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Guild Wars 2’s next episode adds weekly strike missions and new masteries on November 19

Episode One, Whisper in the Dark, has a release date

Guild Wars 2’s Icebrood Saga marks a new era for the venerable MMO, and while the stage has already been set, the Living World story properly kicks off next week. Episode One, Whisper in the Dark, is scheduled to launch on November 19, and developer ArenaNet has provided a fresh trailer and a breakdown of what to expect from the update.

Whisper in the Dark will take you to the Bjora Marches – judging by the trailer, you can expect a spooky frozen forest complete with mysterious and terrible monsters. The press release says that “as the Commander chases charr Imperator Bangar Ruinbringer deep into the mountains to stop him from trying to awaken the Elder Dragon Jormag, players will discover that one of the Vigil’s most distant mountain watch posts has been attacked and its inhabitants slaughtered, leaving none alive.”

The update also introduces weekly rotating strike missions, including three new bosses – Fallen, Aberrant, and Svanir abominations – that offer unique rewards. There’s also a new Ancient Boreal weapon set with two tiers of upgrades.

You’ll also find new mastery tracks appropriate to the new locale here. Raven Attunement will let you use the avian blessing to open locks, go through gates, and shield yourself, while Essence Manipulation lets you collect resilience, valor, and vigilance to exploit enemy weaknesses.

Check out the trailer above for a closer look at what to expect.

Guild Wars 2 is by now one of the most venerable MMORPGs still going, and the Icebrood Saga marks a pretty significant new course for the game. We’ll see how it pans out in the months ahead, following the first episode on November 19.