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Game Update Notes Archive: June 2005

Update: Thursday, June 30

  • Closed exploits in Snake Dance, Twin Serpent Lakes, and Riverside Province.
     
  • Fixed two rare but serious server bugs.
     
  • Fixed several rare client bugs.

Update: Wednesday, June 29

New Guild Wars PvP Reward System:

This week we're implementing a new reward system for Player vs. Player (PvP) combat. When playing in cooperative missions and in explorable areas, you will continue to earn normal experience. But when fighting in Arenas, Tournament, and Guild Battles, you will gain faction with Balthazar, the god of war, instead. Faction is shared by all characters on your account and is awarded for kills and for winning battles. Faction can be redeemed to unlock runes, weapon upgrades, and skills, which then become accessible by any new PvP Only Characters for your account.

The rate at which you gain faction will vary depending on your success and the type of PvP. The high-level arenas provide faction faster than the low level arenas. The Tournament provides faction faster than the Arenas. Because Guild Battles require the greatest amount of organization, they provide the greatest rewards. Faction rewards for guild battle victories increase with higher guild rating. Nevertheless, for all types of PvP, even if you are not victorious, you will gain faction for every enemy your team kills. (Please note: To prevent organized faction-farming, only automatic-match, rated guild battles provide faction. Also, characters who have been in a guild for less than two weeks do not gain full faction for a victory.)

Faction Rewards

  • Unique Kill: 1 in low level arenas, 2 in all other PvP types
     
  • Repeat Kill: 0
     
  • Arena Victory: 6 in Team/Competition Arenas, 2 in Shiverpeak Arena, 1 in Ascalon Arena
     
  • Tournament Victory: 20 for the first, 40 for all subsequent
     
  • Guild Victory: 200 to 500, depending on your guild rating

To redeem faction, take a roleplaying character to a Priest of Balthazar. There are Priests, each with a different list of skills to unlock, in Ascalon City, Yak's Bend, Lion's Arch, the Henge of Denravi, Amnoon Oasis, and Droknar's Forge.

Rune Unlocking

  • 1000 (Minor)
     
  • 1500 (Major)
     
  • 2000 (Superior)

Weapon Upgrade Unlocking

  • 1000 (Minimum Power)
     
  • 1000 (Maximum Power)

Skill Unlocking

  • 1000 (Basic skills)
     
  • 3000 (Elite skills)

Runes must be unlocked in order, from minor to major to superior. For weapon upgrades with variable statistics, you must unlock one lower power upgrade before unlocking the maximum power upgrade. For example, the +1 Vampiric Sword Hilt must be unlocked before you can choose a +3 Vampiric Sword Hilt as a reward. Thus, runes and weapon upgrades unlocked through cooperative play will allow you to purchase more powerful items sooner.

Other PvP changes:

  • In PvP matches, each player in the party now shares Faction Point rewards for each kill, regardless of whether the player was alive or involved in the combat.
     
  • The minimum party size for the Tournament has been increased from 5 to 8.
     
  • The survival mission that introduces the Tournament has been significantly revamped. It now consists of a single battle against the "Unworthy Dead." The more quickly your team destroys the enemy, the earlier it can advance to the next levels of the tournament. Your team's initial morale boost is determined by how quickly you defeat the enemy. There is no Faction Point reward in this mission.
     
  • If a randomly-formed party playing in the Competitive Arenas manages to win 10 times in a row, it will start being matched against players from the Team Arenas.

Other changes this week:

  • Added new quests "Caravan In Trouble" in Eastern Frontier, "Family Reunion" in Sardelac Sanitarium, "Khobay The Betrayer" and "Slaves of Menzies" in Fissure of Woe.
     
  • Added new scroll "Slayer's Insight," which gives 250% XP from combat. This effect ends if your party fails to kill a boss monster within 5 minutes.
     
  • Improved the user interface for collectors. Collectors now accurately and completely describe items that can be obtained from them.
     
  • Added a way for multiple players to more easily synchronize their emote animations. By following your emote command with a space and an asterisk, you indicate your emote should begin on the next 10 second pulse. For example, typing “/dance *” causes your character to wait until the next 10 second pulse to begin dancing. If several players do this before the next pulse, they will all begin dancing simultaneously.
     
  • Added new artwork for the Elementalist's ascended Aeromancer Armor, the Necromancer's ascended Necrotic Armor, and the Mesmer's ascended Enchanter Armor.
     
  • Added new artwork for Onyx, Obsidian, Parchment, Vellum, Vials of Ink, Spiritwood Planks, Spiderwebs, Half-Eaten Masses, and Mursaat Tokens.
     
  • Added a Guide NPC to safely lead new characters through The Breach into Piken Square.
     
  • Fixed Necrotic Traversal and Consume Corpse so that they are able to consume player corpses correctly in PvP.
     
  • Removed experience for killing animated minions.
     
  • Improved pets so that they have the equivalent of armor infusions.
     
  • Improved desert teleporters so that they now teleport nearby henchmen when a player teleports, and so that henchmen will not set off teleporters on their own.
     
  • Updated attribute quest "Forgotten Wisdom." It is now given as a quest after you complete "Forgotten One."
     
  • If a GM flags your character name as a violation of the Rules of Conduct, you will now be given the option of renaming that character.
     
  • Added an error message when two parties from the same guild attempt to issue a challenge simultaneously.
     
  • Fixed minor issues with the following quests: "Althea's Ashes," "Ascalon Settlement," "Caravan Trouble," "A Cure For Ralena," "The Last Hog," Fissure of Woe quests, "A Gift for Althea," "Defend the Crafter," "Final Blow," "Shiverpeak Stragglers," "Oswalt's Epitaph," "Hungry Devourer," "Price of Steel," "The Warrior's Path," and "Wisdom of the Druids."
     
  • Fixed a blocked teleporter in Prophet's Path.
     
  • Fixed the appearance of the PvP character creation doll so that it does not appear to hold both a two-handed weapon and a shield at the same time.
     
  • Fixed the appearance of the NPC Alari Doubleblade.
     
  • Updated the placement of items in: Salt Flats, Talus Chute, Silverwood, Witman's Folly, Perdition Rock, Reed Bog and Thirsty River.
     
  • Updated several vague or confusing skill descriptions.
     
  • Updated European and Korean translations.
     
  • Fixed miscellaneous rare crash bugs.

Update: Monday, June 27

  • Closed exploit in Seeker's Passage.

Update: Friday, June 17

  • Fixed XP exploit in Augury Rock.

Update: Thursday, June 16

  • Fixed crash bug related to language toggle key.
     
  • Fixed missing characters in large Korean font.
     
  • Fixed price of Dwarven Ale.
     
  • Fixed price of Small Girl's Cape.

Update: Wednesday, June 15

This week we made the first of several steps towards improving the process of gaining skills and skill points after ascension. In coming weeks, we will continue on this path, and will work to address the difficulty of unlocking items and runes for use in PvP.

  • Changed the XP requirements per skill point for advanced characters. Previously, the required XP kept increasing with each successive skill point, making it very difficult to continue earning skill points after taking on a new secondary profession. Now, the required XP caps out at 20,000 per skill point.
     
  • Doubled the XP gained from killing boss monsters.
     
  • Introduced rare scrolls which, when used, grant the entire party double or triple XP for a limited duration. We also added traders for these new scrolls.
     
  • Changed the XP reward for ascension. Previously, when a character ascended, he was automatically advanced to level 20, regardless of his current level. This meant that characters who had already advanced to level 20 prior to ascension received no reward for ascending. Now, ascension gives a fixed reward of 50,000 XP.
     
  • Updated secondary profession quests so that when a player accepts a new secondary profession, he now gets the starter skills for that profession.
     
  • Improved expert salvage kits so that they always successfully salvage a rune from monster-dropped armor that contains a rune. There is still a chance of destroying a rune when using a salvage kit to try to retrieve it from your own armor.
     
  • Added confirmation prompt when dragging an item to the ground during a trading session or just after a trading session, to prevent scammers from closing the trading window in the middle of a trade to try to trick their trading partners into dropping an item.
     
  • New quests: "The Ascalon Settlement" in North Kryta Province; "The Price of Steel" in Silverwood; and "The False Gods" in Temple of the Ages.
     
  • Added unique artwork for the ascended version of the Monk's Saintly Armor.
     
  • Updated the descriptions for skills Fertile Season, Balthazar's Spirit, Chimera of Intensity, Irresistible Blow, Mind Freeze, Ice Spikes, Deep Freeze, and Glyph of Energy to more accurately match the actual skill effect.
     
  • Updated mission victory conditions in Thunderhead Keep and Iron Mines of Moladune, and monster spawns in The Dragon's Lair and Ice Caves of Sorrow, to allow players to capture skills from boss monsters before completing the mission.
     
  • Updated monster and loot spawns in Sage Lands, Watchtower Coast, Frozen Forest, The Scar, Vulture Drifts, Snake Dance, and Ettin's Back, and for quests Iron Horse War Machine, The Monk's Path, and Seeking the Seer.
     
  • Fixed issues with last week's update that could cause loot drops to completely stop for some players after repeated map entries, and substantially improved the loot system so that only the most extreme forms of farming will cause monsters to start to run low on loot.
     
  • Updated boss monster spawns in various explorable areas to fix issues with boss monster distribution and balance.
     
  • Made numerous changes to the "Undead Horde" quest to add more to the storyline and environment of the quest.
     
  • Changed the "Behind Enemy Lines" quest so that Aidan uses the correct model and players have a little more time to follow him.
     
  • Increased the gold reward for completing the secondary mission in Divinity Coast.
     
  • Increased the energy increment on some Druid Leggings, so that all Druid Leggings now provide 2 additional energy.
     
  • Updated henchmen in Marhan's Grotto to use infused armor.
     
  • Updated positions and paths for NPCs in various towns and outposts to prevent NPCs from getting stuck.
     
  • Updated the Hall of Heroes so that the defender's Ghostly Hero starts on the altar.
     
  • Fixed the Sacred Temples tournament map so that it is no longer possible to pass a relic through the gate.
     
  • Fixed elemental damage in the Domain of Elements in the Dragon's Lair so that it does not damage monsters.
     
  • Fixed Forgotten Cursebearer and Forgotten Necromancer bosses so that they use their skills properly.
     
  • Fixed problem with quest "The Ambassador's Quandary."
     
  • Fixed Oink in "Gates of Kryta" so that he recognizes his owner even if another player has already completed the quest.
     
  • Made text fixes for quests "Tower of Courage," "The Elementalist's Path," and "Unsettling Rumors."
     
  • Fixed the damage ranges on Raven Staves and Ghostly Staves.
     
  • Rebalanced Blessed Griffons and Phantoms to better reflect their level.
     
  • Renamed the version of Defender's Scalp Design which provides a bonus to Smiting to Zealot's Scalp Design.
     
  • Renamed Mirror Self to Doppelganger.
     
  • Fixed teleporter effects in the Crystal Desert explorable areas.
     
  • Fixed various animation and scripting issues in cinematics.
     
  • Fixed environmental effects in The Crag.
     
  • Fixed teleporter in Vulture Drifts.
     
  • Fixed icon for Dwarven Ale so that it no longer appears as "under construction."
     
  • Fixed various icon issues in vendor windows so that icons do not appear as "under construction."
     
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Error #95 to be displayed when trying to arrange a guild battle.
     
  • Fixed a trade bug which prevented trade between two players when both tried to initiate trade at the same time.
     
  • Added a cursor for item identification.
     
  • Updated the layout of the login screen.
     
  • Enabled clicking names in whisper text.
     
  • Updated European and Korean translations.
     
  • Fixed miscellaneous rare crash bugs.
     

Update: Wednesday, June 8

This week, as part of our in continuing promise to keep Guild Wars free of hacks, cheats, and other exploits, we closed the accounts of more than 100 users of bots. With today's update we are taking further steps to address the bot problem. New changes will improve our ability to identify and ban users of bots, rebalance mission areas that were highly exploited by bots, and reduce the overall effectiveness of bots, exploits, and other highly repetitive forms of gold and item farming. We are taking these steps to improve the game for all players, so that people using bots to farm gold cannot generate a huge influx of new gold into the economy, which increases prices for everyone and encourages other players to engage in repetitive farming just to keep up.

We know that some players currently engage in repetitive farming activities for the primary purpose of unlocking skills and items for PvP. Rather than preserving the effectiveness of farming for this purpose, it is our intention to address the larger issue of the need for farming by assessing how players acquire and unlock items, runes, and skills, and then by taking steps to ensure that players can acquire and unlock these things through normal gameplay. We believe that the most effective way to play the game should also be the most fun way to play the game. You can expect to see the first meaningful changes towards this goal next week.

This week's other improvements:

  • Changed Signet of Capture so that it now targets dead boss monsters. When you use the signet, you are presented with a menu of all of the dead boss monster's skills, and can capture any skill of your choice. This eliminates the need to keep boss monsters alive while trying to capture their skills, and will substantially reduce the difficulty of capturing certain skills that are rarely cast by boss monsters.
     
  • Added rune traders. Be aware that these traders specifically deal with already-identified runes, so runes you buy from them are for the purpose of wearing, not unlocking.
     
  • Added traders for rare crafting materials.
     
  • Added magical bonuses to a number of quest and collector items.
     
  • Improved the guild matching system so that top-ranked guilds can find opponents more readily.
     
  • Improved Tournament and Team Arenas so that if a player drops out during a mission, that player will be replaced by a henchman for the next mission.
     
  • Improved drops of Obsidian Shards in The Fissure of Woe.
     
  • Changed the way armor infusion quests work. The seer now infuses all of your currently worn pieces of armor, but the infusion effect is slightly reduced in power in order to preserve the intended challenge of the following missions.
     
  • Fixed Henchmen AI to prevent Henchmen from running off after a party respawn.
     
  • Fixed skills Vengeance and Unyielding Aura so that the effects after resurrection work properly again. These skills were inadvertently broken by last week's update.
     
  • Fixed skill Enervating Charge to correctly deal armor piercing damage.
     
  • Fixed skill Wild Blow so that it correctly ignores attempts to Block or Evade.
     
  • Fixed skill Feral Lunge duration of bleeding effect.
     
  • Added Dwarven Ale for sale on Dwarven Merchants.
     
  • Added more storage agents to Droknar's Forge and Arena outposts.
     
  • Added the option of attaching Collectors Edition account keys onto existing retail accounts to unlock the Divine Aura.
     
  • Updated the user interface so that platinum pieces are clearly separated from gold. Previously various interface elements would incorrectly display "1000 gold pieces;" now they will display "1 platinum piece."
     
  • Updated health bar positions on many monsters to more closely track the monster.
     
  • Updated boss monsters Thul Boulderrain and Eater of Souls to use the correct glow color.
     
  • Changed the appearance of collector NPCs in many Crystal Desert maps.
     
  • Adjusted monster spawns in Talmark Wilderness, Ettin's Back, Ice Caves of Sorrow, Riverside Province, Sanctum Cay, Majesty's Rest, Stingray Strand, Nebo Terrace, The Arid Sea, Prophet's Path, The Scar, and rebalanced spawns of Caromi Tengu throughout Kryta.
     
  • Increased reward for quest "The Villainy of Galrath" from 500 XP to 4000 XP.
     
  • Fixed loot problems in quests "The Undead Hordes," "The Last Hog," and "White Mantle Wrath: A Helping Hand."
     
  • Fixed quest drops in quest "Blood and Smoke."
     
  • Fixed the countdown timer in Elona's Reach so that it now begins after the cinematic.
     
  • Fixed fame in the Tomb of Primeval Kings so that it is granted starting from the first competitive victory.
     
  • Fixed inability to trade bags. Unequipped bags can now be traded.
     
  • Fixed an error that prevented characters from continuing to play after reaching level 15 in pre-searing Ascalon.
     
  • Updated European and Korean translations.
     
  • Made minor tweaks and improvements to a variety of NPC AI scripts.
     
  • Fixed miscellaneous rare crash bugs.
     

Update: Wednesday, June 1

  • Added language-specific districts to European servers. There are now different districts for each supported language: English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Players are placed by default into the district that matches their current language preference, but can still travel freely to any available district or to the International District.
     
  • Added requirement for a guild officer to be present to initiate or accept a guild battle. This can help guilds protect their rating by removing the potential for malicious or careless actions on the part of a guild member.
     
  • Added more boss-monster locations to high-level maps to make it easier for players to acquire elite skills.
     
  • Assured that the skills Battle Rage, Crippling Shot, Defy Pain, Punishing Shot, and Warriors Endurance are now used more frequently by the boss monsters that carry the skills, to make them easier to capture.
     
  • Added new art for unidentified salvaged runes so that the profession and rune quality are displayed. Identifying the rune is still required to learn the rune's attribute and to unlock the rune. This change only impacts newly salvaged runes.
     
  • Assured that all uncommon and rare armor drops have an unlockable ability.
     
  • Assured that rare armor drops will always have either a major or superior rune, not a minor rune.
     
  • Assured that NPC traders, whose price fluctuates according to market demand, will always pay at least the vendor value for an item.
     
  • Assured that Celestial Sigils now have an inherent value of 1 platinum piece, which allows them to be sold at vendors.
     
  • Assured that armor provided by collectors can now be salvaged.
     
  • Added a new "/rank" emote for players who are rank 9 or higher.
     
  • Improved Henchmen in missions beyond Iron Mines of Moladune. They now have three pieces of armor infused instead of one.
     
  • Improved or clarified secondary missions in D'Alessio Seaboard, Divinity Coast, Augury Rock, Thirsty River, Ice Caves of Sorrow, Thunderhead Keep, Ring of Fire, Abaddon's Mouth, Hell's Precipice.
     
  • Increased the gold reward in Divinity Coast that is given for protecting the Chosen.
     
  • Improved the ambient ongoing fight in the D'Alessio Seaboard outpost.
     
  • Doubled the duration of the buff that Vizier Khilbron gives to players in certain missions, from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
     
  • Updated monster and loot balance in Perdition Rock, Vulture Drifts, Prophet's Path, the southern Shiverpeak region, and Hell's Precipice.
     
  • Made improvements to various mission start locations, NPC locations, gates, levers, and bridges.
     
  • Made improvements to various map click points and thumbnails.
     
  • Fixed issues with quests "Defend The Temple of War," "Hungry Devourer," "Supplies For The Duke," "Army Life," "Duke Ambush," and "To Kryta".
     
  • Fixed the glow color of several boss monsters in Crystal Desert and Perdition Rock to match their skills.
     
  • Improved AL on Elementalist Leggings crafted in Quarrel Falls from 30 to 39.
     
  • Renamed "Raw Cloth" to "Cloth."
     
  • Renamed "Enchanted Lodestones" found in post-searing Ascalon to "Scorched Lodestones."
     
  • Removed the ability to dye certain non-equippable items such as crafting materials.
     
  • Fixed skill Winter so that all elemental damage is converted to cold.
     
  • Fixed skill Feral Lunge duration of bleeding effect.
     
  • Fixed skill Spiteful Spirit so that it deals damage when the target uses a skill.
     
  • Fixed skill Fevered Dreams so that it does not affect non-foe targets in response to unsourced condition effects.
     
  • Fixed skill Essence Bond to eliminate the rare incorrect triggering on physical damage.
     
  • Fixed skill Life Bond so that it always deals the correct damage type.
     
  • Fixed skill descriptions for Healing Signet, Balthazar's Spirit, Putrid Explosion, Defensive Stance, Symbol of Wrath, and Desperation Blow, so that the descriptions more accurately match the actual effect of the skill.
     
  • Updated Alt keydown functionality to additionally display henchman names in town.
     
  • Added overhead chat bubbles for team chat (except in competitive missions, where there are no chat bubbles).
     
  • Updated auto-run functionality so that players will auto-run when clicking an NPC in the world but not when clicking an NPC in the party allies window.
     
  • Updated European and Korean translations.
     
  • Updated Korean character naming rules.
     
  • Updated art for Geomancer's armor. This is the first of several updates over the coming weeks that will provide unique art for each ascended armor set, such as Enchanter's, Tormentor's, Necrotic, Aeromancer's, Saintly, Gladiator's, and Druid's armor sets.
     
  • Changed the "Delete Character" dialog to allow the deletion of old characters whose names do not conform to current naming rules. A previous bug prevented the deletion of characters whose names were created under old naming rules and no longer conformed to current naming rules.
     
  • Fixed a bug preventing alternate characters from logging on when one character on the account was blocked.
     
  • Fixed Lightning Drakes' air magic ability.
     
  • Fixed miscellaneous rare crash bugs.