"A sweeping range of new systems and feature enhancements" for Guild Wars 2 will arrive 15th April.
This April 2014 Feature Pack sounds like the "bumper update" of mechanical changes ArenaNet told me about at the start of the year. They were being held back while the Living World Season One storyline came to a dramatic close.
The entire contents of the Feature Pack aren't laid bare; they'll be revealed and detailed in instalments in videos, blogs and articles leading up to release.
Today's blog focuses on traits.
You will no longer need to visit a profession trainer and buy a training manual to access adept, master and grandmaster traits. Characters now also unlock traits earlier, at level 30, master traits at 60, and grandmaster traits at 80.
The trait interface is being simplified and unlocking the next minor or major trait in a line now only costs one trait point instead of five. Fewer trait points will be handed out as a result, and the whole system should be more understandable.
Traits are refundable with a button prevalent game-wide now, and refunding is free. You can change traits as and when you please, anywhere in the world.
Major traits will need unlocking after the patch (if you've unlocked them already they'll remain unlocked), and you'll need a trait guide - given for completing story dungeons, mini-dungeons, world versus world etc - to do so. You'll also be able to buy trait guides from profession trainers.
Here's a list of some of the 40 new grandmaster traits being added:
- Elementalist: Aquatic Benevolence - increases all healing to allies by 25 per cent but doesn't affect character healing.
- Engineer: Fortified Turrets - when engineers with a Fortified Turret equipped spawn a new turret, that turret will get a four-ůsecond defensive bubble that reflects projectiles. Works with all turrets.
- Guardian: Force of Will - 300 extra vitality when slotted
- Mesmer: Power Block - changes recharge of interrupted skills from five seconds to 10
- Necromancer: Unholy Sanctuary - slowly heal yourself in Death Shroud
- Ranger: Read the Wind - longbow arrows fire at twice their base velocity
- Thief: Invigorating Precision - five per cent damage from critical strikes returned as healing
- Warrior: Dual Wield Agility - 10 per cent attack speed increase when wielding off-hand axe, mace or sword