Last weekend was another preview event for the expansion release this month. The preview also spawned a series of interesting updates, highlights include:
Update - Wednesday March 29
Attention fellow citizens of Tyria,
You have no doubt gazed with sorrow upon the scores of refugees displaced by the terrible conflict raging in the southern lands of Cantha. Were it not for the noble efforts of hired heroes, these poor souls would be spending another cold night in filthy gutters.
Mukesh the Merciless and his vile undead horde have been purged from the grounds of Nebo Terrace. The Kurzick homeless are pitching camp there as I speak. Likewise, the ettin thugs led by the notoriousand odiferousSmuush Fatfist have been quashed, making possible the Luxon settlement being built in North Kryta Province.
By order of the White Mantle, I declare both Nebo Terrace and North Kryta Province fit for habitation and trade.
Update - Thursday March 23
Please join us for the three day Guild Wars Factions Preview Event, starting this Friday, March 24 at 8:01 AM GMT.
* Two factions, the Luxons and Kurzicks, are engaged in a desperate struggle for control of the continent of Cantha. During this event weekend, players can create roleplaying characters in Cantha, join one of the two sides, and engage in battle for control of territory.
* We are not yet allowing existing roleplaying characters from Tyria to travel across the ocean to Cantha, but during the preview event, new Factions Campign roleplaying characters created on the continent of Cantha will start at level 20, with high level armor and a wide variety of skills. (These preview characters are temporary, cannot travel off the continent of Cantha, and will be reset prior to the release of Guild Wars Factions.)
* After creating a new Factions Campaign character, talk to Senji to choose your secondary profession, then talk to Master Togo who will guide you to the side of your choice.
* A variety of quests and missions will allow you to gain faction with the Luxons or the Kurzicks. These include Competitive Missions, which allow two random teams of eight to square off in a strategic battle.
* After gaining faction with the Luxons or Kurzicks, you can spend it for your own personal gain, or transfer it to your alliance to help your alliance gain standing with the Luxons or Kurzicks.
* You can also participate in Alliance Battles to help the Luxons or Kurzicks gain territory. As a nation gains territory, it rewards those alliances that have the highest standing with that nation by granting them control of territory.
* Each individual player earns Luxon or Kurzick faction by completing quests and participating in Competitive Missions and Alliance Battles.
* The Luxons and the Kurzicks hate one another. If you have more of one faction than another, many NPCs of the opposing side will not speak to you.
* You can talk to Faction Reward NPC, located in the Kurzick or Luxon capital, to spend faction for your own benefit. For this weekend, the only thing you can get is Amber or Jadeite, used to craft special armor sets.
* An alliance is a collection of guilds, led by the guild leader that created the alliance. Each guild that isn't in a larger alliance is considered an alliance of one. (During this Factions Preview Event, forming alliances is not supported, so each guild is its own alliance.)
* Form a guild (which is also an alliance) by talking to the Guild Registrar in the Marketplace. As always, forming a guild takes 100 gold, and players can be invited for 100 gold.
* The alliance leader may talk to a Kurzick or Luxon Ambassador, located in the Kurzick or Luxon capital, to choose a side for his or her alliance. Doing so costs 500 gold.
* Once an alliance has chosen a side, alliance members may talk to the Kurzick Scribe in House zu Heltzer (for Kurzick alliances) or Luxon Scribe in Cavalon (for Luxon alliances) to spend the appropriate faction to raise the standing of their Alliance. This is the only way for an alliance to gain standing and have an opportunity to be granted control of a territory.
* The on-going war between the Luxons and the Kurzicks is most directly manifested in the form of Alliance Battles, which support 12 players (3 parties of 4 players each) per side.
* To join an Alliance Battle simply talk to the Kurzick Kommandant in House zu Heltzer or the Luxon Navigator in Cavalon.
* Every three hours, the nation that has won more Alliance Battles moves the battle lines and takes territory away from the opposing nation.
* There are several potential Alliance Battle maps. Map layouts vary, but all the maps have the same goal: be the first side to reach 500 points. Points are gained by controlling strategic locations on the map and by killing enemies. Only one map is active at a time, depending on where the current battle lines are located. As the battle shifts deeper into Luxon or Kurzick territory, the Alliance Battles are biased to favor the losing side.
* Control of territories is granted to the alliances with the highest standing. The best territories -- the ones closest to the capital city -- go to those with the very highest standing.
* The resurrection shrine closest to a controlled outpost is guarded by Kurzick or Luxon NPCs matching the side that controls the outpost. Players not aligned to that side may not use the resurrection shrine unless they kill or bribe the guards.
* Guild Wars Factions uses DirectX 9 if available for video rendering. Guild Wars will still continue to run on systems that have only DirectX 8 installed, but the new Factions content will look much better if DirectX 9 is available.
* The PvP Character Creation interface now allows players to select the homeland of newly created characters. Canthan characters, which have a different visual appearance than existing Tyrian characters, are available to players who have access to Guild Wars Factions content.
* The Hero Panel now displays faction earned with Luxons and Kurzicks for Factions Campaign roleplaying characters.
* The Map Area window now displays the current state of key controllable resource points on certain competitive maps.
* The skill casting interface has been improved so that attempting to cast a skill while running does not cause the skill to fail.
* There is now a sigil trader in the International District of Heroes' Ascent.
* Fixed the functionality of the Ritualist preorder staff Spiritbinder. Previously this staff was not giving the +10 energy bonus specified in its description. If you have preordered Guild Wars Factions and have an old nonfunctioning Spiritbinder staff, you can destroy it and then type "/preorder" to get a new one.
* Fixed the Guild Lord and Ghostly Hero AI so that these characters no longer run away from where they should be standing. The Guild Lord and Ghostly Hero also now carry axes instead of swords, to justify their use of the skill Cyclone Axe.
* Fixed the AI for the boss monster Maxine Coldstone so that she no longer unequips her bow while fighting at melee range.
* Fixed a bug that was causing some parties to appear larger than they really were in outposts.