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Gardens Gone Wild: Guild Wars 2's Entanglement update is now live

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Gardens Gone Wild: Guild Wars 2's Entanglement update is now live

The next chapter in Guild Wars 2’s Living World has gone live. Entanglement is the second act in the evolving storyline of the MMO. Heroes can continue to explore the Brisban Wildlands, attempting to uncover the mystery of the plague of extremely angry vines that’s spreading out from the Wildlands. 

If you missed Entanglement’s trailer last week, here it is again.

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Guild Wars 2 sales doubled in two months since Chinese release

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Guild Wars 2 sales doubled in two months since Chinese release

Those looking for gaps in the shiny carapace of one of the best MMORPGs on PC poked at its missing subscription. Could box sales sustain those bi-weekly updates and the huge team behind them for years to come?

The short answer: yes, so long as there are more countries for ArenaNet to conquer. Guild Wars 2 has 3.8 million players in China, just two months after its launch.

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Get out the shears: Guild Wars 2's new Living World episode, Entanglement, blooms on July 15th

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Get out the shears: Guild Wars 2's new Living World episode, Entanglement, blooms on July 15th

Last week saw Guild Wars 2’s Living World enter its second season with Gates of Magumma. Adventurers were called to assist Seraph forces in rooting out villainy in the Brisban Wildlands. But a living world is a world that keeps on ticking, and the second episode, Entanglement, is set to begin on July 15th. 

Last year we said that Guild Wars 2 was one of the best MMORPGs on PC, and this stream of new content is only making it better. 

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Set VCRs to record: Guild Wars 2 Season Two: The Gates of Maguuma trailered, out July 1

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Set VCRs to record: Guild Wars 2 Season Two: The Gates of Maguuma trailered, out July 1

The leaves on Guild Wars' Living World might have yellowed in the months since the destruction of Lion's Arch and the downfall of Scarlet Briar, but ArenaNet have filled up the watering can and then some.

The first episode of Guild Wars 2’s second season goes live next week - and it looks like we’re going to need a bigger pot.

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Renewed: Guild Wars 2's second season begins on July 1st

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Renewed: Guild Wars 2's second season begins on July 1st

With season one of Guild Wars 2’s living world concluded, the heroes of Tyria have no doubt been an aimless lot, getting fat and lazy without an end of the world crisis needing their attention. Even now they’re relaxing while enjoying the Festival of the Four Winds and reliving Guild Wars' greatest moments. But the serenity is not going to last. 

Once the festival ends, “the fight begins," says ArenaNet. 

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Greatest Hits: Guild Wars 2 revisits the past for Festival of the Four Winds

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Greatest Hits: Guild Wars 2 revisits the past for Festival of the Four Winds

Guild Wars 2 has easily been considered MMO royalty in the almost two years it has been around, its ‘Living World’ content generally seen as solid additions to the game and frequently keeping the world of Tyria a fresh and funky place to be. 

The good people of China are only just getting to know Guild Wars 2 though, and whilst NCSoft’s China launch is going well for Guild Wars 2, new Chinese players have missed out on many months of great content. The Festival of the Four Winds is about to change that. 

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Guild Wars 2 is 50% off till 11 May

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Guild Wars 2 is 50% off till 11 May

To celebrate... it being May(?), Arenanet have slashed Guild Wars 2’s price by half. Instead of $50 (£35) for the basic version of the game it is just $25 (£17.50). And, if Deluxe is your thing, that release is $35 (£25), cheaper, then, that the basic build when it’s normally at full price.

This sale doesn’t last long, you have until 11 May.

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The great Guild Wars 2 gear merger - or the way PvP works now

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The great Guild Wars 2 gear merger - or the way PvP works now

ArenaNet have always made a thing of letting you reach the upper levels of Guild Wars your own way - whether that be through questing, World vs World, PvP, or pulling root vegetables out of the earth on the outskirts of Lion’s Arch.

But they haven’t always been so good at letting you swap paths midway through. PvP gear has been nothing but heavy junk in PvE, for instance, and vice versa.

Until now. As our Fraser mentioned in his Guild Wars 2 April Feature Pack preview, the arbitrary division of equipment has come to an end. Here’s how that’s going to work.

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Guild Wars 2's April Feature Pack will improve the quality of life in Tyria

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Guild Wars 2's April Feature Pack will improve the quality of life in Tyria

The first season of Guild Wars 2’s living world ended last month, with the death of the conniving Scarlet Briar. It was a narrative a year in the telling, with a plethora of updates pushing the story forward, adding new content and new challenges. But with that over, ArenaNet has moved their gaze to the game’s systems. This has lead to the April Feature Pack - an update focused entirely on balance tweaks, improving existing systems and “quality of life" changes.

The big features of the update, which will be live within the day, include the new wardrobe system, revamped traits and the megaserver. I had a chat with Guild Wars 2 game designer Isaiah Cartwright to get the skinny on what to expect when the patch is rolled out. 

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Better together: ArenaNet spills the beans on how Guild Wars 2's megaservers will affect other features

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Better together: ArenaNet spills the beans on how Guild Wars 2's megaservers will affect other features

ArenaNet announced the Guild Wars 2 megaserver system a couple of days ago, as part of the April feature pack. It matches players from the same region with the same interests - in terms of how they play Guild Wars - and chucks them all into the same map. And if a chum is on a different map, you can just jump to their version of the world and play together. 

But a big, sweeping change like this naturally impacts other aspects of the game, such as world bosses, map events and guilds. ArenaNet has broken down how these features will evolve to make them fit with the megaserver system. 

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Guild Wars 2 megaservers will fill underpopulated maps with players from April 15

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Guild Wars 2 megaservers will fill underpopulated maps with players from April 15

For all the talk of social systems you’ll hear from designers these days, Guild Wars 2 is already the most social MMO - simply because it’ll re-level your character on the fly to suit the challenge at hand.

It’s about to get a little friend-friendlier, thanks to a new megaserver system that’s willing to partially disregard homeworlds and plonk you in the same instance as the people you’d like to be playing with.

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UNPRECEDENTED APRIL NEWS BLOWOUT: Blizzard Outcasts, Arma 3 Karts and World of Tanks: Crayfish announced

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UNPRECEDENTED APRIL NEWS BLOWOUT: Blizzard Outcasts, Arma 3 Karts and World of Tanks: Crayfish announced

What a relief! To begin a Bank Holiday Monday and be met not by a wave of snoozy out-of-office emails, but an unexpected plethora of games announcements - it's unheard of. Suspicious, almost. During what scientists predict will be a 24 hour coincidence spike, developers from around the world have chosen today to launch shock new games or declare company u-turns. I’m extraordinarily grateful.

There are really too many happenings to separate out into individual news posts, so I’ve dutifully collected them all here.

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Fancy dress: Guild Wars 2's Wardrobe System detailed

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Fancy dress: Guild Wars 2's Wardrobe System detailed

Guild Wars 2 has no dearth of exotic armours, from purely cosmetic items to adventuring gear that provides stat bonuses. The transmutation system meant that you could - at the cost of a transmutation stone - combine the stats of one item with the look of another.  But you actually had to have the items in your inventory, and it would forever take up space in your bank or bag if you intended to keep applying it every time you upgraded your gear.

An overhaul changes all of this with the introduction of the Wardrobe System, designed for all of Guild Wars fashionistas. From April 15th, a new tab will appear in the Hero Panel, one where the skin of every item you’ve unlocked has been gathered, waiting to be applied to a hideous piece of gear to make it look more presentable.  You don’t want to look like a vagrant if you’re invited to a charr tea party. 

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Guild Wars 2 to get 40 new traits via first-ever features-only update on April 15

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Guild Wars 2 to get 40 new traits via first-ever features-only update on April 15

Guild Wars 2’s year-long living story initiative, which ended with the death of antagonist Scarlet Briar just this week, has ensured the lion’s share of each bi-weekly update has belonged to new story content rather than features.

Consider April 15’s update an all-out features blowout, then: a “sweeping range" of new systems and enhancements - and in particular, traits - where previously we’ve become accustomed to a slow trickle.

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Guild Wars 2's Scarlet is dead, but her legacy remains in Aftermath

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Guild Wars 2's Scarlet is dead, but her legacy remains in Aftermath

Bugger. I already used Ding Dong The Witch is Dead this week, so I won’t be singing it in celebration of the demise of Guild Wars 2’s long-time antagonist, Scarlet Briar. After months of scheming and a tale that started over a year ago, Scarlet laid siege to Lion’s Arch and was eventually defeated. And now the citizens of Tyria are going to have to deal with the very messy aftermath. Never a moment’s peace, right? 

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Closed beta, open for business: Guild Wars 2 comes to China on March 11

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Closed beta, open for business: Guild Wars 2 comes to China on March 11

Guild Wars 2 is totally set for launch in China. It’s got the optional pre-level 1 tutorial and hint system ArenaNet wanted for it, it’s got the same one-time-fee business model, and it’s got a local manager with a fantastic first name.

“Given the game's high quality and beautiful design, compared with free-to-play and time-based pay-to-play games, this business model has the highest chance to appeal to the broadest base of players in China," said Atlantis Lai.

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While Lion's Arch burns, ArenaNet fiddles around with an interactive Guild Wars 2 atlas

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While Lion's Arch burns, ArenaNet fiddles around with an interactive Guild Wars 2 atlas

Confession time: I have a love of maps and cartography that borders on a fetish. Back before proper in-game maps were common, my study was overflowing with graph paper covered in labyrinthine mazes and maps of towns, and I often found myself ignoring school work in favour of doodling my own maps of fantasy lands plucked out of my own noggin. Right now, my mouse mat is currently a giant map of the world, and several random maps are scattered across my walls and floor. Yeah, I’ve got a problem.

So I feel confident in saying that ArenaNet is an enabler. Not only does Guild Wars 2 have an absolutely lavish map that I lose myself in every time I look at it, the developer has put up a new interactive map on its site, which is “designed to lead fans through a process of discovery that illustrates the game’s current living world storyline." The bastards.

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Lion's Arch burns in Guild Wars 2 today

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Lion's Arch burns in Guild Wars 2 today

The penultimate chapter of the Scarlet Briar arc kicks off in Guild Wars 2 today. Escape from Lion’s Arch sees the titular city under siege from Scarlet’s forces. As she attempts to burn the commercial heart of Tyria, “Guild Wars 2 will never be the same," says ArenaNet. 

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