All crafting professions in Guild Wars 2 are going to rise from 400 to 500 this year, according to game director Colin Johanson. It means you'll be able to make your own ascended gear.
You'll need high-tier materials made by combining low-tier materials in order to do so, mind you, and you'll only be able to make items once per day. But still: nifty.
Champion-level opponents will soon be guaranteed to drop reward boxes containing things like crafting materials as well as skill points, skins and lodestones. You'll also be able to earn new account-bound crafting materials for achieving objectives in PVE or WVW play.
There will be new types of legendary weapons and gear added this year, and you'll be able to build precursor items for them using increased crafting ability. You'll be able to change legendary items' stats outside of combat without transmuting them. But legendary items will strictly remain as powerful as ascended items, before you panic.
The "magic find" stat is being removed from items and tied to accounts instead, which means it'll apply to all of your characters. You'll be able to raise it using consumable items, and you'll need to consume more of these the higher the stat goes. Aiding this will be the ability to salvage blue and green items for, possibly, these consumable items.
New skills and traits will be added regularly as the year rolls on, and they'll be balanced with what's already available. "Your character will be able to grow and change for years to come without invalidating everything you've earned so far," stressed Johanson. Skills and traits can be earned in both WVW and PVE play, and there will be new ways to add skill points as well.
PVP changes are a bigger topic than Johanson had time to cover in-depth in his post. He did say, however, that queues are being added, as are leaderboards both for solo as well as team play. On top of that will be new map types, legendary PVP skins and additional rewards for competitive tournaments. ArenaNet/NCSoft will also host a Year One PVP Championship at PAX.
Other bits and bobs include bonus gold rewards for completing dungeon paths, and new tutorials at low levels designed with the in-testing Chinese launch in mind (but beneficial to all).
ArenaNet recently announced that Guild Wars 2 won't grow via traditional expansion packs or add-ons as Guild Wars 1 did. The plan is instead to grow the MMO more frequently through a Living World strategy, which will update the game with new content every two weeks. When major new systems or features are ready, they'll be rolled in with those updates as well.