Returning player to Guild Wars 2 in 2020? Here’s what to do! | Release Timeline – GW2 Guide

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So you left Guild Wars 2 and you are planning to come back? tsk. tsk. tsk. tsk. One should never leave Guild Wars 2. Just kidding friend. We are all glad to have you back! Right in time to join us for the new Cantha expansion that was recently announced! Hey guys, it’s Kyo again and in this video, I will help you get back into the game and get your through the things you have missed the last few years AND where to focus on now you are back. Luckily, Guild Wars 2 is easy to get back into. There is no gear treadmill and other difficult grinding mechanics. Like, the content, in the top left of the video, you will see how you can help the channel out 😉 Anyway, let’s kick this video of with of timeline with key moments of the game and what has been released the last few years.

Don’t care about that? Use to timestamps in the video description to hop straight to the tips. Stay with me here, In the summary I’ll be concise and cover 8 years of Guild Wars 2 in just a few minutes. I think it is good catch up – on the happenings over the years for returning players that have been out of the loop for a while. So, over the last years, a lot of things have changed since the release of Guild Wars 2 in 2012. If you left back then, well, a lot has changed for the better! The game released in 2012 and shortly after the first Living World Season was released. Living World are stories, missions and quests, whatever you want to call it – about new and existing characters.

You can consider Living World Seasons as DLC or mini-expansions. The Living World also introduces us to new Achievements, Skins, Exclusive Mounts and more recently – Strike Missions. Yep. You heard that right. The game has mounts now! More about Mounts and Strike Missions in a minute. One of the key features of Season 1 was the release of Fractals of the Mists. These mini dungeons can be rather challenging, grant you exclusive rewards and introduced players to Ascended Armor. This first Living world Season ran for about 2 years before it ended in 2014. Sadly, due to a lot of changes in the game, this first season is not playable anymore. Some missions have been made playable again and are now unlockable in the Icebrood Saga, the latest season in the Living World Series. As you might guess, after Living World Season 1, there comes a Living World Season 2. It started shortly after the ending of season 1, in 2014. Unlike Living World Season 1, this is still playable, you must purchase it from the gem store if you did not log in during the time of the release of that season.

But it is worth checking out, especially as a new or returning player. Living World Season 2 ended early 2015 and all of ArenaNet’s focus shifted to delivering the first expansion for Guild Wars 2; Heart of Thorns. Heart of Thorns released in October of 2015 and introduced us to the new Revenant profession. This profession can channel legends, heroes and villains of the past to his or her bidding. Next to that, we also got the opportunity to level beyond the maximum level 80 with Masteries. Heart of Thorns Masteries allowed us to Glide all over the Maguuma Jungle, and later on, all over the world! Also, we got access to 9 Elite Specializations. These are unique trait lines that enhance your profession’s skills and grant them new abilities. It basically gives you a complete new profession and a different playstyle for that profession. I covered all professions and their elite specializations in one video a while ago. Check that one out in the charts if you want more information on the matter.

And last but not least, it also introduced the player to Raiding. Living World Season 3 started mid 2016 and continued on the Heart of Thorns story and you were required to have the expansion in order to play it. This Living World Season gave access to two new raids, a number of new areas, stories and Fractals. You do not need this season in order to play the two new raids and fractals. Heart of Thorns is required though. The Season ended a year after that and soon after the ending a new expansion was ready to be released. Just a few months after the ending of Living World Season 3 in July 2017, the Path of Fire expansion was released. Path of Fire released late in 2017 and introduced the player to new Raids, 9 more elite specializations, new Masteries and Mounts! I was never a big advocate for mounts but ArenaNet did an amazing job on these mounts. In other games, mounts are used to travel a huge distance on a specific map.

However, Guild Wars 2 has fast travel at any time, why would use a mount when you could travel there in 2 clicks? The mounts in Guild Wars 2 are designed to solve puzzles, cross distances that cannot be reached with fast travel and are now a core part of the game. A well balanced decision and implementation if you ask me! The 9 elite specializations add more depth to your favorite professions. These specializations are completely different than the ones from Heart of Thorns.

So both expansions add something different to your profession! Soon after the release of Path of Fire Guild Wars 2 moved on to Living World Season 4 which introduced us to more stories, raids and fractals. This season started late 2017, in november, just 2 to 3 months after the release of Path of Fire. Like Season 3, you don’t need this season in order to play the raids and fractals, just the expansions. This season also introduced us to two new mounts. The first mount was the the rollerbeetle. An extremely fast mount that allows you to get across the map in just a minute.

It is best to use this mount on flat terrain to avoid bumping into objects. The second mount is the Skyscale. The Skyscale was the first mount that could fly still in the air and was also extremely controllable. Whereas the Griffon from Path of Fire is extremely fast and needs momentum to move around, the Skyscale is rather slow but is easily controllable. This season was also rather long and ran until mid 2019. So, next up, an Expansion? Nope! It was another Living World update, this one is called the Icebrood Saga and this is where we currently are. This season started late 2019. Here we follow the story of Ryland, a… uhm… relative of Rytlock Brimstone, the Charr we know since the release of Guild Wars 2. We do not know how this one will conclude just yet. The Icebrood Saga introduced us to new endgame content; Strike Missions. Strike Missions are the middle ground between Fractals and Raids.

It is easier accessible than Raids and can be find in several difficulties. Some bosses are easier to beat than other. You and a squad of 10 face a boss that uses new mechanics but also existing ones that can be found in Raids and Fractals. Just recently, ArenaNet announced a new expansion that is coming to Guild Wars 2. We are 99% sure that this is going to be centered around Cantha, a continent that was accessible in the original Guild Wars. This asian themed expansion had some of the most beautiful environments that I have ever seen in a game. I’m expecting that ArenaNet will continue on the idea of Elite Specializations and mounts but I can not say that for certain just yet. I’m also expecting that the expansion will release early 2021 or maybe, just maybe later in 2020. Check out my video on the matter in the charts.

So, that is where we are now. A short recap of the releases. Now, where should you start? It is best to start where you left off! Do you already have a level 80 character and have played the story of the original Guild Wars 2 game? If this is not the case, do that first. It gives you a solid foundation of what the story is about, you get some fair gear and you can master your profession in the meantime. I understand that it might be hard to restart the game at say, level 60 and work your way up to level 80. You are completely out of the loop! If that is the case, I would advise you to start over with a new character, preferably with a different race and a different profession.

If you choose for a different race and profession you will start in a new area of the world and got another profession to learn and master. This way, you won’t have to redo an area you have already done before and you can basically start fresh again without deleting your older character. You can always pick that one up later! Make sure you play through your personal story so you know what is going on in the stages of the game. I highly discourage to use your level 80 boost right away! You have to take a step back and experience the game again, enjoy relearning existing and new mechanics.

If you use your boost, you will rush into content you might not be ready for. What other people have suggested is to use your boost or get a level 80 character and do the first Path of Fire mission as soon as possible. This mission gives you access to the Raptor mount. After they get that mount some players get back to their low-level character and play through the story with a mount. Mounts are unlocked account wide, so you can use it on fresh, new character to go through to the older content much faster.

Although it comes in real handy to have a raptor early on, you might get exposed to spoilers and mechanics that can be harder for new and returning players. I’ll leave this one up to you. You want to go through older content much faster but might be exposed to some spoilers and unfamiliar mechanics? Use a level 80 character or boost to get the Raptor. You want to play the game as you are supposed to play the game, you might want to hold off on getting the raptor just yet. Let me know if you need any help deciding in the comments. And also, don’t forget to join a guild while you are at it! Guilds are usually very friendly and helpful. If you have a question, you can just ask your guild.

The Guild Members will help you out with any issues you have! Are you level 80 and ready to dive deeper into Guild Wars 2? Okay, now we can start thinking about end-game content. Although I would advise you to play through the complete story of the expansions first. Start with Heart of Thorns and after that play through the Path of Fire expansion. This way you will play through the story in a chronological manner. I don’t want to force you into buying the expansions but the Story gives you good fundamentals of the core understanding of Masteries, Elite Specializations and mounts. It is basically the game holding your hand and telling you how most of these things work. Also, a fully mastered Elite Specialization is almost mandatory for end-game content. But do you need to buy two expansions for 30 to 40 euros, dollars or pounds? Nope! A while ago, ArenaNet bundled the two expansion into one! Depending on where you live, you can get both expansions for about 30 euros, dollars or pounds.

You get the core game, which I assume you already have as a returning player, the Heart of Thorns Expansions and the Path of Fire expansion for just 30 bucks. Really, there is no better moment to hop into the game right now. I created a video a while ago where I explain the differences between these two expansions. Back then, the expansions weren’t bundled in to one yet but the video still gives you great pros and cons of each expansion. If you are a real lore enthousiast you can consider buying Living World Season 2, 3 and 4. I discussed the release dates of these seasons in the timeline section of this video. I personally think Season 4 was one of the better seasons in terms of story and gameplay features. You can also obtain the Rollerbeetle and the Skyscale in Season 4. If you are not into all the lore you don’t have to purchase these. However, I do advice to catch up with the Icebrood Saga, this is currently ongoing and has new episodes every 2-3 months.

More on this later. Anyway, moving on, we are talking about you right now! So, start by mastering your new elite specialization. Play through the story, get hero points to upgrade your new elite specialization, play around with it and create your own build or look for one on the internet. Got a few mounts, got masteries and your elite specialization? Now, you should be ready for some end-game content! I would advise you to start with Fractals of the Mists first. I understand you want to hop into raids right away but this is really the best type content to start for new or returning players! These mini-dungeons, or Fractals, can be found in Lion’s Arch and are really challenging in later levels.

Start at Fractal level 1 to 20 and work your way up to the top. Here you can start gathering your first pieces of Ascended Armor. Most of it is going to be weapons, rings and accessories. These are wayyyy better than the Exotic or Rare rings you currently have on you! You might even get lucky and get a piece of Ascended Armor while playing these Fractals. I’d advise you to craft the rest of your first Ascended Armor set. You also need it to progress it further on in Fractals of the Mists and in future raiding.

You don’t want to rely on RNG or grinding to much yet. Also, you want the right prefix right? Crafting allows you to do so. Ascended Armor cannot be bought from other players, you have to craft it or grind it yourself. Although it might be pricey to craft it yourself it is the fastest and most efficient way to do it in my opinion. Depending on your profession you need a different Crafting Discipline to craft that armor. If you are a Guardian, Warrior or Revenant, you will need the armorsmithing discipline to create heavy Ascended armor. For Medium armor professions like the Rangers, Engineers and Thieves you will need Leatherworking discipline to craft their Ascended armor. For Mesmers, Elementalists and Necromancers, you need Tailoring to craft light Ascended armor. If you just returned to Guild Wars 2 and you already got the things I just mentioned, you already came a long way! You can basically hop straight back into the game. A number of new Fractals have been released over the last few years, for example, the Twilight Oasis Fractal and the Siren’s Reef Fractal.

So, with Ascended Armor and some Agony Resistance, you should be good to go and try those out. After you are done playing Fractals you can give Raids a shot too! I you have been gone for a while, there were some Raid Wings added over the years but I still advice you to start with Wing 1. This Wing was released when Heart of Thorns came out and it is still one of the easier and more accessible wings. So, start there! I dedicated a complete video to this subject, please check that out if you want to start Raiding. It has everything you need to know before you start. HOW TO STAY IN THE LOOP Now, you have your character at level 80, played through the story, got masteries, got mounts and you already play some end-game content. How do you stay in the loop? How do you stay on track with what’s happening? Well, first thing I would advise you to do is start playing the Icebrood Saga.

This is the newest season of the Living World. Although it is not officially called a Living World Episode or Season, it follows the same structure and release window of the Living World. The Icebrood Saga is just a bit bigger in terms of story, maps and features. Although older Icebrood Saga episodes are not free anymore, I would advise you on buying those. These older episodes give a good foundation for the story you are going to play through and it all is going to lead up to the upcoming expansion. And, also don’t forget to play to the latest episode as well! That one unlocks as soon as you log in. At the release of new episodes of the Icebrood Saga or the Living World, the episodes are always free to play and free to keep. If you don’t log in during the release of the episode or about 1 to 2 months after that, it becomes locked and you will have to purchase it from the Gem Store.

I have not paid for a single episode in my life, yet I have them all unlocked. This is because I almost log in daily, so that is within that 1 to 2 month release window when the episode is free. So, if you intend to leave Guild Wars 2 for a bit and return a few months after, make sure to log in and keep an eye out on the release of a new episode. Just log in on a character, you don’t have to play, and log out again. There, you got the latest episode unlocked. When you return to Guild Wars 2 after your break, you won’t have to purchase recently released episodes. You already got them unlocked since you logged in during that release window. You can play through the story at your own pace and play the most recent release as well! It is also good to keep a few external sources on hand. With this I mean the official Guild Wars 2 forums and the Guild Wars 2 subreddit. Both of these are very active and will post news about the game, upcoming releases and a lot of memes of course.

If you are not super invested in keeping up on those and checking them manually, there are other options. While you were playing Guild Wars 2 you might have ran into a nice group of people and you might have joined their guild. Usually, Guilds have Discord Servers where you can communicate with each other about the game or general gaming stuff. If that is the case, members of that Discord server usually post the most recent updates in there. THere is also a big Guild Wars 2 Discord server that will keep you up to date and has a lot of friendly people that help returning players like you get back in the game. I got a Discord Server myself you can sign up for too. Both Discords can be found in the description. And last but not least, try to subscribe to YouTube channels that cover the latest Guild Wars 2 news. For example, WoodenPotatoes. He has been covering Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 for more than 10 years. The official Guild Wars 2 channel is also a good place to start as well. Anyway, those are the things that should get you back into the game and keep you up-to-date.

If you have questions, let me know in the comments. I love to help new and returning players back into Guild Wars 2. If you got tips yourself, don’t forget to share them as well! If the video helped you, you know what to do! Give it a like, subscribe and share it with your Guildies. For now, I would like to thank you all so much for watching and I hope to see you in the next one! PEACE!.

Guide Submitted From YouTube