Guild Wars 2's birthday introduces XP adjustments, gifts of pet queens

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Katie Williams at

Gather, peons, for the Queen's Speech. That's how Guild Wars 2 is marking its first anniversary, and it's bound to be more exciting than some drivel about a "royal baby." Instead, GW2 will show us how to do monarchy right, with a bunch of changes sweeping Kryta as the populace is showered with gifts.

The Guild Wars 2 website lists a slew of updates. Firstly, "culling" is being turned off, removing the limit on the number of characters on-screen at once so you can finally enjoy the party in all its splendor. Characters that are a year old will receive a 24-hour Birthday Booster, an experience scroll, and a "Mini Queen Jennah." I'm not sure what you'd actually do with your miniature queen, or how she might be more fun than a pet rock, but I'm sure ArenaNet has its reasons for this bizarre gift.

At the same time, the world experience rate that tracks progression through the game's World vs. World activity, is being increased across the board, with an added adjustment of points to equal your current rank. Additionally, Trebuchet Mastery is now a thing you can spend your ability points on.

The month-long, in-game hot-air-balloon-adorned jubilee finishes on August 20, wrapped up by the Queen's aforementioned speech—you'll want to get over to Divinity's Reach to hear what kind of as-yet-unannounced surprise she has in store for players. And here in the real world? You can drop by GW2's Twitch channel for a developer-guided introduction to the update's new features, also on August 20.