Flame and Frost: The Gathering Storm
The situation is getting worse for the citizens of Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. Volunteers are helping to ease the burden, but more refugees are hobbling down from the Shiverpeaks. The storm there is gaining momentum, but the forces of good are beginning to rally. They’re sending their heroes to defend the land and its inhabitants. Someone must hold back the gathering storm.
In “Flame and Frost: The Gathering Storm,” the second installment in this four-part series, the stakes are raised, and battles rage, in the foothills of the Shiverpeaks.
- Two new achievements, The Gathering Storm and Lost and Found, have been added to the Living Story category.
- The refugees’ oppressors are becoming more aggressive and have shown their faces in Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. The refugees need qualified adventurers even more!
- Camps in Hoelbrak and the Black Citadel have become crowded. As a result, the refugees have begun moving on to Lion’s Arch.
- Refugees arriving in Lion’s Arch have lost on the road precious objects from their homes. The objects will be difficult to find, but the refugees are more likely to tell their stories to the helpful adventurer who recovers their possessions.
- All content from “Flame and Frost: Prelude” continues, and the Refugee Volunteer achievement can still be earned.
NEW FEATURES AND CONTENT
- You can now select the five daily achievements from a list that you will complete to receive the daily reward.
- You can now select which achievements are tracked on the right hand side of the screen through the Achievement tab on the Hero panel.
- The amount of experience given for completion of daily and monthly achievements has been increased.
- Added new daily achievement types.
- Added new rewards to the laurels vendors in all major cities.
Ascalonian Catacombs Explorable
- Many of the encounters in the Ascalonian Catacombs Explorable have been revamped, including all three final boss fights.
- A new test version of our advanced event scaling algorithm has been applied to four high-level, regularly played events to help us monitor the feasibility of this system in the live environment. This new scaling algorithm dynamically increases the difficulty of events by using the current system of increasing the difficulty of existing creatures, while also adding a new system that substitutes creatures of lower difficulty with different creatures as the event scales up. If successful, this system will be slowly extended to other events across the game during 2013.
- Item preview is now available on the Trading Post. Simply right-click the item you want to preview and then select Preview. The preview panel will open, showing your character with the item equipped.
- When previewing weapons, you may now choose to show the weapon stowed, wielded, or by itself. Use the check boxes at the bottom left of the preview panel to change the view.
Guild Content – Read more about Guild Content updates in the recent blog post.
- New guild upgrades are available.
- The guild mission system has been implemented and includes the ability to earn merits.
- Added new Guild Bounty, Guild Trek, Guild Rush, Guild Challenge, and Guild Puzzle mission types.
- Added new personal rewards for participating in guild missions. These rewards can be purchased with commendations.
- Banner art on existing guild upgrades has been updated.
Structured Player vs. Player – Read more about the new Structured PvP map in the recent blog post.
- A new map, Spirit Watch, is available.
- Credit for killing creatures is now easier to receive in situations when many players are attacking a single target.
- Increased the loot rewards on many world boss chests, including the chests in Orr temples and the dragon chests.
- Fixed a bug on certain world boss chests that was causing them to drop fewer rewards than intended. These chests can now only be looted once per day, to encourage players to fight multiple bosses and spread out across the world.
- Introduced five new stat combos on Ascended Rings and Amulets, which can be found in the usual locations for these items.
BALANCE, BUG-FIXING, POLISH
- Updated skillsets for several krait and undead creatures to make them more entertaining to fight.
- Daily achievement tracker now preserves expansion state.
- Changed the way monsters react to players using stealth.
- Eased the restrictions on global leash time.
- Fixed a bug that caused loot chests to spawn incorrectly during group play. Loot chests are now created for items of rarity “rare” and above.
- Fixed a bug where equipment would be destroyed when the player unequips it while encumbered.
- Fixed an error in the Mystic Forge recipes for the exotic level 80 Berserker and Rampager heavy armor box crafting recipes.
- Fixed a bug where backpack pieces on players in transformations would render at an incorrect location.
- Fixed most cases of a bug where players would be stuck auto-running when attempting to pick up a bundle.
- Carmel, the karma merchant in Mount Maelstrom, now sells armor of levels appropriate for the region.
- Added recipes to craft armor boxes and satchels for the Apothecary’s and Giver’s armor sets.
- The door blocking access to the cabbage farm in Harathi Hinterlands should no longer block access when opened.
- Fixed a bug that was causing display issues with rotational achievements.
- The achievement tracker now has an updated UI and behaves differently.
- Lesser air elementals now have legs and a tail.
- Added support for positional audio with the Mumble voice-chat application.
- Bloodtide Coast: Healing turrets created by Lionguard Scratchblade now vanish after 60 seconds.
- Diessa Plateau: Added more fixes to the cowapult to keep it from becoming permanently unusable.
- Queensdale: Fixed a bug in the “Shadow Behemoth” meta-event where the portals could become untargetable.
- Malchor’s Leap: Fixed the event “Destroy corrupted eggs and stop the spread of Risen drakes” so that, after the event is successfully completed, the eggs will no longer respawn until the event restarts.
- Harathi Hinterlands: Fixed a bug in the event “Defend the skritt thieves while they steal harpy eggs” so that skritt thieves are now resurrectable, and the event should restart correctly after success or failure.
- Spears wielded by corrupted Sons of Svanir will no longer persist in the world after the Sons die underwater.
- Timberline Falls: Fixed a bug in the “Partake in the moot” region so that passed-out drunks should no longer enter a comatose state where they ignore being splashed by water.
- Wayfarer Foothills: Fixed a blocking bug in “The Frozen Maw” meta-event where Scholar Brogun could die between events.
- Plains of Ashford: Fixed a blocking bug in the “Kill the Separatists before they destroy the Iron Barracuda” event.
- Fixed three blocking issues with the Temple of Balthazar escort event chains in Straits of Devastation.
- Improved the skills on the hidden cave troll boss.
- Additional ghostly allies will now join Kholer during his encounter.
- Removed breeders from the possible graveling burrows spawns during Hodgins’ search for the first scepter.
- Rebalanced the graveling dungeon army to make them more interesting and fun to fight.
- Revamped the Ghost Eater fight to include Detha’s traps.
- Revamped the Colossus Rumblus fight to give him new skills and abilities.
- Revamped the Howling King encounter and made changes to his army.
- Adjusted the health of dungeon creatures and bosses.
- Explorable mode: Fixed a trap in the hallway from the room with the spider queen to the central chamber so that the trap will now turn off properly.
- Story: Added a waypoint toward the end of the dungeon.
Citadel of Flame
- Added safety nets to the lava fields around Tribune Burntclaw and around Magmacyte that will teleport players who die from lava exposure to a safe location.
Crucible of Eternity
- Added a safety net for players who die in lava at the boss fight with the Evolved Destroyer so that they will be teleported to a safe location to be resurrected.
- Laser grid will no longer hurt dead players, allowing them to resurrect at the nearby shrine in safety.
- Explorable: Fixed a bug where thieves and mesmers could teleport through closed doors and trigger events prematurely.
The Ruined City of Arah
- Explorable: Reduced the amount of healing Simin does while she is stealthed.
- Fixed a bug with Giganticus Lupicus resetting combat immediately after players stealth.
- Story: Fixed an issue where creatures would not spawn during the fight with Zhaitan.
- Explorable: Added and modified existing waypoints.
- Explorable: Removed a branch that players could stand on to exploit the final boss.
- Story: Players will now teleport to a safe location if they die in lava.
Honor of the Waves
- Explorable: Fixed an issue where Honor’s Claw would repeat himself when speaking of his lost sons. He has since overcome his grief and will carry on to the fight against the minions of Jormag without stuttering.
- “Deeply Tangled Roots”: Fixed a bug where the final scene was not changing based on player choice.
- “Source of Orr”: Fixed a blocking bug if players killed the Eye while it was trying to teleport away.
- Updated the Superior Rune of the Soldier’s sixth bonus to properly remove a condition from allies affected by the shout.
- Updated the Superior Rune of the Rata Sum’s fifth bonus to correctly give 90 precision.
- Updated the Superior Rune of the Pack’s third bonus to correctly give 50 power.
- Added a 40-second recharge to the skill given by the Depleted Power Crystal item sold in Caledon Forest.
- Transmuted items can now be dyed back to their original colors.
- Black Peppercorns no longer drop from Mature Herb and Verdant Herb nodes.
- The Caudecus’s Manor vendor in Lion’s Arch now correctly offers the Major Rune of the Monk.
- The Charged, Hard, Warm, and Cold Potions are no longer Soulbound on acquire.
- Renamed rare armors from Dungeon reward vendors to appropriately reflect their models.
- Increased the drop rate of Passion Flowers from Passiflora Vines.
- Hovering over a currency icon within vendor UI will now identify that currency.
- Fixed a number of Mystic Forge recipes that had a chance of returning nothing. Zommoros apologizes for his thievery.
- The Extended Potion of Ghost Slaying recipe now makes the correct potion.
- Increased the stat bonuses on Ascended all-stat items.
- Updated numerous item icons.
- Increased the drop rate of exotics in the profession gear boxes sold by laurel vendors.
- Ranger gear boxes no longer drop rifles.
- Food items that give special bonuses upon a critical hit now have an internal cooldown before they can produce the special bonus again.
- Using stealth no longer resets NPC aggression tables.
- Reduced the number of maximum of stacks of Retaliation allowed to five (was 25). Duration still stacks.
- Cleaned up hit detection for melee attacks targeting inanimate objects.
- Fixed a bug where players would sometimes become rooted after cancelling meteor shower, healing rain, or similar skills.
- Signets will no longer lose their passive effects when changing slots on the utility bar.
- Frost Aura: Incoming damage is reduced by 10% while under the effects of this aura. Enemies are only able to be chilled by this aura once per second. This affects all frost auras.
- Flame Aura: In addition to the burning condition, this aura now grants 10 seconds of might each time the player is struck. This aura can activate only once per second. This change affects all flame auras.
- Comet: This ability’s strike now occurs faster upon casting.
- Evasive Arcana: The spell cast while in water attunement has been split between PvE and PvP. This spell’s effectiveness with the healing attribute has been reduced by 50% while in PvP.
- Flame Shield: This skill now lasts 5 seconds instead of 3.
- Flame Wall: The combat region for combo interactions has been increased.
- Glyph of Elemental Harmony: This healing skill now grants three stacks of might when used in fire attunement instead of one.
- Ride the Lightning: This ability’s recharge has been increased to 20 seconds.
- Shocking Aura: Updated this ability to indicate its cooldown on stunning enemies.
- Stoning: This ability’s projectile speed has been increased by 22%.
- Static Field: This field will now properly stun enemies that cross it rather than merely dazing them.
- Stow Med Kit: Now works in PvE.
- Elixir U: Quickness is now consistent at 5 seconds.
- Acid Bomb: This ability is now a blast finisher at the start of the ability.
- Super Elixir: Now detonates properly underwater.
- Super Elixir: Increased impact base healing as well as scaling with healing power by 100%. Increased base heal multiplier by 50% and healing power scaling by 100%.
- Flame Blast: This ability is now able to be detonated by a secondary ability.
- Flame Blast Detonate: This new ability will detonate the napalm ball that is launched by Flame Blast.
- Air Blast: This ability now extends burning duration of enemies that are already burning by 2 seconds.
- Flame Jet: This ability now deals an extra 10% damage to burning enemies.
- Pry Bar: Increased the number of confusion applications from three to five and increased duration of confusion from 3 to 5 seconds.
- Tool Kit: Abilities that heal turrets have had their potency increased by 100%.
- Kit Refinement: This trait now has an internal cooldown of 10 seconds globally for Flamethrower, Elixir Gun, Grenade Kit, and Tool Kit.
- Pure of Voice: This trait has been fixed to always properly convert conditions into boons.
- Smite: Now displays a radius skill fact.
- Empower: This ability now casts faster. Fixed a bug that caused this skill to heal twice.
- Healing Breeze: Angle of this ability has been increased so that allies are easier to hit.
- Hold the Line: This shout’s range has been reduced to 600, making it consistent with other shouts. It now properly affects allies within its full radius.
- Line of Warding: This ability’s animation has changed and can now be cast while on the move.
- Orb of Light: This ability now heals allies it passes through.
- Orb of Light Detonate: Increased this ability’s scaling with healing power by 50% and reduced its level scaling by 20%.
- Shield of Absorption: Added a skill fact to the healing portion of this ability.
- Symbol of Wrath: Increased the size of the combo field on this ability to cover the whole visual area.
- Bow of Truth: The health of this spirit has been increased by 30%.
- Hammer of Wisdom: The health of this spirit has been increased by 33%.
- Sword of Justice: The health of this spirit has been increased by 30%.
- Shield of the Avenger: The health of this spirit has been increased by 30%.
- Illusionary Counter: The range of the reactive part of this ability is now consistent with its indicated range.
- Mesmer Portals can no longer be interacted with when there is an obstruction between them and the player.
- Mind Stab: This skill will now hit up to three targets.
- Illusionary Riposte: The reactionary strike that occurs when this skill blocks an attack now has the correct distance of the ability instead of half the distance. Added a ranged fact to this skill.
- Mirror: This healing skill now applies reflection for 2 seconds instead of 1.
- The Prestige: This ability is no longer channeled and will automatically detonate 3 seconds after the ability is used.
- Bloodthirsty: This trait now functions with the Vampiric Rituals and Vampiric Master traits.
- Flesh of the Master: This trait now properly affects Jagged Horrors.
- Ghastly Claws: Damage from this ability has been increased by ~10%.
- Locust Swarm: The radius of this ability has been increased by ~16% and now has the range of a normal melee ability.
- Mark of Revival: This trait now functions with the Greater Marks trait.
- Minion Master: This trait now affects Mark of Horror from the necromancer’s Lich Form.
- Necromantic Corruption: This trait now functions with Bone Fiend, Shadow Fiend, Flesh Wurm, and Jagged Horror.
- Protection of the Horde: This trait now functions with Jagged Horror minions.
- Rending Claws: Vulnerability application from this ability have been increased from 5 seconds to 7 seconds.
- Spectral Wall: This skill’s combo field will now appear where the wall is instead of on top of the necromancer.
- Spinal Shivers: This ability now deals bonus damage for each boon that it removes. One boon removed deals 50% extra damage, two boons deals 100% extra, and three boons removed will grant an extra 150% damage to the ability.
- Chill of Death: This trait now deals bonus damage for each boon that it removes. One boon removed deals 50% extra damage, two boons deals 100% extra, and three boons removed will grant an extra 150% damage to the ability.
- Spiteful Vigor: This trait now functions with racial abilities Prayer to Dwayna and Healing Seed.
- Summon Blood Fiend: This minion’s healing effect has been increased by ~80%.
- Weakening Shroud: This trait now applies two stacks of bleeding to be consistent with the Enfeebling Blood weapon skill.
- Guard: Pets will no longer guard areas that should be inaccessible to them.
- Crippling Talon: Cooldown of this ability has been reduced from 18 seconds to 15 seconds.
- Empathic Bond: Fixed a bug that wouldn’t apply transferred conditions to pets. This trait now transfers three conditions to the ranger’s pet every 10 seconds rather than all of them.
- Hawk and Eagle now have their own unique icons instead of sharing one.
- Path of Scars: This ability’s damage has been normalized between traited and non-traited versions. Damage has been increased by 85% when not traited.
- Icy Screech: The White Moa activated ability now applies 3 seconds of Chill, and the skill fact has been updated appropriately.
- Basilisk Venom: Enemies affected by this ability will now indicate it in their boons and conditions bar.
- Cloak and Dagger: The player can no longer use this ability stack stealth by attacking WvW walls.
- Shadow Shot: This ability now allows the player to move while executing dagger strike portion of the ability.
- Venomous Aura: Activating a venom skill with this trait equipped will now briefly display an indicator ring around the thief.
- Withdraw: This ability now scales 20% better with healing power. Base healing per level has increased by 10%.
- Ankle Shots: This trait now applies a full 3-second cripple.
- Vigorous Shouts: This trait has been fixed to properly affect allies within a range of up to 600.
- Updated shouts to display the out-of-range indicator if your target is out of range.
- Last Stand: Added a cooldown to the trait’s description.
- Impale: This ability’s cooldown has been reduced to 15 seconds.
- Pin Down: This ability now applies bleeding to targets that it hits.
- Players wielding Banner of Defense, Discipline, Strength, and Tactics will now strike up to three targets with their Stab ability.
- Smoldering Arrow: This ability is now a full projectile finisher.
- Burst Skills: Damage tooltips now properly reflect equipped weapon damage.
- Vengeance: Controlling a turret while using this ability will no longer prevent camera reset on death.
- Sylvari: Seed and Turret abilities can now be used in conjunction with one another.
- Asuran Power Suit: This skill will no longer incorrectly remove other transforms from the player.
Structured Player vs. Player
Structured PvP Tournament Changes
- Two-team quick tournaments no longer cost tickets.
- Tournament tickets are no longer needed and can be exchanged at the ticket merchant in the Heart of the Mists. The ticket merchant is located next to the Tournament Master.
- There is now a “Join Solo” button in the tournament browser that automates a single-player tournament entry.
- Changed the default PvP builds for new characters.
- Changed the PvP daily and monthly achievement rewards to include Arcane Slivers, Crystals, and Orbs instead of Tournament Tickets.
- Changed the PvP locker to also store Valkyrie’s Jewels, the remaining rank finisher consumables, and PvP Hall of Monuments reward items.
- Changed gold tournament chests to include several new PvP weapons.
- Fixed an issue that could cause PvP glory rank vendors to not offer PvP Trident Tokens.
- Fixed an issue that could cause several PvP weapons to display the wrong weapon skin.
- Fixed an issue that could cause projectiles to sometimes bounce off capture points.
- Temple of the Silent Storm: Changed Commune to interrupt on teleport, stealth, or invulnerability.
- Temple of the Silent Storm: Fixed a bug that would prevent damage from interrupting the last few seconds of Meditation on Tranquility.
- Legacy of the Foefire: Changed gates to hide their name plates when they are destroyed.
- Raid on the Capricorn: Fixed a bug that would prevent players from earning Skirmisher points.
- Heart of the Mists: Added a Ticket Merchant for exchanging unused Tournament Tickets.
- Party members on opposite teams will no longer be able to see each other when invisible.
World vs. World
- Fixed safety areas that extended too far, which could result in some players keeping their no siege/determined buff.
- Changed the orange swords combat marker to show only if more than 25 people are in combat in the area.
- Fixed a bug with Durios Gulch that could cause guards to spawn on the wrong team.
- Fixed a bug on all Hills Keeps that could cause guards to spawn on the wrong team.
- Fixed an issue that allowed NPCs with Righteous Indignation to still take condition damage.
- Removed the ability to use many karma related items in WvW.
BLACK LION TRADING COMPANY GEM STORE
- The Plush Charr Backpack Cover is now available in the Style category of the Gem Store for 300 gems each. This backpack cover can be applied to any PvE backslot item, or it can be converted to a permanent PvP item. This backpack cover also comes with a basic backslot item with no stats that the Plush Charr Backpack Cover can be applied to.
- Added the Pink Quaggan Backpack Cover and the Tiger Charr Backpack Cover to the Black Lion Chest at a rare chance. These rare variations are available only through the Black Lion Chest. Black Lion Keys are needed to open chests and can be acquired from the Gem Store in the Consumable category.
- Nine new hair colors and six new eye colors are now available through the Total Makeover Kit and the Self-Style Hair Kits. These new hair and eye colors are winter-themed and are available only through these kits, which can be acquired from the Gem Store in the Services category. The new colors are marked with a star and can be applied to any race’s hair.
- The celebration mode of Evon Gnashblade’s Box o’ Fun now has a chance to give the Dancing Spirit buff. This buff grants the character temporary access to three short dances. These dances will take up the utility slots on the skill bar, and when they are activated, your character will perform some new dance moves. The Dancing Spirit buff lasts 10 minutes, but entering combat removes the buff.
- Spawning Evon Gnashblade’s Box o’ Fun immediately equips you with an adjuster bundle to allow you to pick a mode. If you lose the bundle, interact with your Box o’ Fun twice quickly to return it.
- Listings for new items will now show up in the Promotions tab in the Gem Store and are now marked with a blue exclamation-point icon.
- Listings for limited-time items will now show up in the Promotions tab in the Gem Store and will show how much time is left to purchase them.
- Sale items will now show how much time remains before the sale ends.
- Sylvari who use the Total Makeover Kit can now adjust their glow.
Seasons are changing, hearths are warming, and spirits are high. Wintersday is almost here! Tyrians are busily preparing for the longest night of the year, and Lion’s Arch wants to celebrate with an event to remember. The Captain’s Council has invited renowned entertainment engineer, Tixx the Toymaker, to bring his unique creations to the citizens of Tyria.
The toymaker will spend a day in each of the five cities, and finish his tour with a two-week stay in Lion’s Arch. The airship events will begin at 10 a.m. PST on December 15th and end January 3^rd^.
- 10 a.m. PST, Saturday, December 15th: Airship lands in The Grove for a 24-hour stay.
- 10 a.m. PST, Sunday, December 16th: Airship lands in Divinity’s Reach for a 24-hour stay.
- 10 a.m. PST, Monday, December 17th: Airship lands in The Black Citadel for a 24-hour stay.
- 10 a.m. PST, Tuesday, December 18th: Airship lands in Hoelbrak for a 24-hour stay.
- 10 a.m. PST, Wednesday, December 19th: Airship lands in Rata Sum for a 24-hour stay.
- 10 a.m. PST, Thursday, December 20th: Airship lands in Lion’s Arch, where it will remain until January 3rd.
But that’s just the beginning of this Wintersday fête. Along with Tixx and his wondrous workshop, there will also be new holiday content:
- Lion’s Arch, the Heart of the Mists, and the Home Map (Central Citadel) in WvW are decorated for the holiday.
- Snowman building locations and present drops are available worldwide.
- New crafting recipes are available.
- PvP finishing moves and WvW siege weapon effects have been added.
- Bell choir and snowball fight activities are available in Lion’s Arch, and can be accessed through an NPC near the snow globe.
- A jumping puzzle is available in Lion’s Arch, and can be accessed through an NPC near the snow globe.
- Events inside Tixx’s airship will reflect the toy released each day.
- All toy events will be repeatable during Tixx’s stay in Lion’s Arch.
- A toy-based activity will be available once Tixx reaches Lion’s Arch.
- Tixx will be giving out a one-time gift while he’s in Lion’s Arch.