It's About Banding Together!

It's About Banding Together!

Living World Season 5

It's About Banding Together!

The Guild Wars 2 community has experienced over seven years of incredible growth. It has spread to numerous platforms of engagement such as YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit; and has tied people together through the mediums of art, music, and role-play. Last year, we brought together new partners in tandem with the roller beetle races, and with the upcoming Living World Season 5, we will continue to expand our host of friends to include other third-party companies so that players can experience Guild Wars 2 in even more varied ways. In addition to this, we are opening up applications to become an ArenaNet partner again — if you are an up-and-coming musician and would like to collaborate with us to have your music appear in the world of Tyria, this is your chance!

By banding together with these new mates, the future of Guild Wars 2 is truly going to be an ode to joy.

Musical Instruments and Game-play

Since the release of the original Choir Bell during the first Wintersday celebration, we have added an entire suite of musical instruments for players to enjoy, allowing for creativity to flourish and entire communities to grow. Unfortunately, there has always been a disconnect between the act of creating music and the playing of the game. Performing an ensemble on the beaches of the Splintered Coast did not aid in the defense of the turrets once Tequatl showed up. The Pact was no more stalwart in their march on Mordremoth thanks to some heartfelt fluting, nor were the Ogres swayed to stop their assault upon hearing a player's deep rhythmic bass. With Living World Season 5, we will change all of that!

The Power of Music Unites Friends and Foes

Living World Season 5 will add deep complexity to the current world of Tyria that the community has grown to love, as well as integrate the use of musical instruments to the new story and maps soon to be released. Ever wondered which synth-rock songs are driving the asura krewes in the depths of Rata Sum? Want true insight into the song that beats in a charr’s heart? Thanks to our banding together with incredible third-party partners, players will soon be able to hear Tyrian-takes of some of their favorite songs as they’re brought to life in-game.

And that's just one of the songs which we have developed for the community to enjoy. By presenting a musical instrument, players can hear a key NPC's tale of trials and tribulations, passions and progress. The player can also perform along to earn their way through brand new collections.

With the release of Heart of Thorns, we took a small step by allowing players to jam with a hylek, but that was only an echo of our plans for a living world. We have gone back and added real rewards and consequences to the core game based on the player's musical prowess. While swords and fire may cull the centaur tribes, try gathering friends at the gates of Nebo Terrace and see what a song may do. The risen of the Cursed Shore may at first seem mindless, but the more in tune a party is, the better the chance they have of plucking the strings of an undead heart. With musical instruments in hand, adventurers will become true players in Tyria, and create symphonies of both the day and the night.

Of course, we are aware that not all in our community have invested in a musical instrument of their own. To remedy this lack, players will be mailed a tambourine with the launch of the new season; no one should ever feel left out of the band!

The Ballad of Season 5

So where will the story of Living World Season 5 be taking the Pact? In keeping with the theme of forming big bands, Tyrians will finally be exploring the Ash Legion homelands to the East. No longer will charr player-characters wonder what happened to Dinky or Reeva; joining up with the old warband will be top priority! But be warned, dark overtones will show that not all has been harmonious since their Legionnaire left. Who's stayed in the group, and who's decided to go solo? Player-characters from other races will have the chance to build their own warband, so long as they conduct themselves appropriately.

New Features

Rewarding Peak Performance

Many of our community members work hard day and night to entertain their fellow Tyrians by playing musical favorites upon request or freestyling their skills to the amazement of all. Unfortunately, across Tyria there are only a few places where enough people gather to hear these songs, and that limits the number of performers at any given time. Living World Season 5 will introduce designated busking areas so that virtuosos and audience alike will know where to gather for a show. The buskers will be able to set a small fee to allow their listeners to hear the songs being performed. Don't worry, playing for free will always be an option.

In-Game Voice System

When we set ourselves to expanding player agency through the power of music, we realized early on that the heart of many songs is in the lyrics, and that’s why we’re implementing an in-game voice system! Players will be able to earn new mastery points as they sing a cappella to “Kiss from a Rose” alongside Faolain, or the new Amnoon hit, “The Awakened Sleeps Tonight”. Do note that to ensure quality of play for all, we will initially be monitoring the voice channels. Over the months following the release of the voice chat system, a proprietary machine-learning algorithm, the KittenFilter™, will be trained to do real-time monitoring in our stead.

Updates to the Scribing Profession

We felt that scribing does not have much use outside of creating decorations, so we decided to enhance the discipline by granting scribes the opportunity to record and transcribe songs in form of musical scores. Consuming a musical score allows the player to permanently learn a song for a specific instrument. This will unlock the ability to choose the song from a drop-down menu to either be automatically played by the character or be manually accessible in the form of on-screen notes. Musical scores are not account bound and can be sold on the Trading Post and consumed by any player.

New Mastery

Become a multi-talented one-man band by unlocking several new abilities:

  • Unlock the ability to use an instrument while on a mount and while gliding!
  • Whistle a favorite tune using a fresh set of implemented skills!

New Structured Player versus Player Game Mode

Players can demonstrate their responsiveness in our new PvP game mode: Musical Chairs. Of course, the Tyrian version of musical chairs comes with a twist — everything is allowed in this battle royale mode! Keep the enemy away from the chairs at all cost, using any means possible. The objective is to find the chairs, capture them, and defend them at all costs.

New Raid

A Cacophony of Evil Threatens Tyria — With the expansion of our instrument suite and addition of a voice chat system, players will be set for our first ever musical raid. Form a choir to chant the enemy into submission!

For a while now, the people of Garenhoff have complained about loud music coming from a certain floating castle in the sky. Join Scholar Glenna as she discovers the terrible secret surrounding Isgarren's abode: It's actually an opera house! Upon entering the raid, the squad will pick a side and either debut with the Elite Trumpeting Charr or perform an encore with the Scarlet Choir. Be on guard though — the audience is infamous for being overly critical. After the intermission, step-up your game in the Ballet of Doom. Tread lightly as one false movement could send players falling out of the sky! Finally, don't celebrate success too early as the aftershow will have the party face-off against Tyria's greatest diva. Who has what it takes to become the number one rock star?

New Items

  • Tambourine: Now players can literally shake it (off)!
  • New consumable: Musical scores. Learn new songs by consuming musical scores.
  • Build an opera house with these music-themed guild hall decorations:
    • Stage
    • Piano
    • Curtain stands; and many more!
  • New Pet Bird Whistle: Summon a songbird and teach it a new sound each day!
  • Legendary Infusions: Complete various collections to obtain the legendary infusions of Skald Olaf Heillsund or Freya Shattersong, an infamous norn diva.
  • Legendary Outfit: As players tune up their skills in the raid, they'll also be working towards our first legendary outfit. Looking sharp will appear totally natural as players leave their competition feeling flat.

New Merchandise

Hands-on Control

As we said at the start, we at ArenaNet have sought out many new band mates to perform with for the community's enjoyment. So it is our great pleasure to announce the release of Tyrian themed controllers designed by our friends at Mad Catz! That's right, we're rolling the beta for controller support starting next month!

Be prepared by heading to the Mad Catz website and nabbing one of the specialty themed controllers below:

  • Aurene — Grab this dragon by the crystals and fly through the skies like you've always dreamed! It features extra-textured grips.
  • Faren — Comes in two versions, Original and Swordmaster — the one with the loin cloth.
  • Rytlock — "Have you ever noticed how soft his fur is?" It comes with real faux fur!
  • Gourdon the Choya — Don’t worry, his behind isn’t as prickly.
  • Trahearne — Our all-time favorite Pact Marshall is back! This WILL end well! Made out of 100% ecologically sourced wood.

Voice Changing Software

With the introduction of the in-game voice chat, we are aware that some players might feel uncomfortable with sharing their voice, especially in role-play environments. To address this, we will be offering special voice changing software in the gem store to help the players fully immerse themselves in our game. Borrow the voices of Eir, Canach, Mordremoth, Rytlock and many more!

Don’t miss the upbeat with the launch of Living World Season 5 — April 1st, 2020!

Tuning Up the Wiki

Over the years, our wikis have become the bass line for Guild Wars 2, keeping the beat and making sure we're all on track no matter where we wander across Tyria. So it is our final pleasure to announce our new duet partner, Fandom aka Wikia! This ArenaNet / Fandom powerhouse duo will ensure that as technology grows and expands, our community wikis will stay at peak performance!

Our current wiki admin team have all had past experience working alongside Wikia, and are looking forward to a harmonious relationship.

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