Expanshalones are standalone expansions, expansions for which a base game is not required (but not because it’s been bundled with said base game). Classic Guild Wars is particularly well-known for this campaign-style update.
It is kind of impossible to stroll around the MMO blogging community as of late and not trip and fall into a pool of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
impressions and opinions. So why not dive in and see what lies under the surface of these experiences?
GamingSF suffered from technical issues that kept him from getting into the expansion initially, but when he did, he recognized that it had some “really nice features.” Why I Game concurs with this sentiment, noting that there are “a lot more nods to exploration this time around.”
“Story is okay, nothing amazing, some funny bits help, and I find it gets better as it progresses onward,” ECTmmo.com wrote. “The actual places you get to travel to and explore in this expansion are what makes it shine, well, that and the mounts.”
We’ve got even more Path of Fire impressions after the break, as well as a look at Star Trek Online, Elite Dangerous, and Ultima Online!
I’ve spent a chunk of the last week moving through the first part of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire, finishing up the Crystal Oasis zone into which a character is deposited right off the airship. Obviously, it’s far too early to give a formal stamp of approval until I’m fully through it, but so far, I’m pleased with my purchase. Very pleased. I’m already pretty sure the expansion is update-of-the-year material for the genre. But it’ll take a few months to see how it fully meshes with the existing game, and while the same was true with Heart of Thorns, my urge to stop writing and go back into Elona for the next zone as I type this already tells me that PoF has delivered on at least its basic promises.
So while we let the community savor the game until a fully informed consensus is reached, I wanted to dash off some quick thoughts based on this first week of midcore casual play. Consider it a top 5, bottom 5 list as we dig into the very best additions to the game – and the things that still annoy me.
My first week of playing Guild Wars 2
again was interesting, in no small part because it’s rare for my playtime to be so devoted to being able to play what the vote indicates. Yes, it’s true, I did not actually get much playtime in for Holosmith with this first week, simply because… well, how could I? I had to unlock the elite spec first, and that requires a fair bit of doing, enough that it inspired a completely different article.
So that was some frustration, and it leads to more polls this week, but I don’t want people to come away thinking that I’m already not having fun with the game. Quite the opposite, in fact; while there are frustrations in how things are designed for unlocking elite specializations, there’s enough to like about the game on a whole that I can’t complain too much. But let’s start at the very beginning, which I’ve heard is a very good place to start.
Lore! Huh! What is it good for? Understanding why you’re standing in the middle of a pack of angry people with fangs in MMOs, of course. It’s the thin line dividing your actions from being reckless, indiscriminate mayhem and discriminating, careful mayhem. Lore is how you know what the world is like beyond your front door, and it’s the difference between understanding that you face Ragnaros, lord of flame or just knowing that there’s a dude here made out of fire, so you should probably use water spells on him.
All lore, however, is not created equal. There’s lore that creates a detailed, vibrant world full of people with their own hopes and dreams, and there’s lore that creates a game where you know what you’re supposed to be doing but have no idea what people do for fun afterwards aside from waiting to die. So today, we explore the tiers of lore, arranged in a numbered list because that’s the entire premise of the column. It’s not Perfect Vague Assortment of Concepts. That’s not even a column.
Even if you’re a Guild Wars
lore fan whose favorite word is “Cantha,” it’s likely that you’ve lost a bit of the story along the road between Guild Wars 1
. Enter today’s Guild Wars 2 dev diary
, which serves as a handy refresher course: In addition to a more top-down narrative explanation in the video, there’s an actual timeline of events leading up to the present day, explaining why this time we’ll be fighting an actual god instead of a dragon.
Indeed, the studio says that returning to the Crystal Desert and its southern cousin, Nightfall’s Elona, has been planned for since the launch of Guild Wars 2 way back in 2012. “It’s a pivot,” the story team says. “Players have been contesting against elder dragons since the game launched. We have beaten two of the elder dragons of a possible six, and as a result of beating these two cosmic scale entities, we’re starting to see the repercussions. It seems very much like we shouldn’t kill any more elder dragons, but lo and behold, here comes Balthazar.”
That guy, right? Watch along below, and don’t forget to get caught up on mounts with our deep-dive in Flameseeker Chronicles from earlier today.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from SWTOR, Warframe, Rappelz, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Stardew Valley, World of Tanks, Starcraft Remastered, Armored Warfare, Guild Wars 2, Neverwinter, RuneScape, Pokemon Go, Dota 2, Wakfu, and Skyforge, all waiting for you after the break!
Snail Games’ MMO-turned-survivalbox reboot Dark and Light has prepped a new patch landing today aimed squarely at the B word: balance.
“This latest patch is designed to address player concerns about game balance,” says the studio. “We’ve enhanced the strength of all buildings and adjusted the strength of certain spells to better protect creatures and players, to make battles and raids more fair.”
Specifically, the game has seen nerfs to stone and iron weapons and weaker spells vs. thatch and wood buildings, so whether or not your fire spell can take out your enemy’s base will make a little more sense. Meanwhile, critters in the wild can’t damage anything but those weaker types of construction. Wouldn’t make much sense for a squirrel to wreck your stone castle, right? Except dark squirrels. Those guys can mess you up.
It seems like the entire MMO blogosphere wanted to chip in thoughts on the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
announcement, whether or not each writer was playing the game. So what did they all think?
“Finally, something other than dragons to fight!” enthused Occasional Hero. “I love mounts. And I love leaping and jumping mounts,” wrote Aywren Sojourner. “BUT. We all know what else a mount system introduces — cash shop opportunities!”
GamingSF ran down the features, saying that he’s on the fence as to whether or not to come back: “The best way to know that, I suspect, is to play some of the game in the time between now and the 22nd of September.”
Not everyone is on board with the expansion. “The announcement did not in any way overcome my healthy skepticism of the ‘horizontal progression’ philosophy of the game,” chimed in Endgame Viable. And In An Age seems like he’d wants to play, but admits that the business model puts him in a “mental bind” regarding both expansions.
The focal point of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
will be Elona and the Crystal Desert. Do you not know what the Crystal Desert is? Then get out
. You have some Guild Wars
to play, including a lot of Nightfall
, which is going to bring you into Vabbi and it’ll be so
great. Or… all right, you could
just watch the lore video from the Krytan Herald down below to get a brief overview of the region’s history and what it means now
instead of playing through all of that.
You could also do both, though.
Assuming you’re going with the video option, you can catch that just below to get a nice big dose of Tyrian lore with excellent imagery and narration. It’s the sort of backstory that will be very useful to understand what the hell you’re hoping to accomplish in Path of Fire, as well as knowing why this region is so important to veterans of the original game. You can also check out our team’s thoughts and our columnist’s thoughts on the expansion announcement for a bit more context.
Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire
detail rumors are swirling as info (and disinfo) is trickling back from the test environment. Here’s a few of the more interesting bits (we’re tucking spoilers behind spoiler tags, so don’t sweat it).
It appears that the shared inventory slot granted with Heart of Thorns will indeed stack with the shared slot granted by Path of Fire, which is a nice little bonus ANet didn’t hype, given how much those account-wide slots are worth. The character boost tokens also appear to stack with each other.
Click to reveal potential spoilers about gear
An image floating around Discord has led players to suspect that gear drops in the expansion may arrive in our inventories as stackable, unidentified items
rather than predetermined items that clog up inventory. This would be a giant step forward for the game’s drop and inventory system, at least if our commenters in today’s coincidental Daily Grind are any judge
Yesterday, ArenaNet formally revealed Path of Fire
, Guild Wars 2’s
second expansion in five years. This standalone, campaign-like expansion won’t introduce a new class, but it will roll out a new elite specialization for all nine of the existing classes, just as Heart of Thorns
did. It’ll also add mounts that we’ll be using to romp around parts of the nostalgia-laced Elona desert from Nightfall.
Since the stream, the studio has released videos of damn near everything. Let’s dig in.
If you missed the stream this morning
or just want all the goodies in one place, here’s what we know about Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire
- It’s called Path of Fire! It launches on September 22nd, and everyone, even non-players, is invited to a preview weekend
this next weekend. (Just roll a F2P base account now.) Yes, you’ll get to play with a mount during that preview.
- You’ll be able to buy this expansion standalone, even if you don’t have HOT. It’ll run $29.99 by itself or $49.99 as a bundle with HOT. You can prepurchase already on the official site, and yep, there are lots of goodies included if you buy the upgraded $59.99 and $79.99 packages. A level 80 upgrade is included with all boxes, but if you want an extra character slot, you’ll need the higher packages. (Current consensus among commenters is that the price is fair and the upgrades are worth it.)
- Lore-wise, the expansion picks up right where season 3 just ended, with no gap in the plot and a heavy focus on Balthazar as the villain. “Seamless” is the word they used.
- The location of the expansion is the Crystal Desert and parts of Elona (Vabbi, and so forth) from Guild Wars 1 Nightfall. It’ll be nostalgia, but still accessible for newcomers.
Back in March, Guild Wars 2 player Luke Dowding announced that he was building a free and unofficial collectible card game for the community called Guild Wars 2: Heroes of the Mists. At the time, we crossed our fingers that ArenaNet could let the game stand, and as of April, when the game branched out for play on Tabletop Simulator, it appeared the studio was giving at least a tacit blessing. And now, Dowding has announced the game is getting an expansion themed around classic Prophecies.
“The expansion comes packed with over 60 new cards all based upon the memorable characters from the original Guild Wars 1 game Prophecies. The expansion also comes with a new ability as well as a huge balance overhaul to all existing cards which in testing has made the game a lot more fun and playable,” he writes. “Prophecies was my first choice because its the foundation in which the Guild Wars universe was built. I personally played Guild Wars 1 for several thousand hours and have very fond memories of the game. Add Prophecies as the first expansion is also a great way to bring back serious nostalgia and remember those key characters from the original game from over 12 years ago.”