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Lord Sovereign

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Joined: 29 Jun 2014
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re: Path of Fire Review (No Story Spoilers!)


A Very Angel Review of:

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire


Pretty sure that anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fangirl of Guild Wars 2. I love PvE, WvW, the lore, the maps, everything (except that pesky PvP). Path of Fire (PoF) is no exception.


PoF introduced a ton of new and exciting content and was a huge throwback to Guild Wars. As someone that’s read all the books and watched a ton of Wooden Potatoes and knows a lot of the lore, this was super exciting. The Crystal Desert is beautiful, even with the giant scar of the Brand running through it. Actually, for me, the Brand might make it even more beautiful.


Because of how much was added, I’m going to break it down by type of content. No spoilers, I promise!




PvE/Map Content

As I said before, these maps are beautiful! The maps themselves are huge, adding different types of solo/group events (bounties and mount races), new types of enemies, repeatable renowned hearts and hero challenges, and some challenging masteries. There’s also collections specific to each map, as well as collections across all maps.


Groups have gotten together and run for hours, hours, tracking down the bounties on all the maps, getting dat XP and those mastery points associated. Each map has 3 bounty boards where one group member selects a bounty target. Once the target is selected, then the group can go after the bounty. It works similarly to the Bounty Guild Mission, only the map bounties are Champion and Legendary ranks. There are 2 Champions and 1 Legendary per board. Some of the bounties have different attacks and mechanics. You can’t just sit in one spot and hold down your 1 key. If you don’t dodge at the right time, you’ll have to waypoint and sprint back to the fight.


I’ll talk about mounts in a bit, but the mount races are a ton of fun. The first 4 maps have a race designed for the mount you can obtain in that map. You can, of course, use one of the other mounts, but it may put you at a severe disadvantage, since each of the mounts has a different movement mechanic that the race utilizes. Also the terrain can change, giving people using the right mount a huge advantage.


Also, 5 giant maps were added. That’s more maps than we got for Heart of Thorns, and the area they take up is roughly the size of Ascalon plus some of the Shiverpeaks. The maps are: Crystal Oasis, Desert Highlands, Elon Riverlands, The Desolation, and the Domain of Vabbi. Each map boasts a different overall terrain, and shift in terrain. The Crystal Oasis is largely flat, home to the city of Amnoon, and as you move west, there’s the Temple of Kormir, and giant canyons. The next map is north. The Desert Highlands features canyons, high cliffs, and the tail end of the Shiverpeaks, where a Durmand Priory building is housed. South of the Crystal Oasis, is the Elon Riverlands. Here, you’ll see the brand, wetlands, and a relatively flat terrain. The Desolation, further south, is largely sulphurous sand that will utterly wreck you. And the Domain of Vabbi, west of the Desolation, is rolling hills, keeps, and large structures.




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Another small feature that was added was dynamic weather. This is a Guild Wars 2 first and helps the player feel more immersed in the world of Tyria. It’s such a small thing in the grand scheme of the game, but it really helps the player lose themselves in the game and content.


Movement: Mounts

I’ve obtained the 4 mounts that you need to complete the story, and am currently working on the collection achievements for the 5th. Having never played another MMO, I found the idea of mounts exciting. And they were so much more than I could’ve hoped for.


Each mount has a different set of movement mechanics to help you get to various places in Elona. These mounts are the Raptor (obtained by completing the first story step), the Springer (found in Desert Highlands), the Skimmer (residing in the Elon Riverlands), the Jackal (lurking in the sands of the Desolation), and the Griffon (flying high along the cliffs of the Domain of Vabbi). The mounts require you to finish a section of the story, and in some cases, a renowned heart. The first 4 mounts don’t cost much, a few gold at most. The Griffon, however, requires you to finish the story and complete a series of collection achievements.




The Raptor can jump small gaps, and as your put points into this mastery line, you gain the ability to canyon jump, jumping further than you could imagine. This jump is purely horizontal, but those wide gaps in the map can be easily crossed without losing altitude, as you would with gliding, saving you tons of time.






The Spinger is an oversized bunny mount that can jump high in the air. When you first unlock this mount, your jump is roughly the size of the octopus in Lion’s Arch. As you level the mastery though, you can easily scale any mountain in the Shiverpeaks in only a jump or two (provided you don’t hit an invisible wall!). The jump and high vault are very vertical, though you can move a bit as you jump.


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The Skimmer is a giant manta ray that skims over the ground, water, lava….you name it. This mount is also mostly horizontal movement wise, but as you train your mastery line, you can get some height in your hover ability. This mount is very good for moving around the Desolation, as the sand itself can kill you. Also, lava doesn’t hurt this thing, so travelling the rest of Tyria will be much easier! (This is a bit of contention between some redditors, as some say lava does hurt and some say it doesn’t.)






The next mount is the Jackal. This mount has the ability to shift through sand to get to their next location. The dash ability goes a short distance, but as you add mastery points to this line, you’ll get the ability to use sand portals. Similar to the asura gates, these portals will take you to a connecting portal that’s helpful for getting into some otherwise closed off spaces. Fun fact: the Jackal is made of sand! It’s brought to life with magical runes. Also, it would totally rip you to shreds if it wasn’t tamed.





The Griffon is probably the most coveted of the mounts, as it basically replaces the basic gliding mechanic from HoT. Griffons cannot move up as they fly, at least not by much, but they can glide super fast. In about 30 seconds, a player can make it from the start of Verdant Brink to the gateway into Auric Basin.






Also, important to mention is that all the mounts can be keybound individually, allowing you to swap between the mounts easily. The mounts are also dyeable. Each mount has 1 dye channel, allowing you to change marking color.


Story Content

While this is a standalone expansion, those interested in the lore should definitely play living world season 2 (available on the gem store if you don’t have it unlocked), Heart of Thorns, and living world season 3 (also available on the gems store, after you purchase HoT) to get the full effect of the story. There are tons of lore videos and let’s plays on YouTube, but I like to play the content and make my own choices.


PoF picks up exactly where LWS3 left off, with the Commander chasing the person of interest into the Crystal Desert. And I’ll leave it at that….I said no spoilers and I meant it.


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I had real reactions to things that happened and I can’t wait for living world season 4. The story was challenging and engaging.


That’s all I’ll say about it for now.


Overall Thoughts

This was a great expansion for Guild Wars 2. Pros: engaging content, great story, immersive maps, new events, and mounts.


What could’ve been:


    1. Better guild functionality. Additional permissions and separation of permissions would be great. The ability to mass mail all guild members and members of various ranks would be even better. Adding a guild calendar would be super beneficial.

    2. Guild Missions - once again, we haven’t had any new guild missions. The last guild mission was added, like, 5 years ago. They really are getting a bit old, and with some of the new functionality added with this expac, they really could’ve added new guild missions.

    3. Story - I wanted more of it. The story wasn’t short, but given what happened in it, I really, really, really wanted more of it.

    4. Mounts - They feel a little clunky at first, and there have been complaints of people getting motion sickness while riding them. A smoother transition while swapping mounts would be nice as well. I think adding the ability to control the speed of the mounts when acquiring them would be a great way to improve mounts.

    5. I can’t use mounts in WvW - at least not yet. Maybe someday. *sigh*


In closing, I hope the Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet continue to make expansions like this.


Score: 9/10 - Highly Recommend


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