ArenaNet has announced the first ever expansion for their fantasy MMO Guild Wars 2, titled Heart of Thorns.
In the Heart of Thorns expansion, players will journey deep into the Heart of Maguuma jungle in order to continue their fight against the minions of the Elder Dragon Mordremoth, involving new and ever more challenging missions, maps, events and boss battles – as well as making contact with new civilisations, and engaging with new foes.
The Heart of Thorns expansion will also include the Revenant, a brand new playable profession for characters; although full details of how the profession works, it's suggested that the Revenant will “channel legendary powers” and will come “heavily armored and equipped with the otherworldly powers of the Mists.” This may mean that the Revenant is a soldier-class profession with some magical elements, much like the Guardian profession, but perhaps with a twist evocative of the Ritualists of Guild Wars: Factions.
Alongside the new profession, players will also have access to profession specialisations, which allows them to unlock a weapon for their character that was previously unavailable to them due to their profession, as well as providing new traits and skills that will change how their profession and weapon skills will interact with one another.
As much of the content of Heart of Thorns will be geared towards higher-level characters at or around the level cap of 80, a new progression system – Mastery – will be implemented with the expansion that allows players new ways to improve their character even past the level cap. These account-based abilities will allow characters to perform new feats, such as hang-gliding through the Maguuma jungle and tearing through the defenses of heavily-armoured foes,
A new game mode for PvP also comes with Heart of Thorns, allowing players to take part in “Stronghold” matches, involving defending a fortified location, using siege tactics and trebuchets to fight opponents. Not only that, but a WvW map, the Borderlands, has also been included, involving “treacherous heights” and traps that throw unfortunate victims into the depths of the arena, presumably allowing for vertical-based tactics to come into play.
ArenaNet have not yet put forward a release date for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, but you can keep up with all the news and updates about Heart of Thorns and all other Guild Wars 2 content at the main Guild Wars 2 website.