Yesterday the Guild Wars 2 expansion was confirmed and first details were given by the devs at the PaxSouth conference (link and trailer on official site). There’s quite a lot in there, enough to justify an expansion box price perhaps, here’s a summary with some comments:
- New post level cap ‘mastery’ system to allow players to explore “new training opportunities” – some kind of alternative advancement class customisation system perhaps a la Everquest 2?
- Class specialisations – the example given is unlocking a weapon previously unavailable to that profession. There’s no detail of how many of these each class will have at expansion launch.
- New profession: Revenant. It’s a heavy armour class that “channels legendary powers”. Sounds a bit like the Ritualist from Guild Wars 1 to me…
- Guild Halls: could be interesting, but how much effort is involved and what can you achieve with this? Since we’d be playing as a duo only anyway it’s not likely to be much of a feature for me personally.
- Heart of Maguuma – new zones to explore is a great thing. I’m sure many will be disappointed that it’s not Elona or Cantha, the more exotic regions of the world from Guild Wars 1 campaign expansions.
The PVP/WVW stuff is irrelevant to me so I won’t comment on that. The announcement is a mixed bag of goodies, vague hints and disappointment as reported by Bhagpuss on his blog:
On balance it’s more than I expected if less than I hoped for. No new race, too much focus on “end game” difficulty, no real housing but an interesting new progression that sounds like EQ2‘s AAs, a new class and some really gorgeous new maps to explore.
I’d certainly agree with that summary. There’s some interesting stuff coming to the game, the new class could be worth a go and new zones are always good. The hinted hang glider movement system doesn’t fill me with excitement given that it’ll likely be used to justify even more tortuously complex jumping puzzles.
I’ll wait to see details before we decide whether to get this expansion. The living story hasn’t kept us involved in the game for quite some time now so at least Arenanet are trying a new tactic. I have no problem spending some money to support the game, but it’ll only happen if I feel the game is starting to address some of the issues that I perceive with it – to me it has a very muddled view of its core audience (beyond fans of Tyria).
Playing the last sections of the Living Story I’ve grown tired of how the story progression is gated by ‘raid boss’ style fights. The mechanics are invariably annoying and require such a high level of combat awareness and mobility. Usually there’s too little information on-screen or in the instructions given which leads to google searches for tactics and frustration from multiple-unexpected deaths.
I suspect it’ll be a wait-and-see expansion for me, I’ll forgo the excitement of joining the masses on launch day and read the reviews of bloggers or forum posts to see how this expansions content is actually pitched, difficulty-wise.