You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.
Welcome to Part 2 of our coverage of the Guild Wars 2 feature patch! After last week’s reveals focused on game balance, traits, and gear upgrades, this new round of changes are mostly cosmetic. Not to the official site, of course, but revolving around dyes, the new wardrobe feature, new ways to earn gear, and general quality-of-life improvements. If you’re a guild leader, there are some improvements headed your way too!
We’re going to start things off this week with the new wardrobe feature, which was arguably the most demanded part of the feature patch. You can click here to watch a short video explaining some of the functions. Whenever you gain a weapon or piece of armor in-game, whether through drop, trading post, cash shop, or vendor – you permanently unlock the skin for that item as well. If you’d like to swap skins, you can do so from a new panel on your equipment screen. Doing so costs transmutation charges, which is a re-work of the current stone/crystal system already in place. Those items will be disappearing and players will receive one charge for every crystal in their inventory, and another charge for every three stones they possess. In a sense, it’s a similar system to the already-present Gear Locker in PvP, but it’ll now be game-wide. As a result, all of the PvP gear you’ve unlocked will also be a part of this system, so you may now apply those skins to your PvE/WvW gear as well. This feature will keep collectors busy for a long time to come!
Another heavily demanded change that ArenaNet is delivering is an overhaul of the dye system. Instead of being soulbound (per character), dyes will now be account bound, which means that all characters you’ve made can choose from the same pool of dyes that you’ve unlocked. In addition, if you have the same dye available on multiple characters, you’ll receive a free unidentified dye for each unique color you’ve consumed twice or more. To balance this, dyes will no longer be on the loot tables, and instead only available through the Mystic Forge, crafting (specifically the cooking profession), laurel merchants, and other special rewards. As a further bit of balance, the legendary staff known as The Bifrost, which currently requires 250 unidentified dyes as an ingredient, will now only need 100 unidentified dyes to craft the Gift of Color used to make it. Other changes to the system include making previewing colors easier and more streamlined confirmation of changes.
The next reveal involved the quality-of-life changes for guilds, and even though I’m currently a one-man guild I appreciate ArenaNet’s efforts here. Not being able to see the last time a guild member logged in was inexcusable, and that will be rectified when the feature patch hits on April 15th. The LFG (looking for group) system will also be getting some new bells and whistles, allowing players to group up for not only open world content, dungeons, and Fractals of the Mists, but after the feature patch hits, World vs. World will also become available. There will even be separate channels in the tool for each map, including all three borderlands, Eternal Battlegrounds, and Edge of the Mists! The LFG tool will also include specifications for language, as many of the European servers are multi-lingual. Throw in some backend support for guild members themselves, and Guild Wars 2‘s social abilities figure to be better than ever.
In what is sure to be welcome news for the battle-hardened folk who frequent WvW, world experience will now be account bound instead of soulbound. Points can still be spent differently on your various characters, so you won’t get stuck with the same bonuses across your entire account. This will allow players to change styles of play simply by switching characters, as you can be a supply master on one and a catapult master on another, for example. This reveal also came with news that any legendary or ascended gear possessed by one character will become account bound as well. So if you like, you can craft an ascended dagger and simply move it between characters using the bank as you see fit! You’re still restricted by the weapons and armor that potential recipients can equip, so don’t think you can make a spiffy piece of plate armor for your mesmer, for instance.
Speaking of armor, repairing your damaged or broken armor will now be free of charge! ArenaNet felt that the damage from dying is punishment enough and is removing repair fees from the game. The NPCs will still exist and I assume you can still sell items to them if you choose. While we’re on the subject of free things, players who like to experiment with builds will be glad to know that the new instant trait refund system I talked about last week will also be free! Simply click and tinker away, mad scientists!
The final reveal from this week is one that I’m sure will get many people interested in PvP. Reward Tracks are being introduced, and they’re a secondary achievement system of sorts, except that instead of rewarding points towards milestone chests, they reward items, armor, and weapons! Every major region of Tyria will be featured in these Reward Tracks, so players who like to stick to PvP can get drops that would normally come through PvE play by accomplishing given objectives. Dungeon-specific armor and weapons will also be made available through this feature on a rotating basis, or players can complete the story modes of the eight dungeons to allow them to complete the tracks at their leisure. In addition, future Living World and holiday events will be added as they are released. While I’d love for this system to be added on the PvE side too, PvPers have been getting the short end of the stick in this regard ever since release. They deserve the bone they’ve been thrown. To go along with this update, PvE/WvW gear will now carry over to the PvP side, as it previously did not.
In next week’s reveals, ArenaNet will be talking about “facilitating friendly play” in Guild Wars 2, as it currently says on the official site. Check back here for the latest news about the upcoming feature pack!