After ArenaNet announced their new plan for the future of Guild Wars 2 earlier this month, the first major update of 2016 has now gone live, and it’s a big one. The Winter Update, the first in the game’s new seasonal update plan, not only brings gliding to central Tyria, but also brings extensive balance changes, revamped meta-events, and an in-game holiday.
The most prominent change is the addition of gliding to the majority of the game. Added as a new skill in last year’s expansion, Heart of Thorns, gliding was restricted to the Heart of Maguuma maps. That however, is no longer the case. For the first time, players will be able to glide almost anywhere they want in the core game, including the cities and every open-world map. Specific areas, dungeons, story instances, and PvP and WvW are still off limits to avoid exploits, but anywhere else, glide to your heart’s delight.
The second most notable part of the update is then the complete reworking of The Shatterer world boss. With an overhaul of his moves, slight, but numerous, changes to the fight mechanics, and even changes to the loot he drops, ArenaNet is classifying the changes as “The Shatterer unleashed.” For players that need a bit more incentive, an entirely new achievements category has been added for The Shatterer. And befitting the addition of gliding to the core game, players can now grab bombing packs and attack The Shatterer from the air.
The Winter Update also brings a new squad UI, allowing access to squad markers, a new groups category, and even the ability for squad commanders to appoint lieutenants.
When it comes to in-game events, Eldvin Monastery Brew of the Month Club, a new monthly event, is kicking off. Every month members of the club will be tasked with collecting all twelve signature beers from each major city. When they do they will receive a title, a backpack skin, and a guild decoration. Also, running now until February 9th, the Lunar New Year celebration will be found in Divinity’s Reach.
And while all of this that is fun, the real meat of the update comes under the hood. ArenaNet has then made countless balance changes to almost every class and game mode, with refinements hitting WvW, PvP, and PvE players across the board. For the exhaustive list of all the changes, be sure to check out the Guild Wars 2 forum.
Though not live yet, ArenaNet has already teased we will see another wing of the raid, called Salvation’s Pass, land sometime in early 2016, along with Living World Season 3. As we learn more about all of it, you’ll find it right here on Gamespresso.