I know I promised you an entry that focused on the changes to the in-game economy as my next installment to the Heart of Thorns launch diary, but a juicy post went live last night on the Guild Wars 2 website that I couldn't possibly postpone commenting on, so I've put my economy entry on hold while I take a look at the iterative development process that drives the expansion. Within a week, we've seen several tweaks to the mechanics that were introduced with the expansion, and the latest news is that the ArenaNet team has again addressed player complaints with an iterative development approach. In this launch diary entry, I'll take a look at the team's iterative approach and highlight precisely why this is a fantastic way forward for the game.
Another point I'd like to note before I talk about the topic at hand is that I'm now in the original Massively Overpowered [MVOP] guild and am looking for company. Any reader can join us by popping his or her account name in the comments below or in an email, or alternatively you can message me in-game by contacting Tinabeans.8064. Please note that I'm on a free secondary account, so I can't reply to your in-game mail or whispers unless we're mutual friends: Don't panic if I don't write back!
I've had the whole weekend with Heart of Thorns now, and I'm progressing very nicely in both the story and masteries. I've still yet to unlock an elite specialization, but I'm not actively chasing Hero Points at this stage because I'm putting so much effort into event chaining, furthering my personal story, and grinding experience. There's so much to do that I know it'll take me weeks and weeks to feel on top of things again, which is the perfect way to feel when a new expansion has just launched.
Many people have concerns with how Guild Wars 2's first expansion's progression is structured, though, so I'm dedicating this launch diary entry to dissecting the mastery system and discussing if there are ways in which we can contextualise the system and also minimise those complaints.
I've now put a solid day of playtime into Heart of Thorns, so I decided that it was finally time for the first of my launch diaries. There's so much to talk about and many features or elements deserve a separate post to fully discuss, but I wanted to get started with the immediate things noted during the first few hours of play. All in all, I think the Guild Wars 2 team should be very proud right now as they recover from the launch day madness. While there are certain big decisions in terms of direction that have upset both me and the bulk of the fanbase (cough cough the death of dungeons, which I'll take a separate diary entry for), I'm most definitely enjoying the expansion so far.
See below for my short list of the good, the bad, and the janky that I've experienced during my first foray into the heart of the jungle, complete with a packed screenshot gallery at the end.
I swear I've been waiting all year to say this: Heart of Thorns
hits this Friday, everyone! Cue the massive in-game parties, mass orders of junk food and energy drinks, and a chorus of cheers, cries, and happy tears from fans and devs alike. From the moment I picked up the Flameseeker torch, I knew that one of the best moments in my writing career would be covering the launch of Guild Wars 2
's first expansion.
It's no secret that I'm rather excitable, but I have to say that I've been overwhelmingly impressed with the attention to detail and collaborative effort that has been the HoT development cycle and especially the beta testing phase. I've enjoyed every beta event along the way, perhaps most surprisingly the Stronghold testing that helped switch me on to PvP. Now I'm simply trying to contain myself until I get to tinker with the real thing on Friday!
In the final edition of Flameseeker Chronicles before the expansion launches (squee!), I'm going to talk about my hopes and expectations for HoT and provide a quick rundown of last-minute things you can do before jumping into the expansion yourself.