The next adventure is set to begin in Tyria on 22nd of September, will you be joining?

A few days ago, the release of Path of Fire was announced by ArenaNet. After a few teasers from the end of the Living World Season 3 Episode 6 finale’s story, it’s now official! If you haven’t seen the Official GW2 Path of Fire Release Video, watch by following the link. There will be a demo weekend next weekend (11th August to 13th August) for anyone with a GW2 account to try out the new features and content for free over the course of the weekend.

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This expansion is the next instalment after Heart of Thorns which was released on 23rd October 2015. It seems this expansion will be similar in size in terms of new story, open world maps and the new mount feature being introduced like gliding was in HoT. You do not need to own HoT or the base game to purchase the Path of Fire expansion. The upgraded version of the base game will be included in the Path of Fire expansion, and there will be a bundle to purchase both of the expansions meaning HoT will work out cheaper than buying it separately.

The main features of this expansion will be the next chapter of the story, following straight on from Living World Season 3, 5 new explorable open world maps in the Crystal Desert and Northern Elona, 9 new Elite Specialisations (one for each class) and the introduction of mounts. For any other information, check out the Official GW2 Path of Fire info page.

 

Maps

The new maps will be the biggest areas in Tyria to date with plenty to explore. Similar to the maps released in LWS3, the areas will feature a variety of different biomes and be spaced out at different altitudes rather than being flat like the older maps. There will be 5 new areas altogether on the Tyrian map, in the Crystal Desert and Northern Elona. There were also previews of snowy areas so it’s possible we’ll be getting an area north of the Shiverpeaks.

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The developers mentioned some of these areas were featured in the original Guild Wars (GW1) games, but have not been seen by us for the timescale of 250 years. For those of you who played GW1, you may be able to recognise some of the features that have been recreated, but for those of you that haven’t, the areas will be just as interesting to explore.

 

Mounts

The addition of mounts to the game will allow players to explore and venture to places within the new maps where they would never be able to get to on foot. Four different mounts will be added, each with their own ability making different mounts a necessity to reach specific areas. It appears these mounts will be unlocked as part of the extended mastery system.

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The mounts are:

  • Raptor – Can leap long distances. They can only leap in the direction they are facing and have limited height to which they can jump. Raptors are used in situations such as to jump across cliffs.
  • Springer – Can leap to great heights. The longer the jump is channelled, the higher the mount will jump. The distance covered by the mount is limited so it used for the purpose of reaching higher locations.
  • Skimmer – Glides across surfaces including water and other obstacles. The Skimmer will be useful for getting to places across bodies of water that don’t have a low shoreline for the player to climb out of the water by themselves.
  • Jackal – Can blink long distances but can change direction mid-blink. Generally used to get to more difficult places that require travelling in multiple directions.

The mounts are designed for movement across the new maps and are dismounted when entering combat. Each mount has its own ability for entering combat before you dismount, meaning each mount is tailored to different fighting scenarios and styles.

 

Specialisations

There are nine new Elite Specialisations featured in this expansion, one per class. With each specialisation, a new weapon will be able to be equipped by each class which will be unlocked through playing the game. I assume this will work like HoT where you had to gain more skill/hero points to spend on the new elite tree.

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Guardian – Firebrand. Weapon: Axe. The Firebrand will focus on using mantras which can be charged up for fast casting during combat. They will also cast magical burning damage and slash enemies with their axes at close range. Their Virtues will be replaced with tomes which protect allies.

Necromancer – Scourge. Weapon: Torch (offhand). Death Shroud will be replaced with a new type of Life Force focusing on supporting allies in the area. The Death Shroud skills will be replaced with new ones for the Scourge specialisation, granting a new support orientated play style with some added movement abilities.

Thief – Deadeye. Weapon: Rifle. The rifle will grant the Deadeye an extended range as a Thief’s range with every other weapon is limited. This will allow the Thief to mark an enemy to stalk from a distance and the marked enemy will be affected by bonuses when using the new cantrips.

Mesmer – Mirage. Weapon: Axe. The Mirage will have a new dodge mechanic which allows damage to blur through them rather than moving themselves.

Warrior – Spellbreaker. Weapon: Dagger. The Spellbreaker class specialises in fighting magic uses. Some of the new abilities will focus on stripping boons from enemies and silencing their opponents, cancelling some of their abilities.

Elementalist – Weaver. Weapon: Sword. The Weaver will be able to wield multiple attunements at once allowing them to create new element variations by combining two together, e.g. 2 fire skills, 2 water skills and the 5th skill being a combination of fire and water.

Ranger – Soulbeast. Weapon: Dagger (main hand). The spirit of the Soulbeast will combine with their pets, allowing them to gain the abilities of their pet and channel spirit forms.

Revenant – Renegade. Weapon: Short Bow. The Renegade will be able to channel the spirit legend of Kalla Scorchrazor. Members of her warband can be summoned and allies can be boosted.

Engineer – Holosmith. Weapon: Sword. Holosmiths can use light to create holographic weapons which gain heat during use. Upon gaining this heat, their new utility abilities help then channel to heat to make them more powerful, but the heat and cause damage if not handled correctlt and can even explode if used for too long.

 

Other features

As well as these main features, there will also be other new content available such as the new Guild Hall, Windswept Haven (the Guild Hall will need the HoT expansion to be unlocked).

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There will also be other content such as new events and world bosses, mount races and a new bounty system for players to take part in.

New faces and hairstyles will also be available for your characters. Dulfy leaked the new options for the Human customisation and there were so many options. It will be interesting to see what customisations options will be added for the other classes.

I’m really looking forward to this expansion, especially since it’s less than 2 months away from release! I didn’t buy HoT until a few months after its release, so I’m keen to play Path of Fire while it’s still new and exciting so I can experience things at the same time as everyone else. I didn’t get into raids when they first came out with HoT which I now really regret as I’ve never been able to find anyone to start playing with (since everyone wants experienced players with super high level gear). I feel like it’s an aspect I’ll never get into, and I really don’t want to place myself in that situation again and feel like I’m missing out on something.

I can’t wait to explore the Crystal Desert and find out what Balthazar is actually up to.

Let me know your thoughts on the expansion release and what you’re most excited about!

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