Heart of Thorns has been released for several weeks now and the shiny “newness” is wearing off. Instead of writing a full review – which I know I would start and never finish – I will just list a few of my personal highlights of this expansion.
First of all, it managed to suck me back into the game and even got to pull me away from Wildstar for a week. I also switched mains as my mesmer in combination with the chronomancer skills is so much fun again! The engineer finally got a hammer, so my charr advanced to “second main” which was previously covered by my asura warrior. The highlight here is that the elite specializations made some professions more fun for me.
Other than that, the guilds finally got some features that were sorely needed. I can read both my guilds’ chats simultaneously now which means that I can follow my German guild much better. Additionally, the message of the day is broadcast right into your chat tab when you log in which makes notifying your guild members of whatever is happening in the guild so much easier. Last but not least, the guild halls seem to be a great addition to the game as well.
My favourite map so far is Verdant Brink. This may be because I have spent the most time there as for me, the meta event is much more intuitive than the other maps and their events are. I do not like the confusing levels of the map, though, with just some parts that are further up and some other areas down below that can be accessed with other areas that let your character die because you left the “playable area”. But overall, I enjoy playing on that map. The one thing I love about all the new maps – just as I do with the rest of the game – is once again the way the world looks! If only I could stop and take screenshots more often without being attacked by veterans or even champions. But other than that, it’s simply gorgeous to look at!
A smaller thing I like is the addition of the jumping pads from the bank to the Trading Post in Lion’s Arch. My huge charr looks a bit weird being a furry ball swirling through the air, but the asura are adorable! Asura-ball comes to my mind there. Anyway, it saves a few seconds of having to move your character, so it’s a fun thing that supports being lazy. Perfect. :)
Being able to see the crafting professions on the login screen is another small feature that got added, but that makes my life so much easier! No longer do I have to try to memorize which character has which profession. Of course, I will memorize it automatically sooner or later, but eh, I still won’t complain about added convenience (same as with the jumping pads above).
And as the last point, one of the things that I expected to be a highlight but that turned out to be a disappointment, is Rata Novus. Once I heard that we can go there, I got so ridiculously excited and was imagining this great ancient asuran city (in ruins, of course, as I never even for a second imagined it to be filled with living asura) through which I could stroll for hours that may even look a bit like Rata Sum was supposed to look originally before they redesigned it.
You can see a few images of the original Rata Sum in the video.
Now, the way Rata Novus looks makes sense given the lore around it, but that still doesn’t help much. I am not going to write more about Rata Novus at this point, though, as I know there are still people out there who haven’t played that much yet and I don’t want to accidentally spoil anybody here (except for mentioning Rata Novus itself, of course ^^).
This isn’t a complete list and it surely is very subjective. It’s just some of the bigger and smaller things that I have been enjoying in the last few weeks. :)