups at the “Defend Detha and her traps” event.
Story: Reduced most veterans to regular strength during the ship events.
Story: Attacking dragons have reduced damage and no longer knock back on their flyover barrages.
Story: Zhaitan’s acid pools do less damage.
Explorable: Fixed issues that may have prevented events from starting or ending properly across all paths in the dungeon when an NPC was potentially dying, reviving, or being interacted with.
Explorable—Seer Path: In the Dwayna fight, the sparks will now target players primarily, and their attacks have been adjusted in a way that should make them chase the player as initially intended.
Citadel of Flame
Story: The Baelfire fight now has a safety net in case players fall off. If players die in a dangerous area, their body is teleported to a safe location for players to revive.
Story—Forgefire Armory Boss: This boss’s damage has been reduced.
Story—Bolok Barracks Boss: The group composition of the reinforcements summoned by Bolok Barracks boss has been modified.
Explorable—Magg’s Chain: The event to defend Magg while he plants a bomb has been rebuilt.
Explorable—Magg’s Chain: The respawn rate of creatures in the magma field has been adjusted.
Explorable—Rhiannon’s Chain: The torch event at the start has been adjusted to only require 3 torches instead of 5; enemy groups have also been adjusted accordingly.
Explorable—Inquest Path: The infinitely spawning waves have been adjusted to no longer spawn when fighting with the golem miniboss. They will continue once the golem event completes. The group compositions were also adjusted to add more variation.
Crucible of Eternity
Explorable—Evolved Destroyer: This enemy’s health has been reduced. The time window before the shield turns back on has been increased.
Explorable—Subject Alpha (All): The enemy’s health has been reduced.
Explorable: Leurent’s Elite Guard shields have been fixed so they no longer deal damage after they disappear.
Explorable—Leurent Boss Encounter: The group composition has been adjusted.
Explorable—Worm Boss: Spit puddles have reduced damage, but more puddles are created with each attack.
Honor of the Waves
Explorable: Aldus Stormbringer adds are no longer veterans and have adjusted respawn times.
Explorable: Aldus’s invulnerability shield now properly decrements to melee and area attacks.
Updated the effect for the Cone of Cold skill used by Controller Andal to match the area affected by the skill when he turns.
World Polish – Orr
Uncontested waypoints have been added to Cursed Shore and Straits of Devastation. Players that have already achieved map completion will retain it without having to discover these new waypoints.
Updates have been made to the small statues to the human gods throughout Orr.
New map icons to indicate the location and status of the statues have been added. Mousing over the icon will display more detailed information.
The visual effect surrounding each of the god statues has been updated to be more noticeable and to more accurately reflect the range of its influence.
Various Risen creatures have had their animations and size updated.
The music that plays during key events that take place at the Orrian temples to the gods and the Gate of Arah has been updated.
The difficulty of events to claim and defend the Orrian temples and the Gates to Arah will now scale to accommodate a larger number of players.
The visual impact of taking control of the Orrian temples has been increased.
Various Risen creatures have had their skills adjusted to use fewer crowd-control skills.
Fixed a bug that prevented the “Arah Waypoint” from updating properly when the gate to Arah was open in Cursed Shore. This also caused the Arah dungeon marker to erroneously display as contested. The gate to Arah should only be closed when the events leading up to it are active.
Grenth Temple Chain
“Use portals to fight shades, slay the Champion Risen Priest of Grenth, and protect Keeper Jonez Deadrun.”
Clarified event text to provide more guidance on event mechanics.
Updated enemy waves that appear when the priest reaches certain life totals.
Added several new abilities to the Champion Risen Priest of Grenth.
Fixed an issue that would cause enemies to stop spawning if waves were killed in the wrong order.
Adjusted enemy wave compositions, start locations, and respawn times.
Adjusted the stacks of corruption that enemy shades apply to players during the fight.
Updated the visual appearance of the portals to Grenth’s domain and the effect applied to players who step in.
Fixed a bug that prevented the Risen Priest of Grenth from attacking properly during the event “Stop the Risen Priest of Grenth from retaking the Cathedral of Silence.”
Fixed a bug that would cause Pact troops to stall at points in the event chain.
Dwayna Temple Chain
Adjusted the difficulty of the events that take place inside of the temple.
Updated the skills for the Risen Priestess of Dwayna.
Updated the skills for the Statue of Dwayna.
Adjusted the terrain within the Cathedral of Zephyrs.
Added a boss camera during the fight with the Statue of Dwayna.
Melandru Temple Chain
Updated the Risen Priest of Melandru’s skill set.
Updated the music that plays during the boss fights.
Adjusted the terrain inside the Cathedral of Verdance to allow for better creature and player movement.
Added more noticeable environmental effects to the temple’s contested and uncontested states.
Updated the participation rewards for the event “Defend the Pact interruptor from Risen attacks” to be more consistent with holdout events at other temples in Orr. Players who participate will earn three times the normal event rewards.
Adjusted the difficulty of the events to take over and defend the Cathedral of Eternal Radiance.
Fixed a bug that prevented the force field surrounding the Risen Priestess of Lyssa from resetting properly.
Adjusted the strength of the Risen Priest of Balthazar’s skills.
Adjusted the number and compositions of enemies that appear during events to take over and defend the Cathedral of Silence.
Updated the participation rewards for the event “Ensure that the Pact holds the Gates of Arah” to be consistent with the holdout events at other temples in Orr. Players who participate will earn three times the normal event rewards.
Fixed a bug in the event “Aid the Pact soldiers around the airship wreck” that would cause the event to restart prematurely.
Fixed a bug that could cause the Risen High Wizard to not flee after successfully defending the Pact camp at the Gates of Arah.
The Gladiator Chain
Adjusted the start and restart conditions for the event chain.
Adjusted the difficulty scaling of the events.
Added visual effects to the event area and Risen creatures featured in the event.
Changed the starting condition and location of the event “Kill the Risen broodmother.”
Items & Rewards
A new Orrian Jewelry Box has been added to karma vendors across Orr.
The item “Heavy Moldy Bag” has been updated to drop more frequently.
Various Risen creatures have had their loot tables updated to provide more varied crafting materials.
The karma vendors featured in temple chains offer new exotic wares.
World Polish – Other
Fixed the descriptions for some armorsmithing packs that stated an incorrect level for the armor contained within the pack.
Fixed a bug that caused the Mystic Forge to give inappropriate rewards when given level 80 masterwork swords.
Updated the Moa Tonic’s Screech skill description to correctly show only one daze stack.
Bandithaunt Caverns: It’s no longer possible to create an infinite number of bombs in the caves.
Locking your Windows User Account will no longer result in the Guild Wars 2 launcher being invisible.
Trait buffs are no longer reapplied after being resurrected while in a transformation that disables traits.
Renown regions now reward karma upon completion.
The contacts list has been significantly improved to enhance performance in crowded maps and for players with many followers and friends.
Loot interactions now take higher priority than mesmer portals.
Fixed a bug that could cause rectangular skills to fail to hit the correct targets.
Fixed a bug that could cause chain skills to sometimes interrupt dodge rolls.
Fixed a bug that could cause projectiles to sometimes disappear if passing through a field that had expired.
Fixed a bug that allowed skills that steal or remove boons to manipulate effects that they were not intended to be able to affect.
Weapons now continue to grant bonus stats while bundles are equipped.
Bundles from player skills (engineer kits, elementalist conjured weapons, warrior banners) now have base damage that is consistent with the highest rarity weapons available at the level of the player.
WvW & PvE: Our culling system has been updated to use affinity culling, which favors allowing players to see important enemies regardless of the local player population density.
Lionguard Lyns has returned to Lion’s Arch but no longer has Black Lion Keys available. Donations toward the rebuilding of Lion’s Arch will continue to be accepted until late February, at which time Lionguard Lyns must return to her normal Lionguard duties. Liquidate those Captain’s Commendations while you can.
Golem in a Box has been updated to have a 20-second recharge and has been disabled in WvW.
In PvE, if a player is awarded loot by killing a creature and the loot is of uncommon rarity or higher, a chest will appear that contains the loot that would previously have been on the corpse. If the rarity of the loot on the creature is lower than uncommon, the loot will remain on the creature’s corpse.
Fixed a bug that could cause events around Eldvin Monastery to not run properly in Queensdale.
Fixed a bug that could prevent the event to fight the Shadow Behemoth from starting in Queensdale.
Frostgorge Sound—“Claw of Jormag” Event: Fixed a case where the ice shield would not appear correctly.
Blazeridge Steppes Event: The ogre beastmaster in Sootpan Kraal now heals a limited amount each fight.
Master Engineer Steelclaw in the Fields of Ruin now uses a consistent gender for her scenes/greets.
Diessa Plateau: Fixed a bug that prevented players from using the cattlepult if a cow wandered too far away, blocking the betting minigame.
Fixed Zojja and other NPCs having invisible headgear in cinematics.
“Armor Guard”: Fixed errant minimap marker.
“A Tangle of Weeds”: Increased the size of the instance so it’s much harder for the lich to fear players out of the map.
“Volcanic Extraction”: NPCs are now more durable.
Norn Chapter 3: Fixed an issue where the wrong cinematic was playing.
“A Sad Duty”: Strengthened the Pact defenders.
“Suspicious Activity”: Fixed a minor cosmetic bug.
“A Grisly Shipment”: Playing the story step with party members no longer prevents progression.
“Source of Orr”: Fixed an issue that could prevent progression after defeating the Eye of Zhaitan.
“Fixing Blame”: Warmaster Gurnn should now start his cinematic correctly.
“On Red Alert”: Fixed an issue that could prevent progress if the player bypassed part of the story step.
“Romke’s Final Voyage”: Fixed an issue that could prevent progress when playing the story step with party members.
“A Sparkling Rescue”: Zojja will now help players in combat.
The terror of Ancient Shark Pistrix and his gang of “landsharks” has finally come to an end. Players will now interact with the corpse of Pistrix in his cave in Sparkfly Fen to complete this skill challenge.