Update - Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Pahbahzhen, Brother Mhenlo,
Today marks five years since you completed your studies with us and returned to your homeland in the distant northern kingdoms. You were one of the last Tyrian students I trained. Therefore I want you to be among the first Tyrians to learn that, although Shing Jea Monastery remains closed to foreign students, our noble emperor has reopened the port at Kaineng Center to ships of every nation. Trade and travel between Tyria and Cantha are once more returning to something resembling normalcy. And it is with even greater hope that I look upon this year's crop of new students at our humble monastery. It has been some time since I have seen such a promising group of young Canthans so eager to take up the mantle of the hero.
At long last, we have forged what I believe is a permanent peace between the Tengu and the humans of Cantha. The last of the Tengu Wars, which you saw for yourself when you trained here, has been over for almost a year now. Emperor Kisu has declared a day of celebration marking the one-year anniversary of the peace treaty, and I would invite you to join us if you are able (though I certainly understand if you are not, with the troubles Tyria has recently faced).
And yet, I am troubled. In my many years, I have learned to trust my instincts, and my instincts tell me that despite peace breaking out from Shing Jea Island to the Canthan mainland, my homeland stands on the verge of dark times. There is talk of a strange disease that strikes the remote settlements, and the piratical cultists of the Crimson Skull grow bolder by the day. The two warring vassal factions—the Kurzicks and Luxons—have been brought to the negotiating table through Emperor Kisu’s efforts, but I cannot help but feel that the two sides are not sincere. The emperor is hopeful, and I serve his wishes, but each faction seems to see only the immediate threat posed by their lifelong enemies. My instincts tell me that their conflict, if it continues, only serves to aid this dark force I cannot yet name.
Be watchful, my young friend. Though you call Tyria your home, Cantha may soon need your help.
Welcome to Cantha
Travel to and from Cantha
In order to travel to Cantha for the first time, a Prophecies character must take the "Mhenlo's Request" quest from Firstwatch Sergio in Lion's Arch. Following the quest steps will unlock ship travel to Cantha for that character. Your account must have an active Guild Wars Factions key or Guild Wars Factions Preorder key in order to travel to Cantha.
Similarly, in order to travel to Tyria for the first time, a Factions character must take the "Chaos in Kryta" quest from Guardsman Chienpo in Kaineng Center. Following the quest steps will unlock ship travel to Tyria for that character. Your account must have an active Guild Wars Prophecies key in order to travel to Tyria.
As always, PvP-Only Characters cannot leave the Battle Isles.
Players using the Guild Wars Factions Preorder key for early access may travel to Shing Jea Monastery and talk to the Master of Celebration to take part in a special event called the Day of the Tengu. Native Canthan characters will find their way to the monastery very quickly. Characters coming from Tyria will need to take the following steps:
- Travel to Cantha as described above.
- Travel south through the Marketplace to Kaineng Docks.
- Speak to Firstmate Xiang, who will transport you to Seitung Harbor.
- Travel west through Saoshang Trail and Linnok Courtyard to reach Shing Jea Monastery.
Alliances will not be available until the official launch of Guild Wars Factions on April 28.
Players will now be able to earn titles, which can be shown to other players. Use the Titles tab in the Hero panel to select a title for display. Only titles toward which you have made any progress will appear in the list.
Titles apply to a single character or a whole account, as appropriate. A player can display only one title at a time but may earn any number of titles. Many titles have multiple levels, with each new level indicating an increasingly difficult level of achievement.
- Canthan Explorer. You must explore 60% of Cantha to earn the first level of this title. (Character based.)
- Skill Hunter. You must capture 90 Elite skills to earn the first level of this title. (Character based.)
- Gladiator. You must have 25 win-streaks of 10 consecutive wins in the Random Arenas maps to earn the first level of this title. (Account based.)
- Champion. You must win 50 high-rated GvG battles to earn the first level of this title. (Account based.)
Guilds now have the ability to fight scrimmage battles. Scrimmage battles occur between two groups in the same guild hall and do not count toward ladder standing. To initiate a scrimmage, a group of one or more players must initiate a guild battle and choose "initiate a scrimmage match." Any other group of one or more players in that guild hall may then choose to join the scrimmage battle, which will initiate after a short countdown.
- While zoomed-in, the world map now shows the names of all explorable areas your character has visited previously.
- In addition to showing the map name, the large text that appears when you first enter a new map now features a second line indicating the type of the map and, if applicable, which alliance owns the map.
- The Party window indicates if a member is out of compass range by dimming that character's name.
- Health bars in the Party window and Target Display can now indicate when a character is under the effects of a Weapon Spell.
- The icon that appears in the Party window when a party member calls a target now shows the hotkey to select the called target. (As always, hold down CTRL when attacking or using skills to call your target.)
- New customizable targeting hotkeys have been added for Target Next Party Member, Target Previous Party Member, Target Party Members 9 –12. In smaller parties, these hotkeys will target NPCs in the Allies section of the Party Window.
- Clicking on an enemy while holding a bundle item now causes you to follow that character instead of causing an error message.
- Henchmen now sometimes chat during a mission. In outposts, players can talk to henchmen by double-clicking on them.
- Signet of Capture: now gives 250 XP for each level you have when used to capture an Elite skill.
- Without Death Magic, you can control no more than two undead servants. For every two ranks of Death Magic, you can control one additional undead servant.
- The number of undead servants you control is now displayed.
- Attempting to use a healing skill or to cast a Hex or Enchantment spell on a Spirit now causes a warning message to display.
- Energy Surge: decreased Energy lost to 3..8; increased damage per Energy to 10.
- Energy Burn: decreased Energy lost to 3..8; increased damage per Energy to 10.
- Energy Tap: fixed bugs causing the inaccurate display of the amount of Energy drained.
- Epidemic: decreased recharge time to 5 seconds.
- Illusion of Haste: fixed a bug that prevented this spell from inflicting the Crippled Condition if it ended prematurely.
- Mantra of Earth, Mantra of Flame, Mantra of Frost, Mantra of Lightning: increased Energy gained per hit to 2.
- Mantra of Recovery: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
- Power Spike: decreased recharge time to 12 seconds.
- Signet of Weariness: decreased Energy lost to 3..8.
- Barbs: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
- Mark of Pain: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
- Weaken Armor: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
- Unholy Feast: decreased cast time to .75 seconds.
- Wither: increased Health degeneration to 2..4.
- Verata's Sacrifice: decreased Enchantment duration to 5..10 seconds; increased recharge time to 60 seconds; skill now instantly recharges if you have 3 or fewer undead servants; this skill now only affects undead servants you control.
- Blood of the Master: decreased Energy cost to 5; decreased recharge time to 2 seconds; decreased sacrifice to 5%; this skill now sacs 2% more Health per creature healed.
- Animate Bone Minions: decreased Energy cost to 15..
- Death Nova: this skill no longer damages the caster and the caster's allies when an uncontrolled creature with Death Nova dies.
- Aura of Restoration: decreased recharge time to 5 seconds.
- Fire Attunement: decreased recharge time to 45 seconds.
- Water Attunement: decreased recharge time to 45 seconds.
- Air Attunement: decreased recharge time to 45 seconds.
- Earth Attunement: decreased recharge time to 45 seconds.
- Elemental Attunement: decreased recharge time to 45 seconds.
- Flare: increased damage to 20..55.
- Ice Spear: increased damage to 10..70.
- Water Trident: increased damage to 10..70.
- Stone Daggers: increased damage to 8..28.
- Maelstrom: decreased cast time to 2 seconds.
- Mark of Rodgort: fixed a bug that limited the Burning duration to 3 seconds regardless of your Fire Magic attribute.
- Wards: no longer affect Spirits.
- Signet of Judgment: decreased recharge time to 25 seconds.
- Peace and Harmony: decreased recharge time to 25 seconds.
- Contemplation of Purity: increased recharge time to 10 seconds.
- Unyielding Aura: now kills Enchanted characters if the caster maintaining this Enchantment dies.
- Draw Conditions: fixed a bug that caused this spell to reset the durations of all the transferred Conditions.
- Mighty Blow: increased damage to 6..35.
- Staggering Blow: increased Weakness duration to 5..20 seconds.
- Axe Twist: decreased adrenaline cost to 7.
- Skull Crack: increased attack speed to .5 seconds; decreased Dazed duration to 10 seconds
- Savage Slash: increased Energy cost to 10; increased recharge time to 20; decreased attack speed to .5
- Flourish: this skill now recharges Pet Attack skills.
- Call of Protection: decreased recharge time to 90 seconds.
- Dual Shot: increased recharge time to 7 seconds.
- Comfort Animal: no longer disables your skills if used to resurrect your pet.
- Edge of Extinction: this Spirit no longer damages creatures that are outside of its effect.
- Antidote Signet: Fixed a bug causing this Signet to remove Conditions other than Blind, Disease, and Poison.
PvP NPC Changes
New Guild Battle NPCs have been recruited from Cantha for the remainder of the Guild Wars Factions Championship.
Guild Lord Upgrades
- Weapons were upgraded to match standard PvP weapon damage.
- The Guild Lord now deals a bonus damage against other NPCs (including the enemy Guild Lord and Thief).
- Improved the Guild Lord's attribute assignment and equipped him with the following skills: Cyclone Axe, Cleave, Warrior's Cunning, and Power Shot.
- All Ghostly Heroes, including those on the capture-the-relic maps, are now level 28.
- The Ghostly Hero's axe and bow have been upgraded to match his level.
- Improved the Ghostly Hero's attribute assignment and equipped him with the following skills: Cyclone Axe, Disrupting Chop, Swift Chop, Distracting Shot, and Power Shot.
New armor designs from Cantha have begun to influence armor crafters in Tyria. Existing armor sets will not be updated yet, but a means to upgrade existing level-20 armor for free will be provided in the near future.
- Aeromancer's armor: now provides +10 armor vs. elemental damage and +10 armor vs. lightning damage.
- Pyromancer's armor: now provides +10 armor vs. elemental damage and +10 armor vs. fire damage.
- Hydromancer's armor: now provides +10 armor vs. elemental damage and +10 armor vs. water damage.
- Geomancer's armor: now provides +10 armor vs. elemental damage and +10 armor vs. earth damage.
- Rogue's armor: no longer provides less Energy than standard armor.
- Judge's armor: no longer provides less Energy than standard armor.
- Wanderer's armor: now provides +10 armor vs. elemental damage.
- Knight's armor: now provides +20 armor vs. physical damage (instead of +10).
- Knight's helm: fixed so that it now provides +1 to Strength.
- Dragon armor: now provides 90 base armor +10 armor vs. physical damage.
- Platemail armor: same as Dragon.
- The word "obsidian" has been added to armor names, in accordance with the naming convention introduced in Guild Wars Factions. For example, the Monk leggings that provide additional armor against physical damage are now called "Judge's Obsidian Pants" instead of "Judge's Pants." (This change does not affect armor crafted prior to this update.)
- Now includes new armor sets using the same statistics as armor only available in Cantha.
- No longer includes multiple armor sets with the exact same appearance and attributes.
Weapons, Shields, and Focus Items
- Significantly improved the quality of rare (gold) and uncommon (purple) items.
- Restricted Vampiric and Zealous weapon components to occur only on rare weapons.
- Upgraded Sundering weapon components to provide a maximum Armor Penetration of +20% (Chance: 20%).
- Added weapons with +5 Energy to PvP-Only character creation.
- Added weapons with +15% damage and -5 Energy to PvP-Only character creation.
- Added weapons with +15% damage and -10 armor while attacking weapons to PvP-Only character creation.
- Added new Focus items to PvP-Only character creation.
- Improved bonuses on wands in the PvP-Only character creation screen to better match what is dropped by monsters.
- Increased probability of finding Superior Vigor and Superior Absorption runes.
- Changed new rare (gold) armor to only provide superior (gold) runes.
- Changed new uncommon (purple) armor to only provide major (purple) runes.
- As always, you must use an expert or superior salvage kit to extract a rune from armor. These changes will not affect loot that dropped prior to this update.
In addition to the changes mentioned above, this update introduced the following:
- Changed the End User License Agreement (EULA) again to include more information regarding Guild Wars Factions and required all users to accept the EULA in order to continue playing.
- Miniatures were introduced as surprises for characters of the age of one year.