Every so often it seems as though the One Shots mailbox starts getting dominated with a single game. I’ve had this happen with Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World, to note two examples, but as of late it’s been all about the Final Fantasy XIV. Must be a shotworthy game, hm?
So today we’re going to feature only pictures from that game, starting with reader Nightscar’s captivating header. “I have been playing FFXIV as of late, and recently I took a screenshot that I think looks pretty cool and very cinematic.”
Do you agree? See the full-color version after the jump and judge for yourself!
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.
ArenaNet is up at the crack of dawn to officially announce that Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns expansion is now live and available at digital and retail locations throughout Europe and North America. A company press release also says that the game has topped 7 million global player accounts, and to celebrate, ArenaNet has published one of those lengthy infographic things featuring “hard data and fun factoids” including a staggering 1.4 billion total hours played.
Heart of Thorns adds a new masteries system that redefines endgame progression, as well as guild halls, new personal story chapters, a new PvP map and mode, the new revenant profession, and new weapons and skills for each of Guild Wars 2’s existing professions.
Click past the cut to view the infographic, trailer, and new pics!
Here we are in October, sandwiched between WildStar’s F2P conversion and Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns launch, and it seems as if we’re getting some very mixed messages from the MMO industry with these titles.
WildStar went F2P as a result of flagging sales and plummeting subscriptions, brought on — if you ask the commentariat — by the game’s insistent focus on hardcore, endgame raiding to the near-exclusion of other content. Today’s more well-rounded WildStar isn’t very much like what launched in 2014, presumably having learned that lesson.
Guild Wars 2, on the other hand, will introduce with its expansion tomorrow a brand-new raiding scene, and a particularly challenging one at that.
So what’s the deal here? Is ArenaNet out of touch or calculatedly gambling for a niche it doesn’t already have? Is raiding over or on the way back? Let’s talk about the state and importance of MMO raiding in 2015 for this week’s Massively Overthinking.
So Guild Wars 2 players, we hear that there’s something going down in your neck of the woods tomorrow. Some sort of expansion where blindfolded beast-people glide through jungles.
We bet that the waiting is the hardest part, so the very least we can do is point you to this forum post in which ArenaNet suggests seven tasks that you could undertake to prepare for Heart of Thorns’ launch. The list includes activating long-term guild buffs, completing guild missions, and spending influence now.
Another way that you can prepare is to watch the official interactive launch trailer that allows you to explore the big features of the expansion. So the only question left is, what will you do first when Heart of Thorns releases?
The first expansion for Guild Wars 2 launches on October 23rd, which means that players are now in the final countdown. Perhaps you’d like a bit of a recap of what’s coming soon? The game’s official site has provided a quick rundown of the upcoming raids today. Raids will be 10-person ventures pitting skilled players against challenges requiring practice, coordination, and substantial gear to defeat. And your rewards? Components for legendary armor, decorations for guild halls, and the admiration of your peers.
A recap of the game’s last Guild Chat show is also available, with an episode focused on the formation of the game’s competitive Pro League and the introduction of new legendary weapons. If you don’t have time to watch the whole episode (which is embedded down below), you can get a quick recap from the official site. You could also read our own GW2 columnist’s most recent column to bring yourself up to speed. Or just listen to that song by Europe on repeat for the next 48 hours, whatever gets you through the time.
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.
It was a largely upbeat week for the MMO industry, and the Massively OP podcasting team is back to bring you the good word. New games? More content? Massive rollbacks? Studio independence? We have it all this week!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
ArenaNet explains Guild Wars 2’s upcoming action camera in its latest website post. The feature will ship with the Heart of Thorns expansion, and it will essentially add a mode in which mouse look is always on, as opposed to having to hold down the right mouse button all the time.
The action camera mode may be toggled on or off, and it will allow players to aim their skills at a crosshair in the center of the screen, similar to many shooter games.
How will this affect targeting, basic mouse-click attacks, and more? You’ll have to follow the link below to find out!
There are always some of us who aren’t quite on board with the latest and shiniest games and expansions and instead wait to be convinced by friends and lured by strong word-of-mouth into the new content.
If you’ve been taking a wait-and-see approach with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, then YouTuber Bog Otter might just convince you that Tyria is the place to be on Friday. In a new video, which you can watch after the break, Bog Otter outlines 10 reasons why you should jump into Heart of Thorns.
Ready for them? Here we go!
ArenaNet published a couple of Guild Wars 2 dev blogs today, both of which focused on the fantasy title’s PvP. The first piece talks up the structured Stronghold PvP feature that’s coming with the Heart of Thorns expansion as well as a new league system and the new desert Borderlands map.
The second piece outlines how players will be able to earn hero points in world-vs.-world after the expansion release. “We’ll be deprecating current liquid world experience consumables and adding a new system to World vs. World in which players can complete all of the hero challenges in the game without leaving WvW,” ArenaNet explains. “We’re doing this because we want WvW players to have the opportunity to earn their profession’s elite specialization entirely by playing WvW.
; thanks Siphaed!
ArenaNet Game Director Colin Johanson had a few words to share today to prepare the Guild Wars 2 community for this week’s Heart of Thorns launch.
In the post, Johanson covered four quick topics. The first was to inform the community that the expansion would launch with a mix of guild mission types, after which guilds could pick what type of missions they wanted to do the following week. Next was the news that the Engineer icon will be revised for battlefield clarity and that fractal dungeon leaderboards have more work to be done and will not make it for the expansion launch.
Finally, Johanson said that Guild Wars 2 is about to tone its battle visuals down a notch: “One change you’ll notice when the expansion goes live — a number of FX for skills have changed. We’ve tried to cut back some of the visual noise of some of the ‘noisiest’ skills to make it easier to see what’s going on in combat with multiple players/mobs on screen.”
The combat of Guild Wars 2 sits in an interesting place between full-on action combat and more traditional combat mechanics, but it definitely edges more toward the former. So why not give yourself a camera that really emphasizes that active nature? The most recent official livestream showed off the upcoming action camera, which transforms the game with the control scheme of a third-person shooter, complete with crosshairs and a lock-on function.
Camera mechanics offer players a variety of options for targeting, lock-on functionality, and autotargeting systems, so you can customize exactly how you want to fight through content; players will also left-click to use the skill in the first actionbar slot rather than clicking to move or for abilities. You can check out the archived livestream below for more details as well as a preview of new legendary items.