At 10:30am CST today ArenaNet are taking to the main stage in PAX South to discuss Heart of Thorns. There's every expectation that this will be the first expansion pack for Guild Wars 2 and unsurprisingly, ArenaNet have pulled out all the stops to bring key community members and press to the event. Also starting later today is a 75% discount to the digital copy of Guild Wars 2 if you buy direct from ArenaNet. In this node we'll providing all the neccesary content coverage of the event as well as links to anything we think that you'll need. 


Show Times

  • Pre Show - 10:00am CST, hosted by AuroraPeachy, Bog Otter, Jebro and ChroNick.
  • Main Presentation - 10:30am CST, hosted by Mike O'Brien (President), Colin Johanson and Jennifer Hale.
  • Post Show - Immediately after the presentation, hosted by Visualwood.
  • Post Show Interviews - Immediately after the Post Show, ArenaNet will be taking part in Press interviews that are due to be streamed on the official Twitch.

Live Blog (Hit F5 To Refresh!)

  • 9:45: And we're LIVE people! Make sure you hit refresh every few minutes if you're unable to follow the Twitch stream! 
  • 9:46: Is anyone else nervous? Why am I nervous? This is an exciting day! What are you all most looking forward to? 
  • 9:46: We've around 15 minutes left until things get started, make sure you visit this Twitch for live Streaming or stick around here if you're at work and depressed. 
  • 9:48: We're going to begin preparing our Content Coverage links in the next few minutes, we'll turn them on as soon as we're able! 
  • 9:51: Who do we think will be up first, Mike or Colin? My bet is on Colin swinging his sword. 
  • 9:54: Unsurprisingly the Guild Wars 2 official Twitch channel is absolutely jam packed. No direct numbers on how many are there but it's a bucket load. There's enough to make a moderator want to cry. 
  • 9:57: 4 minutes left until ArenaNet officially kick things off. Let's hope there aren't technical difficulties or the internet might just collapse under the rage of four million fans.
  • 9:59: 1 minute to go people. Battle stations!
  • 10:00: Goodness me, I can't keep up with the Twitch channel. The text is moving quicker than Usain Bolt on Acid
  • 10:02: Looks like we're already two minutes late. Not entirely surprising but that isn't helping my nerves. If this is just another Living World announcement I'm going to flip my desk right this very instant.
  • 10:05: I've just checked the viewers list on the official Twitch, there are so many I can't actually reach the bottom! 
  • 10:06: And we are LIVE people!
  • 10:07: Currently over 33,000 people viewing the Live Stream. Great to hear some awesome music while we wait as well.
  • 10:08: A loading screen and the sound of frogs, that's all Heart Of Thorns is. Go home people.
  • 10:09: Our very own Skyla Grimes is on the front row watching the action
  • 10:11: We're 11 minutes over time and I need the toilet. I daren't go for fear of missing something so if things get desperate, I've a Coke can nearby.
  • 10:12: We are on! Queen Jenah is here! Oh goodness, she's a good host.
  • 10:14: I love game fans. The crazy ones always go to the front. The third fan: "PvE that's not going to be terrible."
  • 10:15: Thank goodness for Jebro. The British are coming!
  • 10:16: Rubi is on, talking to Jebro, Bog Otter, ChroNick and Aurora. 
  • 10:17: Oh lord, the crowd is going insane. There's going to be a riot if this isn't an expansion pack.
  • 10:18: I love the matching check shirts. Very hip.
  • 10:19: I'll take a quick toilet break while they theorycraft what the expansion contains. We've all done that guys for months! 
  • 10:20: I can't see my Editor, he must be hiding in the crowd. First person to spot Reuben wins 1000 Gems. 
  • 10:22: Jebro is a really awesome host, I'm so glad they got him and the others. They know their stuff. Less than me of course ;-)
  • 10:23: Almost 45,000 people now watching the Live Stream. Wow.
  • 10:24: I love the fan holding the Commander Tag aloft. Is she going to throw it at Colin?
  • 10:25: And we're back to music and the official logo. That's all folks! 
  • 10:26: I love that the sound of the crowd is being played into the Live Stream, nothing like making us even more anxious.
  • 10:27: We're back - that was short. There's 1152 people in the crowd, 45,000 watching on Streams. Let's get those Boom Sticks going!
  • 10:28: More than 50,000 now watching, it's going up and up. Jennifer Hale is still introducing the crowd - I love her!
  • 10:29: She's talking about how she's been with the company since 2012, and how they roped her in to help with the hosting. In a few minutes the special guests are due on.
  • 10:30: Another lengthy loading screen and more waiting as the crowd goes wild AGAIN! 
  • 10:31: Jennifer introduces Mike O'Brien - WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • 10:32: Has Mike lost weight? He needs some Trifle and a Sunday Lunch on his bones.
  • 10:33: Oh god, I think I'm going to pass out...the excitement!
  • 10:34: Mike is giving a recap for anyone who's crazy enough not to have played Guild Wars 2.
  • 10:37: Holy shit. Let me get my breath. It's an expansion all right: Mike confirms it. The new trailer is incredible! 
  • 10:38: "TAKE MY MONEY" shout the crowd!
  • 10:39: Mike promises to reveal every feature today. He's now talking about the Living World model and how they have released over 40 updates.
  • 10:40: Maguuma Jungle is the most detailed and dynamic location they've ever made. Also says Guild Wars 2 would be the most social game they've ever made - he's praising the fans as the single friendliest in all online gaming.
  • 10:41: Mike is talking about gear treadmill and how that's not what they want. The expansion pack won't increase the level cap.
  • 10:42: Here come Raid confirmations.
  • 10:43: Mike is discussing about real character progression long after the best gear and maximum level. Masteries!
  • 10:44: When you enter the jungle you'll master the skills and abilities you need. Flying mounts were in the trailer...
  • 10:45: New group challenges are confirmed - more difficult than anything we've played before. On top of that, there's new profession specializations.
  • 10:46: We'll be able to customise our professions, new Guild support and new Guild progression. This all comes together to be a comprehensive experience about a deeper challenge.
  • 10:47: Heart Of Thorns is the new vision for character progression in Guild Wars 2. Mike seems chuffed and Colin is due out! No news on a new class, though?
  • 10:47: What's wrong with this crowd? So super quiet! 
  • 10:48: Mike says his thanks and is no doubt going for a lye down. Colin is taking over to give us the meat on these bones!
  • 10:48: Is Colin nervous?! Never!
  • 10:49: Here we go people, a full feature list. There might be a few breaks in this feed while I scribble it all down.
  • 10:50: Colin is now giving a recap of Episode 8. While we wait, some things from the trailer: Flying mounts, polearm weapons, new robots for the Engineer, new skills for the Mesmer, Rytlock is a badass, Hammer confirmed for Engineer.
  • 10:51: New area - Heart Of Maguuma. 
  • 10:52: Contains 3 layers, Core, Root and Canopy that you can explore. We need to find Glint's Legacy. 
  • 10:53: Colin is talking about Masteries: Account based PvE progression. Available to all Level 80's you have. You get Mastery Points for completing content, defeating group challenges or exploring. You spend these points on new abilities.
  • 10:54: Colin is talking about what we can master. He's discussing exploration and how when you reach the highest points you tend to jump off, before dying. You'll be able to master the ability to hanglide. As you spend more Mastery Points, you can ride gusts of wind.
  • 10:55: We're on the subject of lore. You can spend Mastery Point's to learn languages to learn about the civilisations and their lore. This'll give you exclusive access to areas that others can't understand or reach. 
  • 10:57: Abilities - new ones! No doubt lots of them. The Mastery system allows you to learn new ones to defeat the jungle creatures.
  • 10:58: Legendary weapons are up for discussion and Precursors. Looks like we'll finally get a quest to get one - you go on an epic quest to build your Legendary. 
  • 10:59: New Legendary weapons and precursors confirmed. 
  • 11:00: Next major feature: Specializations. This system allows each profession to master a new specialization, to grow it into a secondary profession. 
  • 11:01: Ranger's will be able to learn and master the abilities of the Druid in the jungle. They'll be able to grow themselves to become a Druid. They'll get a Staff. They'll also have access to a new heal skill, new elite, new utilities, new profession mechanics. IM DYING.
  • 11:02: Greatsword confirmed for Necromancer. 
  • 11:03: We'll learn more about the specializations for each class between now and the expansions launch. 
  • 11:04: New profession, Revenant. 
  • 11:05: They'll have the ability to channel and control the powers of the Mists. Heavy armored profession, they can channel the ability into their weapon and heal/Elite skills. He channels great Legends from Guild Wars' past. As an example, Iron Hammer, the Iron Dwarf, can be channeled by the Revenant. Demon Mallyx is available as a Legend that can channel and control conditions to defeat their enemies. 
  • 11:06: I hope Revenant's can channel Prince Rurik!
  • 11:07: World versus World is now on the table. Colin is outlining the existing game mode. 
  • 11:08: New map added to the Borderland rotation. Each Keep has its own theme. Holding objectives around the Keep provide bonuses to the World that holds it. 
  • 11:09: Earth Keep, Fire Keep. Earth Keep will defend itself. Fire Keep provides Lava Pools to increase transport speed.
  • 11:10: Core changes to the emphasis on keeping hold of structures you capture in WvW. 
  • 11:11: Structured PvP is up now. A brand new mode called Stronghold. 
  • 11:12: An evolution of Guild versus Guild. You fight for Supply, spend it to hire troops before Assaulting the Stronghold to kill the opposition. You find help from Heroes to help you. 
  • 11:13: Guild versus Guild confirmed using the Stronghold game mode. They'll register on a Leaderboard to prove who are the best Guild's in the world.
  • 11:14: Guild Halls confirmed! FINALLY!
  • 11:15: Guild Halls are a place to gather, organise, host events, build and progress the Guild and progress the Guild Hall. As you build it out, you'll be able to go on adventures and prepare for Guild Missions. You'll be able to go into the jungle to take on challenges together. They're a home base and core hub. 
  • 11:16: Could this get better? What's the release date? What's the price?
  • 11:17: No mention of a new race. Sad Panda.
  • 11:18: That's it - Colin is done and Jennifer is back on. We'll get to giving you a FAQ as soon as possible!
  • 11:19: There's a new website. VISIT IT HERE.
  • 11:20: They're playing the trailer again.
  • 11:21: I'm going for a lye down in a dark room to calm down.

Event Streams and commentary

Twitter To Follow

Heart of thorns speculation

Have a link we've missed? Can you recommend a Stream or Community event to celebrate Heart of Thorns? Know a Twitter handle that isn't here? Let us know!

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About The Author

Lewis is a long standing journalist, who freelances to a variety of outlets.