by Branden Gee and Hugh Norfolk on July 2, 2015
Greetings, Tyria! In our previous betas you were introduced to the basics of Stronghold, our new game mode for plaver vs. player, in which you’ll gather supply, hire troops, tear down the gates of your enemy’s Stronghold and defeat their Lord. Today we are pleased to announce the next level of strategic depth that this game mode has to offer: Mist Champions!
Mist Champions replace heroes in Stronghold as the super weapons that help you punch through tough enemy defenses to push the game forward and secure victory for your team. In this update, each player now has a choice of which Mist Champion they will bring with them into the match. If you are the one to succeed at channeling the mist essence, your Mist Champion will join the fray.
Now you may choose whether to summon Turai Ossa or Grymm Svaard, who you may recognize from previous betas, as part of your build. In addition to these two familiar faces we are also excited to introduce our newest Mist Champion, Nika. If you were a fan of the original Guild Wars®, you will recognize this deadly assassin as one of the henchmen who fought by your side in Factions®.
With these changes Mist Champions are getting some major upgrades. The first is that in addition to their passive buff and elite skill (used in the lord room), every Mist Champion will be receiving an ‘on summon’ skill called a War Cry. This skill will fire off right when they are summoned and will affect the entire map. Turai Ossa gives each member on your team Aegis, Nika stealths your whole team, and when Grymm makes his big entrance each opponent you face takes a cannonball to the face. Winning the Mist Champion summon will now bring real and immediate change to the match.
Here are the details on the first batch of Mist Champions:
Turai Ossa – The savior of Elona
War Cry: “Shield of Elona”
When Turai is summoned he puts a protective shelter that blocks all incoming attacks on all player allies and their Lord.
Passive: “Desert Carapace”
Turai Ossa will pulse aegis around himself. Whenever you block an attack within range of Turai Ossa you apply protection to yourself.
Elite: “Bane of Joko”
Turai taunts all enemies in the lord room. Any enemy that damages Turai during that time takes a huge amount of retaliation damage per hit.
Grymm Svaard – Sailor and Sword-For-Hire aboard the Nomad II
War Cry: “Cannon Barrage”
When Grymm is summoned he calls the Nomad II to fire a cannon ball at all enemies on the map. The cannon ball knocks down and burns enemies it hits.
Passive: “Steel and Fury”
Grymm will pulse fury around himself. On critical strikes within range of Grymm there is a chance that you will call down a cannon ball that knocks down and burns enemies it hits.
Elite: “Nomad II Broadside”
Grymm gives the signal to the Nomad II to fire all the cannons on the ship into the lord room. The cannon balls will knock down enemies and burn them.
Nika – Obsidian Flame Assassin, Avenger of Vizu
War Cry: “Furtive Glance”
When Nika is summoned she stealth’s allied players and their lord. If you attack from that stealth you will blind your target.
Passive: “Smoke and Daggers”
Nika will pulse stealth around herself. If you attack out of that stealth you will blind your target.
Elite: “Fade to Black”
Nika will stealth herself and use her expert assassin training and speed to damage all enemies in the lord room. She will periodically come out of stealth to do a unique attack that dazes and blinds the enemy she hits.
Turai Ossa will be the default Mist Champion available to all players once Stronghold is released. Grymm Svaard will also be available to all players, though he will need to be earned by completing his reward track in PvP. You will need to own Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ to be able to access the reward track that unlocks Nika. Additional Mist Champions will become available in future live content releases and will also require Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns to unlock them for your account. We will be temporarily unlocking all of them during upcoming betas for pre-purchasers of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
Mode Preferences for PvP
Another big change coming is game mode preferences. This will allow players to pick whether they would like to play Stronghold, Conquest, or both. Players who pick a single game mode will only go into matchmaking with players who pick a single mode. Players who pick both will be matched with a preference toward players who pick both, but may be matched with another group that picked Stronghold or Conquest. Once matchmaking is complete, players will be presented with a selection of maps appropriate for their preferences. For now, Stronghold-only players will skip map selection.
We are very excited about how Mist Champions will impact builds, strategies, and overall game play in Stronghold. We are also happy to give players choice in what they play via game mode preferences. We look forward to playing with you, and as always, remember to ready up!