One of the most exciting reveals about Heart of Thorns is of course the new profession. The Revenant channels spirits from the Mists to harness a unique playstyle. These spirits, known as Legends, have completely separate skill bars, which means that Revenants will have 20 skills at their disposal instead of 10 (10 in each Legend stance). The two Legends that are currently announced are Jalis (Dwarf) and Malyx (Demon). Jalis is a durable and tanky Legend while Malyx focuses a bit more on damage via condition spreading. Revenants will also have to manage energy, a new resource to the game. Izzy said it was a bit reminiscent of maintained enchantments from GW1. As far as party play goes, the devs assured me that there are many ways for revenants to help out their parties. The Jalis Legend, for example, has Rite of the Great Dwarf, a stone form that can be activated to give five allies damage reduction.
If the theme of Heart of Thorns were to be summed up in one word, that word would be “progression,” Izzy told me. On the character development side of things, progression comes in the form of the Mastery and Specialization systems. Masteries will give players more to do in PVE, while respecting what players have already accomplished in the core game and not invalidating things they’ve done in the past. So instead of creating a new gear grind or increasing the level cap, for example, Masteries provide players with accessibility options that will open up the world (kind of like a Zelda game). Masteries are account-based and will unlock abilities such as glider-riding or mushroom-jumping reach areas unable to be accessed without them. Mastery points will often only be available by doing difficult or tricky stuff, however - like completing achievements or finding a secret location. Specializations will offer players different ways to play their existing characters. While not much has been revealed about specializations, what we do know is that they’ll unlock new weapon choices and skills for professions, which should offer a whole lot of new and exciting comboing, both within a character and between characters.
There’s a whole lot more that is being added or changed in the expansion, both in PVE (e.g. outposts, adventures, guild halls, and an overhauled boss defiance system) and PVP (e.g. new Stronghold mode and a new WvW Borderland). I’m sure I’ll be highlighting more of the PVE content in the future as more information is announced.
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will expand the base game of Guild Wars 2. Players will need to have a copy of GW2 to play. The release date is currently unannounced.