The Living World in Guild Wars 2 is ArenaNet's official term for updates to the game intended to bring the world of Guild Wars 2 to life. Updates are added in the form of episodes, grouped within seasons similar to television. Each episode includes story missions and other content that tell the story of Tyria's ongoing evolution. The episodes serve as the ongoing storyline between expansions, detailing the effects of the previous expansion and leading into the next. Although the first season of the Living World was largely temporary, new episodes were made permanent starting in season 2 and could be replayed at any time.
Initially, Living World releases were a mix of new story and new features. In Season 2, new features were dropped from Living World updates and were bundled together in releases like the April 2014 Feature Pack. Starting in Season 3, this has been reverted and new features are bundled into an update whenever they are ready.
The Living World is divided into multiple seasons. This is their list relative to the core game and expansions in story order, each with summaries of the storylines:
Unlocking Living World episodes
Episodes of the Living World must be unlocked in order to play them. Unlocked episodes can be accessed by any level 80 character on your account. There are two methods for unlocking episodes. Episodes can be unlocked for free simply by logging in to any character during the episode's original release window. This lasts until the next episode is released; for Season 4, episodes are on a cadence to be released three months apart. After the release window, players can unlock the episode for 200 . The journal will indicate this with a "lock" icon and a "Buy Now" button.
- See also: Story Journal#Storylines
Unlike the episodes of Living World Season 2 and onward, the content comprising season 1 was temporary and is not available for replay. Following the conclusion of season 2 and the rebuilding of Lion's Arch, players can learn some of the details of season 1 by completing the Story Journal chapter Remembering Scarlet's War. For a player-written summary of season 1, please see Living World Season 1.
Season 5: The Icebrood Saga
- The Living World was originally introduced as the "Living Story", but ArenaNet switched to "Living World" and stopped using Living Story partway through Season 1 (confirmation in July 2013). However, players often continue using Living Story to refer to the Living World releases.
- Release — lists past, current, and scheduled storylines for the Living World
- Side Stories - small living world events that occurred during Seasons 3 and 4
- Story characters
- The Living Story in Guild Wars 2 | GuildWars2.com
- Living World in Guild Wars 2 | GuildWars2.com
- Recap: The Living World of Guild Wars 2 | GuildWars2.com