ArenaNet have detailed the next step in their four-part update epic, Flame & Frost. The second instalment, The Gathering Storm, will add a new PvP map, guild missions, a choose-your-own achievements system, and the next part of the game's Living Story . This time, the forces of good must hold back the titular storm. I assume it's a storm made of bad people, and not bad weather. I doubt even Tyria's talented citizens could battle an approaching cold front.
"The situation worsens for the citizens of Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau," reads the update's description . "Volunteers have eased the burden, but more refugees hobble down from the Shiverpeaks. The storm there gains momentum, but the forces of good are beginning to rally. They're sending their heroes to defend the land and its peoples. Someone must hold back the gathering storm."
Spirit Watch will be the new PvP map, in which players must capture the Orb of Ascension and transport it to one of three shrines placed around the arena. There's also a new rated PvP mode, pitting two teams of similar rank against each other, with rating adjustments handed down to each player after the match.
Guild Missions appear to be the most exciting new addition. According to ArenaNet, "These missions, designed for coordinated group play, include everything from bounties to group puzzles to cross-country challenges." Completed activities earn Guild Merits, which unlock "cool upgrades and rewards".
Also, achievements have been tweaked to allow you to set your own dailies. ArenaNet say that this will let you choose the type of content you want to focus on.
Flame & Frost: The Gathering Storm will be released on February 26.