ArenaNet finally launched the second major expansion for Guild Wars 2 this past Friday. Dubbed, “Path of Fire,” the expansion opens up access to an entirely new set of regions for players to explore, new abilities to unlock and master, a murderous antagonist in the form of an ancient god, and – a first for the game – ridable mounts! Take a look at the launch trailer from last week, which provides a more detailed look at the expansion:
Guild Wars 2 originally launched way back in August of 2012 for the PC along with a wide array of fairly innovative features and game mechanics that expanded on the MMO scene in a number of positive ways. Unlike the traditional MMO method of questing, players could gain experience and levels by completing dynamic events in their current region, winning favor with the locals by completing mundane (or not-so-mundane) tasks, discovering new areas, crafting weapons and gear, or competing in the game’s popular “World versus World” PvP mode, in which different servers fought for control over special regions.
The game’s first expansion, Heart of Thorns, released in late 2015, providing access to new areas and a new story to experience. The expansion also introduced “Elite Specializations,” which were a type of unlock tree in which players could gain access to a new weapon and, with it, powerful new attacks and abilities. In addition to the above, players could now gain “Mastery Points,” a special type of reward that could purchase unique, often region-specific perks. Gliders, for example, could be unlocked and used almost anywhere in the game, while most others enabled different means to traversing Heart of Thorns’ very vertical (and often inaccessible) areas.
Path of Fire expands on this system with a new Elite Specialization for each class (Thieves can now use rifles, Engineers have access to swords, Warriors can wield daggers, etc.) and a whole new set of unlocks for players to invest Mastery Points into. The new region, a sun-scorched desert, is referred to as “The Forgotten Land” on the game’s website, and offers “vast new maps filled with magic-drenched desert plains, ancient temples and ruins, and beautiful oases.” It is this inhabitable region in which Balthazar, one of the Guild Wars universe’s six gods, has begun his destructive campaign, and it is here that players must venture to stop him.
One of the more exciting additions in Path of Fire is undoubtedly the arrival of mounts to the game. Guild Wars 2 set itself apart from other MMOs by forcing players to navigate most regions either by foot or by swimming, with little other means to travel beyond teleporting via unlockable waypoints. Now, players can find special ridable mounts, each with their own perks. The Raptor can leap forward great distances, for example, while the Springer can jump to extreme vertical heights.
Guild Wars 2 is available for purchase via the game’s website for $29.99 and includes the first expansion, while an optional Standard Collection comes with both Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire for $49.99. If you already own the game, then Path of Fire is only $29.99. Unlike most MMOs, Guild Wars 2 does not require a subscription and can be played after purchase with no additional cost.