Guild Wars 2 : Heart of Thorns was reviewed on

Guild Wars 2 : Heart Of Thorns
#HeartOfThorns Best MMO out there. The Gliding & the Guild Halls are amazing. Better storytelling, but main story glosses over some interesting aspects as you "fly through" it. Great time/loot sinks. Mastery system gives your account the feeling of levelling.

Guild Wars 2 : Heart of Thorns Launch Trailer

Genre: MMORPG

  • Available for:
  • PC

I played: Far too long

Likes

  • For those amongst us who play Guild Wars 2, this update is perfect for you, and well worth the money.
  • The Introduction of the Glider is amazing, and it changes the flow of the new maps in a way not seen before in Guild Wars 2. It adds a whole new level of gameplay.
  • We love the new Guild Halls. There are some nice upgrades, and it will hopefully work well in the future as a nice and useful loot sink.
  • Changes in the existing loot tables encourages you to travel back to the original Guild Wars 2 maps to hunt for upgrade items for your Guild Hall.
  • There is a lot to do, including a host of new collections to keep you coming back for more for a good while to come.

Dislikes

  • Too much loot. This might not seem like a bad thing, but a LOT of the loot is pointless - either it is junk, or the items are of such a low tier that they are of no use to you. This causes an issue because you are constantly fighting your inventory.
  • The glider only works in the new areas, and you really want it in the rest of the map. Jumping off high places in original maps with resulting "splat" deaths has occured more than once.
  • Not too impressed with the World vs World additions in this update, the maps are great, but at the moment they feel very empty.
  • The masteries, despite some clever ideas, just don't seem to have much overall use in game.

Overall impression:

In line with what Arena Net have always managed to make, the maps for Heart of Thorns look fabulously gorgeous. The vertical design makes these maps really big (4 layers in the Tangled Depths). Foes are appropriately hard to combat, and the different classes seem to be finding their place in the game.

The maps can seem very confusing and frustrating at first: you see events you want to participate in, but have no idea how to get to them. This becomes especially evident in Tangled Depths, where, as before mentioned, everything happens on four different levels. The two-dimensional minimap is understandibly not able to keep up here.
There are easier ways to navigate than simply running from event to event, but this “easy navigation” is gated by masteries; Gliding, Mushroom Jumping, Exalted Markings, Nuhoch Wallows, which all take time to unlock.

Guild Halls:

Guild Halls are amazing. Huge and very good fun, they add another much missed element from the original Guild Wars to its successor. The Guild Halls are relatively barren to begin with, but upgrades are available for you to purchase through materials and money. You will be greeted by Gamli Adelsteinsson, who will constantly inform you that he’s the guy with the beer. This becomes annoying very quickly, but it will motivate you to acquire the tavern upgrade fast, if nothing else just to shut him up. Win-win I guess.  Upgrading the guild halls gives the players another objective for the guilds, and has the potential to allow players to contribute to their guilds in ways that aren’t related to dungeons, missions and so forth. This is especially nice for intermittant players.

Guild Hall upgrades are a fantastic loot sink – a place to put all those materials you just don’t know what else to do with, but issues with balancing of some of the required items makes it an imperfect system. The idea of using the upgrades in this capacity is a great one however, and it’s easy to see the potential for the game developers to control any future surplus of ingame items through this mechanic (sorely needed, inventories just keep clogging up with stuff you have no idea what to do with).

Gilded Hollow:

Lost Precipice:

Both Guild Halls are truly magnificent, and the screen shots do not do them justice. My advice: Go see, explore, enjoy yourself, and be marvelled.

A few patches in, the game has evolved and changed quite a lot. For instance the patches have changed a few things that was making it hard to get your Elite Specializations.

If you are interested in visiting a guild hall, you can message papasmurf.8760 or mgr.6157 in game (whisper or mail) for a guild invite. 

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