The launch of an expansion pack is, quite possibly, the most exciting thing in gaming. Besides the launch day of the MMO itself, an expansion pack offers a very different but equal level of excitement. It’s not only going to build upon a game you already love, but - hopefully - prolong its life and your enjoyment of it even further. With Heart of Thorns arriving in just two days time, I’ve a giddy feeling that rarely makes an appearance once you begin playing a massively multiplayer game: the nearest equivalent being a big content patch.
Friday marks the long awaited arrival of Guild Wars 2’s first expansion pack and with it, a whole host of content that players have been eager to get their hands on after many months of testing. Regardless of what aspect of Guild Wars 2 you enjoy the most, it’s highly likely it will have received a significant overhaul or at least some improvements. Whether it’s World versus World, structured PvP, Fractals or simply exploring new zones, there’s something on offer for everyone here and much more than people first anticipated.
I remember when Heart of Thorns was first announced seeing lots of players question the amount of content (or lack of it) that was being delivered. Dubious comparisons to World of Warcraft were made - especially at the price point - and yet we now find ourselves with an expansion pack that’s not only filled to the rafters with stuff, but most of which has still not been experienced. Going into any expansion pack is exciting but when you know so little of what’s truly there, it’s adds a whole new track for the hype train.
When you’re on voice comms with your guild mates, all waiting for the servers to come online (or the expansion pack to officially go “live”) there’s a giddiness as to where you’ll even begin. I still have very fond memories of when Guild Wars 2 opened its doors, despite being unable to make my character or get onto my server. It didn’t matter as friends and I laughed so much during the course of the evening, especially when one of us finally got in ahead of the others.
I’m not yet sure what I’ll do first when the Heart of Maguuma is uncovered as there’s an inevitability that it’ll be so busy there’s a risk that I’ll struggle to immediately enjoy my surroundings, especially when events are being instantly “zerged”. Some friends and I have discussed going through some Fractals as well as heading to the new World versus World Borderland. Even the Borderland I expect to be exceptionally busy. Having said that, the initial rush for a new zone is a lot of fun and I’ve always found Guild Wars 2 to be at its best when areas are brimming with life.
There’s no news yet from ArenaNet as to how many copies Heart of Thorns has sold, but I’ve no doubt there will be hundreds of thousands of players all waiting to make there way in. From what I’ve seen so far, it would absolutely be deserving of those sales and I think elite specializations combined with Guild Halls is more than enough to see players part with their hard earned cash. Combined with the new sPvP ladder, raids and a scribe craft, I’ve no doubt there’s enough content to see me going for a considerable period of time.
Funnily enough, I was assessing what’s left for me to do in core Guild Wars 2 this week and it turns out, still a fair amount. Besides lots of achievements still outstanding, I’ve two World Completions still to finish (Guardian and Engineer) as well as Arah path 4 (ugh!). On top of that, a few more levels to max out my Fractal rank. It’s a fair amount considering I’ve played since launch and am about to add even more to my list thanks to Heart of Thorns.
When the expansion pack eventually lands on Friday, you’ll find me on Gandara under Lewis Burnell.2493. If you want to hook up with me and my guild, or just run some content together do let me know. Its been many years since I’ve been this excited for a product launch and I’m hoping it lives up to expectations. I’m pretty confident it will.
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