Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns was confirmed today at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. A trailer (below) debuted during the panel, effectively removing the brakes on the Guild Wars 2 hype train.
ArenaNet confirmed, first and foremost, that they would not be raising the level cap or adding a new armor tier, with co-founder Mike O'Brien stating a desire to release content with substance rather than create a false sense of progression.
The new area is called "Heart of Maguuma," filled with new maps and a "tremendous" amount of space, as described by Colin Johanson. Players will be able to move above the jungle on the canopy, the floor of the jungle, and deep underground.
Here are a few features ArenaNet mentioned, updated as more is revealed.
- New endgame progression: Mastery System
- Example: Players go to a new zone like the jungle, with new monsters and creatures. As such, you will "master the skills and abilities you'll need to dispatch them. The jungle is a world unto itself." The longer you stay in the jungle, the more skills you master.
- Complete elements of the story, explore maps, earn achievements, and so forth to earn Mastery Points
- Mastery abilities are accountwide and available for all your level 80s
- Confirmed Masteries:
- Gliding, by way of hang gliding as a means of exploring the jungle
- Lore mastery by understanding new languages
- New abilities to overcome some of the new bosses in Heart of Thorns, for more combat depth
- Regarding legendaries: Mastery system will allow "you to build out collections that send you on epic journeys throughout Guild Wars 2," which then reward precursors. And yes, there will be new legendaries and new precursors.
- Specialization System for professions! Here are some examples:
- Rangers will be able to "grow themselves to become a Druid," unlocking the ability to wield a staff and learn new skills for the Druid specialization
- Necromancers will be able to equip greatswords with their new specialization
- New specializations will be revealed later
- Things to note: the reveal trailer seemed to hint at Mesmers with shields and Engineers with hammers as well
- New heavy-armor profession: the Revenant
- Rytlock will be returning as the first Revenant ever in Heart of Thorns. He can control the powers of the Mists, a throwback to the caster Ritualist class in Guild Wars.
- Heavy armor profession, channeling abilities into weapons and abilities
- Revenants will be able to channel "legends," like major characters of Guild Wars past
- World versus World will be getting a brand new Borderlands map to the existing rotation
- Objectives will become overall more important to the WvW experience
- Keeps in the new Borderlands will be "themed," such as the earth keep. Controlling them will activate their defenses, such as parts of the earth keep raising the ground to defend it. The fire keep will feature magma pools.
- Competitive PVP to receive new Stronghold game mode
- Teams fight for control of supplies, and supplies can be spent to acquire troops
- Reminiscent of GVG: Players can form Guild Teams in Stronghold Mode
- GUILD HALLS
- Gird. Your. Loins.
Tragically, no release date was given for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Let the hype train continue on its current course.