Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the first expansion pack for Guild Wars 2 and was released on October 23, 2015[1]. A playable version was available at the PAX East gaming festival, March 6-8 2015, and the EGX Rezzed gaming festival, March 12-14 2015. Additional questions may be answered in this FAQ.

Purchasing[edit]

The expansion is available through the official website and the in-game Black Lion Trading Company panel.

  • In-game panel — upgrading an existing account will automatically be applied to the account used to purchase the upgrade
  • External source — creating a new account or upgrading an existing account requires the redemption of the serial code
Editions available
  • Standard Edition ($29.99 / €29.99 / £34.99)
  • Deluxe Edition ($74.99 / €54.99 / £59.99)
  • Ultimate Edition ($99.99 / €79.99 / £79.99)
Items Standard Deluxe Ultimate
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns (expansion) 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Level-80 Boost 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Additional character slot 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Miniature Revenant Rytlock 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Revenant Finisher 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Mordremoth's Bane Guild Decoration 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Heart of Thorns Glider Skin 0No 1Yes 1Yes
4000 Gems ($50 / €50 / £42.50 value) 0No 0No 1Yes
  • In-game items will be delivered through the in-game mail and the account will be upgraded with the next log-in.
  • One Level-80 Boost included in a shared inventory slot per account. Multiple purchases of Heart of Thorns will not yield multiple Level-80 Boosts.
Upgrading

If a player bought the Standard version of the expansion, they can choose to upgrade to the Deluxe version via the Black Lion Trading Company for Gem.png2,400. You cannot upgrade to Ultimate from either Standard or Deluxe.

Pre-purchasing[edit]

Pre-purchase became available on June 16, 2015 and accounts that pre-purchase any edition receive:

  • Exclusive title: "Maguuma Trailblazer"
  • Access to all Beta Weekend Events
  • Additional character slot (requires the account being upgraded to have been registered prior to January 23, 2015)[2]
  • New Guild Wars 2 accounts registered between January 23, 2015 and June 16, 2015 will automatically be refunded what the player paid for the core game if Heart of Thorns is pre-purchased by July 31, 2015.[2]

Features[edit]

The Heart of Maguuma[edit]

The Mastery system[edit]

  • Account-based PvE progression system available to level 80 characters
  • Players can complete content and overcome challenges to gain Mastery Points
    • Examples include completing elements of the story, finding hard-to-find and hard-to-reach locations, defeating bosses and group challenges, exploring entire maps, and completing challenging achievements
    • Each Mastery Point tied to a particular objective can only be acquired once per account
    • Mastery points can be earned prior to level 80, but points can only be spent at level 80[3]
  • Masteries, Mastery Tracks and Mastery Points are divided into 2 separate categories: one for Central Tyria and one for the Heart of Maguuma, each leveled up through earning experience in the respective region
  • One Mastery Track can be active at a time; while active, a Mastery Track is filled by earning experience
    • After earning enough experience for a new tier, its mastery can be unlocked by spending Mastery Points
    • Completing a Mastery Track can reward all your account's characters with new abilities, such as:
      • Learning hang gliding to soar through the air instead of falling, or learning to use various mushrooms in the jungle to bounce to higher places, run faster or recharge your skills
      • Learning the languages of the civilizations of the jungle, earning their trust, challenging their champions, unlocking secret locations and learning new combat techniques
      • Unlocking collections for obtaining legendary weapon precursors, with collections for each weapon
      • Unlocking achievements in Fractals of the Mists, fractal challenge modes, more powerful infusions and instance-specific buff items[4]
      • Unlocking Mentoring Badge for your characters and gaining speed boost in cities and bonuses for crafting, reviving and picking up loot

New profession: Revenant[edit]

  • New heavy armor profession that channels and controls the power of the Mists.
  • Channels the power of great legends from Guild Wars past, and uses those to power the skills it has available.
  • When channeling a legend, the player's heal, utility, and elite skills change based on the legend, defining the role the revenant plays in combat.
  • Several legends will be available:
  • Legends provided by an Elite Specialization:
    • Legendary Dragon Stance.png
       Legendary Dragon Stance (Glint): provides the revenant with access to many boons which can be shared with allies. Furthermore, each boon-sharing skill has a release skill which releases energy to devastate an area

Elite specializations[edit]

Structured PvP[edit]

Stronghold[edit]

  • Stronghold is a new game mode and will be introduced with one map, Battle of Champion's Dusk.
  • Described as an "evolution" of Guild versus Guild
  • Players will be able to join and play in this mode without being in a guild.[6]
  • Teams fight for control of supply to hire troops, who join the player in an assault on an enemy stronghold, where you break down defenses and kill the lord to win
  • Players can also meet mist champions who can be won over to their side to join the assault and help destroy the lord.
  • Inspired by MOBA games
  • The game type will be available in custom arenas, and players will be able to set team size as they do currently.

World versus World[edit]

Desert Borderlands[edit]

  • New map where each keep has its own distinct theme.
  • Holding objectives around each keep gives abilities, in proximity to the respective keep, to the world that holds it.
    • Earth Keep: when controlling the shrines around it; the keep raises earthen walls to block enemy armies, turrets spawn to cripple and hinder enemies, and a sandstorm spawns that cloaks allies while entering it.
    • Fire Keep: when controlling the fire keep; magma pools become available to allow allied players to teleport between the pools, allies gain immunity to burning, and allies gain the ability to turn into an Inferno Hound.
    • Air Keep: when controlling parts of the air keep; launch pads become available to allow players to traverse to the top of the keep's cliffs quickly, air turrets activate that can blow enemies off certain areas, and allies gain immunity to fall damage while around air keep.
  • Revisions to WvW will be made so that holding objectives becomes a bigger part of victory in all maps
  • The new maps will initially replace the existing borderlands maps, but they will be reintroduced in some form at a later date.
  • Inspired by RTS games

Shield Generator[edit]

Skill Activation time Recharge time Description
1
Force Ball.png
 Force Ball
4 Lob a bouncing ball of force at target area. Knocks back and damages foes on impact.
2
Force Wall.png
 Force Wall
12 Create a wall of force at the target area. Foes cannot pass through.
3
Force Dome.png
 Force Dome
22 Create a dome of force at the targeted area. Blocks enemy projectiles and pulses stability for allies.

Reworked mechanics[edit]

Objective upgrades[edit]
  • Supply and coin cost for upgrades will be removed.
  • Supply holds and supply shipments will be smaller.
  • Individual upgrades are now grouped into upgrade tiers.
  • Upgrading to the next tier now happens automatically over time.
  • There are two tiers for camps and three tiers for all other objectives.
  • Higher tiers take longer to upgrade than lower tiers.
  • Each shipment from a dolyak caravan will reduce the remaining time by a set amount.
  • The time it takes to fully upgrade an objective should still be roughly the same as it was before these changes.
World Abilities[edit]
  • Reduced the total number of ability ranks of Guard Killer and Defense Against Guards from 10 to 5.
  • The Applied Fortitude and Applied Strength effects have been removed.
  • Ability lines that increased percentages from 1% to 5% now increase percentages from 2% to 10%.
  • Reduced the total cost of specific siege weapon lines from 75 points to 60 points.
  • Reduced the total cost of the Supply Capacity line from 300 points to 145 points.
  • Normalized all ability progression tracks of five ranks per line to 35 points.
  • Normalized all ability progression tracks of four ranks per line to 15 points.
  • The Supply Master and Mercenary’s Bane lines remain at 15 points.

Guilds[edit]

Guild halls[edit]

  • Guilds can claim and grow a guild hall in the Heart of Maguuma
  • Provides a home where players can gather, organize for events and guild missions, and build and progress both the guild and the guild hall
  • Smaller guilds will be treated "respectfully"[9]
  • Guild halls will be locations discovered and entered on the world map, but are instances your guild owns. The plan is to ground the story of guild halls and their experience in the story of the jungle.[6]
  • Scribe is a new guild crafting discipline, used to create consumables, World versus World bonuses, and decorations for the hall.

Guild teams[edit]

  • Guilds can register guild teams to compete within sPvP, in both Conquest and Stronghold maps.
  • Leaderboard will show the best guild teams in the world[10].

Reworked mechanics[edit]

  • Guild chat — introducing cross-guild chat. From your main guild panel, you'll be able to assign which guilds you can chat to with new channels, /g1 through /g5. You can then decide which channels will be visible in your chat tabs. The existing guild chat channel, /g, will continue to chat to your currently represented guild.
  • Guild currencies
    • New currencies
      • Favor incentivizes guilds to gather and complete missions on a weekly basis
      • Aetherium replaces the pacing elements of the current queue system and establishes a baseline rate at which our largest guilds can progress that cannot be circumvented by spending gold.
      • Resonance serves the sole purpose of speeding up the assembling of guild items and removes the need to balance other currencies around that. Meanwhile, resonating shards reward guild members through successful guild missions.
    • Existing currencies
      •  Influence  Influence will no longer be able to be acquired once the new system is released. Previously accumulated influence will be used to accelerate your initial progress in building up your guild hall in the following ways:
        • Each day, you may trade a limited amount of influence for favor.
        • Once per day, you may use influence to purchase a small boost to your aetherium production.
        • Whenever it suits you, you may convert influence to resonance.
      • Guild Merits will be removed
      • Guild Commendation.png
        Guild Commendations will still be rewarded to players who complete guild missions
  • Guild upgrades — these mechanics will be moved out of the guild panel into physical structures with NPCs within the Guild Initiative and halls. If your guild has obtained the necessary research level and prerequisites to have consumables like banners or Vault Transport unlocked under the current system, you will have them unlocked to craft in the new system.
    • The cap on all of the guild consumables that will be transferring to the new system will be raise to a maximum of 25.
    • Temporary guild-wide bonuses will be permanent bonuses once unlocked or effects (like food and utility effects, maximum of 1) available from a vendor in the tavern.
    • World versus World objective bonuses will be permanently unlocked and apply to any claimed area.
    • Any consumable upgrades your guild has purchased that fall into the categories being removed will need to be used before the launch of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns or they will disappear.
  • Guild missions — will be available to all guilds and will not require upgrades to unlock. Each guild will have a limited amount of missions available and additional missions can be unlocked by upgrading the guild. Missions are free to activate and guilds are able to retry each if the mission is failed. Only one mission can be active at a time.
  • Guild claiming — claiming objectives in World versus World will function the same way but will offer more unique upgrades.
    • Improvements are always active at the objective that give it better defenses and new functionality.
      • Supply Camps: upgrade the speed, capacity, and toughness of dolyaks
      • Towers: upgrade to show enemies within range on the map
      • Keeps: enhance the defending players
      • Stonemist Castle: upgrade fountains to grant stealth to those who drink from them
    • Tactics are objective-based abilities that players can activate to temporarily boost or defend an objective.
      • Summon in supply drops
      • Activate a trap that chills attackers
      • Temporarily fortify gates and walls against all attacks
      • Call in a Pact Fleet bombardment to shred your enemies in a field of explosive ruin
      • Banner of the Centaur traps opponents in cages, rains arrows upon them, and gives you nearby allies the ability to trample them as you stampede across the battlefield.
      • Transform into a Charr car and sizzle your opponents in your burning rubber.

Group content[edit]

Raids[edit]

  • New PvE instances that requires 10 players

Fractals of the Mists[edit]

  • Fractal chains (3 fractals and 1 boss fractal) will be changed to single fractal islands.
  • Mistlock Instabilities will be added to, updated, or replaced.
  • Increased max fractal difficulty scale to 100.
  • New consumables to affect players inside a fractal
  • Updated achievements and rewards
    • Fractal achievements moved to separate tab with new achievements.
    • New daily achievements replace the daily bonus chest and will focus on three ranges as well as a specific scale.
    • Fractal Encryptions are reward chests from completing a fractal that can be traded to other players; containing Mini Professor Mew (as well as other unique mini pets), new ascended aquatic-breather recipes, high-level crafting materials, or many other rewards
    • New collection for fractal weapon skins, which can be purchased from BUY-2046 PFR after reaching fractal level 51 for Pristine Fractal Relics
    • New tier of fractal weapon skins from high level fractal rewards
    • Fractal leaderboards will be added.

Other content[edit]

  • Adventures
    • Repeatable, on-demand PvE challenges for max level players, closely tied to the new mastery system
    • Players can compete with each other through leaderboards for each adventure
    • Examples of an adventure could be killing enough vines with a flamethrower within a limited amount of time
  • Ascended equipment
    • Ascended equipment will be salvageable for materials used to craft legendary equipment or purchase fractal encryption keys
  • Commander and squads
    • Updated interface to display up to 50 players
    • Displays players' profession/elite specialization, health, supply, and "ready checks"
    • Options to limit which players can join a squad: Open Join, Closed Squad, Invite Only
    • Ability to send non-chat panel messages to members
    • Players can be split into sub-groups within the squad
    • Option to create a squad for raid groups
  • Action camera mode
    • Optional camera mode which enables a free look camera and mouse-based control over targeting, skills, and movement.
    • Enables targeting crosshairs. Skills activate towards the crosshairs.
    • Mouse left-click activates skill 1 at the crosshairs.

Gallery[edit]

Promotional material[edit]

Screenshots[edit]

Concept art[edit]

External links[edit]

Interviews

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official release
  2. ^ a b Official Website Blogpost Pre-Purchase Community Address
  3. ^ GW2 Heart of Thorns Interview with Mike O’Brien and Colin Johanson | TenTonHammer
  4. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/08/06/gamescom-2015-guild-wars-2s-mastery-system-takes-you-from-canopies-to-crafting
  5. ^ | Guild Wars 2 Heart Of Thorns Expansion Interview With Game Director Colin Johanson | GamebreakerTV
  6. ^ a b c d Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Interview
  7. ^ Guild Wars 2 director discusses Heart of Thorns, Revenants, Guild Halls, and more | ShackNews
  8. ^ PvP Leagues
  9. ^ PAX South 2015: O'Brien and Johanson on Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns | Massively
  10. ^ Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Expansion Interview w/ Colin Johanson (PAX South)