Game updates/20061025

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[edit] Update - Wednesday October 25

[edit] New Features of Guild Wars Nightfall

Today we are publishing the new features of Guild Wars Nightfall in anticipation of the campaign's release this Friday, October 27 at 12:01 am PDT. Players won't be able to acquire Heroes or participate in Hero Battles until they can play through the Nightfall campaign, but many of the other features of Nightfall are available today as free updates.

[edit] Skills and Attributes

  • Skill selection, attribute adjustment, and secondary profession selection are now centralized on the new Skills and Attributes panel.
  • Your characters can now change their secondary professions whenever they are standing in a town or outpost. PvP characters can change to any secondary profession, while Roleplaying characters can change to any profession that character has previously learned.
  • You can now save and load templates containing Skill Bar setup, attributes, and professions. This allows you to switch a character between different roles quickly, and to share your strategies with your friends.
  • To save a Skill Template, click the disk icon inside the Skills and Attributes panel, then click “Save to Template.” The template will be saved to a small file in the Templates/Skills folder below the Guild Wars installation directory. You can copy this file to other computers, share it with your friends, or post it on the Internet.
  • To load a Skill Template, click the disk icon, then click “Load from Template.” You can load any template that matches your character’s primary profession.
  • If your character doesn't have as many attribute points as the character who saved the template, the attribute levels will automatically be adjusted down for you.
  • If your character doesn't have access to skills that were saved in the template, those skills will appear grayed out.

[edit] Equipment Templates

  • PvP characters can now save and load Equipment Templates containing a complete set of armor and weapon selections.
  • To save an Equipment Template, click the disk icon inside the Inventory panel, then click “Save to Template.” The template will be saved to a small file in the Templates/Equipment folder below the Guild Wars installation directory.
  • To load an Equipment Template, click the disk icon, then click “Load from Template.” You can load any template that matches your character’s primary profession.
  • Loading a template will replace your character’s current weapons and armor, unless your character is using weapons or armor that were acquired through roleplaying.
  • If you load a template that uses item upgrades that are not currently available on your account, the items that require those upgrades will not be created.

[edit] Equipment Builder

  • Equipment can be made for any PvP character, including PvP Heroes, using the new PvP Equipment panel.
  • You can open the PvP Equipment panel whenever your PvP character is standing in a town or outpost by clicking on the PvP Equipment button within the Inventory panel or by pressing “J” on your keyboard.
  • To create an item, click on the portrait of the character you would like to build the item for, then select the tab for the type of item you would like to create. Choose the item, upgrade components, and color from the list of available selections.
  • If you would like the item to be equipped immediately, select the “Equip Immediately” option before clicking “Create.” The new item will be placed onto your character, and the old item that your character was previously wearing will be destroyed. If you choose not to equip immediately, the new item will be placed into your character’s inventory instead.
  • Items created with the PvP Equipment panel cannot be upgraded or salvaged.

[edit] Armor Insignias

  • New armor crafted in Elona or through the PvP Equipment panel can contain swappable insignias, which provide the same types of bonuses that previously were permanent parts of the armor, plus new bonuses that are being introduced with Nightfall.
  • With the use of armor insignias, you can now mix and match different armor bonuses with different armor appearances. Additionally, the use of insignias simplifies the process of creating armor with the PvP Equipment panel because you can choose the armor appearance and bonus separately.
  • Outside of the PvP Equipment panel, you can only place an insignia on a piece of armor if that armor has a blank insignia slot. Certain types of armor crafted in Elona include blank insignia slots.
  • Like other types of armor upgrades, insignias must be unlocked on your account before you can use them in the PvP Equipment panel. Because some insignias are replacements for bonuses that used to be inherent properties of PvP armor, those insignias are already unlocked on your account.
  • Because insignias allow you to place bonuses on certain types of headgear that could not receive bonuses in the past, some existing high-end headgear from Tyria and Cantha is being updated with this build to include new bonuses.

[edit] Weapon Inscriptions

  • New weapons found in Elona or created through the PvP Equipment panel can contain swappable inscriptions, which provide a variety of weapon bonuses and enhancements.
  • Like armor insignias, weapon inscriptions allow you to swap bonuses between different items you acquire by playing through the roleplaying content, and they simplify the process of creating items with the PvP Equipment panel by enabling you to choose the base weapon and the weapon bonuses separately.
  • You can only place an inscription in a weapon if that weapon has a blank inscription slot. Inscriptions and inscription slots are sometimes found on rare weapons dropped by monsters in Elona.
  • Inscriptions must be unlocked on your account before you can use them in the PvP Equipment panel. Inscriptions that provide bonuses that were previously inherent bonuses of PvP weapons are already unlocked on your account.

[edit] New Item Upgrades

  • Shields, wands, and focus items created through the PvP Equipment panel or found in Elona can now have upgrades applied to them.
  • Shields can have a Shield Handle upgrade plus one inscription.
  • Wands can have a Wand Wrapping upgrade plus one inscription.
  • Focus items can have a Focus Core upgrade plus one inscription.
  • These new upgrades are equivalent in power to inherent item bonuses that were found in previous campaigns.

[edit] New Salvage/Upgrade System

  • Salvaging an item with upgrade components now gives you the ability to pick which item you would like to salvage.
  • If you salvage an item to extract a magical component, there is now a 50 percent chance that the base item will not be destroyed.
  • When you upgrade an item with an upgrade component, you now see a preview of what that item will look like after the upgrade.

[edit] New Dye System

  • The new dye system improves the appearance of base dye colors and mixed dye colors. The new system is used when you newly apply dye to an item. Existing item colors are not affected.
  • Newly crafted armor now starts out gray. If you dye it to another color and then later want to restore it to its original appearance, just dye it gray. Vendors now sell gray dye instead of dye remover.
  • White and brown dye colors are now available as loot drops.
  • Silver is now an equipment color option during character creation.
  • A new Dye Preview panel lets you preview the effect of dye color combinations on your items before applying the dye.

[edit] New Damage Interface

  • The new Damage Monitor panel shows all skills that your opponents have recently used against you. You can hover the mouse over any skill icon to get a tooltip explaining that skill.
  • The numbers that float above characters’ heads are now bigger, and use different animations to help distinguish between damage, healing, and experience.
  • When an enemy uses a skill against you, the skill icon will display next to the damage number. The Options panel allows you to switch from displaying skill icons to displaying skill names.

[edit] PvP-Only Character Creation

  • The PvP character creation process has been simplified. During character creation, you now choose only the character's primary profession, character appearance, and name.
  • Newly created PvP characters start off with a set of equipment and six basic skills for their primary profession, so you can start playing immediately.
  • To outfit your PvP character with other skills and equipment, you can use the new Skill and Equipment Templates systems.
  • So that your PvP characters have immediate access to skill and equipment swapping, new PvP characters you create now start in the Great Temple of Balthazar once you have unlocked Random Arenas on your account.
  • You can still access Zaishen Basic Training by walking from the Great Temple back into the Isle of the Nameless and talking with the Master of Paths.
  • First-time PvP players must complete Zaishen Basic Training to gain access to the Random Arenas and to gain the ability to purchase unlocks from the Priest of Balthazar.

[edit] Balthazar's Faction

  • The rate of Balthazar's faction has been doubled for all types of PvP!
  • In high-level arenas, players now earn 40 faction per unique kill, 50 faction for winning, 50 faction for a flawless victory, and 50 faction for a five-game winning streak.
  • In Heroes' Ascent, players now earn 40 faction per unique kill, 200–800 faction for winning (depending on the map), and 200 faction for a flawless victory.
  • In Guild Combat, players now earn 40 faction per unique kill, 1,000–4,000 faction for winning (depending on their guild rating), and 200–800 faction for a flawless victory (depending on their guild rating).
  • In Alliance Battles and Competitive Missions, players now earn 6 faction per kill.

[edit] Henchmen Controls

  • Henchmen controls are now available on the Compass. To direct your henchmen, click the Henchmen button on the Compass, then click anywhere on the Compass or in the world to select where you’d like your henchmen to go.

[edit] Improved Hero/Henchmen AI

  • Heroes and Henchmen now take into account Conditions and Exhaustion when choosing which skills to cast. They also consider attribute levels for stolen skills, and combo states for Assassin skills.
  • They have improved combo awareness for some important skill combinations.
  • They have improved knowledge of skills, so that they make smarter decisions about which skills to cast.
  • They manage their Energy better.
  • They are better at kiting opponents.
  • They are better at getting out and staying out of AoE damage spells.
  • They move in formation around their leader, with melee characters in front and ranged or casting characters in back.
  • They follow their leader whenever they haven't been specifically directed to move to a point. The leader for Heroes is the player who owns the Hero, and the leader for henchmen is the party leader.
  • They also know how to have fun.

[edit] Improved Monster AI

  • Monsters no longer run from AoE damage when they are very healthy, or when they think they're very close to killing their opponent.
  • Melee monsters are more intelligent about keeping themselves spread out, so that they don't put themselves into a position where they're highly susceptible to AoE attacks.

[edit] Gameplay Changes

  • The rarity of items within locked chests is now properly randomized.
  • Armor swapping is now disabled during PvP games.
  • Certain situations that caused players to get stuck and not be able to move have been fixed, and a new command “/stuck” has been introduced to help players free their characters if they become stuck.

[edit] Title System Changes

  • The Treasure Hunter and Seeker of Wisdom titles now confer a benefit to players who earn them. For each rank of either title earned, the chance of an item not being destroyed when salvaging a magical upgrade component is increased by 3 percent from a base of 50 percent.
  • The Hero, Gladiator, and Champion titles now confer a benefit to players who earn them. Gaining ranks in these titles increases the maximum cap of unspent Balthazar's faction. The cap increases by 2,000 faction points for each of the first five ranks of the Hero title and 5,000 faction points for each subsequent rank, and the cap increases by 5,000 faction points for each rank of the Gladiator and Champion titles earned.

[edit] Materials Storage

  • The Materials Storage panel, which was previously a feature of Guild Wars Factions, is now available to all players.

[edit] User Interface Improvements

  • While forming a party, you can now control+click on your Skill Bar to announce your skill setup to your party members.
  • Called targets now remain active for up to 30 seconds after being attacked by their caller, and do not go away when the caller changes targets.
  • During Guild Combat, a countdown timer now displays the amount of time remaining until the team that holds the shrine will gain a morale boost.
  • In all types of PvP, the new score screen option “Team Status” shows a summary of the Health and morale of your entire team, including allied NPCs.
  • A new option “Hide UI” on the login screen allows you to use the login screen as a screensaver. The client continues to download game assets in the background while in screensaver mode.
  • The text and audio languages can now be independently selected in the Options panel.
  • Other new options enable you to keep windows open when pressing escape, to disable tooltips on Skill Bars, and to disable tooltips on effect monitors.

[edit] Equipment Balance Changes

  • Reduced the cost of all armor sets found on Shing Jea Island.
  • Updated the Henge of Denravi Axe to have +5 inherent Energy instead of +25 inherent Health.
  • Updated the Henge of Denravi Bow to have +5 inherent Energy instead of +10 inherent armor.
  • Updated some Fiery Flame Spitters that had a 15% recharge chance instead of the normal 10% chance.
  • Green item staffs, crafted staffs, and collector staffs with any sort of recharge bonus have been updated to reduce the recharge time of all spells with a chance of 20% instead of the attribute-specific bonuses they had previously.
  • Updated a sword received from a quest in pre-Searing Ascalon to remove the inherent +5 armor while enchanted bonus. It now deals an additional 15% damage while Health is above 50.
  • Updated the Warrior’s Dreadnought and Dragon armor suits to +10 vs. elemental to match how the armor bonus works under the new insignia system.
  • Updated the Warrior’s Sentinel armor suit to +20 vs. elemental (req. 13 Strength) to match how the armor bonus works under the new insignia system.
  • Updated the Necromancer’s Tormentor armor suit to add 6 holy damage on the chest, 4 on the leggings, and 2 on all other pieces. It was previously 5 damage for all pieces.
  • Updated the Assassin’s Saboteur, Infiltrator, and Vanguard armor suits to have +10 armor vs. all physical damage and an additional +10 armor vs. a specific type of physical damage. The Condition reduction bonuses were removed to match how the bonuses work under the new insignia system.
  • Updated all instances of Stonefist Gauntlets to remove the -5 armor penalty to match how the bonus works under the new insignia system.
  • Updated all instances of the Lieutenant's Helm to remove the -10 armor vs. physical penalty to match how the bonus works under the new insignia system.
  • Updated maximum level headgear found in Prophecies and Factions with a +1 Energy bonus to equalize it with possibilities found in Nightfall and at the new PvP Equipment panel. Warrior headgear that already had built-in armor bonuses will remain unaffected.

[edit] Skill Balance Changes

[edit] Assassin

[edit] Elementalist

[edit] Mesmer

[edit] Monk

  • Bane Signet Bane Signet: decreased casting time to 1 second.
  • Peace and Harmony Peace and Harmony: decreased recharge time to 10 seconds.
  • Ray of Judgment Ray of Judgment: decreased casting time to 1 second.
  • Smite Smite: this skill is now a spell instead of an attack.
  • Spirit Bond Spirit Bond: expires after 10 attacks or Spells.
  • Succor Succor: decreased Energy cost to 5.
  • Watchful Spirit Watchful Spirit: decreased recharge time to 5 seconds.
  • Zealot's Fire Zealot's Fire: decreased casting time to .25 seconds, decreased recharge time to 30 seconds. You now lose 1 Energy whenever this skill triggers.

[edit] Necromancer

[edit] Ranger

  • Archer's Signet Archer's Signet: increased number of bow attacks affected to 1..7.
  • Call of Protection Call of Protection: increased damage reduction to 5..20.
  • Concussion Shot Concussion Shot: decreased recharge time to 5 seconds.
  • Debilitating Shot Debilitating Shot: reduced Energy reduction to -1..10. This skill now falls under the Marksmanship attribute.
  • Dual Shot Dual Shot: increased recharge time to 10 seconds.
  • Heal as One Heal as One: decreased recharge time to 10 seconds. This skill now resurrects your pet.
  • Marksman's Wager Marksman's Wager: increased duration to 18 seconds.
  • Run as One Run as One: decreased recharge time to 25 seconds.
  • Expertise: For each rank of Expertise, the Energy cost of all of your attacks, Rituals, touch skills, and Rangers skills are decreased by 4%. Several skills, especially those related to Energy costs and skill recharge times, become more effective with higher Expertise.

[edit] Warrior

[edit] Start of Halloween Event

When the moon shines down on the Elon
Like the eye of a ravenous drake
Keep a lantern close by and the darkness at bay
For on this holiday night, they say
A spirit returns, pumpkin on head
Wicked deeds (and bad jokes) will abound
He'll bluster and shout
Spread chaos about
'till a banishment for his mischief be found
Heed my tale, ye brave heroes
From lands north and south
Listen wherefore I say:
Bind your sanity close, lest you lose what you love most
When the monarch of madness appears.
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