ArenaNet will kick off a new multi-narrative storyline and introduce several new features to Guild Wars 2 on Jan. 28 with Flame and Frost: Prelude, a prologue setting up the content to come, according to an update on the game's official page.
The update hints briefly at the story, describing a mass exodus of natural disaster refugees into the world's south, and the need for volunteers to help the struggling survivors.
For the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 4, regular paid tournaments in the Temple of the Silent Storm map will change from three-round tournaments of eight teams to single-round tournaments of two teams each. After the week is over, the Temple will revert back to its regular paid and free tournament schedules.
Flame and Frost will also bring the new achievement system and achievement laurels announced earlier this month, and will add rounds of new achievements daily and special rewards for completing them. The laurels can be used to purchase gear and other goods, including five newly-introduced Utility Infusion upgrade components and 30 new high-level Ascended Amulets. The update will also bring guesting, allowing players to visit other worlds without performing a paid server transfer.
The page also notes that new items have been added to the in-game Gem Store, including aesthetic items for avatars like baby Quaggan backpacks and riding brooms.