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

Scarlet Briar is no more, and so Guild Wars 2 players can look forward to a host of new features.

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.

On April 15, ArenaNet will “set the stage” for quality of life improvements across the game. They’ll begin with improvements to the trait system: beyond 40 brand new traits, there’ll be a simplified UI and newly “horizontal” progression.

The April 2014 Feature Pack is mammoth enough that ArenaNet will be rolling out the pertinent details across a series of videos, live streams, blogs and articles between now and April 15.

But we know enough to be excited: new players will no longer need to visit a profession trainer and purchase an expensive training manual to access adept, master and grandmaster trait tiers. Instead, each tier will be unlocked for free once players reach the appropriate level.

What’s more, the new traits will be more impactful – at a cost to their acquisition rate.

Players used to gain one trait point for every level up past level 10. Instead, from level 30 they’ll acquire points at a steady rate of one per six levels, until level 66: when they’ll start earning two at a time (baby).

By level 80, you can expect to have 14 points to assign instead of the customary 70. But ArenaNet reckon the payoff – those 40 new traits – will be worth it.

What do you lot reckon?