Level 80 isn't the end of your journey. Experience the ever-changing world through Living World stories and adventures. You can access Living World episodes in your story journal.
— Level 80 rewards.
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 permanent (except for Season 1) episodes, grouped within seasons similar to television. Each episode includes story missions and other content, including new maps, equipment, and other features, 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 are permanent starting in Season 2 and can be purchased and 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.
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: with the exception of Season 2, however, they require expansions to be played. There are three methods for unlocking episodes:
- Episodes can be unlocked for free by any account simply by logging in to any character during the episode's original release window. This lasts until the next episode is released; episodes are generally on a cadence to be released two to four 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.
- Once all of a season's episodes are released, players can also buy the entire season as a discounted bundle in the Upgrades section of the Gem Store. The bundle price will depend on how many episodes the player still needs to unlock, but it will be equivalent to 160 per episode. The currently available bundles are:
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:
- See also: Story Journal#Storylines
Unlike the episodes of Living World Season 2 and onward, the content comprising Season 1 was temporary and is most of it is not available for replay. Available are dungeons, fractals, and in The Icebrood Saga, a few story chapters from season 1 are playable as flashbacks. Players with the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire expansion can access them through the Scrying Pool after they complete the episode Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire.
For a 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.
- Expansion — lists Guild Wars 2 expansions
- 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