As is customary we got an early look at Guild Wars 2 update All or Nothing which comes out on January 8th. The following article won’t contain any spoilers for the story so if you haven’t had the chance to play yet, have no fear, you won’t see anything you don’t already know from the trailer.
Speaking of the trailer, for many of us the most exciting part of it was seeing Logan Thackeray in his shiny new Pact armor. It has a few features that will remind you of his old armor from before Heart of Thorns. As someone who is unashamed to admit she’s a Logan Thackeray fangirl I have to admit, it’s good to see him again. He can be found in the open world in Thunderhead Peaks performing several different tasks.
We’re finally getting a break from all the running around desert and tropical landscapes and heading somewhere a little more Norn friendly, the Thunderhead Peaks! Guild Wars 1 players will be familiar with the area which is of course named after Thunderhead Keep. Here you will find old Deldrimor Dwarven ruins, snow, allies from the Pact and other groups you’ve gathered along the way, and of course Branded creatures. Scattered throughout various places are very thin slots in the walls. These are far too big for a mount to get in while also being up too high or too far away from a platform for you to just jump to. Getting inside these areas requires the help of your mount along with the new Mastery skill Bond of Faith.
Bond of Faith
With Bond of Faith, you leap off your mount’s back and fly forwards through the air. At first glance, it seems like this Mastery skill is only useful in the Thunderhead Peaks with the special areas that contain chests full of loot. But, I can see players really getting into using it because it is genuinely fun to use. During our early look at the update, the ArenaNet developers mentioned that this had been a skill they had wanted to introduce for some time now but it took until now to find a place and a time to make it happen. Bond of Faith isn’t for a player with lag issues, however. There were a number of times during testing that I ended up missing my target. While some of this is certainly because I was only just then starting to learn how to use it the skill also seemed to cause lag once the power was activated. With a little bit of practice though you’ll be flying off your friend with ease.
All or Nothing also sees the release of Pharus, the new legendary longbow. Going along with the theme of the episode the focus of Pharus is light. The first time you use the bow after it has been drawn you get a bright, blinding light around you, as seen in the photo below. The weapon itself is rather minimalistic. It has a few parts that move but it is generally stationary and sleek looking. I quite like the style, however, I think I would have preferred to have it as part of a Black Lion set rather than as a legendary. But, given that Kudzu is so fancy, it makes sense that Pharus is a little bit more low key. I can see this weapon becoming a favorite of Guardians who are using Dragonhunter. It fits their theme very well.
As part of this update, we have a new unlockable weapon set. Like the Stellar weapons that came out in Daybreak, the Dragonsblood weapon set has more than one level. It also has a connection to what is going on in the world which at least for me, makes it an important weapon set to get for all of my characters. Were I still as heavily invested in the game as I once was I could see myself grinding out weapons to make sure each of my 28 characters has one. But, these days I’ve slowed down a bit so a might only get 3 or 4.
Sadly we didn’t get the chance to take a look at the new tropical-themed Siren’s Reef fractal. But new fractals are always fun to run through as well as being very rewarding.
What happens in the story? Well, we only got a short glimpse of it during the press preview and I won’t be talking about that at all. What we did see lacked context and I have no idea how it ends. Which is just the way I want to be going into this.
All or Nothing launches on January 8th. If you haven’t already done so be sure to log in to get A Star to Guide Us before the launch of All or Nothing for free.