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Guild Wars 2 getting "Feature Pack" update, ArenaNet tease major trait changes

After more than a year of fortnightly updates, Guild Wars 2's Living World has finished its first season. Panto-plant Scarlet has been defeated, Lion's Arch is an abandoned ruin, and an ancient evil has awakened . The future of Tyria is uncertain, and filled with the potential for much death and destruction. Things are bleak, and tensions are wrought, but I don't much care because features are coming!

ArenaNet have today announced the "April 2014 Feature Pack", a major update that, instead of adding content, will shift the balance and upgrade the systems of their game. The full scope of the patch will be revealed in stages over the next few weeks. Today's teaser focuses on the extensive changes being made to Traits - the player-assigned stats that confer passive abilities and define a profession's build.

Traits are being completely opened up. Once a character reaches the appropriate level, they'll no longer have to buy training manuals. Instead, as soon as you start earning traits, you can begin to experiment with them. In addition, trait resets will be free and instant - available to the player at any point from the UI. You'll even be able to add and remove individual traits along one of your profession's five lines - modifying your existing build, instead of starting from scratch.

The flexibility is just one aspect of the change. When the patch launches, traits will also become more significant. Previously, each character could have a maximum of 70 trait points. In the new version, they'll receive only 14 - but those points will have a more dramatic effect. Major traits are also being changed. They'll now need to be earned - either bought from a class trainer, or by completing a specific event out in the world. Even existing Level 80 characters will have new abilities to collect, as each profession is receiving five additional Grandmaster traits.

In future weeks, ArenaNet plan to share additional details about the other areas of the game. You'll be able to track all of these updates at the Guild Wars 2 release page , and can read about specific new Traits here . The Feature Pack will go live on April 15th.

Phil Savage
Phil leads PC Gamer's UK team. He was previously the editor of the magazine, and thinks you should definitely subscribe to it. He enjoys RPGs and immersive sims, and can often be found reviewing Hitman games. He's largely responsible for the Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.