Guild Wars 2 Expansion: Path Of Fire Is 'All About Content'

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2012-08-28

ArenaNet has announced the second expansion to Guild Wars 2, titled Path of Fire. Check out the teaser trailer for Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire below:

Path of Fire guild wars expansion
An image of a new mount from Guild Wars 2 expansion Path of Fire. Photo: (c) ArenaNet, NCSoft

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire launches Sept. 22, and players will have the opportunity to enjoy an open-world preview weekend Aug. 11 to 13. The preview weekend is available to any Guild Wars 2 account in good standing. Players will run through part of Path of Fire’s opening story as well as explore the Crystal Oasis map from atop their new raptor mount.

The plot involves “the hunt for the rogue god Balthazar, whose scorched-earth campaign threatens the very existence of Tyria.” Balthazar, the god of fire and war, was once one of humanity’s greatest allies. Now he returns only to reveal that he cares little for mortal life and plans to destroy the Elder Dragons no matter the consequence. Thwarted once, he’s now backed by a zealous army called the Forged that sows terror and destruction wherever they pass. Players must stop the march of the Forged to stop Balthazar himself.

Check out more details about what’s new in Path of Fire in the lengthier announcement video below:

The Crystal Desert and adjoining kingdom of Elona are the focus here, with “vast new maps  filled with magic-drenched desert plains, ancient temples and ruins, and beautiful oases.” Elona is one of the original Guild Wars’ most popular regions, and 200 years have passed since players last visited the region in the Guild Wars: Nightfall expansion. The Crystal Desert is another callback to a different Guild Wars expansion, Prophecy.

There are 5 of these new maps, which are larger than everything added in Heart of Thorns and Season 3 of Living World combined.

Another new feature are the mounts, which are new to Guild Wars 2 . The mounts are less about running faster and more about exploring the world in new ways using the mounts’ various abilities. The mounts are Raptors, Springers, Skimmers and Jackals and will also be coming to the base game. While players can already get around the map conveniently using waypoints, mount skills such as the raptors’ long-range leap will allow players to access new zones that would be otherwise inaccessible. Mounts can also engage combat and improve their mount’s special skills by leveling up their mastery of the 4 mounts.

There are also 9 new Elite Specializations. Each class will receive a new Elite Specialization, with classes taking on damage buffs, new skills and/or powerful additions to old skills. These offer new weapon types and ways to play. For example, the Engineer now has a Holosmith elite specialization that allows them to create semisolid light constructs, wield swords and gain access to powerful light weapons in their Photon Forge mode.

“This new expansion is all about content,” said Mike O’Brien, ArenaNet president and co-founder, in a press release.

In an interview with Polygon, he expanded on ArenaNet’s plans to infuse Guild Wars 2 with regular content, avoiding the drought that followed Heart of Thorns :

“Our goal is to do this with no breaks in content delivery,” said O’Brien. “What players have been expecting and should expect from us is that we release living world episodes every few months. Episode five. Episode six. And then Path of Fire. And then the season premiere for Season Four. Each with two to three months between them. We certainly intend to continue with the path that we’ve been taking. I think we’re hitting a really good stride here.”

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire pre-orders are available here for $29.99 (Standard) or as part of a bundle with Heart of Thorns at $49.99. Deluxe and Ultimate editions are also available, and the previous Heart of Thorns expansion is not required; in addition, the base game is free-to-play. Pre-order bonuses include:

  • The Spearmarshal’s Gift - A special gift from an anonymous friend in Elona. Players will use this to choose one weapon skin from the Sunspear Weapon Set.

  • “Elonia Envoy” title - Whether a new arrival to Elona or coming home, build bridges by displaying this symbol of respect and friendship.

  • Miniature Balthazar - This exclusive miniature replica of the god of War and Fire is on the warpath.

In addition, everyone who purchases Path of Fire will receive a max-level boost that instantly raises one character’s level to 80 and gives them gear and gold to get them started.

Will you be playing Path of Fire? Are you looking forward to all of this announced content? What are you most interested in? Will you be playing as part of the preview weekend? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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