Update: It’s live!
Didn’t get a chance to jump into Guild Wars 2
during last weekend’s Path of Fire
preview weekend? You’re getting another chance today, although this leg of the event will focus on the game’s elite specs as they play in PvP, not the on the first PvE map and mounts.
We anticipate that it’ll launch any minute now based on last week’s start time. The weekend event will be followed up by the launch of PvP season 8.
Massively OP Guild Wars 2 columnist Tina Lauro Pollock deep-dived the expansion last weekend and delivered her thoughts in a special Flameseeker Chronicles yesterday, so tune in to that while you wait, and check out the dev diaries on all the elite specs down below. Will you be testing any out?
I’m delighted to have found a moment to bring you an extra edition of Flameseeker Chronicles
that outlines my thoughts on the first Guild Wars 2
: Path of Fire
preview weekend. From last Friday until Sunday, every player was invited along to take some tentative steps into the Crystal Desert and get to grips with the raptor mount. We were also treated to a little bit of introductory story that ties the new zone directly to the Living World Season 3 finale without missing a beat.
So today, I will break down my preview experience into the main points, including my highlights and unfortunately ending on a pretty crummy negative. I’m hoping that further development based on the feedback from this weekend will help to lessen or negate my issue though, so I won’t be frowning for very long! Note that this article will contain some spoilers regarding the introductory story, so it’s best avoided if you are waiting until September to find out more on that front.
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.
has a new dev vlog
out today focusing on the development of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire
elite specs. Some of the class specs were born from a great name and concept, the studio says, like the Mesmer’s Mirage, whereas others were put together via a systematic review of game mechanics and consideration for what each class is currently lacking, like the Necromancer’s new support skills.
ArenaNet announced yesterday that it’ll be announcing even more (heh) about the elite specs throughout the week; expect the team’s livestream on Thursday ahead of the PvP preview weekend this Friday, then mount details on August 28th and story info coming at the beginning of September. In the meantime, the dev diary and the older elite spec videos roundup are down below.
This past weekend, the gaming segment of my Twitter feed was positively dominated by chatter about Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire
expansion free preview weekend. I even saw a few of my guildies dip back in, which shouldn’t have surprised me — quite a lot of our readers and friends told us in last week’s Leaderboard poll
that they had plans to try the free weekend, many of them no doubt trying to decide whether to buy it and return to the game or even play it for the first time.
The question is, did it work? Did Guild Wars 2’s preview weekend convince you to buy Path of Fire? Let’s hit the polls and find out.
Mounts are the big new thing in Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion, and as I’ve previously mentioned, I was initially concerned about their inclusion, given that traditional mounts would seem to necessitate a major revision of the game’s foundation. But of course, the new mounts aren’t traditional mounts; they seem more like toys to help players navigate parts of the world, not a second set of legs with a speed buff. I was OK with that; I was expecting, welcoming, something mundane and non-game-breaking.
But then my experience with the raptor mount in this weekend’s preview event actually impressed me: The raptor is astonishingly well-animated and genuinely fun (at least for those who don’t get motion sick), way better than a dumb toy or gimmick. While originally I rolled my eyes at the idea of romping around Elona on a dino, I surprised myself by enjoying whipping out rapty.
That said, I saw a lot of commentary this weekend from people who weren’t impressed — indeed, who talked themselves out of preorders specifically because of the mounts. The things I loved — the animations, the non-mandatory “toy” feel — seem to be huge turnoffs for other folks who want something more like, well, WoW. Is that you? Are you disappointed in the way the mount system works, or are you a fan of Guild Wars 2’s non-traditional mounts?
Longtime readers will know that we take motion sickness from games pretty darn seriously around here, given that we have a writer who’s been severely affected by some of the VR demos we’ve sent him to. So don’t read any judgment into this PSA: Multiple Guild Wars 2 testers participating in the Path of Fire preview weekend are reporting that they’re experiencing motion sickness, sometimes severe, while dealing with the game’s brand-new mount system, specifically because of the camera.
ArenaNet has apologized and said that the mounts team recommends lowering visual blur in the short-term as “they feel it may help with this problem.” Another user prone to motion sickness suggested a whole range of settings that are making mounts (or at least the demo raptor mount) usable for him.
“We’d love to hear from you if this adjustment is effective,” ANet’s Gaile Gray wrote. “Team members who have worked/are working on the mounts will be tracking this feedback!”
Update: It’s up, go go go!
Ahead of its September 22nd launch, Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion
will be on public display this very weekend — likely starting early this afternoon, if past patches and tweets are any guide
. ArenaNet has previously said we’ll be playing only the first chunk of the storyline
and tripping to the Crystal Desert, where we can explore the Crystal Oasis map and test out the mount system with the raptor.
As a reminder, anyone can play this weekend, even if you’ve never purchased the base game (which has since gone free-to-play) or the Heart of Thorns expansion (which is not and will not be free-to-play), and yes, even if you have not yet preordered Path of Fire. That makes this weekend the perfect opportunity to decide whether it’s something you want to buy or skip. Are you giving it a go?
I admit to being worried about Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion release as the year wore on and we’d still heard nothing. While I tried to reassure myself that the devs were just holding onto as much as they could so as not to spoil the whole season, I also kept reflecting on the long period between Heart of Thorns’ announcement and launch — the better part of a year. Whereas with Path of Fire, we’re getting barely two months. Is that too short? Which one will turn out to be better for revenue?
That’s a question Gamasutra asked earlier this month too; game devs polled offered a number of factors that weigh into when release dates are announced, ranging from “when it’s done” and when it’s “shippable with only reasonable regrets” to when there’s “a big press opportunity” (like a convention) or “what other games are already set to release.”
Let’s poll the MMO audience: How long before an MMO or expansion launch do you want to know about it? What’s the “sweet spot” time frame for announcing an MMO release date?
is continuing his huge Guild Wars 2
infodump on ArenaNet’s
behalf with a few more videos you might want to peek at ahead of the Path of Fire preview weekend that begins tomorrow
. Of note, he’s covered a couple of new features coming with the expansion, one of which was only rumored: the new identification system. As teased, gear drops will begin as unidentified, meaning gear of the same quality tier (we’ve seen just greens so far) will all stack (to 250) until you’ve ID’ed it (at a heart NPC). It’s a neat throwback to classic Guild Wars
, but more importantly, it’s a huge boon for anyone who was frustrated with inventory bloat (and newbies just joining the game who don’t necessarily want to shell out for a ton of bag slots). Moreover, it appears we’re getting a reduction in the amount of crap being salvaged when we salvage-all.
There’s also a bit on the expansion maps’ repeatable hearts (akin to those in season 3) and the new bounty system, also a throwback to Guild Wars, which he suggests might be designed to appeal to more casual folks who already prefer large-scale open world events to organized raiding.
Does anyone actually take a character to level 80 in Guild Wars 2
the normal way any more? With all of the boosts given out as daily rewards and for birthday presents, not to mention the free level-80 characters you get with the expansions, shortcuts might already seem like norm in a game with no level cap raises and zone scaling based on level. And now there’s another avenue to past progression: the Black Lion Trading Company.
For the first time, a level 80 character boost is available as a purchase in the game’s cash shop. It’s also available as part of a “preparation pack” for Path of Fire, which also contains an additional character slot, two bag slot expansions, an unbreakable gathering tools container, and some lockbox keys.
Speaking of the expansion, Dulfy has a preview of some of the new armor and weapon designs that you will be able to accumulate when Path of Fire releases next month, along with weapons that each new elite specialization will boast. Don’t you need a dose of eye candy today?
There’s a joke on the Guild Wars 2
subreddit that you don’t need to read anything about the game — you just wait for WoodenPotatoes
to put out a 30-minute video on 2 minutes of content and explain it all to you and more. It’s probably true, but since you’ve some time to kill until Path of Fire
launches on September 22nd, so why not fill it with WP?
His latest videos zero in on several big subjects. The first and most intriguing is the new map; it’s clear that the map has almost doubled in size as huge parts of the deserts southeast of Orr are now colored in and soon to be accessible. The scope of the map is compelling, maybe especially compared to the Heart of Thorns zone area, which is positively tiny to scale. He also raises some questions about why the developers would bother including empty but drawn-in areas to the east of Ascalon (like that big ol’ lake). Hmm!
The second video focuses much more on PvP and WvW, something ArenaNet has only lightly touched on since the big reveal. We’ve tucked both videos down below – and don’t forget to vote in our morning Leaderboard poll on whether or not you intend to play the freebie preview weekend in GW2 starting Friday!
As part of its marketing push ahead of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion launch in September, ArenaNet is plotting a freebie weekend for the game. The base game is already free-to-play, of course, but this weekend, all players will be treated to a preview of the paid and unlaunched Path of Fire content, even if you’ve never put a dime into the game. Existing players and newbies alike can basically tour the first zone (Amnoon Oasis) before deciding whether or not to pick up the expack. If you’re a total newbie, all you have to do is register a free account and you’re good to go starting Friday through Sunday. The weekend after that, the expansion’s elite specs will be available in PvP and WvW, so you’ll get to sample those too.
The question is — will this work? Are you actually going to give it a go? To the pollmobile!