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I’m thrilled to share the latest news about Guild Wars 2, one of my favorite games! Recently, ArenaNet and NCSOFT made an exciting announcement: the upcoming release of Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, marking the game’s highly anticipated fourth expansion. This news has sent waves of excitement throughout the gaming community, and for good reason! Secrets of the Obscure promises to deliver a truly remarkable experience, packed with a plethora of monumental changes that will shape the future of this award-winning massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG).

Get ready to mark your calendars, as Secrets of the Obscure is set to launch on August 22, which is less than two months away! The countdown has begun, and anticipation is mounting as players eagerly await the day they can embark on this new adventure. In fact, pre-orders for the expansion are already available, ensuring that dedicated fans can secure their copies in advance. Whether you prefer the standalone client or enjoy playing through Steam, both options are open to you, with prices starting at an enticing $24.99.

Prepare to confront an unprecedented demonic threat known as the Kryptis in Secrets of the Obscure. As players delve into the expansion’s rich lore, they will find themselves entangled in a relentless struggle against these otherworldly adversaries. Ascending the heights of the Skywatch Archipelago, your journey will culminate in an epic clash within the depths of the Demon Realm. The mere thought of this upcoming battle fills me with excitement and anticipation. From what I’ve seen in the trailer, the visuals are nothing short of breathtaking, and the captivating narrative leaves me yearning for more.

But that’s not all! Secrets of the Obscure brings with it an array of transformative changes that will reshape the gameplay experience. The developers have been hard at work, meticulously crafting an expansion that introduces fresh mechanics, new features, and a host of enhancements to delight both new and veteran players alike. While specifics may still be shrouded in mystery, the promise of these forthcoming changes has ignited a fire within the Guild Wars 2 community, sparking boundless speculation and discussions about what lies ahead.

As the release date draws near, the excitement continues to build, and the community eagerly awaits the moment they can dive headfirst into the Secrets of the Obscure expansion. Guild Wars 2 fans worldwide are ready to embark on this thrilling journey, to discover the secrets that await and to leave an indelible mark on the ever-evolving world of Tyria. So, gear up, rally your friends, and prepare to embark on an adventure like no other as Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure promises to push the boundaries of what an MMORPG can achieve. Let the countdown begin!

In Secrets of the Obscure, players will encounter a new demonic threat called the Kryptis. We’ll have to climb through the Skywatch Archipelago to take the fight to the Demon Realm. I’m so freaking excited for this! The trailer looks dope and all the changes (discussed below) have me so freaking excited!

The all-new story puts players into the shoes of both erstwhile defender and explorer of the unknown as they race to defend the world from a heretofore unseen threat. The adventure will begin with a climb through the Skywatch Archipelago, the first of two new maps being added to the game on release day. Hanging high in the sky above Tyria, these floating islands are under attack from the Kryptis, a demonic race of malevolent beings streaming through instabilities in the Mists and threatening the fragile peace of the world in the wake of the defeat of the elder dragons. What follows is an epic struggle into the Demon Realm, where the fate of the world rests in the hands of the player and their secretive new allies.

Talking about Secrets of the Obscure, Game Director Josh Davis said:

Finally revealing the secrets of the Wizard’s Tower has been an idea floating around the studio (pun intended) for many years. With Secrets of the Obscure, we’re getting a chance to explore Tyria’s lore in a way we never have been able to before. New areas of the world, new characters and enemies, and new twists to the core combat gameplay should excite fans with how they are going to add to the game’s already legendary amount of content.

At launch, Guild Wars 2 players will find 2 new explorable maps (Skywatch Archipelago and Amnytas), a new hub area at the Wizard’s Tower, the introduction of the Astral Ward, a more streamlined manner to unlock the Skyscale mount, 2 new Strike Missions, the introduction of Relics, Weaponmaster Training, and much more. In later releases, each class will get access to new weapons, challenge mode for the aforementioned Strike Missions, legendary armor obtainable through open world content, and more.

  • New maps: Two new explorable maps will be available on August 22, the Skywatch Archipelago and Amnytas, with a third to follow in a future update.

  • New hub area: The enigmatic Wizard’s Tower will serve as the jumping-off point for players to explore Secrets of the Obscure, and be the central location that ties the player to the main characters and events of the expansion

  • Astral Ward: As the Kryptis invade Tyria, players will be able to join a band of treasure hunters and adventurers known as the Astral Ward to help protect the world, undertaking monster hunts and bounty contracts throughout the game to rank up and earn new rewards and abilities.

  • The Heart of the Obscure: this important tool will serve as the player’s master key to explore the new expansion; as they make progress in upgrading this mystical stone, they’ll earn the ability to open special doors and reward chests, create support items like leyline and updraft generators, and open and seal the rifts for the Astral Ward.

  • Advanced Flight Masteries: Acquiring the fan favorite Skyscale mount will be easier in Secrets of the Obscure, but for those players who train their Skyscale in both the new track from this expansion and the previously released Path of Fire will earn additional functionality for their skyscale. Two of the Secrets of the Obscure skyscale masteries – in-combat mounting and updraft use – will also apply to the griffon mount.

  • New Strike Missions: Two new challenging 10-player instanced encounters arrive with Secrets of the Obscure: the Cosmic Observatory, and the Temple of Febe. Their Challenge Modes are planned to become available in later releases.

  • Wizard’s Vault: The Wizard’s Vault awards Astral Acclaim for completing daily, weekly, and seasonal achievements across the game. Players can trade Astral Acclaim for unique items like armor pieces, weapon and mount skins, gold, legendary crafting materials, and more.

  • Relics: unlocked at level 60, this new equipment slot will now be the home of the wide variety of rune set bonuses previously found on different rune types, allowing for more customization of special effects and more freedom to choose the stat bonuses players want to use on their characters.

  • Weaponmaster Training: each of the game’s nine professions will now gain the ability to equip the weapons previously reserved for their elite specialization, unlocking new gameplay and build options for players.

  • New Rewards: A deluge of new earnable rewards await players, including the game’s first set of legendary armor earned through open world PvE activities.

So, with Weaponmaster Training, you’ll be able to use weapons previously reserved for elite specializations without being locked into said elite specialization. For example, a Soulbeast could use a staff or a core Necromancer can now use a greatsword. This is very exciting as it opens up a staggering number of gameplay options for players. It’s also important to note that once you unlock Weaponmaster Training, you don’t even need to unlock an elite specialization to gain access to its weapon nor own the expansion that the elite specialization is a part of. Theorycrafters are going to go insane! Here’s a quick list of what this unlocks for each class:

  • Guardian: Axe (main hand), sword (off hand), longbow

  • Revenant: Shield (off hand), greatsword, short bow

  • Warrior: Dagger (main and off hand), pistol (off hand), torch (off hand)

  • Engineer: Mace (main hand), sword (main hand), hammer

  • Ranger: Dagger (main hand), hammer, staff

  • Thief: Scepter (main hand), rifle, staff

  • Elementalist: Sword (main hand), warhorn (off hand), hammer

  • Mesmer: Axe (main hand), dagger (main hand), shield (off hand)

  • Necromancer: Pistol (main hand), torch (off hand), greatsword

While the new weapons are a ways out, ArenaNet has announced what they will be. More details are on the way, but here’s the list of new weapons coming to each class in Secrets of the Obscure:

  • Guardian: Pistol (main and off hand)

  • Revenant: Scepter (main hand)

  • Warrior: Staff

  • Engineer: Short bow

  • Ranger: Mace (main and off hand)

  • Thief: Axe (main hand)

  • Elementalist: Pistol (main hand)

  • Mesmer: Rifle

  • Necromancer: Sword (main and off hand)

One significant topic I would like to delve into is the introduction of Relics. In an upcoming update, the functionality of Runes in Guild Wars 2 is undergoing a transformation. Previously, equipping a full set of six runes would grant a special ability or effect. However, this system is being revamped. Moving forward, runes will solely provide stat bonuses, while the abilities associated with them will now be tied to a new type of equipment called Relics.

To illustrate this change, let’s consider the example provided by the development team. The current Trooper rune set, which offers a bonus related to removing conditions, will no longer provide that effect. Instead, players will acquire the Relic of the Trooper, an equipment item specifically designed to grant the ability of condition removal. This shift aims to provide more flexibility in build customization and allow for a broader range of playstyle options.

Obtaining Relics will be possible through various avenues such as crafting, engaging in instanced content like Fractals and Strike Missions, progressing through reward tracks, completing achievements, and more. As an exciting bonus, all Guild Wars 2 players will receive a complimentary Relic when the Secrets of the Obscure expansion launches in August, making it accessible to everyone.

With such an extensive array of updates and changes, it’s challenging to cover everything in detail within this discussion. I highly recommend visiting the official Guild Wars 2 website, where you can find comprehensive articles that delve deeper into the updated story, combat mechanics, and the evolving rewards and systems. Additionally, I suggest checking out Mukluk’s breakdown video, as he provides an in-depth analysis of all the upcoming features. It’s an exciting time, and I personally can’t wait for August 22 to experience it all firsthand!

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