ArenaNet has shown off the fresh new gameplay for Heart of Thorns – the upcoming first major expansion for the studio’s popular MMO, Guild Wars 2.
The footage, which was shown yesterday at UK gaming expo EGX Rezzed, shows off Guild Wars 2‘s World vs World PvP gameplay in a new map called Desert Borderlands.
Unusually for an MMO expansion, Heart of Thorns won’t increase the game’s level cap. Instea, ArenaNet is promising an alternative method of character advancement. The new Masteries system will provide player characters with new skills and abilities that are specifically designed not to invaldidate the game’s existing skill setup. Heart of Thorns will also offer up new classes to play as, plenty of new areas to explore, and ArenaNet boss Mike O’Brien has said the new content will be more than challenging enough for existing and returning players.
When it was originally released back in August 2012, ArenaNet had promised that it wouldn’t release paid-for expansions, instead promising that all future game content would be free for existing owners. The developer instead pointed to its Living World content updates, which moved the game’s story forward while gradually adding new areas and dungeons to the game over time. Heart of Thorns, first announced back in January of this year, marks a change in that philosophy, but ArenaNet promises that doesn’t mark a greater shift in how the team approaches Guild Wars 2. Future content will still be provided free of charge, and the developer is sticking with not charging a subscription – players simply purchase the game (and the expansion, in the this case), and will receive all future content updates for free.
Take a look at the new Heart of Thorns gameplay in the video below (courtesy of Eurogamer).