Yesterday the first Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns, was announced at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. Set to continue where Living Story Season 2 ended, the expansion sees players heading deep into the Maguuma Jungle in pursuit of the Elder Dragon, Mordremoth.
New biomes and maps
The Maguuma Jungle is billed as having hugely vertical maps, and will cover 3 distinct biomes – the core of the jungle floor, beneath the roots of the trees and in the canopy.
Mastering the Jungle
The jungle is billed as a very different environment to the existing maps in Guild Wars 2. To cope with this, players will be able to train into masteries to help them traverse the jungle and gain access to new content that would be inaccessible. Examples given include gliders to allow you to fly to inaccessible areas and learning to understand the languages of other races who then give you secrets.
Mastery points will be account wide (like WvW points), and will be given for a variety of activities, including existing Guild Wars 1 content.
Introducing the Revenant
This brand new class focusses on channelling the heroes of Tyria’s past and using those abilities to destroy their enemies. The full set of heroes will be announced closer to launch, but Mallyx and Jalis Ironhammer have been confirmed on the list. The Revenant is a heavy armor class, and parallels have been drawn between the Ritualist and Dervish of Guild Wars 1.
To refresh the existing professions, specialisations will be made available through training. These specialisations will make new weapons, skills and traits available to the professions, including greatsword for necromancers, and rangers will be able to become a staff wielding druid.
Finally making it into the game are guild halls. Billed as “a part of the Maguuma for you and your guild to claim” these will be areas to prepare for missions and launch into the new Stronghold PvP mode.
- No level cap increase
- No new gear tier
- New legendary weapons and precursor crafting
- New WvW borderlands map
The Bottom Line
Heart of Thorns will be a paid-for boxed expansion and not a standalone game. Whilst no date or price has yet been announced, the expectation is that “things will move quite quickly”. To that end, the game will be available to play at PAX East (US) and EGX Rezzed (UK) at the start of March.