Today ArenaNet and NCSOFT announced Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, the fourth expansion for the award-winning and critically acclaimed MMORPG Guild Wars 2. Releasing on August 22, 2023, the expansion will host a variety of new gameplay features and epic adventures set high above the surface of Tyria, delving into the ancient mysteries around the floating Wizard’s Tower that have intrigued players for over two decades and further enriching the subscription-free online world of one of the most enduring and beloved PC games of all time.
Secrets of the Obscure will go on sale for $24.99. Launch day will see new explorable areas, two new Strike Missions, and new gameplay features. Future content will launch at no additional charge and continue to add new experiences: an additional map, a new Fractal of Mists encounter, Strike Mission challenge modes, and new rewards will arrive in the following months and into 2024.
The all-new story puts players into the shoes of both erstwhile defender and explorer of the unknown as they race to defend the world from a heretofore unseen threat. The adventure will begin with a climb through the Skywatch Archipelago, the first of two new maps being added to the game on release day. Hanging high in the sky above Tyria, these floating islands are under attack from the Kryptis, a demonic race of malevolent beings streaming through instabilities in the Mists and threatening the fragile peace of the world in the wake of the defeat of the elder dragons. What follows is an epic struggle into the Demon Realm, where the fate of the world rests in the hands of the player and their secretive new allies.
“Finally revealing the secrets of the Wizard’s Tower has been an idea floating around the studio (pun intended) for many years,” said Josh Davis, Guild Wars 2 Game Director. “With Secrets of the Obscure, we’re getting a chance to explore Tyria’s lore in a way we never have been able to before. New areas of the world, new characters and enemies, and new twists to the core combat gameplay should excite fans with how they are going to add to the game’s already legendary amount of content.”
A wealth of new features, activities, and storylines open up new possibilities for gameplay:
New maps: Two new explorable maps will be available on August 22, the Skywatch Archipelago and Amnytas, with a third to follow in a future update.
New hub area: The enigmatic Wizard’s Tower will serve as the jumping-off point for players to explore Secrets of the Obscure and be the central location that ties the player to the main characters and events of the expansion.
Astral Ward: As the Kryptis invade Tyria, players will be able to join a band of treasure hunters and adventurers known as the Astral Ward to help protect the world, undertaking monster hunts and bounty contracts throughout the game to rank up and earn new rewards and abilities.
The Heart of the Obscure: this important tool will serve as the player’s master key to explore the new expansion; as they make progress in upgrading this mystical stone, they’ll earn the ability to open special doors and reward chests, create support items like leyline and updraft generators, and open and seal the rifts for the Astral Ward.
Advanced Flight Masteries: Acquiring the fan-favorite Skyscale mount will be easier in Secrets of the Obscure, but those players who train their Skyscale in both the new track from this expansion and the previously released Path of Fire will earn additional functionality for their skyscale. Two of the Secrets of the Obscure skyscale masteries – in-combat mounting and updraft use – will also apply to the griffon mount.
New Strike Missions: Two new challenging 10-player instanced encounters arrive with Secrets of the Obscure: the Cosmic Observatory and the Temple of Febe. Their Challenge Modes are planned to become available in later releases.
Wizard’s Vault: The Wizard’s Vault awards Astral Acclaim for completing daily, weekly, and seasonal achievements across the game. Players can trade Astral Acclaim for unique items like armor pieces, weapon and mount skins, gold, legendary crafting materials, and more.
Relics: unlocked at level 60, this new equipment slot will now be the home of the wide variety of rune set bonuses previously found on different rune types, allowing for more customization of special effects and more freedom to choose the stat bonuses players want to use on their characters.
Weaponmaster Training: each of the game’s nine professions will now gain the ability to equip the weapons previously reserved for their elite specialization, unlocking new gameplay and build options for players.
New Rewards: A deluge of new earnable rewards await players, including the game’s first set of legendary armor earned through open-world PvE activities.
Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure is available for pre-purchase starting today for $24.99 and includes a bundle of pre-purchase bonus items, including an Eagle Eye Weapon Chest, an Arcane Spellweaver’s Hat, a special Demon Hunter character Title, a shared inventory slot, and a level 80 character boost. The Deluxe Edition ($49.99) comes with the standard edition bundle, plus another batch of exclusive items: an Astral Ward Feathered Raptor mount skin, a Magic Juggle emote, an additional character slot, and an Identity Repair Kit. The Secrets of the Obscure Ultimate Edition ($74.99) includes the exclusive Standard and Deluxe Edition items, plus 4,000 Gems, Guild Wars 2’s premium in-game store currency.
Beginning June 29 and running through July 2, all Guild Wars 2 players will be invited to take part in a special beta event to explore the new Weaponmaster Training feature. Once logged in, players will be given a special beta character slot to explore the innumerable character-build possibilities this new feature allows.
Also, beginning June 29, legacy Guild Wars 2 bundles and products will be on sale for up to 50% off both here and on Steam.
For more information about Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, please visit the official website.