After a first expansion and a season 3 of the living world, Guild Wars 2 returns with a new expansion in lands well known by license players: the crystal desert. Please note that this preview may contain some spoilers on the game as well as the various expansions.
For the non-experts, Guild Wars 2 puts you in command of a character facing certain adventures. You are free to choose the class you want, as the overall storyline is the same for all players. One of the big points of the game is the regular addition (2/3 months) by the studio of scriptwriting content in the form of an episode. This is free if you are connected during the addition period, otherwise you will have to pay about twenty euros for a completed season (3 in number for the moment).
The end of season 3 of the living world as well as the story of Heart Of Thorns gave us the common thread of this new extension, namely the quest of the god Balthazar to want to acquire a new power thanks to the ancestral dragons. His next objective being the one nestled in the Crystal Desert: Kralkatorrik.
Players will see a drastic change of scenery as they move from the greenery of the Maguuma jungle to the barren desert plains (one wonders how the race of sylvari manages not to wither in this heat). Even though these are new lands, players of the first Guild Wars will find many nods and ancient remnants of this world, which shows for most players that the studio does not forget where it came from. and that he maintains a certain consistent lore between his games.
One of the big points is also the return to a certain horizontality of the cards. Many players did not like the verticality system and multi-story maps in HoT at all. With Path of Fire, the exploration has become very simple and will be completed quickly enough for the panorama part, hero point, ...
As with the previous expansion, ArenaNet has added a new global mechanic to players which is none other than mounts. This new feature will allow you to move quickly on maps which are still larger than the previous ones. Each of these mounts has different characteristics and allows you to adapt its gameplay depending on the situation. There is, for example, the Frappesol which allows you to perform high jumps or the jackal which allows the player to teleport a short distance (this is the one I use most personally).
We also find the mastery system that will ask you to unlock some to advance in the main story. Even if I haven't finished it yet, I find it much less restrictive than that of Heart of Thorns with for example the obligation to have the mastery "Poison Itzel" to continue (before the patch) . The other big addition concerning the players is of course that of the new specializations for each of the classes of the game which open up new possibilities of gameplay and a change of meta (or at least on the creation of group).
As with the previous extension, some content has not been added / modified with this extension. The new Raid Paths will be added in the next big content update (as it may have been with HoT) to allow players to prepare and have their specialization / mastery ready. Regarding PvP and WvW it's a bit tricky, these two contents are undergoing updates with a different schedule than that of PvE mode. It is not certain to have a partial overhaul of the PvP mode next year with, for example, new maps or a new game mode.
To conclude, the expansion breathes new life into the world of Guild Wars 2. This one was of course expected by players who were starting to go around in circles on PvE content. The lifespan of the story is quite important although I find that the maps are done quite quickly for players with a little experience in MMOs. Other attractions are available in new towns that may please you and even pay you big if you are lucky (this is often rare)