Path of Fire, the second expansion released for Guild Wars 2 was released on September 22, 2017. Join Colin as he embarks on his Path Of Fire and how he feels about the latest addition.

Background

I clearly haven’t spent as much time in PVP as I thought!

With this being the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game we have reviewed here at Respawning, and the fact this is an expansion. It would be best to give a little insight into my background with Guild Wars 2.

I originally played Guild Wars 2 when it was released back in August 2012 and have had some previous hands-on time with the title before it’s original release. I was studying at university when I picked this up and as you can imagine, I threw a lot of hours into the game as escapism from actually doing any coursework.

While I knew that I had put a lot of time into the game, recently going back and playing through as much of Path of Fire as I could, I found out that I had 100% map completion. Looking through the achievements in the game, I have completed a large majority of the base game but never progressed further than that.

… Maybe university came first, who knows!

With the above said, I haven’t touched upon any of the living world content or the first expansion, Heart of Thorns. So let’s move on and start talking about Path of Fire!

Story

The god Balthazar has returned and intends to kill off the remaining Elder Dragons and absorb their power. While being denied Jormag and Primordus, Balthazar and his fanatical army have marched to the Crystal Desert to hunt down Kralkatorrik, the Elder Crystal Dragon.

You as the Pact Commander follow suit to stop Balthazar and his army before the world is brought to an end.

Mounts

Mounts are finally available within Guild Wars 2 and while you unlock these through progressing the story in Path of Fire you can freely use these back in the games older content.

There are five mounts obtainable, one of which is hidden so I won’t spoil that here. The way mounts control feel fantastic, they’re an extension of your character which is fascinating compared to the MMO norn; they move differently compared to when you’re running around the world, they have their own momentum and stopping speed.

Raptors and their leap ability is so useful! It took me an hour to realize I needed to jump this gap.

You can get your hands on the hardy and swift raptor which allows you to lead across great distances. The Springer, an oversized bunny which lets you leap great vertical distances, The Skimmer, a manta-like creature which can glide and pass across hazardous surfaces. The Jackal, magical creatures made from shifting sands that can dissipate into the sand and teleport short distances. The final mount is hidden and can be unlocked after completing the storyline of the game.

Aesthetics

https://youtu.be/uGpHUVDJY2o

Considering Guild Wars 2 was originally released five years ago, the game continues to be visually impressive, check out the view from the vista point in the video above.

While I continue to be in awe while traveling through the storyline, I have been left slightly disappointed at the variety of equipment available for characters while you’re progressing. While there is a system in place to allow you to dress up and customise your characters look using any of the equipment you find – I am still using equipment which was released at launch game.

While the lack of equipment is something that I have a gripe with, this appears to be a trend, within MMORPGs at the moment, especially when compared to Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, where there was very little new equipment available between the levels 60 – 70 and what was mostly on offer, was redyed equipment. 

While I have my gripe, the presentation of the world is outstanding. This has quite possibly been one of the most difficult titles for me to get through as I keep getting lost or dumbstruck at the beauty of the games new zones.

Launch Problems

As you would expect, there have been issues here and there with the launch of Path of Fire. These are for the most part to be expected. I have found myself clipping into terrain and getting stuck within objects. The majority of these issues have been ironed out since launch and ArenaNet have been on hand with feedback to their community via Twitter.

Thoughts & Opinions

While it’s been five years since I last delved through Guild Wars 2s vast and beautiful world, I find myself surprised at how well the game has held up today. The aesthetic style is still being maintained and combat mechanics are still as tight as when I left.

The combat has been improved with the addition of the action camera, allowing you to left click to do your basic attack and your swings follow where you’re looking. Removing the game from its traditional tab targeting roots; however, I am unsure how long that feature has been available within the game.

The story is well written and is impactful, with your character being at the heart of the story. During story events, you are joined by various main characters all of which are established within the lore. You are also given the opportunity to ask for their input regarding your current situation as well, all of which left me feeling immersed.

Throughout my journey I found there were areas of disconnect between storytelling and gameplay; the Pact Commander needs to head out and gain information regarding the situation they found themselves in. In reality, this meant I was running around the whole zone in an attempt to get information from specific NPCs.

The addition of mounts was long overdue and has always been a gripe of mine when it comes to Guild Wars 2, it now means as a player I am able to utilize abilities which are more combat focused as opposed to a movement focus. Getting from A to B is more of a journey, rather than a chore.

While Path of Fire hasn’t included anything in the way of dungeons or raids, it has already been confirmed that raids are going to be included post-launch. While as an MMO player, this is slightly upsetting that no new structured content is available from the go the story has more than enough content for me to get my teeth into.

Overall, Path of Fire is an amazing addition to Guild Wars 2 and look forward to the next batch of season content.

Verdict

8/10

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