The first wing of the first Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns raid was released in yesterday’s update. Spirit Vale is the first instanced content designed for squads of ten players. It promises great challenges and great rewards – you can read more about Spirit Vale on the Guild Wars 2 website.
This release has not been without controversy, however. Shortly after the release, guild Death and Taxes (DnT) announced themselves as the first to conquer the raid – accompanied with a salty ‘#first’ banner on their website. What they failed to mention was the fact that they were involved in testing the raid, which would have given them plenty of time to practice. ArenaNet took this very seriously, and removed the guild the testing programme. Here’s the official response from Mark Katzbach at ArenaNet, which can be found on this forum thread.
As many in our player community are aware, we invited the guild Death and Taxes [DnT] to our raids testing program a month ago and gave them unlimited access to the three raid wings currently under development. Upon public release of our first raid wing today, DnT decided to go against the spirit of our relationship by promoting the speed with which they completed the raid wing without ensuring that those reading their comments were fully aware of the fact that they had been given early access. In taking that approach, DnT showed that they do not fully respect everyone in our community, and that is something that we take extremely seriously. As a result, we have decided to remove DnT from our testing program. We want to thank them for their involvement.
Moving forward, ArenaNet continues to be excited about the possibility of collaborating with guilds in the spirit of creating great raids and fostering a positive relationship with our community. We’ll be watching as other groups attempt to defeat the raid with the goal of identifying additional likely test candidates.
It’s refreshing to see a company trying to encourage respect among its community members.