August 28, 2012
Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns Key Activation Guild Wars 2: The Heart of Thorns is the first expansion pack for Guild Wars 2, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. PvE has been expanded with four new large maps, these zones are in the jungle, requiring movement at several vertical levels.
was first announced in March of 2007 and is the sequel to the 2005 original game. Guild Wars 2 was released on August 28, 2012. The release date was revealed on ArenaNet's blog on June 28, 2012. ArenaNet started offering three pre-purchase editions of the game beginning on April 10, 2012: Digital Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Collector's Edition. Anyone who pre-purchased the game was given a 3 Day Headstart, starting August 25, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (GMT-7).
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Guild Wars 2 takes place approximately 250 years after the events of the Guild Wars: Eye of the North expansion. The evil dragon Zhaitan has risen and formed an army of the undead which threatens all of the mortal races of Tyria, the world in which Guild Wars is set. In the interim between Eye of the North and Guild Wars 2, technology has advanced to allow for guns and other mechanical devices, and new races (primarily the Sylvari and the Asura) have established themselves in the world.
Guild Wars 2 uses a heavily modified Guild Wars game engine which includes support for true 3D environments, more detailed environments and models, better lighting and shadows, new animation and effects systems, plus new audio and cinematics engines and a more flexible combat and skill-casting system.
Gaile Gray has indicated the game will support DirectX 10, but not require it to play. Guild Wars 2 will utilise the Havok physics engine to provide ragdoll animation and destructible environments, as well as occlusion culling technology licensed from Umbra Software to optimise 3D object rendering.
Races and Professions
Guild Wars 2 has five playable races. They are:
Other than aesthetics and lore, the only difference between races will be racial skills. Each race will have unique choices to make at character creation which will provide a background story for that character. These changes only affect the story the character experiences.
Along with the five races, there are eight Professions:
Different professions will have access to different weapons, skills (excluding race-specific skills), and traits. Armor is dependent on profession types; scholars (Elementalist, Mesmer, and Necromancer) will use light armor, adventurers (Engineer, Ranger, and Thief) will use medium armor, and soldiers (Guardian and Warrior) will use heavy armor.
Unlike traditional MMORPGs, there is no dedicated healer profession; instead, any profession can perform any role, depending on their weapon skills. Similarly, professions are not bound by race.
The level cap in Guild Wars 2 is 80. Higher level characters will have their power scaled down in areas designed for lower level players, avoiding the problem of overwhelming the environment when joining friends on their beginning characters.
ArenaNet revealed early on that they were doing away with the standard format for quests in MMOs. Instead of talking to an NPC to receive a task, performing the task, and returning for a reward, things called dynamic events will constantly be taking place all over the world.
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For example, Centaurs will raid a village and take control of it. You can enter the village and kill the Centaurs, freeing the population. But unless you destroy the warcamp where the centaur raiders are coming from, raids will continue. By taking down the camp, you may spawn a gigantic world-boss. You are rewarded based on your participation in the event, and the course of the event will have a direct impact on the world (such as vendors being unable to sell you goods as their supply line was cut off).
You don’t necessarily ever have to interact with an NPC anywhere along the event chain – you can just jump in and participate, and receive your rewards in the field. NPCs will, however, yell at you if there’s an event nearby that you can participate in. It's all fully voiced, too.
Dynamic events will scale in difficulty as more players participate, to keep the events challenging.
Player Versus Player
There is structured PvP and World versus worldPvP (or just WvW) in Guild Wars 2. Structured is 5 on 5 matches in arenas. You get points for capturing areas and holding them, kills, etc. There are also tournaments that offer prizes like gold and glory, a currency used to buy PvP armor and weapon skins and other things. WvW is a giant battlefield where your server is up against two others in a two week long battle. As your home server holds more points for longer times, you get bonuses like more magic items or gold found in the world. There are siege weapons, and truly massive battles in WvW.
ArenaNet is emphasizing cooperation and deemphasizing the idea that other players are competition for your kills. They’re doing this by sharing both experience and loot between participants in a kill regardless of whether they were grouped or not. Crafting nodes aren't fought over either. There are benefits to forming a party (it’s easier to interact with allies through portraits, for example), but the idea is that if you see another player, you can actively work alongside them and not be penalized for it.
The Personal Storyline in Guild Wars 2 is essentially a main quest-chain. It's missions take place in Instanced areas apart from other players. Your Personal Storyline can branch wildly based off of your choices, (race, what order to join later on, etc) and you can invite other players to participate in your story, though the end result will only affect how your story advances.
Activities are side-tasks that don’t necessarily have a large impact on your character’s advancement, if any impact at all. They’re there to serve as a diversion or a little fun thing to do during your downtime. You can participate in a Bar brawl in Divinity’s Reach, for example, or a game of Kegball on the outskirts of Hoelbrak.
There are eight crafting disciplines available to players: Jeweler, Cook, Tailor, Leatherworker, Artificer, Armorsmith, Huntsman and Weaponsmith.
While there are crafting trainers and Recipes to be found in the world, crafting in Guild Wars 2 rewards experimentation. You can put crafting materials together and 'discover' new recipies, which then become permanent for you, as well as give a large boost in crafting experience.
Like the original Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 will not have a subscription cost. The only thing you will be required to pay for is the game itself. There will likely be expansion packs and optional cosmetic microtransactions after the launch of Guild Wars 2.
Heart of Thorns Expansion Pack
Heart of Thorns is the very first Expansion Pack to Guild Wars 2. It was first announced at PAX South on January 24th, 2015. It became available for pre-purchase on June 16, 2015. The release date has not been announced at this time, but it's expected for 2015.
No Level Cap
Although most MMO expansion packs raise the level cap, the developers of Guild War 2 specifically said Heart of Thorns will not increase players' level cap.
The Mastery System
The all new Mastery System gives players new training opportunities past level 80. Master abilities such as hang gliding in the jungle, tearing the bark off of heavily armored Mordrem, or building new collections that earn precursors to a legendary weapon.
New Professional Specializations allows players to unlock weapons, traits, skills, and more that were previously unavailable to professions.
The Heart of Maguuma
The Heart of Maguuma Jungle is an area full of new adventures. Explore this new open world jungle map, experience new storylines and events, and take on all new boss battles.
A Guild Hall will also be available in the Heart of Maguum.
The Revenant is a brand new Profession in the Heart of Thrones expansion pack. Enter the field of battle heavily armored and equipped with the otherworldly powers of the Mists.
Stronghold Game Mode
Stronghold is a brand new competitive PvP game mode. The objective is to kill the enemy guild lord. To do this, you must fight for control of supply, then use it to hire soldiers.
Borderlands is a new map for the World vs World game mode. It's been called the most diverse map in the game. Objectives will be more important than ever before, as they'll unlock new strategies, tactics, and play mechanics that you'll want to use to your world's advantage