Raids and Guild Halls have also been added with HoT, which are certainly geared towards hardcore players and players in big guilds. Raids require ten level 80 characters to begin. The first one that has been added to the game is Spirit Vale. Guild Halls have their own progression track and take 100 gold to start said progression track. Since I just started playing GW2 again for the first time in a couple years just about a month before the launch of HoT, I haven’t yet delved into Raids or Guild Halls. This means I can’t go into detail on them from personal experience, but they certainly sound promising and they are definitely co-opportunities.
I’ll end this issue with my overall impressions of the expansion as well as addressing the big question a casual or past GW2 player probably has about HoT: “Who is the expansion for?” HoT is definitely for players who are at least moderately invested in GW2. The brunt of the current content (more HoT-exclusive content is surely coming) is for level 80 characters. The new PvE zones, new storyline, and masteries are all for level 80 characters only. The elite specializations (in PvE) are not only just for level 80 characters, but require a decent amount of dedication to that specific character to fully utilize the specialization (i.e. collecting hero points on a character-by-character basis). The mastery system also requires a good amount of work (lots of XP grinding to get those levels).
For non level-80 characters, the expansion offers much less. The biggest draw for a pre-level-80 is the new Revenant profession. If you are a PvPer (and level doesn’t matter for PvP), you’ll also need HoT to play with any of the elite specializations in PvP (but it doesn’t require any character-specific unlocks, just like all of PvP). Let’s be honest, though - if you care about elite specializations in PvP, you are probably at least moderately invested in the game, which brings me back to my original point. If you are a very casual GW2 player that does not have a level 80 character yet, it’s probably safe to hold off on the expansion. This is especially true since the launch of HoT brought a bunch of quality-of-life improvements to the game, and most of these are available for all GW2 players, not just owners of HoT.
On the other side of the coin, though, if you do have at least one level 80 character and you are interested in continuing on with that character, picking up the expansion is a no-brainer. HoT adds a sizable amount of content for previously maxed-out characters to work on. Much of this content is just for the challenge, or cosmetic look, or just plain fun, and that’s how GW2 should be, in my opinion. I fall smack dab into the middle of the target demographic for the expansion, so I’m quite enjoying it. As I said before, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve played. Between the stuff Arenanet has added since I stopped playing last time and the new stuff added with HoT, I have plenty to keep myself occupied for quite awhile. While HoT was a little different than I would have guessed a GW2 expansion would look like, I think it’s a solid expansion and worth the purchase if you belong to the right group of people - namely, people who play (or want to play) a good amount of GW2.