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Guild Wars Game Update Notes - April 2009

Update - Tuesday, April 28

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Heroes to charm the Rainbow Phoenix.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from placing Zaishen Coins in storage.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the icon art for the Keg of Aged Hunter's Ale from displaying properly.
Miscellaneous
  • The "/roll" command can no longer be used on PvP maps.

Update - Thursday, April 23

Fourth Anniversary Update: Major Content and Feature Additions

Our goal for the Fourth Anniversary Update is to deepen and enhance replayability of the game with a variety of features aimed at satisfying the full spectrum of Guild Wars players. For example, we wanted to give new purpose and rewards to existing content, so we added a new system of cycling Zaishen Challenge Quests and the Traveler to encourage players to experience the different types of available content in a whole new light. We've also designed an elaborate unlocking system for every pet in the game, making it possible for you to accumulate unlocked pets and swap them out for different builds and gameplay types. As the demand on inventory space increases with all the new content being added to the game since our last storage update, we have increased your storage potential with the creation of Equipment Packs and additional Xunlai Storage panes available in the In-Game and NCsoft Stores. In the same vein, the Hall of Monuments has been made account-based to make the accumulation of titles and other accomplishments more smoothly available to multiple characters on an account. As you play these characters more and more, you might be looking for a way to freshen up their look beyond just getting a new set of armor, so we have added a whole new way to do this with Makeover Credits that have been added to the In-Game and NCsoft Stores. These Credits are redeemable at a [Stylist] NPC who deepens your ability to truly customize a character by allowing you to mix aesthetic features from ALL campaigns, something which is not possible through character creation.

The Live Team has been working nonstop to make these new features a reality, and we're incredibly happy to finally reveal everything we've done. Instead of releasing a typical Developer Update article, we're explaining all the exciting new content in a series of detailed gameplay web pages. You can find the links to those pages in the update notes below, as well as a summary of each updated game feature.

Read on for more information!


Equipment Pack

Each character has been given a 5th bag slot reserved for the Equipment Pack. These new bags will save you oodles of storage space and give you a way to keep your weapons and armor divided from your other loot. These bags:

  • Hold only weapons and armor.
  • Come in four sizes:
    • 5-slot bags are available in Pre-Searing Ascalon in exchange for a treat for Professor Yakkington, for a nominal fee of gold at various merchants across all campaigns, or for Zaishen Coins at a new Zaishen Rewards NPC in Great Temple of Balthazar.
    • 10, 15, and 20-slot bags are available in exchange for Zaishen Coins at a Zaishen Rewards NPC in Great Temple of Balthazar.

See the gameplay article for more details.


Xunlai Storage

To provide you with access to even more storage space, Xunlai Storage Panes are now available for purchase in the In-Game Store and the NCsoft Store.

  • Xunlai Storage Panes each add an additional 20 slots of storage space to your Xunlai Chest. These panes can be used by any character on your account that has access to your storage chest.
  • You can now purchase up to 4 additional panes of storage from the In-Game Store and the NCsoft Store.

See the Storage FAQ for more details.


Zaishen Challenge Quests

Every day, we challenge you with different objectives from all over the world, running the gamut from missions to bounties to PvP. Each day, these quests have you play in a specific area for each of the three formats. We believe this will encourage players to group up with those in the area attempting to complete this common goal of getting rewarded for that day's Challenge Quest. Zaishen Challenge Quests have a variety of rewards, including the new Zaishen Coins, a new form of currency taken by Zaishen Rewards NPCs.

  • Pick up your Zaishen Challenge Quests in the Great Temple of Balthazar.
  • Your Quest Log can only hold three of each type of Zaishen Challenge Quests.
  • Three quest types are offered each day:
    • Mission completion. Finish storyline missions for the Zaishen.
    • Bounties. Hunt down and kill evil bosses from around the world!
    • Combat. Battle it out in different arenas and triumph over other players.
  • Each quest has one Base Objective, which is required to complete the quest and rewards you with experience, gold, faction, title points, and Zaishen Coins. Quests may also have one or more optional Bonus Objectives, which reward extra Zaishen Coins.
  • Zaishen Coins:
    • Come in copper, silver, and gold denominations.
    • Are only awarded for completing Zaishen Challenge Quests.
    • Are not tradeable to other players, but can be passed to other characters on your account through the Xunlai Storage Vault.
    • Can be used to buy items like the Equipment Packs from Zaishen Rewards NPCs in the Great Temple of Balthazar.
    • Can be used to unlock pets for your Zaishen Menagerie collection.

See the gameplay article for more details about Zaishen Challenge Quests and Coins.


Zaishen Menagerie

Arcane Mages of the Zaishen Order have been hard at work on the island of the Heroes' Ascent volcano. Terraforming magics learned from the hedge wizards of Vabbi have allowed the Zaishen to create a sanctuary and breeding ground for many of the charmable animals from around the world. They fund the sanctuary and their study of these animals by allowing adventurers to build their own collection of charmable animals to be cared for in the Menagerie Grounds. By unlocking a pet for your collection, you will then be able to recharm that tier of animal any time you wish by visiting the Zaishen Menagerie Grounds. As part of this service, the Zaishen Trainers have developed evolutions of certain rare animals that have never been seen in the wild, and they've even recovered a small amount of extremely rare Moss Spider eggs to be trained as a charmable pet for the first time. The Moss Spider is best known for being native to Ascalon before the Searing, and until now was believed to be extinct.

  • The Zaishen Menagerie is an outpost, located in the Battle Isles next to Heroes' Ascent. Speak with Gate Guard Hirvela to enter the Menagerie Grounds.
  • All characters on your account share a Menagerie collection.
  • Unlock seven different tiers of level and evolution for every charmable animal in the game.
  • Unlock a pet by bringing your charmed animals to Emryd the Tamer, or visit Helena [Zaishen Keeper] to unlock them with Balthazar Faction or Zaishen Coins.
  • Only charmable animals from campaigns you own are unlockable via the Zaishen Keeper.
  • The menagerie is your own area--only you and your Heroes can enter.
  • Once you've unlocked a pet, you'll see charmable level 5 versions of that pet roaming the grounds. Higher-level versions and special evolutions of your pets are also available from Wynn [Zaishen Training Captain].
  • Purchase an unlock pack from our In-Game Store or the NCsoft Store. The unlock pack adds the non-prestige pets from all campaigns to your collection.

See the gameplay article for more details.


Nicholas The Traveler

The rumors aren't true, Nicholas Sandford survived the Searing! He may look a little aged since the last time you saw him, but Nicholas and his trusty companion, Professor Yakkington, are finally coming out of hiding. Having dropped his last name in favor of the moniker "the Traveler," Nicholas has mourned in seclusion over the loss of his family, friends, and beloved Mary Malone long enough. He has traveled the globe, gathering up a hefty supply of exotic and unique new items to put in his Gift of the Traveler, which he trades for materials, trophies, and other items he desires. Each week, Nicholas and the Professor will change location to a different explorable area in Tyria, Cantha, or Elona. In each location he will want something different for one of his Gifts. He is out there in the world right now; do you have the stamina to find him?

  • The Traveler changes location at the end of each weekend.
  • Each account can get up to 5 Gifts of the Traveler each week.
  • The Traveler gives his Gifts in exchange for the items he desires that week. The item he seeks will change depending on his location in the world.
  • Gifts of the Traveler hold many new and exclusive items, but you'll just have to open one to see what they are.

See the gameplay article for more details.


Hall of Monuments: Now Account-Wide

Our previously announced plans for the Hall of Monuments to be an account-wide feature have come to fruition, and then some!

  • Switch between your Character and Account views by speaking with Kimmes the Historian in the Hall of Monuments.
  • Added the ability to specify the displayed achievements for each monument.
  • Added the ability to replay the cinematic view of a monument.

Accomplishments will automatically be added to your account the next time you log in with any character that has a displayed an achievement in the Hall of Monuments.

See the gameplay article for more details.


New Character Customizations

The ability to change a character's look once created is a luxury we've never had. Now you will not only be able to freshen up the look of a character you have been staring at for years, but you'll actually be able to mix and match aesthetic features from all campaigns, giving you a multitude of new combinations that aren't available during character creation! To prepare for this new feature, we've had to reorganize the way characters' appearance data is stored. As such, the first time you view your characters at the character selection screen, they won't look the way you remember them. Never fear! To update your character selection screen's display, you need only log in on each character, and they will be viewed correctly from here on out.

  • Preview your new look! Speak with Anatomical Engineer Llye [Stylist] in the Great Temple of Balthazar to check out all the options for redoing your character.
  • The Stylist allows you to mix and match aesthetic features from different campaigns, creating hundreds of combinations which are not available at character creation.
  • Change your character's hair style, hair color, face, skin color, and/or body scale with Makeover Credits, or all of those plus gender with Extreme Makeover Credits, at the Stylist.
  • Buy your Makeover Credits and Extreme Makeover Credits at the In-Game Store and the NCsoft Store. Makeover Credits are sold in packs of 5, and Extreme Makeover Credits are sold individually.
  • Each Makeover Credit allows you to change one character's hair style, hair color, face, skin color, and/or body scale.
  • Each Extreme Makeover Credit allows you to change one character's gender, as well as the Makeover options of hair style, hair color, face, skin color, and/or body scale.
  • Character Name Changes are now available at the In-Game Store and the NCsoft Store.

See the gameplay article for more details.


Bug Fixes
  • Fixed description for Piercing Trap so it no longer refers to Cracked Armor as "Cracked Armored".
  • Fixed description for Weapon of Warding [PvE] so it no longer inaccurately states that the skill ends if target ally attacks.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to bypass the 5 Gift account limit per day from Nicholas Sandford in Pre-Searing.
  • Fixed a bug which caused Red Iris Flowers to drop in Pre-Searing Ascalon with much less frequency than originally intended.

Miscellaneous
  • The Miniature Greased Lightning is now Green Rarity.
  • Charm Animal: changed functionality to "Charm target animal. Once charmed, your animal companion will travel with you whenever you have Charm Animal equipped. (Cannot charm animals 4 or more levels higher than you.)"

Update - Thursday, April 9

Updated Zaishen Rewards
  • Updated Zaishen Chest drops to replace Abyssal Tonic with a new tonic for the month of April. More information on Zaishen Rewards can be found here.
Automated Tournaments
  • Updated Automated Tournament map rotations.
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Elder Crocodiles to be charmed in Arbor Bay and Verdant Cascades.
Miscellaneous
  • Xunlai Tournament Agents now offer prizes for the March tournament. These agents can be found in the Great Temple of Balthazar, Lion's Arch, Kaineng Center, and Kamadan.

Update - Wednesday, April 1

Bug Fix
  • Fixed a bug that prevented some text in the Hall of Monuments from displaying properly.

Update - Wednesday, April 1

Skill Updates

For more information on these changes, please see the Developer Updates page.

PvE and PvP
Assassin
  • Scorpion Wire: no longer has half-range. Changed functionality to: "Target foe is teleported to your location and knocked down."
  • Shroud of Silence: changed functionality to: "For 5..20 seconds, target player cannot send chat messages."
Dervish
  • Increased duration of all Avatar skills to 40..70 seconds.
  • Avatar of Grenth: changed functionality to: "For 10..90 seconds, your attacks steal 1..2 enchantments from any foe you hit and apply those enchantments to you."
Elementalist
  • Sandstorm: now deals 10..30 more damage if the caster is standing in a sandy area.
  • Searing Flames: removed Burning condition.
Mesmer
  • No changes.
Monk
  • Ray of Judgment: Removed Burning condition, increased damage to 10..90.
Necromancer
  • Animate Flesh Golem: removed the single-golem limit.
Paragon
  • Fallback!": Now ends if target ally is not moving away from a foe.
  • "Incoming!": Now ends if target ally is not moving away from a foe.
  • "It's Just a Flesh Wound!": This skill can now be used while dead.
  • "The Power is Yours!": changed functionality to: "Sacrifice all Health. Until resurrected, 5 nearby party members gain +1..5 Earth Magic, +1..5 Fire Magic, +1..5 Air Magic, +1..5 Water Magic, or +1..5 Healing Prayers."
Ranger
  • Beast Mastery: pets now have a chance of ignoring commands unless their master has a higher Beast Mastery rank than the pet's level.
  • Equinox: Exhaustion duration is now based on the time of day.
Ritualist
  • Signet of Ghostly Might: reverted functionality to: "For 10 seconds, target ally or foe does +10..35 damage. When this skill ends, that target is slain."
  • Spawning Power: Weapon skills now last 50% longer for each rank of Spawning Power.
Warrior
  • Bull's Charge: functionality changed to: "You Shadow Step to target foe and knock them down."
  • Dwarven Battle Stance: duration is now based on the user's height.
  • Gladiator's Defense: duration is now doubled in Random and Team Arenas.
Guild Battles
  • Guild Battle NPCs now respawn at regular intervals until the Guild Lord is slain.
Miscellaneous
  • Removed the Lucky Aura effect from the Lunar Fortune item.
  • On a direct hit, the Zaishen rank emote now deals minor damage based on the user's rank and knocks the target down.
  • Characters suffering from Blind cannot see distant enemies.
  • Characters suffering from Dazed will now spin in place. The camera is locked for the duration of the effect.
  • Introduced a new Cartographer title for the Battle Isles.