It’s been a few days since Heart of Thorns has launched and I’ve been buried in since. I decided to peel off for a little bit to make a post about my first couple of days. Note that I will not talk anything story since it’s still too early to get into that just yet.
So I have to say the Heart of Thorns launch went pretty smoothly as far as MMOs go. I experienced a few crashes here and there as well as some bugs but these are to be expected with a launch an MMO expansion. Things seem to be getting more stable nowadays and bugs seem to get fixed within a few days which is pretty good.
I spent my first days exploring all the maps, leveling masteries, and getting any vistas, points of interests and hero points along the way. I have to say the maps are quite vast; even Verdant brink threw me off as the realization of the areas from BWE1 and BWE3 were parts of the same map.
My favorite map has to be Auric Basin, specifically Tarir which is the Exalted city; I mean look at all that shiny! Skritt would not know what to do with themselves!
The HoT map reward system is pretty easy to understand: the more you participate in events, the better rewards you get. There are also some places you can’t get to unless you have a certain mastery or it’s a certain scenario such as you can only get to the vampire hero point which is in the canopy of Verdant Brink during the night cycle.
Speaking of hero points, the hero points that are fight encounters have a champion and require you to team up with, from my experience, at least 1 or 2 other players to succeed. I have mixed feelings about this since Hero Points have been soloable up till now but on the flip side these hero points promotes you to work with others.
There’s also the concern of maps being less populated over time making these Champion hero points more difficult to get but HoT maps are rewarding much like Silverwastes so we’ll see if it works out down the road.
For masteries, they give you certain attributes or bonuses and, like I said, grants you access to places you can’t get to without them. This is true for some NPCs as well; for example you can’t buy exalted items from an exalted merchant without learning the Exalted Acceptance mastery.
Now I know I said I wouldn’t talk about story but some story was gated via masteries. As of now, you have to fill out all your tier 1 HoT masteries and your tier 2 gliding mastery for updraft. If you want to finish the story without interruption, I suggest getting these masteries in the correct order which is: t1 Gliding, t1 Itzel, t1 Exalted, t2 Gliding, then t1 Nuhoch.
Now for guild halls. I really like guild halls. Lost Precipice has many nooks and crannies plus the overlook of the area in addition to the sky, night or day, is amazing. Gilded Hollow is a cavern that has a feel of natural life in it due to the forestry but definitely is exalted based with some golden structures and pathing that compliments the cave. Alright, I’m going to stop being all artsy now.
Leveling your guild hall definitely takes a team effort as there are many items you can get by yourself but there are some items that cost quite a bit to get or are hard to acquire such as Watchwork Portal Devices.
Moving onto the elite specializations. I don’t have much to say on them just yet but I did I play with each of them, with the exception of Herald, and they all feel way better than the last time I played each of them in a beta; especially Dragonhunter and Daredevil.
World vs World
Finally, World vs World. Similarly to the Heart of thorns maps, the WvW desert borderlands have levels to them and have many varient landscapes as you explore the map. Definitely worth a look even if you’re not into World vs World.
Other than a few new elements such as elemental shrines and the Oasis event to control the Skysplitter cannon, WvW feels pretty similar in play. We’ll see how WvW gameplay transitions over time.
And that’s been my first days, with many more to come. I haven’t done much PvP or Stronghold yet sadly but I’ll probably do some of that in the next couple of days. I’m looking forward to PvP Leagues and raids that will debut in the upcoming weeks!
Hello all, there was a post by Tyler Bearce on earning hero points by entirely by playing WvW if that’s your thing. So here’s a quick run down:
Gaining rank in WvW rewards you with Proof of Heroics that players can spend at heroic vendors for superior weapon siege blueprints, Notarized Scrolls of Heroics and Notarized Scrolls of Magumma Heroics. Consuming a Heroics scroll randomly completes a Hero Point in the core game while consuming a Magumma Heroics scroll randomly completes a Hero Point in the new Maguuma areas coming in Heart of Thorns. Magumma Heroics scrolls are only available to players that have Heart of Thorns. Players can keep buying these scrolls until they have all the Hero Points unlocked.
- Combining 1 proof and 30 Badges of Honor yields 1 Notarized Scroll of Heroics.
- Combining 5 proofs and 150 Badges of Honor yields 1 Notarized Scroll of Maguuma Heroics.
Liquid Experience Changes
Due to the changes above, liquid experience you get via some WvW rank ups, dailies and the laurel vendor are going away. Any players with these liquid items in their inventory when Heart of Thorns releases will get WXP boosters that vary in duration (depedning on how many liquid items were converted). The laurel vendor will no longer sell liquid experience. Daily WvW achievements reward players with a general 20 minute auto-booster that works in all game modes. Other methods that had liquid rewards will reward auto-boosters in the same fashion.
Good news for those who want to purely WvW and get the new elite specializations eventually. Some icing on the cake as we’re just days away from Heart of Thorns launch.