Heart of Thorns, the first expansion for Guild Wars 2 has been confirmed and revealed

Mike O’Brien, president of Arena.net, has confirmed that Heart of Thorns will be the first expansion for Guild Wars 2 while at PAX South. The expansion will focus on the Maguuma Jungle and although it will bring no modification to max level or armor tier it will add a more complex endgame character progression system, O’Brien explained to a cheering crowd in San Antonio, Texas. The Maguuma Jungle will be the main HUB for Heart of Thorns. While in the jungle, players will have access to 3 biomes, all containing new creatures, civilizations and challenges. Players will also be able to use the new mastery and specialization systems to refine their skills and take on the jungle at their best.

Mastery System

The mastery system has been announced as a new account-based PVE feature that gives players the ability to collect and spend mastery points, and is one of Heart of Thorns biggest features. Players will be faced with new challenges, exploration missions and achievements and completing them will yield mastery points. Points can be spent on a variety of skills that allow a character to use new combat techniques, learn new languages or use new features such as gliding. As the system is account-based, skills will be retained on new characters and players will not need to farm mastery points twice. Colin Johanson, Game Director for Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns, said that more details about this system and about the skills that are available will be shared during the next days.

Specialization System

As the jungle is a new area which carries a huge amount of knowledge from the ancient and from the rituals happening in it, players will be able to tap into some of this knowledge with the new specialization system. This system allows characters to specialize, adding new skills and abilities to their current profession. Arena.net officials preferred not to say too much about this new system, promising player to give more details in the closest future. The Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion will also include a new profession, the Revenant, as well as some major changes to the PVP and community sections of the game.

Able to channel the power of legends from Guild Wars’ original lore, Revenants are heavy armor fighters who can use such powers to swap their skill-sets in order to be best suited for any kind of fighting environment. Skill-sets will change based on the legend that is channeled and will be related to the lore of that particular legend. Finally, a new World VS World PVP map, Borderland, as well as two new PVP modes have been announced. These new modes are Stronghold and Guild Teams. In Stronghold, players have to defend their bases while collecting resources to spend on soldiers for hire used to attack the enemy stronghold, in a MOBA fashion. Guild Teams is a smaller scale PvP mode in which players fight to rise to the title of best guild.

Johanson also said that modifications to the World VS World system were made; holding objectives will now be crucial to victory, more than simply conquering them. Heart of Thorns will also include Guild Halls, a feature much appreciated by the crowd at PAX. Guild Halls will be a place for guild members to meet, regroup and a HUB from where to have access to a set of specific quests. Release date for Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns remains shrouded in mystery but fans can find more information about the expansion in the trailer below or on the official website. Arena.net is currently running a limited time sale for the game.