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Guild Wars 2 January 28th Content Update, now with more Guesting! [News]

As you may have heard, ArenaNet is planning to roll out some new content/game updates over the next few months! With some changes happening as early as January 28th, 2013!

Sylvari and Human Open Jumping Puzzle Chest Reward
What surprises await us? Keep reading to find out!
Probably the most important change will be the implementation of guesting. Yes, that guesting! The guesting that many of us thought would be in the game a few weeks after launch. It will finally be a thing. Woo. I think this is great news, especially in terms of WvW, but it does have some downsides of course. Mainly, it doesn't look like guesting will be possible from NA to EU or vice versa. Don't ask me why. It seems like it should be possible since everything else is game-wide, but I guess there are some technical limitations which prevent it from being possible. Bummer. :( You can also only guest on up to two different servers in a 24 hour period, presumably to stop people from abusing the system. No, you won't be able to visit every server and get all the Orichalcum!

Be aware that this change is happening soon so please, please, please make sure you're on the server you forever want to do WvW with before the January 28th update, because after that it will cost you gems to transfer! Not only that, but the fee you'll end up paying will be based on your destination server's population. So, the higher that server's population, the higher the gem fee you will pay to transfer there. Also, you will still not be able to do a paid transfer more than once every 7 days, nor will you be able to transfer to a Full server.

Okay, okay, sorry! Enough about guesting. What else will be coming soon? Yes, Soon™. ArenaNet doesn't specifically say when these other features will become available. They do say that the January update will be small and it will lay the foundation for bigger updates in February and March. Anywho, ANet seems to be putting a big focus on building up the community more and doing more events like those we have seen in the previous holidays of Halloween, Wintersday, and the Lost Shores. They pretty much admitted they didn't always get these large scale events right (that might be an understatement...), but through reading our feedback they have learned how to do things more successfully. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt here. I really love one time events. They make things feel special and exciting and dynamic, more like our own world. Yes, there were some huge problems with past events and of course some people are bitter because they were not even able to participate at all. However, I think they are great and it's clear to see that ANet is improving how they handle these large-scale events (the latest, Wintersday, went the most smoothly). So I cannot wait to see what else they come up with in regards to one time events. They are also planning to add more normal dynamic events to zones, hopefully to entice people in some small way to revisit the world of Tyria or at least make it a bit more interesting on your 6th, 7th or 8th playthrough.

New Guild Wars 2 Achievement Token Rewards
Some of the new achievement rewards. Endless Mystery Cat Tonic? YES PLEASE :3
The achievement system in general will also be expanding. Different days of the week will offer different dailies, and players won't have to do all the dailies offered for that day (for example, you'll be able to pick the ones you'd most like to do from a list to get credit). As you can see in the above screenshot, once we complete daily/monthly achievements under this new system, we will receive these nifty tokens which can then be spent on rewards like dyes, minis, Ascended gear, obsidian shards, tonics, and more! All of these rewards look great in theory, and will provide new incentives for many people to start logging back in everyday. The big question is, how many tokens will we get per achievement (rumor has it that it'll be 1 per day and 10 for a monthly) and what will the finalized cost of the rewards be? Only time will tell, I'm afraid. But from the looks of things they will be a much sought after commodity, with the highest tier rewards taking a pretty good time investment. Going by current Unidentified Dye prices alone, it appears that one token might be worth the equivalent of somewhere around 30 silver. Perhaps this change will help lower the price of certain items on the Trading Post (like dyes), making them a bit more accessible for everyone. A Sylvari can dream, right? (Excuse the horrible pun!)

Speaking of rewards, ANet does confirm that there won't be another tier of gear between Ascended and Legendary in the next year... so rest assured we won't be on an endless gear treadmill, for awhile anyways. Many boss encounters in dungeons and the open world will be redesigned, and Fractals will also see improvements and bug fixes. Plus, the LFG tool looks like it will become a bit more useful in the future.

Missions will be added for guilds, which sounds really interesting to be honest. I like the idea of being able to do more things with my guild, especially if it's exclusive things you can only do with a guild. Even though we are playing Guild Wars 2, the whole guild experience in general how it is now is a bit lacking in my opinion. I'd love to see some type of player/guild housing but alas nothing like that is planned for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, we will get these new guild missions, more guild rewards, and the super vague "tools to allow guilds of all sizes to play a stronger part in solidifying the communities of the GW2 world." Who doesn't like solidified communities am I right??

In the world of World vs World vs World (worldception?), they will be trying to improve the culling issue more and, as previously mentioned, also try to stabilize server-hopping with the introduction of guesting and paid transfers. But wait, there's more! In the form of new abilities and bonuses exclusive to WvW! As well as visible titles, prestige, and new additions to get people playing besides the overall score!  :O

Tower in the Human city Divinity's Reach

Pvp seems like it will become a bit more noob friendly - great news for me! Less competitive pvpers with similar amounts of skill will hopefully be matched better with one another and there will also be a new system in place for those just learning how to PvP (they'll also be making it easier for new players just learning how to play the game in general).  On the flip-side of this, they also want to keep pushing GW2 into more of the e-sport territory with the addition of spectator mode, hosting custom arenas, and more visible rankings of who is DA BEST. Well, what can I really say about Pvp? As someone who does not do much of it, I find it to be a pretty intimidating realm to break in to, so anything they do to help make it a more welcoming and inclusive activity is great! But at the same time, they're adding features to make it even more "hardcore" and dividing. I realize they shouldn't treat the people really into PvP the same as complete novices, and I don't know what the perfect solution would be, but I do know that if I do decide to Pvp I hope it won't be with a giant leaderboard in my face reminding me how bad I am compared to all these great players! Because that's just depressing. :(

Last but not least they will keep trying to improve the game against botters, hackers, and bugs which is always a plus!

What do you think of these changes? What are you looking forward to the most over the next few months? I know it's not listed, but in the January update I really hope to see the availability of the Name Change Contracts that were added to (but not buyable from) the Trading Post a few months ago. Also hope they are not too pricey, of course! :) If you'd like to read the original post yourself head on over to: Colin Johanson on Guild Wars 2 in the Months Ahead. Let me know your thoughts on these Guild Wars 2 updates in the comment section below!

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