Thoughts on GW2: Path of Fire

It’s been a while since I’ve written about GW2. This is mostly because it’s been a long time since I’ve actually played the game.

Those who know me know that I have a long-standing love-hate relationship with GW2. I’m a long-time GW1 fan who absolutely LOVED GW2 when it first launched — it was everything a MMO for someone group-shy like me could want or need. But, then, over time it changed until it became a game I hardly recognize anymore.

I never bought HoT. I missed the whole third season of the story because it was locked behind the expansion (I still logged in to put them in my journal though). But hearing how the story turned out, maybe it’s for the better. It sounds like they took a bunch of beloved GW1 lore and mangled it badly… and that trend seems to continue into Path of Fire (PoF).

Some… Praise (?!)

Ah, but I didn’t come here only to sling my lore-loving grouchiness at GW2. I actually wanted to write this because I have some praise for PoF.

Wait, what?

You heard me. Where I thought they got so much wrong, including the price points, with HoT, I think they’re doing quite a bit right with PoF. Since I grouch enough when I think things are wrong with GW2, I’ll say when I think things are right, too. 😉


First, let’s start with the pricing. Apparently, PoF is a stand-alone expansion – very good! From what I gathered, if you didn’t play HoT, you can still jump into this expansion and get right with it. Not to mention, there’s a level 80 character boost in all versions of the package (very good, though I don’t really need one).

The cost for the stand-alone is a very reasonable $29.99!

I did a double take on that, especially after the HoT pricing. Well done on learning from the past, A-Net!

If you want HoT and PoF, you can also buy them together at $49.99. I find that reasonable.

If you want the bling-bling bells and whistles, there’s the special versions for $59.99 and $79.99. The most expensive one includes a lot of extra stuff, plus $50 worth of gems, which alone makes it pretty worth it. It doesn’t include HoT, though, but you can add it in with it for extra.

Not only that, but the release date is September 22. This year! They don’t let that hype die on the vine, now do they? Plus a sneak peek weekend on August 11-13… which I just might be tempted to try out.


Yet another thing (along with raids) that they told us GW2 would never ever get. And is now getting.

This is something good on the outset, especially if it’s done correctly. The whole glider thing, after all, was a way for GW2 to avoid mounts… but just like with raiding, they caved and added them.


Now, I love mounts. And I love leaping and jumping mounts (their leapers remind me instantly of the mounts in EQ2). It’s difficult for me to resist the call of mounts and the idea that mounts may be more than just mounts (you can focus on new masteries for them or something?).

BUT. We all know what else a mount system introduces — cash shop opportunities!

No doubt, A-Net is probably running low on new glider ideas by now. So why not mounts? And other MMOs have shown mounts can be sold for a pretty penny.

So, while I’m happy to see mounts in GW2, part of me knows that this is just another thing for them to milk in the cash shop. As long as they don’t shove them in Black Lion chests, I guess I can’t complain too much.


Finally! The Crystal Desert! Finally, Elona and Vabbi! And already whispers of Palawa Joko!

There’s a LOT of temptation there for a GW1 fan. Also, a LOT of concern as a GW1 fan.


Everything I’ve heard lately about the direction the GW2 story is going, especially concerning Balthazar’s attitude, has been pretty off-putting to me. I would be super excited about returning to Elona if I weren’t even more afraid of how they’re going to further mangle the lore to create this attempt at comic book fan-fiction they call a Living Story.

I used to try to give the writers the benefit of the doubt. But the story has gotten so convoluted and has jumped so far off the shark that it’s hard for me to do that anymore. Story was always the most important element to me, and this story is what’s preventing me from supporting this game. While I haven’t played since before HoT released, I’ve heard enough to just shake my head at what they’ve done.

So, despite the fact that the price is right, mounts are so tempting and exciting, and I’d love to see the Crystal Desert again, I’m having a hard time budging from my spot on this.

However, that being said, I’m willing to give them another chance on the upcoming preview weekend. How many chances is this now? The fact that I keep doing this means I really want to love GW2 again one day. Halp! 🙁

PS– If they screw up Palawa Joko, my most favorite “bad guy, but not so bad of a guy… still kinda a bad guy” from GW1, that’s something I can’t forgive. However, if they write him well and to his proper original character, there’s a lot of brownie points to be earned. So much potential there!

Just saying.


  1. I’m in a similar position I think. We were so hyped for GW2 and played it as our main MMO till early LS 2. I just didn’t like the growing emphasis on highly tuned large-scale group content. The direction in HoT (raids, lots of mordrem) didn’t inspire me either. This seems to be at least a bit of a change in direction. We’ll see I guess…

  2. I look at this from the other end of the telescope. GW2 as conceived at launch had very little continuity with GW1. It was supposed to be a standalone MMO set in the same world but not requiring any prior knowledge of it’s predecessor to enjoy – and understand – to the full.

    ANet by and large kept to that design brief to the end of LS Season 1 and to a lesser degree in into HoT but eventually they caved to the relentless pressure from GW1 vets to repurpose the game towards the nostalgia market. I’m of the opinion this was because they had, by this stage, burned off most of the non-Gw1 vets who’d been attracted by the supposed “mold-breaking” new approach to MMOs and (as many MMO companies now seem to) they saw financial security in playing to the gallery rather than trying to woo a new audience.

    I thought HoT was an excellent expansion. It has enormous replayability – at least as much as the base game in my opinion. That’s not to say that PoF won’t be better – it looks good so far. I do object quite strongly, however, to the supposed interest I, as a GW2 player, am imagined to have in the history of Tyria 250 years before GW2 began.

    I didn’t like GW1 enough to buy any of the campaigns when they came out. I played Prophecies soon after launch, finished it in a month, hung about for another week or two and then didn’t really think about GW1 again until GW2 was about to launch. I have now played GW2 for somewhere approaching 10,000 hours over five years. I’m a GW2 player and I would like to be considered the primary audience for GW2.

    At the moment that is not how it feels. I feel like I’m being expected to pass some kind of citizenship test just to stay in my own country.

    (Second attempt at posting this comment – apologies if it duplicates)

    1. That puts Anet in a rather tough spot then. GW2-only folks would much rather GW2 be… GW2. As for someone who loved GW1 and GW2 pre-HoT… I welcome old lore and nostalgia, but I’m more afraid of them screwing it up by trying to wedge it into GW2 in a way it doesn’t belong.

      So we have similar concerns, but just in a different sort of way.

      I will say that after having watched the announcement videos that their claim of going back to exploration, story, open world events… plus revisiting old lands from GW1… is enough to tempt me to reinstall the game on my main PC. I’m still concerned, but this is the first time I’ve been interested in GW2 in a long time.

  3. I do not understand why GW2 has been so bad at story for so long. At launch everyone’s #1 complaint was that the personal story was boring, confusing, and ended up starring a boring NPC. Then Scarlet whatever happened — never made any sense to me. HoT ended up having some open-world maps that I liked, but its story was basic, badly paced, and involved weird side trips (we needed to invade an Asura ruin in order to learn that dragons have weaknesses?). LS3 has zones that I like and a story I immediately forgot.

    Why is it like this? GW1 could do competent story, but somehow GW2 can’t make sense!!!

    On the other hand, I guess there are fewer fetch quests than in FFXIV, haha.

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