ArenaNet are teasing the finale to Guild Wars 2's four-part Flame and Frost update series. Retribution will close out the "Living Story" that was started back in January, with a quest to assault an experimental weapons facility and defeat the Molten Alliance. It's certainly a tonal shift after the happy pixel clouds and bright platforming of the MMO's last update .
In addition to the story's culmination, Retribution will also introduce a couple of PvP beta features - letting a limited number of players trial custom arena battles and spectator modes.
"With custom arenas, you can make your own place to play, you can organize private tournaments with friends, and you can challenge other teams to scrimmage," writes ArenaNet server programmer Steve Bikun. Matches will be customisable through a number of rules, including team size, point and time limits, respawn type and balance.
Custom arena makers will also be able to toggle Spectator Mode on or off, allowing other players to watch these battles. According to programmer Evan Lesh, "Spectator mode is a great way for new PvP players to learn from more experienced players, and it will allow expert players to watch each other in order to refine their skill. It will also be an amazing tool for shoutcasting games between high-level teams."
Other Retribution additions include new Guild Missions, new WvW abilities, and guild siege weapons for WvW. Flame on Frost: Retribution is out April 30th. You can see the full patch run-down here .