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Heart of Thorns Hands-On Preview

Posted from Guild Wars 2 Guru on Tue 3 Mar, 14:28

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As some of you already know, last week, myself and several other members of the Guild Wars 2 community were fortunate enough to be invited to the ArenaNet studios in Bellevue, Washington to try out a portion of the new Heart of Thorns expansion. While we didn't get the secret scoop on every detail of the new content, we were able to test drive the PAX East demo as well as the new structured PvP mode, Stronghold. And of course, nearly everybody who attended rolled Revenant, so expect some cool stuff on that, too. We were also given some gameplay footage, so keep an eye out for that at the end of the article (or watch it now, whatever). Enjoy!

PvE and The Heart of Maguuma
The beginning of the demo starts off precisely where the end of the Living Story ends. The Pact airships are flying towards The Maguuma Jungle with a clear focus on Mordremoth and the threat he poses. They've already toppled one Elder Dragon, so you can sense a pinch of confidence in the air as they inch closer to the domain of another. That confidence soon turns to chaos as vines shoot up into the sky and pierce the Pact airships like party balloons caught in a ranger's barrage storm. Destiny's Edge (minus Caithe, of course) rallies to control the situation, but their efforts fail as the entire fleet comes crashing down into the Maguuma Jungle.

And so begins a new adventure.

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Right off the bat, you can tell that Heart of Thorns has been designed with the past two-and-a-half years of live Guild Wars 2 development and community feedback in mind. One of the most obvious pieces evidence of this can be seen five or ten minutes into the first playable instance. Yep. Your character has found its voice again. A big strength of the original game that was unfortunately absent from any further living story updates was the idea that your character felt directly included. This was partially addressed in season 2 through more involved dialogue options throughout the story, but now your character will speak when spoken to, and respond back as the situation demands. There are standard, unspoken dialogue options as well. One example being if a story sequence finishes up, an opportunity to hunt for secondary information arises and you can hound surrounding NPCs until they spill their secrets.

Another big area of improvement is the new map design philosophy. Heart of Thorns takes what we've seen in the Living Story zones, more specifically Dry Top and The Silverwastes, and applies the concept of masteries to open up new play styles and adventuring possibilities. For the uninitiated, masteries are account-wide ability points you unlock as you progress throughout the game. Once you have enough points for an ability, such as gliding or mushroom hopping, you can use your new mastery to traverse the map in new, usually easier ways. Aside from gliding, one of the masteries I encountered in the demo was a mushroom-type jump pad. In the PvE footage at the end of this article, you'll eventually see a tall hill where players spawn as they complete the initial story sequence. This is actually a defensive sniper hill where players can provide support to those who decide to head down to the lower levels of the region where the enemies are spawning. Should this position be compromised and fall to your foes, players will need to run up quite a ways to reclaim to position. Or, if they had the foresight to invest in a mushroom mastery, they can use the jump pad below the hill and arrive almost immediately. It provides a great convenience to those who choose to spend their points in that specific area, but more importantly, it provides options. I did not invest in the mushroom mastery, so I had to take the scenic route up to the top of the sniper hill. However, once the enemies were killed and our base reclaimed, I used my glider to sail smoothly to the ground and get back to fighting. It's probably one of the most important features being added to Guild Wars 2 right now, and if the demo is any indication of the future, I don't doubt we'll be seeing many more masteries in the game's future.

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The Revenant
Speaking of important features, let's talk about the Revenant for a second.

At first glance, the Revenant is just a warrior with a blindfold, but once you make one you'll get a glimpse of the sheer amount of versatility the profession offers. The big perk of playing one is being able to channel the power of spirits to unleash all sorts of effects on your foes. These spirits are bound to your F1 and F2 keys and, upon activation, determine the entire right side of your skill bar, including heals and the elite skill. And while the Revenant does not come equipped with a weapon swap, you can swap spirits. This means that you'll be playing much more like an elementalist than other other professions when it comes to skill management. Though this time, since you're swapping the right half of your bar instead of your left half, you get access to two heals, two sets of utilities, and two elite skills, which is something unlike any other profession. You're going to want to carefully choose your main weapon and the two spirits that you can equip if you want to be a successful Revenant. Having access to twice as many skills comes with twice as much responsibility. If you don't know your own bar, you'll absolutely get wrecked in structured PvP.

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Which brings us to our next topic...

Structured PvP and Stronghold
Stronghold is amazing! At least I think so. If I didn't have a time limit I would probably still be in the ArenaNet offices playing. And this is coming from a hardcore World Vs World player. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to finally have another gamemode in sPvP. Sure, Conquest is fun, but for those who are looking for something a little more focused, I'm confident Stronghold will satisfy that hunger.

Stronghold is a crazy hybrid between World Vs World and Guild Vs Guild from the original Guild Wars. Two teams of five players are tasked with killing the enemy lord while simultaneously defending their own. It's mighty difficult to be in two places at once, so luckily you can recruit NPCs with supply to aid you in this most challenging endeavor. Door Breakers, or bomb-toting skritt, are your ticket into the enemy's fortress. If they can find their way from their spawn point to a door, they'll blast away at the defense until it's destroyed. There are two doors to destroy before the lord can be attacked, and the Door Breaker is the most effective means to achieving this goal. If the enemy team has a thirst that can only be quenched by the blood of a skritt, make sure to shut that player down yourself, or by summoning the archer NPCs to help escort the Door Breaker. Archers have a less focused objective than their skritt partners, as you'll always need the extra firepower during the match. A team that manages to break down both doors already has a huge advantage over the other, as they no longer need to waste supply on Door Breakers and can focus solely on producing more archers to bring to the fight.

There are so many possible roles to fill in this game mode, which is probably why I love it as much as I do. A player isn't pigeon-holed into just attacking the entire match's duration. You can have supply runners, Skritt assassins, trebuchet supporters, NPC escorts, and probably something nobody has even thought of yet. It all comes down to what you, as a player, are comfortable with instead of what the game decides for you. And that is something worth getting excited about.

But honestly, I couldn't pick just one area of Heart of Thorns I'm excited for. I've already seen an incredible amount of promise, and this is hardly even the tip of the iceberg. We still have specializations, guild halls, World Vs World (HYPE), and a whole mess of other areas to learn about before the expansion releases. But if you really need to satisfy your hunger, be sure to check out the gameplay video and screenshots we have of Heart of Thorns as well. And if that still wasn't enough, there are tons of other Guild Wars 2 community members that painstakingly put together their preview content as well. Don't even get me started on PAX East.

See you guys in game sometime!


Guild Wars 2 getting a first-person camera

Posted from Guild Wars 2 Guru on Thu 26 Feb, 15:13

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Guild Wars 2 getting a first-person camera

In an interview mixed with information from a press release to Eurogamer, NCSoft has confirmed that multiple perspective changes are coming to Guild Wars 2 in the 10 March 2015 update, including a first-person camera addition.  A field of view slider and UI horizontal/verticle options are also coming.

"There aren't any restrictions on where first-person can be used," the press release said, which means you're free to use it while fighting other players or casually exploring the lustrous world.

Game Update - February 24th, 2015

Posted from Guild Wars 2 Guru on Wed 25 Feb, 20:09

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For those keeping track, there was a game update last night that concluded the New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year
  • The Lunar New Year event has ended. Thank you to everyone who participated, and have a joyful and prosperous Year of the Ram!
    • Finolla and Phaedra have left Divinity's Reach, and the Dragon Ball arena is closed for repairs.
    • Celebration firecrackers have been removed from Divinity's Reach and the WvW citadels.
    • The Memories of Home effect has been removed.
    • Lunar New Year food items no longer provide a bonus to magic find. Their other effects still apply.
    • Quartermasters in WvW maps will no longer create fireworks when they spawn.
    • Lunar New Year daily achievements and bonus rewards are no longer available.
  • Fixed some recently introduced audio bugs.
  • Moved the miniature collection achievements to the Basic Collections category. Selecting a miniature collection will now display the missing miniatures.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the Griffon Mail Carrier's sound effects from playing.
  • Introduced the ability to view all locked dyes in the wardrobe, and players can now preview them on their character.
  • Added the Randomize Finisher option. Select this box to randomly choose from any unlocked finishers--including single-use finishers--to stomp your foe.
New Items and Promotions
  • A Chickenado Finisher is available in the Upgrades category of the Gem Store for 800 gems.
  • Lord Faren's Rapier Skin is available in the Style category of the Gem Store for 500 gems.

Lord Faren’s Rapier and Chickenado Finisher in the Gem Store!

Posted from Guild Wars 2 News on Tue 24 Feb, 00:01
A sword that's up to Lord Faren's high standards, and a finisher that'll blow everyone away!

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Heading to ArenaNet

Posted from Guild Wars 2 Guru on Fri 20 Feb, 17:20
Hey guys. So next Monday and Tuesday I'll be in ArenaNet territory to get some hands-on time with Heart of Thorns. It's gonna be a pretty quick trip, with me leaving Monday and coming back home Tuesday night, so I'll be squeezing as much as I can out of those two days.

The basic overview of the press event will consist of previewing some PvE content along with some of the new PvP stuff they have lined up. If all goes according to plan I'll even be able to record some footage of what I play. This, of course, isn't counting any interview opportunities I'll have with the developers, so there's no doubt plenty of stuff I'll be able to see and do while I'm there.

While I'm not specifically asking for questions to feed the developers, if you guys here have anything you want me to keep an eye out for, just post below and I'll do my best to keep track of everything for when I can talk about what I've seen. I can't promise I'll be able to get an answer for everything though.

Also, keep in mind that there will be a short embargo on the content, so I won't be able to do any sort of juicy live-tweeting while I'm there. However, if you want some non-specific details of my adventures I'll likely be tweeting from my personal Twitter account quite a bit.

That's all for now! I'll let you guys know if anything else comes up that you would want to know about ^^

Points of Interest: The Revenant in Heart of Thorns

Posted from Guild Wars 2 News on Thu 19 Feb, 00:02
Did someone say revenant? We heard you want to see the upcoming Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns profession in action, so tomorrow's Points of Interest is all about the revenant!

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More on PAX East and EGX Rezzed

Posted from Guild Wars 2 News on Thu 19 Feb, 00:01
We've updated our website to give you an overview of the happenings at PAX East and EGX Rezzed.

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Revenant: The Master of the Mists

Posted from Guild Wars 2 Guru on Wed 18 Feb, 18:35

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Revenant: The Master of the Mists

Arenanet has released a detailed blog post in which the new profession for Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns, the Revenant, is detailed.  The blog post includes information regarding mechanics, the legendary dwarf and demon stances, and the weapons that the revenant can use at launch of the expansion pack.  You can read the entire announcement/blog post on the official Guild Wars 2 website.

The blog post also details the first playable HoT demo during the first week of March, new conditions including slow and taunt, and other subtle hints at what is coming.

The revenant is the ninth profession, added into Guild Wars 2 as a unique archetype not seen in other games. Revenants are heavily armored masters of the Mists with abilities that allow them to harness and manipulate energy in order to perform immense attacks. They invoke powers from legends of the past to dominate foes and unleash chaos on the field of battle. Those familiar with lore from the original Guild Wars will see many familiar faces reappearing as legends, which you can invoke through this profession.

Revenant: The Master of the Mists

Posted from Guild Wars 2 News on Wed 18 Feb, 00:01
Come join Roy Cronacher as we explore the ins and outs of the ninth profession added in Guild Wars 2.

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Crimson Lion Dye Kit, Dragon and Lion Mask Skins, and Ram Balloon in the Gem Store!

Posted from Guild Wars 2 News on Tue 17 Feb, 00:01
Brand-new dyes and more this week in the Gem Store!

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Zhadow Sat 26 Jan, 19:50
oki sounds nice! Even though right now im in a little slump now on gw2, so not playing much/at all at the moment. But I send you an pm if im gonna get back to it soon!
Nymph of Meliai Sat 26 Jan, 13:07
It depends on your connection, unless you have fibre-optic broadband then NA servers lag really badly if there is any event stuff happening... Halloween, Christmas etc. If you are worried about lag, then I would advise joining RiOT on Seafarer's Rest Server because they do a lot of PvE stuff as well as the WvW. Their officers are divided into PvE and PvP... plus there are Swedish people in the guild and LOTS of Swedish people on the server. The server is mostly British, Swedish, Italian and Russian
Zhadow Sat 26 Jan, 09:42
Would NA server lagg for somone from sweden? :o)
Nymph of Meliai Fri 25 Jan, 20:58
If you like PvX pm Nymeria Meliae for an invite to RiOT (WvW/Dungeons etc.) = EU servers If you are strict PvE then pm Zara Zante for an invite to LOST = NA servers

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