Arenanet Unveils Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ As the First Expansion to Guild Wars® 2
Company: NCSOFT
BRIGHTON, UK – January 24th, 2015: NCSOFT® and ArenaNet™, publisher and developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, today announced Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ as the first expansion to Guild Wars® 2. ArenaNet president and co-founder Mike O’Brien and game director Colin Johanson surprised thousands of fans packed into the PAX South Main Theater and many more tuning into the Twitch livestream from around the world with the announcement, unveiling a debut trailer and giving a presentation covering each of the core features the expansion would bring to Guild Wars 2.

ArenaNet laid bare the vision and philosophy behind Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Many of the new features the expansion brings to Guild Wars 2 represent a re-envisioning of progression in an MMO. That includes the introduction of a new Mastery system that lets players unlock and explore new abilities for max level characters, and a brand new Specializations system that gives them access to traits, skills and unique mechanics that transform their profession into something entirely new.

“We’re thrilled to bring Guild Wars 2 fans their first expansion with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns”, said Mike O’Brien, ArenaNet president and co-founder. “The features we’ll be introducing with this expansion have the potential to once again move the MMO genre forward. Guild Wars 2 defied MMO conventions in the way people play together and experience an ever-growing online world. In the same vein, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will challenge the way that expansions traditionally treat endgame progression, and it’ll introduce new feature sets and content that reinforce our mantra that the journey itself is the goal in the way players experience and immerse themselves in an MMO.”

In making the surprise announcement at PAX South, ArenaNet also confirmed that the mysterious cinematic players had discovered in Guild Wars 2 last week was in fact their first glimpse of an expansion, and that Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns would continue the storyline that unfolded through the game’s Living World updates. The storyline has players and the game world of Tyria facing off in a war against the Elder Dragon Mordremoth and his growing hordes. As the story progressed, players had speculated about one possible casualty in the war after Tyria’s iconic hero Rytlock disappeared into a void as he chased a powerful ancient weapon.

In Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, Rytlock not only makes a triumphant return from the mysterious Mists, he comes back with an all-new set of abilities. His return sets the stage for one of the expansion’s most exciting additions, the introduction of a new profession called the revenant that channels powers from some of the Guild Wars universe’s most legendary heroes.

In addition to these features, ArenaNet showcased every key new feature set the expansion brings to the core game, covering additions to both PvE and competitive PvP and World vs. World modes. The studio premiered the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns announcement trailer as a first glimpse at these features, then set the stage for an ongoing series of updates now through launch that would delve much deeper into each.

“We know many fans have been waiting for this moment, for us to say this one single phrase – an expansion is coming for Guild Wars 2”, said Colin Johanson, game director on Guild Wars 2 at ArenaNet. “We wanted to go well beyond just announcing that an expansion is coming and then let our fans guess as to what it would bring, and so we waited until we could tell them every single feature that we think sets it apart. We only wanted to reveal Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns once we felt we could highlight everything that makes it an expansion worthy of Guild Wars 2, and that’s what we did today.”

What follows are the key features for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns that ArenaNet unveiled at PAX South. To check out videos, learn more about the game and sign up for the latest updates, please visit

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns features

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the first expansion for Guild Wars 2. Founded on the idea that the journey is the goal, the Heart of Thorns expansion continues the Guild Wars 2 tradition of challenging the conventions of MMOs to fulfill the promise of what online worlds should be.

- The Heart of Maguuma
New adventures await you in the heart of the Maguuma Jungle. Confront the growing hordes of Mordremoth’s minions, discover allies from ancient civilizations, and battle new enemies.
o Tackle challenging group content.
o Explore new open world jungle maps.
o Experience new events and storylines.
o Test your mettle in new boss battles.

- The Mastery System
We’re reimagining progression with our new Mastery system. Explore new training opportunities for your max level character with a system focused on evolving the core philosophy that the journey should be the goal in the game. The Mastery system adds meaningful progression without invalidating your hard-earned levels and gear.

- New Profession: Revenant
Channel legendary powers to slaughter foes and unleash chaos on the battlefield with our brand new profession: the revenant. Enter the field of battle heavily armored and equipped with the otherworldly powers of the Mists.

- Specializations
Evolve your gameplay. With profession specializations, you’ll unlock access to a weapon previously unavailable to your profession as well as new traits, skills, and unique mechanics – all of which will transform your profession into something new.

- PvP: New Stronghold Game Mode
Gather supply to hire soldiers. Battle for control of heroes. Man the trebuchet to defend your stronghold, and storm the enemy gates to defeat the guild lord! Use our new guild team feature to team up and battle to the top of the leaderboards. Stronghold offers an entirely new way to play competitive PvP in Guild Wars 2!

- WvW: New Borderland
Experience epic battlefield combat like never before in World vs. World’s latest core addition, the new Borderlands map. Navigate treacherous heights with traps that blow your foes to the depths below and ferocious defenders to help keep the enemy at bay. Map objectives will be more important than ever before, as they’ll unlock new strategies, tactics, and play mechanics that you’ll want to use to your world’s advantage!

- Guild Halls
Your guild has roamed the world together. Now, it’s time to claim a piece of it. Work with fellow guild members to claim and grow your own guild hall in the heart of Maguuma.

About Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars® 2 is a visually stunning MMO, a living world that offers players the epic grandeur of a massive role playing environment combined with innovative combat mechanics, dynamic events and customized personal storytelling, as well as fast-paced competitive play with team-based PvP and massive World vs. World battles. Building on the success of Guild Wars, NCSOFT and game developer ArenaNet™ have created a MMO that lets gamers play the way they want, while at the same time retaining the no-subscription-fee business model that made the original Guild Wars so popular. For more details on Guild Wars 2, please visit