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Five Not so Hot Things About Heart of Thorns

William Murphy Posted:
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Next week we’ll cast a final score on Guild Wars 2’s first expansion, Heart of Thorns, and in many regards the experience of playing through this content has been a positive episode in our grander Tyrian adventure. But that doesn’t mean that Heart of Thorns is without fault. Today, we’re pulling up five issues we have with the expansion. These are in no particular order, but we numbered them because numbers are fun!

5.) The Story’s Over Too Soon

I know that story is only part of the whole big expansion’s worth of content, but because it had been such a long while since the Living World wrapped its story, the fact that HoT’s campaign can be completed in around 20 hours feels little light. Maybe there’s a reason they were gating it behind some later Masteries after all.  In any case, the story is far better in this expansion than the personal story of Vanilla Guild Wars 2. So we’ll take the success of the overall tale, even if we have to wait a while to find out what happens next.

4.) No Gliding in Central Tyria

I’m sure they’re worried about the terrain and its traversal, similar to why it took so long to learn to fly in Vanilla WoW, but it seems like such a setback to go back to regular Tyria and not have the ability to glide on your characters. It’s such a wonderful tool, a great way to make traveling around maps more enjoyable, that the game feels lesser without gliding. I would understand gating it to level 80s only eve, but I sure hope gliding in central Tyria becomes earnable through Masteries or something sooner rather than later.

3.) It’s Rough for the Solo Adventurer

This is a divisive issue, but one of the chief complaints against all of Heart of Thorns. A lot of Guild Wars 2’s many fans play the game solo in the open world. The 1-80 campaign allows this beautifully, while still offering open world group events throughout the maps. Heart of Thorns essentially requires you to follow the commander tags around the maps to get anything done. While it works, and yes can be fun, the ability to run around and just explore Maguuma at your own pace is severely lacking. It’s doubly compounded by the fact that sometimes maps are just not that full, as most players congregate in one or two “easier” maps to complete.

2.) The Legendary Mastery is Blah

I’m not sure what I expected, perhaps a quest of some sort to make my precursor and get my mastery. Something that would take me all over Tyria, completing real objectives, and seeking out my Legendary weapon. But what we got instead was just a lengthy central Tyria Mastery grind, that then unlocks the ability to craft the things you need to craft your precursor and eventually get your Legendary weapon. Yes, it’s a clear path to getting one, but it’s still just as bad of a grind as it ever was. 

1.) WvW is a Ghost Town… For Now

It’s always this way when new content hits in GW2. New patch comes, people do the open world content and forget about the WvW. Except with this much new overworld content, people are doubly ignore the WvW. The structured PVP is thriving with its new match type (which is fantastic, by the way), but it’ll be a while before World vs. World picks up and people come to grips with the new map as well. In a lot of ways, it feels like World v. World got a bit of the shaft with this expansion, though ArenaNet’s own Colin Johanson told us they have big plans for that part of the game in the coming months.

How about you? Do our concerns with Heart of Thorns match your own? Give us your thoughts down below!


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.