Guild Wars 2's first raid is live, Spirit Vale welcomes you to the jungle

It’s raiding men… and some sort of abomination that looks like a Headcrab mixed with a tree. Hallelujah! Yes, Guild Wars 2: Hearts of Thorns first raid has now gone live. It’s time to gather nine pals and start battling monstrosities in the jungles of Maguuma.

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ArenaNet released Spirit Vale last night, and the ten-player quest looks set to test your MMO mettle. It doesn't actually contain the entire raid experience, though, as it’s but the first of three wings that will make up the full-fat adventure.

Here’s what ArenaNet have to say about Spirit Vale:

“There are no attunement quests for raiding in Heart of Thorns, and there’s much more freedom of party composition thanks to the versatility and universal healing ability of professions in Guild Wars 2. The ferocity of pace and action in raids is an extension of the core game’s combat system, where success is rooted in player skill, strategy and timely execution.”

To accompany the debut raid, the developer has also released a new patch that brings in “an enhanced squad UI”. The new update gives those with commander tags the option to create squads, which can then be broken up into further subgroups. Oh, and a new skill button has been added during “context-specific phases” of the raid. You can read up on the full patch notes over on the Guild Wars 2 forums

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