Each month ArenaNet has a nice web page detailing in easy-to-chew form what is to be expected from that month’s update. For the end of January, Guild Wars 2 is getting Flame and Frost: Prelude. The earth and sky are the enemy in this one, which have led to norn and charr refugees streaming in from Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. With that in mind, the concept art wallpaper for this update looked like norn refugees. I am not sure where people got Cantha, although having a horse in Guild Wars 2 concept art is a tad interesting. No mounts anyway, says ArenaNet as they chalk up the errant horse to “art”.
The main features teased last week are also cemented in to this update. Laurel currency is being added to completed rotating daily and monthly achievements, which can buy ascended gear and other things. Guesting is the other big bullet point There is also a bunch of other stuff like better UI (achievement tracker), level adjustment balancing, and WvW performance. Of course, there has to be more gem store options. Baby Quaggan Backpacks and Riding Brooms are new offerings, and the Box o’ Fun got a revamp.
I am actually surprised that they had a chance to add some content, preludish as it may be. It’s kind of in a surprising direction too. I am pretty sure we’ll be in Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau and not Southsun Cove. If I was a betting man back in 2012, I would’ve guessed that Southsun Cove would get the next pass. Hopefully they don’t take away the most confused karka ever guarding the most used mining node ever. I am also surprised that the action is happening in two low-level zones. Wayfarer Foothills still sees a decent amount of action, especially on the northern and southern ends. Diessa Plateau gets a little more empty as leveling heads to the lonely middle, but altogether these are two decently populated zones.
Anyway, Flame and Frost is going to be a “small lead-in” that preludes content over the coming months. In other words, the first season of 2013′s PvE content is going to be Flame and Frost. This is the start. Given the words “small” and “prelude” coupled with Southsun Cove’s sparseness I am going to keep expectations well in check. I am very excited about daily achievements and the laurels, which I consider the centerpiece of next week’s update.