[Top 10] Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure New Gameplay Features

Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure is the fourth expansion and takes players to the skies of Tyria to defeat the otherworldly demonic forces known as the Kryptis.
Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure is the fourth expansion and takes players to the skies of Tyria to defeat the otherworldly demonic forces known as the Kryptis.

Secrets of the Obscure is the fourth expansion for Guild Wars 2 that was released in August 23, 2023. From new explorable maps to game mechanics that brings players ever closer to facing off against ferocious new foes named Kryptis, there is no shortage of things to do in the game. Let us see what new gameplay features has been added to the game now that the Dragon Cycle has ended.


10. New Story

Speaking of the Dragon Cycle, now that it has officially ended and our now grown-up baby Elder Dragon, Aurene, is focusing all of her attention to filtering Tyria’s magic and bring balance to it, we embark on a new quest that takes us to the skies and realms above Tyria. Mysterious rifts have opened up in parts of Tyria, and a new threat emerges to invade the world. These entities are demonic creatures that a secret society has been fending off that we eventually become a part of.

How it works:

  • Head to your story journal in the Hero Panel (H) and go to the new Secrets of the Obscure Tab if and when you see the green icon to the right of your screen as it indicates that there is a new story mission.
  • Click on the “Begin This Story” button to initiate the first mission, “Prologue: Uncertain Times.”
  • You will receive an in-game mail depending on your character’s race and ask you to return to your home instance. 


9. New Explorable Maps

New expansions usually bring new explorable maps for players to roam around and become filly immersed in. It is no different in Secrets of the Obscure, and it brings three new maps that takes players high above the skies of Tyria. Wherever the wind takes you, defeat the demonic entities that threaten the safety of our world!

How it works:

The new explorable maps are found in the Horn of Maguuma region; a region northwest of the Maguuma Jungle with a distinct L shape. The maps found in the region are:

  • Skywatch Archipelago - An explorable map that consists of floating islands and fractals that houses the headquarters of the Astral Ward and Rift Hunters; the main defense of Tyria against the looming threat of the demonic Kryptis.
  • Amnytas - A large-scale map consisting of five floating islands with the finale meta-event taking place at the central area, The World Spire.
  • The Wizard’s Tower Hub - A location that was once above the city of Garenhoff in Kessex Hills, is now in the Horn of Maguuma and functions as a lobby where players can access vendors and services.
  • A fourth map is stated to be announced in the future and will become available in a future release.


8. New Group Content

Endgame content continues to be added in Guild Wars 2 for players to sink their teeth into and challenge themselves in the hopes of getting new goodies. During the Secrets of the Obscure story, there are two encounters that become Strike Missions where we face an ally becoming possessed and a one-on-one encounter with a big bad demon. Whichever content you choose to tackle, do so with your group of allies and take them all down! Rewards await you upon their completion, Wayfinder.

How it works:

  • Strike Mission - Cosmic Observatory - The encounter is similar to the events that took place during the story mission and the fight to save Dagda.
  • Strike Mission - Temple of Febe - The encounter is similar to the fight against the demon, 
  • Cerus with some notable differences.
  • A new fractal will become available in a future release along wit its challenge mode.


7. Rift Hunting

Rift Hunting is a brand new mechanic that is unlocked while playing through the Secrets of the Obscure storyline. It consists of hunting down Kryptis Rifts, defeating said Kryptis that emerge, and closing the rifts for juicy rewards. The story's reasons for doing so reveal that dark powers are at play and we , alongside our new Astral Ward allies, must protect Tyria from these demonic entities.

How it works:

  • You need to first unlock the mastery, Heart of the Obscure Research, during the beginning story missions and complete the tutorial.
  • Upon finding a map where rifts are scheduled to form, use the mastery skill, Scan for Rift, to locate said rift and destroy it.
  • Upon finding the specific location, open the rift and destroy the Kryptis that pour out. Afterwards, a stronger Kryptis enemy will emerge that you and your allies need to overcome, close the rift, and gain rewards.
  • You can use items known as "Motivations" to increase the essence gained when the rift is closed by the players.
  • Closing rifts have no cooldowns and can be done at your leisure.


6. Wizard’s Vault

According to the Guild Wars 2 wiki, the Wizard's Vault is a brand new rewards system that is like an enhanced daily login and achievement system that provides players with nifty rewards. It also introduces the new currency: Astral Acclaim which can be exchanged for various rewards in the Wizard's Vault.

How it works:

  • Think of the Wizard's Vault like an additional daily that you get to do that offers you rewards. There are different activities that you need to do depending on what the game mode objective currently is.
  • Aside from daily rewards, there are also eight weekly objectives that you can complete that rewards at least 40 Astral Acclaim.
  • You can have up to a maximum of 1,300 Astral Acclaim at any given time and must spend it in order to claim more.
  • Astral Rewards come in many shapes and sizes but are not limited to: emotes, skins, Transmutation Charges, Mystic Coins, Bag of Laurels, and many, many more. Legacy rewards aren't available yet, but when they are, we will provide updates regarding these.


5. Weaponmaster Training

Players who have always felt that tying new weapons to elite specialization was a dumb idea can now rejoice. With the Weaponmaster Training system, no longer do Daredevils keep their staves to themselves, nor do Weavers keep their swords. With this feature, you can finally use the elite specialization weapons freely even without unlocking the specialization.

How it works:

  • Proceed with the story until you reach the story mission, “Mother of Stars”.
  • Talk with the NPC, Frode, and unlock the Weaponmaster Training.
  • Weaponmaster Training, once unlocked, allows your characters to access the weapons that were previously only available to the elite specializations and can wield them freely. Upon unlocking this feature once with one character, it becomes available instantly for your other characters.


4. New Mounts

During the Path of Fire expansion, Guild Wars 2 players were given a fun surprise when ArenaNet announced that they would finally be giving everyone the opportunity to earn cool mounts that opens up new methods of mobility.

In Secrets of the Obscure, players who didn't purchase Path of Fire got a second chance to unlock the Raptor mount and the Skyscale which was originally unlocked in the War Eternal Living World episode.

How it works:

  • Raptor - New players will be able to access this as long as they have Secrets of the Obscure. They will only have access to the base mastery for Raptor mounts.
  • Skyscale - The Skyscale becomes available for players as they progress through the story. Those who have unlocked it prior to purchasing the expansion can upgrade their current masteries to have additional bonuses.


3. Relics

Relics replace the 6th tier Superior Rune ability that you normally equip on your character. The 6th rune slot is then replaced into an additional stat bonus while the actual ability becomes a relic that can be swapped. This allows for more mixing and matching of stat combinations and abilities that you normally wouldn't if you were forced to use a specific Superior Rune set.

How it works:

  • Login after purchasing the expansion and you may notice a chest appear on the lower right. Open it to get three Relic Chests that contains a Relic Container: Survival, Support, Power, or Conditions
  • Relics can be equipped like other items in the Equipments Panel and replace the 6th description that is usually found in Superior Runes. 
  • Relics can be crafted from various crafting disciplines, and in a future release, will have the opportunity to craft legendary versions of it.
  • There are currently 40 core relics and 12 Secrets of the Obscure-related relics with more coming along the way.


2. New Masteries

New mastery tracks become available for players that expands on the abilities they gain during the story of Secrets of the Obscure. From providing more usage to the new Heart of the Obscure item to gaining increased mastery of your Skyscale, the world will slowly begin to open up for you, Wayfinder.

How it works:

Obtain Secrets of the Obscure Mastery Points by roaming the new maps and activating nodes, doing the story, or as rewards for completing certain achievements. Use said points in the following new Masteries:

  • Heart of the Obscure Research - obtain useful skills and upgrades that helps you to locate nearby rifts, generate temporary updrafts, unlock arcane treasures, and weave energies into ley lines.
  • Flight Training - Upon receiving your skyscale during the story, you unlock new upgrades that allow it to mount and dismount in midair, shoot fireballs, do a wall spring, use updrafts, ride the skyscale while in combat, and use leylines.
  • Astral Ward - Earn more passive buffs while in the Wizard’s Tower and craft new armor and recipes, as well as gain access to rare recipes that you can use while rift hunting and gain more Kryptis essence from rifts.


1. Expanded Weapon Proficiency

Players have been given new ways to play with their favorite professions with the introduction of Elite Specializations since the earliest expansion, Heart of Thorns. Each elite specialization profession brought a new weapon for them to use that opens up an entirely new playstyle for them. With Secrets of the Obscure, however, and the announcement that there wouldn’t be any new elite specialization, it was replaced with the Expanded Weapon Proficiency, giving classes a new weapon to use and opening more ways to play and builds to use.

How it works:

In a future update to Secrets of the Obscure (second major release), every class will receive a brand new weapon to use that gives an opportunity to expand on the list of builds players can use, namely:

  • Guardian - main hand and offhand pistols
  • Revenant - main hand scepter
  • Warrior - two-handed staff
  • Engineer - short bow
  • Ranger - main hand and offhand mace
  • Thief - main hand axe
  • Elementalist - main hand pistol
  • Mesmer - two-handed rifle
  • Necromancer - main hand and offhand swords


Closing Thoughts

The newest expansion has only been around for a few weeks and already players continue to wreck havoc among the numbers of the demonic Kryptis. No matter what activity you choose to do or what gameplay you would like to delve further in, there is no shortage of content for players to lose themselves in. With the next releases coming up within the next few days, weeks, and months, we can only hope that they build upon what has been established and brings more polish.

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Whether he is resting in Pelican Town, looping against the Entity or running from zeds in Kentucky, Don offers his tales from his gaming adventures. Just don't give him another gacha game.
Gamer Since: 1990
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Project Zomboid, Dead By Daylight, Kenshi, etc.
Top 3 Favorite Games:Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 2, BioShock

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