Check out WoodenPotatoes’ multi-video Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns review

YouTuber WoodenPotatoes, whom you might remember from Tina’s top five Guild Wars 2 vloggers review earlier this week, has posted a lengthy review of Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns, now a year and a half on. It’s a critical look at the promises made for the expansion, the expectations we had for it, what was actually delivered, and how the game has progressed over time to now.

“I think you’d be crazy to say that Heart of Thorns didn’t disappoint at release,” he says in the first video. “It disappointed me. The story was too short, the content was too limited, and very importantly, it didn’t feel like much more had been added with the raw expansion than if they’d simply continued the previous living world season instead. And that would’ve been free.”

But since then, he argues, ArenaNet has fleshed out the game and made 2016 the game’s strongest year (though it wasn’t without its own content droughts). If you’re a fan or former fan of the game, it’s worth a look — it certainly resonates with me and echoes a lot of the complaints (and praise) we’ve seen over the last many months down in our own comment section.

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33 Comments on "Check out WoodenPotatoes’ multi-video Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns review"

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kalamari_
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kalamari_

part 5 (elite specs):

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Paraxes

What GW2 and its HOT developement cycle have shown me is that this game doesn’t offer me any reason to play for longer.

The endgame is cosmetics – Fashion Wars 2 – and yet almost anything that is not a legendary comes from the shop. There are exceptions, like the SAB but if your endgame is too make your char look “swagger”, then having 90% of the good looking armor be shop exclusive is not a good thing.

I still remember farming the elemental Sword in GW1 for fucking months in the desert with my E/A and it was like I was going to heaven once it finally dropped. What do they do with that iconic skin in GW2? Shop, in gambling boxes.

Yeah, thanks but no thanks which really pains me since I like the rest of GW2 a whole lot but have no reason to login other than the 4-5 hours every couple of months for the living story.

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Josh

Yea, I’d say that the actual model of cash shop they had was perfect…
However, their management of that cash shop very much went downhill, especially after HoT. They lost their sense of balance with gear available through game vs gear from the shop.
Cash shop updates became more and more frequent when updates in game became less and less frequent.
Class balance was my biggest beef with GW2, but this aspect definitely annoyed me too.

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TomTurtle

I found his thoughts on the mastery system to be the most interesting thus far. The mastery system really fell short of the Metroidvania inspiration that ArenaNet said they were going for.
Though with how players hated having content barred off like that, I’m not sure how ArenaNet could ever do that justice. That system, among others, is going to be heavily scrutinized in the next expansion. They’ve lost a lot of good will with HoT, and they need to demonstrate that they’ve learned their lessons.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

I think they showed us that they have learned something from the feedback about masteries. the new ones that we get on the LS3 maps are more in the spirit of true metroidvenia progression. not rly necessary, but fun to use and pure convinience.

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Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

It’s funny, because my feelings were exactly opposite. HoT’s launch was pretty good, with some blemishes, but ANet completely failed to stick the landing. They end the expansion story with a bunch of cliffhangers, detour into raids for like eight months, then when they finally get back to the living world they just leave all the story threads dangling and start throwing dragons at us in the hope we won’t notice. No, thanks.

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Bryan Turner

They tied up the expansion in a Current Event quest line that should have been advertised and covered better, I agree that that storyline shouldn’t have been left dangling so long but they had to post pone LWS3 for six months in order to basically relaunch/fix the expansion in the April feature pack.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

It doesnt matter for how long they postponed it. the main story was pretty much done with the death of mordremoth. without major cliffhangers. the funerals for eir and trahearn are only subplots.

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Bryan Turner

Logan and Zoija were pretty drawn out but we’re more or less on the same page.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

what cliffhangers? the HoT story was pretty much done in the end. and the one point I critized too, Eir’s funeral, was implemented in the first (or second) LS3 episode. ofc there will be always some details that get no 100% solution, but all the main plots got to an plausible end imo.

Line
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Line

Always interesting to hear what a super fan has to say. Kinda disagree with a lot of things though (masteries character bound? Yeesh!).

What worries more for the future is that they failed pretty much exactly where I expected them to.
Wasted ressources on adventures that are complete crap.
Guild halls are poop. Housing is worse.
Masteries are just boring as shit.
WvW is dying and the new map (when not removed entirely!) was, yet again, guano.

Instead of focusing on the good parts with new open world content and scaled instanced accessible to all players, they created a ton of new systems and mechanics… none of them being remotely likeable. And when they didn’t work, they just abandoned them. New guild halls? New guild missions? Making actual minigames that are not trash and not forcing you to play them with randoms?

They have so much stuff just lying around and no idea how to fix it.
They’d better do something with it, because expanding the world again will just mean diluting the player base even more. They need to seriously revamp rewards in the entire game, let people play what they want when they want… and fix the fucking UI.

There’s a reason why everyone’s lost when they play: the entire fucking game is just dumped in the Character tab. But how do you even know that you have to access FOUR DIFFERENT tabs just to know the story chapter you’re in, click on a specific icon to see the achievements… then click in another tab entirely to see the collection progression related to the story quest… only to end up in another tab to see that its part of yet another collection that happens to be classified as “rare”… in another tab.
Oh, and you’re asked to already have masteries to even unlock some parts of them! Where do you do that? Yes. Another tab.
Oh and by the way, the minipet reward? Another tab. The title reward? Yeah, another tab; the achievement one this time. Why? Who the fuck knows.
Gratz now you got an ascended box. You don’t know what’s ascended? Well, check on the wiki or something. You don’t know why this box doesn’t have the stats you’re looking for? Check the wiki. You need another accessory to complete your gear and want to search in the UI how to get it with the right stats? My poor child. Check the wiki, and don’t get lost, because the answer will vary depending on the stat, the slot, the currency, the time of the day, your astrological sign, the humidity in the room…

Could the game be any more obtuse?
Streamline all of that. Explain things ingame. Fix the broken mess of systems that you’re building upon.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

And… as much as I really want to get back into GW2… every time I even try, im reminded how far behind I am, and how there isnt a way for me to play catch up without paying extra money to do so.

No other mmorpg requires me to do this.

miol
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miol

o.O

The highest itemlevels are set in stone since 4 years, no treadmill to catch up!

The new season 3 maps give you plenty of extra xp to get any masteries needed way faster, as most are only needed in certain maps anyway, if at all!

It’s so easy to make gold nowadays to convert and finance any missed chapters (if you earn only 15g per day by doing a single hour of maybe only doing Fractal dailies, you can buy a missed LS chapter in less than every 4 days)! And as a new player you don’t even need to pay for the vanilla part one single dollar, contrary to others like ESO!

I really don’t know what game you’re talking about, but that’s not GW2!

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Dug From The Earth

Im talking storyline

The last living world bit I played was about 30% into living story season 1. I could care less about the grind for mastery points and xp, or items.

And no, grinding gold is never fun, especially in gw2.
How is that a good “come back and see all the new and amazing things you’ve been missing!” incentive, if you have to add “After grinding for days and days just to be able to catch up with story!

If this concept was good, other mmorpgs would have it. THe fact that GW2 is the ONLY mmo that does this, kinda speaks for itself.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

first:

And you keep forgetting, that they are free, if you managed to log in for a single second, 6 times a year, if you actually cared for the story one bit! :/

this a 1000 times!

second: you know that you can experience the LS story without paying gold or gems, right? everyone who has unlocked the LS episodes can take you with him and you can play together and experience all story content for free. you will not get mission rewards and achievements though…

so, before you throw accusations around how bad GW2 is, get your facts straight.

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Loyal Patron
imayb1

Odd. I don’t see it as “something I have to do to catch up”. Rather, “look at all the content to entertain me!” First, you don’t have to do story… at all. If you want to, then how is it a grind? GW2 is an imminently casual game. “Catch up” implies a race that doesn’t really exist.

Some alternatives: there are videos that recap story. For S1, the best is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joLmVI5URak. (There’s an in-game summary too, and iirc, you get some karma for watching it.) There are several options for S2 & S3, mostly piecemeal.

If you’re implying a need to grind in order to earn gems to unlock story content… well, the game has to make money. If you choose to earn it in game, that’s your choice. Logging in today can still give you LW S3 pt. 4 for free. It’s a fun episode and your choice to play it or leave it.

Line
Reader
Line

But… there’s pretty much no MMO on the market that do not ask for a pretty significant chunk of money just to play the story?
Without even talking about the actual grind you’d have to do (like say, completing pretty much everything in FFXIV just to get access to the next $40 expansion).

miol
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miol

If you really think doing some dailies or whatever other activity you can do for a single hour is already grinding, sure, have fun with watching a film, as even solo rpgs ask more of you!

And you keep forgetting, that they are free, if you managed to log in for a single second, 6 times a year, if you actually cared for the story one bit! :/

Where is that in ESO? And how many more hours of making more gold do you need, to even think about buying any dlc, as trading is way more difficult for non-megaguild-members or how potential new players having more than only one week to look around in vanilla?

o.O

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Dug From The Earth

Most people, when they take a break from a game, often uninstall it. Even those that dont uninstall, dont bother keeping the patches up to date, let alone can be bothered to log in every couple weeks.

Its an extremely customer unfriendly system, that ONLY benefits the active players, and serves and a huge inconvenience for everyone else.

Willing to bet most who says “Just log in once a week” or “Grind some gold and buy them” are all active players, who already own the chapters for free, or have plenty of gold already”

dassenlaw
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dassenlaw

Its an extremely customer unfriendly system, that ONLY benefits the active players, and serves and a huge inconvenience for everyone else.

Yeah FREE content is very customer unfriendly i agree!

The thing is took a break from the game around S2. But because it only takes about 3 minutes every 3 months i got every episode of S2. So it is actually a very friendly system and if you really want to the content you can have it with minimal effort.

Also seeing all your other replies you are just hating for the sake of it and all the replies are wasted energy.

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Titi Macel

Most people, when they take a break from a game, often uninstall it.

With 1tb hdd being the norm for ~5 years and lots of free/almost free cloud storage is no excuse not to keep a 30gb game.

dont bother keeping the patches up to date

You probably got to this link because you follow massivelyop on a social network website, so again there is no excuse not to keep up with the news.

let alone can be bothered to log in every couple weeks

Once every 2-3 months for season 3 so again no excuse.

With the current price of mystic coin(a material you get my logging daily) I’m pretty sure you can get enough gold for 1 x episode/30 days just by logging in game and then logout, for freaking 3 min/day.

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Dug From The Earth

Ive got over 700 games just on steam alone. So no, when im not actively playing a game, I often uninstall it.

Between games i AM playing, my work life, and my family life, no, im not going to spend time to keep an unplayed game up to date with patches. Especially not when my internet is limited to 1.5 mbps. (id pay for more, if it was available)

No. A normal person isnt going to log in to a game they arent actively playing.

The only reasonable info provided in these responses is that someone who owns the story chapters, can bring you along with them for free. I wasnt aware of this. However, I would hope there would be incentive for someone to do this with you, otherwise I dont see a lot of people jumping to spend their time doing something they have already done.

miol
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miol

Once every 2 -3 months (not days, not weeks, months!) is really nothing, if you honestly cared for the story at all!

And even if only half of those times, meaning every 4-6 months (a videogame lifetime!) would mean, only half of those episodes would you be missing!

But anyway, as already mentioned by kalamari_ above:

second: you know that you can experience the LS story without paying gold or gems, right? everyone who has unlocked the LS episodes can take you with him and you can play together and experience all story content for free. you will not get mission rewards and achievements though…

There is even a LFG tab for the Story Journal!

So… :/

miol
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miol

I’ve already such a backlog of WP videos about lore alone… XD

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

I love WP because of his objectivity. He gushes about things he adores and he is very knowledgeable and is critical in a good way of things that are bad. Too many columnists and youtubers and streamers act as if it’s not ok to have varying opinions on their favorite games. WP proves that you can be critical of a Developer’s messaging or lack of content and still totally like something a ton.

Zander
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Zander

While there is considerable praise throughout the video for the things that ArenaNet did do, I think the last 10 minutes really sums up the failings of the progression system in the game. I like the fact that he used video clips of the lead developer himself making promises that were never kept.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Saw these yesterday and been meaning to give them a watch. Don’t normally follow his content but I know he does good work and is a super hardcore fan, so definitely interested to see how his thoughts of the expansion overall line up against mine.

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Swifty

These videos really show how ArenaNet dropped the ball with HoT. On many levels just a badly designed expansion.

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Matthew Riddle

While he briefly mentions it, I feel he doesn’t give enough time to mentioning how little support World vs. World has gotten since the expansion. How the most ArenaNet has been able to provide for it in years are small adjustments and small additions, when it really needs much more wide-ranging changes.

It’s a shame when one of the main three pillars of the game (PvE, SPvP, WvW) has gotten so much less help than the others.

And whenever they announce the next expansion, which they are taking too long to in my opinion, it isn’t likely to include much content for WvW, as ArenaNet has been focusing hard on it’s PvE for a while now.

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Bryan Turner
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Bryan Turner

Trust me I’m sure he has a video for it since in an update video he mentions having roughly 10 different review videos.

miol
Reader
miol

The problem we shouldn’t really not forget is, they’ve actually invested a ton of ressources into these new Desert Borderlands, and with it a very different concept of WvW (Remember, when Mo said: “WvW=PvE”?! o.O), but that tanked so hard, that Anet is still so butthurt (They did a survey, that included non-WvW players, to decide if they should keep desert borderland! o.O ), they’re afraid to try anything bigger!

And sPvP was mostly handled by the marketing team, resulting of the abandonment of ESL participitation anyway!

They simply need to hire new blood to finally get over themselves!

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Bryan Turner

I’ve watched it, pretty well put together. Keep in mind I think he mentioned having close to ten different videos made for this review so more are coming today.

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