Tuesday, May 2, 2017

GW2 Second Expansion Not Announced! Release Date Not Revealed! Spoilers!

As we wait for the penultimate chapter of Living Story 4 to drop I have a short but welcome window to mention the upcoming GW2 expansion. There's going to be one. There, that's that done.

Oh, except, wait! What's this, coming over the hill?  It's the First Reddit Spoiler Division and they're waving screenshots! We're saved!

Everything from this point on is spoilertastic so if you feel ANet have been doing a bang-up job keeping the lid on and the very last thing you want to know is freakin' anything at all then now's the time to look away.

Shame about the screenshot at the top of the page but oh, well...

For anyone that thinks MMO expansions become more interesting when you have some vague idea what's in them, here we go.

All the dirty pictures are at this Imgur link.  

Massively OP summarized it thus:
The huge batch of images appear to show a partial set of new masteries for most of the classes, maps covering a large span of the Crystal Desert from Guild Wars 1 (including Vabbi and the Desolation, so we’re in Nightfall territory), and mounts

So, the second expansion includes some new overland maps, some new Masteries and more class specializations. Who would have guessed? Everyone, probably.

Mounts, though...that's a bit of a surprise, given that ANet have always said they'd have nothing to do with anything so common, dahling. I paraphrase.

Actually, there were already rumors about mounts making an appearance when we go to Crystal Desert in the next Xpack. The theory was that they would be limited to specific routes or areas and wouldn't make their way into the wider world the way gliders did.

This is the mount some think prove the leak is a hoax.
But it's a jerboa, I think, which would be entirely in keeping with the desert theme.
Those pics, though. And the associated skills. I'm thinking it's all a bit elaborate just for a bit of on rails travel in four or five new maps. Plus think of the potential Gem Shop sales...

MMOs tend to have excitable communities but GW2's is positively hysterical. Mounts have long been a hot-button topic (cf cloaks) with vehement defenders and opponents, all of whom seem to think that having your character's eye line raised by a couple of meters can either save or grave a game.

The dormant forum threadnought revived on this latest news and battle positions are being taken as we speak. Personally I'm one hundred per cent in favor of mounts. I find the arguments against them spurious, hilarious or incomprehensible.

One commenter found the prospect of not using his own legs so unmitigatedly revolting he confessed to "having a visceral response. I am disgusted. I actually feel vaguely nauseous". I'd make a crack only I know how that goes. I've had the same reaction a few times over changes in MMOs that turned out to be utterly trivial. As he goes on to observe, astutely, "I’m not even sure why I feel so strongly about it, but I can’t deny that I do." I hear that.

Mounts might not be universally welcome but big maps that aren't jungles? Those aren't going to get too many down-votes, I bet. Because the leaked images feature an overhead of the existing map of Tyria we can judge the size of the new playable areas and they are huge.

It's impossible to tell for sure just by looking at the schematics but I get the impression that we're done with verticality for a while. This is a desert and it looks flat. I wouldn't be surprised to find that gliders don't even work there, although really all they need to do is not put any updrafts in...

As for the new specializations, they look very interesting. Unlike Ashes of Creation's "Tank", they all have super-cool names like Renegade and Spellbreaker. My favorite has to be Holosmith. I think I have a CD by them somewhere.

It might all be one giant hoax but frankly, if anyone's gone to that much trouble, they deserve a good laugh at our expense. It all looks entirely legit to me and I'm going to go with it.

Official announcement and release date please, Mr O'Brien. You can have my money now for delivery in the autumn. Or late summer? Late summer works for me.


  1. Yes! I had to go back and check, but a new GW2 expansion announcement was on my list of 2017 predictions. Not that such a prediction was much of a stretch.

    1. And as of right now it has sort-of a sort-of official launch date. Or window at least. Mike O'Brien did an AMA on Reddit in which he confirmed the xpack will follow the final chapter of LS3, on the same cadence (2-3 months). That puts Chapter 6, the conclusion, in July/August and the xpack in October/November.

      Mid-November works for me - I have ten days holiday around then!

  2. Is that top picture an owl griffon mount?! Because if so, I might need to give GW2 another try. Need to get all the griffons...

    1. It's a griffon. It's named as such in the description on the skill icons in one of the imgur pics.

    2. I hope it can fly, or at least sort of glide if you jump down from a high spot. The griffon hype is real!

  3. PaulElla: There are no future plans for any additional legendary armor sets.

    Nope, I'm not going to let this go yet. Still bitter. Still not contributing to revenue.

    Also the current medium legendary armor is ugly as sin, and the light armor (while relatively cool) gives every race a spiritual charr tail, which is a mite wtf? (Though the charr side of me says, haha, everybody else can suck it up.) This took a good two years of work? Really? This bodes badly for any further hope at any kind of armor.

    Shoulda just asked for cultural armor that fits one race.

    1. I'm just waiting for the fallout over the removeable runes and the "this will not be happening for Ascended armor" sneer. And yes, I did read it as a deliberate sneer.

      Doesn't bother me personally because I actively avoid anything that means i have to change my build so I prefer to have armor that doesn't need runes swapped in and out, but that's going to be a minority opinion I'm sure.

      And yes, the entire Legendary set is fugly as can be!

    2. Did we not already get that fallout? I assumed it was going to hit as soon as that bit got announced.

      (I'll admit I haven't been following the community much, so maybe there's already been one. Mostly just checking here and Jeromai's blog to see if he'd gone on a rant about it yet. :) )

    3. Blog ranting would imply caring enough about it to bother. ;)

      I am satisfied these days with a snide comment here and there and reading echoes of my sentiments on sites like MassivelyOP, Reddit and the official forums. I rattled the cages two years ago to zero effect, so the whole thing needs a louder echo chamber to work.

      I made my Legendary heavy armor last night, finished episode 5, continue to raid without touching the rest of the game, continue to not pay a cent and earn 50+ gold a week because I'm now in the 'privileged' group and go on to enjoy Path of Exile and Minecraft. Win win. Except for GW2's quarterly revenues, I suppose.

  4. At this point the only thing that could really bring me back to GW2 is a new environment I'd be eager to explore. Desert isn't the answer I was looking for. But hopefully the fans will like it.

    As for mounts, I've never quite gotten the controversy over them either. I'm in the camp that says there's no good reason to implement mounts in GW2, but I'm not offended by the idea, either.

    1. The whole mount thing is like some kind of religious zealotry. There's a significant and very vocal demographic that treats every deviation from GW1 orthodoxy as heretical. Pandering to that group that has done the game much damage, although probably not as much as the embarrassing scramble for scraps from the WoW/FFXIV overspill market.

      I like desert zones a lot more than jungle ones so I'm happy about where we're going.

    2. Yeah, I really don't get the "no mounts" stance either. I think it's likely something that will disappear when the mounts are actually there. People that really hate mounts can always boycot them, I guess. Nothing is forcing them to mount up. And their looks is hardly something to complain about if you compare it to the extravagant cosmetic looks out there.


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