Six years of Guild Wars, and it is still going strong even with the last box release being over three years. Most of its perseverance is owed to the Guild Wars Live Team. The Live Team has put out another great update, which follows on the heels of the Embark Beach update last month. There’s a smattering of prodigious items like high-resolution textures in town, hard mode versions of favorite quests, and the much requested Friends location feature. Plus the weight of the birthday presents feels a little different this year, and madness has bled into PvP.
One of the big change-ups introduced is the replacement of Anniversary Tonics in each character’s birthday box instead of miniature pets. The Anniversary Tonics are reusable (everlasting) appearance items that change a character’s appearance in towns and outposts into an iconic story NPC or monster. This change is interesting because it puts a cap on the miniatures market, but I think that most players will enjoy the switch. As every anniversary passed I would see more “sigh, more miniatures”-feedback. Ignoring the Hall of Monuments implications, I think this is a better birthday gift because it feels more personal. What I look like means more to most than what minute object is following me. For those still trying to get 50 unique miniatures, characters will still receive miniatures for their first five birthday gifts.
The PvP Mutation mechanic, called Flux, is the star of this update. Taking a nod from games like Left 4 Dead and Unreal Tournament, Flux changes the rules slightly each month or so. This month the Flux is Lone Wolf – if you are not within earshot of an ally, you deal and take +10% more damage. I am very interested to see how the PvP community responds to Flux. It should shake things up a little bit at the very least. Via a Massively interview, ArenaNet says that a more PvP based update is forthcoming, and Flux is just the start.
Along with all the free goodies, ArenaNet is holding a six-week sale on cash-shop items. I’ve been meaning to pick up some of the costumes I missed the first time around, and now is a good time. A lot of people disagree with me on the price point of their microtransactions. Hopefully the price drop is enough for some. I think the We-Make-Free-Updates-You-Perhaps-Buy-Some-Appearance-Items is a model worth supporting. Plus, the stronger support they get with a matured MMO the more likely ArenaNet is to follow a similar model for Guild Wars 2. For starters the wedding apparel is down to $5 each costume.
Hope everybody enjoys their birthday goodies and the update. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in Cantha in the next chapter of Guild Wars Beyond and what’s going to happen in another PvP update. See you in game!