Heart of Thorns has finally arrived! In this week’s GuildMag Podcast, Valiant and Miko are joined by our senior editor, Tauz, and discuss our first impressions of the expansion, what we’ve been doing so far in-game, and some of the controversies coming out about Mastery leveling and hero challenges. We’ve also got the latest Gem Store news and more!
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- The Gem Store has Heart of Thorns promotions available including the Butterfly Wings backpack; the Harbinger of Mordremoth outfit; two big sale items – the Crystal Arbiter Appearance Pack (which includes an outfit, glider, choice of Immortal weapon skin, Total Makeover Kit + 5 Flame Dye kits) and the Character Jump Start pack (which includes bag slot expansions, gathering tools, a salvage-o-matic, and boosters). Improvised Weapon skins are now available for one Black Lion ticket and Halloween items are still available, including the new Bat Wings Glider combo.
- In community news, freelance concept artist, Vasburg, has a stunning new project out: Call of Cantha which we highly recommend.
- ArenaNet had a launch party for Heart of Thorns recapping some of the previous year’s coverage and details for the expansion. Mike O’Brien revealed that Guild Wars 2 has reached 7 million players and the community team announced that Guild Wars 2 merchandise is now available from I Am 8 Bit at two online stores, one based in North America and the other in the UK.
- Ahead of launch, ArenaNet announced changes to how summoned AI will be affected by damage and what they’re doing to address further skill FX culling.
- Heart of Thorns is here and the trio this week spent a lot of time talking about exploring and getting lost in the maps and the story. The content feels challenging and we like that we’re being made to think about our classes and enemy mechanics, something we felt we had been missing for some time in the game.
- There’s some controversy about how many hero points are needed to completely train elite specializations and how hero point challenges have changed in order to earn them from group encounters to Mastery level gating. The idea of gating content also carries over into other things in the expansion from gating story steps behind Mastery levels to gating access to unranked Conquest PvP. How much of a problem is this really?
- With Heart of Thorns also came Guild Wars 2‘s Halloween festival, which is a good festival, and which is largely getting panned by players because they’re off in the expansion. Should ArenaNet have waited to release Halloween or have found a way to help players level their Core Tyria masteries via the Halloween events? A guide to the Halloween events is available on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit.
- Next Friday (October 30), we’re doing a special Halloween Stream! We’ll have games, prizes, and we’ll stream in-game Halloween events all on our Twitch channel, twitch.tv/guildmag. Stay tuned to our social media for more details!