Guild Wars 2 Gets its First Expansion
Called Heart of Thorns, it's looking to reimagine the leveling system introduced in the base game, among other things. In an interview with the Massively child of Joystiq, the Director, Mike O'Brien and one of the Designers, Colin Johanson, detailed some of the expansion's details. First up is the new "Mastery" system. Designed to provide "new training opportunities for your character beyond level 80," it will involve players accomplishing things that "you haven't done on your account before."
This may well take players across all of the racial starting zones, in order to look high and low for points so that they can further their own growth, since the level cap itself isn't increasing. Aside from masteries, players will be able to acquire "specializations" for their characters, which involve transforming your class "into something new," along with unlocking a new weapon, skills, and mechanics. If that isn't enough, and you'd like to try the experience all over again, a new class, the Revenant, a heavy armor user with impressively destructive power is coming as well.
A major new zone is being added, the Maguuma Jungle, which promises new group content and world events, new storylines, and new bosses. With the release of the Maguuma area, guilds will be getting their own guild halls right in the middle of the jungle, and although details were slim, guilds, both large and small, will have an opportunity to set up their own comfortable homes.
PvP will have a new game mode, titled "Stronghold," where, reportedly, if you're not so good at actually killing other players, then you should be able to support the effort by gathering supplies, and troops, and setting up a defensive arena to hold out in. Players will have much more dynamic roles throughout a match of Stronghold, though match and team sizes aren't currently locked down. In addition, players will also have the opportunity to explore the Borderlands, a new World versus World battleground.
Neither a release date nor pricing were announced at PAX South, but O'Brien did say that the expansion would be a boxed one, meaning it likely won't cost too much. A playable demo would be available at PAX East in just over a month and a half, whereupon more details are likely to surface.