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Guild Wars 2 Brings the Heat


Guild Wars 2

At PAX West, I had the chance to sit down with Nellie Hughes and Elisabeth Kerstein from ArenaNet to learn what’s coming up for Guild Wars 2 later this month.  They wanted to walk me through the latest zone that will be added to Guild Wars 2; a place that players from the original Guild Wars will know all about.  With the death of the elder dragon, Mordremoth, releasing wild amounts of magical energy into the world, a new elder dragon has risen to take his place.

The Ember Bay, part of the Ring of Fire Islands, makes its return.  While the name is familiar, many changes will greet players as they enter this massive zone.  In order to traverse the area, there are two movement systems.  A series of Ley Lines circle the island, allowing for quick access by gliding around.  Once the player is near their intended target, simply hop down.  To get even closer, there is a system of lava spots, using thermal propulsion to hop around the land to get right into the action.  

As the name insinuates, this island is afire with magma and charred rock.  Everywhere we looked, the ground breathed its internal heat, forming lava rivers and jagged landscapes.  A pirate band of Skritt have made their home here.  These pirates will entertain and amuse while providing ample opportunities to assist them with living world events.  

In addition to those, daily Heart quests make a return as well.  One quest will be to try and prevent the hapless Skritt from being eaten by a giant fire sloth.  The Skritt want to have this sloth be the main circus attraction, but the sloth has other ideas.  With an almost insatiable appetite, it’s up to the players to keep her from rampaging against her captures.  Another quest centers around a golem named Smooshatron taking on a giant worm and his minions.  Players will need to keep Smooshatron’s power levels up in order to defeat the worm and collect the data needed.

A major landmark of the island is the Mursaat Fortress surrounding their temple.  Nellie and Elisabeth were happy to share that this area includes another of the infamous “Josh Jumping Challenges” and this one would be the hardest platforming challenge yet.  While the Mursaat have been extinct for many years, there’s still many secrets to be discovered about this ancient race.

One final gift coming soon is a new PvP area, the Eternal Coliseum.  There will be three capture points as usual, but also two secondary targets: The Shield of Life and the Sword of Reaping.  The Shield of Life will automatically raise the wielder one time.  The Sword of Reaping will automatically kill any downed player struck down by the dark blade. In PvP, a player who is out of HP is considered downed, but not normally out; they can be revived by their teammates, so this special sword changes that mechanic.  Another unique aspect of this arena is the crowd, divided into two sides for each team.  This crowd was recorded at a company meeting, where hundreds of employees were invited, to create these specific audio effects of boos, cheers, and jeers, depending on if the side of the arena the player is on is winning or losing.

A sneak peak of the new PvP arena can be seen at this year’s Guild Wars 2 World Championship on September 17th, which can be seen on the official Twitch channel of Guild Wars 2.  This update, episode 2 of Season 3, will come to life on September 20th.

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