If you're playing Guild Wars 2, you'll see a new tab added to your Achievements section, called Collections. This is aimed at people who enjoy collecting things like different weapon and armor skins. These collections are accordion collapsed, so if you only see a few at first, know that there will be more to see and work on as you go through Tyria collecting items and skins. ArenaNet has added a new way to progress your character in the game, which seems to be able to be worked on from any level. If you're like me and enjoy working on puttering around your virtual worlds with alts after you've gotten your first character to max level (or even just puttering around ignoring max level), this will give you a new way to explore your world.
As you collect these items, you earn Achievement points and new reward items. Along with points and new things to collect, you'll unlock further achievements. Unlocks are one of the three ways, along with discoveries and automatic, to obtain collections. The automatic collections are the ones you'll see visible and available to you whenever you look at the tab on your Achievements panel. This will be the base set that you see available when you first log in after these go live. From there, the other two, unlocks and discoveries, become visible as you work your way towards goals.
Discovery collections stem from items you pick up, which happen to be part of a collection. Once you stumble across one of these, you'll now see the collection on your tab. According to ArenaNet, if you do dungeons frequently, this is one way to open up a few discoveries on the fast. Some of the items don't “discover” until you've used them, though!
Finally, there are collections that have to be unlocked by using an item before they can be seen or progressed. Go visit Rednax Youngblood in Lion’s Arch and he may provide you with the coveted Collectible Spoon Box to start your Koutalophile collection. This achievement is completed when you’ve found all of Tyria’s spoon trinkets. Most are sold by renown vendors to commemorate specific locations, but a few new spoons have found their way into some very dangerous locations.
We've gone over using an item to open up a collection, but you can also either bind an item to your character or account, or unlock a skin to trigger a collection opening up. If you use an item, it is considered to be “collected” by you and the same goes for binding. If an item is bind on acquisition, the collection trigger will be automatic, but if you come across an item that isn't, you now have a choice to make: bind it for a possible collection trigger, or use it as an item for trade or sale.
Because ArenaNet tries to have good faith in its community, they want to do their best to honor retroactive triggers you might have already experienced. This is guaranteed for skin unlocks and bound items you still currently possess, but since it would be a technical nightmare to log in every single item that's been used or once owned, you will need to seek out these items to once again use and own them. It's not a perfect system, but let's be honest here: they could have just said that everyone needs to start from the beginning, but instead, they're meeting their community half way. I think that's a pretty good compromise.
Along with the new Collections Achievements, other parts of the game will be getting a pass to tidy them up. The former Collections tab in the bank is now called Materials, which is a more appropriate name for what they really are. The Achievements pane itself has had a bit of reorganizing done to it to put everything in more appropriate spots, as well. All Achievements will have the new UI created to go with Collections, since ArenaNet felt it was cleaner and easier to use. ArenaNet also states that this is just the beginning, and to expect more to come in the future.
This, to me, seems like a rather satisfying addition to the game, but I haven't been able to play Guild Wars 2 in some time. If you're playing the game, please let us know how you feel ArenaNet is doing with the new Collections system! Are you excited about this? If not, what do you think they can do to make a better system? Let us know below!