Guild Wars 2's First Expansion Gets Release Date

PC MMO's Heart of Thorns expansion arrives in October.

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Heart of Thorns, the first expansion for PC MMO Guild Wars 2, will launch on October 23, developer ArenaNet announced today. As previously announced, this expansion is set in the Heart of Maguuma, a brand new jungle area, which is comprised of three distinct biomes.

The expansion adds the Mastery system, an endgame, account-based PvP progression system. Players will earn mastery points as they explore the map, complete missions, and other activities, which they'll be able to spend on abilities available across characters for your PVP account. For example, players will be able to buy the hang gliding ability, and improve it to reach hard-to-reach locations.

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Heart of Thorns also introduces Specializations, which will give existing classes access to new skills and weapons. In addition, players can look forward to a new Revenant profession, a new World vs. World Borderland map, and the competitive PvP Stronghold mode, where players fight for control of supplies, recruit troops, and attack the enemy stronghold.

Finally, Heart of Thorns adds Guild Halls, social spaces where your squad can meet and organize missions.

ArenaNet will talk more about Heart of Thorns and the future of Guild Wars 2 in general tomorrow at PAX Prime. Specifically, this presentation will serve as the unveiling for "all-new challenging group content" for Heart of Thorns. You can watch the even live on Twitch tomorrow, August 29, starting at 10:30 AM PDT.

Guild Wars 2 was released in summer 2012 and has sold more than 5 million copies to date.

For more on Hearts of Thorns, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview.

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