As I write this there are just a few days left for Heart of Thorns. And you are most likely reading this on the final day. Tomorrow Path of Fire begins and while this week’s article could be dedicated to the news about material storage that for me just came out, I would instead like to take a look back at Heart of Thorns. It has been a long two years since the release of the first expansion was released and what an adventure we’ve been on! Let’s take a look at the good and bad from Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns.
Tugging on the heartstrings so hard that we’re still feeling it two years on. I’ll let you decide if Eir’s death was good or bad. To this day, there are still players who are bitter about her death, which to me says something about the writing. What Eir’s death did do, though, is completely overshadow Traherne’s. He may not have been anyone’s favorite character but his death was entirely ignored for nearly a year until…
Knight of the Thorn
A small statue was erected in honor of Marshal Traherne by a fellow Sylvari. At the same time, we were given the opportunity to restore Caladbolg, which was easily the best writing and filled with the best moments from all of Heart of Thorns. Saying goodbye to our old friend once again Traherne got the emotional send-off he deserved.
I’m all for expanding the world. I love getting new zones and some of them from the living story were really amazing. But by far the biggest disappointment was Bitterfrost Frontier. This zone had the least interesting things to do in it and the story that accompanied it was one of the worst, mostly because of the wildly unpopular character who was the star. Bitterfrost Frontier may be a great place to do farming but I will do everything I can to avoid returning there.
Of all the mechanics introduced in Heart of Thorns, gliding was by far the best. Many, myself included, will go out of our way to jump off any little cliff or hill we can just because it’s so much fun! Why run when you can glide? I have a feeling that mounts are going to be exactly the same too.
The music for Heart of Thorns is amazing and I am going to miss hearing the Heart of Thorns theme when I log in. Each zone in Heart of Thorns has had at least one piece of music that fits it perfectly. For Verdant Brink it is The Pact Laid To Waste. In Auric Basin it is the theme for Tarir, called Tarir, The Forgotten City. In Tangled Depths, it is quite simply the piece titled Tangled Depths which feels like it is quite heavily influenced by music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And in Dragon’s Stand, it is the fight music from the battle with the Mouth of Mordremoth. All of these are my favorite souvenirs that I’ll be taking with me from HoT.
A couple of weeks ago I really let my feelings known about Braham in a long, PoF spoilerific article. But if you haven’t read it yet or you want to avoid the Path of Fire spoilers, I’ll give you a TL;DR breakdown. I hate Braham. He’s a whiny child who isn’t deserving of the Eirsson name. His writing has been some of the worst in the last two years of Guild Wars 2. Maybe we’ll get lucky in Path of Fire and get a new Norn to take his place in Dragon’s Watch.
Revenant may not be the most popular class but they’re still a lot of fun to play. As someone who isn’t a minmaxer and doesn’t worry about optimum builds, Revenant is just plain fun. Unrelenting Assault is one of the most entertaining skills in the game, especially when used with Vengeful Hammers from Jalis. Drop the Hammer is also endlessly entertaining. Things are looking pretty good for Revenants in Path of Fire as well, with luck it will revitalize interest in the class.
In the end, Scribe turned out to be a massive disappointment. It relies heavily on having a big active guild supporting you. To make it even worse, those fantastic backpacks are restricted so you almost never see them out in the world. If I had to guess, I would say that the majority of players don’t have a scribe. Personally, I made it to level 7 before I gave up on mine. I would love to see changes made to make Scribe more accessible in the future, but it is far more likely that it will remain in the state it’s in.
If gliding is the best mechanic to be introduced during the last two years then repeatable hearts are the second best. Repeatable hearts have given every zone they’ve been introduced to replayability, something which core Tyria sorely lacks. I would gladly accept a slowed release schedule of new content if ArenaNet decided to go through the game one zone at a time and make all hearts repeatable, a not so small quality of life change that would be huge for the world. We’ve also seen this replayability spread to Hero Points in Heart of Thorns maps. This way they are always rewarding and people will, hopefully, always be able to find someone willing to help.
As someone who pretty much exclusively plays in a duo, Guild Halls were hugely disappointing. My husband and I joined a guild just so we would have access to a guild hall. This was just one of the many instances in Heart of Thorns where we have been forced to play a certain way if we want to have access to certain things. For a game that is otherwise incredibly solo friendly, this was a massive disappointment.
Elite specs have been a fantastic way to expand on the capability of each class. Everyone has their favorite, mine is Dragonhunter. And everyone has their least favorite, Druid for me. This was also the start of a system that ArenaNet can continue to use for a long time to come. In fact, someone on Reddit recently pointed out that there are 5 more expansions to go until Warriors have every weapon type. Which at the current development rate means we have at least another 10 years of Guild Wars 2. You won’t hear any complaints about that from me!
All in all, I think Heart of Thorns was a big opportunity to learn for ArenaNet and they’re working hard to learn from the mistakes that were made. They’re finding out what the community does and doesn’t like. With that in mind, I have a lot of hope for future expansions.
Have fun in Path of Fire everyone! And I’d like to say in advance a very big thank you to That Shaman, Dulfy, and every single person who contributes to the wiki. You are all the backbone of our community and your hard work will be greatly appreciated in the coming days. Readers, please keep in mind that ANYONE can submit material to the wiki. That can be in the form of screenshots or data. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never used the wiki before, the editors are there to help put things in proper wiki format. Information collecting is the hardest part. See you all in the desert!
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