GW2: Path of Fire

So yesterday the Path of Fire expansion announcement came out, I missed the live show as I was busy but watched the excellent video later via the official website links. For me the most interesting aspects of this expansion are as follows:

New elite specialisations

Guild Wars 2, since Heart of Thorns, has had a ‘advanced class’ style system where you unlock said specialisation in-game and that then redefines the class by unlocking a new weapon and abilities. The nine new specialisations for Path of Fire are presented in a video excerpt here. I’m rather enamored of the brief description of the Mesmer’s Mirage spec – replacing dodge with timed intangibility sounds like my idea of heaven!

I also like the sound of the Necromancer’s Scourge spec, some kind of support focused-role using the torch off-hand weapon. I love playing support characters, so this could become my second favourite character spec to play (Mesmer first ofc). My poor Charr Necro is only level 25, so if I go all-in on this I’ll need to get leveling on him before the expansion launches on 22 September.

Mounts

The mounts look pretty cool, very much inspired by Everquest 2’s leaper and glider mounts me thinks. Mounts as abilities rather than just a simple speed boost is quite an interesting feature, perhaps they will keep adding more mounts at a later date? How easy will they be to unlock though? I’ve not yet played any of Heart of Thorns so the masteries system is opaque to me and I have no experience of it to base guesses of the scale of effort or grind for such unlocks.

The zones

Initially there’ll be five new very large zones – the devs in the video clips talk about the justification of finally adding mounts to the game being the larger size of the new zones. The artwork shown in the reveal video does all look so very stunning, Guild Wars 2 has always had top-notch landscapes. I played Prophecies but not much of Nightfall (in Guild Wars 1) so the Crystal Desert has some resonance but not the rest of the region. The mix of Arabian and Egyptian stylings though is all very appealing. That’s rather important in my view – if the expansion will have exploring zones as a feature then I want zones that are complex and varied – not just a big expanse of sand dunes. From the little we’ve seen in the brief clips it appears I will not be disappointed on this score.

Returning or not?

I’m in two minds over this, I was already thinking I’d like to return to the game. We find the lore, artwork, races and classes appealing. But the evolution of the content since launch pushed us away, whether the issues we had are still relevant isn’t clear to me – the best way to know that, I suspect, is to play some of the game in the time between now and the 22nd September…

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2 Responses to GW2: Path of Fire

  1. Guild Wars 2 to me is mainly about exploring the open world, and desert’s aren’t really my favourite biome, so I think this probably isn’t going to bring me back, especially with how far from the original concept GW2 has become and how lost I’d be on the story by now.

    That said, that new thief spec does look really cool. I’ve played rogue characters for a long time in MMOs, and I always end up wishing they had ranged options. Thieves already had pistols, but they were more of a mid-range option. A rifle spec for the thief could be a lot of fun.

    But I don’t think it’s worth buying the expansion just for that.

  2. bhagpuss says:

    The only Elite specs I use from HoT are Druid and Tempest. I filled all the others out but found them too fiddly and irritating to play. The Elite specs are far and away the least interesting aspect of the whole process from my point of view.

    The mounts and the maps look good though. I love Masteries. They are basically EQ/EQ2 AAs. The difference they make to gameplay is immense. Getting them is easy enough to be fun and hard enough to be satisfying. I’d like a whole lot more of them – they make a great substitute for vertical progression.

    @Tyler – I wouldn’t get too hung up on the “desert” theme. HoT was supposed to be “Jungle” but one of the first blog posts I wrote after it came out was about how it wasn’t a jungle in any way I recognized. This “desert” has underwater areas, snow, lush greenery that you can see in the video. I think the desert is more thematic than geographic.

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