Job well done:
1. huge, detailed maps with breath-taking views (e.g. Riddle of the Scourge);
2. quality and length of story;
3. every mount feels unique;
4. graphics improvement;
5. animations of new elite specialisations;
6. background music and sound effects.
1. bounty mechanics are rather limited and zergs are able to get by with autoattack;
2. the DPS of some elite specialisations are lacking and this discourages players from playing them;
3. difficulty with controlling the rotation of the raptor mount;
4. swapping mounts on-the-go without dismounting and mounting.
Just writing what i don't enjoy:
Keeping it short:
All in all: I never enjoyed exploring a lot - but now I definitely do!
First of all, thank you Arena Net, you have made a tremendous expansion. Second of all, PoF is so big no feedback can fit the <100 word mark! I blame you Anet (jk, I love you all).
Now the feedback; may contain spoilers so beware!
Story - Improved overall in comparison to HoT and Season 3. The dialogs are well executed, without too much cheesy retorts. It was good to see only a small number of Dragon's Watch members in the story, makes it easier to keep track and no one feels like dead weight.
Open World - A lot of diversity and uniqueness between the maps. This is how every future expansion map should be like! And yes, size does matter and PoF maps are just right. Also, aside from the raw content and beautiful landscapes, the amount of quality and detail that went into ambient dialogues and NPC interactions is astounding! The fact that the banners in Amnoon change depending on your choices made in the story some NPC dialogue changes as well. This is something I never expected to see in an MMO, but then again Guild Wars 2 is so much more than an MMO.
Mounts - Yes! Yes! and yes! Love them. Please let us name them since they truly are a separate entity with adorable personalities and not just a movement speed boost. As for the fifth mount... it is the best thing ever!
Rewards - Very well gated behind collections that are not grindy, they simply require you to complete open world content, not just to collect X amount of Y currency and buy them off a vendor. The best example of this are the new elite spec weapon collections. Also, thank you for the unidentified gear. They brought such a relief to Inventory Wars 2.
for me everything in the expansion is good, maybe there is a lack of an "hard" world event something like tequatl or triple trouble when they was released but maps , story , mount are pretty good. imho the only problem with this expansion and even with hot is that arenanet have to find a way to add a new type of dungeons without the problem of the old ones but with the same deep story and cool enviroment.
Great expansion with a proper entry price this time.
As always good gameplay and the work done on the mounts is top notch.
The story went completely overboard but i guess we are used to that by now. The third act felt a bit short and the scene after the final boss battle felt a bit weird.
The release could have gone a bit more smoother - a lot of EU players couldnt even do the first story to get into PoF for a day or so.
Also if you are going to make us do a heart in our personal story at least mark it done for the day.
My biggest gripe so far is flax and linseed oil. Every single exotic gear recipe requires it. All of these new materials and you gate the skins behind one of the most ridiculous crafting recipes that requires 20 material with only one reliable source: gathering. Meanwhile in the same recipe milling stones are vendor trash with millions in stock.
Story is exciting and way better than HoT. Also Praise Joko!
Like: mounts, collections which feels like epic quests (hidden mount). Overall a lot of small collections relating to lore & exploration. New maps are great.
Dislike: no meta-event. 1 or 2 would have been great. The Brand area in Vabbi would be perfect for a meta event: going into the brand protected by moving protective domes and culling the branded for example.
Also dislike: balance is off, and the balance team were clearly shy with the new spec weapons, very few of those feels better than vanilla or HoT weapons.
Maps and mounts are great. Story is good (for GW2). You dropped the ball with class balance though and that needs rectifying first thing. Everything needs a niche, in some game mode it can perform admirably at X thing. As a class that puts itself at risk and has to slot every utility to damage, Holosmith is an utter failure (as is Deadeye for the same reason). Please put some effort into either dismantling the support meta where 3 classes buff the other 2 by 200% damage, or hire someone who has a background in handling this sort of thing.
I am a bit disappointed with the expansion. The maps have less replay value than HoT maps. So far I found nothing I would like to do dozens of times like the HoT meta events. The map art was very good though.
The amount of achievement points you can earn in the expansion is a bit disappointing, estimated at 1168 at the moment (compared to 1700+ for the HoT release). So about 500 less for a content heavy vs feature heavy expansion? This is a bit of a joke to be honest. How are players ever supposed to reach 39k+ for the backpieces if a whole expansion gives less than 3% of the total required. An expansion should have at least 5000 AP worth of achievements. Either by quantity or by LS1 achievement point values.
It erases HoT
Love the maps and story, but could have done with a single map that has a meta that is able to progress by all players into an epic end fight. Not like HoT where it was every map, but more like Core where a small percentage of maps have a map meta (Straits of Devastation, Harathi Hinterlands). Just 1 or 2 maps with a rolling meta next time would be fabulous.
-I enjoyed the story a great deal. Was immersive.
-Mounts were more fun than expected. Control well and feel natural.
-Hidden Mount quest is great.
-Map design is much better than HoT. Masteries no longer locked behind Adventures. Experience in PoF is like core GW2 and good for wandering, exploring all the little details. Visual and gameplay design of new enemies good but bounty targets need clearer tells/warnings for their attacks). Distribution/Density of enemies is also good
-I like the new Unidentified Items drops.Consume All options.
Please keep doing what you do.
Maps and Story are amazing. I find the majority of the new elite specializations interesting and more polished than HoT elite specs (with one or two exceptions).
I like that the maps aren't bound to massive map Meta events like in HoT but rather separate meta event chains like in Orr. There could have been a World Boss like Shatterer's big brother though. I love all the Mounts.
Mirage is a catastrophe for me. It feels unfinished, contradictory and weak (survivability is good I guess) and kinda pushed me away from my main class in PvE.
In 100 Words? Oh boy.
Mounts are amazing! Animation, skillset, everything. Awesome!
New skills are nice, new things to learn! Always good.
Hero Points are not gated behind stupid encounters like in all of HoT, very good!
Areas look amazing! Every single zone looks really good. (personally dislike Desolation)
Few but very fitting Renown events. Exploration seems to award more exp.
Every trashmob and their mother love to dismount me.
World is cluttered with trash
Bounty-target areas cluttered with trash -> makes the actual bounty a pain for groups <10ppl
too few Waypoints
Tomb Mastery requires glitching -> hesitant to do it.
No single-player bounties (sometimes, I just want to murderate NPCs alone)
(edit) Renegade feels bad
Need more Words
Quality and quantity of both story and maps improved incredibly. It is well crafted, fun and generally awesome.
Maps - amazing. Best exploration yet.
Story - quite good and the final instances were some of the most fun I've had. This was by far the best story you guys have done. It's nice having a villain whi isn't just a force of nature.
Mounts - shockingly fun. I can't imagine playing the game without them now.
Music - beautiful. I love the race music the most.
Replay Value - I wish there were a couple map metas like HoT. Bounties are alright.
The expansion is fantastic. It did almost everything right, and GW2 has never felt more immersive, which is something it's been lacking since launch. I give it a 10/10 for quality of the the content it does have.
However, I have to call out the disappointment of not getting any new weapon types or dungeons, when the game really, really needs to have some at this point. In particular, this was the perfect opportunity to have spears/polearms on land, and it kind of blows my mind that it wasn't done.
Lastly, Revenants still feel incomplete and unpolished from their release last expansion and really need to get some core fixes. This is largely why the Renegade was rated so poorly compared to other elites. It's a concept problem with the design of the core class. I'd remove weapon swap and give them a 5th "legend" comprising generalized mist-themed skills that they always have access to in addition to the two chosen legends, which would be used to create better synergy between their other legend lines and their weapons.
The Pof maps are Excellent and the mounts are Superb .
The balance is pretty BAD when you consider all classes / specs. some class specs could get a 50% buff and dont be op . pls consider this next to make Gw2 more fun !.
Otherwise. All good and well made
Overall my initial experience is far better than the original HoT one. Event scaling is much more manageable and I can solo some stuff, that's nice. I like the new maps and I like mounts. Some NPCs are difficult, some aren't, it's fine the way it is. Three concerns:
1 - no new dungeons!
2 - griefing is a thing with the crazy aggro range of NPCs on all the new maps. People now pull kitten into other player's aoes to steal events objectives or just to annoy them.
3 - small thing, but treasure maps take way too long to use and it's more profitable to do something else instead.
from a returning player:
Entirely awesome. The part where you become a ghost and make it back alive made me think of Pagan Ultima VIII where you become a god at the end. Would have been cool to come back as a god, seeing that you essentially cheated death.
Elite FB specs: I will say that I felt the Mantras to be pointless overall, and cannot be used from any sort of range besides hugging your enemy, and the damage and or support is negligible.
My 10c worth
When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side.
About the release:
Surprises are only good when people can actually enjoy them. As an EU player the first few days were brutal on the new maps.
Also it feels like the problems with most of the professions/new weapons could have been avoided with more beta testing.
About the content:
I love everything, even with bugs, but why not even ONE new meta map after people got so used to it in HoT?
I dislike the lack of large scale, rewarding, and repeatable content. I would have really liked it if one (just one) of the zones had been like Silverwastes, player driven (not on timer like HOT) map meta with events.
Once completed (masteries, any desired achievements, story, etc) I don't see any reason to play the new maps.
Bounties are basically just spawnable Champ Trains which is old content with a new spin.
Elementalist Sword sucks. It's auto attacks are slower than 2h weapons for each class.
Commonly video games entice inattentive people, immitating action movies where instead of narrative tension and character building you have hopscotching between the settings to trumpet the the awe, the spectacle and the quirkiness. Whilst artists and designers did a great job with tastefuly crafted set-pieces there isn't much of a continuity in overarching storyline.
Path of Fire appears to be more of a advertisement, not only appealing to the viewers primary senses in a quick snapshot but also reiterating the last year of developmental changes. Demonstrating Anet has learned their lesson since HoT's launch & made great strides to improve their game whilst leaving you on a cliffhanger earning for more.
Bounties (they get boring quickly, require too much travelling).
Soloable hero points (I think the 10-point ones should be group content - unpopular opinion ).
New elite specs (balance issues).
Story is too short.
Locking story behind masteries. Please don't interrupt my story with mastery hunt/exp grind!
No map-wide meta events.
Way too many mobs and they have a huge aggro radius - always in combat, hard to use mounts/waypoints/map.
Not enough armor skins and they are not available in the wardrobe for preview.
The story features too much dialogue, running around and waiting which makes it frustrating for subsequent play-throughs with different characters. The hearts don't seem to fit a lvl 80 high level map. Most of them require too much time to complete for very little reward. No map wide organized meta events like Dragon Stand or silverwastes to continuously bring me back to the maps. I don't find bounties and redoing hearts as engaging end game content.
I love the mounts. Doing the story with a friend was a lot of fun. We loved Act 1 and Act 2, but Act 3 felt rushed and we were surprised to be at the final boss already. Exploring the new maps has been fun so far, we'll see if I miss having "map metas" to complete on regular, PREDICTABLE timers. Thanks for the fun!
Aight, here i go: Maps are stunning, with being able to rushed through if you are burning to finish the story, but enough incentive to occasionally stop and require resources (although raptor 3 for the bunny felt a bit forced tbh), but enough depth to return, explore and stay, so very good design in that aspect. The story was very well paced, with some good chuckles, overall character synergy and developement, and a bit of replayability due to the differences in choices and Sohothin. Character balances still needs to be done though, firebrand and weaver are busted.
97 in total
The maps are phenomenal, a sheer pleasure to explore, augmented of course by the equally phenomenal mounts. Speaking of, the entire ‘hidden’ Griffon quest chain is (imo) some of the very best content GW2 has produced so far. Detailed, engaging, an awesome reward - more of this, please. Story was on the whole excellent; started strong, dipped a little towards the end, but peaked again for the finale. Some of the timed achievements are a bit too unforgiving, however. Overall, I’ve loved experiencing PoF so far, and better yet I’m not even close to exhausting the content. Scourge FTW!
Love maps. So much. Please give your environment artists a balloon and a cake. I'm happy PoF is light on map-wide metas, but hope for one during season 4. Wish I could swap pets while merged as a SB. Wish I could right-click fractal chests. Kinda feel like the story got a bit rushed towards the beginning of Act 3 (flying through Desolation so quickly), but nonetheless had a very satisfying and polished finale, imo. Overall, PoF is the best content you've delivered for GW2, by far, and I love that it doesn't invalidate older content by replacing their metas, in fact, I'd argue PoF has enriched this content by way of making mounts available. Thank you.
Mounts are wonderfully well-implemented, storytelling is at its best, maps continue to be beautiful, collecting chests instead of coins for achivements is more satisfying. Armor skins are somewhat ugly (too much assymetry, heavy armor makes characters look fat, etc.), and the two elite specs I've played are disappointing (firebrand and renegade). I enjoy a strong, focused theme, and firebrand seems to juggle between two (is he a axe-wielding barbarian, or a support nerdy scholar? Both themes don't seem to fit together). But Renegade is just a mess. There's no gameplay flow to it. It's possibly the most poorly-made spec in this game, in my opinion.
-Overall an amazing experience, great designs and a surprisingly good story.
-I don't know how I ever lived without mounts!
-Bounty rewards should be improved so that they could compete with Silverwastes farm (let us stay in the new zones without feeling like we're being punished or held behind for it)
-Mirage is still underwhelming.
1. Can't see any wvw use other than solo roaming for fun (unlike chrono)
2. no real raid viability (dps cannot compete still)
3. still inferior to the chrono in spvp,
4. still inferior to core power mesmer in open world pve roaming (takes longer to kill mobs)
5. will never be used in fotm due to heavy triple phantasm reliance for dps.
-repeatable hearts and hero points are getting in the way of map exploring by ruining the content guide. Repeatable hearts and hero points should be removed from it as they get in the way of event hunting as well.
Great map but seem little bit less playable content. People were crying about the meta event is because there was nothing to make you go back to the map after you finish the Griffon. HoT maps are the meta event. LS3 maps are Aurora. I really hope Anet could make both or something "adventure" happen on the map to really make people have to go back.
Good things with PoF:
- Less confusing maps has made exploration and open world more fun
- Maps added a ton of replay to older content. I love this!
- Overall style of the expansion is great. This could have been a drab desert, but it was so much more.
- Less focus on meta events is so nice! I love that I'm not punished for logging in at the wrong time of day.
Areas for improvement:
- Class balance is crucial to the success of the elite specs and there's some big problems here.
- Hiding new skins from the wardrobe makes it feel like there's no new skins and I don't know if there's anything worth going for.
- Maps still need a queue system for when they're full.
What I liked
What I didn't liked
All together If I would have to give it a score, for me my personal enjoyment would be around 9 out of 10! Blood good job guys. I'm just scared in a couple of months desert will feel empty again with people coming back to HoT maps for loot.
PoF is Anets excuse to release elite specs. There was about 3 days worth of content not including collections and there is no future end game content announced at this time. All game modes remained the same but 5 new maps with no end game content were added along with the story. Mounts while a welcome addition offer nothing to keep the normal content fresh.
Mobs have a very large agro area,
Need an easy way to change mounts,
Love the story, mounts and maps,
So far a big improvement of the gameplay overall, keep up the great work.
Deadeye is under performing, it isn't a burst spec and it isn't sustained damage. It doesn't have a strong foot to stand in besides maybe pvp as a decap spec. seems very gimmicky for one shotting players in wvw after building up malice. On top of this anet put some boonsharing on steal into the traitline, 15 seconds of 20 possible might with a 25 second cd, without the damage (with the required traits to might share) it doesn't do as much dps as a ps warrior, making it pointless. (including it not having, banners or EA) making the leg you meant for it to stand on in pve pointless.
As long as you like exploring and not farming or boring end-game goals that depends on repeating the same stuff 100 times, this is the best expansion ever. I really like to wander around without an specific goal finding new secret achievements and enjoying the feels that mounts bring into the game, and PoF is a masterpiece of exploration. The only thing that I dislike is the "silly" skins/outfits that break immersion. With more armor rewards it would had been greater.
Mount progression was great; super fun and rewarding, and seamlessly integrated into the story.
Selecting and switching between mounts feels a bit clunky (though they otherwise look and feel fantastic). A radial menu for mount selection on a long key press could be a solution, with a short press of the mount key selecting your most recently used mount instead.
Soulbeast is in dire need of a visual rework. The fartshroud is still a visual mess that clashes with the theme of the class (Red in Tooth+Claw. Not this weird viney-leafy stuff for any pet but Jacaranda), and the animations are extremely lackluster, especially on Charr. Give us spirit-animal claws and teeth to strike with, not the Worlds Wimpiest Punches, Kicks, Uppercuts, and that Stupidly Stupid Locked Hands Slam.
Still a lot of bugs.
But the actual content is great.
The expansion doesn’t have much longevity to it. This is caused by:
Low content replayability. Wandering around opening chests and clearing events loses its appeal once you become familiar with the map. Repeating heart quests is tedious. And while bounties are an enjoyable new type of activity, they encourage players to zerg rather than split up which trivializes the fights. These bounties are the only piece of content that appeals to long term players, and that isn’t enough.
Poor incentives. No new legendaries, auras, or other such prestigious items to work towards. No long-term goals, home instance nodes, (actual) resource gobblers. Trade contracts are nearly worthless and gold earned is low. Past mounts the only thing the maps have to offer are a few armor/weapon/backpiece skins and equipment stat options.
Overall I love PoF. The maps feel open and interesting, with beautiful views. Mounts are great but I think the griffon costs too much. I think unidentified gear drops too often and is generally worthless. I wish more armor skins were buyable in the Gem Store or from vendors; all the collecting can become tedious. From reading the new elite specs and discussions, I have little interest in pursuing them compared to the HoT elites. And I will join the chorus of "Meta events, please!"