Since I’m not one of the people that just likes to back seat dev the games I’m playing and actually likes focusing on the positive, I haven’t had a lot to say about the games I’ve been playing lately.
If anyone cares to hear about that, I’d be happy to lay it out, but there’s more than enough of that on the interwebs.
Like I said, I want to focus on the positive and right now I’m positively overjoyed with GW2.
To be perfectly honest with you Heart of Thorns left a sour aftertaste that never quite went away. As much as I really wanted to stick with Guild Wars 2, HoT wasn’t my bag. Even a living story came and went without me logging in for more than a couple of sessions before just logging back out again upon seeing yet MORE mastery requirements.
Then after another session of WoW, I started shopping MMO’s again. That’s when I came across the Path of Fire videos. To me it seemed like they were teasing a return to what made GW2 awesome sauce. Thing is that for the first time in a long time devs actually delivered.
I managed to pre order in time and I haven’t looked back. So far I’ve unlocked The Renegade and the Jackal. Beyond that I’m looking forward to taking my time exploring the content, seeing the story and getting in some RP. I really don’t feel rushed to do anything in this expansion and I actually feel more rewarded when I slow down and just enjoy the trek.
Honestly I don’t think I’ve felt that way since first logging into GW2. Where you could just enjoy the content at your own pace and there’s no rush to the endzone.
It is really rewarding to just explore in this expansion as the maps are gorgeous. The zone gives you that ghostly feeling of ‘I’ve been here before’ if you ever managed to get out to Elona in the first Guild Wars.
Even the mounts are fun, well designed and actually add to game play instead of take focus in it or take away from it. Their animations and utility make them more than just something flashy that you sit on in your hub of choice.
When you cross a huge gorge on your Raptor for the first time, or unlock the Jackal and start blinking around, you’ll see what I mean. You can get right into combat with your mount and even unlock masteries that aid with getting that combat started as well as just adding to their mobility.
From the games that I’ve played this actually makes mounts out to be more of a useful tool than the thing you need to cross a huge map full of obnoxious mobs without spending an entire night just getting to town.
They dropped the meta events and let you do repeatable hearts OR huge bounty bosses. Which by the way, are butt kickers on timers and you have to wait for them to spawn. When they do, it’s good old fashioned fun.
To me PoF feels like a new map that expands on the base game and gives them plenty of room to expand from here. For the first time in two years I’m actually interested to see what they do with it.
Honestly I feel like they also made the mastery system in PoF a lot more manageable. The lower count of mastery points required takes out a lot of grind and pressure .
Masteries in PoF also feel more like something fun to do and an added challenge instead of something that’s blocking you from being able to enjoy the content because you’re two mastery points short. All the while that annoying star has been sitting there taunting you for months because you just can’t be bothered to look up a guide or video to unlock it.
Which honestly, for me, that’s awesome. Any time you’re expected to go out of the game to find the information you need to play the game, it really detracts from the fun and immersion.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m lazy, but I also don’t have a ton of time either. I’d much rather spend what time I do have doing things I want to do. Games that are a pre-requisite hell just don’t inspire me to hit that log in button.
Now building on something that actually adds to the current game play and will be useful in future content? Sign me the hell up!
To me Path of Fire feels like a return to the original Guild Wars 2 that I knew and loved. This expansion adds back the joy of just entering a map and wanting to explore every corner to see what you can find next.
In the end, don’t take my word for it.
If you’re an explorer type of person and you’ve been on the fence about GW2 Path of Fire, take the plunge. Just watch out for the hydra. Trust me on the Hydra.