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Guild Wars 2 Diary #21 : Flame and Frost

02. February, 2013Tags: Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars 2 Diary, MMO Blog

Guild Wars 2 Frost & FlameThis week has seen the drop of the Flame and Frost: Prelude patch, a massive mismatch of features and changes designed to fix, upgrade and add to the world of Guild Wars 2. Although we have a new bit of story to enjoy, I thought for this week’s Guild Wars 2 diary, we’d take a look through some of the new, major features available to players. If you haven’t played since 28th January, you’ll need to perform a pretty big update, so be sure to turn your computer on ahead of your playtime. When the update is done, enter into Tyria and prepare yourself for Flame and Frost…

 

Things to Watch

Before we continue, I just want to warn veteran players that things have changed with the update that we’ve all be taking for granted. Achievements have been updated and are no longer the easy source of experience they once were, although they’re still worth checking out. That’s become easier with a special achievements spot on the UI.

Guild Wars 2 Diary Episode 21 - Gameplay Video [HD]

Similarly, the way that your character will be scaled up and down has changed, meaning that if you go to an area where you’re massively over-levelled, your power is going to go down more than perhaps you’re used to. Over the next few weeks, be sure to take things a little more carefully than perhaps you will have done before, at least until you’re used to being scaled down a little more.

Flame and Frost: Prelude

Although the update includes much, much more than just additional story/events, the new story in the Shiverpeaks will be the most obvious and is well worth checking out. If you speak with the heralds in Lion’s Arch and Divinity’s Reach, they’ll keep you up to date with events, but if you want to travel east and find out what’s happening first hand, I strongly suggest you do so.

Guild Wars 2 Diary #21 - Screenshot 1

Presuming you’re a human, there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t been to the low level areas around the Black Citadel before and that there’ll be a lot of events and renown heart quests waiting for you when you get there. As always, be sure to try and fight your way through them in an attempt to boost your experience. As well as the things that were there before, you’ll also come across some new Flame and Frost bits and pieces and taking part is definitely advised.

After losing their home to mysterious weather patterns, the Norn and Charr are travelling south in the hopes of starting again. Refugees with little more than the packs on their back are suddenly everywhere and by volunteering your time in this area, you’ll get an extra achievement and a special title. You’ll also be on the front lines of the initial parts of this world-wide event. Flame & Frost is going to develop over the coming months and will play a large part in changing Tyria, but as with previous events, you’ll need to be in it if you want to take part. These events don’t repeat.

Guild Wars 2 Froze & Flame Screenshot 2

This time though you have quite a while and you’ll need it. Helping Volunteers isn’t difficult – you’ll just need to fix signs that are scattered around and take “mementos” from dead refugees you come across – but the achievement calls for you to do it over and over again, so don’t expect to fully complete it in a single day.

Achievements and Laurels

Maybe the first thing you’ll see upon loading the game after the update is the new achievements section in the top right. It’ll appear underneath story quests and over events and can be clicked on and expanded at any time.

There are now a limited amount of daily achievements, which will change every day. If you haven’t done them when the day is over, you’ll be given new achievements to hunt for. This puts a limit on the amount of experience you’ll get in a single day, but it might also give you the incentive to try some new things in the search for Laurels. Laurels are a new currency added in the Flame and Frost: Prelude patch that you can trade for special items in Laurel stores opening up in major cities. Trading laurels might get you something special, but in order to get it you’ll need to complete all the daily and monthly achievements in any given period.

Guild Wars 2 Froze & Flame Screenshot 3

Some players seem disappointed with how the achievement system has changed, but as Arenanet themselves have said: you don’t have to do them. If there’s something you’ll find boring linked to an achievement, just skip it and get on with your game.

Fixes and Character Changes

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a change log quite as big as the one for the Flame and Frost: Prelude patch, and a huge amount of space is taken up on that list for fixes and character/class changes. Arenanet have fixed an awful lot and have gotten rid of a few exploits as well. This is going to be a double edged sword for some people, because it’ll mean relearning parts of their characters (or relearning the proper way of doing something after dealing with annoying glitches for the last six months), but it should also make the experience much, much fairer.

Locations have been fixed, as have events (both story quests and random events), so you might start seeing things you’d never seen before. As well as that, you’ll now also start to get karma for finishing renown heart quests. Now, karma isn’t a stat we’ve really discussed in this diary before and with good reason: I’ve never really found a use for it. You can buy things, but they’re always too expensive. Fingers crossed, getting karma from a renown heart quest will change that and karma merchants will become something worth looking at. At level 30, I’ve only bothered once or twice. Hopefully that changes.

Guild Wars 2 Froze & Flame Screenshot 4

PvP and WvW

Although we’ve never really touched on the Player vs. Player portions of Guild Wars 2, there have also been a number of changes to those modes as well. This includes a short event which has you playing a PvP match by different rules, but there are also fixes and improvements as well. Although we’ll deal with both PvP and WvW in future diaries, I strongly suggest anybody who plays the “online” game modes (I know, it’s all online) to check out the change log before heading back into battle.

Guild Wars 2 Froze & Flame Screenshot 5

Conclusion

The Flame and Frost: Prelude is not only a hint at things to come in Tyria over the coming months, but things to come for Guild Wars 2 as well. Arenanet actively wanted to show players that they’re making changes and improvement at all times, that they’re balancing things out and that they’re going to continue doing all of that for the foreseeable future. Guild Wars 2 never stays still, and neither does its world, Tyria. If you have problems or complaints, be sure to bring them up politely in the forums and perhaps the next update might make things easier for you. You can view the change log by visiting here->


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