Recap Of Changes Since Path Of Fire

An ideal starting point for returning players who quit Guild Wars 2 in 2017 or soon after, this guide provides a brief recap of all major changes and new content leading up to present day.

Up to date as of Icebrood Saga Episode 5 – Champions, Chapter 4: Judgment.

  • New Features
  • PvE
  • PvP
  • WvW

New Features

Build and gear templates

This long awaited feature finally made it in! Players can now swap their traits, skills, and gear with a single click. Well, two clicks to be precise, as gear and build templates are separate features. Each character has 3 free build and 2 free equipment slots which should serve the more casual players just fine, while additional slots may be purchased through the gemstore. Oh and finally, equipment slots are not just for convenience, they also STORE that gear, removing it from your inventory even when not active!

Legendary weapons

The entire set of Gen 2 Legendary weapons is now available for players to craft, and over the years the legendary system has been expanded in every way.

Legendary gear updates

Legendaries are now the ultimate convenience feature and exist in both armor and trinket form, not just as weapons. The stats on Legendary gear can be swapped in just a few clicks provided that you are out of combat.

GW2 legendary weapon stat selection

Legendary upgrades

Even runes and sigils have legendary versions now. Once socketed into gear you’ll be able to transform them into any rune or sigil you like.

Ascended cooking

The Chef crafting discipline can now be increased to level 500 and is able to create a new tier of food of Ascended quality.

Rune and sigil salvaging

You no longer have to visit the vendor to sell your useless minor sigils after having salvaged a bunch of gear, now you can just salvage them with the gear!

Glyphs

Gathering tools may now be upgraded with Glyphs, allowing you to customize them and add extra functionality. For example Glyph of Industry increases gathering speed, while Glyph of Reaping allows for AoE harvesting. Most of them come from the gem store.

Boon And Condition Reworks

Torment’s functionality has been reversed. This condition now deals extra damage to stationary foes and less damage to moving targets.

Retaliation is no more, Resolution took its place. Resolution works much like Protection, this boon reduces incoming condition damage by 33%.

Resistance now only works on debilitating conditions and doesn’t help with mitigating condition damage at all.

PvE

Living Story, Sagas, Expansions

No major changes in this regard, Anet is continuing with their living story and expansion releases. You may have noticed that S4 is followed by something called the Icebrood Saga and not a Season 5 – well, Icebrood Saga is basically Season 5 of the Living Story, it’s more or less just a rebranding.

Initially Anet planned for Sagas to have expansion level features and these types of releases could’ve replaced expansions themselves, but this idea was seemingly scrapped as a new expansion is currently in the works.

Instanced 10 man content

Raids arrived to GW2 as the hardcore 10 man endgame content in Heart of Thorns with new wings containing multiple bosses getting released consistently until the Icebrood saga, after which they’ve been more or less replaced by Strike Missions.
The Lion’s Arch Aerodome serves as the raid hub.

Strike Missions are single boss encounters that are more beginner friendly than raids. Eye of the North now serves as a strike mission hub.

New Mounts

Since PoF we’ve got 2 new mounts, the Roller Beetle and the Skyscale.

The Roller Beetle is a bit of a niche mount for long distance travel while the Skyscale is immensely useful for vertical mobility but also a bit hard to get.

You’re not barred from doing content without these mounts though, so feel free to get them at your own speed.

Underwater Skimmer

That’s right, with the help of a new mastery the Skimmer became the first underwater mount in GW2. To unlock it you must first max out all the other Skimmer masteries.

Dragon Response Missions

DRMs are a new type of casual instanced content doable in party sizes of 1-5, accessible via the Asura Gate at the Eye of the North.

PvP

Swiss tournaments

Automated tournaments now use the Swiss format for the first matches of the tournaments. This means that you’re not out after your first loss, as teams get to play multiple rounds. The number of rounds is determined by how many teams have signed up. The finals stages of the tournament are still single elimination, causing your first defeat to end your run.

Miniseasons and new gamemodes

Miniseasons take place between Conquest seasons and are meant to spice things up by allowing people to compete for unique titles in new gamemodes such as 2v2 and 3v3. 

ranked arena miniseason

PvP gear

The PvP gear UI has been removed from the game. Instead you’ll be using the build and equipment template features to set both your PvE and PvP builds. There is a special toggle for PvP gear in the PvE equipment panel that lets you select an amulet (this contains nearly all your PvP stats) and your PvP runes/sigils.

sPvP is still all about even playing field, no PvE grind or unlocks required!

To read more about the PvP gear system, click here.

WvW

Mounts in WvW

Or rather, just the one: the Warclaw is a mount designed for WvW action and remains the only one that players are allowed to use in this mode. It’s unlocked through a WvW mastery and makes it easier to get around the map, but that’s just one aspect of it. The Warclaw can be used to finish downed players, detect stealthed ones, damage gates, and dismount other players. 

Alliances

An update that’s going to fundamentally change WvW and move away from the server based system we currently have is already in development, it’s called alliances. There is currently no known release date however. For more details see the official announcement.

  • New Features
  • PvE
  • PvP
  • WvW

New Features

Build and gear templates

This long awaited feature finally made it in! Players can now swap their traits, skills, and gear with a single click. Well, two clicks to be precise, as gear and build templates are separate features. Each character has 3 free build and 2 free equipment slots which should serve the more casual players just fine, while additional slots may be purchased through the gemstore. Oh and finally, equipment slots are not just for convenience, they also STORE that gear, removing it from your inventory even when not active!

Legendary weapons

The entire set of Gen 2 Legendary weapons is now available for players to craft, and over the years the legendary system has been expanded in every way.

Legendary gear updates

Legendaries are now the ultimate convenience feature and exist in both armor and trinket form, not just as weapons. The stats on Legendary gear can be swapped in just a few clicks provided that you are out of combat.

GW2 legendary weapon stat selection

Legendary upgrades

Even runes and sigils have legendary versions now. Once socketed into gear you’ll be able to transform them into any rune or sigil you like.

Ascended cooking

The Chef crafting discipline can now be increased to level 500 and is able to create a new tier of food of Ascended quality.

Rune and sigil salvaging

You no longer have to visit the vendor to sell your useless minor sigils after having salvaged a bunch of gear, now you can just salvage them with the gear!

Glyphs

Gathering tools may now be upgraded with Glyphs, allowing you to customize them and add extra functionality. For example Glyph of Industry increases gathering speed, while Glyph of Reaping allows for AoE harvesting. Most of them come from the gem store.

Boon And Condition Reworks

Torment’s functionality has been reversed. This condition now deals extra damage to stationary foes and less damage to moving targets.

Retaliation is no more, Resolution took its place. Resolution works much like Protection, this boon reduces incoming condition damage by 33%.

Resistance now only works on debilitating conditions and doesn’t help with mitigating condition damage at all.

PvE

Living Story, Sagas, Expansions

No major changes in this regard, Anet is continuing with their living story and expansion releases. You may have noticed that S4 is followed by something called the Icebrood Saga and not a Season 5 – well, Icebrood Saga is basically Season 5 of the Living Story, it’s more or less just a rebranding.

Initially Anet planned for Sagas to have expansion level features and these types of releases could’ve replaced expansions themselves, but this idea was seemingly scrapped as a new expansion is currently in the works.

Instanced 10 man content

Raids arrived to GW2 as the hardcore 10 man endgame content in Heart of Thorns with new wings containing multiple bosses getting released consistently until the Icebrood saga, after which they’ve been more or less replaced by Strike Missions.
The Lion’s Arch Aerodome serves as the raid hub.

Strike Missions are single boss encounters that are more beginner friendly than raids. Eye of the North now serves as a strike mission hub.

New Mounts

Since PoF we’ve got 2 new mounts, the Roller Beetle and the Skyscale.

The Roller Beetle is a bit of a niche mount for long distance travel while the Skyscale is immensely useful for vertical mobility but also a bit hard to get.

You’re not barred from doing content without these mounts though, so feel free to get them at your own speed.

Underwater Skimmer

That’s right, with the help of a new mastery the Skimmer became the first underwater mount in GW2. To unlock it you must first max out all the other Skimmer masteries.

Dragon Response Missions

DRMs are a new type of casual instanced content doable in party sizes of 1-5, accessible via the Asura Gate at the Eye of the North.

PvP

Swiss tournaments

Automated tournaments now use the Swiss format for the first matches of the tournaments. This means that you’re not out after your first loss, as teams get to play multiple rounds. The number of rounds is determined by how many teams have signed up. The finals stages of the tournament are still single elimination, causing your first defeat to end your run.

Miniseasons and new gamemodes

Miniseasons take place between Conquest seasons and are meant to spice things up by allowing people to compete for unique titles in new gamemodes such as 2v2 and 3v3. 

ranked arena miniseason

PvP gear

The PvP gear UI has been removed from the game. Instead you’ll be using the build and equipment template features to set both your PvE and PvP builds. There is a special toggle for PvP gear in the PvE equipment panel that lets you select an amulet (this contains nearly all your PvP stats) and your PvP runes/sigils.

sPvP is still all about even playing field, no PvE grind or unlocks required!

To read more about the PvP gear system, click here.

WvW

Mounts in WvW

Or rather, just the one: the Warclaw is a mount designed for WvW action and remains the only one that players are allowed to use in this mode. It’s unlocked through a WvW mastery and makes it easier to get around the map, but that’s just one aspect of it. The Warclaw can be used to finish downed players, detect stealthed ones, damage gates, and dismount other players. 

Alliances

An update that’s going to fundamentally change WvW and move away from the server based system we currently have is already in development, it’s called alliances. There is currently no known release date however. For more details see the official announcement.