Yesterday, while carving a path through Auric Basin on my (main) necromancer in Guild Wars 2, a magical thing happened. As has been the norm since Heart of Thorns went live last Friday, an in-game announcement informed me that a new build was available. This wasn’t just any new build, however, and it was interesting to witness the reception upon downloading the build and logging back in.

The big news of this particular update - at least for me - was the somewhat major reduction to the total number of Hero Points required to unlock the elite specializations added with the expansion. Prior to the update, the initial unlock for the spec cost 60 points, with the total cost to complete it set at 400. Those totals have been reduced to 30 and 250 respectively, and I would consider this a very good move on the part of ArenaNet.

While most longtime players likely had no issues reaching the original 400 Hero Point cost associated with unlocking the new specs, I could see where that may seem a bit daunting for returning or more casual players. On my main characters I had the elite specs unlocked over the weekend, but the reduction made a sizable difference in the life of my alts.

The reduction in Hero Points was the main topic of discussion in-game for most of the next hour, and for the most part the reception seemed highly positive. A few players noted that it removed a layer of challenge and sense of progression from the expansion, while others suggested they feared that Masteries would be made easier to obtain as well.

I tend to consider the change a good thing, and don’t foresee any rippling impact on other aspects of player progression in Heart of Thorns. There are definitely plenty of more challenging unlocks to obtain in the expansion, and it only makes sense that elite specs should be more easily completed than a more expansive system like Masteries.

The full patch notes can be found on the official Guild Wars 2 forums, meanwhile there is also a lengthy discussion on the patch on Reddit. Mind you, most of the discussion tends to focus on profession changes, but that’s to be expected. A few users do make note of the hero point reduction, however, also considering it to be a positive switch.

Speaking of hero points, for those of you looking to complete the challenges in Heart of Thorns, be sure to check out our complete guides:

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2016

About The Author

Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.