If you visit the Guild Wars 2 zones that predate the new Heart of Thorns expansion, it’s easy to spot the players who’ve spent the bulk of the last few weeks in the new content. They’re the ones jumping off of cliffs out of habit, fully expecting their Heart of Thorns-specific hang gliders to whisk them over sweeping panoramas and on to glory. But they don’t; they drop with a nasty thump below. www.bygamer.com/buy-GW2
The Heart of Thorns expansion itself is a little like that. It’s great fun in the right circumstances, but when those circumstances shift a tad from the ideal, it falls a little flat on its face, with increasingly empty zones and the illusion of open-ended horizontal progression. www.bygamer.com/buy-GW2
One easy way of lessening that pain, I found, was to juggle the Mastery leveling between my Warrior and GW2 gold. One great thing about Mastery points is that they’re account-wide, which makes leveling alts far less painful. Leveling alts is particularly appealing in Heart of Thorns actually, since each class comes with new “GW2 gold” that unlock new weapons and alternative playstyles. The catch? They can only be unlocked by completing all the base class’s skills with hero points. The novelty of their designs usually make them worth trying out like in the case of the Guardian’s metamorphosis into a longbow-wielding Dragonhunter with traps that are arguably more effective than a Ranger’s. However, it fails spectacularly in the case of the Warrior’s humdrum Berserker specialization, which seems merely useful for an occasional damage boost at best.
But if you want an entirely new start with a class? That’s where the versatile new Revenant comes in, which draws on the powers of four legends from Tyria’s past in order to switch between a focus on tanking, healing, or damage dealing within seconds. It’s a flashy class, full of animations like slamming down a hammer to pave a stone road, but I also discovered with my couple of hours with it at around level 35 (after a boost) that it didn’t feel terribly different from other classes. I liked this, to my surprise. It means the class is just another strong alternative rather than the hot thing of the hour that quickly oversaturates the population. www.bygamer.com/buy-GW2
In an age when too many MMORPGs rely on the same old formula, Guild Wars 2 gold: Heart of Thorns does a commendable job of evolving the gameplay that’s made it so popular over the years. When it stumbles, it’s in its ostensibly open-ended mastery progression that’s more set in stone than it seems, and in its heavy group and dynamic event focus that doesn’t always jive with empty maps. Even so, it does a good job of overcoming these shortcomings with an entertaining story, a fun new class, generally attractive elite specializations, and a new vertical focus on exploration.